Use Pinterest To Drive Referral Traffic To Your Site

Use Pinterest To Drive Referral Traffic To Your Site

About six months ago, coming across articles on “using Pinterest to build your brand” was simply unavoidable. So, once we ran out of excuses, we hopped on the bandwagon. We started a Boldist account, added a handful of boards and started pinning. While we were aware that this social channel had the potential to bring recognition to the brand and traffic to our website, we didn’t really expect to see such a huge increase in referrals for such little effort.

If you’re already using this tool as part of your social media marketing strategy, nice work. Now, go look at your referral traffic. We’re willing to bet a huge chunk is coming from Pinterest.

If you aren’t using it, chances are you:

  • Don’t understand it
  • Feel exhausted at the thought of adding one more social media site to your everyday tasks
  • Are a Pinterest hater (which there are many of…)

As of March 2020 (and the latest revision of this blog post), Pinterest has reached 335 million monthly Pinterest users, with more than 2 billion searches on Pinterest every month. So for this single post, we are choosing to play devil’s advocate to all of your, well, excuses at not embracing Pinterest. Feel free to skip ahead to the section that best applies to you!


For those of you who have scrolled through Pinterest and felt overwhelmed or confused, know that it is very simple to use. You just need a quick Pinterest 101 session:

Creating Boards

This is one of the most important steps in creating a Pinterest account for your company. Pinterest requires you to create boards (content categories, if you will). These boards allow you to organize your account in a clean, image-based fashion, where users can easily and quickly browse through content. If viewers want to learn more or read an attached article, clicking the photo will often link to its original source. Determine your interests and what others would want to view from you, fuse the two together and create your boards. As a creative agency, this may involve packaging concepts, logo design, gadgets, videos, and more. The power of Pinterest is that 72 percent of Pinterest users are inspired to shop, even when they were not actually searching for something in particular. Pinterest generates aspiration, which in turn creates a more relatable personality for your company or brand. A great example of this is the Home Depot Pinterest account, which features boards such as how-to pins, bathroom project ideas, and eco-friendly home ideas. When users click on a pin, it takes them to a unique landing page, such as Eco-Options Home Depot where they can learn more, rather than taking them directly to a product.

Pinning and Repinning

The more you pin, the more you’re repinned, and vice versa. Most images throughout the web can be pinned to your boards by adding the “Pin It” button to your toolbar. When you pin something from the web or from Pinterest itself, it shows up in the feed of anyone who follows you, giving them the option to repin directly from their homepage. The frequency of your pins will determine how often you are showing up in their feed. The search feature should also be utilized to find topics (or other companies and brands) you are interested in. When you repin an image, the original pinner is notified via email. If they are not already following you, they will likely click your “name” to see if you two have other common interests and if you are worth following.

Who To Follow and How

It is smart to gain exposure by engaging your Facebook fans and Twitter followers on their Pinterest accounts, but you don’t have to follow all of their boards to do so. Pick and choose which boards you want to follow so that your newsfeed is full of relevant images. When looking for more followers, seek out the users behind your favorite pins, look at who they’re following and connect. Looking into users who are repinning your content is a good way to locate those with similar interests as well.


Chances are you’re already juggling social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. Adding a Pinterest account to this list might seem like a daunting task that you are far too tired to take on. Have no fear! Pinterest is set up in a way that is easy to repin posts to your own boards from your followers. If you see it and like it, then pin it and move on with your day. This also functions as a bookmarking tool for products and inspiration.

Use Found Content in Multiple Locations

You are likely keeping your eyes peeled for good social content everywhere you look on the web. Maybe you scour blogs. Maybe you have Google Alerts or Feedly notifications set up for specific topics. While we don’t think that you should stop those efforts, Pinterest is becoming the largest source for internet content, offering the ability to work in correlation with your other social efforts. A simple scrolling through your home feed, repinning and reposting, you are engaging users and locating solid content at the same time.

Value Prop

For a long time, Twitter was considered the main tool for gaining referral traffic, but that became a thing of the past. In fact, in early 2012 Pinterest passed Twitter, StumbleUpon, Bing, and Google (not Google organic) in referral traffic. While Pinterest is in no way a substitute for your Twitter account, it can offer better (and faster) results. Unlike your Twitter feed, “links” posted to Pinterest are visible for users to see and are not lost in the sea of words and hashtags. People are more likely to click, pin, repin, like, etc. if your “content” is already staring them in the face. Test it! Post an image or video to your Twitter account (in link version) and then pin the same thing to your Pinterest account and see how visual content wins.


We’ll admit, when Pinterest first began, it appeared to be an estrogen-filled site for sharing nail art, fashion trends, DIY home decor projects, and wedding planning. While there is still an abundance of this content, given that 71 percent of Pinterest users are female, artists, graphic designers, bloggers, and brands are infiltrating this social network and shattering its “female-only” stigma. You decide who you follow and the content you view. In addition to its apparent marketing abilities, we’ve found Pinterest to be a helpful source in gaining design inspiration and bookmarking awesome finds throughout the web.