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When I first started taking my Pinterest marketing strategy seriously — proper seriously — I noticed that my MUV [monthly unique viewers] increased very quickly. It jumped from around 5K MUV to 300K in no time at all. Before I knew it, I was on 750K and frantically checking my blog stats to see how many thousands of people were reading my blog …
Except thousands of people weren’t reading my blog.
You see, I’d figured out how to get a decent MUV, but what I hadn’t quite yet figured out was how to convert Pinterest views into traffic … That’s the WHOLE point of using Pinterest as a marketing tool for a blog or website — to get more readers/clients/sales.
There’s very little point in having bazillions of monthly unique viewers when absolutely none of them are actually clicking back to your blog or website or making sales. So, I played around a bit, did some research, and worked my butt off to try and resolve my little ‘problem’ … and it worked! I managed to encourage more people to not just look at or repin my pins, but also click on them and have a look at my blog too. As a result, my email newsletter list has grown nicely.
Before, I had higher monthly unique views but lower monthly engaged. Now, my MUV might be a little lower, but my monthly engagement has increased … and keeps on increasing.
Helpful reading: My Pinterest Marketing Strategy — The 6K to 300K MUV Update.
Technically, my Pinterest strategy is working.
People are still seeing my pins because of good use of hashtags and keywords, smart pin-designing, and scheduled pinning. More people are sharing my pins because they think they’re useful or entertaining, and in turn, more people are clicking through to read my blog. The people that like my blog then sign up to my email newsletter to read MORE of it.
Growth, growth, growth. All over.
My monthly unique viewers might have gone down a teeny bit (I took some time out because my Grandmother died and I caught the sads), but my engagement has gone up — my monthly engaged.
That’s EXACTLY what I was trying to do.
HOW TO CONVERT PINTEREST VIEWS INTO TRAFFIC
This isn’t the first time I’ve had the high MUV, low blog/site visitor problem, so this isn’t the first time I’ve had to rectify it. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a one-size-fits-all approach to mastering your Pinterest strategy, but I can give you a few helpful tips and tricks that seem to have served me well.
1 – What works? What doesn’t?
To start with, I used Pinterest analytics to study my top 10 or 15 pins for click-throughs to my blog. I noticed that all of those popular pins contained 3, 4 or 5 hashtags in the description.
Pins that had 6 or more hashtags weren’t visible anywhere in my top pins. The same goes for pins that had no hashtags at all in the description. I’d been trying a few different description ‘formats’ to see which one(s) worked best, and now I know.
For me, 3/4 hashtags in the pin description work best.
Study YOUR pins to see what works and what doesn’t — styles, designs, fonts, text, etc. What do all of your popular pins have in common? How about the not-so-popular ones? What are they missing? Is there a particular design that seems to work better than others? Colour? Font? Now look at the ones that have a lot of click-throughs versus those that don’t and go through the same process.
Trial and error, kids.
2 – Experiment, experiment, experiment.
How will you know what works and what doesn’t, if you don’t experiment? When I first started my Pinterest marketing strategy, I just threw a bunch of pins out there and hoped for the best. That strategy worked to get my MUV up, but it wasn’t quite so effective at getting people to actually click on my blog.
That’s when I tried something different. I learned about Tailwind, started scheduling my pins, and actually used the ‘best’ times that Tailwind recommends. Not only that, I increased the number of pins I shared per day from 10 to 30. I also needed to change how much of my own content I scheduled. Previously, I’d been pinning a mix of 50% of my pins plus 50% of other people’s pins for the longest time. I learned that’s a good way to get your MUV up, but a lot of other people’s pins were being shared and clicked on, etc. and not very many of mine. I’m now aiming for 70% of my content plus 30% of other people’s, but to be honest, I’m really just trying to find my ‘sweet spot’.
You might find this blog post helpful: Should You Repin Other People’s Content on Pinterest?
By experimenting with times, pin styles, fonts, colours, text, and a bunch of other things, you can get a much better idea of what works well for your audience … and what doesn’t. If you’re using the same style you’ve always used, you won’t ever know what else might work better.
3 – Create bright, eye-catching pins.
There are a few rules that apply to images across ALL social media platforms.
