9 Common Pinterest Mistakes That Are Easy to Avoid

9 Common Pinterest Mistakes That Are Easy to Avoid

Pinterest can be a great way to market and grow your business, but only if you’re using it right. Many businesses using Pinterest for marketing are making mistakes that can actually work against them. Elizabeth Stapleton from ElizabethStapleton.com is here today to show you how to avoid making any of these 9 common Pinterest mistakes!

9 Common Pinterest Mistakes That Are Easy to Avoid - featured image

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1. Not taking full advantage of SEO opportunities

While Pinterest often gets included when discussing social media platforms, it’s actually a search engine, not social media.

Pinterest is a visual search engine which means there are lots of opportunities to optimize for the searches being conducted on Pinterest.

Beyond just creating a terrific Pin image, here are some places to optimize for search, by utilizing keywords:

  • Your Pinterest profile name
  • Your Pinterest profile description
  • Pin descriptions
  • Personal board names
  • Personal board descriptions
  • Your post’s metadata

If you have rich pins enabled then Pinterest will pull in the metadata from the post, which means your pin’s description is a second opportunity to use even more keywords that relate to your post.

Don’t miss an opportunity to increase your chance of being found via search in Pinterest.

2. Thinking all pins are the same

A blog post pin is different from a pin to grow your email list which is different from your own product, so why would you use the same Pinterest image template for all of them?

For product pins, you want to the image to focus on the product and less on the text. A general blog post pin would likely focus on the text interacting with the graphic. Whereas, a DIY tutorial blog post would do well with multiple images on the pin.

Here are some examples of how pins should look different for different goals:

Blog post pin

Product pin

List growth pin

Make sure you’re creating pins with the end result in mind.

3. Not using hashtags

Hashtags have been a part of Pinterest for over a year so it seems like they’re here to stay. Every pin should include 3-5 relevant hashtags.

Hashtags should be included at the end of the Pin description rather than sprinkled throughout the description.

Editor’s Comment

Pinterest goes back and forth on hashtags. At this time (Dec. 2020), hashtags are NOT in favor. Don’t waste your time adding them.

4. Using hashtags in board descriptions

While including hashtags in pin descriptions is great, they don’t do anything for you in board descriptions.

Hashtags in board descriptions aren’t clickable and don’t help you to be found in search. This means if you’re using hashtags in your board descriptions you’re giving up valuable real estate that you could be using to help your boards get found.

5. Still using giraffe pins

Super long pins, also known as giraffe pins used to do great, however, they are no longer best practice. In fact, Pinterest has said that such pins are likely to be cut off when viewed in the feed.

Here is an example of a pin that gets cut off in the feed:

Giraffe pin cut off

Here is what the full pin image looks like:

giraffe pin screenshot

You should stick to pins that are a 2:3 ratio: for example, 1000×1500 pixels.

6. Not thinking about mobile

Most Pinterest searches are conducted on mobile devices, nearly 85% to be exact. While phone screens have gotten larger in recent years, they are always smaller than a desktop.

Content creators, on the other hand, are almost always creating pin images on a desktop computer. To make sure your image still pops and looks great for Pinterest users, zoom out to see what it might look like on mobile.

For example, when I create pins in Canva I zoom out to just 25% to make sure the image still looks great when it’s smaller.

Canva pin screenshot

7. Not creating enough personal boards

Most businesses create some personal boards when they first start on Pinterest but then don’t bother to really look at them again. At a minimum, you should have 15-20 personal boards. But if you’re not seeing any traction, try creating even more.

Most of your boards should be specific rather than general. So a food blogger should have boards with focuses like:

  • Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Vegetarian
  • Cookie recipes

Rather than just a “good recipes” board.

Also, make sure, your boards are all related to the topic of your business. It’s fine to have unrelated boards that you use personally rather than for business, but they should be secret boards.

8. Not having a call to action in your profile

People generally won’t take action unless you ask them to take action. Your profile description is a great place for a CTA. It’s your opportunity to get someone to click to your webpage. It could be for a freebie, a discount, or some other offer, just make sure you have a CTA.

Since you already have your website link as part of your profile, you can either make sure your CTA is to something on your homepage or provide a shortlink in your profile description like Tonia does:

Pinterest profile screenshot

9. Paying attention to the wrong analytics

Since Pinterest displays every businesses monthly viewers it can be easy to get caught up with that number. However, the truth is monthly viewers is mostly a vanity metric.

While it’s true the more viewers you have the greater chance you have of getting clicks to your website or products, the metric that matters most is the clicks to your website.

Clicks get results, so don’t let yourself get too caught up with monthly viewers or the number of followers you have.

Bottom line: avoid Pinterest mistakes with these best practices

Pinterest can be a great way to market your website and business, it’s typically faster than traditional SEO and works better than social media. Just make sure you aren’t making mistakes that could slow down or even halt your progress. Here are some best practices for Pinterest:

  • Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to use keywords and calls to action
  • Create pins based on the result you want, be it a click, a purchase, or an email subscription.
  • Use 3-5 hashtags on your pins, but do not use hashtags in your board descriptions
  • Keep pin images at a 2:3 ratio and be sure to consider what they might look like on a mobile device
  • Focus on growing your click-through rates and be sure to have plenty of personal boards

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to Pinterest success!

Elizabeth Stapleton
About the Author

Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and MagnifyMoney. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and NerdWallet.

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