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The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Ads for Beginners

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The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Ads for Beginners

If you are like most business owners, you probably have focused a lot of your social media advertising efforts on Facebook. With over six million advertisers, the competition is pretty steep!

The good news is that there is another social media advertising option you can test for your business: Pinterest! Pinterest only has approximately 1.5 million companies connecting with users each month and offer a great opportunity to get your business in front of more users and new prospects for your brand.

This guide will show you everything you need to know about running a successful Pinterest ad campaign.

Why Should You Use Pinterest Ads?

While many people see Pinterest as just another social media platform, it is more like a search engine. With traditional social media platforms, users connect with each other and share content with friends and family. Pinterest is a platform where users search for inspiration and new products or ideas. They are able to create boards to save the content that they are interested in.

Why Should You Use Pinterest Ads

Pinterest ads appear as promoted pins that are sponsored by a company. This makes it easier for users to find and purchase the items they dream of having. Promoted Pins list the brand sponsoring the product and contain links to a sales page to make purchasing easy.

The concept of Pinterest began as a way to replace scrapbooks and corkboards used by many for inspiration with digital boards that could be added to or edited easily. Pinterest began as a simple idea that has grown into the third most popular social media platform in the U.S. Users are able to create wish lists and dream boards and companies are able to easily showcase their products and simplify the buying process.

Getting Started with Pinterest Ads

The first step to advertising on Pinterest is to create a business account. If you currently have a personal account that you wish to convert you can visit the business conversion site and follow the steps to convert your personal account into a business account. This includes creating a business profile with your company logo, business type, and a description of who you are and what your company does.

Creating a new account for your business is just as easy. Simply visit Pinterest homepage and click the link that says create a business account.

Getting Started with Pinterest Ads

Enter the email address you wish to use for the account, create a password and enter your business name and type. Once you have entered the information click create account and you are ready to create your business profile and agree to the terms of service.

Once you have created a business account on Pinterest, it is time to create your very first board. This will make it easier for users to find your content. You will want to create business board that you can add relevant pins to. These pins can include blogs, special offers, new products, and so much more. As a business account you can create images and add summaries to each pin to grab a user’s attention.

Creating Pinterest Ads

Once you have created your business account and your first board, you are ready to enter the world of Pinterest ads. The advertising structure of Pinterest is very similar to that of Facebook and Instagram. You can create ad campaigns, ad groups, set the amount you wish to spend each day/week/month, and track the results of your advertising efforts.

There are three levels in the structure of Pinterest ads. The first level is the campaign. This is where you will set the objective of your campaign and the maximum amount you want to spend on a particular campaign. The second level is the ad group where you can decide on your budget, target audience, where to display your ads, and how long you want your ads to run. Depending on the objective for your ad campaign and your business type, you may have multiple ad groups within a campaign. The final level is the promoted pins that are the result of the process.

Creating Pinterest Ads

You will create your ads in the Ads Manager Dashboard. Once on the Dashboard, you will click create ad and begin the process. Pinterest makes creating ad campaigns simple by using a step by step process and giving you choices along the way. For example, there are four objectives to choose from when initially setting up your campaign. These include:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Traffic
  • App Install
  • Video Views


Set up your campaign

You will then be asked if you wish to create a new campaign or update an existing one. The next step in the process is to determine your budget limit and decide if your ad campaign is ready for an immediate live launch. If you are not fully ready to go live, there is an option to pause the campaign until you are ready to go live.

You will then select the ad group for your campaign and select a name for each group so that you can keep all of your campaigns organized.

Once you have selected your ad group, the most important part of a successful ad campaign is to select your target audience. This step is where you can very specific about who you want to see your advertisements.

If this is your first Pinterest ad, you will be asked to create an audience by choosing from four options. This audience can be based on people who have been to your site before, a set list of customers that you can upload, audience that has engaged with pins in your domain, or an audience similar to one you already have.

create an audience by choosing from four options

Once you have created an audience, it is time to target your ads to certain groups of people. You can choose a specific gender, age, language, what device they are using, their location, etc. By targeting your ad at specific people who are more likely to show interest in your product or service, you are avoiding wasted money on advertising efforts that don’t garner more business so be as picky as you like.

