shutterstock_91272338

A year ago, I spoke about the basics of how to use Pinterest. Now, the social network plans to change the layout of its platform to make its website stickier. (What this means is Pinterest will change its website so people pin/repin more social media content on the network.) It’s more imperative now than ever to make sure your Pinterest marketing strategy is optimized to generate more referral traffic back to your branded website. Here are seven tips to help you harness the power of Pinterest and create sticker boards that inspire users to click (and convert) on your site.

1. Make sure you pin your website content to Pinterest. This may seem obvious, but it’s important. For example, you can pin blog articles displayed on your website and/or products from your ecommerce site to boost visibility. Add appropriate descriptions of the product or blog post in the “caption” (a.k.a description space) underneath the pin. Relevant hashtags in the caption will also increase your exposure on Pinterest and help people discover your boards and company on the social network. Spread pins from your website across your relevant pinboards so they’re equally distributed.

2. Have your audience add your content to Pinterest. Make sure the “Pin It” button is installed on all of your articles and products. This will make it fool proof for your visitors to pin your content to Pinterest and create more inbound links back to your domain.

3. Social media is a visual platform, leverage it. People are more likely to click on your pin if you have an eye-catching and colorful image related to the topic of your pin. We work with clients to create custom graphics, but you can also find free stock imagery at Flickr and through Zemanta. Check out the image suggestions based on the content of your blog posts. (See examples of eye-catching pins below.)

Firm Body Evolution Pin Screenshot

4. Pin content people can learn from. People love to learn about new companies, and they even like to share their thoughts with their family and friends. According to the Pinterest tool, Pinerly, pins that feature a tutorials get 42 percent higher click-through rates than other pins. 

One way to pique visitors’ interests and inspire them to click on your pins is by creating “teaser pins.” You can use a general picture and have the “teaser” of what your tip is in the caption of the pin. We pinned for a health/wellness client and garnered 148 visits to the company’s website for one pin pointing to the article, “3 Tricks to Getting a Flatter Belly.” You can also design your own custom graphic with text on a background to create a compelling CTA. Popular lifestyle blog, LaurenConrad.com, does a great job sharing tips that get plenty of repins by making custom graphics to highlight their tips. 

Similarly, infographics do particularly well on Pinterest and get more repins because they’re elongated images that are featured prominently in news feeds. LaurenConrad.com also has some noteworthy infographics.

GA FirmBody Evolution

5. Be sure to post about newsworthy topics. Use trending topics in your board names or as keywords in captions of your pins. Pins using this technique generate a clickthrough rate of 94 percent. Retailer Express successfully executed this tactic by publishing Valentine’s Day-themed media to attract loving eyes on Pinterest.

6. Include a call to action in your pins. Featuring a call to action on a pin increases engagement (likes, comments and repins) by 80 percent, according to Pinerly. Rather than hoping your followers figure out what you want them to do, tell them! In the caption, you can include CTAs such as “repin this,” “comment below” or “click here.” You can go the extra mile and include a CTA in the image of your pin.

7. Verify your website through Pinterest. Don’t make people hunt for the site behind the pinboards! Website verification ensures people can find your site directly on your Pinterest page. Getting verified also boosts site visibility within the network and improves SEO results. Someone with basic HTML skills or a web designer can help you with this. Our Integration team does this as a standard practice for all of our Pinterest marketing clients.

Verified WebsiteTo track your progress, use Google Analytics to check referral traffic from Pinterest, and check what content your website has on on the social site. (i.e. http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com.)

The biggest obstacle businesses face with Pinterest is getting users to actually click on a pin. Most users just repin images without clicking through, as repins make up 80 percent of the content on Pinterest. These tips should help you tackle your marketing obstacles and help your business perform been on Pinterest.