You might have noticed that you are getting a lot of Pinterest views, saves, and click-throughs only to receive no signups and no interaction. Your visitors are bouncing right off your site, never to be seen again.
Content creation, strategizing, and exhausting efforts have left you feeling disillusioned with the lack of results. So why does this happen? Let’s look at some reasons that your visitors are high-tailing it off your website.
Pinterest is Always Changing
Before we begin this list-a-thon, let me first say that sometimes Pinterest is like that really weird Uncle. Most of the time he’s nice and plays well, but sometimes he’s just bizarre and starts picking his nose or doing random “uncle-y” stuff and you walk away shaking your head.
Pinterest has its downtimes and up times. Based on what you are pinning, there also might be people pinning certain things because of a holiday, trend, or season. That is, Pinterest can have higher engagements and saves seasonally. It’s good to look at your numbers annually.
Pinterest wants you to go out and do the thing things it suggests, so sometimes that’s exactly what is happening! People are living their lives and the reason your numbers are down is that people just aren’t on Pinterest that much.
Even so, let’s check out some other reasons why your pins are failing to capture traffic.
1 – Have You Given Pinterest Enough Time?
Pinterest is a long-game. That means that when you post a pin, you might not see the results for several months. So maybe people aren’t even visiting your website — or the right people aren’t because you haven’t given it enough time.
While you are waiting, make sure you are keyword optimizing your pins. Make sure your board titles and descriptions are the very best they can be. Make sure images stand out or create ones that will. A/B test your images and see what happens to your pins in the long-haul of your Pinterest strategy.
2 – Is Your Website Slow? Is it Attractive?
There’s like a bazillion things you can do to make your website faster and most of them require a Ph.D. in ones and zeros. I always cringe when people talk about website speed.
Here’s what I do know: websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load are losing people. So if you are a business, those extra seconds count.
- Test your website speed using GTMetrix, Pingdom, or Page Speed Insights. Personally, I like GTMetrix the best. I have differing scores based on what I use which further frustrates me, so just take what you can from these tests.
- Optimize your images, so they aren’t yuge (“huge” said like Donald Trump). I’m not talking about resizing your images though. What I am talking about is reducing the file size. Optimizing your images can increase your load speed. Try this tool for optimizing images.
- Cache your website, alright? I use Flywheel which does this for me, but you can also use plugins and other tools to cache your pages.
- If you are a super fly tech-guy (or girl), check out this article by Niel Patel about how to do a bunch of tech crap I can’t explain.
Other Website Factors
Besides the slowness factor, the design of your website should also play a huge role in whether visitors stay or go. If your website is not designed for mobile, then you are in big trouble. According to soc Pub, 57% of users won’t recommend a website that is not responsive or is poorly designed. Another 88% said that they would not return to a website if they had a bad experience (source: Inside Design).
If your visitors are hopping away like Peter Rabbit, take a good look at the design and speed of your current website to see where you might need support.
3 – Do you have too many pop-ups and ads?
When I visit a website and I have to click an X more than once, I really get heated. No one wants to click off your videos and advertisements. Inline ads are usually fine, but anything that interferes with the user experience is going to get annoying. People have a low tolerance for things like that.
For example, one of my favorite food bloggers recently started putting up auto-play videos on her sidebar. Since she’s trying to monetize her blog, I have to click on the video to stop it. Also, she put up ads that pop up on the bottom. Along with the bars that are now being shown at the bottom of many websites to accept their policies, this gets extremely aggravating. If I encounter this, I click off the website. It just appears spammy to me.
A Note About Pop-Ups
Vieo Design did some research about advertisements and they concluded that most people don’t hate ads. They just really hate the annoying ones. This includes videos that play automatically (nothing worse than being in public when you accidentally scare someone with your loud video ad). Here is what they found:
The advertising that is most resented by consumers is (shocker!) pop-up ads, with a 73% disapproval rating. Even Google hates them. Mobile ads come in a close second, with 70% agreeing with the statement “I dislike them.” In third place are online video ads that play before content loads (like on YouTube) with 57% dislike.
Do your research before you sit down to write your posts and you will be miles ahead. Don’t just whip up a post so you can mark off a to-do list. Value is more important than frequency. Long-form content that offers valuable information will keep people on your website and turn them into subscribers.
4 – Are your exit modals irritating your audience?
Exit modals are those opt-ins on websites that ask you to sign up when you go to close the web page. I think these are great for capturing subscribers if done in a way that works by making it easy for people to close them. Don’t make them click around trying to figure it out.
Using them on mobile is a big fat NO.
In 2017, Google decided to rank websites lower if they used exit modals (they use the term “interstitial”):
Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.Google Webmaster Central Blog
Be sure to disable exit modals on mobile and make it user-friendly everywhere else.
5 – Is Your Call-to-Action Cohesive?