Advanced Options

Pinterest has a number of advanced options when creating ads on their platform. You can choose how and where your ads are displayed. You can choose whether ads are displayed as users browse their feed or similar pins, when they search for items similar to yours, or both. Choosing both allows your business ads maximum exposure to potential customers.

Advanced Options

Another advanced option is to pick interests and keywords associated with your business. This will target ads to those who share the interests that align with your business and products. You can choose from over three thousand interest and it is recommended to choose at least 25 keywords.

Advanced Option 2

Setting Your Pinterest Ad Budget

There are two options when setting your bid for ad campaigns. You can choose a daily budget or a lifetime budget. A daily budget indicated the maximum amount you want to spend each day on your ad campaign. A lifetime budget is the amount you wish to spend for the total time that your ad runs on Pinterest. The budget options you select will depend on the amount you can afford to spend on an ad campaign.

Setting Your Pinterest Ad Budget

You will notice that as you change things such as your target audience and budget the estimated number of people that will be reached by your ad campaign will change as well. This is to help you get an idea of how effective an ad campaign will be based on the choices you make.

target audience and budget

Adding Pins to Ad Groups

The final step is your ad creation is to select the pins you want to appear in the ad group. These pins will become the Promoted pins shown to your target audience. There are a few rules that must be followed in order to guarantee that your promoted pins are seen:

  • You must save pins to your own profile
  • Include destination URLs within each pin
  • Don’t use link shorteners in the destination URL or in the description
  • Follow Pinterest’s Ad Standards
  • Don’t include third-party GIFs or videos

Adding Pins to Ad Groups

Once you have followed the step by step guide to create your ads, they will need to be reviewed. This takes no more than 24 hours so you should be sure to plan your campaign to include the review time so that you aren’t waiting on the review when you want your ad to be live.

Promoted App and Video Pins

In addition to traditional promoted pins, if your business specializes in app creation, you may choose to create a promoted app pin. These pins contain a link that allows users to download the app directly from their device’s app store. If you wish to create a promoted app pin, you will want to select “app install” as your campaign objective.

Promoted videos are short videos that users can watch to learn more about your brand and products. You can choose between a standard size which is the same size as one pin or a max width pin that is the size of two pins. These videos play automatically when at least half of the ad is visible on the user’s screen. Most users will stop scrolling to watch a video which makes it a great way for you to get exposure for new products.

Selecting Images on Pinterest

Now that we have explained how to create ads on Pinterest, lets talk about what you should use for ads on Pinterest. Pinterest is an extremely visual search engine, similar to Instagram. When users search an interest of keyword, the results display as images rather than text. You want to choose images that are visually appealing to users.

Here are some helpful tips for creating strong images for Pinterest ads:

  • Use bright, warm colors. Reds, oranges, and browns tend to increase the number of clicks a pin gets. Don’t exceed 50% color saturation as those pins get more repins than those with a higher color saturation.Selecting Images on Pinterest 1
  • Use images that are light. Images with medium light get more repins than those that are dark.Selecting Images on Pinterest 2
  • Close ups are a must. Avoid white space or too much background image that can detract from the product you are trying to showcase.
  • Avoid centered images. When you divide your image in thirds, you want to have a majority of the image in the top, bottom, left, or right. Never centered.
  • Did you leave room for text? Don’t layer text over your image. Rather, crop and shift the image over to leave room for text above, below, or to the side of the image you wish to showcase.

Pinterest Analytics

The most important part of any successful ad campaign is being able to track its performance. Pinterest makes tracking an ad’s performance easy. Head over to the Ads Manager Dashboard (the same dashboard used to create your ad campaign) and select the analytics tab.

