There’s a lot to learn about Pinterest marketing. So many businesses go under because they fail at Pinterest marketing. If you’re an experienced online marketer you’re better off, but might still be lacking important strategies that are unique to Pinterest. Miss them, and you’ll lose out on a ton of traffic.
I know this for a fact, because up until recently I’d been making some pretty epic blunders myself. Thanks to a few adjustments that I made over the course of six weeks, my monthly views are up 500% and pin saves for my posts are up 700%.
Note: Pin scheduler Traffic Wonker has sadly gone out of business, but owner and CEO Andy Fling has given me permission to share his useful Pinterest research and other information on my site. I jumped at the chance as Andy is the smartest guy I know when it comes to Pinterest!
Here’s a chart to show you what happened after I implemented specific strategies:
Pinterest Marketing Fail #1: Your Pin Images Aren’t Pretty
Pins don’t have to be fancy to be effective, but they do need to be attractive. I’m the founder and graphic designer for TrafficWonker, and I accept freelance design work on occasion. I’ll share what I feel are your pins image/design issues based on my experience, to help you create attractive pins that get clicked more often. This is so critical to your Pinterest marketing strategy.
Font Problems – Many Pinterest marketers use fonts that are hard to read, or the font size is far too small. Shoot for readability, by choosing fonts that are legible and large enough ready easily.
Color Problems – The thing that sends me running from a pin more than anything else is a bad color combination. It screams, “Bad Content.” It’s not always, true, but it happens often enough that I prefer to skip it
If you haven’t picked out your brand colors yet, check the Coolors.co color generator. You can also just search for a color palette. Type “color palette” and a color or two into Google images and you’ll find a bunch of great choices.
Overloaded – Some pins try to do too much. They include a title, clip art, thumbnail images, and additional text. The title is certainly a must-have. Adding a design element makes your pin more memorable, so that’s good too. Adding thumbnails takes it one step too far. They just add clutter, and Pinterest visitors can’t read them anyway.
Too Dark – This is a Pinterest specific problem, and one of my design issues. I did have bright colors, but too many pins weren’t pulling their weight. I started designing pins that were more bright and colorful, and then had my first TrafficWonker viral pin. My How to Use TrafficWonker to Skyrocket Your Pinterest Traffic, post has been up for about six weeks now, and my social media buttons report 752 shares.
Here is a related post on the Perfect Pinterest Pin.
Pinterest Marketing Fail #2: Your Blog Post Title is a Dud
If you’ve written a weak post title, it’s not too late to fix it. As the owner of the elementary music website, MakingMusicFun.net, I figured out my formula for writing great page titles. All I needed to do was write a keyword-rich title that clearly described the product. I didn’t need to give a single thought to word balance or power words – except for the word “free” that is.
Canon in D | Easy Piano Sheet Music
Color That Note | Free Note Name Worksheet
With this straightforward approach I built the most successful elementary music site on the Internet, driving as many as 700K visitors a month to my site.
As a Pinterest marketing blog post title writer, I was pretty average until I started testing my headlines with CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.
You just paste your title in the box and click. The tool reviews your post title based on four metrics, and assigns a score. When I put my post titles to the test, most of them scored in the 50s and 60s. With a little trial and error I got them scoring in the 70s, and more people started visiting my posts. I tested other blogger’s posts too, and I’ve yet to see a score higher than 78. It seems this tool is a bit like those college professors who were reluctant to give anyone an “A.” If you can bear living through that experience again, this tool will be one of your favorites.
Pinterest Marketing Fail #3: Pin Images Are the Wrong Size
In a recent interview, Pinterest shared that the optimal pin size is 600 x 900 pixels. Designing your pins at this 2:3 ratio will help your pins to perform well on all versions of Pinterest (desktop, tablet, mobile). I personally don’t recommend designing pin images that have such a large file size, because you want your site to be optimized for Google too. Adding giant images slows down page load time and hurts your ranking. Instead, design pins that are 250×375 pixels (2:3 Ratio) to 250×500 pixels (1:2 Ratio). Pin images in this range work great. If you go much taller, Pinterest crops your pin.
Pinterest Marketing Fail #4: You Didn’t Include a Pin Description
Oops! Sometimes that’s just a mistake. It’s happened to me. If you didn’t add pin descriptions on purpose, this change will be the best decision you’ll ever make.
Pinterest doesn’t know how to read your image. The Pinterest bots crawl pins looking for keywords. They look at the pin description, at the page you linked to on your site, and they look at information stored with the pin image, the most important of which is the pin description. Add descriptions to every pin that clearly define your post or product, including keywords that visitors are likely to type.
