This is a guest post from Becca Klein of Blog & Biz.
So, you heard that referral traffic from Pinterest is going up, even as traffic from other networks is steadily declining. It’s finally time to start focusing on Pinterest.
The ultimate goal of your Pinterest marketing is sales. Which means you need people to click on your Pin to visit your website. Assuming you have that part down, what happens after the click?
Ideally, they read, look around the site, opt in to your email list, share some posts, and make a purchase! If your blog isn’t set up to convert, however, you get a visitor who looks round for 30 seconds and then leaves – never to be seen or heard from again.
This is why you need to optimize your blog for conversions from Pinterest visitors.
Pinterest and your blog should work together, with your blog encouraging readers to share your content on Pinterest, and Pinterest driving readers to your blog.
Once they get to your blog, readers need to be ready and directed to take action. Let’s dive in and talk about how to make that happen.
Optimize Your Blog With Great Content
When a Pinner lands on your blog post, make sure that blog post delivers what was promised in the Pin that brought them there. It should always be thorough and well sourced.
If you see from your analytics that a particular Pin is doing really well, go back to that post and see if it needs to be spruced up. Is it formatted correctly? Are all the links up to date? Is there any new information you can add? Is there a content upgrade in the post?
If someone searched for a topic on Pinterest and then clicked on your Pin, that probably means that they’re looking for the solution to some problem. Make sure that you give it to them.
Your post should provide all of the information that they need to take the next step towards solving whatever their problem is. If someone found your Pin when they searched Pinterest for “how to fix a broken bathroom vanity,” make sure that your Pin leads to an article that truly helps them fix their bathroom vanity from start to finish.
You want that Pinner to be so impressed by your content that she bookmarks your blog, signs up for your email list, and comes back for more. If your blog post doesn’t deliver, none of that will happen.
Optimize Your Blog to Get Your Content Shared
When people arrive at your blog, make it easy for them to share your content and follow you on Pinterest (and the other social networks). This can be accomplished with share and follow buttons.
Share buttons allow people to share your content to Pinterest with just one click. And follow buttons are buttons that lead people to your Pinterest profile in one click.
If you’re on WordPress, Social Warfare or SumoMe are great options for share buttons (I use both). For follow buttons, I just use Simple Social Icons. If you’re on Squarespace, both share and follow buttons are built right into the platform. Check out this great blog post from Donna Moritz for more of the top Pinterest marketing tools.
It’s crucial to have these buttons in place because most people won’t spend time hunting around to share your content or follow you on Pinterest – even if they’d like to share or follow. Put an easy option right in front of their noses, thought, and they’re much more likely to oblige.
Every time someone shares your content for you on Pinterest, it gets seen by more readers – many of whom will be a new audience. This is a great way to get your content out there without you having to lift a finger!
Optimize Your Blog With Proper Formatting
When a Pinner arrives at your blog, it’s likely the first time that they’ve seen your site, and you only have a few seconds to make a good first impression. So make it count. If the blog post they’re landing on is a hot mess, they’re not going to stick around for long.
Make sure that you have a theme that is up to date with the latest styles. If your site looks like it was last updated in the 90s, you’re going to lose readers. Make sure that the homepage flows well, and that everything is properly formatted. And make sure that your site is easy to navigate from any page.
You also need to make sure that your blog is well-formatted.
First, check your fonts. You should have a heading font and a body font, which you can usually add by customizing your theme in the WordPress settings, or using the Style Editor in Squarespace. Test out different fonts and see what you like. And are they both easy to read?
It doesn’t matter how pretty they look if they’re hard on the eyes, so make sure that they’re both readable, on the computer and on mobile. Both the font and its color matter here, so make sure the font is legible on both desktop and mobile, since most of your traffic will likely come from Pinners on mobile.
Second, made sure to utilize headings in your blog posts. Headings provide a signal to Google about the main points in your article, and it makes it easier for the reader to scan the post and see what it’s all about – making it more likely they’ll stick around a while – another plus for good SEO!
Third, use short paragraphs. People skim more than they read, so a paragraph with hundreds of words is just too much. Make sure your paragraphs aren’t more than a few sentences. also helps to vary the length of the paragraphs, so don’t make them all exactly the same.
Optimize Your Blog With Images
You should use images to illustrate the main points of your post. If you’re creating a “how-to” post, images can be great to help explain your point. But even if it’s not a “how-to” post, you should still break up the text with images. Using images to break up the text makes the content more readable.
You also need to have at least one image that is made specifically for Pinterest in your post. The image should be vertical (vertical images take up more space on Pinterest and are preferable), and it should have a text overlay with your post title. Make sure that it’s a good image and that the text is easy to read. This is the image that you want people to share, so make it compelling.
A well-formatted blog post keeps the reader on the page, increasing the chance of a share, an email signup, or even a sale. If people don’t stay on the page, then none of that can happen. You want people to stay engaged and keep interacting with your content, and a well-formatted post is a great way to do that.
Optimize Your Blog With Opt-ins
Your email list is one of your most important assets as a blogger, and Pinterest can be a great way to grow it. We often need to see things more than once before we act, so make sure that there are multiple opportunities for your reader to opt in.
There are multiples ways to use opt-ins. You can place opt-ins in your sidebar, your footer, your homepage, on a welcome mat, on a notification bar, in a pop-up, in a scroll-box, or right in the blog post. You don’t need to utilize all of these methods, but you should be using a few of them.
Keep in mind that most people are not going to opt in if the only enticement is “Sign up for my newsletter!” People get enough email, and unless you have some compelling social proof (“Join 92,000 other marketers and get the newsletter”) there’s not really a lot of incentive there to sign up for yours. Instead, try offering them something (such as an ebook, whitepaper, or checklist) in exchange for their email address. This is called a content upgrade, and it can be invaluable to growing your email list.
Think about what you can give your audience that adds real value to the blog post they’re reading. If you make your content upgrade enticing enough, they’ll have no problem handing over their email address.
If you can get those Pinners onto your email list, you’ve got a much better chance of converting them into longtime fans and customers. You’ll be able to send them more content, inform them about your products, and just keep in touch. If you can stay in touch, you can stay on their minds and keep them warm for future product or service offerings. If there’s no way for them to opt into that list, that one click from Pinterest to your site might be the end of your relationship!
When you get your blog optimized for Pinterest, you’re going to be able to convert readers into Pinners and Pinners into readers, email subscribers, and customers. You’ll earn real fans that come back for more, and you’ll grow your blog in the process.
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Becca Klein is a blog and social media strategist at Blog & Biz. Becca helps beginner bloggers get up and running with their blogs and social media accounts. When Becca isn’t on Pinterest, she spends her time with her dog, Emma, and her cat, Murray, in Michigan.