Pinterest is my absolute favorite social media platform. Not only does it allow your posts to be linked right to your website (can’t say the same about all platforms *ahem Instagram*), but your pins also have the opportunity to be found when people are searching Google.
Why do you want to be found on Google? Below are just a few reasons but there are MANY reasons you want your website to be found on Google:
- Searching is one of the top 2 online activities (source)(email is the other…did you see my post on how important it is to have a newsletter and how quick and easy it is to set one up, or this instant download that teaches you how to use your newsletter effectively, i.e. get emails opened and make sales from them?)
- 75% of users never click past the first page of search results (source)
- You can pay to get on the first page, but 70% – 80% of users ignore paid advertisements (source)
So if you want your business to be found online, you need to pay attention to SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is responsible for getting your website to appear on the first page of search results.
WHAT’S PINTEREST GOT TO DO WITH SEO OR MY ETSY SHOP?
People generally focus on SEO for their website in hopes of driving more traffic to it. However, optimizing a website for search engines takes a lot of work over a long period of time.
And the goal is to get your website on the first page of Google’s search results (or any search engine). Even better, the first few spots on the first page, which requires even more work and time.
Remember, getting a link on the first page is important because 75% of users don’t bother looking at the results on page 2, 3, 4, etc.
Pinterest comes into play if you want to get your business on that first page of Google quicker.
Or, if you don’t have a website yet but you want to drive traffic to your Etsy shop, again, Pinterest can help.
Let’s say I’m in the market for some new jewelry and I love bohemian styles. I may Google: “bohemian necklaces”.
If you’re a jewelry maker, whose signature style (which every business needs, here’s how) is bohemian, and you’ve created a board titled “Bohemian Necklaces”, you have a very good chance of your Pinterest board showing up on the first page of Google.
In fact, I found this “Bohemian Necklace” board on the first page of Google, which is a Pinterest board created by a business called Bohemian By Design.
Let’s say instead, you, as a bohemian-style jewelry maker, created that board. You might curate a similar mixture of pins, perhaps focusing more on model photos, showing how bohemian-style necklaces are worn with a variety of outfits. Pins showcasing your products and linking to your Etsy shop or website would be sprinkled throughout the board.
NOTE: The board should not be 100% promotional (i.e. full of your product photos). It must be informational or inspirational and actually helpful to Pinterest users. If your board looks like a giant billboard for your business, people will quickly hit the back button. It’s okay to have a board dedicated to your products, but it should be labeled as such.
As a shopper looking for a new bohemian necklace, I may have discovered your board through Pinterest, seen a pin of a model wearing a layered necklace (right on trend for 2019 jewelry trends by the way) and then notice a pin with a product photo of a very similar necklace, click the pin and follow the link to your Etsy shop or website where I can buy that necklace.
The chances of you making a sale are higher when traffic is organic and coming from a search engine vs. coming from a social media platform.
That’s a conversion rate; when someone takes an action you want them to take (e.g. buy).
>> Organic traffic from search engines has an average conversion rate of 14.6% (source)
>> Social media traffic has an average conversion rate of 2% – 5% (source)
Now. I realize this method means traffic is technically coming through a social media channel, however, the traffic originates on a search engine.
Which is important.
WHY SEARCH ENGINE TRAFFIC IS BETTER THAN SOCIAL MEDIA TRAFFIC
If you think about when you log onto Pinterest (or any social media channel), you’re probably not thinking; I’m going shopping.
You might be killing time, seeing what’s new, or looking to be inspired.
Even if you are looking for a product (e.g. you’re looking for a necklace to go with a dress) your search likely hasn’t gotten specific yet. You might type “necklaces” into Pinterest to get some ideas of what’s out there and narrow down what you want.
That’s how most people use social media.
People do discover products they love when scrolling on social media. However, people also tend to hold onto their money a little tighter when they weren’t planning to buy that day.
When I discover a product I love on social media, very rarely do I instantly pull out my credit card. I’ll usually head to Google and enter the name of the business + “reviews” to get an idea of their reputation. Or, if I like the product but am not sold on the price or all the details, I might Google the name of the product to find a similar option that suits my needs better.
Organic search engine traffic tends to be more relevant traffic. Meaning, users know what they’re looking for.
