I was never a big fan of Pinterest.
I just thought it wasn’t the right fit for my blog, so I didn’t pay much attention to it.
But a huge part of successfully marketing your blog is being willing to try new things and experiment. So, I decided to try growing my blog traffic with Pinterest.
I was blown away by the results!
After a few short months of experimentation, I grew my traffic by 67.65% with Pinterest!
In this post, I’m going to break down every single step I took to make this happen, and how you can do it too.
The best part? It’s only going to take you an average of ten minutes a day.
Ten minutes a day for 67% more traffic? Yes, it’s totally possible!
So open a new tab beside this one, fire up Pinterest, and keep reading!
First, why Pinterest?
Pinterest is a search engine mixed with a social network.
It can be a huge source of traffic for websites, but is also easily overlooked. Some people assume Pinterest is only for women. Or that it’s only for home decor, crafts, recipes or fashion, and doesn’t fit into their market.
But the facts say otherwise. 40% of new Pinterest signups are men. And, all sorts of topics are popular on Pinterest, from decor and crafts to gaming, technology, business and education.
On Pinterest, you categorize your posts (what they call “pins”) onto boards. You can make a board about anything, even something like “SEO Tips for Video Game Blogs”.
When a gamer blogger searches for terms like “video game blog SEO”, your board might pop up in their results. If they like one of your pins, they’ll save it (“repin”) to one of their boards.
Every time a user saves your pin to their boards, that content also gets shown to their followers and reaches a wider audience. It’s like an exponential effect, all branching out from when you first shared it.
It’s that combination of search engine algorithm combined with the ability to follow, like, and comment on pins that make Pinterest a unique cross between a search engine and social network.
Wait, Pinterest is a search engine?
Just like Google, Pinterest uses an ever-changing algorithm, called its Smart Feed, to display relevant pins to its users.
Here’s a sample of my feed right now:
Search engines use keywords to drive their algorithm and Pinterest does too. Keywords help Pinterest know what types of content you produce, and it uses that knowledge to show it to people who are interested in it.
That means if you pin a lot of photos of cats, Pinterest is going to fill your home feed with more photos of cats. (Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.)
Or, if you pin about digital marketing, Pinterest will show you pins on topics like content marketing, social media, or SEO.
The pins that show up in your home feed aren’t just from people you follow. The algorithm suggests new pins and boards it thinks you might like from Pinterest users around the world.
So, it’ll show you pictures of cats from other continents too!
If you want to know more about how the Smart Feed works, check out this article.
The Smart Feed is what makes Pinterest such a great tool for drawing in your ideal blog reader… and it’s totally free!
How to optimize your Pinterest account for SEO
If you think you can just slap up a profile, start pinning, and watch the traffic roll in… think again.
There’s a little bit of legwork involved to make sure you’re getting the most value from Pinterest.
I fiddled with many different things over a few months while trying to get my profile and pins just right to find what works. The steps below are exactly what I did to bring in huge results.
But don’t worry, you only have to do this once, and I’m going to walk you through everything below!
Step 1: Optimize your profile
Assuming you have a Pinterest account already, you need to set up your profile.
If you don’t have an account yet, you can sign up for free here.
You may think setting up your profile is pretty straightforward. You’ve got a name field, a description, and then you can add as many boards as you like.
But remember, Pinterest is a search engine.
And what’s the best way to get found in a search engine like Google? Keywords!
Your profile needs to contain keywords in the following locations:
Name and description — For your name, don’t just type in “Neil Patel” (or even better, your own name). You need to add at least one keyword here.
This is because when people search for a topic, profiles also come up in search results. See?
As you can see, Meera’s profile does a great job of working in keywords to her name and description (blogging, email list tips, email marketing).
Here’s another example.
Say you’re a computer repair shop. Don’t just make your Pinterest name the name of your shop, like “Neil’s Computers”. Include keywords that your target customer would type in to find you.
Like this: “Neil’s Computer Repair San Francisco” — much better!