One of them is this: make them EYE-CATCHING.
The more bright and eye-catching you can make your pin (or social media image), the higher the chances it will be a popular one. A dull, boring, and colourless image is not going to stop people in their tracks and make them want to read more.
This definitely applies to Pinterest pins. I’ve created quite a range of different styles, colors and designs of pin now, for a range of niches, and I can honestly say that the brightest ones always work best for me.
The obnoxious yellow ones always do well.
My green pins never, ever seem to do well. Like, at all. I’m starting to wish there wasn’t even a colour green in the rainbow, because then I could leave it out entirely.
The pretty-pink ones only do well some of the time.
Oh, and orange … Don’t get me started on orange. I don’t think I’ve been 100% happy with a single orange pin I’ve created yet. Maybe I’ll throw orange out of the rainbow too …
Getting back to the point, bright, eye-catching, and bold/bolshy pins always seem to do the trick for me. And it does make sense when you think about it. With so many pins out there, only the brightest and best are going to stand out.
4 – Try different text combinations.
If your blog post is called “How to Convert Pinterest MUV Into Blog Traffic”, you could just use that as the text on your pin.
However, you could also try a few of these —
- Want to convert those thousands of Pinterest monthly unique viewers into blog traffic? Here’s how I did it …
- 21 ways I turned my 700K Pinterest MUV into blog views
Your blog post’s title isn’t always going to be the right text for the pin, and that’s the beauty of a Pinterest pin — you can put whatever text you like on it. I suggest really putting yourself out there. Sell it. Add the power words (that you probably should have added in the title). Tell the world that your blog post is the best damn blog post for whatever it is you’re talking about. In fact, why not make THAT your pin’s text?!
- 21 of the best damn ways to get truckloads of blog traffic from your Pinterest pins
- The only blog post you’ll ever need for increasing your blog’s traffic using Pinterest
You get the idea …
Helpful reading: Questions & Answers: Pinterest Marketing Tips For Bloggers.
5 – Create more than one pin for each blog post.
I like to create three or four pins for each blog post, all slightly different — they’ll have different coloured accents or a slightly different line of text in each of them. I usually find that at least one of them does really well — lots of repins and click-throughs, and at least one of them usually tanks. Zero click-throughs. No repins. Nada.
But … I still have that other pin that’s doing really well, so that’s okay.
If you only have one pin for each blog post, you’re only giving that blog post ONE opportunity to go big on Pinterest. If you have three or four pins for that blog post, you have three or four opportunities to go big on Pinterest. Just don’t throw them on your Pinterest feed at the same time. Spread them out.
And don’t make all of the pins very samey. Pinterest doesn’t like that. Nor do your followers/viewers. (I’ve been so guilty of this in the past!)
6 – Pin regularly.
And by regularly, I mean a lot. The more you pin, the more your content will be seen by people. The more it is seen, the higher the chances of it being connected to someone who wants or needs to see it. In turn, the chances of someone clicking through to your blog or site and reading your content increases.
More views, more clicks, more blog followers.
And then, if you’re like me, more email newsletter subscribers.
This works best if you pin more of your content and less of other people’s. Still working on figuring out that dream ratio … 💭
7 – Use hashtags in your descriptions.
Once upon a time, you would have been told to ignore hashtags on Pinterest entirely. That is now no longer the case. However, I do recommend using them sparingly. To start with, hashtags are still fairly new on the social platform, and that means that not everyone is using them yet. Instagram has been working the hashtag angle since the beginning, so using them on there is natural, for both businesses and browsers.
My pins tend to get more repins, etc., when they have between three and five hashtags in the description. Any more than that and they look a bit spammy. I’ll also reduce the number of hashtags in the description if the ones I’ve used are long ones, with lots of characters.
My personal recommendation: use at least one hashtag in your pin description.
8 – Use keywords MORE in your descriptions.
Yes, hashtags are recommended in Pinterest pin descriptions, board descriptions, your bio, etc.
However, hashtags are not quite as important as keywords are … yet. As previously mentioned, hashtags are still new. They’re great and they work, but only when the people browsing pins are using them. More people use keywords than hashtags, so pay more attention to keywords right now. You can switch things up and change your strategy further down the line, but right now, keywords are winning.
