10 Ways to Grow your Pinterest Traffic and Keep It

This is a blog post for the bloggers, entrepreneurs and small businesses out there, who follow because they the like the home angle of the blog but are also fans of Pinterest like me. If you’ve been wondering how to grow your traffic using Pinterest, and keep that traffic on your site once it arrives there, then do read on.

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In the last 2 years I’ve had over 1.1 million hits directly from Pinterest, and see tens of thousands of readers find my blog as a direct result of the content I pin, and my pinning strategy. It’s a huge platform for me, one I love using thankfully, and one that brings new readers to the site every day.

Why would you want them there in the first place though? Well if you have something to sell then catching all those new readers is a great way to grow an email list or make sales. If you’re a blogger who monetises their site then all that traffic can be used to help you pitch for new collaborations with brands, or grow your income from affiliate links and ads. And if you’re enticing people to sign up to your newsletter, then you keep those readers for any ongoing information you want to share.

But if you’re just starting out on Pinterest, or using it for fun, how do you grow your Pinterest traffic?

There are certain key things you MUST do to ensure Pinterest shows your content to its audience so here are the top 10 points to remember.

Pinterest is a Search Engine

Most people don’t realise that really Pinterest is a search engine and not a social media platform. The introduction of the new Smart Feed about 18 months ago meant that pins aren’t seen in chronological order, they’re shown to the audience based on a complex algorithm. So if you want your pins to be amongst those that are show most frequently or at the top of search results, there are certain things you need to do so that happens.

Setup Your Profile Correctly

pinterest profile

Be sure to create your profile correctly; it makes a huge difference to how you are found on Pinterest. Verify your website, ensure you’re running a business account, list a profile description, and do have Rich Pins. All of these factors ensure that you’re giving yourself and your pins the best chance at being seen and being found. Rich pins in particular are incredibly important. They show your pin with more detail, with bold text and extra descriptions, and if you have a certain type they will show real time information like prices too. Pinterest gives rich pins more weight than others, increasing your chances of being shown at the top of the search results.

Organise your Boards

Give your boards credible, sensible and searchable names. Make some of them broad topics and others more niche orientated. So for example I have boards named Living Rooms or Attics and Lofts, but also have boards that cover more specialised topics like Geometric Trends or Plants for the Home. Think about what your audience wants to see and create boards accordingly. Give the boards a description, select a category and most importantly a good cover image. Lay them out with the most relevant at the top, with a board specifically for your blog content first. This sets the tone for your brand and let’s people know exactly what you are about.

Create Great Content

Of course you can’t get traffic back to your site if you aren’t producing content that people want to read. Make it informational and useful. Think about what your reader/pinner wants to see or know and how you can help them find it. What problem do they have that you are able to solve? Remember that the title of your blog post is taken through as the heading for your pin so make this punchy and catchy, instantly grabbing the audience enticing them to repin and click through.

Make Beautiful Pins

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This goes without saying of course, but what makes a beautiful pin and is it really that important. Well, yes, it really is and it can be tricky to get right. Many of my old pins are dreadful and when I get the time (ha!) I really need to go and change them. Images should be portrait or vertical, about 1000px x 750px ish, containing visually attractive lifestyle content. Try not to include faces or cut out images, these don’t do well. Add some teaser text or overlay words to help people see immediately what problem you’re solving. This can work particularly well for blog posts that aren’t focused on the visuals.

Make your Images Pinnable

Once you’ve made your beautiful image and uploaded it to your blog post remember to add text to the alt text section. This can be as long as you want it to be, and will be the description on Pinterest when someone pins it. If you have multiple images in the post, ensure they all have the same long description in the alt text. Add a pin it button to your blog to make it clear how your readers can share it, and if on WordPress complete the Yoast meta description. This will also get pulled through onto Pinterest when you have rich pins.

Want to understand this further? Get your hands on my FREE email course 7 Steps to a Killer Pinterest Strategy for awesome Pinterest help.

SEO for Pinterest

So, we’ve mentioned that Pinterest is a search engine and as such it’s really important that you optimise your account and your pins accordingly. Now this really is the dullest thing you have to do, but if you want to be a success on Pinterest you need to understand and use it effectively. Identify the key words for your blog, content and Pinterest account. Keep a list of them and make sure you use them in your board names and descriptions, your profile description, your user name (this doesn’t have to be your blog name), your pin titles and descriptions. Don’t use hashtags or stuff your descriptions full of keywords, simple write long organic paragraphs enticing your reader to click through.

Use a Scheduler

tailwindYou need to be pinning a good amount and regularly too. I pin between 10 and 50 pins a day. It really does depend but the more I pin, the better the traffic is. Pinterest sees that you are constantly sharing great content and rewards  you for it by showing your pins more. It’s the pins from your blog that need to be shown of course, so ensure you share them, but share other content too. Use a schedule like Tailwind or Ahalogy to do this. They are tied into the Pinterest API code and can feed back meaningful analytics that help you develop your strategy. Schedulers help you spread your pins throughout the day and night, and keep a steady flow. They are also great for managing the time you spend on Pinterest, keeping it to a minimum. I spend about an hour a week.

