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Bike with Open sign and overlay saying Get You Pinterest Account Open for Business

Most small-business owners have heard by now that Pinterest is THE place to be if they want to market their products and grow their business. Even knowing this, there are lots of people that choose to ignore Pinterest because they "don't get it" or they wonder  if they "really need another social media network." If you're one of these people, you're in luck. I'm sharing not only the first steps you need to go through to get your Pinterest account open for business (with screen shots), but an overview of why you need Pinterest, as well!

Pinterest Background Information

Ok, before we get started, a little info about Pinterest. Many people see Pinterest as a social media platform. While it does have the social aspect of being able to follow your friends, share ideas with them, and collaborate, that's not all it is. Pinterest's purpose is actually more of a search engine, like Google, than a social media platform, like Facebook or Instagram. I've heard it's the third most-used search engine, although I haven't been able to confirm that. No matter what the actual rank, because it's a search engine, you want to be on it!

Another thing to note about Pinterest is visitors are looking to take action. They aren't on there to see pictures of their aunt's new kitten or what outfit their best friend from high school wore on a blind date. They are looking for ideas or products for a specific purpose in their life. Sometimes they might be looking for a recipe to make for dinner next Tuesday or ideas for a nursery, but pinners do so much more than that on Pinterest.

According to this article from Hootsuite, 93% of pinners report using Pinterest to plan a purchase. They use it to research various products, check out different options, and even buy products. A study from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth found that millenials are more likely to buy something after they have pinned it (47%) than after liking it (38%) or tweeting about it (33%). Crazy, right?

Why You Want Your Pinterest Account Open for Business

You might be wondering now why you want your Pinterest account open for business. Here's why. As mentioned above people use Pinterest to shop, but WAIT! There's more! (Did you read that in your best infomercial voice? If not, you might want to go back and read it again).

The Hootsuite article mentioned above stated 97% of searches on Pinterest are unbranded, and 63% of millenials said Pinterest helps them discover new brands and products to buy. That means, if your small business isn't on Pinterest, you're missing out on people that are more open to buying from you. You're losing out on serious potential business!"

Another serious consideration is how long a pin stays alive on Pinterest. This article discusses how a tweet is gone after a few minutes (7), Facebook posts disappear from most newsfeeds after about an hour, but a Pinterest pin has the potential to stay visible for months, or even years, after it's originally pinned. I can't tell you how often I run across pins that were originally from 2012, but are still applicable today. Of course, if you're looking for current statistics for a post on something like the use of Pinterest for businesses, you don't really want something that's 6 years old.

Starting to Get Your Pinterest Account Open for Business

Are you still with me? Have I convinced you that you need your Pinterest account open for business?? If you're still awake (or maybe you skipped all of my info above), I'm finally ready to share how to get your Pinterest business account up and running!

Go to pinterest.com and click on Create a Business Account.

Pinterest sign-up page with a pink arrow pointing to Create Business Account and May Virtual Assists logo

Fill out information they request. This includes email address, password, business name, and category from the dropdown. Click Create a Business Account.

Pinterest business page sign up with an arrow saying fill in all this information

Get the Pinterest Chrome Extension. It's amazing. When you're on any website, you click on the extension on the top right of your browser, choose a picture from the pop-up screen, choose which board you want to pin it to, add a caption (optional), and click Pin. So easy!

Pinterest Chrome extension install page with pink arrow pointing to extension spot by address bar saying, "It's right here"

Choose at least one category that is relevant to your business to get your account started. This gives the Pinterest algorithm information about your business so it can begin showing you relevant pins. After you've chosen a category, Pinterest will take to this page that's full of pins the algorithm thinks are relevant to you based on what you chose. Don't worry if it's way off, because it will get better as you optimize your profile, boards, and pins. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, I'm going to show you in the next post.

Once you get to this main page of your account with pins that fit in the category (or categories) you chose, you're ready to finish getting your Pinterest account open for business. At the top right, click on the little person and choose Settings.

Main pinterest page wih arrows pointing showing how to access Account Settings

Scroll down to Profile. The business name will be there already, and I'm going to show you how to improve on your name in the next post. I would upload a picture of you or your logo to be your favicon. You'll see why that matters in a little bit. You can leave the About You blank for now, or you can fill it in. I can promise you that you will change what you put in there after next week's post.

Pinterest profile section with arrows pointing to where to upload favicon and where not to put About You right now

Claiming Your Website

Claiming your website is a little tricky, so I first want to share why you want to claim it. There is a significant difference between a claimed website and an unclaimed website. Check the difference in the images below.

The top image shows my search results when I searched swingsets.

This image shows an unclaimed website. Notice it only has the link where it came from. When I went to the site, it's not a used domain, so I don't feel bad showing it.

The third site is from a claimed site, Babble. You'll notice it has the familiar B, which is the favicon for Babble. It also says the official Pinterest account name, the number of followers, and it gives you the option to follow Babble.

Here's a video to show you how to claim your website. I wanted to share a video, because there are people that freak out when you talk about html. But this isn't that complicated, I promise. The steps are written out after the video.