Let’s just imagine that you’re searching for ways to convert your Pinterest views into blog traffic. What would you search for on Pinterest? Would you search for something like “how to convert Pinterest views into blog traffic”? Or would you search for “#convertPinterestviews”?
When you think about it, the latter doesn’t quite make sense from a “normal person” perspective. By “normal person”, I mean someone who ISN’T a blogger, influencer, business, or social media superstar. I actually asked around my non-blogging friends and very few of them even realised you could use hashtags on Pinterest.
You also need to bear in mind that when you search for #convertPinterestviews, only pins with that exact hashtag will show. If your pin contains the hashtag #convertPinterestviews but someone searches for #convertPinterestviewstoreaders, they won’t see your pin. If you’d gone with the keyword approach, they might and probably will see your pin. That’s why you should use both — keywords AND a hashtag or two.
9 – Don’t think of Pinterest as a social media platform.
Think about it like a search engine instead.
People don’t go on Pinterest to see what their friends [or enemies] are up to. They go on Pinterest to find inspiration. It’s an image-based social media platform and search engine all rolled into one, and that’s why you should tweak your Pinterest marketing strategy to make that work to your advantage.
Keywords are important on Pinterest for the same reasons why keywords are important for search engine optimisation. They are what help people find you. All the keywords in the world will be pointless if you’re not flexing your creative design skills, though. Keywords are what help people find your pins. A beautiful pin is what makes people look closer, and then click-through to your blog or website.
10 – Accept that not everyone will like or want to share your pins.
You could be the juiciest peach in the world but you’ll still find someone who doesn’t like peaches. It’s a cliche line … and a very true one. You could create the most beautiful, eye-catching, awesome-text pins ever — the best of the best — and you’ll still find that someone won’t click on them or share them. There’s absolutely bugger all that you can do about that.
What you can do, however, is create pins that YOU love — that YOU’RE proud of. Who cares who else likes or dislikes them if you’re happy with them? I love the way my pins look. (Apart from the orange ones.) I’m super proud of them. Some of them are doing really, really well. Others? Not so much. But I’m still learning and evolving, tweaking my strategy to find something that works for me.
Not everything will work for everyone. Sometimes, you just gotta take all this advice with a pinch of salt and just do what you have fun doing.
(I’m probably not meant to actually say that as a ‘social media manager’, but hey-ho.)
11 – Think about what would make YOU click.
For me, it’s bright pins with text or a description that solves a problem I might have. So, for example, if I were looking for a number of recipe ideas for dinner tonight, I’d search Pinterest for something like “easy dinner recipes”. I’d click on a pin that had a photo of one or more of the recipes I could create by reading that blog post, as well as easy-to-read text that SCREAMS at me what the post is all about.
What makes YOU click? Create pins that would make YOU want to read more. If you can’t even compel yourself to click-through, you can’t expect anyone else to … ya know? I suggest making a list of 5 or 10 things that are important to the pins you share. What makes a great looking pin for you?
That’s a really good place to start.
12 – Look at what makes other, popular pins as popular as they are.
A good way to do this is to simply check the Pinterest home feed. There are plenty of popular pins there — that’s why they are there; they are popular ones. Pinterest thinks they’re good pins, offer value to browsers just like you, and that’s why you’re seeing them.
What do those popular pins look like? What does the text say? Now compare the text on the pin to the title of the blog post to see how they differ. What about the descriptions of those popular pins? Do they contain keywords? Hashtags? Hashtags that you could jot down and use for yourself … ?
Again, make a list of 5 or 10 things that you see other, popular pins incorporating, and then use those things in your next round of pin creations. Being on the homepage doesn’t guarantee a truckload of click-throughs, obviously, but being a popular pin certainly helps your chances a whole bunch.
13 – Infographics are a must.
In fact, multiple TYPES of Pinterest content can work really well — infographics, lists of stuff, spider diagrams, other types of visual aids. There’s a trick to this kind of content, though … You need to give away a TASTE of what someone can expect to read if they click-through to your blog post, but without giving the entire game away. If you have a list of 21 items, you only put 5 to 10 of them on the list. 15 at a push, but keep the really good ones as the ones that someone needs to click to read.
