If you hang around the internet marketing water cooler long enough, you will probably hear about the newest and hottest website to hit cyberspace—Pinterest.
What started as a social site for users to gather images turned into a feat for new and seasoned SEO professionals to conquer.
Before we tell you how Pinterest can be used to maximize your search engine optimization campaigns, take a look at how Pinterest has grown over the last year. A little over one year ago, the site’s traffic was around 40,000 unique visitors monthly. As of November 2011, it has topped out at nearly 5 million and it has 16 million + pages indexed in Google! And the site is still in beta and not open to the public. You can only access it by invite only.
I joined Pinterest a few months ago as a user simply because I loved the idea and the concept. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows users to collect, organize and share images they find on the web. Pinboards are named by users and organized any way they please. When you log on, your home page is full of pinned images by the people you follow. You can share, “re-pin”, comment or “like” a pin.
There is a two-fold benefit for marketers:
First, the sheer viral nature of Pinterest is astounding and as a result, beautiful images spread like wildfire on the website. Some marketers are adding 50-100 images per day and seeing exponential increases in traffic.
Phyllis Cheung, CEO of LuxeFinds.com, recently launched her new website and after using Pinterest, she says, “We’re nearing 1 Million Pageviews for LuxeFinds having only launched 3 months ago.” Phyllis spends time every day pinning the images from her website and is experiencing the power of viral marketing.
So here’s the real kicker…as of right now Pinterest is keeping their links “do follow”. For those who don’t know what that means, “do follow” links are the opposite of “no follow” links. “No follow” links tell the search engine spiders to refrain from crawling that link. If the spider does not crawl you won’t get any boost in search rankings from that link. So essentially any link that is not a “no follow” is a “do follow” which means that search engines will spider that link. Do you follow?
There are four link opportunities on each image. If you look at the image below, I pointed out the four locations a link is added. The first is on the image (1) which originates when a user pins an image. For example, I pinned the Marketing Resource Index logo, so the link attached to the image is www.marketingresourceindex.com. The second opportunity is in the right upper corner (2), the third is in the description (3) which is inputted when the image is pinned and the fourth is in the comments (4) although these are usually generated by other users. I would stick with the first three.
Is Pinterest Right for My Business?
If you are running an SEO campaign, Pinterest can be used for your benefit…that is until the website starts to add “no follow” to its links which is very possible. But for now, it’s hard not to capitalize on its link building potential. As far as the viral nature of the website, if your business is visual and you have many images to share, it behooves you to give it a try. Just make sure your images are highly attractive and professional. You will see the types of images that are pinned once you join the site.
Pinterest is open to users on an “invite only” basis. Do you want an invite? Just let us know in the comments below and we will get one right out to you!