As e-commerce owners, getting more traffic and sales to our stores is a top priority. Although Pinterest is only a few years old, it has already become an important social media channel for many e-commerce businesses.
According to DigiDay, Pinterest accounts for 25% of retail referral traffic and shoppers coming from Pinterest spend an average of $140-$180 per order versus $60-$80 from Facebook and Twitter.
If your store sells physical products, then Pinterest should undoubtedly be a focus. Last year, I spent about 15 minutes a day pinning and optimizing the Pinterest account for mybabyshowerfavors.com.
As a result, some of our boards are ranking high for terms like baby shower cupcakes, baby shower favors, baby shower decorations and more. We even achieved top rankings for the term “baby shower” under pinners and have accumulated over 5,000 followers on Pinterest.
Here’s a screenshot when we search for “baby shower favors”:
And “baby shower cupcakes”:
We were even able to outrank more well known brands with more than triple the number of followers.
If you practice SEO, you’ll be glad to hear that ranking on Pinterest is far easier than ranking on Google. But it still requires persistence and time.
So what did we do to get ranked so high and how can you do the same for your brand?
Here are a few tips:
1. Do Keyword Research & Use Keywords in Your Boards & Descriptions
A lot of Pinterest users overlook keyword research, but it’s an important step if you want your pins and boards to rank on Pinterest search.
Initially, I started with Google Keyword Planner to get keyword ideas, then searched for those terms on Pinterest. If you see images getting lots of pins, then you probably have a keyword worth optimizing for.
For example, if I search for “baby shower recipes”, I see lots of repining activity:
Another idea for keyword research on Pinterest is to visit top ranking pinners and see what keywords they are using on their boards. Then search for those terms and analyze the results.
For example, if I search for “baby shower” and click on some of my competitors, I will see that “baby shower food” and “baby shower decorations” seem to be popular board names.
Once you find good keywords, use them in your board names, descriptions and pins. Avoid keyword stuffing, but make sure your keywords appear at least once.
2. Don’t Just Pin Your Own Stuff
One of the biggest mistakes I see on Pinterest is people pinning only their own products. This approach may work okay if you are a well known brand that already has a massive following, but if you are a smaller e-commerce stores that is trying to gain visibility through Pinterest, then you may want to focus on creating a useful resource instead.
One of the reasons that our boards rank so well is that we focused on creating boards that were useful to our target audience by also pinning useful images created by other people to our boards.
When pinning to your boards, focus primarily on creating useful resources for your target audience. In other words, be sure you are focused on creating value for your followers first.
3. Focus on Quality
When we started, our top competitor had around 5,000 pins and one concern was that it would take a really long time to catch up.
Although we started off by pinning often, we switched our strategy to just pinning anywhere from 3-15 items per day.
The idea was to focus on quality and not worry about the number of total pins. Over time, our total pins increased and we eventually surpassed 5,000 pins on our account, but we were already ranking pretty well even before then.
By focusing on quality, we were able to retain a high level of engagement and our pins get a good amount of likes, re-pins, and even repeat visitors.
4. Pin Consistently
Some of our competitors on Pinterest are established brands with much larger followings than us. But we were able to outrank them because we pinned consistently and they didn’t.
Your Pinterest followers want to see fresh content on their feeds, so pinning consistently increases your engagement levels.
Just like having more pages on your website increases long tail search engine traffic, having more pins can also cumulative increase your total views on Pinterest.
5. Follow Interesting & Relevant Accounts
Be sure to follow any other interesting and relevant Pinterest users. Sometimes they will follow you back, but more importantly, it will allow interesting pins to show up on your feed.
Follow popular bloggers in your niche, active group boards and also other Pinterest accounts that are currently ranking for your target keywords.
So what were the results of this campaign? Thousands of new Pinterest followers and even a few sales.
While we ranked for many of our main keywords for our boards and pinner account, individual pins appear to have driven the most traffic and impressions to our account.
It is difficult to predict which pins will rank in search as views and engagement seem to be a driving factor behind which pins show up on top. In essence, individual pins are the “long tail” of Pinterest search.
Areas for Improvement
While achieving high rankings on Pinterest for various terms is a great victory, I’ll admit that we could improve in several areas.
We didn’t pin as much of our own content, but we’ve started to pin our own items to a separate board, resulting in an increase in views.
We also managed to rank without creating any original content. However, the biggest winners from Pinterest are the content creators.
Therefore, we plan on re-launching our blog and incorporating a more detailed content marketing plan integrated with Pinterest.
To Sum It Up:
- Use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner to come up with keyword ideas and then search for them on Pinterest to analyze popularity.
- Use keywords in your board names, pins and descriptions, but don’t overstuff them with keywords.
- Focus on quality over quantity and pin consistently.
- Follow other interesting Pinterest users that are pinning the type of content that your target users would be interested in.
If you optimize your boards and spend just a few minutes a day pinning, then maybe you can start to rank your boards on Pinterest too.
By the way, if you want to learn more about business and online marketing, be sure to download my free guide, 50+ Free Tools for Business and Marketing Automation, which includes tools that I use for social media marketing.