There are plenty of different styles and types that you could play around with here, and they’re great for creating later on — weeks or months after the pin was originally published — to pump some life back into it. I definitely recommend creating new, infographic-style pins for old blog posts, once you’re finished updating them, checking for old links, etc. You can then share that blog post in the same way as a brand new one, but with “updated” rather than “new”.
14 – Check your pins.
I don’t mean check each and every pin that you shared on Pinterest because that would take you forever, but I do think you should get into the habit of keeping an eye on the popular ones. Popular pins are more likely to be hijacked (I’ll talk more about that in just a second), and by keeping an eye on them — checking them from time to time — you can be sure that nothing untoward happens.
Not only that, checking your pins means that you can keep your finger on the pulse — what’s working and what’s not.
15 – Keep an eye on Pinterest analytics.
Things change every now and again. Newer pins will become popular. Maybe a few of the old and unloved ones will pick up speed too? You won’t know unless you keep an eye on your Pinterest analytics, and I definitely recommend getting comfortable with how things work over there.
Knowing what is ‘normal’ for you and your Pinterest marketing strategy means that you’ll pick up on problems quickly, including that bloody annoying Pinterest pin hijacking situation. If you’d like to read about that one time I found a blogger who stole everyone else’s viral pins and replaced their blog links with her own, check out this blog post >>> Pinterest Pin Hijacking — The New Thing You Need to Worry About.
16 – Create a Pinterest board of JUST your pins.
I’m about to reel off a few reasons why this is a good idea. Are you ready?
Firstly, having a board of JUST your Pinterest pins makes it easier for people like me to throw you some love. If I find a blogger/business/influencer I like on Pinterest, the first thing I’ll do is check out their profile. I’ll take a peek at the linked website if there is one, and I’ll also look for a ‘best of’ board or similar so that I can save their pins to Tailwind for later scheduling or further reading. If you don’t have a board of just your pins and no one else’s, people like me have gotta scroll for ages to find YOUR pins for later … and we lose interest fast. We’ll probably get sidetracked by another pin/pinner.
Secondly, why not have a board where you showcase your best work? Everyone else is doing it. Well, perhaps not everyone else, but the smart people are. It doesn’t just make MY life easier to find more of your stuff to read and share, it also makes other people’s lives easier when they’re trying to find more of your stuff to read and share too … potential new followers/readers/customers.
Helpful reading: Pinterest Marketing Strategy – Step 1: Ready, Set, Go!
17 – Pay attention to pin size.
As well as checking your pins to see what kind of colours/designs/fonts/etc. work, you should also pay attention to what pin size works best for you.
Experts say that the perfect pin size is long and thin, but I can honestly say that I’ve had successful pins that are square, landscape, super long, long … you get the idea. If a pin is good enough, it’ll become a popular one. Size isn’t always important, and Pinterest has started cutting off super-long pins so you don’t see everything in the feed, anyway.
I personally recommend trying a mix of different pin sizes, at least to start with. Then you’ll know what works best for you and your blog/site. I have personally noticed that long, portrait pins with a ratio of 2:3 tend to get the most attention. Maybe that would be a great place to start?
18 – Use Tailwind Tribes.
I talk about Tailwind a lot. To be honest, I wouldn’t have a Pinterest marketing strategy for my blog (or any of my clients sites/my other sites) at all if it wasn’t for Tailwind. I spend a couple of hours, once a week, working on my Pinterest feed and scheduling pins, but I do have a tendency to save other people’s pins to Tailwind throughout the week, whenever I have time. My Pinterest feed follows a rainbow theme — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — so it takes me a little more time than I’d like to figure out the order of everything, but I love the rainbow theme so much that I’m sticking with it. And that’s that.
Here’s a little tutorial showing you how to save pins to Tailwind for later, just in case you’re interested –
I digress. Tailwind Tribes is brilliant for expanding the reach of your Pinterest pins. That means your MUV [monthly unique viewers] will increase. However, as an added bonus, I’ve found that click-throughs tend to be not-bad. People in these Tribes aren’t just repinning my pins because those are the Tribes rules; they’re repinning and then actually reading my stuff … and they’re doing that bit because they WANT to.
