So you’ve worked hard on writing the perfect blog or designing an awesome website – now you’ve got to drive traffic there to get the rewards!
Maybe you have no budget for marketing or SEO, perhaps you’re one of the growing army of home workers (all power to you!). Do you call yourself an entrepreneur? Mompreneur? Solopreneur? So many phrases these days! But most of them without much or any money to put behind a promotion campaign.
And especially with the Covid-19 pandemic pushing millions of businesses to the brink of collapse, Pinterest offers a way of promoting products, services and advice with the knowledge that your audience can be reached organically – so you don’t have to pay out for sponsored posts to achieve success.
Here is an Essential A-Z of Pinterest, which rounds up all the benefit of this amazing visual search engine to help you drive traffic – and tons of it – to your blog or website.
A is for Audience
There are 335 MILLION MONTHLY ACTIVE USERS across the world, which is more than Twitter or Snapchat, for example.
Forbes reports that Pinterest is the SECOND MOST USED SOCIAL MEDIA APP in Europe and the US. Even though Pinterest isn’t really a social media platform! Pinterest is more akin to Google, being an extremely powerful VISUAL SEARCH ENGINE.
Pinterest was once regarded as a female-dominated site for American hobbyists looking for inspiration. But the biggest growth in Pinterest users over the past five years has been among men, those outside the US, and younger people.
There is now about a 60-40 female to male split with two-thirds of users based outside the United States.
B is for Business, Brands & Bloggers
Pinterest has become an essential business marketing tool because the platform is superb at DRIVING TRAFFIC to your website – and Pinterest users are READY TO BUY – or READY TO TAKE ACTION on something.
An incredible 93% OF PEOPLE ON PINTEREST USE THE PLATFORM TO PLAN PURCHASES.
87% of Pinterest users have bought something after finding it through Pinterest.
67% say they have discovered a new brand or product thanks to Pinterest.
Increased sales and web traffic has been recorded across ALL SECTORS of business, all across the world.
So Pinterest has become the PERFECT PLACE TO SHOWCASE a business, brand or product to an engaged, interested audience in whatever niche you operate in.
Because Pinterest is used to seek inspiration, to save ideas, and then to search for purchases, it allows businesses to engage with people at every stage of the customer journey.
BLOGGERS love Pinterest because it is excellent at driving traffic to their pages – which helps them MAKE MONEY through ads and affiliate offers.
C is for Clean (and Coronavirus)
What a refreshing change it is to be associated with a social channel that has attracted NO BAD PUBLICITY, has had NO FAKE NEWS accusations, NO SCAM headlines…
Pinterest has made a conscious attempt to steer clear of all the troubles and negative headlines that have plagued other platforms, tweaking its algorithm and making content decisions that ensure the emphasis is enjoying a positive experience.
As the COVID-19 virus spread across the world, Pinterest proved itself once again to be a class above other social platforms. It is a responsible space and does not share fake news.
On coronavirus, Pinterest stated: “Pins about this topic often violate our Community Guidelines, which prohibit harmful medical misinformation. Because of this, we’ve limited search results to Pins from internationally recognised health organisations.”
Brands and businesses can FEEL GOOD about being on Pinterest.
Causes, campaigns and charities can feel confident they are reaching out to genuine, supportive people.
People want to spend time on Pinterest, and its 26% user growth rate proves that.
It’s worth remembering, for future-proofing, that PINTEREST IS GROWING, WHILE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ARE DECLINING.
D is for Design
One of the things that makes Pinterest stand out from other social platforms and search engines is the fact that vertical images work better.
Optimize your ‘pins’ to the right size and they are more likely to get ‘re-pinned’.
As of 2020, Pinterest wants users to generate more unique, original content, so design has become more important than ever.
One indispensible tool is CANVA. It’s a web-based service which can be used free of charge and makes it incredible easy to come up with great-looking and perfectly-sized designs for Pinterest. And that helps you drive traffic to your website. Try it out here.
