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9 Ways to Build Your Pinterest Audience

9 Ways to Build Your Pinterest Audience

If you’re looking to be highly proactive in increasing your Pinterest following, here are some strategies to consider:

Build more niched boards.
Take a look at the most popular players on Pinterest, and it will become clear they have a plethora of boards, usually between 50 and 100, on average. It’s also obvious that those same users have gone to great efforts to make their boards as niched as possible so they stand a better chance of being found (and followed) by a targeted audience. For example, if you’re a cookbook writer, a single board named “desserts” that features all manner of sugary goodies would work, but you might draw more followers if you took that same board and split it into four:

  • Pies and cakes
  • Cookies and bars
  • Chocolate
  • Ice creams, sorbets and puddings

By refining your boards to be more relevant to the people who are the most interested in those specific topics, you increase your chances of getting followers.

Jump on the trending topics bandwagon.
People, places and events that are popular at the moment make great bait for finding new followers. Topics that are trending will be getting keyword-searched on the site, and if you have a pin that fits, you stand a good chance of picking up some of that traffic. says that pins related to trending topics see an average 94 percent increase in click-throughs. So it pays to pay attention to the trending topics on Pinterest and to what’s trending on other social media sites. A few great resources include:

Post to your most popular boards.
For those boards of yours that have a significantly larger following than others, post with slightly more frequency. Since more people are following these boards, your chances for a higher rate of repins — and hence new followers — is greater.

Follow high-profile and highly relevant people.
While the criteria for whom you follow should first and foremost be the relevance of their pins to your business and brand, there’s a case to be made for having at least 10 percent of whom you choose be the big dogs in their fields. By following these power players, you increase the chances that they’ll follow you back, repin, like, and comment on your images, and give you greater exposure to their large followings.

Use keywords in all your pins.
Paying attention to SEO is a significant part of pinning. The more on target you are with the keywords you use in your boards and pin descriptions, the more likely you are to draw followers searching for and interested in those topics.

Promote Pinterest with your email newsletter.
Given the stringent no-spam requirements that exist for email marketing today, it’s a safe bet that the people already on your distribution list want to hear from you. Several ways to build your Pinterest following with a newsletter include:

  • Announcing your presence on the site in a regular newsletter you send and encouraging readers to click through and follow you.
  • Sending out a pithy, photo-heavy announcement about your Pinterest, inspiring your tribe to find out more.
  • Enticing readers to visit your Pinterest by placing a Pinterest icon that links through to your page on all email newsletter communications and featuring a “hot” pin or two you’ve recently posted.

Add Pinterest to your email signature line.
You have the opportunity with every email you send to anyone — client, potential client, friend, colleague, stranger you just met on the airplane — to promote your Pinterest and gain followers. Simply add the dedicated URL of your Pinterest to the end of your signature line, where the links to your other social media (website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) live, and allow people to follow you with a single click.

A good best practice is to always check out a new follower, or someone who has liked or repinned one of your images, and consider whether you want to follow them back. Some of the criteria to take into account include:

  • Are they a major player in the same space? If so, consider following them, since your audiences are likely to be the same.
  • Are they pinning interesting, beautiful or highly informative content? If yes, they’re worth following as a regular resource for repinning.
  • Are they someone on whose radar you’d like to be? Following someone increases the chances they’ll follow you back and gives you regular opportunity to comment, like and repin their images.

Increase traffic to my website with Pinterest

Increase traffic to my website with Pinterest

Want to increase traffic from Pinterest back to your site? Here are 10 ways to drive more organic traffic to your site with Pinterest.

1. Create Pins that Direct to Valuable Resources

At the beginning of 2016, Pinterest made an algorithm change that affected how pins are shown to users on their home feed. Based on what I’ve observed, it seems Pinterest now focuses more on showing pins that lead to blog posts and valuable resources.

Beautiful images that do not lead to a helpful resource are being shown less. This generally includes sites like Flickr or uploaded images that don’t direct to any site.

If your business doesn’t have a blogging component yet, I strongly encourage you to create one that has pinnable images.


2. Aim to Grow Your Followers and Reach

Having a large number of followers is important, but surprisingly it’s not as important as you might think. I’ve worked on boards that have fewer than ten thousand followers and see the website generate as much traffic and repins as a board that has a hundred thousand followers.

The trick is not to just think about growing your followers, but create pins that will reach non-followers on Pinterest.

To do this you need to post relevant pins that will attract your core audience. When you start to provide more relevant pins, Pinterest will start to display your pins in “Picked for You” on a user’s home feed more often, allowing you to potentially reach millions.

Picked For You

Pinterest has also put a lot of stress on getting people to follow interests more than specific users or boards.

To find out how many people follow a particular interest you can type:

As an example you can type in

In the picture below, the interest group of backpacking Europe has approximately 16.35 thousand followers. You want to have your pins show up on these interest feeds to expose your website to all those people.

