You’ve logged into Pinterest and you’re staring at a screen of fashion ideas, recipes and children’s activities and you’re feeling confused and thinking to yourself “this is what will help my business generate more leads and conversions?
I hear ya.
I was the same confused and frustrated business owner staring at my computer screen in disbelief. I couldn’t figure out how to use Pinterest for business as part of my content marketing. But I listened to what people were saying about Pinterest marketing, I read as much as I could on how to use it for a service-based business and I joined Tailwind* (a scheduling app) and you know what?
It really worked.
I’ve even had a comment on my blog within minutes of sharing it on Pinterest.
And, I’ve found that Pinterest has been of real benefit to my business and an effective form of blog promotion and content marketing.
That’s why I’m now offering Pinterest management and marketing as a service.
But I know you need to see some proof for yourself before you can take my word for it. So, here’s my guide to the seven steps you can take to use Pinterest for your business and seeing just how powerful it can be for your SEO and lead generation.
7 Steps to Pinterest for business magic index list
- Get A Pinterest Business Account
- Claim Your Website
- Set Up Rich Pins
- Do Some Pinterest SEO Research
- Create Some Pinterest Boards
- Get Creative With Designing Your Pins
- Use A Strong Pinterest Strategy
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Step 1 – Get A Pinterest Business Account
When you filled in that Pinterest sign-up page, you probably signed up for a personal Pinterest account.
You need to make sure you’re using a business account to be able to use Pinterest strategically for the best marketing results possible, and it’s easy enough to do.
A Pinterest business account is absolutely free and comes packed with tools to make using Pinterest a little easier for you as a business owner, like analytics and paid pins.
You’ll need to fill in your business name and the industry you’re working in. I’ve set mine to Zoe Hughes ~ Words by Zoe. As Pinterest is a social media platform you still need to be “you” and let your personality shine through, you’re just using it a little differently to the other channels out there.
You’ll then be asked for the link to your website, whether you want to connect your Pinterest account to YouTube, Etsy or Instagram, and if you’re interested in running ads or not (you can say that you’re not sure!).
You’ll be taken to a “Build a great pin” page, but click the Pinterest logo at the top left of your screen to exit out of this for now.
Step 2 – Claim Your Website
When you’re using Pinterest for business marketing and want to send prospective leads to your website, you should make sure that you claim your website as soon as possible.
It can be a little tricky to do if you’re not used to using html code in your website, but I’ll give you a few tips to help you along.
First task is to visit the profile settings page by clicking on the ellipsis at the top right of your screen and clicking on “claim” in the left-hand menu. Enter the link to your website and you’ll be given two options:
- Add HTML tag
- Upload HTML file
The easiest and quickest option for most people is to upload a html file to their website if they have access to the control panel (or a friendly web developer that can do it for them). It’s just a case of downloading a file and putting it in the root folder of your website.
Adding the HTML tag means copying some code and pasting it into the <head> section of your site’s index.html file. If you have access to this file, you can download the index.html file, open it in Notepad and add the code to the <head> section, saving and replacing the old file.
If that seems tricky and you’re using WordPress, you can use a Plugin such as Insert Headers and Footers. I have found this method a little hit and miss but there are alternative plugins out there to try.
It can take around 24 hours for Pinterest to verify your website using the HTML code you’ve uploaded so sit back and relax.
Step 3 – Set Up Rich Pins
Rich Pins are a free feature from Pinterest that provides extra information on a pin about the website it links to or has been pinned from. It’s particularly useful if you have images or pins on your website that your visitors can pin directly to Pinterest, to make sure it uses up-to-date price on product images, etc.
The more information you can give Pinterest about a pin the more effective it will be for your business marketing, so it’s one of those tasks that I highly recommend every business owner takes a few minutes to do when setting things up.
This is where it gets a little technical though, as you’re going to be using “metadata” in your web pages and blog posts to give this additional information to Pinterest.
Open Graph and Schema.org are two types of information that social media accounts can use to pull particular information from your web page, such as the title, author, and meta description you want it to use.
You can see from the screenshot of the html code of my post ““5 Reasons Why I’m Proud to be an Autistic Business Owner”, the open graph and scheme.org information I’ve entered there. I use SEO Pressor to enter this information every time I publish a new blog post or web page to my WordPress website although alternative plugins are also available (the premium version of Yoast does this too).
