Using Pinterest to Build Traffic
Pinterest is an image sharing social media website that exploded on the scene in 2011.
And in 2012, it is quickly becoming a great traffic source for its users and those who've never even heard of it!
I'll explain why below.
How It Works
As a Pinterest user, you create boards and "pin" images to them.
So if you love shoes, you can create a board called "Awesome Shoes" and whenever you're browsing the Web and find a pair of shoes you love, you simply click the "Pin It" button on your browser toolbar (that you install) and the picture gets pinned to your board.
People can "like" your pins, follow your boards and re-pin images you post to their own boards.
How Does Pinterest Generate Traffic?
There are two ways to get traffic from this network.
1) You can add your website address to your Pinterest profile
2) When images are pinned, they link back to the website source.
So if someone likes an article or image from your site and decides to pin it to their board, the image links back to your site.
Don't Be Too Self Absorbed
The Pinterest community doesn't take too kindly to self promotion. So it's important that you don't overdo it when it comes to pinning your own content.
I have linked my account to my hair website, and have a board just for my hairstyles, but I don't pin images from my own site very often. I spend more time sharing other people's content and pinning new images that I find.
Just like any other social media site, the key to Pinterest is following other people with similar interests, commenting on their pins and sharing their content too.
My Pinterest Strategy
I just began using Pinterest so I'm still getting my feet wet. I don't spend a great deal of time there, but I am employing a different strategy than most.
Rather than just creating a bunch of boards on several different topics, I'm keeping all my pins related to natural hair and pointing my account to my hair website. In other words, I'm building a very niche Pinterest account.
That way if Google does begin giving SEO cred to Pinterest, my account will be very focused on one theme instead of a hodgepodge of topics. I only follow boards and people who post in that category.
You can also describe the images you pin, and that provides some index-able content for the search engines to read. So when Google spiders my Pinterest account, it will see content related to that niche.
No one really knows if Google will begin to give clout to Pinterest in terms of SEO, but if it keeps growing this way, I wouldn't be surprised.
Copyrights & Such
Of course, if images are involved, you can't help but wonder about copyrights. In fact, Pinterest has already come under fire for this and as a result, they've released a snippet of code that allows websites to block pinning.
Flickr has already started blocking the ability to pin images from their site.
There's also been talk of Pinterest using Skimlinks to make money from content people post. As sneaky as that may sound, their terms and conditions were written well enough to basically give them rights to do what they want.
For right now anyway.
So it will be interesting to see how all this plays out as Pinterest continues to grow in popularity.
Never, ever use images on your site that you do not have rights to use. Make sure you only use images from sites like MorgueFile that say they are "free for commercial use."
No Interest in Pinterest?
Even if you could care less about another social network, you can still generate traffic to your site. As long as you have images on your website, Pinterest users can share your content.
And you may be thinking that Pinterest only works for picture-oriented websites. Well, my traffic stats prove otherwise.
Pinterest is now one of the top 10 traffic generators for my Site Build It! website and all this happened before I even joined! It just came from other users sharing my images on articles they liked.
People can also share YouTube videos! That means if someone pins a video you published, a thumbnail of the video shows up on their board with a link back to your video!
So even if you don't want to join in on all the pinning and sharing, always make sure you have images on your pages because it allows others to pin and share them.
Here's some help with installing Pin It buttons on your website to encourage pinning by your readers. And if you're a WordPress user, you can install a plugin to easily add the Pin It button to your site.
Learn more about Pinterest and my individual experience with the social media site.
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