How To Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide For Bloggers

If you don’t know how to use Pinterest to promote your blog, what Pinterest’s SEO means, or how to choose the right keywords, then this post is for you.

Before we start, I just want to say that after reading all that has been said of Pinterest and how to use it (and there is a seriously overwhelming number of articles out there!), I found that the amount of this information cannot fit in one single post. Unless, of course, my plan was to write a 10k words long post, which it wasn’t, to be honest.

So, in this post, I go over some of the basics for those who just don’t know where to start with Pinterest. And I discuss a few major points, like Pinterest’s SEO and how to choose the right keywords, plus some tips that should help you get off the ground and create some changes towards better traffic.

However, there will, most certainly, be more posts to come on Pinterest in the very near future, so I can share the remainder of everything I learned.

Now let’s get started!


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Which niche can benefit from Pinterest?

I have seen so many bloggers use Pinterest to drive traffic to their websites and it amazed me how much traffic some of them could get. However, most (if not all) of these blogs are lifestyle, beauty, cooking, or travelling blogs. All of these blogs are great with images.

There is nothing more expressive than a photo to show a great outfit, or a beautiful scenery, or a delicious recipe.

So while I had Pinterest on my mind as something I was tempted to try, I honestly wasn’t sure if this was something that could work for me given the nature of my blog and how it doesn’t at all depend on beautifully taken photos.

So I was clueless as to what I could do to benefit from this platform.

But I was persistent and I didn’t like the idea of letting a chance of such an opportunity, to drive traffic to my blog, pass by me without even giving it a shot.

So, I started searching on Pinterest to see if there is anything that is relevant to what I blog about and to my surprise, it was FULL.

One of the things I realized I could benefit of is “infographics;” for some reason I didn’t ever think about that, and no one ever suggested it to me when I asked a few for advice. But it turns out this is the perfect way I could incorporate my website’s material into a “pinnable” photo on Pinterest.

This brings us to the answer of this question:

Which niche can benefit from Pinterest? – Every single one of them.

Should you use Pinterest to promote your blog?

Yes, you most certainly should.

At the moment, Pinterest has around 250 million monthly users and it is used by people in every region in the world. Pinterest has proven to be a lead competitor among search engines because of how resourceful it is (some even go as far as saying it’s competing against Google, but that’s a little far-fetched in my opinion).

But I also wanted to know what bloggers around me think of it, so I started a poll on Twitter earlier this week to have some sort of an insight; and it looks like the majority of bloggers do believe that you should use it since the majority of them are already using Pinterest for their blogs.

According to this very humble poll, 74% of the 197 bloggers who voted are using Pinterest.

However, it seems that Pinterest is quite the confusing platform, because I also asked bloggers to share their experience with Pinterest so far, and although 74% of the voters are in fact using pinterest, not necessarily all of them know how exactly they can benefit from it.

And those 26% who are not using it are mostly either not interested in the platform or, like myself, bloggers who had no idea where to start.

But before we dive into how to use this platform, let’s first make one tiny clarification..

Pinterest is not Instagram

There is a misconception that some people seem to still have about Pinterest from what I’ve read and that is that they dub it as a “social media platform,” like Facebook or Instagram, which it was at some point in time, but now Pinterest is mainly a search engine, more like a visual search engine.

Now, people use Pinterest like they use Google. Maybe some people still use it to connect with other followers, but the vast majority of visitors use it for search. They type in a keyword in the search bar and Pinterest provides matching results to what they are looking for.

If you use this site with that mindset, you will have a different approach as to how to better your rankings there.

Because just like you should pay attention to Google’s SEO for your ranking on Google’s serp, you should pay that same attention for Pinterest’s SEO rules to get higher rankings on it’s search result page.

I would very much recommend reading my last week’s post on Google’s SEO The Simplest Guide To SEO For Beginners, in addition to this post, because you will need to have an understanding of both SEOs to be able to get more traffic.

What is Pinterest’s SEO?

Pinterest’s SEO is optimizing everything on your Pinterest account to follow the specific guidelines and Pinterest best practices in order to appear on a Pinterest search results page.

However, Pinterest is known for continuously changing/updating their rules (much like Google), so what may have worked a year or two ago, could get your account penalized now.

