What website owner wouldn’t want to drive more traffic to their site? The greater the number of people visiting your site, the bigger the chance of your sales increasing. So, whenever you are presented with a fresh way to get more site traffic, you’d be foolish not to give it due consideration, right? Well, then, have you ever considered using Pinterest to drive more traffic to your website? If you have, then good for you! If not, then it’s about time that you do.
In the early part of 2014, Pew Research announced that Pinterest has actually grown more popular than Twitter. Needless to say, this came as a huge surprise to many. Some were even skeptical of the research results at first, which may be why until now, only a few are aware of this development. Since not many people believed it, the news didn’t spread as quickly and widely as it should have. To this day, most online marketers still take Pinterest for granted, which is not a very smart thing to do.
You see, it is not only Pew Research that reports the growing popularity of Pinterest. Even Shareaholic, in their Q3 2014 Social Media Traffic Report, announced that Pinterest drove traffic more than Twitter, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn, Myspace, StumbleUpon, and even YouTube. In fact, it brought in over three times the traffic of those other sites! So if you’re serious about driving more traffic to your website, then you should definitely start getting serious about using Pinterest to achieve that purpose.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Add and Verify Your Website
Adding your website URL to your Pinterest brand page is the easiest way to drive traffic from that site to yours. When you add your URL to your brand page, your website will be among the first things people see when they visit your brand page; it may just encourage them to visit your site. And you can get more people to click through to your site by verifying it. When you verify your site, Pinterest puts a tick mark beside it, thereby increasing your credibility and the possibility of people clicking through to the site.
2. Add Your URL and a Call to Action in the Pin Description
Although Pinterest automatically adds a link to every image you pin, the user will have to click on the pin to expand it and then click again to get to your site. You can simplify the process by adding your landing page URL to the pin description. The user could then just click the link in the description to get to your site. And don’t just add the link to the description; ask people to click on it! You may not realize it, but people are more likely to click through to your site if you ask them to. Just say, “Visit this page [insert URL here] to learn more.” It works wonders.
3. Categorize Your Boards
You can set up several boards on your Pinterest brand page; up to 500 boards, to be specific. When you do, it pays to add categories to each board. Adding categories means the pins you place on each board will show up not only in your followers’ feeds, but also in feeds associated with the same categories. This improves the chances of your pins being seen by more people.
One of the most important boards you should set up is a blog board. A blog is where most businesses provide useful information to their target market. This is also where businesses provide answers to their target market’s stated and implied questions in the form of articles. By creating a board specifically for your blog, you are making it easy for your Pinterest followers to find your blog.
Make the most of your boards by giving them titles that are the same as what they are for. Your blog board, for example, should have the same title as your blog. If the testimonials page on your website carries the title, “Customer Feedback”, then your testimonials board should also have that title. Make sure as well that there are at least five pins on each of your boards, so that none of them shows empty squares on the dashboard.
You can create up to 500 boards in Pinterest. Make the most of these boards by giving them the same title as the blog or landing page it was created for. Flickr.com photo by Franklin Heijnen
4. Choose the Best Times to Pin
Sometimes, timing is everything. And though it may not be the end all and be all of using Pinterest to drive traffic to your site, it is definitely a very important factor. Bit Rebels reports that there are two time periods within the day when it’s best to share your pins: from 2 to 4 in the afternoon and from 8PM to 1AM. These are the times when the biggest number of people is on the site; these are therefore the times with the highest possibility of more people seeing your pins and acting on them.
Of course, you could also try pinning during off-peak hours. There are instances when this actually works better for a brand because there are fewer people sharing pins and therefore less competition. You may also want to check which the most popular days of the week are.
5. Contribute to Popular Boards
Boards that already have a solid following can be very helpful to your cause of driving Pinterest traffic. Determine which boards related to your business are the most popular and then ask the owners to send you an invitation to contribute. Once you receive an invitation, start contributing. And don’t just contribute your own articles (you might get a reputation for being too self-serving); contribute useful articles from others as well. This not only increases the likelihood of getting traffic from Pinterest, it also helps you attract more followers.
6. Add Images, Video, and SlideShares
Of course you want people to read your content. But that doesn’t mean you should shun images and videos completely. In fact, on a site like Pinterest, you cannot attain optimum results unless you use images and video. These visuals encourage users to click through to your landing pages. Note that tall images were found to get the most number of re-pins; you may want to stock up on the infographics. If you have a YouTube channel, then you can pin videos from there, too. How-to articles posted as SlideShares are also very interesting; sharing your SlideShares on Pinterest also improves your chance of generating more traffic from the site.
7. Add Podcasts
Did you know you can actually play audio files on Pinterest? As long as you host the files on SoundCloud, you’re good to go. If you have podcasts hosted on SoundCloud, for example, you could pin a lead-in to each episode. To get the most out of your podcast pins, it’s best to limit all audio pins to a maximum length of 30 seconds and to create a board for your podcast pins.
8. Connect Your Pinterest Account to Your Other Social Accounts
While at your Pinterest page, click on the gear icon at the upper right corner. Go to your account settings and then scroll down to “Social Networks.” Set that to “Use your Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account to log in.” This gives you the option to post each new pin to your other social media accounts. You may also want to add a Pinterest app or tab to your Facebook account. Inter-connecting your social pages effectively increases the reach of your posts on each site.
9. Make Your Website Pinterest-Friendly
There should be no question as to why you need to make your website Pinterest-friendly. After all, you are planning to use the social networking site to gain more website traffic. To be deemed Pinterest-friendly, your site should have images that come with alt tags. When someone pins your image, the image’s alt tag is the default text used by Pinterest. Furthermore, your web pages should all have a “Pin It” button and you should showcase your recent pins on your website, using a Pinterest widget.
Pinterest is a social networking site. Just like any other social networking site, therefore, engagement is one of the major keys to success in using Pinterest to drive traffic to your site. The more you engage with your Pinterest followers, the more likely they are to connect with you on your website, blog, and other social pages as well.
Start engaging with your Pinterest followers by consistently pinning relevant and original content of high quality. It is also advisable to follow your followers back and check out their boards and pins to determine what kinds of content they like. Like, re-pin, and comment on the best pins of your followers; do the same for the pins of industry leaders and any other excellent content you know your followers will appreciate.
Of course, these are all just suggestions and examples of what you can do to drive more traffic to your site using Pinterest. You’ll never know which tactics will work for you and which ones won’t unless you give them a try and monitor the results. Monitoring is one thing you should never forget, as it helps you weed out the tactics that don’t work for you and focus on the ones that deliver the best results.