Have you ever clicked on a pin and it took you to some spam site? It’s happened to me. That’s actually a sign of someone stealing a pin. But what’s almost as bad as when you see a pin that, for instance, says “Click here for my free PDF” and you get a paid product advertisement. It’s the right brand and post, but it’s not free. Or maybe there is no actual sign up form.
Either way, the call-to-action (CTA) is a giant lie. It says one thing but leads to something else. Don’t do that. Make sure your pins always lead to what you say they are leading to. Don’t mislead people or you’ll find them leaving as fast as they came in.
6 – Do your website links work?
One reason a viewer might get annoyed at your website is that the links don’t work. This can happen in two places: on your website or on your actual pin. Sometimes, as I already mentioned, hackers will remove your URL and put their own in. This is true of pins that get a lot of views and saves. So make sure your pin URL’s are working.
Make sure your pins always lead to what you say they are leading to. Don’t mislead people or you’ll find them leaving as fast as they came in.
7 – Where do you want your website visitors to go?
Can people easily find things on your website? When someone lands on your website, blog post, or landing page, they usually leave because they have nowhere else to go. If your blog post is just a post with no signup, no call to action, or just kind of ends, people might not sign up because they finished reading and now they are done. Off to something else.
People often say they have a lot of ways for people to sign up, but when it comes down to it, they really don’t. If you aren’t looking for email signups, it’s possible the action you want them to take is at the bottom of your post or page. Move that baby up towards the top. No one wants to read your entire article. Give your audience options and assume they aren’t reading your content in any kind of uniform fashion.
8 – Is Your Content Causing Problems?
If all you do is write a bunch of paragraphs and don’t break it up at all with visuals, varying weights or sizing in your fonts, or anything else…people will walk away.
It’s a known fact that people skim when reading on the web. That’s because it’s a lot harder on their eyeballs than a book is. So they skim and jump around and hardly ever finish the entire article. They hop around looking for things that pop out to them personally.
So use bullet points, bolded or italicized text, and add some images too. Use captions on your images that match up with your post theme and keywords. Make your posts easy on the eyeballs.
9 – Are you writing to your website audience?
So much has been said about knowing your audience. I’m a big fan of the Love-Based Copy System by Michele PW. In her book, she discusses niches (target markets or niche markets) vs. ideal clients. She prefers ideal clients because the former isn’t narrow enough.
She writes in her book “Love Based Copywriting System“:
Ideal clients…are defined by internal factors–values, motivations, core beliefs. An example of an ideal client is a stay-at-home mom, between the ages of 30 and 50, who is looking for a business opportunity because she feels like she’s losing her identity in her family.Love Based Copywriting System, Book 2, Michele Pariza Wacek (Chapter 1)
You can read more about this on her blog and get a better idea of the differences between a niche market and an ideal client.
Ideal Client Avatar
Create an avatar of your ideal customer or reader. Try to answer these questions when creating your ideal customer:
- How old are they?
- What is their occupation?
- What age group are they in?
- What are the things that keep them up at night?
- What do they like to do for fun?
- What areas are they stuck in?
Another idea is to picture someone you’ve helped either as a client or as a non-paid project that you would want to help again. What made this person easy and great to work with? What did they appreciate about you?
Research Pain Points
You might be thinking “That’s great for people with experience, but how can you know your audience when you are just starting out?”
Here are a few ideas that have helped me:
- Quora – search up content based on your niche and see what others are asking. If your ideal client is struggling with anxiety, look up keywords related to anxiety and see what people are asking.
- Facebook Groups – Follow groups on Facebook that align with your niche. For example, I follow boards about Pinterest Marketing as well as general graphic design boards. This gives me a clue about what people are struggling with.
- Surveys – if you have an email list, survey your list and see what their pain points are. What do they need help with? What are their current struggles?
- Social Media hashtags – Search common hashtags and do some social listening. Find out what others are discussing in your niche.
10 – Does your copy suck?
There is no shortage of crappy copy. If I’m going to sign up to your list, first of all, you better bring your A game. Period. Here are some awful choices some websites have made that make me never return:
- Incorrect spelling of words – There is no reason not to use spell check or at least ask for a 2nd set of eyes to proof your writing.
- Poor grammar and punctuation – Grammarly, anyone? They have a free version, so please use it.
- Boring headlines and titles (I probably won’t even click on the post if you do this) – Try to use Headline Generators like this one from Co-Schedule. Opt for good headlines or expect no traffic.
- Talking over my head or trying to sound academic (be human, please)
- Using overly descriptive, poetic sounding words – While some blogs are actually poetic and romanticized, most websites for businesses don’t need flowery descriptions.
