What is Pinterest & Why You Should Optimize For It

When it comes to new social networks, it’s hard to tell which ones to get excited about and which ones would ultimately be a major waste of time. One recent emergence into the social media world has proven to be a buzz-worthy site that is worth the investment. Pinterest is a site that allows users to save their favorite images across the web by pinning them to boards on their profile. Users can create vision boards based on any themes they choose, from architecture to weddings. You can get an idea of what gets the most attention on the site by seeing what is popular now.

Online retailers can see how powerful this network can be for their business by looking at the top gifts…

From an digital marketing standpoint, you can see how nice it is to get a numerous amount of repins by others for exposure. Plus, from an SEO standpoint, the bonus is that each pin has a dofollow link back to the page the image was taken from.

Pinterest by the Numbers

So just how popular is Pinterest? Let’s look at some of the current stats as of December 2011.

How Pinterest Works

Pinterest wants to keep their community as spam-free as possible, so you might have to request an invite to join in.

If you know someone on Pinterest, you could ask them to send you an invite as well. Once invited, Pinterest allows you to log in via Twitter…

Or Facebook…

The Facebook app will also ask you for permission to access your profile information.

Although you are granting access to your account, Pinterest does not post to your Facebook or Twitter without asking for permission. Allowing access will let Pinterest share your latest pin to your social networks if you choose to. You can also unlink your Facebook or Twitter at any time after registering.

Once you have connected, Pinterest will ask you for a username, email address, and password. In the future, you can login using your Facebook, Twitter, or email / password combination. The next three steps allow you to choose some things you like…

Based on your interests, it will automatically follow top people in those categories. This is a great way to get ideas on how to use Pinterest. You can unfollow these people from here as well with the Unfollow button.

After you have decided to follow or unfollow these suggested people, you can click on the Create Boards button to start creating boards to organize your pins into.

Once your initial boards have been created (you can add, edit, or delete them later), you will get the Pin It bookmarklet to add to your bookmarks bar.

Once installed, you will be able to add images to your pinboards by clicking on the Pin It bookmarket. Click Start Pinning to complete your sign up.

Customizing Your Profile

Once you are on the main screen, click on your name at the top right side to get to your profile.

Then click on the Edit Profile button beneath your picture.

Here, you can edit your email, notification settings, password, and add your basic information. Be sure to add your website and link to both your Facebook and Twitter accounts to have them displayed on your profile.

When finished, your profile will look like this.

The RSS button links to your latest pins feed while the others link to your specified website, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.

Adding Pins

When you see an image you would like to pin to your Pinterest boards, simply click on the Pin It bookmarklet on your bookmarks bar. When you click on Pin It, you will get an overlay selection of images to choose from on the page.

Select the image you want to save by hovering over it and clicking on Pin This. In the popup, select the appropriate board for your pin, then add details.

You can check the Facebook and/or Twitter box to share your new pin with your social networks, and click Pin It when you are finished. You can then go to see your pin by clicking on the See your Pin button.

Now that you know how Pinterest works, let’s talk about how easy it is for you to optimize your site for it!

How to Optimize Your Website for Pinterest

Pinterest is all about images, so the best way to make your site appealing to Pinterest users is to have great images! This means you need to have a model wearing your clothes in a beautiful setting, not a dress on a manikin. People are more likely to pin this…

Image Credit

Over this…

Image Credit

Also, keep in mind that Pinterest users are probably using Google image search to find some photos for their board. This means you need to make sure your images are optimized to be found – file names, alt tags, title tags, and captions need to be geared toward the right set of keywords so they rank well in image search results. Even if they are just pinning your image just because, you still might win out if one of their followers likes it enough to click and buy it!

Last but not least, you can add the Pin It button to your website so people can pin your images easier. Configure the code for the button on the Pinterest Goodies page.

Have you seen good results from Pinterest, whether it is traffic from your own profile & pins or from another user’s boards? What other Pinterest tips to you have? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Image credit: Starting with the Vision Board.

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18 thoughts on “What is Pinterest & Why You Should Optimize For It

  1. Will says:

    Great post Kristi.

    There are tons of things that businesses can use Pinterest for. It lends itself to the psychology behind marketing through visual representation, which having a psych degree fascinates me.

    It kind of reminds me of a more robust version of the Google app PhotoVine, which I thought was a great way to market a business (just didn’t stick).

    We did an infographic about the uses of Pinterest for business, which I thought you might enjoy.


    Thanks again for the in-depth Pinterest article.

  2. One word Great Article on Pinterest! This article will help everyone new to pinterest and can be used as step by step guide to pinterest.

    Thanks Kristi.

  3. Peter Brown says:

    How much success have you had with Pintrest so far? It’d be interesting to know how many images you’ve shared & how much traffic you’ve seen from it?

  4. Dan says:

    I just recently (like yesterday!) started using this site, not because of your blog post (or that “other” blog’s post), but because they finally sent me an invite. Already addicted to it from a user-experience side, not from the marketing “abuse the crap out of the free links” part of it. I hope Pinterest is here to stay, it really is that good and easy to use.

  5. Keith says:

    Can’t believe how many people (women) are already addicted to this, I see a ton of possibilities.

  6. Kristi Hines says:

    I just use Pinterest for personal reasons, not traffic, but I have a lot of photographer friends that have told me they receive a lot of traffic to their photos when they are pinned by others.

  7. Kristi Hines says:

    I think that’s why they have everyone on invite only – to hopefully keep the abuse level down to a minimum. :)

  8. Kristi Hines says:

    Definitely a great point for businesses targeting women as their demographic.

  9. Kristi, fantastic first post on SEOgadget! It’s great to have you contributing to the site – big thumbs up from Australia!

  10. hyderali says:

    Wonderful Post Kristi!!!

    I too hooked with Pinterest when I first received the invitation. Really, it’s a game changer for business who deals in jewelry, footwears, apparels & they definitely need to optimize their images for pinterest. It’s really helpful for SEO’s too.

    One thing I must say is lacking (my own opinion) that if you’ve to pin several images. You’ve to write in each & every image their details & their category which is something time wasting. They should make something where we can upload a group of images into one category & provide the descriptions & then pin it.

    Thanks for blogging on it. You are way ahead of others.

  11. Nice one Kristi…you nailed that first post.

    I heard alot of buzz on the twittersphere about Pintrest and jumped into it very eargerly…and then froze. I’m still getting to grips with how to use this rpoductively, but with SEO metrics and traffic so high, I have no doubt it’ll become a player somehow!

  12. Rich Girl says:

    I love pinterest! I also see very good traffic from this site lately. Like one picture of a dress had 60 repins which resulted in 100 unique visitors for half an hour. And I only have 20 followers.

  13. P90X2 Coach says:

    I started using Pinterest today and was interested in how it could drive traffic to my site.

    I agree with hyderali though, it would be nice to upload several images at once.


  14. Rob Barham says:

    Interesting to see they are now monetising via (auto) affiliate links on the products that people pin there.

  15. Really very good informative material. I had heard of Pinterest but you made it clear on what is it and how to make use of it.

  16. Jessy Khan says:

    Actually i was little confused about Pinterest. You make me clear. I found some people they were also hopeless about it. Now i’m going to share your article.
    It’s nice to get your article. Thankss

  17. Steve says:

    I just created my Account on Pinterest before 2 weeks ago but I didn’t full fill my complete profile & didn’t come more use of Pinterest ! I’m glad of you for your this article or discussion about Pinterest & their value now I would also like to keep in touch with my Pinterest account.

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