Optimizing your Pinterest profile can do wonders when it comes to getting more traffic from Pinterest. I don’t need to tell you that Pinterest can be a huge source of traffic for your website—but it’s usually a big time commitment to attract more clicks from Pinterest. That being said, I used a quick trick recently on December 31, 2016 to increase my Pinterest traffic by 346% in just twenty minutes. And it’s something you can do to optimize your Pinterest profile and get more Pinterest traffic too.
Optimizing my Pinterest Profile Increased Pinterest Traffic
Here’s a shot of my Pinterest Analytics, looking at my audience reach for Dec 1 – Jan 31:
That’s a pretty nice bump on Jan 1, right after I spent 20 minutes optimizing my Pinterest profile! But of course, what we really care about is how many of those people came to my site.
Here’s a shot of sessions from Pinterest for the same time period:
We’re looking at a 346% increase in Pinterest traffic in Dec versus Jan. (The last data point is only 2 days versus 7 days.)
The best part is I spent only 20 minutes to create this bump!
How I optimized my Pinterest to increase traffic 346% in 20 minutes
I’ve talked in the past about how to do Pinterest SEO and how to optimize Pinterest for better traffic but hadn’t yet put it into action for myself. Clearly, optimizing my profile worked if you look at the results above!
Here’s exactly what I did:
- Renamed my profile to place keywords in the front of my profile name
- Wrote a better keyword-rich description for my profile
- Renamed boards to most popular keywords in my topic areas
- Wrote better keyword-rich descriptions for my boards
- Make boards that were underperforming or no longer relevant to my site secret (Don’t delete boards! You can lose followers if you delete boards so instead make them secret.)
I used Google’s Keyword Planner Tool and Pinterest to select the right keywords for my optimization work. (Related: Learn how to find keywords on Pinterest)
Step One: Choose your Pinterest Keywords
The first step before you dive in to start doing these actions is to figure out what your keywords should be. Pinterest is much simpler than Google when it comes to keyword targeting because Pinterest users tend to put in single phrases into Pinterest search. Using broader terms is usually a good move for Pinterest (which isn’t always the case for Google!).
- Write down your main topic areas you want to target.
- Search broad terms in Pinterest and see what’s turning up. If pins that show up aren’t your topic area, try another keyword.
- Gather together these keyword ideas from Pinterest. Rumor has it these ideas are in order of popularity—but I personally give the side eye to this because it doesn’t always seem to be true.
- Take it to Google and see what keywords of your ideas tend to have the most search traffic volume. Sure, this is a guess because it’s Google searches rather than Pinterest and the platforms aren’t the same—but it’s an educated guess.
When it comes to Pinterest profile optimization, we want to pick keywords that are going to bring traffic and attention to our pins so using data and doing a bit of research is the best way to ensure this will happen.
Step Two: Optimize your Pinterest Profile
Now start putting these keywords in the right places! Start with your profile itself with your broadest keywords you discovered.
- Change your Pinterest Business Name to use your main keyword(s). You’ll still want your name in there but putting your keywords towards the front helps to optimize your profile more.
- Add a profile picture that has your main keyword(s) and business name in your alt text. I’m not sure if this truly helps Pinterest SEO but it’s best practices for regular SEO! (Getting your profile to rank in Google is also part of this too so that’s why we should care about this.)
- If your profile is relatively new, you can change your URL to include keywords, which can help with Google ranking. Since I’ve had my profile for years and I don’t want to create other issues, I left this alone.
- Add a keyword-rich description and a call to action in your Pinterest profile description. Be sure to also use a tracking code in your URL to see what clicks you’re getting on that CTA!
Doing this step alone after finding your keywords seems to make the biggest difference after testing it out with other accounts—so if you’re short on time, at least do this step. You also want to make sure you have your website link in there too (duh).
Step Three: Hide Irrelevant Boards to Increase Relevancy and Engagement
If you’re anything like me, your Pinterest account has some boards that are completely irrelevant to what you’re offering to your audience now. It’s a good idea to clean them up so your focus is clear to new profile visitors!
Above all, DO NOT DELETE BOARDS. Just hide them instead by making them secret.
This is a mistake you want to avoid if you can. If someone only follows one of these irrelevant boards and you delete it, you’ll lose that follower. Some folks believe you do want to delete the boards so you lose unengaged followers who don’t care about the rest of your account—but I tend to disagree here. Follower counts do matter because they’re a sign of relevancy and reach!
For instance, this is a past board I had for an opt-in sequence I no longer offer. While these followers were likely focused on my opt-in, they’re still in the broad interest category I want for followers. So I made it secret! If you have boards that are personal you want to get rid of on your business account, however, deleting them might be a good idea if you don’t mind losing followers but having a more targeted follower base.
Step Four: Optimize Boards
Next, you’ll want to use your less broad keywords that are specific to your board content and optimize your boards.
- Update the name of your board to use your main topic keyword for the content on this board. For instance, this board is about “SEO tips” so I chose this title.
- Write a description that’s around 50 words that uses a few different keywords to describe your content on this board. For instance, I used “SEO” “search engine optimization” and “SEO tips.”
In the past, I worried a lot about choosing the right category a lot. While it still matters, I personally tend to stress about it less because there isn’t an ideal category for my content! If there’s a clear category, pick it. If not, just pick what you think might be best. (Related: How to choose the right Pinterest board category)
Next Steps: Continue Pinterest Traffic Growth After Optimizing Your Profile
Now that I’m getting more attention to my profile, it’s time to start pinning more often. Yes, that means a bigger time commitment but being active on Pinterest is the only way to really make sustainable traffic gains.
Pinterest gives priority to websites that are active on Pinterest in the Smart Feed. In other words, if you’re actively participating in the Pinterest community, your pins are more likely to show to your followers in their feeds as well as to individuals who don’t follow you. By being active on Pinterest, you can reach a new audience who has never “met” you before even if they’re not following you. Isn’t that what we all want? To expand our audiences? So that means pinning regularly.
Here’s what I recommend as next steps to keep building your momentum on Pinterest:
- Plan Out Additional Boards: You probably discovered during keyword research there are other boards you could create to get more traffic. I recommend planning out at least a few new boards based on your research and making a plan to start pinning to them over the next 30 days.
- Optimize Previous Pins: Now that you know how to optimize boards and profiles, the next optimization is your pins. Go through your pins of your own content and use the same process to add relevant keywords to your descriptions. You should also optimizing pins created at your site using this tutorial to hide Pinterest specific information so you don’t create an SEO problem.
- Create and keep a pinning schedule: I recommend scheduling no more than 30 pins per day because after that point, you don’t get any more Pinterest benefits according to my gal-pal Kate Ahl at Simple Pin Media. Start off with 10 per day as a good starting point!