Photo — You should use the same headshot you use on all your other social networks. This will help people recognize you and know they’ve found the right Neil Patel (are there others out there?).
If you’re a company, use your logo and make sure it’s consistent across all your social channels.
Boards — Can you guess what I’m going to say? Yep, include keywords in your board names and descriptions too!
As an example, if you have a board about common computer issues, don’t just call it “Common Computer Issues”.
Call it “Computer Repair | Common Issues and How to Fix Them”. Now you have your “computer repair” keyword in there and a solid explanation of what the user can find on that board (i.e. ways to fix common issues).
For the board description field, you don’t need to write a paragraph in here. Keywords separated by commas work best.
To edit your board description, click on the board and then click the “Edit” pencil icon.
Then you can edit the description box and click Save.
Step 2: How to optimize a pin
Let’s look at the anatomy of a pin.
In this example, the name (bolded part) and description both use the keyword “pizza”. While there are thousands of pizza recipes on Pinterest, this wouldn’t show up at all if it didn’t have pizza in it.
The better your keywords in your pin, the more chance you have of showing up in the Smart Feed for people who like pizza (so… everyone).
Pinterest growth basics
Okay, now that you’ve optimized your profile, boards, and pins, you’re ready to explode your blog traffic growth!
Before we get into the exact strategies I’ve used to grow my traffic on Pinterest by over 67% in just a few months, let’s cover a few basics about how to position yourself for growth.
We’re almost to the automation part, I promise!
How many boards should you have?
There is no ideal number of boards. You can have as few or as many as you like (well, Pinterest stops you at 500).
Having more will help you get found but only if the pins inside each board are relevant and high quality.
A good rule of thumb is to keep each board very specific.
If you’re a wedding planner, don’t have a board called “Wedding Planning”. That’s a big, vague topic. Instead, break it down into specific boards, like:
- Wedding Venue Planning
- Wedding Food Planning
- Wedding Music
- Wedding Traditions
- Wedding Vows
This will help Pinterest match the content of each board to what users are searching for, which will help you get found.
How many pins should you have on each board?
A good range to stick within is 100-200 pins per board. Any less than that and looping won’t be as effective.
Wait, what!? That last sentence probably made no sense.
Don’t worry, I explain what looping is later in this article.
Any more than 200 pins on a board is a good sign your board topic should be more specific.
The most important thing when it comes to your profile is to ensure every single pin on every single board is high quality, useful, and aimed directly at your target audience.
Like everything else in life, quality over quantity.
How to grow your traffic with Pinterest group boards
Group boards are an explosive way to grow your blog traffic.
It’s like the digital equivalent of being interviewed on a talk show on network TV. Okay, maybe not that crazy, but pretty close.
When you pin something to your own boards, your followers see it, and it will be shown to other people who like the same things as your followers too (thanks to Pinterest’s algorithm).
But when you pin on a group board, the members of that board see it and – even better – they might repin your content onto their boards.
This means that their followers will see it and people similar to their followers in the Smart Feed and so on.
Not sure which boards are group boards? Look for a profile picture split in three. This means that it’s a group board.
Some group boards have tens of thousands of followers, instantly exposing your content to a huge new audience who are interested in your topic.
Pinning to group boards is essential for growing your blog traffic.
I’m going to show you how to find awesome group boards and how to join them.
Then later, we’ll talk about how to automate your group board growth with BoardBooster (the looping thing I mentioned earlier).
Step 1: Find group boards to join
Sometimes you may come across a group board related to your topic on Pinterest, but more likely than not, you’ll have to really hunt for them.
A great tool for this is PinGroupie.com.
You can filter by category and sort by the number of pins, collaborators (pinners), followers and more.
The best way to search is by typing a word into the description or title boxes and then click Filter. For example, here are my results for “content marketing”.
To check out the board on Pinterest, click on the name.
Step 2: How to join group boards
So you’ve identified some group boards you want to join, but how do you actually join them?
There are a few methods for this.