Someone might head to Pinterest and type in “jewelry” to get ideas, but they’re not as likely to head to Google and type in “jewelry”; their searches tend to be a little more specific there.
Which is why, if someone heads to Google and types “bohemian necklaces” and clicks the Pinterest link leading to your Bohemian Necklaces board, they’re more so considered search engine traffic than social media traffic and are, therefore, more likely to convert to a customer.
WHY NOT JUST GET MY WEBSITE OR ETSY SHOP ON THE FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE?
That’s a great question.
Why create a Pinterest board with the title of the search term you want to be found through rather than just create a page/product listing on your website or Etsy shop with that term? Then you cut out the middleman and potential of someone getting distracted by other pins.
Let’s look at an Etsy shop first…
GETTING YOUR ETSY SHOP ONTO GOOGLE’S FIRST PAGE
A similar concept applies when creating listings on Etsy. If you know the search terms people are commonly using when looking for products like yours, you can use that search term as your product’s title.
For example, let’s say I’m looking for “bohemian feather earrings” and I type that into Google.
Etsy’s market shows up in one of the top spots of Google. If I click on that link, I’m brought to Etsy’s search results for boho feather earrings.
If you have an Etsy shop, you should absolutely implement this strategy.
However, you should still use the Pinterest strategy. Here’s why…
On Pinterest, you get to control the narrative.
When someone discovers your Pinterest board, they’ll see images you’ve pinned. You choose the products and inspirational photos that appear on that page.
When someone lands on Etsy through Google, they’re seeing all listings on Etsy that contain the keywords (e.g. “bohemian feather earrings”) i.e all of your competition. The competition on Etsy is what’s making it hard for Etsy sellers to get any traffic to their shop and has them wondering if it’s worth it to sell on Etsy anymore.
Your products may be found among your competitor’s listings in Etsy’s search results, if your products and photos stand out (here are some photography tips), but you have no control over which listings are seen, or even if your listing makes it into the first-page search results.
On the other hand, you don’t have to pin pictures of your competition’s products on your Pinterest board; you can pin inspirational photos that aren’t selling a product so your product photos shine among them.
One of your Etsy product listings may appear in top Google search results as well, so a user skips Etsy’s market and goes straight to your product listing. However, I believe the term someone searches must be pretty spot on with the title of your listing. And even then, Etsy will show a row of competing products at the top of your product’s listing page, simply because the visitor is coming straight from Google as opposed to clicking a listing from Etsy’s search results.
Your Etsy shop can also show up on the first page of Google. But again, someone must be typing your business’ name into Google’s search bar. Which would likely mean they know about your business, and we want to attract NEW customers.
GETTING YOUR WEBSITE ONTO GOOGLE’S FIRST PAGE
The ultimate goal is to get your very own website to appear on the first page of Google. However, that can take months, sometimes even years to do.
You must work continuously and strategically on your website’s SEO (search engine optimization).
I’m not an SEO expert, but I have done a lot of research on it and gotten my website on the first page of Google for several search terms I want to rank for.
Here’s my explanation of how SEO works in the way my simple mind understands it and how it relates to Pinterest 😉
SEO BASICS & WHY YOU SHOULD PIGGYBACK ON PINTEREST’S AMAZING REPUTATION
Everyone gets frustrated with Facebook’s or Pinterest’s or Instagram’s algorithm changes. Google also makes similar changes.
We shouldn’t get mad at them for it; they’re just trying to give their users the best experience; just as you’re trying to give your customers the best experience.
They are ALWAYS thinking about user experience.
Yes, you are a user too. But if you’re promoting your business, you’re not the typical user.
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses try to cheat the systems to get their posts or websites seen, which leads to a spammy, not-so-great experience for the regular user; who simply wants to be entertained, informed, find what they’re looking for, etc.
Which leads to platforms changing their algorithms.
Once they catch onto bad, spammy practices businesses use to get their websites/posts/products seen, they adjust their algorithm to weed out the spammy sites/posts/accounts and let the cream rise to the top.
When it comes to SEO with Google, they use a lot of variables to determine what type of website you have and if it can be trusted.
Think of Google as someone who’s closed off and has been burned too many times so now they don’t trust anyone. And you’ve got to prove yourself to them before they’ll deem you worthy to appear in their top results.
