Let’s talk Pinterest. The top destination for everything inspiration. With millions of users, it’s no wonder why this go-to platform is one of the top traffic drivers for publishers. Studies have shown that Pinterest drives more traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit combined!
Pinning anything and everything that catches your eye can be fun, but if you’re looking for a strategic way to boost your Pinterest game, here are ten easy ways to gain more Pinterest followers and boost your audience engagement.
Optimize the photos on your website.
Why it’s important: Optimized captions will make it more likely for your photos to show up in Pinterest and Google Image search results.
You know when you upload an image to your blog and there’s a space for a Title/Alt Text? Well, that actually means something! This space is SEO gold. When someone pins from your site using the Pin it button from the toolbar in their browser, it’s the Alt Text that is pulled into the caption of the pin. This text tells Pinterest what your content is all about, making it more likely for you to show up in search results – not only on Pinterest, but in Google image results as well! Take the time to erase IMG_0124, and add a few meaningful keywords. How would someone search for the subject of your photo? Would they search for ‘ooey gooey delishtastic brownies’ or ‘brownie recipe’? Ok, sliiight exaggeration, but you get the point :) It’s best to keep it simple. As creative writers it can be oh-so-tempting to use colorful language, BUT when it comes to SEO.. unfortunately creative doesn’t usually fit in the mix. Save the clever verbiage for your content where your personality can really shine through.
Example: I know that ‘detox smoothie’ is a trendy phrase. So, when I shared this Blueberry + Avocado Detox Smoothie I included those keywords in the Alt Text. This post has been pinned over 67,000 times to date. A strong image plus the right keywords can yield great results.
Optimizing the names of your Pinterest boards can also be very beneficial when it comes to both Pinterest and Google SEO. Google highly ranks pinboards based on their name which can send significant traffic to your pinboards. For some, this can be a hard change to make – especially if you’re attached to your quirky board names. However, one way to have the best of both worlds would be to craft a short message for the description section of the board, while keeping the board name more literal and to the point.
Google Keyword Planner
In addition to deciding what to name your pinboards to make them more SEO friendly, say you want to share a post on how to make your own pillow, but you’re not exactly sure how to name it. The blog post name is important because this is what gets pulled into the caption when people pin your content from the ‘Pin It’ button that shows up when people hover over your images. See?! This is all one big puzzle – each piece is a part of making the overall picture fit together.
- 1. Go to adwords.google.com and click on tools.
- 2. Go to ‘Keyword Planner.’
- 3. Go to ‘Get Search Volume for a Group of Keywords.’
- 4. Enter a few different ways you might phrase your post. For this example, I’ll enter “diy pillow, how to make a pillow, and homemade pillow.”
Next you’ll be able to see a graph showing the search trend by month. When you click on the ‘Ad Group’ you’ll be able to see the breakdown of each specific phrase you entered. It looks like ‘how to make a pillow’ is searched an average of 2,400 times per month. It would definitely be more beneficial to use this phrase as your blog post title compared to the other options.
I used this tool when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to include ‘4th of July’ or ‘Fourth of July’ on this pinboard.
- 1. Go to google.com/trends.
- 2. Enter your topic at the top. Here, i’ll enter ‘4th of July’.
- 3. This will show you a graph of interest over time. Next, click ‘+Add Term’ and enter the phrase you’d like to compare your first phrase to. Here, I’ll enter ‘Fourth of July’.
- 4. In this case, ‘4th of July’ is MUCH more widely searched than ‘Fourth of July.’ Pretty neat, huh?
Join a Group Board.
Why it’s important: The more opportunities for people to see your content, the more likely you’ll gain new Pinterest followers.
Group boards are great. When you find the right one to join, you immediately have access to thousands of pinners. The trick is to first, locate the group boards that best fit your niche, and second, request an invite from the pinner in charge of the group board. Sometimes they respond, sometimes they do not. PinGroupie is a Pinterest group board directory website that has links to a TON of group boards in several different categories. When you find one that looks appealing, check the description to see if the board is accepting collaborators and how to request an invitation.
Pin at the right time.
Why it’s important: Pinning at the right time is crucial to reaching your audience.
Like the other social channels, posting when your followers are online will increase your chances of your content gaining traction. It depends on your business and your audience, but in general the best time to pin is in the evening and on weekends. Many studies show that the optimal times during the day are between 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. CST, and between 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. CST. Find out what works for you! Deliberately pin at certain times and see how many notifications you get within a specific time frame. This will give you an overall idea of when your audience is most active. There are a number of paid tools that you can use to schedule pins as well.
Pin from valid sources.
Why it’s important: Your audience will view you as a credible resource and will be more likely to repin your content, giving you a greater chance of gaining new Pinterest followers.
Yes, clicking through each link before you pin can be a pain in the rear. However, a pin has a lot less value when you click through to a dead end. Content publishers will be forever grateful that you took a few seconds to double check the source. I’m a strong advocate of making sure that the information that I share links to the proper source. It’s kind of the “Pinterest golden rule.” I wouldn’t want my images floating around linking to the wrong place, so I try not to do this to others.
Why it’s important: Cross promotion is a great way to attract new eyes.
By promoting your Pinterest account on your other social accounts, you can grab the attention of the people who were not following you before. Rebecca Cooper from Simple as That does a phenomenal job promoting her Pinterest account via Facebook.
Promoting your Pinterest account on your blog is not a groundbreaking concept – but, one technique that I’ve found to work well is to create a specific board for a topic I pin often and promote the board when I blog about that topic. You can see examples of this here and here.
A few additional strategies to gain Pinterest followers
- Host a contest on your website using a platform like Rafflecopter, and include following your Pinterest account as a way to enter.
- Include a link to your Pinterest account in your newsletter.
- Host a Pinterest contest. (Be sure to follow Pinterest’s new guidelines! You’re no longer allowed to say “Pin it to win it,” along with several other restrictions.)
- Add a Pinterest widget to your website that shows your most recent pins.
- Place a Hello Bar at the top of your website to encourage readers to follow you.
That was a whole lotta info! If you have any questions or if you’d like clarification on something, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And of course, be sure to check out Jillianastasia on Pinterest for daily inspiration!