Optimize Pinterest For Business in 2020 – Drive Sales

By Joe | Brand Building

Feb 23
Pinterest Optimization

Optimize Pinterest For Business is the latest article in our Driving Traffic Series.    The goal is to help you advance your business and position yourself for a record setting Q4.  Enjoy! 

Originally written in 2018, this article has been updated several times to reflect the changes on Pinterest. 

Pinterest was the largest source of FREE traffic on the internet in 2018, 2019 and will continue to be in 2020. 

Ignoring this and not working it to generate what could be a lot of traffic is a mistake that could cost you your business in the end.   Over 93% of Pinterest users have used the site to plan purchases and over 87% of them report that they have made purchases(278 million purchases if they only buy once) after seeing an item on Pinterest.  

The bottom line is simple, if your products are not on Pinterest, none of those purchases are made from you.

Why Pinterest?

Use It To Plan For Purchases
Made A Purchase Because Of It
Access Via Mobile

Ask yourself, why am I not already using Pinterest to engage potential buyers and build solid FREE traffic to my products or content?

Pinterest Stats (updated 1/2020)

Pinterest is a powerful tool for social media marketers, sellers and brands that too many businesses and users are overlooking. Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool where people look for and save new and creative ideas.  

  • 330 million users that perform 2 billion monthly searches.  Half of those users are in the US (01/01/20)
  • 1 million businesses on Pinterest and they account for 2/3’s of all pins
  • 93% of active pinners said they use it to plan for purchases 
  • 87% said they’ve purchased something because of the site.
  • The average sale from a referral is almost $59.
  • Every day nearly 2M people Pin product rich Pins.
  • Approximately half of all Pinners earn at least $50K.  At least 10% of Pinners take home at least $125K
  • Active Pinners have a 9% higher household income than any other social media users.
  • 60% women/40 % men   The median age is 40.  Active Pinners avg. below 40 years old
  • 85% of users access it with mobile phone
  • Referral website traffic averages 5%, which is second only to Facebook.
  • A Pinterest Pin has a half-life of 3.5 months, vs. a Facebook Post @ 90 minutes or a Tweet @ 24 minutes (sources: DMR Business & Omnicore)

You can easily market to your target audience for a much smaller marketing budget because Pinners use Pinterest as a way to shop over the use of TV, catalogs or magazines.  They are open to being marketed to, which is not the case on other social media channels.

Using Pinterest For Business

When you register for pinterest, like any social media site, make sure to create a business profile and always include links back to your listings.  Do not use a link shortener as this will be seen as spam. These links count as high domain authority backlinks which is a kpi for ranking on google and rewarded by Amazon when converting sales or social shares come from it.

Focus on this guide for a quick overview of how you can benefit from Pinterest and a detailed strategy to maximize the benefits.

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Who Uses Pinterest?

Pinterest is different from some of the other social networks. Pinterest is a visual predictive search engine, made up of 60% women and 40% men. If this is your target demographic, there is nothing better than a captive audience.

How Pinterest Works

The key to success is to understanding how Pinterest works and how it is different from other social networks.  One key feature to keep in mind, pins naturally can get shared over and over and over.  Pins last forever!

Pinterest users create boards (think mood boards). Accomplished by pinning content found online, or material found while browsing other boards.   The result, a collage of images and ideas that they’ve found, commented on if desired and collected in one place.

Make the best use of Pinterest by applying SEO principles to all aspects of what you do.   What does this mean?   Keywords!  Like anywhere else, always work from a position of optimizing everything to be found in search.  This is accomplished by using keywords, keyword phrases and long-tail keyword phrases in all of you titles, descriptions and bio's/profiles.

The Purpose of Pinterest

The purpose of Pinterest is sharing ideas and drawing inspiration for a project, a checklist of best practices or a scrapbook of ideas and things that you like. If you were getting married next spring, you could search for wedding inspiration – decorations, venues, bridesmaid dresses, seating plans, table names, flowers, etc...

After finding ideas for things you like, you could pin it to your board. Eventually, you would develop a visual direction for your wedding, and you would have all the ideas all in one place.

Expanding on that feature is the ability to mark the board private or to let other users edit your board (your partner or best man/maid of honor). You can upload your images, including photos you’ve taken yourself.

In your search for wedding ideas, you might find yourself following boards of other users that have provided you with great ideas. More than likely, after creating your board, you will see others that share your interests following your boards.At the same time, they follow other boards that offer things such as fonts, sharing cool images from movies, pictures of places they would like to vacation, etc.

Optimize Pinterest For Business

Use the checklist below to layout your Pinterest strategy from the top down. These are the deliverables through which you can best maximize Pinterest to the advantage of your business

  • Use Both Broad And Exact Keywords—Some people search for pins that are very specific, while others only have a general idea of what they are looking for.  Reach the most pinners in your target market.
  • Pin High-Quality Engaging Content —Pin your original content yourself first.  As a content creator, you are telling Pinterest that this is your original content and how to categorize it.
  • Join Or Create A Community—Pinterest created communities in 2018 for you to engage and interact with like minded individuals.  The only way to enable the feature is to join a community via mobile.  Only then will you have access to communities
  • Tag Influencers—Tag influencers in your niche when you repin their content. You'll want to do this strategically, but it's a good way to get noticed by others. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and by letting influencers know you find their content impressive enough to share with your followers, they are likely to reciprocate.
  • Show Product Uses—One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is pinning images of their products. Instead, show how your products can be used. Show your target audience the multiple ways they too can use your product to make their lives better will get more attention. To help them imagine themselves using the product, so them its versatility.
  • Change Up Your Promoted Pins Often—It may feel easier to leave a Promoted Pin as is for as long as it’s working. However, research shows that changing your images, descriptions and even keywords on Promoted Pins is more effective at reaching more pinners in your target market. Pins last forever!
  • Analytics—Ensure that you have an analytics system connected to track your progress
  • Be Guided By Your Followers—Let your Followers take the lead.  Look at their pins and follow their intent.
  • Fill In Board And Pin Descriptions—Ensure that you integrate keywords, relevant phrases and broad phrases into your pins
  • Use Hashtags Sparingly—they are only effective in Pin descriptions
  • Add Our Logo—Include your logo in your profile and infographics when you can.
  • Use The Right Images—Ensure you are using quality images at the correct resolutions for the platform
  • Don’t Assume—Ensure you are aware of your competition and other people in the niche. "To be the man, you have to beat the man!" states popular wrestler Ric Flair.  You cannot be on top if you do not know what you need to beat.  
  • Rotate your Board Focus—Keep things fresh and give followers a reason to keep paying attention.
  • Create step-by-step tutorial images—This is the easiest place to start once you know who you are targeting

Where To Start

You need to find an ‘angle’ that will work within your niche or your industry. Begin by defining your target demographic and ensuring they use Pinterest.   Far too often businesses target markets where their demographic is not found.

Define Your Audience

  • Who is your demographic?
  • What is their lifestyle? Why do they use your product or service?
  • What solution/benefit are you are trying to communicate?
  • How can you best communicate to them and excite them using lifestyle indicators that will resonate with them?
  • Your board must effectively communicate the above, tactfully.  Lead them to it but make the idea to purchase, their own.  

Identify The Players

Proper planning is essential.  Far too often sellers develop their listings and sales adverts oblivious to what their competition is doing. Everyday sellers state how great their listings, products and offers are yet they have zero knowledge of what else is available on the market.  Seek out your competitor on Pinterest and set your minimal acceptable results and goals higher than theirs.  Mediocre or second best does not win the competition.  An easy way to find the most influential pinners in your niche is using Pinterest's own guided search.   Type your niche name in the search box.  At the right end of the search box, use the dropdown and choose people.  The results provided show the names behind the most powerful boards in your niche as demonstrated in the example below.

Pinterest Influencer Search

Specific industries lend themselves to this type of content. A crafts business, women's' fashion, baby products do very well on Pinterest. Believe it or not, bracelets are a hot selling item on Pinterest right now.   However, you will be hard-pressed to find a niche not represented on Pinterest, both B2C and B2B.   Pinterest is here to stay and its' influence on buying decisions will only strengthen moving forward.  In this business the lat ones to the table always have to settle for left over dust.  Dont be the last one to the table

Seek Input

Grab a few friends or business acquaintances and brainstorm ways to provide inspiration and motivation while subtly promoting your brand. Leave the hard sell routine for the other marketplaces. Pinterest is about suggestion and persuasion through imagery with emotional appeal.

Pinterest For Business

If you sell stocks though, having a successful Pinterest board will be more challenging. The key is to speak to the underlying lifestyle associated with successful stock ownership.

I'd create Pinterest boards about the quality of life ideas that come with financial gains, interior designs for beautiful homes, exotic travel destinations, etc...

A well thought out board can gather it's own momentum, going viral, independent from your business. That would be called Pinterest gold! A perfect position to promote your products, services or ideas.

Research, Evaluate & Define

To do this, you need to focus, real-time on Pinterest, treating it like its own product until you understand what messages work best for you. Test everything with many variations, keep track posts, when, and what does and does not work.

A reliable technique for product listings is first to read all the reviews and questions asked on your competitions listings to identify the solvable pain points experienced by buyers. Find a way to depict this via imagery or an infographic. Once you have begun gathering a targeted audience, rotate these items into your posts as a way to add authority.

If you have a blog, a niche blog centered around your products, each post should have imagery depicting the post subject. Optimize these images, filename, meta content, and share these to Pinterest as a way for your audience to stay abreast of your current topics and direction.

Steps To A Perfect Board

Tell a story with your board, building awareness. Show all of the uses and benefits that can come from purchasing the item.  Build interest and excitement by leading them through your board via the story as explained with imagery.   Ensure that your profile reflects your business information and has direct links back to your storefront or listings.

  1. Choose your topic wisely!  Ensure it is something that will appeal to your target market.
  2. Remember your first priority is to build engagement, not sell.  
  3. Pick a short, informative name for your board, (think keyword) but make sure it is unique and relevant.  
  4. Find an eye-catching image that relates to your board’s topic and use it as the board cover
  5. Start pinning! Be sure to always pin relevant and interesting content.  Be consistent !
  6. Keep the flow and structure tight.  The board is the book and the pins are the chapters.  
  7. Remember that there is SEO value to naming the boards and pins correctly

Pinterest Advertising

Promoted Pins are a method for businesses to guarantee that users see their product pins.  They are the same as pins except they are ads.  Read that again!  The key is to subtly, naturally promote your product while making the pin look natural and not like a sales pitch.  People share interesting content, not ads.

Promoted Pins never go away.  With Facebook or any type of PPC, when you stop paying the ad disappears.  With Pinterest, the shared promoted pins stay forever and can continue to be shared over and over again.  You determine your CPC.  Pinterest has a flaw in that it recommends bid amounts that are too high. You can choose to send $3.00 a day to test the water  

The half-life of an ad is the length of time it takes for an ad to reach half of its engagement.  The half-life of a tweet is 24 minutes.  The half-life of a Facebook post is 90 minutes.  The half-life of a Pin is 153,000 minutes,

Hot Topics

  • Your Products, Category, Services
  • Inspiration Boards
  • Infographics
  • List Element
  • List Element

Your Niche

  • How to Use Your Products & Services
  • Related Products
  • Trends in Your Field
  • Articles About Your Field
  • Pain Points Solved By Your Products


  • DIY Projects
  • Creative Uses of Your Products
  • Your Products in Exotic Locations


  • Photos of Products Being Made
  • Videos From Company Events
  • Photos of Your Employees
  • Business Related Community Events


  • Customer Testimonials
  • Customers With Your Products
Starbucks Pinterest Feed on FaceBook

Starbucks Pinterest Boards on Facebook

Sales Directly On Pinterest

While this article relates directly to driving traffic from Pinterest to Ecommerce listings, I would not be telling you the entire story without the following key points.  Pinterest also has a neat little feature called Buyable Pins, the ability to purchase directly on Pinterest without leaving Pinterest and without the high commission paid to sites such as Amazon.