From here, you can see every ad campaign you have run as well as how many times your ads were seen, saved, clicked on, and liked. These analytics are displayed in graph form on the dashboard. Want more detail? Click more on the graph you wish to see more detail on. This will show you how many people viewed, clicked, or saved your ad in the past 7, 14, and 30 days. These analytics tools even allow you to track engagement over time, so you can improve or change your ads to continue to increase your engagement rates.

Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest Advertising Tips for B2B Companies

Create Boards Your Audience Will Love
Pinterest boards should group together content with a similar theme. You will want to carefully piece together boards with content your audience will enjoy. Once you have created your awesome boards, you will want to link all of your content to your website or a landing page. This way you are drawing users into your organization not just your pinning abilities.

Up the Visual Content

Remember, Pinterest is all about visual appeal. Its easy to talk about your company or product but, users are more interested in visual content. Using infographics, charts, advice guides, etc., your brand can increase the visual content to reach a greater audience. You will want to create stunning images by using photo editing software or take our photos at different angles rather than the traditional straight on shot.

Put a Face to Your Company
It’s easy to show off products or services you provide, and while these posts may gain attention from your audience, they don’t help users connect with your organization. To build the connection with your audience, you should add in personal items such as showcasing the people within your company or even their pets. No one can resist a cute puppy. Plus it helps people see your organization as more than just a business.

Focus on Trends

Pinterest is a great place to show trends and patterns happening within your industry as well as what you are doing to make strides within these trends. Show potential customers how you can help them stay up to date with the latest trends in the industry by creating specific boards for these topics.

Don’t Forget to Test Your Pinterest Ads

Advertising on Pinterest can be done by any business or organization regardless of size or budget. The key is to work smart and maximize the results of any ad campaign you create. This guide should help you take Pinterest by storm, if you follow the steps and tips that were given. Remember, when first starting out on your Pinterest ad campaign journey, it is important to experiment with different ideas and concepts while tracking the analytics of each ad campaign. Keep what works, fix what doesn’t and you will be doing big things in no time.

If You Need Some Help, Check Out Our Approach

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How to Master Pinterest for SEO

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pinterest seo47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest. (source)

Pinterest has been used for marketing since day one, basically. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this as a marketer or business owner? It opens up so many more opportunities for your website to be visible to new consumers, and potentially influence consumers in your niche.

In this segment, we want to talk about how you can use Pinterest specifically to boost your traffic and SEO. Utilizing these tips will help increase the amount of natural links pointing to your site and help your business Pinterest boards get more visibility.

Think of Pinterest as a Search Engine

With 70 million users, Pinterest is thought of as another search engine for those looking for inspiration and ideas. Don’t be blind to the opportunities that this can potentially bring your business. Users would rather search on Pinterest’s search engine for items such as: DIY, recipes, travel, etc. versus Google because they are looking for that visual inspiration. And what better catches someone’s eye than visuals? See for yourself:

Searching “places to see in Italy” on Google:

google search

You see there’s a lot going on here and you get a little bit of everything. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but check out what you get from Pinterest.

Searching “places to see in Italy” on Pinterest:

pinterest search

It really gives you that beautiful, inspiring photos that are attention grabbing.

Needless to say, users are using Pinterest to search for all kinds of inspiration and ideas, not just travel and recipes. Users trust Pinterest as a source for when they are purchasing products and services. When you think of Pinterest as another search engine to optimize for, it can really enhance your SEO because repins are qualified as natural backlinks to your website.

Make Sure Your Pinterest Business Profile is Optimized for Search Engines

Optimization is important because it lets search engines, such as Google, know that you’re business is directly verified with your Pinterest account. If your Pinterest account takes off, you want it to show in the search results when people search for your brand and related brand keywords, right?

Make Sure Your Profile is Verified

First thing you need to do to optimize is you need to make sure your website is verified with your Pinterest profile. Here’s the steps on how to verify your business account and website.

