AddThis Academy

An ever-growing library of resources to help you become a better online marketer.

How to Drive Traffic and Reach New Users with Pinterest

How to drive traffic with Pinterest

If you’re a B2C or B2B company and haven’t considered Pinterest a viable source of traffic for your website, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. Because Pinterest is primarily a visual experience, it’s a great place for your product and content marketing images to shine.

Additionally, more than half of all traffic to Pinterest is from mobile browsers, which means by posting more frequently to Pinterest, you have the chance to increase your mobile presence. Pinterest users are always looking for fresh, new content to share with their audiences.

Here are 7 tips for driving traffic and reaching new users with Pinterest.

1. Add Your Website to Your Pinterest Profile

One of the most important things you can do for your business on Pinterest is to verify your website inside your Pinterest account. Why is this step important? Having a verified account on Pinterest increases consumer trust. Whether you’re a small-time blogger or large corporation, you can verify your website as long as it belongs to you. Anybody can put your domain into their profile, but without the ‘check mark of trust,’ it isn’t official.

To add your website, you will need to click on your Pinterest profile image in the top right corner and select “Settings”. Here, you can edit your profile and add your website domain.

pinterest profile

For detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to verify your account, click here. Once you’re verified, your website will receive a check mark next to it to indicate that the website does belong to you. Here’s what the AddThis site confirmation looks like in our Pinterest settings.

pinterest profile url

Verified accounts also stand out when users search for certain brands. For instance, if you search under “Pinners” for Zappos in the search bar, the results will show which account is the verified one. A small red check mark shows up next to the verified business name.

zappos pinterest page

Another benefit of having a Pinterest verified account is the ability to receive detailed insights into what’s being pinned on Pinterest from your website. You can also see traffic spikes as a result of people clicking on your pins through Pinterest’s own Analytics tab.

2. Take Advantage of the Pinterest Pin It Button

It’s easier than ever to create pins directly from your website using the Pinterest Pin It Button. This means that you and your website visitors can create a pin out of virtually anything that lives on your site. This is a great way to drive additional sharing to Pinterest, which in turn will drive more traffic back to your site.

pinterest pin it button

You can also add image sharing buttons directly to your website’s images. When a visitor hovers over one of your website’s image with their cursor, a Pinterest Pin It Button will appear, making it easy for people to pin that image. To add these buttons to your site, check out AddThis Image Sharing.

Below is an example of how these buttons on the AddThis blog.

image sharing buttons example

3. Optimize Your Images

Pinterest is a social media platform that provides viewers with great visual inspiration to add to their own Pinterest boards. If you don’t have compelling or attractive images, it’s unlikely your content will be re-pinned or shared.

According to Pinterest, the best aspect ratio for Pinterest images is between 2:3 and 1:3.5, with a minimum width of 600 pixels. Taller pins take up more space in feeds, which means they get more attention.

The quality of your image will have a large impact on how it’s engaged with on Pinterest. The most shared images on Pinterest are clean, bold, colorful, and aesthetically appealing.

For example: Etsy, the online marketplace where people connect to make, sell and buy unique goods, is nailing Pinterest. With multiple boards of 100 pins or more, clean, high-res images, bright and bold colors, and captivating captions, they’re hard to miss on this social media platform.

etsy pinterest pins

4. Post at the Right Time

Like all social media platforms, the frequency and timing of your posts on Pinterest can make a huge impact on your engagement rate, specifically the amount of clicks and traffic driven to your site. As for frequency, research suggests you should pin anywhere from 5 to 30 times per day to see the most engagement.

Since repins are one of the best ways to grow your own following, users need to see your pins. According to HubSpot, the best time to post on Pinterest is in the evening, especially Saturdays from 8:00-11:00 pm. Other prime times to pin include daily from 2:00-4:00 am and 2:00-4:00 pm., and Fridays around 3:00 pm. Our own research at AddThis shows that the most popular times for people to pin content to Pinterest is Monday from 9:00-10:00 pm ET.

best times to post on social media

5. Have Your Pins Redirect to Your Website

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a marketer on Pinterest is neglecting to redirect the source of your pin back to your website. The source should be your URL, which is ultimately where you want users to be sent when they click on the pin. Even if people are sharing your pin hundreds of times on Pinterest, it doesn’t serve the purpose of driving traffic when nobody can click-through to your site.

To redirect an image, you need to edit the pin and modify its source. Pinterest gives you the option to change the source of any pin you have uploaded. Here’s how you can make sure your URL is listed as the source on the pin:

  1. Click on your uploaded pin
  2. Select ‘Edit’
  3. Enter your URL in the “Website” field
  4. Click “Save”

pin redirect

Target, for example, does this on its images uploaded to Pinterest. When a user clicks on the image, they’re redirected to Target’s website. It also states the the pin is “from Target” right before the caption. This is what shows when they have their URL listed as the source on the pin:

target pinterest pins

6. Build a Solid Presence

You can’t expect Pinterest users to come to your website if you aren’t present on the platform. You can increase engagement by pinning consistently so that pins appear at the top of your followers’ feeds.

You can also be present by checking pins and boards of your followers and repinning content that is relevant to your business. It’s also a good strategy to repin content from major influencers, mainly because it would boost your Pinterest referral traffic if they return the favor.

If you’re completely new to Pinterest, make it a goal to create a minimum of 8 boards with at least 10 pins per board right off the bat. In order to engage with others, make sure you have some content already established on your own account. If you can’t post, comment, or create new pins regularly, you can always schedule them. Some great resources for doing this are Viraltag and ViralHoot.

7. Use Rich Pins

Rich Pins are a great way to drive additional traffic through Pinterest. Plus, they’re free to use. Rich pins give you more control over the details associated with your business’s products and content. In addition, they have a direct link to the referenced image’s page underneath the photo. For example, a rich pin of a product will link directly to that product’s page, whereas a regular pin would just link to the that brand’s homepage.

Rich Pins include extra information right on the pin. There are six different types: app, movie, recipe, article, product, and place. While a regular pin only includes a description of the pin in the comment field, rich pins provide a clear title and ensure that product information doesn’t get changed or removed. Learn how to enable Rich Pins here.

Users benefit from product pins because they include real-time pricing and inventory availability. Also note, if you were to reduce the price of a product that has a rich pin, customers who repinned that product image would receive an email from Pinterest notifying them of the price change, which can prompt them to purchase.

Nordstrom, which has more than 4.4 million fans on Pinterest started using Rich Pins about a year ago, and said the largest customer-driven activity to comes from Pinterest.

nordstrom pin

According to Social Marketing Writing, pins with prices get 36% more likes. That’s a pretty solid case for using rich pins versus regular pins!

Pinterest is a force to be reckoned with as a way for businesses to drive new and returning website traffic. Pinterest continues to grow and expand, making it easy for all sorts of businesses to reap the benefits of sharing and consuming content.

Get started on boosting your website traffic from Pinterest with the Pinterest Pin It Button.

Last modified:  June 21st, 2016