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The Beginner’s Guide to Pinterest and How to Use it to Your Advantage

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    Most likely you’re familiar with the Pinterest craze. You’ve heard people rave about it and despite the fact you’ve never been one to get your business on all the social media platforms, Pinterest has sparked your curiosity. And with good reason too.

    Pinterest, a highly visual Social Ads platform, has boomed significantly since its launch in 2010 with over 70million users to date. It’s a platform that allows you to collect and sort online content. Once this content (images, articles and videos) has been shared on Pinterest, you’re able to ‘pin’ it on boards customised to your industry and interests. The boards you create can be anything from online marketing tips, to products you love or useful infographics. The possibilities are endless.

    But this isn’t only what Pinterest is limited too. From a business perspective, it’s a one-stop-place for content vision, open networking and outreach opportunities. When used to its full potential, Pinterest can even assist in driving traffic to your website that’s rich in SEO benefits. Want to know more about this influential tool? Read on!

    1. What is Pinterest for?

    Despite popular belief, Pinterest isn’t just related to recipes, wedding dresses and fashion.  Your business doesn’t need to be product-based to take advantage of it and you don’t have to be building a house. The Pinterest platform is flooded with industry influencers, business people, designers and oodles of high profiled individuals you can be connecting with or building from.
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    2. Following Boards that Reflect Your Industry

    After you’ve created your account (you can sign up with your email address or connect Pinterest to your Facebook / Twitter profile), you want to start following some boards. Pinterest will point you in the direction of the most popular categories so find ones that best fit with your industry and interests. These boards are just to get you started and as you find people in your industry or other user accounts, you’ll find more relevant boards to follow. For example: if your business is gardening equipment search in the “gardening” and “outdoors” section to follow boards there. If your business were in the home building industry, “architecture” and “design” categories would be ideal.

    The more relevant boards you follow, the more content you have access to in your newsfeed to ‘re-pin’ onto your own boards. By being active on Pinterest and ‘re-pinning’ content relevant to your industry, other users are more likely to notice your brand and follow your boards.

    3. Creating Your Own Boards

    Whilst you definitely want to use Pinterest to help promote your business, you don’t want to spam other users with self-promoting content. Be a little bit more creative! The Pinterest community works better when you contribute more – but not just your own products or projects.

    A good way to do this is by ‘pinning’ content from other user’s boards that inspire your industry or brand. For example: if your business is gardening equipment you can ‘pin’ gardening tips that would be beneficial to other users, or images of stunning outdoor areas you’re motivated by.  If you’re in online marketing, you can ‘pin’ useful and relevant infographics or the latest tech products. This will still draw people into your Pinterest network, get your brand noticed and grow your community.
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    4. ‘Pinning’ Content and Making Your Descriptions SEO Friendly

    Every time you ‘pin’ content, you’re asked by Pinterest to choose a board and give your pin a description. From an SEO perspective, these descriptions are your best friend and must be utilised properly. Most times when you ‘pin’ other user’s content their original description will be automatically included – take the time to change this to something more relevant, comprehensive and that utilises your keywords.

    In each pin description you have 500 characters to make use of. Like with the content on your website, you want to incorporate SEO-friendly keywords into the description text but relevancy is vital. Use relevant hashtags too, which will further promote your piece. Similar to Twitter, you can search for content on Pinterest by hashtags so including them is essential. For example: if you have ‘pinned’ an infographic image about the anatomy of content marketing, you could write – Infographic of the day; the anatomy of content marketing and how to make it work for you. #contentmarketing, #infographic, #onlinemarketing, #SEO, #businessmarketing.

    Your Pinterest profile section is another important place to utilise SEO-friendly keywords and a relevant write up. A useful Pinterest profile (in the about section) will include your name, business name, website URL and appropriate keywords to your industry. It’s this profile – and the 200 characters you get – that’ll be visible in both Pinterest and Google searches.
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    5. Google’s Love for Pinterest

    One of the best parts of Pinterest is Google thrives off it and tends to rank Pinterest boards higher up in their search results. The SEO benefits mentioned above are crucial in helping your ‘pinned’ content be found by major search engines like Google and consequently, getting people back to your website.

    To get the full benefits of Google’s love for Pinterest, you need to make sure you account is visible to search engines. This can be found in your account settings. Ensure the privacy feature is switched off so search engines can find your account. For smaller businesses or websites that don’t tend to get a lot of traffic, Google’s relationship with Pinterest can be super ideal. This article provides some great tips and improving your search rankings with Pinterest.

    6. Pinterest Web Analytics

    Like Google, Pinterest now have web analytics to monitor your boards’ popularity and give you all the back end information. To access Pinterest analytics (PA), you’ll need to switch you account to a business account. This is really easy to do – just head to settings and ‘switch to a business account’. Everything is very similar to the personal account, but you’ll be able to verify your website URL to link the two together.

    If you’re familiar with Google Analytics, PA doesn’t fall far from it – its just not as comprehensive. From these stats, PA reveals who’s ‘pinning’ your content and what their interest are. This is beneficial to help produce content directed to them. You can also find out the number of ‘re-pins’ and clicks content gets, and you can view in real time what content is being ‘pinned’ (either on you website or on your Pinterest account). 

    Pinterest isn’t just any social media platform; it’s now generating more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

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