Twenty years of tinkering with hyperlinks. Otherwise known as URLs. Sometimes I forget, what seems obvious to me is not so obvious to other people. So there’s an opportunity. Let’s talk about links! More specific, let’s talk about getting people from Pinterest to your store, to buy your products.
For now, let’s assume:
A. You have some products pinned to Pinterest.
B. You have an eCommerce store.
The goal is to get people from A to B to make sales. How do we do that?
1. Link pins direct to your product’s detail page, where I can get more details and buy your product.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Isn’t that obvious?”
How often have you clicked a pin and you’re taken to the store’s homepage? Or taken to a generic category page? Isn’t that frustrating? Like you learned in school, the shortest distance from A to B is a straight line.
Why does this happen? I think businesses are just busy or not paying attention. Every extra click/tap it takes to get to your product (and through your checkout system) costs you sales.
If you have 500 products, that’s at least 1000 URLs to maintain in Pinterest. Maybe you just don’t have time for that. If that’s the case, you can hire me to take care of it for you.
When we click/tap your product on Pinterest, it should be an “Aha, found it!” experience. Not a “What bloody rabbit hole did I fall down!?” experience. We should find the same Pinterest photo somewhere on your detail page, but this time with full color depth and full resolution. Pinterest is just a preview. This way there’s no confusion I found the right page, the source of the photo.
If it’s not your photo, consider adding a link on your site that says, “Seen on (name of blog)” with a link to the blog post. Linking out to a relevant page (outside of your domain) should increase the product’s overall relevance and authority in Google, as long as the page has relevant context. And you just encouraged more people to photograph more of your products, increasing social proof.
To wrap this one up, I believe it’s best to link direct to the product and not the category, for the SEO value and because people are impatient. Is there a good reason not to? I noticed Anthropologie takes you to a category page instead of a product page. If you ask me, they screwed up. To give them the benefit of doubt, maybe their inventory is constantly changing. Even then, they could have the server do a fallback to a category URL on-the-fly. Better yet, create a waiting list, “Should we resurrect this product, would you like to be notified?” Combine that with a recommendation engine using keywords from each out-of-stock page.
2. Creepy URLs vs. Pretty URLs
First, what is a “pretty” URL? It’s concise and makes sense to both robots and humans:
A creepy equivalent:
Why is the pretty URL better?
– It looks credible. Dot-coms are the most trusted domains.
– A search engine can clearly see it’s a green sofa in a furniture category, which helps the search engine classify the page.
– Pinterest may associate this pin with other pins from the same domain. That’s a good thing.
– This URL passes Google PageRank authority to your specific product page.
Why is the “creepy” link creepy?
– We’re not really sure where it will take us. Would you click it?
– Redirection scripts are abused by spammers, which flags the tracker’s entire domain name in virus scanners. And you might not even notice. Somebody clicks your product: “WARNING: This URL is unsafe!”
– In the long run, you have less control over the link because we don’t own the domain. If the tracking company was sold or went out of business, all the links could be redirected somewhere else.
– Less PageRank is passed, if any. And GoogleBot is less likely to crawl what looks like a generated URL.
– Redirects are slower. Any additional delay costs you sales.
– A “product.html” or default index.html in the case of “/furniture/sofas/” is generally better for SEO than a .cfm, .php, .jsp, or other extension, which indicates the file is dynamic and not a static page. The search engine wants to know where they’re sending people. Yes, it’s absolutely confusing, which is what we want to avoid.
You might be thinking: What about the great stats I get from my link tracker? With a little work, you should be able to get all the same stats (and then some) using Google Analytics.
3. Don’t forget, add links to your pins, description and comments.
Last but not least, here’s a huge opportunity if you’re not already doing this. Every pin you have in Pinterest should have at least two links pointing to your store. Take advantage of this opportunity. If you upload a pin from your phone (for example) the pin doesn’t automatically link back to your store!
As you’ll see, you need a strategy. Think about your links.
Link 1 – The pin’s URL. If your pin doesn’t have a URL, people can’t click/tap your photo to get to your store. This is a big deal.
Link 2 – The description URL. If you’re not doing this, I’d say you’re flushing money down the toilet. It’s an extra link to your store, take it. If you already linked your product, you can also link your category or your homepage here. My advice is, sprinkle descriptive text between your links, this adds visual contrast. Here’s another tip. If you’re linking to a blogger’s product review, in addition to the product review URL, remember to also link to yourself!
Link 3 – This one is less obvious. It’s more about other people’s pins. I don’t see anyone doing this yet and I believe it’s a huge missed opportunity. Let’s say a blogger wrote an independent review of your product and the pin links to them, not to you. Take the opportunity to comment on the pin, “Thanks for the review! If you want XYZ, here’s the link http://example.com” Here’s another example. Your painting appears in a photo of living room. You can comment, “Hi, I’m the artist of the painting in the background, you can find it here http://example.com if you like it.”
If you’re using some kind of WordPress plugin, check these URLs to see if they’re correct. From my research, every WordPress plugin out there fails at this to some degree. If your users are pinning your photos, you want them to have the best links & descriptions possible.
If you’re not satisfied with your current Pinterest plugin/widget, get in touch with me. I can modify your code to inject the data fields Pinterest looks for.