How to Make Your Website Pinterest Friendly

From Jen: I have become an avid Pinterest user, both for myself and well as my clients, over the last couple of months. But one thing I’ve found frustrating is the inability to pin images from certain sites (including direct sales sites!) You can see the images on the web page, but Pinterest doesn’t recognize them. Not being a web programmer myself, I turned to my friend and colleague Michael Vossler (who is, incidentally, one of the smartest people I know) and his team at Impact Video and Audio Productions. I asked him if he and his team could explain what is causing the problem, and what are the solutions. Michael came through with this excellent article. Thanks guys!

Michael Vossler

How to Make Your Website Pinterest Friendly
by Michael Vossler and the team at Impact Video and Audio Products, http://impactva.com

Last December, Pinterest attracted nearly 11 million visitors. The growing social network, most popular with females 25 to 44, uses a highly visual format for sharing content: users simply “pin” something to a digital pinboard and voila—it’s visible to the whole community. Free advertising, just like that!

Unfortunately, not all websites are Pinterest-friendly. Images or text embedded in Flash videos or picture galleries may not display properly, making it difficult to share a coupon, a pair of shoes, or even a movie review. If at first you don’t succeed, most users won’t try again.

Thankfully, making your website Pinterest-friendly is easy. The first step is to understand how most users will pin your content.

How Users Pin Your Content

Most users (or “Pinheads”) use a simple browser add-on. When they find something of interest, they click a button in their bookmark bar. Pinterest grabs images from the page and offers them to the user; after choosing one, the user logs in and pins that image to a related pinboard.

While easy and convenient for users, this is where problems arise for businesses. Sometimes the wrong image is displayed (if at all), or the linked page is not the original page—the one where users could potentially buy your product.

A simple safeguard against this is to provide accurate photos, visibly related to their descriptions, and always within a click or two of buying options. Also, the images must be on the actual page, not displayed as backgrounds. The best approach is to design your pages with Pinterest in mind, using the free tools provided by the site.

Free Tools from Pinterest

Under the “Goodies” section of its help page, Pinterest provides two simple methods for making your website Pinterest-friendly:

Method #1: “Follow Button” for Websites

Like a blog subscription, this method involves displaying a button in a prominent area of your website. Pinterest provides not only a variety of buttons but also the necessary coding.

Method #2: “Pin It” Button for Content:

This button is intended to appear beside the content it represents, and more than one button can be used on the same page. Pinterest offers basic and advanced options (complete with coding) for adding the button, with the ability to specify what image gets pinned.

Considering a Pinterest Account

Additionally, you may want to set up a Pinterest account. This would provide your business with direct access to the Pinterest community; however, not every business is a great fit. In “Pinterest for Direct Selling,” Jennifer talks about qualities unique to the community—such as a preference for sharing rather than promoting—and describes what kinds of businesses would be most at home there. In her December post, she also provides strategies for advertising using pinboards.

Whether or not you make an account, this much is certain: with Pinterest-friendly websites, everyone wins.
Michael Vossler has a rare combination of artistic, musical and technological abilities. A talented video producer/director, graphic designer, recording engineer, animator, and self-described computer geek, Michael Vossler loves getting involved in every aspect of his clients’ projects. Michael creates the types of business communications that people love to experience. Clients include Barefoot Books, The Body Shop at Home, Microsoft and Hyundai, to name just a few. When not immersed in his business, Michael enjoys going to air shows, composing music, and performing with his band in the Seattle area and around the world. Visit his website at http://impactva.com

4 Responses to How to Make Your Website Pinterest Friendly
  1. Mrs.halvorsen
    February 26, 2012 | 10:20 pm

    This several ideas you share with us can surely help me to manage my self in creating a kind of great pinterest… Thanks a lot!
    Mrs.halvorsen recently posted..RSA Certificate

  2. Allan McNaughton
    February 26, 2012 | 8:35 am

    I just added the PinIt button to our shopping cart. You can see an example at:

    https://azuliskye.com/index.php?option=com_bms&jrun=/web_orders/viewitem/1501/

    It’s important to note that the URL and MEDIA arguments of the Pinterest link must be encoded (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percent-encoding).

    The actual HTML looks like this:

    Pin It

    Our view item page also includes a zoom feature so I set the PinIt image to use the largest available image (it’ll look better on Pinterest).

    This is mostly relevant only to programmers, as the PinIt button should be added programmatically to your shopping cart.

    Talk to your direct selling software vendor if you haven’t built your own stuff :)

    Allan

  3. Robert Rosenthal
    February 25, 2012 | 8:59 pm

    I’ve been wondering if this is a good place for me to invest my time. Thanks for the information. You’ve made it easier for me to make a knowledgeable choice.
    Robert Rosenthal recently posted..Home Based Business Opportunity and a Positive Mindset

  4. Belinda
    February 25, 2012 | 12:27 am

    Thank you for all the very helpful information you have given about Pinterest. I have found it to be very clear and concise!

    Keep up the great work Jen!

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