Pinterest Now 2nd Largest Driver of Traffic – and What This Means For Your Business

It has happened.  According to Shareaholic's latest report, Pinterest now tops Twitter to be the 2nd largest driver of traffic from social media sites (next only to Facebook). 

As Mashable so clearly put it:  “When it comes to referral traffic from social networks, there's Facebook and Pinterest – and then there's everyone else”.

This is huge news. Only a year ago, Pinterest quickly moved through the ranks to be the 4th largest driver of traffic. This is a huge jump and it means a number of things for your business.

What does this mean for your business?

Put simply, it means it might be a good time to consider looking at having a presence on Pinterest.  There are two ways you can take note of Pinterest and take action:

  1. Get a Pinterest Business Account and start pinning (strategically)
  2. Start to think more strategically about your content on the web – because it will get pinned and shared by others (regardless of whether you have an account or not) if you do a few things right.

Pinterest now has 70 million users and is growing fast.

I wanted to celebrate the rise and rise of Pinterest with 3 of my Top Tips for leveraging the traffic-driving power of this visual bookmarketing site:

#1 Optimize Your Images
  • Don't give everything away on your image. Add some text or information to provide context but do it strategically – ultimately you want people to come back to your website for more information, whether it is a blogpost, article, more tips or to review or purchase a product.  Dangle the carrot. Tease them a little!
  • Fill out all the information and pay attention to keywords. Ensure that you have your description and source info filled out.
  • Images that are 2:3 aspect ratio perform best (ie portrait size) or put simply, go taller than you go wide!  My awesomely-clever friends at Curalate have released this great tip amongst many other “image” tips on their useful infographic which you can see here.  Although I always advocate going with portrait size images,  it doesn't mean to say that other images won't catch the eye of Pinterest users, so mix it up with the occasional infographic or try some different shapes (a circle shaped image or even rounded corners on a pin can make it stand out!). 


#2 Listen to Your Community 

Here's the thing. Pinterest is all about users telling the story of a brand, not the brand telling the brand story. Yes, the brand can definitely add pins or imagery to the Pinterest mix, but in reality, approximately 70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by the community versus brands.


Because your community (whether you realise it or not) are pinning content from websites outside of pinterest – organic content vs brand generated content. Cool, huh?  This is why it is such a juggernaut for driving traffic!

You can check out more information about this stat on this blog post from Curalate (which contains a great infographic).   With all of this community engagement, I recommend that you:

Do a regular “pin” audit:  

  • do a regular audit of what is being shared using (where url is
  • check in on Pinterest analytics regularly (if you have verified your site – find out how to do that by going to the Pinterest for Business Homepage.

These two checks will give you information about what is being organically shared from your site (while you sleep!).

I was talking with one of my friends who is the owner of a fashion company recently.  Her name is Leonie and she owns Verily clothing and I am fortunate to be able to visit her studio to buy some dresses occasionally.

When I was there last we checked her “source” page.  And she was excited to see that what dresses, jackets and accessories were being shared by her community.  Check it out:

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A simple check of Verily Clothing shows all the items that are being pinned by visitors to the site (ladies, just quietly, these clothes are awesomely gorgeous!).

Remember, pins are searchable on Pinterest (it is becoming a force to be reckoned with for search!) and Google.

Don't delete your old landing pages – use them to redirect visitors to where your content or products are! 

Oh, and don't necessarily delete your old “sales pages” or last years stock page.

Why? Because if someone clicks through from an old pin they will come to your site ready to buy.

How about adding a “Welcome and thanks for coming over from Pinterest. We are sorry this item is no longer in stock but you will find some similarly fabulous items over on xyz page” message with link?

If someone comes to your site, don't send them away with an error 404 page!

Check your “pin-a-bility” 

  • Images need to be a minimum of 100 (wide) x 200 (long) pixels to be pinned to Pinterest from your site. Check that every page you want to be shared has a pinnable image on it – especially product pages.
  • Ask for visitors to your site to pin images – make it obvious that you want them to share!
  • Add the Pin-It Button to your images. Pinterest has just rolled out a new image hover button that you can add to your images as well – so that when someone runs the mouse over your image, they are encouraged to Pin it!
#3 Think outside the Square when creating your Boards and Pinterest Content

Pin about products and services but also show your audience how your products can fit into their lives with relevant but “related” content or images/pins.  Whole Foods do this well.

Look at the following examples of boards that would appeal to their ideal customer at Whole Foods.  It is likely that many Whole Foods shoppers would be interested in health and fitness, having a functional kitchen and growing their own produce.

All of these boards serve to build community and provide helpful information to their customers:

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It's not about food…but it's related and serves the community at Whole Foods.

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People who like shopping at Wholefoods might also like Super Hot Kitchens and Growing their own Gardens. Just sayin'.

And while you are thinking about all of this content, keep it simple. I always come back to a simple question when creating boards or thinking of information to pin to Pinterest:

  1. Is it helpful?
  2. Is it inspiring?

That's it!

So….. what are you going to do now that you know that Pinterest is driving more traffic than every other social media site (other than Facebook). Think you might consider getting interested in Pinterest?  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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