Pinterest Popped: Why It Won’t Drive Traffic To Your SitePosted: March 30, 2012 | |
Pinterest has been gaining a lot of interest over the last few months, with nearly every other tweet being about the new social site.
One of the main claims is that it is a great site for driving traffic to your website. However, these claims cannot be taken at face value.
Just like any other social site Pinterest can be a beneficial platform for your social media campaign, but it is unlikely to improve traffic and here’s why.
To write this blog I read a number of articles about Pinterest traffic and I’ve found that “traffic” is being used as a buzz word to increase the appeal of the site. Article after article mention how Pinterest can drive traffic to your site.
A thenextweb.com article reads:
“We’ve already seen that Pinterest drives more traffic than Twitter, as well as more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, but one thing we haven’t heard much about is where all that traffic is actually going.”.
That is a really good question and yet it is one that has been heavily overlooked:
A phillipjstone.com article reads:
“Have boards that interest your new visitor to the point that they consider following your links to the site you are promoting”
But what site are you promoting? When you use Pinterest you share links to other sites, not your own. Think about it: when you find a new image for your board, what do you do? The answer: pin the image linking to the external site and in so doing the external site gains traffic.
An agbeat.com article reads:
“Pinterest users aren’t just looking at pins all day, they are proving to be information seekers that click through the actual pins to learn more.”
So, it is the image sources that gain the traffic not your own site. When looking at the stats at face value, it does seem that Pinterest is a great source of traffic for your site but on closer inspection this is not the case. It could only ever be the case if you uploaded images to your own site and then pinned those images.
However, if you only pin images on external sites then you are essentially working for external webmasters, promoting their sites for them. Don’t get me wrong Pinterest can add to the social signals that Google likes to see, but it can’t drive traffic to your site.
When you explore the most popular sources of content on Pinterest you will see that most of them have their own sources of images. Amazon, Etzy, Polyvore, Martha Stewart, Flickr – these all host their own images and because of their popularity that is why they gain traffic from Pinterest.
I think that when people start to realise this that they will reassess the value that Pinterest can add to their business. If you have your own database of images then you can win with Pinterest but if you use Pinterest how it is suppose to be used (the sharing of external images) then don’t expect your traffic to significantly rise.