- Using too many swear words – I admittedly subscribe to a blog that focuses on copywriting and he uses the F word every now and then. It works because he uses it randomly. Blogs that swear every sentence, to me at least, are unreadable and not funny or interesting. Their use of swear words appears to me like they are too lazy to form real sentences with variety.
- Trying too hard to be funny – Being witty is an art. Throwing jokes into every paragraph just to be funny is actually not funny.
- Trying too hard to incorporate pop culture – I follow several blogs and some I’ve unfollowed due to using too many references to rap music, Game of Thrones, or some other current fad. The problem isn’t so much that it’s not interesting or funny, but if you want evergreen content (think: 10 years from now, I can still read this and it applies), then it becomes a bit dated.
- People who don’t get to the point quick enough – Sometimes people have a tendency to ramble and consider their audience is stupid. There’s a difference between being thorough and helpful and being overly wordy or explaining things that don’t need to be explained.
I have a secret board where I collect Pinterest pins that has bad copy. I like to see how people are writing and using language. Here are a few mentions:
- 7 Work at Home Jobs for Shy Moms
- Want to Build Genuine Relationships in the DM’s
- How to exfoliate with PHA’s
- You will never guess why my Pinterest account suspended
- 30 Ways to Make Money with No Money
Do you see the problem with the above copy? All of these examples are assuming the reader will talk like they do. What if someone didn’t know what a PHA was? Do I really care why your Pinterest account was suspended? Am I going to search “way to make money with no money” or would I search “How to make money when you’re broke?”
Writing copy should always be geared to how your audience speaks and thinks.
11 – Are your graphics appealing?
Copy is nothing without graphics. Copywriting and graphics go hand-in-hand. A few things to keep in mind with graphics:
- Use high-resolution photos
- Use photos that go with your copy (don’t use a dog when your audience are senior citizens)
- Don’t steal images. Use photo sites like Unsplash or Pexels which offer free, high-quality photos
- Use images on your pins and website that are visually appealing and realistic, not so much abstract
- Make sure your images are designed for mobile. Cursive fonts tend to be unreadable. Try using more readable fonts for better exposure.
Tools like Canva are great for a quick template or Pinterest pin, but it’s also overused. If you can find a way to stand out from Canva and everyone else, you can be a step ahead. For example, using Adobe Photoshop and creating unique images for your Pinterest strategy or blog will attract people to your website. This is, however, not attainable for everyone so try to stand out with your own style and branding on Canva if you use it.
12 – Is your lead magnet any good?
Nothing is worse than a lead magnet or opt-in freebie that sucks. Is your freebie offering real value? Or is it just there because you thought you needed something?
Your lead magnet should offer value but also be well-made. It should tie in with your overall blog strategy, not just be a stand-alone freebie. It should give the impression of “Wow, this was free? I wonder what the paid materials are like?”
I really love Meera Kothand when it comes to strategy and email marketing. In addition, here is a great article you can use to start focusing on a lead magnet that converts: Does Your Lead Magnet Suck?
13 – Does your website have a clear niche?
When someone arrives on your website, do they know right away what it’s about? Or do they have to poke around? Consider that most people don’t come in through your home page either. Some come in through landing pages, posts, or even category archive pages. Can they tell from your content, headers, and other areas what you are all about? Or is it a giant guessing game?
14 – Do you always make it about you?
This might also go under “your copy sucks” but I made this its own item. When you write your about page, posts, and home page content, stop using the word “I”. No one cares about you. Honestly, they don’t.
Most importantly, they care what you are going to provide for them.
While it’s critical to nurture your audience, don’t make your website about you. Make it about your ideal clients. Write to their pain points. For example, when I write to my ideal client, I make sure to say things like “You need to know how to design pins” or “You need someone to help you understand your Pinterest strategy.” I don’t say, “I can help you design pins.”
That’s not to say I never use “I” statements, but that I limit how often I do. I use language geared towards the ideal client instead of talking about myself. For instance, my about page is not filled with “I like dogs and coffee”. No one cares. Instead, I focus on the value that you can receive from sticking around with me.
15 – Are your posts valuable to your readers?
How can your blog or website provide value? Are you already providing it?
First of all, you provide value by giving away your content for free. Not everything though. Nurture your audience with free content in your email marketing and then they will be excited to buy your products and services. But it all starts with value.
Secondly, don’t just put out the same crap everyone else is. Dig deep and provide real help. What is a solution to their problem? For this website, I provide specific solutions to Pinterest problems. How do I create a graphic quickly? What’s the best tool to use? Where do I find images that aren’t cheesy? This is what I aim to assist my readers with. What do you provide?
This post has a lot of information in it, so I’ve made a printable checklist. The checklist also contains links if you want to get help with specific categories. Find the gaps in your website and strategy and you’ll start seeing more Pinterest leads.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that, if clicked and purchased, I earn a small commission. If you take issue with that, visit the direct link and snatch the $4 latte from my hands.