Pinterest Marketing Fail #5: Spelling Errors
When I’m searching for something with Google, I don’t bother fixing spelling errors anymore. Google just says, “Okay, you’re an idiot, but I know what you want.” A second later Google shows me exactly what I wanted… most of the time. Pinterest isn’t that smart yet. If you misspell a word, you either don’t find anything or you’re matched with the other people that have a hard time spelling that word too. Word processors can help correct spelling errors, or you can use the free version of Grammarly to catch spelling errors.
Pinterest Marketing Fail #6: Your Pin Descriptions Don’t Encourage Clicks
When Pinterest was brand new, I created an account to drive traffic to my elementary music site. I pasted the title and the URL in the description box, and added it to a board. That worked well, but there was certainly room for improvement.
I tried keeping it simple with TrafficWonker too, but saw only modest success. I was in the Pinterest marketing world now with some pretty tough competition. When I began telling people a story about how my post is valuable and ended with a call-to-action, saves and clicks grew substantially.
Here are a couple examples of what I’m doing now:
Pin Description for TrafficWonker
This Ultimate Pinterest Beginner’s Guide Will Take You from Absolute Beginner to Pinterest Marketing Superhero. Click to Get the Superpowers That Will Make You a Leader in Your Niche.
Pin Description for MakingMusicFun.net
Moonlight Sonata by Composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Print and Download Beginner/Easy Piano Sheet Music Edition from MakingMusicFun.net. Includes Unlimited Prints. Instrumental Solo in A Minor. Format:PDF Pages:2
Pinterest Marketing Fail #7: You Don’t Have Enough Boards
Having too few boards is a recipe for failure, because it limits the number of ways people can find you. Our study, How Many Pinterest Boards Should I Have?, indicated that while you can enjoy success on Pinterest with anywhere from 3 to 100 boards, the most successful pinners with 300K+ followers, will have 56 boards.
Pinterest Marketing Fail #8: Your Boards Don’t Have Enough Pins
Pinterest boards with less than 20 pins don’t rank well in Pinterest board search. If you really want to attract visitors, add 100+ pins to every board you have. For the boards you care about most, check out How To Be #1 in Pinterest Board Search. I share my secrets for how I ranked 51 boards in the #1 position, and 77 boards in the top ten in Pinterest board search.
Pinterest Marketing Fail #9: You Don’t Join Group Boards
Group boards are boards that many pinners post pins to. One pinner owns it, and invites other pinners to contribute.
When you join a group board you are instantly able to share your pins with the followers of every member of that group board. Because group boards are part of every contributor’s boards, your pins are visible to every one of their visitors. Many boards are closed, and most board owners don’t respond to requests to join their boards. However, don’t give up. The reward of a good group board is too great. Someone will offer you an invitation. While you’re waiting, build 3-4 group boards of your own and invite your followers to it. If your group boards take off you’ll have access to the followers of every member, and you can make the rules!
Pinterest Marketing Fail #10: You Don’t Post Other People’s Pins
I publish very few curated pins to my MakingMusicFun.net Pinterest account, because I have more than 700 product pins. With this many pins my followers are always discovering something new even if the pins have been there for years, and my monthly views average 630K.
TrafficWonker’s blog post collection is quite a bit smaller, so it’s necessary to curate fresh content that will keep my followers interested. However, for a while, I didn’t share fresh pins with my followers and monthly views went way down. When I started sharing top quality pins again, my monthly views shot up 600%, and so did the interest in my own pins. In about six weeks time my impressions jumped 400%, my pin clicks went up 450%, and pin saves for my posts jumped a whopping 700%.
Pinterest Marketing Fail #11: You Post Pins to the Wrong Board
When you add a fresh pin to Pinterest, the board title and board description are added to the pin data. Every time your pin is repinned, it carries this data forward. If your board title and description are SEO optimized, including great keywords, your pin will have a much better chance to perform well in Pinterest search. Make sure the first board you chose to add your new pin to is the most relevant board you own. After that, you can cross-promote it to less relevant boards. As an example, I posted my pin for this post to my “Pinterest Marketing” board first. Then I cross-promoted it by manually posting it to my Social Media Marketing Tips group board.
Pinterest Marketing Fail Error #12: You Don’t Post Enough Pins… or Any
According to Pew Research Center, only about 17% of your followers visit Pinterest daily. If that 17% visited Pinterest when your pin was posted to the SmartFeed that won’t be so bad, but most of them won’t see your pin.
Are you ready to make Pinterest marketing incredibly easy?
Founder and CEO of TrafficWonker.com
Here are some other posts from Andy that you might find helpful: