What is Pinterest?
You may have already heard about the latest social networking phenomenon that is Pinterest. But unless you have created an account (*) and began to play around with the platform, you might be wondering exactly what it entails.
In summary; Pinterest comprises endless interactive “image boards” on which users can “pin” any visual content that they find on the web that is off interest to them. People may pin content for their own benefit or for the purpose of sharing such with other users of the site. Content pinned by all users can be viewed by category (for example Art, Humour and Pets) whilst members can also create their own, more specific image boards within their profile. Examples of these could include ‘Wedding Ideas’, ‘Cute Animals’, ‘Designer Handbags I Like’ etc. Members can also choose to follow any of these specific boards that are created by other users of the site.
Arguably, the platform is less of a social networking website and more closely aligns to the definition of a bookmarking website. Think of Pinterest as a visual version of Digg or Reddit.
(*) NOTE: Account creation currently requires an invite from a current member or a 48 hour wait.
Pinterest: Why the Fuss?
According to Alexa.com, traffic to Pinterest has increased by around 200% over the last three months alone. This now sees more than 11 million people visiting the site every week and January 2012 saw Pinterest receive more visits than online giants Linked In, YouTube and Google+ – pretty impressive!
Traffic stats also indicate that the site is particularly popular with moderately educated individuals under the age of 35 with incomes of more than $30,000 per annum. This is significant because this is a demographic with a hefty amount of disposable income which big brands could get their hands on should they use the site effectively! Luxury fashion brand Burberry, for example, has utilised Pinterest recently to showcase their new collections to the masses.
It is also interesting to note that around three quarters of Pinterest are female.
Are There Any SEO Benefits of Pinterest?
In terms of SEO (or; Search Engine Optimisation) for businesses, getting involved with any popular social network makes good sense for this is a great way for brands to engage with current and potential customers. In addition, Google has also insinuated that social signals are to become increasingly important for ranking positions related to certain search queries. Adding the Pinterest ‘Pin’ button (alongside those for Facebook, Twitter and Google+) to a brand’s website pages that contain visual content then is highly recommended.
There is also a Pinterest button which invites visitors to a brand’s web page to follow said brand’s activity on Pinterest.
Pinterest means that the SEO-optimising of any images which appear on a company’s website is more important than ever. Someone looking to add more images to a board entitled ‘Designer Handbags I love’ (to use a previous example) could stumble across a business’s bags via a Google Image Search if they are well optimised. The inclusion of such images on the ‘Designer Handbags I love’ board – or any Pinterest image board – could lead to more traffic (and therefore potentially profit) to an ecommerce website.
Business that use Pinterest to run a competition (for example; “Post a picture of your 2012 fashion icon to win one of ten pairs of Jimmy Choos”) could see more links to the brand’s website around the WWW, especially if said competition is promoted via Facebook, Twitter and Google+ too (cross promotion can only ever be helpful!)
Links published on Pinterest are classified as “do follow” links though it is not yet clear whether this fact has that much SEO benefit. This could however be due to the fact that the platform is still in beta status.
The author of this guest post – Martha Harvey – dips in and out of Pinterest during her working days in the office completing website design tasks.