It may not have occurred to you how having a Pinterest account could improve your business and help you gain new customers, but try using these SEO strategies to give your business a boost by directing traffic back to your website. This could be the next social media platform that will assist your SEO campaign and convert visitors into becoming new customers. Here are a few statistics that were released back in May 2015 on the activities of Pinterest users:
- 93% of Pinners used Pinterest to help them plan their purchases
- 87% of Pinners have purchased something because of Pinterest
- 67% of content on Pinterest comes directly from business websites
- There are 60 million buyable pins on Pinterest.
With nearly 12 million unique visitors each month and 176 million registers users (as of December 2015), this might be a prime time to join Pinterest and for it to become a key component in your social media marketing strategy. Businesses which are image rich and have a well-recognized brand could use this social media tool to gain new followers and gain new business.
If you haven’t started using Pinterest yet and registered an account, here’s a brief explanation on how it works and how you can create links to receive a potential increase in website traffic. Pinterest is simply a social media network which is a series of pin boards which enable its users to share and organize images which can all be linked back to a single source – in this case, your website.
Anything that you share on Pinterest is known as a ‘pin’. You can share content on Pinterest by either uploading your own images or others images which is known as ‘re-pinning’. Creating a pin or a bookmark is a way to organize and categorize your images by creating a single or a series of ‘pin boards’. Users find your pins through searching categories or by typing in key words that you have written in the description of each pin (image). If you want to track the pins that others share from your board, then be sure to verify your site, then you will have access to Pinterest’s analytics functionality. However, you must register first and create a profile before you can do any of these things on Pinterest.
Creating your Pinterest profile
Pinterest offers a variety of ways to login i.e. you can login by using one of your existing social media accounts or you can create a separate username and password to login with. While you are in the process of registering your username, choose an appropriate one, as that will form your Pinterest account URL.
Complete all the fields, to help Pinterest extend your audience reach. Add your blog or website URL, include your logo to help add a sense of authenticity and create that positive impression for your customers. Additionally, include links to all your other business-related social media accounts in your profile. If you have people interested in what you are offering, give them as much information as you can so they don’t go hunting elsewhere to find it.
Visualize your customer
To use Pinterest effectively, you should have a clear picture of your target market, their interests and preferences of your typical customer. Pinterest is the perfect visual marketing tool for businesses which have strong visual elements, for example: a plumbing business may not have as popular appeal as say businesses which are in retail, restaurant/café or florists. However, that does not exclude Plumbers from having a Pinterest account, I suggest they think a bit more out-of-the box for images they could use and upload images which they know would interest their customers. However generally, businesses which are more service oriented than product-based may have a little more difficulty to come up with an image than businesses which sell tangible products.
People who use Pinterest have the ability to set their preferences for the types of images they are interested in seeing. So it is a good idea for you to separate your various products and services into different categories thereby create various different pin boards. This is a great way to target your products or services to a specific audience/follower. By effectively categorizing your pin board, you can better reflect the different offerings you have to an already interested group of people.
Look closely at your existing customer demographic and base your pin boards and images choices around their interests and activities.
Using your Pinterest account and SEO effectively
Like all social media platforms, Pinterest will only be useful to your business if you know how to use it effectively to drive traffic back to your website. If a pinned image links back to your website, you effectively have a good presence on Pinterest, this assists in creating high-quality SEO-friendly links. (Search engines like this type of traffic). This will only be beneficial to you if you are able to convert this traffic into paying customers so ensure you link your pinned image to a relevant web page or specific landing page on your website and not a generic page like your homepage or contact page.
Pinterest has the capability to track which customers came to your website from Pinterest and track their behaviour and buying habits, identify what the triggers were that led to them completing a purchase.
Some businesses on Pinterest add their logo or website URL on every image as a watermark so anyone who looks at it, immediately recognizes it and can also easily track back to your website. Naming and writing a good description for each image is also important. The description field allows you to type in 500 characters. Studies have shown that descriptions which use between 200 – 300 characters have a greater chance of being re-pinned. The words that you write in your description help Pinterest serve as SEO keywords and activate your image as one of the search results users find. They also provide useful background information as a means of telling an interesting story or sharing the background of the image and increase your chances of being re-pinned. Put as much thought into choosing the right image as writing a good description.
Like Twitter and Google+ you can also include hashtags as a way to make your pins more visible. Think of your hashtags as additional metadata and a great way to begin grouping your pins together to form a new category/topic. Use the same hashtags across all your social media platforms to help cross-populate and boost your profile.
Share your story graphically
Offer added value (meaning: try not to solely post pins about your own products and news) – try to find others pins and post others news and developments that are relevant to what you are promoting, Pinterest users do not like profiles and pin boards which are solely existing as a way for businesses to sell and promote their own product offerings. Pinterest users are mainly interested in the visual presentation of your product and should not feel a strong compulsion or need that they must buy your product.
Instead, think of your pin board like a stunning, visual board for you to share the story of your business. Appeal to Pinterest users by creating content which is both original and compelling. Make your pin board engaging, unique, trendy and interesting by sharing, pinning and uploading images which offers a new way for others to perceive your business.
Look at other pin boards for inspiration and ideas, share their boards and become part of the community. Through sharing others pins you get an insight into what it’s like for others who will be sharing your images. Spend some time getting to know and understand the interests of your followers. Engage with them by liking their pins, commenting and re-pinning, show your human side. Members benefit from being a part of an online group which comment, share images and can spread messages quickly and easily on a variety of other social media networks, which Pinterest allows.
Limited budget? – don’t let that stop you
An example I read about recently was a newly opened cooking school. They didn’t have a large marketing budget but decided to promote their business using Pinterest. They did a little research and found some Pinterest users pinned images of plates of food and meals they were eating. So the cooking school decided to create a board for their customers to log in and share their culinary creations with their friends and followers. This generated some interest and led to more customers commenting on their friends creations and an increase in the numbers of people signing up for cooking classes.
As a series of related pin boards, the cooking school started to pin different cooking utensils and gadgets which they thought their followers might be interested in. They also started looking closely at the types of food people were pinning on Pinterest and offered those recipes and dishes as options people could learn to prepare and cook in their school. They started using the images from their blog posts and Facebook page to create interesting pins on their board to encourage even more people to share their news.
Promote the Pinterest lifestyle perception
Pinterest’s underlying pulling power lies in the way that it can create a highly visual idealized lifestyle that people want but do not currently live. This is a prime opportunity to take advantage by creating pin boards which help illustrate those dreams. Look at your customers’ profiles and specifically the types of boards they have created. Their boards reflect their interests. Your choice of images to boost your business and drive traffic back to your website can be raised by creating a thoughtful collection of pin boards and well written descriptions which is the essential to using Pinterest effectively.
Share others pins and comment on others boards – look at what other popular successful pinners are doing and pin similar images and ideas. Keep your approach simple but use it as an opportunity to showcase your unique businesses personality and culture. Using Pinterest and SEO to help raise the profile of your business might just be the thing you need to do to drive traffic and receive more visitors to your website and business.