Looping & Housekeeping

Looping is a way of repinning old content. The pins at the bottom of your board most likely haven’t been seen by lots of your new followers so it’s worth repinning them as long as you delete the duplicate pin in a short period of time. There’s a huge debate over whether deleting old pins is necessary. With recent changes to the platform this has become less relevant, but you do need to ensure your pins have engagement – too many pins with no repins will have a negative effect on your account – so consider tidying up the description and repinning. Tools like BoardBooster can do this for you automatically for a small monthly subscription. Furthermore, ensure you delete pins with broken links, no links or spam links. Pinterest is not a fan of these kinds of pins.

Create New Subscribers

And so now you have all this new traffic, what are you going to do with it? Well you need your readers to stick around of course why not entice them to sign up to your newsletter. If you don’t have one and don’t want to use one, then encourage them to subscribe to the blog, and give them other blog posts to read and enjoy once they’re on the site. It’s worth offering something in exchange, maybe a how to guide or free printable, whatever is relevant to your site that will be useful, helpful and solve a reader’s problem.

So now you’re well on the way to growing your Pinterest traffic, and enjoying the results, but to be honest this is just the beginning! Don’t forget to take a screenshot of your Pinterest analytics before you start, and compare it 1 month, 3 months and 6 months later. You’ll be amazed at the difference, I guarantee it.

If you have any further questions on this do leave a comment below or drop me a line at jen@lovechicliving.co.uk. If you’ve started on your Pinterest journey and want to understand it more I’ve put together a completely FREE email course to help. Just
click here to get your hands on it
.

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17 Comments

  1. May 22, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    Great post Jen! I’m going to be working hard on my Pinterest over the next few months. Got a question though… with regards to board titles. I understand they need to be what people are searching for, does the <3 I have on my boards get in the way of the keywords do you think? x

  2. Hai Tran
    May 23, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    I always think that Pinterest is becoming a brand new and potential way for marketing online. And I just didn’t know how to use it effectively. Your tips are so clever. I’ll try it out and see what’ll be going on. Thanks a lot

    • May 23, 2016 / 3:20 pm

      Thanks Hai, good luck with it, so glad that was useful.

  3. May 24, 2016 / 1:26 pm

    Thanks this is SO useful – I really need to learn how to use it better because I love it so much! Thanks, and good hearing you speak on Saturday xx

    • May 24, 2016 / 1:58 pm

      Thank you! So glad it’s useful, let me know how you get on with it 🙂 x Hope you had a good day on Saturday, thought it was a great event.

  4. May 25, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    Some great tips. I didn’t knew Pinterest introduced an algorithm and will definitely see how we can improve our pins. As a diagramming company visualization is very important to us so Pinterest it is a great traffic source for us. Although we had some traffic it wasn’t staggering. Hopefully these tips will help.

    • May 27, 2016 / 8:41 am

      Thanks so much for your comment Nishadha, and good luck with your pinning!

  5. May 25, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    Wow, what fab tips, Jen! Good luck with the launch of your course.

  6. May 25, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    This is such a great post Jen – Really need to sort myself out with pinterest 🙂 Thanks for the tips! A x

    • May 27, 2016 / 8:42 am

      No problem Arianna, it’s a real game changer once you get into it x

  7. May 25, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Wow, those stats are impressive Jen!
    I think for me it’s just another thing to add to the to-do list, but it’s something I’d love to test out more. Thanks for the tips!

    • May 27, 2016 / 8:42 am

      I know how you feel Karen, it’s quite addictive once you get it sorted though 🙂 x

  8. May 31, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    Really great detailed post Jen! Super handy.

    We really got into using Pinterest as a business for a while and then read a blog post detailing the legal issues with Pinterest…e.g. if you pin an image that is copyrighted, as most are, then you’re liable for any legal claims…not Pinterest.

    I haven’t heard this ever happen – wouldn’t this mean that basically everyone on Pinterest could get fines? I can’t risk it though.

    I should probably speak to someone at Pinterest to see what their take on it is…whether it is actually an issue?

    Anyway – great blog post Jen!

    Ally x

    • June 6, 2016 / 2:25 pm

      Hi Ally, thanks for your comment, glad you like the post. I can certainly see issues with using images found on Pinterest on your blog/website, but I’ve not heard of copyright issues simply by repinning an image. Indeed this is really the basis of Pinterest. If a site doesn’t want it’s images pinned in the first place they generally tend to have some wording to this effect, but as a business, Pinterest is a great traffic driver so well worth pursuing. Hope that helps. x

  9. Tahir Majeed
    June 21, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Hi, Jen Stanbrook
    I read your article very helpful for the new user you describe all the things clearly I am also work on pinterest. I have created board of Responsive template .My strategy is to follow the other followers pins then other people follow me my followers increase these way.Other things you mention in article like organise board, content description. image etc all the things are perfect in my board or pins so tell me on other way i generate more followers.
    You article are so awesome very informative. please send again and again these type of other related article then we get more and more tips.

    Thanks for Sharing.

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