When it comes to generating traffic for your blog, Pinterest is truly a force to be reckoned with.
Pinterest is not just a platform for recipes and DIY craft ideas.
People use Pinterest on a daily basis to find inspiration and answers to help them solve questions or problems that they may have.
Need help deciding what to do when you are traveling? You can find ideas and inspiration on Pinterest!
Looking for outfit ideas for your next summer barbeque? Pinterest has the answers to these as well.
Similar to Google, Pinterest is a search engine. The main difference being the fact that it is a visual search engine. When used strategically, you can harness the search engine capabilities of Pinterest and use it to drive highly targeted traffic to your blog or website (HINT- by providing the answers that people are already looking for).
If you are not seeing results with Pinterest, chances are that you are using the platform wrong.
In this post, I will be sharing the top Pinterest mistakes that I see beginner bloggers making. Pinterest Mistake #8 WILL surprise you!
Keep reading to make sure that you aren’t making any of these Pinterest marketing mistakes.
What Is Pinterest? (Social Media vs Search Engine)
Simply put, Pinterest is a visual search engine that can be used to find ideas for things like recipes, home decor, style and more.
As a creator, you can pin images from your blog and website to Pinterest. When users go to search for a keyword, they may be directed to your content.
Pinterest curates a feed for each user that is highly specific to their interests.
The goal with Pinterest, is to optimize your pins and descriptions so that your pin images show up for your ideal reader.
When you optimize your pin images, you can use them to drive traffic to your site.
Pinterest Mistakes- Are You Making Any Of These?
As with any platform, there are bound to be some people who . The Pinterest mistakes that I will be including in this post are mistakes that I commonly see people make. Some of these are mistakes that I have made as well.
No matter the mistake, I want you to know that it is possible to fix it once you are aware of them.
Below are 5 common Pinterest mistakes beginner bloggers make,
Mistake # 1- Not Using Pinterest
It still blows my mind that many bloggers and marketers are choosing to not use Pinterest as part of their marketing strategy.
With over 70 million monthly active users, this is a platform that you cannot afford to sleep on.
Marketers can use Pinterest to drive traffic to their blogs and websites by pinning content that their audience is already looking for.
The research also indicates that Pinterest users are primed to buy.
Pinterest advertising is relatively new, but has become more sophisticated in recent times. This offers a relatively low cost option for paid advertising that is perfect for beginners looking to dip their toes into paid advertising.
Before you start using pinterest, I highly recommend investing in a Pinterest Course like the one that I took before I started my blog.
Pinterest with Ell is a great course with a really supportive Facebook group associated with it. The instructor Ell regularly updates her course content so that you stay up to date with all the most recent Pinterest updates and can adjust your strategies accordingly.
Mistake # 2- Treating Pinterest Like A Social Media Platform
One of the biggest misconceptions with Pinterest is that people tend to lump it in with other social media platforms such as facebook and instagram. Most people still view Pinterest solely as a social media platform.
Yes it does have features that would suggest it is a social media platform (the ability to follow others). More and more, it has been discovered that people are using Pinterest more like a search engine.
In fact it is the 3rd largest search engine in the world (after google and youtube).
This means that people go to Pinterest to search for solutions to their problems.
Having that mindset shift is such a game changer when it comes to using Pinterest. Once you understand that Pinterest is a search engine, the focus then becomes on how to optimize your content to make it favourable to the people who are searching for it.
Pinterest + SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization.
This is the process by which you optimize your content so that it ranks highly in the search engine.
The great thing about Pinterest is that it is not as competitive as Google, so the chances of your content being found is higher (If you optimize your pins well).
In order to optimize your pins and increase your chances of being found, you need to follow these steps.
Step 1- Find the right keywords
You can design and post the best pin in the world, but if no one has a need for it, then it is useless. That is why your first step should always be to do some keyword research to ensure that you are targeting terms that other people are searching for.
Keyword research is really simple using Pinterest.
To find a keyword, you type in a term or phrase that you are interested in into the search bar.
Pinterest shows you words that are related to your keyword that people are also looking for.
In this example, I am searching for baby food. As you can see from the picture above, common key phrases related to baby food include terms such as baby food recipes stage 1, baby food guide, baby food chart by age.
It is advised that you target long tail keywords on Pinterest. These are more specific and allow you to stand out amongst a smaller pool of competing results.
Long tail keywords are keywords that are more than 2 words. The more words you have as part of the keyword or phrase, the more specific the search term is.
When you target terms that are more specific, you have a higher chance of standing out when someone searches that term.
In contrast, if you target a short tail keyword such as ‘baby’, you can imagine that you will have a ton of other content to compete with. Some of which may not even be related to what your pin is about.
Step 2- Include your keyword throughout your profile
Pinterest will only know what your content is about when you tell it. If you want Pinterest to know that your baby food board is indeed about baby food, you need to include the keyword baby food in several key places.
- The Board Name
- The Board Description
- The Pin titles/ descriptions
All of these work together to tell pinterest exactly what your board (and pins) are about. Being mindful of pinterest SEO is crucial to your growth on the platform.
Pinterest Mistake # 3- Not Optimizing Your Pinterest Accounts
We have just talked about how it is important to optimize your pins and your boards for SEO. However there are other ways that you can optimize your account so that it is seen favourably by Pinterest and the users.
How To Optimize Your Pinterest Account
Once you open your Pinterest account, there are a few key things that you should be doing in order to optimize your account.
- Optimize your profile
The first thing that you should do when you are trying to optimize your Pinterest account is to take a look at your profile.
