Pinterest Marketing Tips for SEO, Traffic, and Online Reputation Management

Last week, Neil Patel wrote a huge article on The Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest which was a hit! It covers how to use Pinterest, how to find content to pin, 9 reasons marketers should use it, the brands using it, 14 marketing strategies, 9 ways to get followers, and optimizing your profile for local search. This week, I thought I would add a few additional statistics about Pinterest, how it compares to Tumblr, and tips for marketers looking to get more out of the Pinterest network.

Why Pinterest?

One word – traffic. Shareaholic posted a study of referral traffic in January 2012 from more than 200,000 publishers with a combined total of over 260 million unique monthly visitors. The top five social referrers were Facebook, StumbleUpon, Google, Twitter, and Pinterest. Note that Google in this reference is only for referral traffic from products, not organic search or AdWords. This means that Pinterest beat YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn, and Myspace combined for referral traffic.

Site Traffic

As for their own traffic, Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner shows an estimated unique visitors (users) for January 2012 as 21 million worldwide. Their demographics information is summarized as follows:

Hitwise also shows that the top 10 social sites for the week of February 11, 2012 are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Yahoo Answers, and Pinterest in the United States. This means that Pinterest beat LinkedIn, Tagged, Google+, Myspace, and Yelp.

Facebook App Usage

The Pinterest Facebook app, according to AppData has over 2 million daily average users. The app’s monthly average users has grown from over 6 million to over 9 million in the last month.

Pinterest Pin It Button Usage

BuiltWith also shows the Pinterest Pin It button is being added to a growing number of sites daily in the following industries.

If your site has lots of great images but no Pinterest share button, get it on the Pinterest Goodies page. It’s called the Pin It Button for Websites, and it’s about halfway down the page.

Pinterest vs. Tumblr

One of the most common debates that seems to surround Pinterest is whether people should be using Tumblr instead. According to Google Trends, Tumblr is leading in overall traffic, but Pinterest is quickly gaining on them.

Tumblr is currently winning in traffic volume globally, but Pinterest is slowly edging ahead in the United States. Alexa shows Pinterest’s rank as 19, while Tumblr’s rank is 23 in the US. Pinterest also seems to show a more engaged audience over Tumblr with a lower bounce rate percentage, meaning that Pinterest visitors stick around longer.

Brands like the Travel Channel that use both Tumblr and Pinterest may already be seeing higher sharing on Pinterest than Tumblr. Their latest post, a photo of La Digue Island, Seychelles (sourced from their own website) had 59 repins and 15 likes on Pinterest vs. 4 reblogs and 5 likes on Tumblr. The page on their own site only has 17 tweets and 7 Facebook likes.

Pinterest for Tech Brands

When you read descriptions about Pinterest, they almost always include the words weddings, crafts, and home decor. A recent article on TechCrunch gave 7 reasons why Pinterest isn’t ready for tech brands. So the question is, can tech brands find success on Pinterest? The answer is simply yes.

The fact is, tech is already on Pinterest.

So what if you’re a tech brand that doesn’t sell products? Then you’re next best bet is infographics. Infographics are visually stunning images, and visually stunning images do great on Pinterest. You can see a sampling of the current infographics on Pinterest.

5 Additional Marketing Tips for Pinterest

Once you’ve created your profile on Pinterest, there are some simple things you can do get the most out of the network for increased brand exposure, traffic generation, and even online reputation management.

SEO 101 for Pinterest

I always love to check out the on-site search engine optimization possibilities with social networks. Some networks (like Google+), use particular parts of your profile as your profile page’s SEO elements (title, meta description, keywords, etc.). On your Pinterest profile, the on-site SEO elements are as marked.

This means that the name you put in your Pinterest profile is most likely to come up in search, and any additional keyword optimization for your profile will come from the names of your boards. And don’t miss out adding a link to your website on your profile, along with links to your Twitter and Facebook.

The following are the on-site SEO elements for your pins.

So far, the source URL for pins are dofollow, so the more pins you receive of images on your website, the better the link juice and traffic from Pinterest. Also note that whatever you enter as a description for your pin will also become the image ALT tag for the image you pin.

See Who is Pinning Your Images

If someone has pinned something from your website, you can find it by going to the following URL – just replace domain.com with your domain.

http://pinterest.com/source/domain.com/

You should do this for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • See what images do the best from your website. A quick perusal of the images shared from the KISSmetrics blog shows that infographics are a hit!
  • Thank those that have pinned your images. This is great for boosting brand loyalty as people love to be recognized by the people and brands they love.
  • Look out for online reputation management issues. This pin of a product from Dell.com complains about the cooling system. To top it off, it’s pinned on a board called “Products I Hate” which makes it the equivalent of a bad review on any other social site.

