How to Get More Traffic with Pinterest
Pinterest is today the 4th largest and the fastest-growing social network in the world (after Facebook, Google+, and Twitter). According to ClientConnexion.com, Pinterest will overtake Twitter and possibly Facebook in 2013, in regards to the amount of time spent and in traffic of users.
Pinterest is a pinboard photo-sharing website that was launched in March 2010. It has 3.4 billion monthly page views and 48.7 million users (as of April 2013). Shouldn't it then be to your best interest to learn how to make full use of its free service to experience a massive increase in traffic to your hubs and/or websites?
With Pinterest being a photo-sharing website, you would need an image to post. You can also organize your images into folders, called 'boards', and select which board to 'pin' your images to.
How these images can help drive traffic to your hub or website is that you can make these images clickable by including a link back to your hub/article. When viewers click on your Pinterest image (pin), it will bring them to your hub or webpage. You can also add a caption under the image to generate interest. And with just one button, you can also post to both Facebook and Twitter easily, thus killing 3 birds with one stone, so to speak.
As a hubber or webmaster, isn't this reason enough for you to spend some of your valuable time to learn how to make Pinterest work for you and drive loads of traffic to your hub or website?
This article is not a how-to tutorial about Pinterest. It merely seeks to show you how Pinterest can benefit you and how you can make better use of it to help you draw traffic to your hub or website. However, links to relevant tutorial websites are provided, whenever possible.
What types of images should I use?
Since Pinterest makes use of images, it is obvious clear that the quality of your images is important to make it stand out among the tons and tons of images being displayed. If people like your images very much, they will 'repin' them to their boards, a prerequisite to making your images go viral. When someone repins your image, it automatically pulls the link to your hub/article, thus potentially building up a huge amount of backlinks for you. This is what makes Pinterest so powerful to both hubbers and webmasters.
Create your own image. Presently, some 80% of all images in Pinterest are 'repins'. What this means to you is that if your images are original and attractive, there will be a lot of users waiting to circulate your pins, and you will get loads of exposure and traffic. However, if you just repinning other people's image, you won't go very far.
So what kind of images should you pin? It could be:
- visually-appealing and eye-catching photos;
- charts and graphs;
- image quotes or image with text overlays;
- tutorial pins; and
- Slideshare presentations.
Use a good mix of pins in various formats to spice up your Pinterest page. According to Pinerly, tutorial pins get 42% higher click-through rate than the average pin. Teaser pins, typically some text on top of an image or colorful background such as “5 Things You Should Always Recycle", also intrigue people and garner a higher click-through rate.
Epreneur TV says: "It may come as a surprise to you, but the photo you use in your About section, the information you add (or leave out!), your board titles and the actual order of your boards can all play a key role in the success or failure of your Pinterest Optimization."
Create as many boards as possible, according to themes, using a catchy title that clearly describes what the board is about. Add keywords in the description to improve searchability, as well as enough content to make it look complete.
Repinly says that the 5 most popular boards are:
- Home Decor (11.0%);
- Art (10,7%);
- Design (10.3%);
- Women's Fashion (7.7%);
- Photography (5.8%).
while the 5 most popular pins are:
- Food and Drink (11.1%);
- DIY and Crafts (9.6%);
- Home Decor (5.8%);
- Hair and Beauty (5.4%); and
- Women's Fashion (5.4%).
An eye-tracking study commissioned by Mashable also showed that Pinterest users tend to respond better to images of faces, as well as images that are placed at the top 2 rows and at the center of a page. This would also mean that you should use a headshot of yourself in your Profile, And not only are the pins themselves important, their positions are also important. You not only can rearrange your boards, you can also rearrange the pins in your board. So organize your boards, not only to make them look more attractive and useful to visitors, but also to choose the best pin position for the hubs/articles you want to promote. If you do not know how to do it, visit colorfulcc.wordpress.com.
The small difference that makes the big difference
If you click on any image in Pinterest, you will land on another Pinterest page. If you are in Pinterest to promote your hubs, won't it be good if it lands on your hub directly? Unfortunately, there is no way of doing it, but there's an alternative that is very close to that.
I've been figuring out how a fellow hubber managed to garner 10 million pageviews in 6 years, and found out that the secret could be in placing his links to his hubs in the description box of Pinterest. How do you insert your link, when the description does not accept HTML? Well, that was the question I spent days testing, since the answer was not forthcoming. And I finally discovered it!
All you need to do is to put your url in the description box, i.e. the full http address and presto! Pinterest will automatically shorten it to your subdomain name. Whenever anyone clicks on it, it will land straight on your hub, instead of having to click 2-3 times before they finally land there. As you may already have realized, this will increase your traffic considerably because every additional click that is required in order to get to your hub will substantially reduce your number of potential visitors.
How to socialize in Pinterest
Just like any social network, the key to using Pinterest is to interact with as many users as possible. Unlike Facebook which focuses on people, Pinterest focuses on contents (pins). Spend time to follow, repin, 'like', and comment on other users' pins. By so doing, you will generate other users' interest for your own content, build relationships, and grow your following.
Do not just pin your own content because such practices are frown upon, just as in any social network. Share other people's content alongside your own by repinning, so that your boards become a useful destination for your followers.
When you leave a comment, everyone else who has also left a comment there gets emailed with your comment. By leaving comments, you can make friends and if your comments are good, you can be recognized as an 'expert' in a particular field or subject area. The key to success is to become a part of the community. As St. Francis of Assisi says, "For it is in giving that we receive". As of April 2013, the highest recorded number of followers for a single Pinterest user is 14.5 million.
To browse other user's pins, click the icon to the left of the search box on the top bar. A drop down menu will show a list, ranging from "Everything" and "Popular" to subcategories such as "Animals", "Architecture", and "Women's Fashion".
Repinly says that the average activity of popular pinners are:
- 35 boards;
- 2,757 pins; and
- 355 following.
Users spend their time in Pinterest as follows:
- Pinning (83.4% of their time);
- Liking (16%); and
- Commenting (0.6%).
A word of caution
As with any social network, there will bound to be some users who will misuse the facility. Some of these images are placed there, just to trick you into visiting their shop on eBay or Amazon or a site that sells weight-loss or Viagra pills. Some users may even pin images that, when you click, will direct you to a website containing malicious content that could infect your computer. They may use an url redirect such as:
This way, Pinterest displays “bbc.co.uk” as the source of the image, making you think that the image is from BBC. Don't be overly frightened, though. Just protect yourself with a reliable anti-virus and anti-malware software. Road accidents happen everyday but that should not stop us from driving.
If you have your own website, you may want to have it verified by Pinterest, which will then place a checkmark next to your website on your profile page and below your name in search results. This will give users more confidence, when clicking the backlinks to your website. If you do not know how to get your website verified, Pinterest has a help page on how to go about doing it.