That’s why you need to be on the lookout for any updates that might affect your current pins and how they rank.

How to choose the right keywords for Pinterest

One of the most important things to pay attention to when applying Pinterest’s SEO is focus on optimizing your account with the right keywords.

These keywords should be in the descriptions of your board, board sections, and pins, as well as the titles of each one of those.

(If you’re new to Pinterest and don’t know how to create boards or pins yet, I’ll get to that in the next section.)

To know which keywords to use, you can do the following:

1. Pinterest’s search suggestions

When you search for something on Pinterest, it shows you a list of relevant keywords that is related to your search. These words should be your guide as to what most users who search that word would be interested to see.

Pinterest search auto-complete showing the most popular searched words along with “blogging”
Pinterest’s suggested keywords for the search term “blogging.”

Try searching on Pinterest with relevant keywords to your niche and look for the type of results you get.

How much interaction the pins appearing for this specific word are getting? You want to aim for the keywords that are getting the highest number of interaction.

2. Category search

You can search in the specific category that matches your niche. When you click on a category it will show you how many users are following this category and the most popular pins.

Under each category there are several topics, each topic you click will show you the number of followers of this topic along with the most popular pins shared in that topic, which should also help you figure which titles and images work best for this topic.

It will also show you a list of other related topics to this one. This information will give you an idea of which topic branches in your niche would perform best on Pinterest.

You can also go to the popular category and find out which topics and pins are the most popular at the moment on Pinterest in general.

choosing keywords for Pinterest SEO, category search
I selected the “Popular” category and chose the “social media marketing” topic.
choosing keywords for Pinterest SEO, related topics search
Other topics related to the “social media marketing” topic.

How to start using Pinterest

I’m aware that probably most of those reading this post already have a Pinterest account set up; so if this is you, you may check if you forgot one of those steps or just skip this section.

If you are, however, brand new to this platform, here are the very first steps to take to start using Pinterest for your blog:

  • First you will need to go to Pinterest and sign up for an account.
  • Then claim your website; this may take up to 48 hours.
  • Upgrade to Pinterest Business account to get more in-depth analysis of your account’s stats (it’s free).
  • Install a plugin to your website that adds a “save it” button on your blog post images which allows visitors to share it on Pinterest. Or get it from Pinterest here.
  • If you’re using WP and want to add a “save it” button on your image without installing a plugin, check these steps.
  • You can also add a Pinterest share button on your page along with the Twitter and Facebook ones (for WP users).
  • Allow your site visitors to follow you on Pinterest by adding it among your social media links widget. (for WP users).
  • Start creating new images for your blog posts with image size 600×900 (more on this below).

How to customize your Pinterest account

Once you have done the basic work which is join the platform and set your website to become Pinterest friendly. It’s time to work on the Pinterest account.

creating Boards

First you will want to create a board. The title of this board should be the title of your website/blog, for the sake of SEO, but also to make it easier for your visitors to know they will find everything related to your blog posts in this one board.

You should then edit the description of this board. And, when doing so, use as many relevant keywords to your website as you can; this helps with your SEO.

However, add these words in structured sentences, don’t just stuff many keywords randomly. This is because apparently Pinterest algorithms can tell if your are trying to use too many keywords to rank and will consider it a spam.

Creating Sections

In your newly created board you can either add pins directly or you have the option to create separate sections and then add pins to each section.

This will entirely depend on your content. If you post about a variety of topics, it’s better to set a separate section for each topic.

This makes it easier for users to find the relevant material to their search query and, also, makes it easier for Pinterest to understand what your pins are about in order to suggest them under the right search terms.

And the section title should have relevant keywords and should give a clear idea to the user and Pinterest of what kind of pins it includes.

Creating Pins

Now this is where most of the work lies. Creating attractive and relevant pins that will drive the user to interact with it, either on Pinterest or through clicking the link to your website.

As I am not exactly an expert on this yet, I can only tell you what I found to have been working, looking at the most popular Pinterest accounts out there.

In order to create an attractive pin, you need to consider three main aspects:

A. Image size

The ideal Pinterest image size as of 2019 is 600 x 900 pixels. And it’s important to note that super long images are no longer working on Pinterest, so you don’t want your image to be much longer than this range between 600 x 900 and 735 x 1102 (which is generally a 2:3 ratio) to be on the good side of Pineterst’s algorithms.

