There May be a Pot of Gold Waiting for You on Pinterest

9 simple steps for using Pinterest to explode traffic.

pinterestIf you haven’t already heard, Pinterest is the latest greatest, fastest growing phenomenon on the web today. For the uninformed, Pinterest is a digital pin board where users can create and share collections of imagery and video. It is totally addictive – think digital hoarding, but no mess to clean up – and appeals to a broad range of users.

Beyond all the hype, Pinterest has huge SEO potential for the business owner who takes a thoughtful approach. Here are some salient facts:

  • As of February 2012, Pinterest was a mere 2 years old, but boasted 11.7 million active register users, per AppData.com. When it hit 10 million US monthly unique users, it broke the record for all standalone sites, ever.
  • Pinterest reports over 2 million active DAILY users.
  • The demographics skew heavily towards females, but that’s changing, with a growing percentage of men participating.
  • Users spent an average of 89 minutes on Pinterest in January 2012, per comScore.
  • Hitwise listed Pinterest as a Top 30 Site in February 2012
  • Pinterest refers more traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined and looks like it is close to overtaking Twitter.
  • Google now crawls Pinterest regularly to deliver organic results based on content posted there by users.
  • Home, arts and crafts, DIY, style and fashion, and food are currently the most popular categories on Pinterest, with Food currently being the fastest growing segment.

Curious about whether your business should contribute on Pinterest? Here are some interesting infographics that we thought you’d find interesting.

So here are some simple things you can do to get started and cash in on the Pinterest phenomenon.

1. Create a Pinterest account for yourself, your brand and your company now! Membership is by invitation only, so request a Pinterest invite today.

2. Identify what imagery you may already own that you can promote on your pinboards. If your website already includes lots of imagery to which you already own the rights, great. If not, start adding images throughout your site. Pinterest likes big images, so go full-column-width on your website wherever possible!

3. Create boards on specific topics relevant to your brand. Become the authority on each topic by posting extensive imagery related to that topic, with detailed comments. Invite others to pin and comment. “Curate” your brand on Pinterest similarly to how you might on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Use Pinterest to explore and shape your brand’s personality and voice.

4. Post images to your pinboard and optimize your pin comments for search keywords. Be sure to hashtag relevant keywords, just as you would do for Twitter or Facebook.

Here are some guidelines:

  1. Pin relevant content, from infographics and diagrams, to videos and events.
  2. Create contests, coupons and giveaways to pin to your boards. Make them exclusive to Pinterest and give them a short shelf life to create a sense of urgency.
  3. Create an online catalog with big, bold product images. But be sure to add something unique that you can’t find just anywhere. Consider adding testimonials next to each product, or uses and references.

5. Follow other relevant people and pinboards and engage in commentary with others with shared interests.

6. Add a “Pin It” button on your blog and website content along with Facebook, Twitter and +1. While you’re at it, add StumbleUpon button too!

7. If you are curious about what has been pinned from your website, just add your website’s URL to http://pinterest.com/source/ . For example, if Levi’s wants to know what has been pinned, they’d go to http://pinterest.com/source/levi.com.

8. If you want to see what activity your BRAND has on Pinterest do a search for site:pinterest.com BRAND. So if Levi’s wants to know what’s being pinned about them, they’d search site:pinterest.com levis. Note: this works for all the other social media networks, too.

Just search using:
site:plus.google.com BRAND
site:facebook.com BRAND
site:twitter.com BRAND
site:linkedin.com BRAND

Finally, track your referral sources using your onsite analytics tools. Keep an eye on which images and topics are actually driving traffic to your site, and pin more of the same!

A couple of caveats for businesses:

  • Although the current Pinterest Terms of use prohibit commercial use, hundreds of high-profile brands have already created branded profiles. The expectation is that Pinterest will soon eliminate this clause or possibly create a subscription model for business use.
  • Avoid copyright infringement by either posting only images that you have exclusive rights to, or are sourced directly from the original copyright holder’s site where a Pin It icon is clearly displayed.

So if you haven’t already gotten started… go get pinning! Need an invitation and don’t want to wait for Pinterest to get around to it? Feel free to request one by emailing me at lyza@acutevisibility.com.

About the Author: Lyza Swearingen Latham is principal of Acute Visibility | BMO. Acute Visibility | BMO specializes in Brand Marketing Optimization – everything related to helping companies be found, recognized and profitable. Public Relations, Competitive Analysis, Content Development, Website Design, User Interface and User Experience Analysis, SEO, Social Media, Traditional Advertising, Customer Relationship Management, Branding, Events, Product Launches and maximizing conversion rates and ROI. Contact us at www.acutevisibility.com.


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