My first place to search
About a year ago, I noticed that my online search behavior was changing. I use to hit the letter G in the browser and my Google search option would pop up.
But that was before I discovered Pinterest.
For my regular readers, you already know about my Pinterest addiction. It’s the social site where I do my research. It’s the first place I promote my blog posts and my online products. I’m on there almost every day, looking, reading and pinning.
So it wasn’t too far of a stretch for me to think of Pinterest as my go-to search engine. And I’m not alone with this new online search behavior.
Most people are visual learners. We connect faster with images because it’s easier to scan visual search results over a list of text links.
Just think about these stats from MDG Advertising:
- Articles with images get 94% more total views.
- 60% are more likely to contact a business when an image shows up in a search.
- 67% say the quality of a product image is “very important” in purchasing a product.
- Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text is 0.27%.
Why should you focus on Pinterest?
Let me just throw this idea at you … if we spend all this time optimizing our content for Google, shouldn’t we also look at optimizing our visual content?
Think about it – all those statistics I listed (and that’s a really short list of what I found out there!), indicate one main thing: if you want to get more engagement, shares and Likes, you need to focus on your company’s visual content.
One of the best social sites to optimize and share visual content is Pinterest. The site has shifted from just a place for DIY decorating ideas and mommy blogger craft projects.
It’s now becoming a highly targeted search tool to help you grow your business.
In my latest research, I found that Pinterest has an estimated 70 million active monthly users and once it starts to grow overseas, those numbers will just get higher.
With its latest feature Guided Search, Pinterest has now become a combination of search engine and targeted advertising tool. At its core, Pinterest is the place for people to plan and aspire about what they can do to enrich their lives.
And a Pinterest search responds back by finding products for these millions of users to bring them closer to their vision and dreams.
People come to Pinterest to look for something with an intent to buy. Over 69% of Pinterest users have purchased an item or found something that they want to buy while running a search on Pinterest. How many social media sites can claim this?
SEO for Pinterest
If you’re a small business looking to optimize Pinterest, take a look at these few quick changes you can make to your Pinterest boards and pins to help increase your chances of getting found.
As a daily user of Pinterest, it didn’t take me long to see that more people are following my content-targeted boards rather than hitting that red Follow All button. I get that because I do it too.
So instead of worrying about what do about it, here’s a list of things that I do to work with this online behavior and get more followers.
1. Move your top boards to the first two rows. Think about which boards represent your business and best explain who you are and what you do.
And move the most important ones to the center. Our eyes are trained to read left to right and for most people, the first thing they’ll see are your boards right in the center and then move to the right and then to the left.
2. Make sure you have at least 6 pins in your board or you’ll see empty spaces. An incomplete board won’t get people to follow you so if one of the boards you’re moving to the top has only 2 – 3 pins, spend some time filling up that board with relevant content.
3. I know I’ve said this before (as well as anyone else writing about Pinterest) but pin other people’s content to your boards. While it’s great to pin your blog posts and online products, you’ll get more followers when your boards are well-rounded with content other than just your own.
No one wants to see you pin/talk about yourself all the time. Do the research for content that people can’t find. Create a board that’s a resource to Pinterest users and you’ll find that’s one of the quickest ways to get more followers.
4. This is one of my biggest Pinterest peeves! Do NOT pin one thing to multiple boards at once. While not everyone is connected to all your boards, there’s a good chance that many users are following several of those multiple boards that you just did a pin dump too.
From a Pinner’s view, it looks like you’ve just flooded my news feed with your latest ‘Buy one, get one free’ ad. It’s annoying and a quick way to lose followers.
Instead, plan to space out your pins. When I pin a new blog post, I pin to the board that has the largest followers first. Then over a 7 day timeframe, I’ll pin the same image to another relevant boards and then, if it makes sense, pin the blog post to a group board.
Most people are looking for specific pins so let me give you a list of things to do to help your images show up in more searches.
1. Save the name of your image as the name of your blog post or your product. This will help you make sure that your blog post or product is credited correctly when your image is being shared directly from your site or on to another social site.
Some people may add more to the pin description but most people will hit that post button once they see that you’ve already done the work to give your image the correct name.
2. When you upload your own pins, add in specific key words that people are searching for. Create the description like you’re explaining this to a friend. Pinners tend to respond and pin it when the copy feels like you’re talking to them and not at them.
3. And here’s a cool little thing to try – use your top key words at the beginning of the pin description. Here’s an example:
Social Media Marketing: How to make more sales using a social media marketing plan
4. Get a Pinterest plugin or figure out the coding! There are way too many easy and free plugins out there for you not to have a Pin It button on your images.
If you want me to pin your stuff, I should be able to hover over that image and pin it directly to my account. Or at least give me the option in your share buttons to pin to Pinterest.
And one quick note – If you’re looking for some ideas about what boards to create or pins to post (especially if you don’t sell products), take a look at this post: How to use Pinterest if you have a service
I can honestly tell you that I use these small changes and my followers are growing every day. And I still continue to get more referral traffic to my site from Pinterest than Facebook, Twitter and organic search combined.
Personally, I see Pinterest giving Google a run for their SEO money. And how cool would it be if one day we all caught ourselves asking a question and instead of saying it, Google it, we say run it through Pinterest and see what pops up.