Some articles I read claim sometimes a square-sized image (600 x 600) can do you well with traffic because, for mobile users, it is the fastest to load. And one of Google’s most important SEO aspects is speed for mobile users, with that being said, it makes sense if it would favor showing a faster loading pin.

You can also see that Pinterest now gives you the option to share your Instagram photos, which are ideally square-sized ones.

So while the ideal Pinterest image size is bigger than that, it won’t hurt to add a smaller sized pin for one of your posts every now and then and monitor the performance.

Remember that Google Image search results page shows Pinterest images, so don’t forget Google’s SEO when setting up your Pinterest.

B. Photo quality

This goes without saying, but in order to have an attractive pin you need to make sure that the photo you are using is of high quality. Pay attention to the colors and the contrast.

The photo should also be relevant to the topic and one that conveys the message you are trying to give to the user.

C. Text overlay

Whether you actually need to add text or not will depend on your content. Some Pins wouldn’t necessarily need text to deliver the point, while others would make no sense without a text overlay.

When adding text, you should make sure that it’s bold and clear, and that it compliments the photo and not just adding visual noise to it.

You can do this by trying to use proper, readable font styles and font size and use coherent colors that goes well with the colors of your photo.

You can experiment with different photos and fonts and monitor their performance until you figure out which style works best for your content and gets the most interactions.

Creating Infographics

Infographics are a very good type of pin on Pinterest; and it works well for mostly every niche as it directly provides information to the user.

This will hopefully also create a bigger motive for them to read more into the topic and, therefore, will result in a click-through to your website. Or can result in sharing your pin, which is just as good.

When creating an infographic, there are a few things you would need to pay attention to:

  • Creating useful content. Beneficial and useful content is important for an infographic. You need to bring the “info” to infographic.
  • Engaging content. While focusing on the quality of the information, try to put it in a way that will get a reaction out of the viewer. This can be through asking an intriguing question or adding a motivational, funny or even shocking sentences/info. (This may not be an option for every post, but just keep it mind.)
  • Using the right layout to deliver your message. Try searching for similar keywords to your topic and see what is the most popular? Is it lists? Is it illustrations? Is it charts? The content of the specific post you’ll link to may also decide that for you.
  • Organized look. Regardless of the layout you will decide to use, make sure that it is organized and easy to read, don’t overcrowd it with information or use fonts that are too small to read.
  • Always remember mobile users. You might want to check how your pin will look on a mobile phone to make sure it’s clear enough.

How to drive traffic to your Pinterest account

Alongside the number one factor in driving traffic which is using the right keywords and adding them to your titles and descriptions, here are four more tips that can help increase traffic to your Pinterest account.

A. Consistency

One thing that I found in common in all the articles I read is that being active on Pinterest is one the of the important factors in generating traffic to your Pinterest account.

So, just like with blogging, consistency is key in gaining audience and driving traffic.

It is best if you are adding pins daily. However, not everyone has enough time to login and add a new pin every single day, so Pinterest facilitated that for you by giving business accounts the option to schedule pins in advance; you can schedule up to 30 pins.

There is another way that I found a lot of users recommending and that is using Tailwind. It is an app that allows you to schedule pins to share on your Pinterest, among many other perks.

It is also approved by Pinterest, so it is safe to use. I honestly haven’t tried it (and I don’t plan to soon), so I can’t vouch for it, but I have only read good reviews about it.

B. Repin related pins

Another thing that can help your account be recognized on Pinterest is if you repin from other accounts that are related to your niche or things that those who would be interested in your content, might also be interested in seeing.

You can create a separate board on your account for those pins you add from other people and save those pins there, to keep everything organized.

C. Join group boards

Joining group boards on Pinterest that post about similar topics to yours, helps your account get recognized by visitors interested in this topic.

When you join a Pinterest group, you each add your pins and then repin each other’s pins to your board.

This way you get more exposure through the other accounts’ following and increase your Pin’s popularity by increasing its impressions and repin rates.

