Pinning Your SEO Hopes on Pinterest

Forget tweeting; we are now pinning. Twitter is still going strong in its niche, but Pinterest is an up-and-comer that is sparking conversation and buzz around the Internet. There are almost 11,000 Pinterest visitors per minute. Not quite as much as Twitter’s 175,000 tweets/minute or YouTube’s 2 million videos/minute, but it is certainly respectable

. Marketers have seized on the online pin board as a way to reach out to a broader community. And while this can be very effective, it is not a great idea to pin all of your SEO hopes on Pinterest. Why not – and what role does Pinterest have in your marketing efforts?

In March of this year, Pinterest went to no-follow links exclusively. This just means that the HTML markup tells Google not to visit the site that it points to. The benefit is that you can link visitors to relevant information; the “disadvantage” is that you won’t get that link juice. With social media, marketers many times try to build up those external links, and it can be a good strategy – but it will not work here.

What you can do, however, is provide a profile link to your website and do follow links within the pin’s description. But remember: the point of Pinterest is not to build up links. It is not to market to people; the quickest way to make any social media profile a ghost town is to sell. The goal is to be part of the community. Reach your audience with relevant, interesting content and helpful advice/tools. Anything else is immediately discarded as spam.

Another point worth considering is that while Pinterest can be a huge source of referrals, they are often not high quality. CopyBlogger did an internal study and found that traffic referred from Pinterest tended to stay only a few seconds and had a bounce rate of over 91 percent. So again, the point is not really getting people to “buy” or complete a call to action. It is to get them engaged – and to get your company/business engaged with the community.

Pinterest is a remarkable tool; it is not a means to an end in and of itself, though. Use it wisely!

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