A Buyable Pin features a buy now button next to the pin button.  The catch is currently only 4 platforms support Buyable Pins – Shopify, Demandware, Salesforce and Bigcommerce.  I suggest Shopify as it is very versatile.  For $9.00 a month you get a buy now capability that includes being able to accept 9 different payment methods without the long application process and access to the Shopify backend.

Full disclosure, I am a Shopify Partner. This is my affiliate link if you choose to sign up and want to use it.  Setting up and optimizing your Pinterest account is too much for this article and will be covered separately.   Hey features to keep in mind though are when using Buyable Pins the sale occurs on Pinterest.  Users can pay with a credit card or Apple pay and can closeout the sale with Touch ID (the swiping of their fingerprint).  This takes onsite sales to a new level.  Think impulse buying!

Pinterest Tool

Pinterest themselves have a browser tool which makes saving images from around the web. It adds a pin icon on any image on the web. It enables you to build collections of images and boards. The free Pinterest tool is available and will assist you with ease of use and organization.

What Is Next?

When this article was first written in early 2018, Pinterest was just beginning to apply changes that transformed it into the traffic generating powerhouse that it is now.  There is not enough space in this article to detail how to utilize Pinterest to fully take advantage of all of its' features and reach full potential.  We have created a 2 to 3 hour Workshop that goes in-depth into how to set Pinterest up properly and your strategy to potentially drive waves of warm traffic to your listings or content.  

For those of you that are extremely busy already and need a boost for your account, we have created a Pinterest Launch Service available further down this page.  This is a paid service designed to get your account setup, linked and optimized.,  It includes creating multiple boards and optimized Pins.  

PINTEREST TRAFFIC DOMINATION is available to you within our members area.  It is a FREE Workshop and is designed to assist and provide you with the necessary tools and ability to make changes beginning the day you start the workshop that will lead to quality traffic generation.  Our Workshops are designed to give you items that you can take action on immediately, impacting your outcome starting that day!

Get FREE Access to


Learn how to maximize your potential on Pinterest starting today by enrolling in our workshop.  In just a few short hours, you will be in a position to begin transforming your Pinterest account into a traffic producing power house.   This has the potential to crush all of your current marketing projects for less than the cost of half of a weeks groceries.   Pinterest is here to stay.  The longer it takes you to get on board with driving Pinterest traffic, the smaller of a slice of traffic you will see. 

Pinterest Launch Service

Pinterest Account Setup

Our strategy:

  • Generate a Keyword Rich profile
  • Build Great Boards with business, lifestyle and popular topicsCreate High-Quality Vertical Images showcasing helpful, beautiful, relevant, inspiring articles/products
  • Written Game Plan Package w/30 minute review consult upon completion

We Lay The Foundation:

  • Convert more browsers into BUYERS
  • Increase CLICKS (traffic) back to your website or listings
  • Showcase Stunning Images that lead to your PRODUCTS or articles
  • Motivate users to SHARE your content with their friends
  • Discover what your AUDIENCE loves
  • Extend your Influence as an EXPERT in your field
Pinterest Launch Service

Pinterest is the #1 source of FREE Ecommerce Traffic!  If you are not showcasing your products on Pinterest, you are missing out on sales!

Sign up TODAY & Take Advantage of our Launch Special
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Ecommerce Optimizer was created to help you master the marketplaces by making years of insight, experience and resources available. The forums and social sites are full of well-meaning but false information.  We present no black hat tactics, only solid result producing methods that have worked very well for us.  We will lead you to the information demonstrate and explain. Only you can apply it to your own listings and make it work! 


About the Author

Joe Reichsfeld is an Ecommerce Consultant with experience going back before 2000. Specializing in listing optimization and marketplace expansion, Joe currently assists clients with over 3.5 million sku's.