Your profile is the very first thing that people see. It is their first impression and it should give your audience a brief description of who you are and what you do.
In the words of Donald Miller, If you confuse, you’ll lose.
Make your profile clear and easy for people to understand exactly what you do.
Here is an example of my Pinterest profile. I have a clear description of what I do. I have also made sure to include keywords in my bio so that users searching for those terms are more likely to find my account.
- Make sure that you have a business account
Setting up a business account is easy to do on pinterest.
A business account also has several benefits:
- Allows you to display your company name rather than your personal name
- Enables the use of rich pins
- You have access to all Pinterest analytics associated with your profile
- You are able to verify your blog or site
- Looks more professional
3. Optimize Your Boards
If you are setting up a brand new Pinterest account, you should select your boards. To do this, think about some of the topics that you blog about. Also think about some other content types that your audience would be interested in.
For instance, if your audience consists mostly of business owners, then you may choose to include a board for home office decor.
Once you decide on your boards, do not forget to optimize for SEO. Include a brief keyword rich description of what the blog is about. This helps Pinterest and your audience to know what the board is about.
For your board description, you should make it a complete sentence. So instead of just typing out keywords, Pinterest favours descriptions where the keyword is incorporated into the sentence.
Pinterest Mistake # 4- Creating Ugly PINS
Nobody wants to hear that they are creating ugly pins. The truth is that A LOT of the pins that I see on pinterest are just plain ugly.
Pinterest is a visual platform and people are drawn to pins that are aesthetically pleasing.
Even when you research your keywords and use the best SEO, if your pins are ugly, no one would want to click.
Work On Your Pin Design
My best advice would be to pay attention to others in your niche. What type of content are they pinning? Are they using certain colours? Are they using text in their pins?
Also pay attention to what types of pictures they include. In some niches, pins perform best when they do not have a person’s face included. In others, the pins with people in them are more engaging.
There is no one size fits all rule when it comes to pin design.
You need to be open to adapting your pin designs if they are not converting as you would have liked.
Thankfully, pin design is something that most people get better at with time (I cannot even begin to explain some of my early designs). So if you are struggling, just know it gets better.
Pinterest Mistake #5- Obsessing Over The Wrong Metrics
One of the great things about Pinterest is the level of detail that you can get in terms of analytics.
It is great.
But it can get overwhelming. And confusing.
It also does not help that the first thing that you see when you land on someone’s profile is the number of impressions that their pins get.
This number tends to be quite high and can give a sense of accomplishment that may not be warranted.
Pinterest Metrics To Track
- Impressions- this is the number of times your content has been displayed. It is similar to your reach on other social media platforms. If this is low, you may have to work on your pinterest SEO
- Repins- The number of times someone has saved your pin to their board. A repin indicated that someone found your pin interesting
- Clicks- this tells you if your pins are actually driving traffic to your site.
Pinterest Mistake # 6- Pinning Only When You Feel Like It
I commonly see people fall on both ends of the spectrum.
They either don’t pin often enough or they go through bursts of intense pinning.
How Often Should You Pin To Pinterest?
There is no right answer for this. Most sources will recommend to pin on average 15-25 pins per day. These pins should be spread out throughout the day for optimal results.
This is where using a Pinterest scheduling tool like Tailwind comes in handy.
With tailwind, you can use their smart scheduler feature to schedule your pins at the times when your followers are most active.
This literally takes the guessing work out of pinning. All you need to do is load your scheduler with enough pins and allow it to do its work.
Pinterest Mistake #7- Pinning Other Peoples Pins
One mistake that some beginner pinners make is that they pin too much of other people’s content.
I get it. When you first start out, you may not have a lot of your own content to pin. In that situation, you have to rely on pinning other people’s content in order to fill up your boards.
However, as you start to create more content, I would highly recommend to pin mostly your own pins.
The ultimate goal is to drive traffic back to your blog or website.
You NEED to pin your own pins in order to do this.
The Best Pinning Ratio
You may have heard people say to pin 50:50, 80:20, 73:27. The truth is that there is no hard and fast rule for what you should pin.
The best piece of advice that I can give you is to:
- Pin MOSTLY your content (if you have to slowly work up to a point where this is possible, that is fine too)
- Do not be afraid to experiment. It might take some trial and error to find the pinning ratio that works best for you.
- Pin FRESH content. Pinterest favours fresh pins more these days. This does mean that you cannot rely on the smart loop feature like you once did.
Mistake # 8- Focusing Only On Pinterest For Traffic
This one might surprise you because you already know how much I love Pinterest for traffic.
The truth is that when you focus soley on Pinterest for traffic to grow your blog, you are at the mercy of the Pinterest algorithm. One simple change in algorithm or one mistake and Pinterest can decide to close your account.
I learned this lesson the hard way and still don’t have a full explanation as to why this happened. I posed my concerns in a Pinterest support group that I’m part of and was surprised to find out how common things like these are.
While you should be using Pinterest to grow your blog, you also shouldn’t put all your eggs in the same basket. You should have a content strategy that has a mix of strategies to drive traffic to your blog. Even though SEO is a long term strategy, I would recommend that you start to implement SEO practices early on so that you can start ranking for some keywords and building authority.
I have listed a few of the common Pinterest mistakes that I see bloggers make. Can you think of any additional mistakes that people might be making?
Leave a comment and let me know 🙂
If you found this post helpful, I would love it if you would Pin to Pinterest. This allows other people to see it as well and benefit from the content.