Whether we come right out and say it, we all want more traffic to our blog. Come on admit it, you get a lift when Google Analytics sends you an alert that you just broke your all time high unique visitor in a day record. So let's look at ways to optimize what we're doing and get more visitors. In the first of a new series, Up Your Game, I take a look at Pinterest.
One channel that I have not taken advantage of personally is Pinterest. I love Pinterest, but I haven't leveraged it as a way to get my content out there. Sure I've made half-hearted attempts, but nothing with a concrete action plan. That changes in 2014!
Susan Petersen's Tips for Maximizing Your Exposure on Pinterest
Occasionally Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked teaches classes on Alt Channel (I've taken both her Pinterest and Instagram classes). In her Pinterest 101 class, she shared the following tips on how to use Pinterest:
- Link to your Pinterest feed on your website.
- Add a Pin It button to encourage readers to pin your work onto Pinterest.
- Have a board that is very clearly your work as a resource for people that are searching for you.
- Use vertical pictures (or square pictures) instead of horizontal.
- Add text to your picture.
- Include keywords and tags in your pin's description.
- Link to some of your favorite pins in a post.
- Pin videos.
- Pin everyday, maintaining a mix of 1/2 original pins and 1/2 repins.
- Always pin from the original source (repin pins that are from original sources).
- Pin from the post, not from the blog.
Joy Cho's Tips for Using Pinterest
At Alt for Everyone last May, Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day acknowledged that Pinterest was the main driver of traffic to her blog, but that pinning her own stuff did not give her traffic a noticeable lift.
So then, if we're not pinning our own stuff, how should we incorporate Pinterest? In her Alt for Everyone keynote, Joy Cho of Oh Joy! gave us tips on how to leverage Pinterest that didn't include pinning our own work:
- Integrate Pinterest into your blog.
- Use boards to show readers behind the scenes for events you're doing, recipes you're creating, blog posts you're developing, and more.
- Caption your pins with inspiring comments. Spark imagination.
- Put your strongest boards in the top row.
How do you use Pinterest?
My Pinterest Numbers
Because I believe in transparency, I'll share the metrics for this blog. First my Pinterest stats: as of this writing, I have 51 boards, 445 pins, and 82 likes. 244 people follow my boards and I follow 71 people myself.
In February, after Alt Summit SLC, I signed up for PinAlerts and began using it to casually gauge whether or not my content was getting pinned. They send you a weekly email that tallies your pins. As you can see, with a few exceptions I mostly saw only a handful of pins.
Until I began compiling the charts for this post, I'd been thinking that Pinterest wasn't a substantial source of traffic. I'd assumed maybe 1 or 2 percent of my traffic at most was from Pinterest. (Prior to October 2012, Pinterest yielded zero referrals. I took Susan Petersen's Pinterest 101 class in September 2012.) Well, we all know what they say about assumptions. While for a fourth of 2013 my traffic from Pinterest was about 1 to 2% of my total traffic, for half of the year the traffic averaged at about 4%. In November, Pinterest referral traffic jumped to over 7% of total traffic. I know these are small percentages, but for little to no real effort that's not bad.
Two things to keep in mind with amplifying your Pinterest efforts: your overall bounce rate will probably increase and your average visit duration will probably decrease. Remember that you're playing the numbers game. You're hoping by driving more traffic to your blog that your overall subscriber number will increase and that your percentage of return visitors will increase. If you do end up driving more hit and run traffic from Pinterest, you may need to update your media kit as your overall engagement metrics shift.
What are your Pinterest numbers like?
Next month in the Up Your Game series, I'll be taking a look at Facebook, which until I launched a Facebook page for my blog did drive traffic.
P.S. Don't feel like commenting? Strike up a conversation with me elsewhere: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.