In 2011, Pinterest won Best New Startup at the TechChrunch Chruncies Awards, and the following year won best social media app at the Webby Awards. In January of 2012, it had over 11 million unique users in America, setting a record for the fastest site to break 10 million unique visitors.
The social networking site was appraised for 1.5 billion in April of 2012, but has recently been valued at 5 billion. With its rapid growth, there is no doubt that this site can be used to drive traffic to your site, and though it may not be as effective as some sources, and may be more effective for particular niches, the site can benefit just about anybody so long as they make their website Pinterest friendly. To do this, there are a few things you must keep in mind.
For those who haven’t used Pinterest, it is a site that relies exclusively on sharing images. You can either upload and image, or paste a link to a webpage that has an image you want to share. To drive traffic to your site, you will want to share links rather than upload images as users can reach your page by clicking on a shared image. You can create any number of boards on your account, each dedicated to a specific theme, and then share images on those boards.
These images will not only show up on your follower’s feeds, but will show up in the Pinterest search, so adding key words can increase your visibility is crucial to increasing your traffic potential. The key then becomes ensuring that each post you have has images so that it can be shared, and the more images you have in your post, the more possibilities you have of one of those images catching fire and driving traffic to your site. Because many readers are visual learners, having images break up your text makes your posts more readable, and allows those who enjoy it to share the images on Pinterest.
Though Pinterest has 70 million users worldwide, there are some niches that are more successful than others.
A number of Pinterest users are part of the DIY culture, be it in regards to fashion, home improvement, décor, food, wedding planning, vacations, gardening, or any number of things. For American based companies, it is important to note that an estimated 80% of users are women who often share or ‘pin’ recipes, wedding ideas, merchandise related to home décor and babies, as well as fashion.
If you are in a niche related to any of these, then Pinterest is a must have. Any number of cooking and fashion sites have seen a high volume of traffic driven to their sites from Pinterest. These are not the only niches that can benefit from Pinterest though, especially in Britain where over 50% of users are male and frequently share items related to the automotive industry, film, and home improvement.
And of course, though men and women tend to embrace specific niches, there is always crossover. Though some of these niches will be able to generate more traffic than others, almost any niche can benefit from Pinterest.
So how do you drive the traffic? Well, if you are an Amazon affiliate, or have and Ebay store, simply post links to items you are selling and share the image in a related board and include some key words in the description. This will work from anything from books, to DVDs, to fashion accessories and home improvement items. If you have a blog where you share recipes, or write about fashion, be sure to include images in your posts, and then share them on Pinterest. If you have a coupon site, be creative. Perhaps you have coupons to auto parts? Write a blog post about some cars that use those parts and share images.
Your post will have links to the coupons, and the images will lead Pinterest users to your site. Perhaps you have coupons for grocery items? Share a recipe that includes some of those items with an images of the items or the finished product and links to your coupons. Share the images on Pinterest, and drive the traffic to your site. Perhaps you do book or film reviews for a blog you have monetized.
In that case, include images of the book covers or movie posters, and share them on your Pinterest. Always be sure to include key words that will help your items show up in search engines and look for boards related to your niche and follow them.
Pinterest users are far more likely to follow people they don’t know in person than they are on other social networking sites, so following other users can serve to increase your followers. And as a rule, if you do not own the rights to an image, it is always a good idea to provide a hyperlink to where you got the image from.
Signing up for a Pinterest account only takes a couple of minutes, and sharing the images for new posts doesn’t take much longer than 60 seconds.
Though it may not drive traffic as effectively for some niches as others, the only investment required is time, and it is so minimal that it is easily worth the investment. And since it is free, it is an ideal traffic source for entrepreneurs who don’t have a lot of money to invest for traffic. Be creative, include eye catching images, and develop a network of followers, and soon you will be able to drive free traffic to your site.
If you don’t have a lot of followers, don’t worry; your image can still be easily found by other users and shared with any number of people. It is well worth the minimal time required.