E is for Environmentally Conscious
Pinterest has become a game-changer in caring for, and saving our planet. Through Pinterest, a movement of people around the world has been built and strengthened.
People who care about the climate emergency, care about loss of habitats and wildlife, care about the oceans and want to reduce their use of plastic.
AN ARMY OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO SAVE THE WORLD ARE UNITING ON PINTEREST. They are sharing content, learning and putting new, greener ways into practice.
Pinterest released figures for the TOP SEARCHES OF 2019 and among them, eco-conscious ones showing huge rises included Low Waste Living (+446%), Protest Posters (+5,961%), Product Swaps (+172%), Reduced Carbon Footprint (+86%) and Eco-Friendly Travel (+73%).
F is for Fresh Content
Pinterest users were for a long time urged to share other people’s content above their own. At the start of 2020, the tables turned.
Now PINTEREST IS HUNGRY FOR FRESH CONTENT. No chance of your business spamming here – as long as it’s relevant, quality content – and that includes products and services, then Pinterest will reward new pins and share them further.
Great news for anyone or any business that is keen to get across a lot of products, messages, advice etc.
And if you haven’t got a lot, you just present what you have in many different, creative ways (Canva will help there again).
G is for Group Boards
A group board is a collection of pins on a given subject – all with links to websites of course – where the board creator has invited many others to join and share their own content.
This was always a sure way to extend your reach on Pinterest, but the 2020 algorithm appears to give less importance to groups. A similar concept, Tailwind Tribes, still brings great results.
H is for Help and Hashtags
With Pinterest, like anything in life, you’ve got to do it properly to get the most out of it.
Hashtags were not encouraged on Pinterest at first. Today, more people are searching for fresh pins by using hashtags, just as they’ve got used to doing on Instagram and Twitter. So include hashtags on your pin and board descriptions – as long as they are relevant.
If you’re not confident you can harness the incredible power of Pinterest, there will always be advice on this website.
Furthermore, you could employ a Pinterest Virtual Assistant or Pinterest Marketer to keep on top of things for you – it is likely to be a very worthwhile investment.
I is for Inspiration
People come to Pinterest for inspiration – call it Pinspiration. They’re usually planning a purchase, wanting to know more about something, planning a major event, setting off on holiday… so many things right across all genres and eventualities – but they need help.
PINTEREST INSPIRES PEOPLE. We know this because a recent survey found that an incredible 95% of users said this. Also, 91% claimed that Pinterest helps them achieve their goals.
So your brand, your business, your cause, can be a source of inspiration and play and important role in people’s lives.
J is for Jargon Busting
Like every social media site and search engine, Pinterest has its own language. It’s not difficult to learn, and some terms are covered elsewhere in this A-Z. But here is a run-down of a few more words from the Pin-lingo to help you…
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. You search for ideas, products and inspiration, and those you like (or want to look into at a later date), you pin to one of your boards.
So you are the PINNERS and your boards are collections of pins, set out in themes or categories decided by you. All your thoughts and possibilities, hopes and dreams, all pinned to one place.
On a business level, a promotional or educational level, your boards are effectively a shop window, or a catalogue, or library. Arrange the pins into sections that people will be searching for, and Pinners will arrive in their vast numbers (as long as you have done the necessary SEO work).
Pins are image-based tiles, which can also contain video, should really include text, and should carry a link to the source of the information on the pin – for example a blog post or a page on your online store.
There are different kinds of pins, according to your needs and whether you are paying for advertising on Pinterest – with a Promoted Pin (you will see these occasionally in your feed but they are not as intrusive as on other platforms, eg Facebook).
A RePin is when someone pins someone else’s post to one of their boards. Secret Boards allow you to create or collect in private.
K is for Keywords
Remember that PINTEREST IS A VISUAL SEARCH ENGINE. So if you want people to find your pins, and you want to drive traffic o your blog or website, KEYWORDS ARE VITAL.
It’s better if you include long-tail keywords – sentences, phrases, whatever people will typing or saying when they search.
