So we are having a lot of work in 2017 so far developing for our Small-Medium Enterprise (small business to you and me!) clients launching eCommerce websites, and in the process we are delving back into Pinterest as a leading social media network.
So here’s some of the new ideas we are coming across in regards to Pinterest as the best social media network to spread your eCommerce product pages and post around the place and into the faces of people looking to buy.
Now that’s a VERY important little details here, we are looking for people looking to “buy stuff”. Looking for specific stuff and things to buy. Not just cruising around looking at pictures of cats, kittens =^-^= or babies, or indeed family nostalgia pips.
Big difference here from someone wasting time down their Facebook timeline bored, and someone cruising about on Instagram (we’ll com to THAT later) and Pinterest looking a boards a and searches for buyable goods..
Are you marketing on Pinterest yet?
If you have eCommerce on your WordPress website, do you do any REAL marketing on Pinterest yet?
So it’s amazing to us when we chat to our clients with eCommerce websites how many of them know about it but put all their time into Facebook Ads where they think the eyeballs are.
Now one of the things that comes up in these chats is that many people think of Pinterest is just a ‘soft’ social media network, good for fun, but nothing serious. Full of kittens =^-^= and mittens and mums saving images of the home craft projects they want to make and ideas for someone’s party.
There’s no serious marketing going on, is there? There is. The statistics are amazing to to many and indeed compelling:
- More then 150 million monthly active users are on Pinterest as of Oct 16
- Pinterest accounts for 17% of traffic to eCommerce sites
- Nearly 75% of Pinterest cruisers have bought an item from an eCommerce site that they saw on Pinterest
So in the words of Gary Vaynerchuk… “I’d say you should get serious about Pinterest. Now.”
With that in mind, here are our Top 5 things to do today to improve your WordPress website’s exposure and return/ROI on Pinterest.
#1 Pin It With Me Now
First and easiest one is to get Pinterest onto your own site to show that you are Pinterest friendly and “buy into” the client’s chosen social network.
This is simple as Pinterest gives you the functionality to create a widget to display any of your boards on your WordPress website.
Most websites put this into their primary sidebar, along side their blog posts or products in their eCommerce. However with the current level of sidebar blindness, as well as the total LACK of sidebars on modern One-Page websites, why waste your time?
So, where else you can put a ‘pin with me’ widget?
An easy one should be to put a ‘pin with me’ widget for a related board into your news and specials posts. Your website visitors will then see your related pins as part of the contect (not as a side stall)and be able to follow you on Pinterest by clicking through.
It’s kind of like the content upgrades craze, only using it to grow your Pinterest following instead.
#2 To use to not to use plugins for your Pinterest pins
For Pinterest, it’s a bit different than just using ANY old sharing button. You get all sorts of weird and wonderful images sometimes from your product pages (think logos, direction arrows, separator icons etc etc)
To avoid this , one of our favourite plugins for Pinterest is Social Warfare. The biggest pro of this one is that YOU upload your choice of pinnable graphic into a specific field in your blog post back end, to ensure that it is the “chosen one”.
Social Warfare automatically opens Pinterest pre-loaded with your pinnable graphic when someone hits the social sharing button. What does this mean? No more strange and WRONG images shared to Pinterest!
Not Ready to Jump to Social Warfare?
If you’re not ready to jump to a new social sharing plugin and don’t want to switch Social Warfare, you could at least choose to hide your pinnable graphics in your post.
Let’s be frank here, all of us don’t want to see an ginormous big “pinnable” image taking up most of the space above the fold.
So the good news is that hiding your graphic is as easy as clicking into the Text Tab of your WordPress editor and typing in this code around your image:
<div style=”display:none;”>Your Image Code Goes Here</div>
So what happens now is that when your surfer hits any of the Pinterest share buttons, they get to choose from any of the images on your post. And it’ll include any images that you’ve hidden using the above code.
There’s a bit of risk involved using this method that your visitors will choose a good image, however, you can also hide more than one pinnable graphic of course. You could even do an interesting split test between different pin styles!
#3 Verify your website & Thereby Get Rich Pins
Every social platform has their own specially spiced SEO algorithm, and it’s no surprise that Pinterest is no different here. Getting Pinterest to fully trust your WordPress website is we think one of THE major factors in how often your content, pins and products are shown in Pinterest.
