I’ve been using Pinterest for awhile now. I’m not an expert (last time I checked you can’t get a degree in it), but I’ve been on Pinterest long enough to share some insight on cleaning up and optimizing your account. Why do you need to do this? Well, maybe you’re a blogger who, like me, started your Pinterest account before you really knew what you were doing. Before you realized how much traffic comes from Pinterest and heads straight to your blog. Before you had more than just a few followers. Now things have changed and people are actually looking at your pins!
I noticed something interesting recently. You can see in your left sidebar what people are repinning from you – I can see it from the home screen. I noticed that people are repinning a lot of my old content. This tells me that they are going through my boards . . . and they are going back several pages! I’m not sure about you, but when I know I’ve got a visitor coming to my house, I tidy up (well, I try). This same analogy works for Pinterest, except this “house” needs to be in top condition: ready to sell. You want as many repins as possible, because that allows people to find you. And then you get more followers, and then you get more pins, and the cycle continues. Make sense?
Here are my top ten suggestions on how to clean up and optimize Pinterest.
1. Review your profile description – I’m talking about the description to the right of your image on your profile home page. Does it just say “mom of three?” I recommend adding more information about you, including your blog name. This is your chance to reach a whole new audience – SO many people are on Pinterest who may have never heard of you before. Take this chance to brand yourself and your blog! In my profile description, I tell them that I’m crafty and encourage people to visit my blog. Then I’ve verified my site so it sits right below the description. Now people know a bit about who I am and where they can find me.
2. Review your board names – Are they short but descriptive? Are they fun? Do they make sense? And mostly, are you happy with them? I have some plain ol’ board names like “Valentine’s Day,” but I also have a few fun ones like “If I Cooked or Baked” and “Rainbow of Fruit Flavors.” I want some of them to stand out when people are reading through my boards. This is especially important for group boards where multiple users are pinning and it’s spreading like wildfire (hopefully). Disclaimer: Changing your board names changes the URL! Proceed with caution.
3. Choose board covers – the default setting for board covers is the image of your last pin, unless you set a board cover. If you’ve ever taken a peek at your board covers while you are pinning, sometimes the photos aren’t exactly centered or obvious. The house analogy comes into play again here. Choose a board cover that is attractive, entices people to click on the board and most importantly, fits well in the space provided (see above). It’s easy to set a board cover: just hover over the board and choose “Edit Board Cover.”
4. Add board descriptions – What are your boards about? This is especially important with fun names like “Rainbow of Fruit Flavors” – my visitors don’t have to wonder what the board is. I like to explain to my audience before they have to scroll down to figure it out for themselves. Not everyone reads, but some people do. Where I feel that board descriptions are the most important is with group boards. My Mod Podge Rocks board has some guidelines, so the description explains them. Easy peasy.
5. Choose a method for board organization – This one is for you as a Pinterest user, but it can also be for your visitors too. I organized my boards alphabetically so that I can find them easily. I think there are a few goods ways to organize them besides the alphabet – including by season, by topic, etc. I’ve noticed a lot of the home decor pinners keep their boards organized by room. Whatever you choose, choose something. Step outside of yourself and ask “how would I want to browse these (amazing) boards?”
6. Review your pins – I said earlier that visitors are going back and repinning my old pins. In order to optimize their experience and make my boards as visually pleasing as possible, I’ve deleted duplicate pins and pins with broken pictures. It’s also nice to have images go somewhere, so I make sure that none of my links go to “google.com” – because that is probably from an image search. Not very helpful if someone is trying to find a project tutorial. This can take some time so you might want to develop a schedule. I reviewed my boards over several days.
I also discovered when I went back that I had pinned some things on the wrong boards. How are there Halloween projects on my Christmas board? Whoops. That’s what happens when you get into an excited pinning frenzy and aren’t paying attention!
7. Explore group boards – By “explore” I mean ” get on some.” Group boards have really grown my following and can be a great way to network with people in your niche. There are a lot of group boards out there by topic, but to start I recommend asking your five closest blogging friends if they would like to start a group board with you. You’ll be surprised at the power of five versus one.
8. Learn which of your pins are the most popular – there are two ways I do this (there are probably more, but this is what I use). I look at pinterest.com/source/modpodgerocksblog.com and it shows me what people are pinning from my site right now. If you want to do this, replace my blog name with yours and you’ll see what I’m talking about. You might be surprised at what people are pinning – I know I have been! This tells me what people love from my blog (I also repin from this sometimes!).
Another option is to use a service like PinReach. PinReach gives you all sorts of analytics and information, including an overall “score” for you as a pinner. I like to look at the tabs to see what pins are popular. The difference here than above is that PinReach looks at all your boards and your pins – not just the ones from your site. From the picture above you can see that I pinned a Christmas pickle ornament and people loved it! I use this information to make better pinning choices and also for project inspiration. For example, if I see a lot of canvas projects showing up in my popular pins, it’s probably time to do a fun canvas project with Mod Podge!
9. Make it easy for your readers to pin you – Now this isn’t on Pinterest, but it still counts toward optimization. You should have a Pinterest button as part of your social media cluster of icons on your blog! If you don’t have one yet, make it now and add it – and make sure your social media buttons are near the top. Not only that, but all my tutorials have a Pinterest button within the post. Do I recommend going back to old tutorials and adding Pinterest buttons? Yes. You can decide what order to do this in by running your Google Analytics for the past year and starting with your most popular posts (and working your way down the list).
Note: I’m on WordPress and I use the “Social Sharing Toolkit” widget, which includes a “pin it” button to the top of each post (among other social icons). I still put a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button in each tutorial post, at the end. Why not?
10. Think about adding your blog name to your Pinterest name – this one is optional; I chose to do it. My full name is “Amy Anderson” and there are a lot of those out there. But I wanted to be associated with my blog, so I opted for “Amy: Mod Podge Rocks.” That way I’ve got my first name and also my blog. Also people are typically more likely to recognize us bloggers by our site names rather than by our real names. I’ll leave this one up to you.
I hope these ten tips help. What are your favorite tips for cleaning up Pinterest?