Make Your Boards Visible to Search Engines

There’s a setting where you can either hide or make your Pinterest boards visible in the search results. You want to make sure your boards are visible. This will open up opportunities for your boards to show up in the search results when they are related to specific key phrases in your niche. You can find this in the settings and make sure it’s set to No.pinterest search privacy

Optimized About Description

Just like most other social networks, Pinterest allows you to have a small description of what your business is what who you are. This has a 200 character limit, so make sure you utilize this section to include focus keywords that represent your business. Also, make sure this information is always accurate.

Create Boards & Pins That Are Keyword-Friendly

Board names, pins, and board descriptions should contain focus keywords. Don’t stuff your keywords if it doesn’t make sense that would look spammy. In my opinion, the more simple, the better. People don’t read, they’re looking for keywords on Pinterest. Make it easy for end user to scan and find what they want.

Board Names Contain Focus Keywords

When creating Pinterest boards, you want to make sure the names are closely related to focus keywords you are also targeting for SEO. You don’t want to limit your boards to ONLY keywords, I’m just saying you need to include your keywords within your boards along with other related topics. Check out Mashable’s Pinterest:

Pinterest boards

They keep it straight to the point with the names of their boards, which are also focus keywords related to what they represent as a brand.

Board Descriptions Contain Focus Keywords

Each board allows you space for a brief description of what that board includes. In your description, include your focus keyword for that board in the description. Think like your consumer and how they would be searching for items or services related to your board. Include that in your description.

Pins Should Contain Keywords and Hashtags

Each individual pin should represent something related to your business. This opens up opportunity to use your keywords in the descriptions. Especially when directly pinning your blog posts and other web pages, you want to make sure you utilize the description to have focus keywords. Don’t neglect the use of hashtags either, this will give your pin more opportunities to show in the Pinterest search results when users are searching that keyword.

Pin Your Website Content

This may seem pretty obvious, but so many forget to pin their blog posts and landing pages. Pinterest is full of blog posts and people are using it as a resource to gain knowledge and educate themselves in different niches.

Every time a blog post is written on your site, it should include an image that directly represents what the blog is about, then pinned on your company’s Pinterest board that’s related to the post. This opens up so many opportunities for your content to rank high and here’s why:

Repins Are Considered Natural Nofollow Backlinks

This is a great technique for SEO because again, repins = backlinks. Even though these backlinks are nofollow, Google will still consider them a natural backlink which is needed in your backlink profile. Every time your pin is repined onto other boards, it creates a separate link. Each link will point to your website because your content is the source.

Increased Social Signals

Another SEO benefit, is the fact that this will increase the amount of social signals for your content. Since search engines are using social signals to rank content higher, you want to make sure your content is maximizing this opportunity for going viral. The more repins and other social shares your content has, the higher it will show in search results because search engines feel that your content serves value to others.

Utilize Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest analytics

If you have a verified website on your Pinterest account, you will have access to view analytics. You want to closely watch these metrics to make adjustments to current content marketing efforts. The metrics Pinterest supplies you with are: pins from your website, repins from your website, website visitors, reach, most repined content, and most clicked content.

To analyze this data, look at the content that’s providing the most clicks to your website and most repins. This is a strong indication that this type of content, is providing your website with the most visibility. Customize your content marketing strategy to include more content that’s related. Track it. Did it provide you with the same range of results? If so, it should be included in your on-going content marketing campaign.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you understand what it takes to master Pinterest for SEO, start fulfilling! Pinterest and the content marketing side of SEO go hand in hand and should not be neglected in your overall SEO strategy. Follow this rule: Create, Test, Measure. Create your content, test it by sharing it on Pinterest, and measure the results with Pinterest analytics.

Do you need expert SEO advice? We can help. We provide results driven solutions for marketing and SEO. Give us a call today to speak with one of our specialists: (800) 871.4130

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Monetizing Pinterest

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Interesting topics were discussed over the weekend at the “AngelHack – Hackathon” in Palo Alto, CA. Part convention – part trade expo, AngelHack  brings developers from all around the country into one arena, allowing developers to showcase their products and ideas, while hoping for seed capital from prospective investors.