That’s why it takes months and months for a new website to appear anywhere near the first page of Google, let alone in the first few results on the first page.
Google has to get to know your website; see if it passes their tests and checks the boxes they believe define a quality website.
And when you first launch a website, there typically isn’t a lot of content on it. It takes time to build content and the more time you take to do so, the longer Google takes to get to know you and start trusting you.
GOOGLE & PINTEREST ARE FRIENDS
Pinterest has a LOT of content on their platform and also has good SEO practices, so Google trusts them.
When you post content through Pinterest, you can bypass Google’s approval and sneak in the side door of their super exclusive party.
But, if you embarrass Pinterest and make them look like they’ve invited a spammy user to the party, you’ll get in their bad books and won’t get your results shown on Pinterest or Google 🙁
So, we need to have good Google practices AND good Pinterest practices.
But before you decide what to pin (which is covered in this article), there are a few other things to keep in mind when creating Pinterest boards that capture Google traffic.
#1 – Get specific
Look for search terms people are actually searching.
Not the ones you think they might search or the ones you want them to search.
For example, just because I make a purple and blue purse doesn’t mean people are searching for that; the better strategy is to know your audience, research what they’re searching for, and then create products based on that. We can’t force people to search for the products we make.
When people head to Google to search something, it’s usually pretty specific.
>> I won’t Google “cakes” when I need one baked for a birthday party. Instead, I might search “Gluten-free cake bakery Edmonton” or “Next day cake bakery downtown Edmonton”.
>> If I want to find products for my skin type, I’m not going to type “dry skin” into the Google search bar. I might type “natural remedies for dry winter skin” or “what’s causing my dry skin in the winter?” or “how to hydrate skin in the winter”.
>> If I’m ready to buy a new necklace to go with an outfit I’m planning for an upcoming birthday, I’m not going to search “necklace”. Even my example of “bohemian necklace” is a little vague for a typical Google search. I’m going to have a good idea of the look I want and perhaps search: “gold bohemian layered necklace”, or even more specifically: “gold bohemian moon and stars layered necklace”.
You get the point; people get specific when they search.
If you want your Pinterest board to show up when people search, the name of it must be specific too.
You obviously won’t create a board titled “Why does my skin get so dry in the winter?” but you may create one titled “Dry winter skin hacks” or “Best products for dry winter skin” and slip your product pins in there along with other people’s informational pins.
Figure out what your potential customers are specifically searching for and use those specific keywords.
#2 – Use keywords in multiple areas
The technique explained in this article can also work for a specific pin too.
For example, when I search “gold bohemian layered necklace” on Google, a link to this pin appeared on the first page because the pin’s description has the keywords:
Be sure to edit the titles and descriptions of your pins to incorporate the keywords your customers are searching.
#3 – Mention your business
If someone discovers your board or pin, they likely don’t know about your business, or perhaps even that you sell the product they’re looking for.
When they land on one of your boards from Pinterest, the board’s description is right after the board’s title and before all the pins. That’s a great place to add a little bit of info about your business.
If they land on one of your pins from Google, they’ll see a description next to the image. Make sure this is short, easy to read, and incorporates important keywords.
In either description (board’s or pin’s) you may want to mention:
- Your business’ name
- What you specialize in
- A link to your website (it won’t be clickable in the description, however, if they come across a product image they love, seeing a URL will signify they can find more info about that product…and they can always copy and paste the URL)
This is where designing your entire business around a niche is beneficial.
In the case of the Bohemian Necklaces board, their business name (which is also their Pinterest account name), Bohemian By Design, immediately told me they’re all about Bohemian style and most of their boards, pins, and product suggestions will probably be right for me.
On the other hand, if they created a business that was trying to appeal to a wide variety of styles (e.g. bohemian, classic, punk, etc.) I might click to their profile, see a wide range of board topics, most of which wouldn’t appeal to me, and leave without looking for more info or clicking links to their website.
Make sure a new visitor to your pin, board, or Pinterest account knows exactly what you do and what you have to offer.
Hope you found this article helpful. Happy pinning!
Do you have a Pinterest account for your business or do you need to learn how to set one up? If you have one, have you tried this technique?
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!