However, when joining borads, make sure to join ones that are in fact related to your niche and ones that aren’t overcrowded with members, a good number would maybe range between 20-25 members, as it is said that Pinterest has been paying more attention to group boards due to high pinning/repinning ratios which can equate spamming.

D. Use #hashtags

On Pinterest, you can use hashtags like you do on Twitter; and it is said that this can increase your visibility on the search result page for both the actual word and the word with the hashtag, as it let’s Pinterest recognize your content as relevant to this specific topic

Usually you would add the hashtagged keywords in the description box of your Pin, after you’ve explained what your pin is about in sentences that are also rich with the relevant keywords.

Conclusion

To get more pin views on Pinterest:

The below steps are the things you need to check and fix in order to help you get more pin views on Pinterest which can hopefully lead to more traffic to your blog.

Here are the 10 tips to get out of this post.

  1. Proper size (600×900) and high quality images.
  2. Put mobile users in mind (clear and bold fonts are best).
  3. Useful and organized infographics.
  4. Use Pinterest search suggestions and category search to choose the right keywords.
  5. Proper use of Pinterest’s SEO: Make sure you use as many relevant keywords in the titles and descriptions.
  6. Use #hashtags.
  7. Remember that Google Image search results shows Pinterest images. So pay attention to Google’s SEO.
  8. Join group boards and repin related pins to your niche.
  9. Treat Pinterest like you treat your blog, in that, be consistent with pinning (preferably daily).
  10. Create new pins for old posts. Pinterest likes active accounts with new pins.
10 tips to get more pin views on Pinterest.
Still experimenting with colors and fonts myself… Click to Pin it on Pinterest.

Till next week, happy days!

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The Simplest Guide To SEO For Beginners

What is SEO? And how do you use it to drive more traffic to your website? In this post you will find a simple and detailed explanation with practical steps to follow.

SEO was one of the topics on my list that I knew I had to learn about, but I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it.

It was not as intimidating as getting into the stock market, but still it was one of those things that I just kept postponing. However, I know if I ever plan on using this platform to reach more people, and perhaps convert it into a source of income at some point, I will need to step into the SEO territory.

And so I ended up consuming dozens upon dozens of articles and videos on this topic, and then this post was created.

I have applied most of these techniques on my own website; some of them I already knew and some were brand new to me. But hopefully they will all be useful to you.


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Now let’s start with the most basic question of all.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is to optimize your website to rank higher on search engines in order to be seen by users and, therefore, get more traffic.

Why do you need to learn about SEO?

I think we can all agree that everyone with a website or a blog, their main goal is to reach people, and one way of doing that is if people can find your website when they search for related topics online.

Knowing SEO is the most effective way to know how search engines work and what users want; and this way you will have the tools to adjust your website accordingly and eventually drive more traffic to your site.

Google has been the number 1 search engine forever. And it doesn’t seem like this is going to change any time soon. So it is a wise decision to start learning about the criteria on which this search engine ranks websites.

How do you know your current ranking on Google?

If you want to know your current ranking on Google, you can simply go to Google Search Console.

If you don’t already have an account, set up an account there and add your website. It will take a while before they pull up the details and the data of your website, but you will eventually have an understanding of where your website stands at the moment.

This tool shows you which queries you have been ranked for, what was your rank position, the countries in which your website appeared on a search result page, which pages exactly appeared, and how many clicks your pages received.

So it pretty much sums up all the information you need to know to figure out your current position; and it also gives you an idea of what you need to work on to rank higher in terms of keywords and pages on your website.

How can you rank higher on Google?

There are things you need to do on your own website, and then there are things you need to work on off-site.

On-site SEO

First I would like to take a moment here to brag, if you don’t mind. Because I actually found that I had knowledge in this area through a previous work experience (which I never thought was ever going to benefit me in anyway, but then here we are!), so this was an interesting part for me to read about because most of it was quite familiar.

And this also made it easier for me to explain it here.

Now, back to on-site SEO, in order to have Google search engine recognize your website and its content and actually trust you as a source to show on the first page, there are a few things that you need to check on your website first.

There is a technical aspect to this and then there is the content aspect.

Technical aspect

Here are 3 technical traps you need to check and fix on your website:

1. Mobile usability

You need to make sure that your website and its content are mobile friendly; meaning it can be viewed just as clearly and easily on a mobile phone as it would on a desktop.