While some of the ideas were hits, and some were misses, the future of one idea wasn’t up for debate. Francisco Guerrero, CEO of Pintics (an analytics tool built specifically to track trends and statistics related to the social media site “Pinterest”), unveiled Shopinterest.co – described as a “Shopify” for Pinterest.

Shopinterest will allow users to utilize their “boards” and “pins” as product thumbnails for a salable product. “Our Pinterest analytics service targets large e-commerce companies,” said Guerrero, “but after we saw the large volume of sales generated via Pinterest, we decided to help regular users join in the fun and profits.”While Guerrero was very excited about this project, he was also careful to not divulge all of the details of it. The public only has a snapshot of what Shopinterest will eventually be, at this point, but it promises to be ground-breaking.

However, it remains to be seen how users will react to the monetization of Pinterest. As the majority of social networking sites are making the move into the “profit” sector, these sites also must carefully balance the relationship between e-commerce and free entertainment; otherwise their viewers/users could easily turn on them and make the site obsolete. (cough) Myspace.

Shopinterest is expected to continue its initial development for the next few months and begin linking shopping carts to Pinterest within the year. While no one can foresee if this project will be a success or a failure, it IS an interesting concept and – if done right – could draw even more users to Pinterest.com

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Pinterest should be a part of your 2012 Social Marketing Strategy

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You must have heard about the newest social addiction Pinterest. If you haven’t, let me give you a lil insight as to why you need to jump on this ‘pin’ board (if you will) of a network. According to Pinterest, “Pinterest is an online pinboard. Organize and share things you love.” People are utilizing their pinboards to collectively organize DIY projects, plan their weddings, put together motivational quotes and so much more.

So you’re wondering, Why do I need a Pinterest account for my business? Let us tell you.

With every social networking site, there are a variety of benefits when it comes to utilizing the obvious: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Here are a few reasons why you should be amped to get your company and brand on Pinterest.

  • Link Building- each “Pin” and “Repin” creates a link back to the image source. Hello to building traffic!
  • Keywords- Use keywords to describe these boards- GO SEO!
  • Brand Management in the SERPS- you’re securing the vanity URL www.pinterest.com/yourbrandname which boosts your search engine optimization efforts and will allow your profile to show up for branded search results
  • Building a Repoire- as you “Pin” images from your boards or website that are being shared within your network, other Pinterest users are sharing their love and support for your product and/or brand with their networks.
  • Brand Awareness- essentially every “Like”, “Pin”, and “Repin” is shared within the category that’s been chosen for it, as well as the network of the individuals who may have “Pinned” the image.

So how can you be a Pinterest addict like the rest of us?

At the moment Pinterest is on an “Invite Only” basis. You can request an invite directly from Pinterest.com, but you may end up waiting awhile or you can comment on this post with your email and we will send you over an invite from our Eminent SEO Pinterest account, so you can join instantly!

Pinterest Etiquette to Keep in Mind


  • Create a few boards: rather having one board, it’s best practice to make a few that cover a spectrum of topics and/or interests
  • Don’t get greedy: Pinterest does not like vain brands who just self-promote. “Pin” and “Repin” from multiple sources.
  • Don’t forget to “Repin”: this is the networking side of Pinterest. It’s the best way to build up your network of followers and engage with others.
  • When possible Pin from the original source: giving credit where it’s due is vital and shows that you are a great resource.
  • Pin from permanent links: nothing is worse than clicking a link that’s now non-existent. Make sure you are Pinning links that aren’t going anywhere.
  • Get the “Pin It” button for your browser: this will make Pinning on the web that much easier and seamless!

Hopefully this gave a lil more insight as to how Pinterest works and why it’s soo important for you and your brand to get involved.  Need an invite? Have your own thoughts about the site? Need us to set-up a Pinterest account for you? Be sure to leave us your comment below !



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