PInterest Interests

In order to do this you need to have the right keywords in your board title and pin descriptions.

3. Use Relevant Keywords in Your Board Names

The best way to increase the odds of your pins showing up in the “Picked for You” and on the interest feeds on Pinterest is to ensure that your board has a relevant title. If you’re trying to reach people who want to travel, then naming your board Travel or Travel Tips will inform Pinterest of the topic. If you try to get clever and name your board Great Adventures of Willy Wonka your chances of showing up are less.

4. Use Several Keywords in Your Pin Descriptions

Pinterest doesn’t like to call itself a social network. It’s more of a discovery tool for inspiration and information. Pinterest acts as a visual search engine and millions of people conduct searches to help them plan for their weddings, look for gifts to buy during the holidays, and ideas on how to make their life easier.

This is why it’s important to go beyond growing your followers and think of Pinterst as a visual Google. And like a good blog post, each pin that redirects to your website should have 2-3 keywords in its description.

Ensure that you also use the same keywords in 5-10 different pin descriptions as you never know which one is going to get higher levels of engagement and rank higher within search results on Pinterest.

5. Use Guided Search

To know what type of words people are searching for on Pinterest, use Guided Search to assist you.

When you type in a word on the main search bar you will notice that there are tiled words below it.

Look for relevant words within those tiles that you can put in your pin description.

Guided Search

6. Increase Your Repins and Engagement

If you’re looking to rank number one for certain keywords on Pinterest, the number of repins that you receive in a specific time period is a strong factor in search rankings within Pinterest.

A pin that receives 100 repins within 2 days is more likely to outrank a pin that receives 100 repins in 10 days.

Other factors that influence your search results on Pinterest include who the repinners are and the click through rates of pins. If your repinners are active users on Pinterest, you are more likely to rank higher on search than non-active users.

What’s also interesting about higher levels of engagement of pins is that they increase your chances of showing up in multiple interest feeds as well. Let’s say that you’ve named your board Travel Tips and a particular pin receives 200 repins in a short period of time. That pin may show up on the interest feed for travel tips, backpacking Europe (if the pin is related to Europe) or culture travel.

7. Join a Group Board

Joining group boards to get your pins more traffic was more effective in the past, but if you’re starting off and you’re looking to get your pins exposed to as many people as possible, then joining group boards is still a great start.

Group boards are boards that have more than one contributor. Each contributor can add their own pins and each board may have their own guidelines and moderator.

Finding the right group board is a great way to expose your pins to thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people when you’re first starting off on Pinterest.

To discover a comprehensive list of group boards, you can visit


8. Apply for Rich Pins

Rich pins are pins that contain extra information that help pins stand out on the Pinterest feed.

There are rich pins for articles, products, recipes, movies, places, and apps. The two most popular rich pins on Pinterest are rich pins for articles and rich pins for products.

Rich pins on mobile devices will show a favicon next to an article, while on the desktop they show a favicon and bolded title. The bolded titles on rich pins can help them stand out on a user’s Pinterest feed, increasing the chances of it being noticed and clicked on.

Look at the pin on the left hand side. This is a rich pin for an article. Notice the pin on the right hand side doesn’t have a bolded title. That’s a regular pin.

Rich Pins

Another side benefit of having rich pins for articles is that when a person clicks on the pin and scrolls down to the pin description area, the meta description of the blog post always shows up first. This is unlike a regular pin where the description can be changed by any user who repins that pin, the meta description area of a rich pin for article can never be changed by another user.

Rich Pins (Meta)

The great benefit of having rich pins for products is that these pins will show the price of the product so this can help filter quality traffic back to your site.

Rich Pins 2

To get rich pins, you do have to do some back end work and go through a validation process. Pinterest provides a guideline on how to get rich pins.

9. Pin Consistently

What I love about Pinterest is that pins generally have a very long half-life for clicks when compared to Facebook, especially if you’re providing evergreen content. But to increase traffic to your site you need to pin consistently, and that means doing it on a daily basis.

I would suggest pinning at least 10 different pins a day. These should be a mix of pins leading back to your website and pins that would be helpful resources to your audience.

Pinterest does reward people who pin consistently by ensuring that their pins are seen by more of the followers over time, and by more people.

10. Be Patient

Generally when social networks mature, it can be harder to gain more followers, but like most social networks Pinterest can pay off handsomely if you’re willing to put in the time and pin consistently.

Working with Pinterest clients over the years, I have noticed that those that are able to provide valuable resources and create great pins will see more traffic if they are willing to stick with it for at least a year.

But don’t expect great traffic results just from pinning. If you want to get quick results then you will most likely need to pay for them using Promoted Pins.

These are ten ways to drive more organic traffic to your site with Pinterest. If you’ve got a great tip to share then please feel free to share it in the comments below.


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