Once you’ve sorted out the metadata for your website, you need to use the rich pin validator, check for any issues and click apply to have rich pins set up for your Pinterest account. Just add the open graph/scheme information to your website as you add new pages and posts, and Pinterest will pull the information through automatically when it’s linked to in a pin.
Step 4 – Do Some Pinterest SEO Research
While it’s tempting to start using Pinterest for business marketing straight away by uploading pins and repinning others that catch your eye, don’t delve in just yet!
Pinterest is essentially a search engine, and just like Google it uses certain keywords and phrases to find and display pins. So, you need to have a good grasp on the keywords for your business and services that Pinterest users are searching for.
It’s a lot easier to figure out than with Google though.
Let’s take one of my services as an example, blogging for business owners. My first step is to search for “blogging” in Pinterest.
You’ll see that a list of 5 keywords has appeared followed by accounts that match my keyword and high performing pins, so I make a note of those keywords
“blogging for beginners”
Now hit enter for “blogging” and you’ll see a page full of pins related to blogging appear. See the coloured boxes with words at the top of the page? They are other keywords associated with “blogging” so we can add “blogging photography”, “blogging design”, “blogging inspiration”, etc to the keyword list.
The problem is, most of those keywords are for career bloggers. Those individuals that blog every day about their lifestyle, travels, health, etc and most of those pins won’t be good for my B2B customers. So, I can leave the “blogging lifestyle” and “blogging for money” keywords behind.
By searching for “blogging for business” some new keywords crop up
“blogging for business tips”
“blogging for business entrepreneurship”
“blogging for business social media”
and the pins on display are a lot more interesting for me and my target audience.
Do this exercise for your key services/products and refine your search until you find 3 – 5 keywords or phrases that you can use in your content itself (because Google uses Pinterest too), for your boards and the pins you’re going to create.
Step 5 – Create Some Pinterest Boards
Pinterest boards are a way of curating relevant content together in the same section which makes it easier for your followers and people interested in you to find what they’re looking for.
It’s recommended that you have around 10 – 15 Pinterest boards.
That’s a lot, right?
I only have 9 if I exclude the group boards, best of board and inspirational quotes, but that’s because I really want to focus on the pins that I’m pinning to those boards. So don’t think that you must have at least 10, base it on your marketing plan instead.
I suggest that you create boards for each of your services/product types and use the info you’ve gained from the Pinterest SEO research to name them. As you can see from my boards, I’ve used “Digital Marketing Ideas” rather than just “Digital Marketing” because it ranked highly in Pinterest’s keyword list and people looking for ideas to use in their digital marketing are more likely to read my blog and potentially hire me to write their content.
To get started just click on the red + sign that says “create a board”, enter the name/keyword and click OK. You can make it secret at this stage if you want a test board to experiment with, or just want to make sure there are lots of pins on there before you publish it.
Once you’ve clicked on “create”, you’ll be taken to a page that looks like this:
To set things up properly, you need to click on the pencil symbol at the top to edit your board. Here’s where you’ll want to use your Pinterest SEO research to write a keyword rich description for your board.
Can you spot the keywords in my Blogging Tips board description?
“Whether you’re a full-time blogger or blogging for your business, I’ll be sharing tips, tricks and advice to get your blogs noticed for the right reasons. I’ll be sharing blogging ideas, inspiration and templates that’ll help boost your seo and get the followers you’re looking for.”
“full-time blogger”, “blogging for business”, “blogging ideas” are the obvious ones. There’s some debate over whether the keywords or phrases have to match Pinterest’s suggestions exactly. I think, much like Google, Pinterest has better AI than we give it credit for and so it’s going to read “…tips, tricks and advice” in a sentence and know that it relates to “blogging” too.
I also think it reads better for your target audience when it’s written for them, rather than for an algorithm.
You’ll notice that I’ve used board covers to add some of my branding and make my boards page look different to the rest. Board covers aren’t essential when you’re using Pinterest, but when you have a business and want to stand out and look professional, they’re not a bad idea.
Create a board cover in the same way as you would a pin (the next step!) but use the dimensions 600 x 600 pixels instead. Then upload the image as you would a new pin and save it to the board, go back into the edit screen and choose that pin to be your board cover.