    • In Settings, go down to Website. Notice the benefits they list for claiming the website and that your website is already listed.
    • Click Claim Website.
    • Choose the top one for Add HTML metatags. Highlight the lines in the box and hit Ctrl C (or weird Mac button C) to copy.
  • If your website does not have Headers easily accessible, go to the WordPress Dashboard for your site and scroll down to Plugins. Hover over Plugins, then click on Add New. Use the box in the top right to search for Headers. Choose the plugin (Insert Headers and Footers), install, and then activate the plugin. It will take you back to the main Plugin page. Choose configure the plugin link from the information in the center of the screen.
  • Once on the screen to configure the site, paste the code you copied from the Pinterest website (Ctrl V to paste) into the header section and save it.
  • Go back to Pinterest and click Next, then Submit.
  • A pop-up will tell you that you'll get an email when it's done configuring. They say it might take up to 24 hours, but I've never heard of it taking more that a few hours.
  • Congrats! You have now claimed your website.

*** If you use SquareSpace, you use a code injection. If you need help, use this link to access my calendar for a consultation!

Update: As I was exploring Yoast for this post, I went to the Social Menu and the Pinterest tab. Apparently, you can also copy the numbers only in the code and input it in the box on the Pinterest page in Yoast to claim your website. I have not tried it, but I wanted to make you aware of another option. 

Rich Pins to Get Your Pinterest Account Open for Business

The last few steps that we'll work on today will enable Rich Pins for your business account. If you don't know what Rich Pins are, here's one of my pins to show you.

Pinterest pin with arrows pointing to elements of rich pins

There are four types of Rich Pins to choose from. There are article pins, recipe pins, product pins, and app pins. Article pins give a brief description of the article or blog post. That's the one we'll focus on today. Recipe pins give the ingredients and cook time, but the reader has to click on the button to get the directions to make the recipe. Product Rich Pins share info about the product and the price and even tell you when the product is on sale. The final Rich Pin is an app pin, which gives a description of the app and an install button, but it's only available for iOS right now. If you want more information on the different types of Rich Pins, you can read about them here.

Enabling Rich Pins

Since Rich Pins pull information from the metadata on your site, it has to have access to that metadata! This either involves embedding information into the header of your website again or, even easier, it uses the Yoast plugin in WordPress. If you aren't using Yoast already for SEO, you'll need to install and activate it. You'll do that just like we did the header plugin from the video above.  

**Squarespace Tip: You can skip all the way down to the last step because Squarespace already has all the metadata. You, however, can only have Product or Article Rich Pins.

Once Yoast is activated, you'll see a Y at the top of the page when you're working in WordPress. Next to it is a little circle that will be grayed out. Mine is green right now because the SEO for this article is good (Yay, me!!!) You'll click on the Y, then choose SEO settings, then Social. Here's a pic of that.WordPress site with Yoast settings menu and SEO settings menu opened

Once you click on the Social Menu, choose the Facebook tab, and enable Add Open Graph Metadata at the top of the page. It's the purple box. Then scroll down and save changes.

We're almost finished, you can do it!

Choose one of your published blog posts (it cannot be a page) and scroll down towards the bottom. You'll see a section labeled Yoast SEO. If you've already chosen a keyword and edited your snippet, skip to the last step.

If you need to add the information, make sure you add a Focus Keyword for the post by the key and edit the snippet for your description. You will need to click update on the blog post for it to save the metadata you just entered. You want it to look like this:

Yoast box from WordPress blog with arrows pointing to Focus keyword and snippet section

Last step!!! You need to validate your pins and apply for Rich Pins. To do that, you need to copy the web address of the post where you just added the focus keyword and snippet. After you've updated the post, you can either View Post and copy the address bar or copy the Permalink at the top of the post. You will then go to the Pinterest Rich Pins Validator and paste the address you just copied. Click Validate.

It should be fine and you should be able to apply for Rich Pins. If there's errors, fix them and then try it again. You will have to select one type of Rich Pin to apply for, so think about which one best fits your business. Once you can apply, it usually takes less than an hour and you'll get an email saying you've been approved for Rich Pins. 

Tips

You only have to validate one post to get all of your Rich Pins validated.

If you don't have a snippet in the Yoast section for your posts, Pinterest (and Google) pulls in the first few sentences of the article.

If you have a personal account that you're converting to a business account, you will still have to claim your website and enable Rich Pins. You definitely want to check here, because I share everything you need to optimize for Pinterest. 

You Did It!!

Congratulations! You've gotten your Pinterest account open for business. I know it was a little involved (and LONG), but you can feel confident that you are now ready to grow on Pinterest. We tackle the next steps of Pinterest here, so be sure to check that out!

If you skipped to the end without reading everything, here's a quick review:

  • Begin by signing up for the Business Account at pinterest.com
  • Once you're signed in, upload your favicon
  • Claim your website (Watch the video above!)
  • Enable Rich Pins

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the technical side of all of this, I do offer a package to set-up Pinterest business accounts.This package covers the services in this post and the next one. You can read about my packages here.

Now It's Your Turn

Once you've claimed your website and enabled Rich Pins, I want to celebrate with you! Take a screenshot of your account overview (you access that by clicking on your favicon and Business Name in the top right corner), even if it's blank, and post it on my Facebook page. I would love to check out your profile and see your good work! Of course, while you're on my Facebook page, go ahead and give it a like. You can also follow me on Pinterest here. I share a lot of great content that I think will help you as you get your Pinterest account open for business.

Now, go, put your feet up. You've worked hard!  

Until next time,

pint name with logo, website, and tagline for May Virtual Assists

Open sign with overlay that says get your pinterest account open for business

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