For most bloggers, and definitely for all food bloggers, Pinterest can’t be ignored as an important piece of your online marketing strategy. Personally, it’s by far the top referring source of traffic to Running on Real Food, in fact when I started paying a bit more attention to Pinterest I more than doubled the traffic to my site.
What I love about Pinterest its ability to keep your older content alive and well, rather than buried in the depths of posts past. Finding success on Pinterest is a breeze, with just a few minutes a day you can boost your traffic, gain more followers and network with other bloggers, plus discover some great content just for you!
Here are my top tips for improving your Pinterest profile and watching your referrals from Pinterest soar.
1. Have a specific board for all your blog posts.
This is a great way to keep all your blog posts in one convenient place and allow users to follow the board for updates.
2. Add categories and write detailed descriptions for all your boards.
Pinterest gives you 500 characters in the description field of each board. Take advantage of this by filling it out using top SEO keywords and relevant hashtags. You want your boards to come up when people are searching within Pinterest. Be specific, write complete descriptions and include a category for each board.
3. Pin to group boards.
Personally, pinning my posts to group boards has really improved the traffic to my blog. To be invited to group board, there will often be instructions in the description that let you know how you can request an invite. To find group boards to participated in, you can try using Board Deck, which is an awesome new group board directory, or even just Googling group Pinterest boards in your category.
After you’ve been invited to a group board, be sure to pin responsibility and respect and guidelines that have been set for the board.
4. Comment, like, re-pin and tag.
Pinterest is all about sharing great content after all, so make sure you’re an active participant! Commenting, liking and re-pinning other users content is a great way to network and gain more followers, which means more people will see your pins. It’s also a good idea to tag other users in comments and your pin descriptions.
5. Use specific hashtags, the source URL and keywords in your pin descriptions.
When you’re pinning your blog posts, write clear descriptions using keywords, hashtags and your blog URL. By using the right keywords, more people will be able find your pins and discover your wonderful content!
6. Organize your boards.
Pinterest is all about visual appeal so take a few moments to organize your boards into categories and make your profile page look nice. I’d recommend keeping your blog board and other important boards, near the top so they’re easy to find. When a user lands on your profile page they will focus on your top two rows of boards first. Make sure you take advantage of this valuable real estate, keep it fresh and choose visually appealing board covers.
7. Update your board covers.
Again, Pinterest is all about that visual appeal! Update your board covers to bright and eye-catching images that will grab people’s attention and make your profile look professional. Colour co-ordinate and make it look great!
8. Give boards specific and clear names, don’t be vague.
It might be fun to give your boards cool names, but no one will ever be able to find them if you do! If you’re just using Pinterest for personal purposes, go for it, but if you’re looking to increase traffic to your blog, be clear and specific. Rather than having a board called “Food,” get specific! “Vegan Pancake Recipes” or “Paleo Dessert Recipes” would be a better choice. Think about what people might be searching for and follow along those lines. You can also try using the top keywords from Google Analytics for ideas.
9. Always include “pinable” images in your posts.
All your post should include at least 1 image that can be pinned. Preferably use images that are taller than they are wide as they will be much more successful in Pinterest. The ideal image size is approximately 736px wide by at least 1128px tall. If your images are all wider than they are tall they appear to small in Pinterest and people tend to skip over them rather than re-pinning. Read more about optimal Pinterest image sizes here.
10. Use a hover pin-it plugin on your blog.
The easier you can make things for people, the better. I use the Hover Pin-It plug-in, which is easy to install and has worked great for me. It simply creates a small pin-it button that appears when readers hover their mouse over an image on your site. Readers can click the button to easily pin any image from your blog.
11. Verify your URL.
Follow these instructions to verify your website URL to show pinners you’re trustworthy source, boost your SEO and add brand continuity to your profile. The website verification adds a checkmark next to our URL and makes it clickable. This increase credibility and provides easy access to your site.
12. Add your blog Facebook and Twitter pages to your profile.
Under your profile settings you’ll be able to add your blog Facebook and Twitter pages. This can help grow your blog across different social platforms plus it appears more credible and trustworthy.
13. Use the full 160-characters for your “About” section.
Again, take full advantage here and write a useful and clear “about” section. Take the time to completely fill out your profile, it will seem more professional, create brand continuity from your blog to Pinterest and let people know what you’re all about.
14. Pin at optimal and different times of the day, and be consistent.
To reach as many users as possible, try pinning your blog posts at different times of the day, to different applicable boards. You should also be consistent to stay top of mind, but try not to go on a pinning-spree and pin dozens of images all at once, overloading users feeds.
15. Make sure the images on your blog have descriptive “alt” text and file names.
You can read more about this in my last post in this series titled 3 Simple Steps to Optimize Images for Your WordPress Blog. Basically, Pinterest pulls the “alt” text for images into the description field of a pin, and if there is no alt text, then it will use the file name. More often than not, people don’t re-write the descriptions so it’s best if take advantage of this rather than having “IMG_0393.jpg” show up in the description.
That concludes my quick and easy tips for improving your Pinterest profile! Spend a little time writing board descriptions, organizing your boards, adding all the pieces to your profile and interacting with fellow pinners. Pinterest is an incredible way to reach thousands, even millions of people with your blogging story, and that’s what it’s all about right!
Read more in this series:
How to Start A Blog in 3 Simple Steps
3 Simple Tips to Optimize Images For Your WordPress Blog
5 Simple Tips for a PR-Friendly Blog
6 Tools and Apps to Help You Manage and Grow Your Blog