Let’s talk about what not to do if you want to succeed at Pinterest marketing…
Did you know that Pinterest is one of the most popular search engines in the world, competing with Google and YouTube? It’s no secret that if you learn to master Pinterest SEO, you can drive several thousands of new users to your website each month.
But even though that sounds wonderful and all, some simple mistakes could be sabotaging your success.
Don’t worry. With a little bit of help, you could be on your way to a tidal wave of new Pinterest traffic.
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Before we begin, I want to tell you about an amazing e-course that will help you dial in your Pinterest strategy for an INSANELY low price. It seriously blows my mind that she offers this information for so cheap.
This course maps out the exact strategy I used to grow my other blog (HolleewoodHair.com) to 5 million monthly Pinterest views!
EllDuclos, founder of the Boss Girl Bloggers mega-group on Facebook, teaches you how to optimize your pins, boards, and account for maximum exposure!
1. You Don’t Pin To Relevant Boards
This is probably the biggest kept secret of Pinterest and people don’t realize how much of an impact it makes on your reach.
Think of it like this: When you pin something, Pinterest has no idea what it’s about. The algorithm can estimate the main topic, but at the end of the day, it’s just a computer making estimates.
However, when you use keywords in the image filename, title and description, Pinterest can make more accurate guesses.
Here’s where it gets real: Pinterest takes all that information I just mentioned and solidifies it based on what types of boards it gets saved to. Furthermore, it puts the most weight on the first board you pin to.
In other words, if you pin something about graphic design to a board called “P
The best thing to do is save the pin to a really targeted board at first, and then schedule it to other relevant boards with Tailwind (make sure to space them out, with at least a day in between).
For example, as soon as I posted this article, I saved it to a board about “Pinterest Marketing Tips.” Then, I scheduled it to “Social Media Marketing Tips,” “Marketing Tips,” “Blogging Tips,” etc. Each of those boards was optimized with keywords, to let Pinterest understand what the pin was about.
If you are going to save it to vague boards like a “best of” board, or a “share all your pins” type group board, only do it after you’ve saved it to the relevant boards first.
EllDuclos goes into way more detail about how to optimize your profile and set up this strategy in her signature Pinterest course. It will make a huge difference in your business.
2. You’re Using Ugly and Confusing Pins
I’m gonna tell you right now that I am a total sucker for good design. Most blogs I follow are because I noticed multiple pins from that blog, branded, with amazing layouts.
There’s just something about a clean, professional design that makes you look like you know what you’re talking about.
On the other hand, when I see pins that are unorganized and hard to read, I usually scroll on by.
I get it… e
Here are a few things you can do to make your pins look better:
- Use Canva.com to create professional pins for free.
- Create vertical pins with dimensions of 600 x 900 px. Vertical pins take up more real estate in the feed and Pinterest says that this is the optimal pin size.
- Use bold, easy-to-read fonts that the reader could clearly see and understand from a mobile device. Pinterest can also read text in this format, which helps it understand your pin.
- Add a box behind the text, so it doesn’t get lost in the image.
- Use light and bright, lifestyle-type images. Warm colors have been proven to do better on Pinterest.
If you’re still struggling to get your pins in order, let me give you a hand.
I crafted up some awesome premade Canva templates, which are specifically optimized for Pinterest success. These are the same templates I use for both of my blogs.
A clean design could be the missing piece in your Pinterest strategy puzzle.
3. You’re Not Using Hashtags
Hashtags aren’t as widely used in Pinterest as they are in other social media platforms, so this is something that can give you an edge over your competition.
They also work differently, so pay attention to this next part.
First off, hashtags are another thing that tells Pinterest what your post is about, which as we already covered, helps get you in search feeds.
In your pin description, you should add 4-5 hashtags that are specific to the topic of your pin. Don’t waste them on funny or cute hashtags (ex: #IsItSpringYet? vs. #SpringFashion).
If your pin description is something like “Find out what the hottest looks are for spring fashion this year!” and has a #SpringFashion hashtag, and then it gets pinned to a “Spring Fashion” board, it’ll be clear to Pinterest what it’s about.
Second, hashtags have their own feed that can be seen by people searching for that feed. The unique thing about the hashtag feeds on Pinterest is that they go in chronological order. This means that everyone will start at the top, no matter how much authority your blog has.
You can use “long-tail” hashtags like #SpringFashionOnABudget which will have less competition, meaning you’ll stay at the top of the feed longer.
However, even when you use more vague hashtags like #SpringFashion and #Fashion, you’ll still get exposure, since the feeds go in chronological order. You won’t have to compete with big-name websites.
Last, but not least, using a #SpringFashionOnABudget hashtag will help you show up in a search for the keyword phrase, “spring fashion on a budget.”
4. You Aren’t Pinning At Optimal Times
One of the most essential parts of increasing your reach is pinning at the optimal time for your audience.
Pinterest determines how valuable your pin is by how much interaction it gets at the beginning of its life. Your pin will first show up in your followers’ feeds, and higher click-throughs equal higher reach.
So in other words, if you pin your content when your audience isn’t active, Pinterest will consider it a “dud” and move on.
So when is the best time to pin?
Generally, the best times to pin are evenings and weekends, when most people are active. Try to avoid pinning while people are at work.
But… it also depends on your niche and your specific audience.
The absolute best way to find the optimal times to pin, tailored for your account and followers, is to use the Tailwind schedule. You just input how many pins per day you want, and it sets up a schedule with optimal time slots.
When you schedule pins, they automatically fill in the time slots. Easy peasy.
5. You’re using Bad growth hacks
I know how tempting it is to engage in some good
There are tons of Pinterest engagement groups and threads on Facebook, in which you post a pin and then save every other pin in that thread. This results in everyone else saving your pin as well.
The problem is that, unless this is a niche-specific thread, it confuses Pinterest. Look back to what we already talked about. When you have 200 people saving your pin to “Everything” and “Personal Favorites” boards, it doesn’t support the topic of the pin.
Furthermore, a lot of people try to cheat the system by saving your pin to private boards, or on a separate account. Trust me when I say that the hassle isn’t worth the number of saves you’ll get.
The ultimate thing to remember is that Pinterest is a search engine, and you’ll get the best results by getting your pins in search results. Having 200 saves from people that don’t care about your content won’t help you at all.
Another growth hack that could be hurting you is when you gain un-targeted followers. This could be done by purchasing Pinterest followers or even in a “follow for follow” type thread.
Again, if you have 10,000 followers that aren’t interested in your content, it won’t do you any good. Remember when I said that Pinterest values your pin based on follower interaction?
You’re much better off having 100 followers that click on your pins and engage in your content.
6. You Aren’t Checking Your Analytics
Pinterest analytics is a really powerful tool to show you what’s going on behind the scenes. If you aren’t checking your analytics, you need to start.
I do want to point out that you’ll need a business account to access your analytics, and you’ll need a self-hosted blog to set up a business account.
Analytics can help you tailor your marketing strategy with insights like:
- How your pins are performing which allows you to see what pin style does the best with your audience
- Your click-through rates – you might need to tweak your pins to be more enticing
- Who your pins are reaching (if they aren’t reaching your target audience, you may need to rethink your strategy)
- What type of devices your audience uses. If there are a lot of mobile users, you may want to create more mobile-friendly pins and content
If you want even more information, Tailwind has amazing analytics that can help further your research. This allows you to see what boards (even group boards) are performing well and gives even more insight on individual pin performance.
For more information on how to use this information, Tailwind has a fabulous comprehensive guide to using both Pinterest and Tailwind analytics on their blog.
7. You’re Not Using Rich Pins
Last, but not least, I want to touch on rich pins.
Even though it may seem like common sense to many, a lot of people might not know about it. In fact, I recently discovered that I didn’t have them set up correctly on this blog.
Rich pins add extra information to your pin to make them more enticing to the readers.
For example, if you are selling a product, rich pins add real-time pricing to the product and make it easier for the audience to purchase. If you post recipes, rich pins add information like ingredients, cooking times and serving sizes.
Even if you’re just pinning blog posts, rich pins will add a title and meta description, which you can pre-set on your blog with Social Warfare. This is good because when random people save your content, it’ll still be optimized.
Studies have shown a dramatic increase in traffic and conversions when websites switch to rich pins. Learn how to set them up with The Complete Guide to Rich Pins by SimplePin Media.
YOUR TURN: Were you actually sabotaging your Pinterest strategy without even knowing? Did you learn anything interesting from this post? Drop your comments below!