Method 1 — When you visit the group board on Pinterest, the board owner may have included directions for joining in the board’s description, like this:
As you can see, Pauline wants you to email her to join. Easy!
But what if there’s no info about how to join?
Method 2 — I like to call this the ‘hard to get’ way. If there are no clear instructions for joining the board, you’ll have to contact the board owner directly.
Here’s a trick to knowing who the board owner is: It’s always the first profile listed on the group board.
Click on that person, and send them an email with your polite request to join.
Make sure you include your Pinterest profile URL in your email so they can add you to the board if they accept your request.
If their email isn’t listed on their Pinterest profile, head over to their website and find it there.
You’ll receive a notification in your Pinterest Inbox when someone adds you to a group board. Click Accept, and you’re good to go!
Now that you’ve optimized your profile and joined some group boards, I’m going to show you how to automate all your pinning.
This will take you about 10 minutes per day and result in huge growth for your blog.
Let’s get started!
How to automate your Pinterest marketing in 10 minutes per day
This is what I really wanted to share with you today.
BoardBooster is a Pinterest scheduling and looping tool that is relatively low cost and packed with features. I’ve used it for a few months now and have seen 30% month over month follower growth, and my blog traffic from Pinterest has increased by 67%!
Here are the main features of BoardBooster:
Scheduling — You can schedule pins to post at certain times of day to specific boards.
You can also set multiple pinning windows per day, so you can have pins happening without being glued to your computer 24/7 to do it manually (a lifesaver).
Looping — Looping means BoardBooster will shuffle your pins on a specific board so that older pins rise to the top as fresh content.
This is a unique feature that’s only available in BoardBooster, and it by far makes the investment worthwhile on its own. You’ll see why soon.
Campaigns — You can set up campaigns that will schedule pins, or loop them, on specific boards. This is great for posting to group boards on a regular schedule.
You can set rules like “Pin 10 Pins from Board A to Group Board B Every 3 Days”. Campaigns help you automate your workflow so your ten minutes a day on Pinterest becomes almost zero.
Now let’s dive into how to set up each of these automation features.
Scheduling pins with BoardBooster
Login to your BoardBooster account and click on Pinning Tools -> Scheduler.
Then click Add Boards.
You’ll see a list of all your boards. Just check the ones you want to schedule pins to and click Continue.
You’ll see options for scheduling pins to this board. You can pick how many pins per day and if you want one pinning window or two.
I recommend setting two, one in the morning and one at night, to capture the highest amount of users possible.
Press Submit and BoardBooster will then create a secret board with the same name but with a dash in front: -Content Marketing | Neil Patel SEO Tips.
When you want to load up your queue, just save pins to this secret board in your Pinterest account. No one else will see it, but BoardBooster will draw from it to put pins onto the REAL “Content Marketing | Neil Patel SEO Tips” board.
Ten-minute tip: For your ten minutes a day of Pinterest marketing, just add some pins to your new secret boards. I do this a few times a week to keep my scheduler topped up with fresh content.
Looping pins with BoardBooster
Looping is the most powerful feature of BoardBooster. It allows you to effortlessly reuse old content.
BoardBooster takes your old pins near the bottom of a board and pins them to the top like they are a brand new pin. Then, it removes the pin from the bottom of the board so you don’t end up with the same pin on your board twice.
This means your followers see it again, and it gets picked up by the Smart Feed as a fresh new post… all without you having to do anything!
Just go to Pinning Tools -> Looping to get started.
Check the boards you want to loop pins on and then click Continue.
You’ll have options for when to schedule looped pins, just like the Scheduling tab, plus a few more options.
The most important things to check are:
- Use only my pins
- Enable automation deduplication (this means your board won’t get junked up by duplicate pins)
- Protection for viral duplicates – enabled
Click Submit and you’re done!
It’s very easy to set up and it’s the number one thing that’s driven so much traffic to my blog with hardly any effort on my part.