Tailwind Tribes are free to join. That’s right … FREE. You literally have nothing to lose by giving them a try … and a truckload of blog traffic to win.
19 – Put your pins into appropriate boards.
I have one board that is JUST dedicated to social media advice for florists. Why? Because I like working with florists, I want to work with florists again, and having that specific board helps.
A florist isn’t going to want just ONE answer to their question, or solution to their problem. They’re going to want as much information as possible, to give them the better chance of coming to a resolution. This applies to anyone on the internet, no matter what they’re looking for. That’s why longer blog posts are more popular than shorter ones — people want ALL of the information, not just some of it.
My board — social media for florists — gives a florist everything they need or might want to find in one place. If they like one of my pins, there’s a chance they’ll like more of them, and when they go huntin’ around in that social media for florists board, they’ll find more — mine and other people’s pins. In turn, that makes me a little hub of knowledge.
I’ve used the same process for all of my boards. I’ve got a Blogging 101 board, a Blogging for Business board, a Make Money Blogging board … If someone were looking for a guide to making money with their blog online, that last one is going to become the ‘hub’ of knowledge and information. When you give someone everything they’re looking for in one place, easy to find, that person is going to be more likely to stick around, click-through to read whatever is on your blog and site, and potentially even become an avid fan.
The moral of the story? Share your pins to *all* appropriate Pinterest boards.
20 – Put your pins into ALL appropriate boards.
Okay, so, this point is basically a continuation from my previous point, and something I’ve definitely said before — your pins should be in ALL relevant boards.
I will add the pins I made for *this* blog post into the following boards on my Pinterest account —
- Blogging 101
- Social Media for Business
- Blogging for Small Business
- Social Media for Florists
- Pinterest Marketing Tips
- Social Media Tips
- ukwordgirl.com [best-of board]
I can also add my pins to GROUP boards, and I’m a member of maybe 5 or 6 of those.
That’s 7 of my own boards that I can pin my pins to, as well as 5 or 6 of the group boards. In total, that’s 12 or 13 chances for my pin to become popular. I won’t add them to my feed all at the same time. Instead, I’ll save them in Tailwind to schedule for later publishing — a week down the line, or a month, or maybe even six months. It’s there, ready and waiting in my Tailwind drafts for whenever I want or need it.
And let’s not forget about Tailwind Tribes [point #18], which will give you even MORE opportunities for your pins to become popular.
Helpful reading: Pinterest Marketing Strategy – Step 3: Pinterest Boards to Obsess Over.
21 – And then share them again.
When you’re done making sure that you’re pins are in all of the relevant boards they should be, you should also look at sharing those pins more than once. There are things to consider with this — you can’t share the same pin to the same board more than once in a 2-3 week period. That’s considered spam. Going back to Tailwind again, SmartLoop will take your best pins and re-share them on a loop (as the name suggests), with enough time between the shares to keep Pinterest happy and not call you out for being spammy.
I’m telling you this because I recently had a pin that became popular on it’s third or fourth try. The first time I pinned, it got a couple of repins. The second time, nothing. It was either the third or fourth pin upload that things really started to pick up, and then I got 100+ repins in a couple of weeks, and close to that in click-throughs.
Sometimes, your first pin upload won’t be big. It doesn’t mean that the next try won’t be, though.
Am I saying that you should do ALL of these things to convert your Pinterest views into blog traffic? No. Not at all, definitely not if you don’t have the time for it all. Once you’ve started doing a few of these things, such as adding keywords and hashtags to your pin descriptions, the process will come as second nature, so it won’t take you very long to do it. I suggest picking a couple/few of the tips you can see here, implementing them, and once they’re second nature and working for you, try your hand at the next couple of tips.
You don’t need to do it all, and you definitely don’t need to try and do it all in one go.
If you’ve got any questions about Pinterest or coming up with a strategy to make people click-through to your blog or site, why not get in touch? Alternatively, why not take a little peek around the other Pinterest-related posts on the blog, or sign up to my Blogging 101 email newsletter to learn all the tips n’ tricks you’ll ever need to grow your blog or website.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Let me know if this blog post was helpful for you 🙂
Further resources + reading: