Pinterest may only be three years old, but it is already getting 2.5 billion page views from 70 million users and drives more referral traffic than Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Google+ combined! As a result, Pinterest can be a great source of inbound traffic for your site, blog or ecommerce store, but that doesn’t mean you need to actively spend several hours per week to acquire this traffic.
In this article, we will look at five tweaks that will optimize your website for Pinterest, help your existing visitors share your site’s images or infographics, and reduce the time it takes you to get new content onto Pinterest.
Ensure All Pages Have High Quality Images
One of the most important ways to make your site ready to acquire traffic on Pinterest is to make sure all your important pages include large, high quality images. This is obviously easy for product pages on a ecommerce store, but if you are looking to increase traffic to your blog posts, you will need to get creative. Generic stock images are unlikely to get repinned as they offer little value, so try to get creative about how you can repurpose your content and present it in a visual format.
For example, if you were writing a post about some new research or the release of new statistics, present the data in an image, for example an attractive looking graph, chart or infographic, including a title. One way to do this is to consider whether the image offers value in it’s own right and whether it makes sense on it’s own without a full article to support it. By doing this, your readers will be more likely to post the image to their Pinterest board, as it offers value. Additionally, because the pinned image shares some useful information, people who see the image will be more likely to click through to your post to discover more.
Below is a great example of an image that includes a combination of text within the image and an informative caption that makes for a useful nugget of information ripe for sharing on Pinterest.
Add A Pin-It Button
Adding pinnable images is one thing, but actually getting your website visitors to pin your content is another. To get people to post your images for you, you’ll need to use a call to action. One simplest ways of doing this is by adding a pin-it button or widget, as this offers a visual prompt for your readers to take the action you want them to do.
Below is an example of a pin-it button available for WordPress sites.
An advantage of adding a Pinterest button like this that appears within the image itself, is that the prompt to pin the image appears just as the viewer is engaging with the image, which is the optimal time for them to decide whether they want to pin the image or not.
Install A Pinterest Widget
If you’ve only recently created your business Pinterest account, or you’ve had it for a while but aren’t getting the growth in following you expected, adding a Pinterest widget to your site is a great way to prompt people to start following your boards.
One of the benefits of a widget like this over a simple ‘follow us on Pinterest’ button is that the rotating images show an example of the content people will see once they’ve started following you, which will help generate more follows and click throughs onto your Pinterest boards.
Optimize Your Image Alt Text
One of the most important things to remember about Pinterest is that if you insert image alt text or a caption, this is the default text used when the pinner is preparing to pin the image. Alternatively if there is no alt text, the meta title is used by default.
Alt text used as default pin description
Meta Title used as default pin description
So how can you optimize your default description? First of all, this is not the same as SEO. Pinterest links are now no-follow, meaning they do not pass page rank. This was a change made to Pinterest some time ago to respond to spammy behaviour. For example, when Pinterest links were do-follow, I could optimize an SEO sales page on my site for ‘SEO Norwich’ and add a relevant image, then go on Fiverr to get lots of Pinterest pins created with that same ‘SEO Norwich’ anchor text in the Pinterest link.
That no longer works thanks to the no-follow, so instead you want to ensure your text is relevant to both the image and the page itself. In the example above, Schuh has not added an image alt tag to that image, so the page’s meta title shows up. The meta title includes the brand name, which is helpful for people browsing Pinterest looking for new shoes. If they like those shoes, they will know that clicking on the image will take them to a page where they can purchase a pair (provided they are familiar with the Schuh brand name!). Alternatively, the other example is the caption from a news article about the popular and addictive game Flappy Bird being removed from the App store. The image alt text works well as a click through call to action, because it adds some mystery about why the game was pulled. As a result, if the pinner left that description intact, the pin should see high click through rates.
Auto-Post New Pins
Finally, one easy way to help you save time with your Pinterest marketing is to set up an auto pinner on your site, like this autoposter by NextScripts. This plug-in allows you to automatically share new posts across all major social networks, and is especially useful for Pinterest marketing. The plug-in will take your post’s featured image and post this, along with an auto generated description which you can specify using some simple bits of code.
The result is that you can have your latest content fed straight through to your Pinterest page, saving you time and allowing you to reach your audience quickly.