See How Other Brands Use Pinterest

If you’re not sure how to use your Pinterest profile, check out other brands who are using Pinterest. This user has compiled almost 400 brands on Pinterest. Scroll through to see a brand like yours, then check out their profile to see how they use the network.

Always Use Images on Your Website

If you don’t already, be sure that every page possible on your website and every post on your blog includes at least one image. One of the comments I received about my latest post, The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging, was from Tom Treanor. He said…

By the way, I just pinned it to Pinterest, my current favorite curation tool. I’m glad you included a picture so that would work.

So be sure to include at least one image, preferably something people will find appealing or informative so they can add your content to their pin boards on Pinterest. This will increase the likelihood that you will receive traffic from Pinterest.

Teach Your Visitors How to Use Pinterest

If you want visitors to pin your images, you might want to start with teaching your visitors how to use Pinterest. It doesn’t have to be anything complex – just a simple visual guide (maybe as a blog post) on how users can sign up for Pinterest, add the Pin It button to their browser’s bookmarks toolbar, and add a pin from your website. The more users you can turn on to pinning your images, the more images you can have discovered on Pinterest.

Track Your Pinterest Traffic

Just like you would with any other social network you invest time in, you should track your Pinterest traffic in Google Analytics. If you use advanced segments to find out which online marketing strategy drives the best traffic, then add Pinterest.com to your social media segment. This way, you can see your Google Analytics data based on all social networking referrals, including Pinterest.

Look your social media referrers with your goal completions to find out if the traffic you are receiving from Pinterest, or any other network, is actually valuable for your website and your bottom line.

Are you using Pinterest for your business? What other tips would you suggest for anyone trying to get the most out of Pinterest?

About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing for personal, professional, and business bloggers. You can follow her on , Twitter, and Facebook.

  1. Great post Kristi!….but no link to your Pinterest page in your bio? =[

  2. The domain tip for seeing pins is excellent, thanks Kristi!

  3. Hey Kristii,
    awesome and very useful research – didn’t know about dofollow links and how I can check my site and other site sources which images are the most used! That’s a big one!

  4. Anybody else find the ‘Visibility’ setting inside Pinterest confusing? Is has an On/Off switch for Visibility described as “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines” Default is Off but does that mean you are or are not visible??

    • The wording is a bit odd on that one, but I think you have to have it set to on to hide your profile from search, so by default it is always shown to search.

  5. Thank you for such useful information! I just checked how many people re-pinned pictures from my site and was pleasantly surprised! It also gave me better understanding of what kind of content to add to my blog more frequently! Thank you!

    • Glad you found some content from your own site on Pinterest! I’ve been noticing sites that have written about Pinterest have lately been adding LOLcat images to their posts at random when they never used them before. It has to be a Pinterest targeting strategy! :)

  6. I tend to use iStockPhoto images, when I use images at all. I’m curious, now, about the Terms and Conditions for those images getting pinned.

    • That’s a good question. Pinterest isn’t really taking the images – it’s like the Delicious bookmarking of an article – it links back to it, but if you removed the image, it would come off Pinterest as well. I think that’s how it works at least.

      • Hi Kristi,
        I’m a Pinterest user and fan, but I have real concerns about copyright infringement. I have tried to contact companies before pinning from their websites and some say yes, some no, and some like Neiman Marcus put confusing legal restrictions that put them in my NO column for now.
        If you read the Pinterest Terms of Use you see that you are giving them rights: irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free, etc. to anything you pin to the site. This caused me to take down things I’d pinned from sxc.hu (previously Stock.Xchng). Getty Images purchased them recently and an article in Forbes mentioned that Getty aggressively pursued copyright infringement. Royalty-free and non-copyrighted are not synonymous. I wish Pinterest would post a list of SAFE sites for Pin-It content.

        Are the 400 brands on Pinterest there because they gave permission to Pinterest members? That’s my question.

        Thanks for the great content on your site.

        Regards,
        Kelly Grace

      • I’m still a little iffy about the copyright issues surrounding Pinterest Kelly. I assumed in the beginning it was like any other social bookmarking site, but instead of bookmarking the title of the page, it bookmarks the image. I figured in most cases, the credit given back to the original page via link would be enough, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  7. Great information, thank you Kristi! XinXii is an indie eBook platform, and we use Pinterest to support our authors market their books: We mainly pin amazing book covers and pictures of indie authors (which link to their author page). Our community can request a Pinterest invite at XinXii’s Facebook page. http://www.pinterest.com/xinxii_en

  8. Oh man, I had no idea about all that Pinterest SEO stuff. Thanks for sharing, Kristi!

  9. Kristi, I have a question. If I have stuff of my own that falls under 2 categories and I want to pin it to 2 different boards – is that helpful to me – better SEO and maybe more targeted visitors? Or would “double-pinning” be a no-no?

