While most of your efforts for gaining organic traffic should be focused on SEO, Pinterest can be a source of additional (extra) traffic to your Christian blog.
Unfortunately, most Christian bloggers miss the mark on setting everything up for the best results. In order to see those results, you much optimize your blog for Pinterest success. Here are some simple tips for how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog.
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How to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
In order for you to get the best results from Pinterest, it is so important that you have your blog set up and optimized for Pinterest sharing. You also need to have your Pinterest profile set up and optimized for search traffic. If you didn't already know, Pinterest isn't social media – it is a search engine similar to how Google works. Although it does work initially from SEO, the visual aspect is equally important. Optimizing your blog for Pinterest success means making sure some technical aspects are in order, as well as ensuring your images will stand out in the feed.
Optimize Your Blog for Pinterest Success
Simply adding some images and share buttons isn't going to be effective in using Pinterest to grow your organic traffic. There are some key areas that are crucial to the overall success of using Pinterest for traffic to your blog. These include making sure you have a good, click-worthy, pinnable image for your readers to pin and making sure that image has the best pin description.
Optimized Pinnable Image
In order to optimize your blog for Pinterest success, you must first have an image that is specifically optimized for sharing on Pinterest. Many Christian bloggers simply upload a pretty image of a landscape or flowers or something like that. While the image itself may be beautiful, it has no value for you on Pinterest.
The entire purpose of sharing images on Pinterest (as a Christian blogger) is to get others to click on the image so they come back to your blog post and read it. A random image without the blog post title in no way indicates to the Pinterest user that the images lead to readable content. You must provide an image that has the blog post title on it so they know it leads to something and isn't just a pretty picture to look at.
Pinterest favors images that have a 2:1 size ratio – which translates to a tall, vertical image of approximately 600 x 900 (or in Canva the template is 735 x 1102). They've also said that square images are ok, but those often get overlooked in a feed next to larger images. You might also want to add your blog name to the bottom of the pinnable image to help add a branding style so others start recognizing your pins in their feed.
Aside from having the blog post title on the image, it is important that your images are inviting and easy on the eyes. Branding your Christian blog includes branding your pinnable images as well. Do the images and colors really reflect what you are saying? Or are they dark and somewhat contradictory to the message you are offering? Bright, colorful images tend to do much better in the Pinterest feed.
This is probably the most common mistake Christian bloggers make with their pinnable images. By default, the Pinterest share buttons will pull the text from the Alt Text box for the image when it is uploaded. Normally, bloggers enter the SEO keyword or blog post title into this box. Having this line of text pulled up for a pin description doesn't help you once the pin leaves your site and is pinned to someone's board on Pinterest.
The Pinterest algorithm looks for keyword-rich pin descriptions and also favors the use of relevant hashtags. You should NEVER add this to the Alt Text. Instead, you can either manually add the Pinterest description code or use a handy plugin like Tasty Pins. This way, you can ensure that the image saved by your readers is fully optimized once it gets to Pinterest so it continues to be shown in the Pinterest feed.
It is also important that your social sharing buttons are clearly visible. There are several sharing plugins to choose from, but some of them are a bit confusing to readers. (I use Shareaholic on Kingdom Bloggers.) At a minimum, ensure they are at the end of the post so the reader sees it when they finish reading. You might also add them as a floating bar that scrolls with the page, as well as add the “pin it” or “save” button that comes up when you hover over the image.
Be sure to disable the pinning option for all other images on your blog post. If you add multiple images, you can simply “disable pinning” on them when you upload them. Now, this function is a feature with many sharing plugins so you may not have that tick box on yours. (I'd switch to one that does have it to make it easier to accomplish).
When a reader clicks on the Pinterest share button, you don't want 10 images popping up for them to choose from. Plus, these other images aren't optimized for Pinterest sharing. By disabling them, only the pinnable image that you've chosen will be available for them to pin. (This is why I love Tasty Pins because it makes it super easy to set the pinnable image and disable all others.
Optimize Your Pinterest Profile for Success
Aside from optimizing your blog for Pinterest success, it is equally important to optimize your actual Pinterest profile for success. Pinterest is a search engine (similar to Google) so it is important that your profile have those SEO components so others can find your pins in keyword searches. Here is a great video that explains Pinterest SEO a bit more.
- Ensure you have a Business Pinterest account. This enables you to view your analytics which helpful for knowing how your account is doing.
- Rich Pins – When you have rich pins enabled, your pins will display the blog post title in bold and have a snippet of the first paragraph of the post and some other information. The Pinterest algorithm favors rich pins so it is highly recommended that you enable them for your site.
SEO Your Profile
Like I mentioned before, Pinterest works from SEO. Pinterest users type keywords into the Pinterest search box (just like they do in Google). In order for your content to have a better chance at coming up in the results, you need to implement SEO across your profile. These are the main areas you need to ensure have good, keyword-rich descriptions.
- Profile Descriptions – Does your profile description have the keywords associated with your overall niche? Simply saying your name and that you like coffee doesn't cut it from an SEO perspective. Pinterest users can search by “people” so it is important that your profile reflects the keywords you want to be found for.
- Board Titles – Pinterest users can also search for content by “board”. Instead of sifting through a bunch of pins in a feed, it is much easier to find a few boards to follow that have the content they are looking for. Your board titles should always be terms people would actually search for in respect to the content you save on it.
- Board Descriptions – Board descriptions are equally important in helping your boards get ranked higher in a search. Add a good, keyword-rich description that explains what readers will find on that board. Avoid keyword stuffing your board description. That means adding a bunch of hashtags or individual words. Use complete sentences!
Read more about optimizing your Pinterest profile.
Optimizing Your Christian Blog for Pinterest Success
Pinterest is such an amazing tool for Christian bloggers to get more Christ-filled content in front of readers. In order to do this, you must optimize your blog for Pinterest so the images continue working for you after they are pinned from your site onto someone's board. Pinnable images must reflect the fact that it leads to readable content. If not, they are simply pretty images staying put on someone's board.
In addition to optimizing your blog for Pinterest success, you also need to have your Pinterest profile set up for SEO success. SEO is the foundation of how Pinterest works so you need to ensure everything about your profile reflects the keywords people might be searching for related to your content.
The best resource, by far, that I've found for helping with Pinterest (and staying on top of the never-ending changes) is Pinterest Ninja from Megan at Love, Family Health. This was the very first Pinterest course I ever took (and I've taken many since) and the only one I recommend.