This is because the majority of Internet users actually use their phones to perform a search. If your website is not adjusted for a mobile view, it will not be suggested in the results on a mobile phone.

To make sure your website is in fact mobile friendly you can use Google’s free Mobile Friendly Tool. All you have to do is enter your website’s URL and it will tell you whether your site is mobile friendly or not.

In order to adjust your website pages to become mobile friendly, you can either hire a web designer to do this for you from websites like Upwork or Fiverr or you can simply choose a theme that is marked as a responsive theme. (WordPress has plenty of options for themes that are mobile friendly).

If you want to know more ways on how to create a responsive website, you can read this article.

2. Loading speed

Another major factor that will affect whether you rank on Google’s first page or not is how fast your website loads.

The typical loading speed for a website should be 3 seconds or less. So, you should make sure that your website does not take longer than that.

To check your current loading speed, you can do so through entering your website’s URL into Pingdom, another free tool. You may want to check the speed from more than one location to figure out your average.

To decrease the loading time of your website you can try some of these tips.

3. Broken links

The third tip is to check your website for any broken links or 404 pages. These may stem from a link to an article within your website that no longer exists, or an article that has been merged into another, or you linking to an external article that has been moved or deleted.

To check if your website has any broken links, you can use this Free Broken Link Checker, it scans your entire website for any broken links whether they link to internal posts or external websites.

I actually had no idea I had broken links on here, but I was shocked to find I had 12 of them! Thankfully, all fixed now.

Note that the existence of broken links on your website decreases your website’s status as a credible and authoritative source and therefore Google’s analysis system will not be favoring it.

Content aspect

This content aspect has a few key points that you will need to pay attention to. They may seem like a lot, but they are easy to work on and fix.

1. Quality

This is one of the most important, if not the most important, aspect to be considered on a first page results. Your website needs to have quality content; quality means you need to have content that will add value to the reader. Here’s what to focus on:

A. Unique content

It’s not enough to write about a topic that everyone wants to read about; it needs to have something different.

If you write the same information that every other website has, there is no reason for Google to choose you over them, especially if yours is a new website and therefore doesn’t have authority.

You can implement unique content in different ways; the simple one is by adding your own data based on research you made on the topics, or maybe finding something that everyone has a common opinion about and draw a different light on that topic and discuss it from a different perspective that no one tried before.

You’re mainly going to need to use your creativity here. You may also find inspiration from posts like this one by Gurru Says, which suggests a number of blog post ideas that can suit a variety of niches.

B. Elaborative posts

While you can find a short post ranking on the first 3 spots on a Google search results page, the majority of the top ranking posts are actually long ones. And the reason for this is because a long post indicates knowledge and extensive information provided that will benefit the person who is looking to learn about a specific topic.

Also, if your post is too short, it will most likely cause a high bounce rate, which is the rate a user leaves your website at, so the longer and more engaging the content, the higher the amount of time a user will spend on your website.

This sends a signal to Google that this website has value, and it starts increasing your ranks for those specific queries that these users found your website through.

However, how to define a “long” post would mainly depend on the niche of the website. You may want to read about how long should blog articles be by Neil Patel.

2. Keywords

This is basically the key to how you would rank; if you do every thing on this list and you are not using the right keyword you will still not rank.

First, let’s see what it means to target a keyword.

When you use a search engine, you search for a word or a combination of words to find what you are looking for.

Example

Let’s say you search for “dog food” on Google.

This search term can have two main intents:

You either want to buy dog food, or you want to know about good dog food brands.

Now, in this scenario, I have a website that sells pet food and accessories and such.

In order for me to rank in this search query, I need to have the following:

  • The words dog + food used frequently on my website (I can check how many times I should use a word to rank by googling that word, clicking on the top result, and Ctrl+F the word to see how many times it was used there and copy that).
  • A blog on my website that has quality content on dog food (types and brands for example)
  • Have an expressive title that shows I have relevant information on my website (Best dog food brands/what type of food should you feed your dog?/etc..)
  • Have a snippet/excerpt that explains what my website/post is about; and it should have these keywords mentioned. This snippet is what appears below the website link on the search results page and it gives a preview of the content to the user.
Google’s first page results for “dog food.”