    • I don’t know that double-pinning is against the rules, but if people repin both, then you would have the stats spread between two pins instead of one with a lot of repins.

  10. I must be born in a cave, this is the first I ever heard of it. Hopefully this will be of use, Twitter, and Facebook are basically useless. Stumbleupon is high bounce rate traffic, next to useless.

    • I’ve found the bounce rate and time on site to be even worse with Pinterest!

      • Probably depends on the content people expect to find on your site. I pinned a few LOLcat images that were in SEO posts – I’m guessing people would bounce out of that if they were just expecting to find more images.

  11. I wonder when Pinterests’ pins hit the serps.. I haven’t seen any of their stuff bubble up to the top on Google yet.

  12. Hi Kristi,
    Thanks for sharing! and inviting me to this community! love to share wonderful pictures….

  13. Pinterest fast becoming major traffic source for retail websites. Also it is proving good referral traffic for blogs and websites with great content and images.

  14. I’ve used pinterest to optimize my site and the result was amazing my site was jumped from #234 to #9 in few weeks time.

    The trick is we must got our website pinned and repinned by many people this is the hardest part. Most of pinterest users won’t doing repin when they aren’t like what we pinned.

    I do simple thing to outsource it on fiverr and got my site pinned by 75 people, I don’t know how can he did it just search by typing pinterest on fiverr and you will find it on the TOP. Many other seller offer pinterest service on fiverr but in my experience they can’t make my website increase in SEO. I don’t know why.

    As I know currently pinterest is best for SEO for these reason:
    1. Once our website pinned it has 3 backlinks counts
    2. Google interest in social media signal so it will not tagged as links farm
    3. Currently pinterest links are dofollow even the image
    4. Even not support anchor text (except the url link), it’s still perfect for placing our keywords in description. Google will READ it!!
    5. You need to ping the links of your pins to the to get your website increase in SEO
    6. Obama The President and Mark Zuckerberg now pinning on Pinterest lol.

  15. Aren’t the links on Pinterest nofollow?

    I also find a big bounce rate and low time on page for it through to my site. Obviously its not overly image friendly.

  16. is all links are do follow in pinterest

  17. Pinterest has now turned out to be quite popular off late and has developed into a foremost traffic source for several websites. Images have at all times been a great way to attract traffic to any website and after pinning an image that is relevant is capable of driving traffic to any website via Pinterest. Your tips are great and very helpful, especially the point to track Pinterest traffic.

  18. Wow, nice technique….
    I hope my website will boost after using your tips…glad to know about this.

  19. Great info we can relate to this. We started using Pinterest just a few months ago and our web traffic has jumped up almost by 30%. Your right on with this topic. Thanks for the great write. If interested look us up on Pinterest. ( unlimitedcycles )

  20. Thanks Kristi! I am off to refine my pinterest account now-great piece of information. I got side tracked with your link to google analytics but it was well worth it!

    As a designer I love using pinterest as it is all visual, but if it can help with SEO then all the better!

  21. I recently noticed in my Google Webmaster Tools metrics that I received a backlink for one of my sites. Turns out, someone months ago had pinned one of my images. This has me thinking about using Pinterest to achieve backlinks and attract traffic. However, it is very time-consuming to engage in all these different social networking properties, including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

  22. One single tip to add: Don’t change board-name on Pinterest.

    If you do, will the URL change, and the old URL will 404: See screenshot: http://www.trovatten.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Dont-change-board-name-on-pinterest.png

  23. Good Tips. It is growing even faster than Facebook and Twitter. Again the key is to provide useful content in order to see good results.

  24. Pinterest is a novel idea and I like that it allows sharing of graphics and some instant gratification. But caveat emptor. The company you are branding the most on Pinterest is Pinterest. Nearly all the books out about Pinterest, to me, are suspect, as they all say “Be sure not to promote your own brand TOO heavily”. Huh? With all the buttons, goodies, etc etc etc etc that ALL say Pinterest that’s all you are doing when NOT on Pinterest is promoting Pinterest WAY heavily and to the unsuspecting, to the user who doesn’t know about Pinterest (and trust me there are billions); it will look like you are a company owned by Pinterest (if you brand them too heavily with bells, buttons, whistles etc). So, just know that though they are neat, and I like their site; its really just another microblog. And YOU/I am building their content; not vice versa; we are making THEM a brand. Get it?

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