Get your keywords right, and your use of keywords right, and you’re well on our way to succeeding at Pinterest.
Use them in your pin titles and descriptions, on the pins themselves, in the board names; also in your profile name and description.
L is for Lifespan
One of the major attractions for businesses, brands and bloggers using Pinterest is the fact that CONTENT STAYS IN VIEW FOR AGES.
Certainly compared to other platforms.
Pins can actually stay prominent in searches and feeds for years – they can drive traffic over and over again to your offer, store, blog or website.
On average, a Pinterest post will stay fresh for about four months, before sliding out of view – but using Tailwind, you can easily resurrect these older pins. And creating evergreen content means your content will always be in demand.
The average lifespan of a tweet is a mere 18 minutes. A Facebook post has an average lifespan of 5 hours. An Instagram post will show prominently for 21 hours, and a LinkedIn post for 24 hours.
Snapchat content lasts just seconds, but Snapchat Stories have an average lifespan of 24 hours. YouTube videos stay fresh in the feed for about 20 days.
But no platform compares to the lifespan offered on Pinterest. Which is good news for anyone putting out content on Pinterest.
M is for Men and Millennials
M could also be for ‘misconceptions’, because the uneducated consider Pinterest only suitable for women. In fact, the numbers of men using Pinterest around the world has exploded.
In the past year, the number of male users doubled. That makes men Pinterest’s fastest-growing demographic.
It’s a 60-40 female-male split overall, across all ages, which makes it pretty attractive for the vast majority of businesses.
What’s more, half of all millennials are now Pinterest users – and six in ten of these use Pinterest to discover new products.
N is for New Rules
Pinterest didn’t just change its algorithm at the start of 2020 – it changed its way of thinking.
Emphasis had previously been on sharing other people’s content – now Pinterest rewards you for FRESH, ORIGINAL CONTENT.
It wants to see more variety on its boards. And if you don’t start creating more of your own content, you’ll almost certainly see your number of monthly viewers, and therefore those who engage with you – and ultimately your traffic – take a dive.
This where you need to refer again to the sections ‘Design’, ‘Help’ and ‘Tailwind’ to keep you right!
O is for OCR
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a technology which allows Pinterest to read the words on the pins themselves – on the images.
This allows Pinterest to rank pins according to the message and – importantly – the keywords contained within this text.
So remember the importance of getting your message across in the right away, giving your pin the best chance of being shared far and wide, and to the people looking for your kind of content.
P is for Profile
Your Profile Name, Description and Photo are just as important as the descriptions on your pins when it comes to ranking higher on Pinterest.
If you’re a business, make sure you have a business account, which opens up analytics to find out what’s working and what isn’t.
Ideally, your photo should be your business logo or a clear photo of your face.
Your profile name should not only include your business or personal name, it could INCLUDE KEYWORDS about what you do, or what you are offering.
Your profile description should contain as much detail as you can fit in, which again includes important keywords.
Q is for Quantity and Quality
Once upon a time, Pinterest users were encouraged to pin furiously each and every day. Now, quantity is not as important.
You still need to be active, though. Pinterest partner Tailwind can keep you in check so you are not deemed to be spamming the platform, and suggests pinning about 25-30 times a day. This can be scheduled, also through Tailwind.
Quality of content is very important, as you need your pins to stand out to attract people. This is where you need to be smart with Design and do your homework on Keywords.
R is for Repair, Rescue and Recovery
If your Pinterest account hasn’t worked for you, don’t worry. Chances are, you’ve just been doing something wrong. That can be repaired!
I call myself The Pin Doctor. I find Pinterest accounts that have been abandoned and I repair and rescue them, and set them on the road to recovery.
You can do that, too, with your own or another Pinterest account. Just follow the rules as set out in this article. That’s all you have to do!
Believe me, it will be well worth it to pick up all that FREE, ORGANIC TRAFFIC to your blog or website.
S is for SEO
As has been mentioned elsewhere in this guide, SEO – Search Engine Optimization – IS CRUCIAL when using Pinterest to drive traffic.