So we now know what it means to target a keyword; it’s time to decide which keywords to target.

How to choose the right keywords:

A LOT has been said about all the different ways you can find the perfect, most profitable keywords to target, and many of those tools cost a lot of money (which is cool if that’s your thing..); however, I will list below some of my favourite (free) ones.

1. Google Search Suggestions

You can Google different words that are relevant to your niche and see what Google suggests. You can then decide between them based on how many results you find when searching for that term. The less results there is, the higher your chances of ranking.

Google auto-complete suggestions shows the most common word combinations with this query
When you search for “dog food” there is a section for questions related to this query that people asked.
At the bottom of the results page, there is a list of related search queries to the term you used.
2. Answer The Public

Answer the public is a website where you can enter a certain keyword and it will give you all the questions that has been asked about that topic online.

You can use this information to decide which questions you will answer on your posts and which words you will use to have your post appear as an answer to those questions.

This website has a paid version, which will allow you to search by region; the free version does the purpose in showing you data from all over the world.

This is also a brilliant tool to use when you have no clue what to write about on your next post!

3. Google Trends

When you enter a search term in Google Trends, it will show you where this term is mostly searched by region and it will show you the related topics to this search term.

It will also give you the option to compare between the data for this search term and another one (a competitor one for example).

This is an amazing tool because not only does it show you how popular a single word is, but also shows a graph displaying how this single keyword has been performing over the years.

This can help in your decision because if a word is increasing in popularity, then this is a possibly good choice; however, if it has been declining over time that means people are losing interest in it, so there would be no point in trying to rank there because it will be a short-lived thing.

Part of the Google Trends data results for the term “dog food,” showing how this search term has performed over the past 12 months.
4. Quora and Forums

Using websites like Quora where people ask questions about every thing in life can be of benefit. You will use the topic search for the keywords you are trying to decide about and find the questions the has the most answers.

You can also try searching Google for “keyword: forum” and explore the first few results there; go to the forums and find the topics that has the highest interaction and this should be an indicator to the type of topics that many people who are interested in this niche are discussing.

You can find a list of other keyword tools (free and paid) in this article.

3. Voice Search

Optimizing your website for voice search is one of the things that can help you rank higher because many people (2 out of 3 adults) are now depending on voice tools like Siri and Alexa, and they use these to ask questions.

You will want to learn about how to optimize your website for voice search.

Because if you can create content that answers the type of questions a user asks using a voice search, you will definitely increase your chances of ranking higher on the web search results page.

Off-site SEO

And here comes the other part of setting up your website to rank higher, and that is the off-site part. This basically consists of one main thing:

Building Authority

Authority means that your website is a trusted and reliable source of information.

Now how would Google analysis systems know that?

Simple, the more websites link back to your content, the higher your authority is to Google.

But not just any websites, the websites that link back to yours need to be authority ones themselves in that niche too. This is called backlinking.

This can be a little tricky, because this will mainly rely on the responses you will get from other people. However, how you would go about this is you search for those with very popular websites within your niche. You can type your niche keywords to find such sites.

Then you will have three routes available:

  • You can check if these websites accept guest posts and try to write a post for them, so that you will have a link back to your website on their website (in the about section at the bottom of your article).
  • You can contact these website owners and tell them you have a post that discusses a similar topic to what they published and check if they can link to your post (not likely to work in most cases, but it won’t hurt to try).
  • Another option is to use a tool that displays data about a certain website/article and all the websites that has shared them. You can then check those websites and pick the ones that share a high number of the same topics, and contact those ones and send them yours. They would most likely share it too.

You can read this step-by-step article on how to find and contact potential websites to link to your post.

Internal backlinking

After you have created some backlinks for your posts from authority websites, it will make it easier to build authority for other posts in the future through using internal linking.

This is you referring/linking to your newly created post in one of your older posts that has been previously backlinked through authority sites and has already become an authority page.

This way your new post is already linked to through an authority page and you didn’t have to contact anyone for it.

Simplest guide to seo for beginners on pinterest
Click to Pin It on Pinterest.

And we have come to the end of this guide. Hopefully, this content was sufficient to understand basic SEO and to start implementing those tips into your own website for better rankings.

Till next week, happy days!

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