Ten minute tip: With looping set up, you need less than ten minutes a day. I recommend logging in weekly and making tweaks to your looping settings to find out what works best for you, like time of day for pins or number of pins per day.
How to use BoardBooster campaigns
Campaigns allow you to pin content from a source board onto lots of group boards at once on a set schedule.
Click on Pinning Tools -> Campaigns, then click Add New.
You can choose a Random or Scheduled campaign.
Create a Random Campaign.
Click on Add Board and pick a source board. This is where your pins will come from.
A great way to share your content to group boards automatically is to have one board on your account that contains only your content.
As you can see, I’ve set my own content from “Content Marketing | Neil Patel SEO Tips” to get pinned to five different group boards three times per day.
That’s a total of 15 pins per day that are going out to thousands of people without me having to do anything!
Once again, set the times you want to pin between and then click Save.
That’s it! So easy to set up and so powerful.
You can check to see how your campaigns are performing on the Campaigns page.
Ten-minute tip: When you’re logging in weekly to tweak looping settings, do the same for your campaigns.
How many pins per day?
Setting up BoardBooster is straightforward, but how do you know how many pins to schedule or loop per day?
I suggest scheduling between 30 – 90 pins per day, across all your boards.
Schedule 30 pins per day if you are newer and don’t have that many boards or pins and closer to 90 if you have at least 10-15 boards and a thousand or more total pins.
Another target number to aim for is to schedule pins that are 80% other people’s content and 20% your own content. This ensures you’re still getting lots of exposure without looking like you’re just in it to promote yourself.
How to measure your blog traffic growth from Pinterest
Here’s what to track to measure your growth:
Pinterest followers — The more people that follow you on Pinterest, the wider your potential audience for repins and clicks over to your blog. Pretty basic.
Since implementing the strategies outlined in this post, I’ve seen a 30% month over month follower growth on my account with hardly any effort.
Referral traffic from Pinterest — Check your Google Analytics stats to see how much of your traffic is coming from Pinterest.
If you’re not seeing much growth (under 10% positive change), that’s a sign you need to optimize your profile, boards, or pins a bit more. Try adding more keywords or scheduling more pins.
You can find your Pinterest referral data under Acquisition -> Referrals in Google Analytics.
Conversions from Pinterest — If you have conversion tracking set up in Google Analytics, keep an eye on your conversion rate from Pinterest traffic.
This will tell you if the people coming to your blog from Pinterest are your ideal audience or not.
Daily 10 minute Pinterest marketing schedule
Once you have BoardBooster automation set up, you just need to maintain it.
Here are the things you should be doing regularly. Tackle two or three of them per day, which should take about ten minutes per day or as little as 30 minutes per week once you get into the groove.
- Add pins to your secret boards (to keep scheduler running)
- Tweak looping and campaign settings, like time of day for pins, day of the week, number per day… find what works for you
- Look for new group boards to join
- Schedule and loop your content to the new group boards
- Track your follower and blog traffic stats to measure performance
- Make sure your boards have 200 or less pins each and split them into new boards if they have more
Are you excited yet?
I know this was a lot of info to get through!
I’m really surprised by my results over the past few months and how quickly it took off.
But just remember, it won’t happen overnight. It could take up to a few months to see big results like I did. Allow yourself time to test out keywords, build up your boards, and grow a following.
It’s crucial that you optimize your profile, boards, and pins with keywords first to optimize your chances of success. Pinning on group boards is also super important. Group boards exponentially increase the reach of your content.
Another key thing is automation.
Without scheduling and looping your pins, you won’t see huge traffic growth. Paying for a tool like BoardBooster may seem unnecessary since using Pinterest is free, but investing in automation will substantially increase your chances of success with this plan.
There are other scheduling tools out there, like Tailwind, but I was blown away by BoardBooster’s unique looping feature. I think it’s one of the main reasons I was able to grow so quickly, so I really suggest you try it out.
I wish I started automating my Pinterest marketing a long time ago!
Do you already promote your blog with Pinterest? What are the best strategies you’ve tried so far?