Step 6 – Get Creative With Designing Your Pins
Is it science or art that will make a pin go viral?
Like most posts on social media, it can literally be luck of the draw, but there are a few things we know about Pinterest graphic design that will raise the odds of a pin working well for your business.
Use the right colours for your pins
It can be tempting to use the colours from your branding when creating pins, but this should be left to your board covers as certain colours work better than others on Pinterest. For example, pins using red or orange are re-pinned on average 200% more than other colours.
I tend to design 3 pins for each piece of content. This gives my web visitors a choice on which pin they want to repin to their boards, but it also gives me the opportunity to experiment a little. I’ll have a red based one, one that uses my branding colours and one a little different to see which pin performs the best and to use different stock images, headlines, etc to capture attention.
Create pins in the right dimensions
Vertical pins work best for Pinterest so make sure your pins are longer than they are wide. These pins take up more space in a feed and therefore capture interest more easily than the small square ones. The best image size for Pinterest right now appears to be 735 x 1102 pixels.
Establish a Pinterest branding style
Although you might not be able to use your branding colours to great success with Pinterest, you should establish your own personal “brand” on the platform”. Use your logo on each pin and add your website URL so people know the pin and the content it links to belongs to you.
Having a colour palette and specific fonts you use can also help set up a strong identity for your business on Pinterest that’ll get users remembering you and noticing your pins as they appear in their feed. This starts the relationship building process that can turn Pinterest users into paying clients.
Use Pinterest SEO in your headlines
The words you use on your pins are as important as the branding and stock images, so go back to your Pinterest SEO research and make sure you’re on point with your pin headlines.
Ideally, you’d be researching Pinterest SEO before you write a new piece of content and use the keywords you find naturally in the text and headlines. It’s a good idea to use your H2 headings in your content as pin headings, so have a think about using them for this purpose as you create your content.
Numbers, exciting adjectives and even symbols can work well at capturing interest in a crowded Pinterest feed.
Make sure your pin description is keyword rich too
Your pin description is going to give Pinterest that vital information it needs to determine where and when your pins will appear in search results. So, make sure you’re using two or three keywords from the Pinterest SEO research you’ve done in the text. Think of this as the same you would a meta description for a page or blog post, so make it to the point, interesting and relevant to your target audience.
Step 7 – Use A Strong Pinterest Strategy
Knowing how to use Pinterest is fundamental for making it an effective marketing tool for your business.
You should aim to be pinning from your website once a day (you can use Tailwind* to schedule these in advance), this is why creating multiple pins can be so useful!
You don’t have to share the blog post itself as a pin every time either, for example, you could:
- create quotes or tips out of the content
- share your services
- share special offers
- promote your lead magnet
You can even create video pins!
Make sure you ask your followers and subscribers to pin your content too.
I know that it doesn’t always look great having pins on a B2B blog or similar, but there is a trick to hide them away until a visitor clicks on the Pinterest share button.
I upload the pins at the end of the blog after the content and switch to the text/html view. Before the <img> tag for the first image I add this code:
“<div style=”display: none”>”
And after the last image close the code with </div>
Your blog post will still look professional and in line with your branding, but when a visitor hits the “share this”, or social media extensions on their browser the images will pop up ready to be pinned.
You should be repinning the pins of other Pinterest users too.
I tend to do this using the Pinterest app on my phone when I’m having a quick cup of coffee and a break between content writing and other boring stuff, like the accounts!
You’re not just providing informative content for your target audience by doing this, but also figuring out what your followers are interested in and clicking on by taking a peek at the Pinterest analytics (that’s why a business account is so important). You can then use this information to inform your marketing strategy and create relevant content for your audience.
Pinterest Marketing Can Be Time-Consuming But It’s A Powerful Marketing Tool For Businesses
Doing your Pinterest SEO research, adding code here and there, creating boards and pins isn’t a quick process, just getting started could take you a few hours, but it is more than worth it.
I’ve just taken a peek at my analytics and a pin I shared in early 2018 has recently gained traction thanks to it being found and repinned by two Pinterest users. Which just goes to show how posting one pin months ago can still work hard for your business today.
If you’re interested in starting Pinterest marketing for your business but don’t have the time to spare to be researching SEO and designing pins, get in touch with me today to discuss the Pinterest management services I have on offer.