The best and simplest way to make sure Pinterest trusts you and your WordPress website is to verify your site through their verification process. It’s actually relatively quick and painless if you have Admin access to your site, so here goes:
- Login to your company Pinterest account (yes separate your personal form your business)
- Next go to your profile and add your website URL to your Pinterest profile and click Confirm
- A pop-up will appear with a code enclosed in a meta tag
- If you have one of these plugins, most of which we do recommend, there’s a Pinterest verification field in their settings page to simply past the “number part” of the meta tag into:
- All In One SEO
- Yoast SEO (our favourite to use)
Add some Rich Pins
The next change you want top make on your WordPress website is to add the so-called Pinterest Rich Pins. This REALLY helps your pins (and by extension, your online products) jump out in the never ending feed.
A rich pin has many advantages over a normal pin:
- Has the article title in bold
- Has a short description pulled directly from the site
- It makes your pins stand out a bit more in the person’s Pinterest feed
- It just looks more professional and polished, and by extension more trustworthy of giving your credit card to
There are currently 6 different types of rich pins (January 2017), and each one is a little different.
Implementing this recommendation is a little more complex but can be made easier by none of our favourite plugins Yoast SEO. For Article pins, if you’ve got Yoast SEO installed all you need to do is make sure you’ve got the “Add Open Graph Meta Data” box enabled then head on over to the Rich Pin Validator to validate your pins by following the prompts.
Ultimately though you are going to want to follow the instructions in the Business section of Pinterest to get your rich pins all set up.
#4 Search Engine Optimise your Pinterest Pins, Boards & Feed
Pinterest SEO begins on your website, in your product pages and images before evcen going near Pinterest. Simple things make a big impact such as:
- Name your images using keywords (yes we mean in file name, Alt Text and Description)
- Including keywords in your alt text descriptions
The BIG thing you need to remember about Pinterest is that it is just a big Image search engine. It’s not REALLY a social media network, more like a Google Image Search that links directly to your products.
Therefore all those Google SEO rules and lessons from AdWords and AdSense apply here more than the social ones in a way.
When you’re naming your pinnable images, make sure you give them a keyworded name. For example, call your image “repurposed-blog-content-example” rather than “IMG104350”.
You should also include keywords in your alt text descriptions because that’s what Pinterest will pull as the description of your pin (if you aren’t using a plugin like Social Warfare).
#5 Get descriptive on every pic
Have you got any idea where that, sometimes strange, description text on your pinnable graphics comes from?
If not well it’s quite simple, Pinterest pulls it from the Alt Text of your image.
So now, if you aren’t using a solid Pinterest plugin like Social Warfare, you’ll need to make VERY sure you fill in the Alt Text of all of your pinnable images. Indeed this is just good SEO sense anyweay, but it’s hyper important once you start on the Pinterest road.
By doing this consistently, when someone decides to share any of your pinnable images, they’ll have your perfect pre-written, sales friendly description ready to go.
And what exactly should be in these Pinterest descriptions?
As chatted about above, think SEO first. You want to use keywords to make your pins more attractive to the Pinterest SEO Search Engine Algorithm, and thereby get more of your images into their Smart Feed.
As with all SEO however, you first need to be writing for the real humans who’ll be pinning, sharing, and clicking your content. Don;t keyword stuff crap into here or it’ll be discarded and over writtten, putting you back where you started with bad pins 🙁
Some tips for great descriptions:
- Write for real live humans and peeps first, not the spiders
- Pose a question as a great opener
- Try to put in your keywords as close to the start as possible
Monkey Summary? :(|)
We hope we have convinced you that if you are a small business with an eCommerce site that you REALLY need to start taking Pinterest seriously, act on these Top 5 things to do today.
Try and experiment with different ways of sharing your Pinterest boards within your news posts and product pages, and try out & find the plugins you like to use. Test your results using real analytics, and then double down on what works for your products and site.
WooCommerce : our plugin/solution of choice
Side note, we use and recommend WooCommerce as the plugin/solution of choice, it’s just SO much easier for our clients to learn and is solidly robust for all the different themes and solutions out there)