Hi, my name is Anne, and one of my websites is MoneyPropeller.com, where we discuss money, career, and lifestyle. What else is there when it comes to money? The following is a case study of how I doubled Pinterest Traffic almost overnight. Laying the foundation took awhile, but the results from updating my pictures are incredible now!
Here’s a snapshot from Google Analytics, showing the jump in Pinterest referral traffic that came from tweaking a few things and creating new images. This relatively long post will go into the details.
My Pinterest Starting Point
The site is coming up on one year old and has had varying amounts of my attention in that time. The original site layout had a large, horizontal image at the top of the homepage. For that reason, I was making large, horizontal images for my posts. Too bad that style only really works in one spot: on the site itself. They weren’t a good size for Twitter, not a great size for Facebook and they were pretty awful for Pinterest.
If you are going to have horizontal images, make an additional, vertical image for Pinterest with a plugin like Warfare Plugins.
Fast forward a few months and I didn't love the design of the site, so I switched the theme, reorganized the homepage and adjusted the image sizes to be vertical. I currently use 500×750 size pictures and almost wish I had chosen a slightly taller size.
I set up a Pinterest account (/MoneyPropeller) almost from the beginning, but not quite. I should have referenced On Your Mark, Get Set, Blog! and made sure I had it set up and branded from Day One. Then I let my Virtual Assistant go to town on it. She gained the first few hundred followers and set up a variety of boards.
Fully set up your Pinterest account from Day One, including all verifications and rich pins.
I should have fully set up the account, but unfortunately I did not. I thought that it would be difficult, but it was, in fact, dead simple.
Around two months ago, I decided to start working with Gretchen, who offered Pinterest management services. Edit: I no longer work with her and strongly advise against, due to multiple issues experienced by me and dozens of other bloggers.
Before I handed the reins over to her, I had to do a few things.
I verified my site and set up rich pins. Turns out, these are dead easy if you have Yoast SEO for WordPress installed. It will take you less than five minutes and doesn’t involve anything “scary” like editing CSS or via FTP. Once you turn on rich pins in Yoast, head to this Pinterest Developer’s Page, plunk in a URL and click “validate.”
It may take several weeks for them to be approved and start working, but once they do, life is grand. The pins have different formatting, which causes them to “pop” more in the Pinterest feed. Plus, even more important, your pins may show up as “related pins” when someone shares similar content. They put way more eyes on your stuff!
Populate every single thing possible in your Pinterest account. It will only take a few minutes to do.
Make sure your Twitter, Facebook, site description, and whatnot are all populated. Also put up your picture, write a description and ensure you’re using a vanity URL. Make sure to sign up for Pinterest for Business, if you haven’t already.
Then, write compelling descriptions for all of your boards, and select bright, clean images as cover images. Try to put together at least 15 boards to start. They can be on all sorts of topics. You might not be interested in Homeschool topics, but if your blog about effective home organization is followed by a lot of homeschoolers, then your audience will be interested.
Make sure that you have one board where you pin all of your posts. For me, that’s an-oh-so-creatively named board called Money Propeller.
How to Use Pinterest to Double Your Traffic: Step Up Your Pinterest Game
That was a long-winded preamble, to where things start to get interesting. Like I said, I hired Gretchen.
She digs into understanding analytics, rearranging boards to make them more useful, and making sure that everyone has a very pinnable, defined-style image for their posts.
She also got me invited to a bunch of group boards and hustled to increase my number of followers. Group boards are a way to get your pins in front of many more people. Pin Groupie is a way to find boards that may be relevant for your audience.
All of these are critical to laying a foundation that let me rapidly increase my click throughs.
A Fun Pinterest Success
Several months ago, I put together a post called Pinterest, Money and People to Follow. It was a round-up of over 40 personal finance bloggers on Pinterest. It gets repinned like mad and results in more followers for lots of people, which is fantastic. Additionally, I created a group board (come join me if you’d like!) that accepts all pins related to money, called Personal Finance Roundup.
Board Booster is My BFF
Another thing I got set up was Board Booster. It is a mighty nifty site that even comes with a 100 pin free trial.
“What does it do?” you ask.
It is a pin scheduler and also has an amazing feature called looping. That’s where the real value lies. ooping allows you to have a board repin its old content, and delete the old pin (don’t worry, when you remove a pin it does not do anything to the repins that it has.)
Why would you do that? To get your pins in front of fresh faces, and to remind people about them!
The scheduler is also extremely easy to use. It creates a secret board that then feeds the main board, so you can go in and pin a whole bunch of things in half an hour, and it will drip them onto your boards over the next while.This way you don’t overwhelm your followers, but still stay active on Pinterest.
Note: Board Booster is not on the list of official Pinterest API users, aka not fully endorsed, so there exists some risk that Pinterest may not like Board Booster users, with ramifications.
The Big Change: Better Pictures for Pinterest
So we’ve covered how I set up rich pins, all of the profile details, got invited to more group boards and set up looping and scheduling using Board Booster.
Next I updated my pictures. This is where a REALLY big improvement came in.
The Old Pictures
- Bad size for Pinterest
- Not bright and catchy
- Didn’t highlight keywords
- Didn’t always have Alt text sporadically pinned, to one or two boards
The New Pictures
- Highlight keywords
- Pinned to relevant boards and group boards
- Have detailed image names
- Have Alt text populated
- Include a call to action/intriguing question at the end
- Have meta descriptions on the posts populated and intriguing
As an aside, I also checked for readability of the posts – added formatting, made paragraphs shorter, and double checked SEO
The internet is full of amazing tools that let you do great things for Free! Picmonkey is one of those things. You can edit images, add overlays and add text, all for free.
Pick a consistent style for your images, keeping the above criteria in mind.
Where Did I Start Redoing Pinterest Images?
I started by paging through my “read more” tabs to the first posts I wrote, or to posts that I thought would do well seasonally. Here is an example of a redone image, targeted at the summer season:
This image is bright, but lacks pizzazz and the size won’t do well on Pinterest. Here’s the new one:
It has nice clean lines, is very bright, and puts focus on relevant key words, while being nice and tall for Pinterest.
This image did very well for a few weeks, garnering a few dozen pins and 20-50 clicks per day. It has died down a little bit, but it still sends a few visitors each day to the site. That traffic jump was for a single post, too, that was getting almost no traffic at all before (maximum two views per day).
That is one of the beautiful things about Pinterest, the traffic stream lasts for months and years, and can overnight jump up high again!
Here is another example of a dark and boring original pin:
Which I replaced with a bright, tall and vibrant image: The image name and alt text for the new pin are the following: I Get FREE Acupuncture – Can you too? Don't leave money on the table with your benefits package, get the most out of it!
Which makes for a much more interesting pin, especially with the description.
That, my friends, is how to use Pinterest to doulbe your traffic, seemingly overnight. You have to lay a solid foundation first, of course, but from there, the sky is the limit!