Refer to the Keywords section, the OCR section and the Profile section in this guide, get those things right and that amounts to optimizing your pins.
And remember at all times that Pinterest works in the same way Google works, as it is a visual search engine above all other things.
T is for Tailwind
Pinterest is working closer than ever with Tailwind – its official partner. And that means we all need to be working with Tailwind.
It’s a Pinterest scheduler tool, which also offers game-changing analytics and the option to join and share content to Tribes – the number one reason many people give for their Pinterest reach skyrocketing.
But even more importantly now, Pinterest appears to be using Tailwind to send out information about important updates to best practices and algorithm changes.
Tailwind worked closely with Pinterest before the huge 2020 changes came into play, and now Tailwind monitors your pinning activity. If you are not sticking to the rules, Tailwind will inform you how to fix things before it is too late through its new feature, SmartGuide.
This means TAILWIND IS AN ESSENTIAL PINTEREST TOOL. It can be used from free of charge. Have a try of Tailwind here.
U is for User-Friendly
Pinterest thrives on design and simplicity. You can’t help but love searching for information, products and ideas, and it appeals to people of all ages and technical abilities. No sidebar or dashboard of complicated features and hidden settings – Pinterest is honest to your face and a breath or fresh air.
V is for Visual Search
Pinterest is, of course, a visual search engine, and visual searches are becoming more and more popular and in demand – more than 6 in 10 people aged under 40 were found to be keen on discovering things through images.
There’s also the PINTEREST LENS – a mobile phone camera tool that allows you to take a photo of something, and let Pinterest find you that same thing or something similar on the platform.
W is for What Matters
The number of Monthly Unique Viewers is the standout figure on a Pinterest account.
Then there’s the number of followers that business, brand, organisation or person has.
Both figures matter, as the higher the numbers, the more people are seeing your content.
Dig into the ANALYTICS (available on Business Accounts, which are free to set up), and you’ll see figures for impressions, and more importantly, your engaged audience.
You can drill down further into this figure to see how many people have looked at your pins in close-up, how many have saved your content, and how many have clicked through to the source – your website, blog or store, perhaps.
All figures matter, but ultimately, engagement with your content will matter most, which is why…
X is for eXamine Your Analytics
A bit of a cheat with the A-Z but it’s so important to keep on top of what’s working and what isn’t – and do more of the same or change tact accordingly.
Pinterest Analytics are quite detailed and let you know which pins, boards and groups are the most popular.
Further analytics on Tailwind help you keep track of your pinning schedule, and which Tribes are bringing you the best results.
Y is for You’ve Got To Keep On Top Of This!
It’s astounding to see how many major brands get so far into using Pinterest and then let their interest slip – thus missing out on tons of FREE MARKETING and the chance to DRIVE TRAFFIC FREE OF CHARGE, in turn generating sales and engagement.
The reason this happens? On analysing accounts that have fallen by the wayside, it seems that some just weren’t doing it right – the pins weren’t the right size, the SEO just wasn’t considered.
Others have pinned like crazy and then maybe found their efforts needed on an other project. Well, you don’t want to over-pin anyway, but a scheduler like Tailwind can make your life so much easier.
The message is – it’s worth putting the effort in! Pinterest can be a GOLDMINE for businesses, brands and organisations from ANY NICHE OR GENRE.
So stick with it! Or GET HELP to do so.
Z is for Gen-Z
First businesses went after the Millennials, then they sought the interest and custom of Gen-Z – broadly speaking, the under 24s. And there are many, many of them engaging with Pinterest.
Currently, 70% of content on Pinterest is created by people aged between 18-34 – this includes a 37% chunk in the 18-24 range, more than any other age segment.
So it’s obviously important for businesses, brands and causes which are looking to reach and engage with Gen-Z, to use the power of Pinterest and its huge audience.
Gen-Z (as well as Millennials) are searching for inspiration on leading a more sustainable lifestyle. They want to make a difference and drive change. All power to them… Can you help them?