My Pinterest visitor time on site is almost as high as my Google search traffic time-on-site.
That’s a sign I’m doing things right on Pinterest.
What you don’t want is a dramatically lower time-on-site average.
That means there’s a mismatch between your pins and your blog content.
Keeping Pinterest visitors on your site is a three-step process.
Table of Contents
- Step 1: Ensure tight alignment between pin content and blog content
- Step 2: User-friendly website
- Step 3: Have a sticky website
- How I increased time-on-site by 58% to 330% across my niche site portfolio
Step 1: Ensure tight alignment between pin content and blog content
This makes sense. It’s also important for maintaining a healthy Pinterest account.
If you misrepresent what the content on your blog is with your pins, people are going to flee your site faster than your second image can load.
For example, if your pin title and/or text overlay says “Earn $1 million online in 2 weeks with no internet skills” and you send them to some blog post about “how to write a winning resume” your visitors won’t be happy. That’s downright misleading. Some may even report your Pinterest account. Get enough red flags and Pinterest will shut you down.
Or, if you send them to a squeeze page requiring them to sign up, many will leave. That said, I’m not saying sending visitors to a squeeze page is bad; it can be very effective. Just don’t expect the majority of your visitors to stick around.
A good example of alignment is a pin title and/or text overlay that says “How to create a stunning halo braid in 8 minutes” and the blog post offers a step-by-step tutorial with photos on how to create halo braids, you have tight alignment.
The blog content matches what’s promised on the pin.
Matching language is important too.
If you create pins in German for the German Pinterest site but send them to an English blog post assuming visitors will use Google translate, you’re visitors won’t stick around. It’s not a good strategy.
The language on your pins should match the language on your site.
Step 2: User-friendly website
There are four main factors when talking about user-friendless: content quality, images, ad aggressiveness and site speed.
i. Publish good content
If your content is garbage, people aren’t going to stay.
If your content is fluff and/or fraught with grammatical errors, people will leave. Publish good content if you want folks to stay.
ii. Use lots of relevant images
Because it’s Pinterest traffic we’re talking about, give them what they want and that is images. If you proffer relevant images, they’ll happily pin more to their boards. That increases their visit time but also gets you repins off your site. You can’t ask for more than other than a click on a high-paying ad.
iii. Don’t overly annoy folks with ads and popups
I admit my sites are not the most user-friendly because I’m aggressive with ads. That said, I actually don’t put as many ads on my site as I could. I’ve told my ad network provider, AdThrive, to dial it back. I also don’t crank up Ezoic to 100% either.
Regardless, I’m sure some visitors think I have too many ads. That’s the price of free content. I gotta eat.
At some point ads are over-the-top. I don’t use prestitials (ads that block the entire screen before accessing the site). I limit the number ads on every page. I could use more but dialed it back without really hurting revenue.
I do use a sticky video ad and I admit it’s super annoying but it earns so much money that I just don’t have it in me to get rid of it.
iv. Have a fast site
People won’t wait forever for your website to load. In fact, it needs to load fairly fast. I admit I don’t have the fastest websites, partly due to using a lot of images. I’ve recently taken steps to speed them up.
However, my sites are not horrible as indicated by the fact people do stay and do visit multiple pages.
The faster your site, the better.
Step 3: Have a sticky website
I’m not talking about sketchy practices such as making it so visitors can’t navigate out of your site. Those sites are so annoying. I suspect such practices could result in search penalties so I’d avoid them.
What I’m talking about is implementing things on your site that helps keep visitors on your site because they want to stick around.
There are many things you can do. Here are some simple things you can do.
- Clear navigation: I use a floating nav bar on all devices so people can quickly find the menu. This is important on mobile which becomes a black hole quickly.
- Related posts: Offer related posts at the end of your articles.
- Solid interlinking: Link to related articles in your content.
- Video content: Create video versions of your content. It takes longer to watch a video than read (which is why I seldom watch vids but many people do).
- Fast-loading site: If your site took forever to load upon entry, folks will be reluctant to click into other articles.
- Long, thorough content: I publish content primarily for Google search (and Pinterest second) which means my articles are usually fairly long (1,500 to 3,000 words). This means it takes a bit to get through an entire article which helps time-on-site.
- Publish in clusters: If you publish articles closely related, you stand a better chance that visitors will be interested in those other articles. Not only is this a great strategy for search traffic, but it’s good for visitor retention.
- Commenting: I don’t get many comments on my niche sites. I think I may have turned them off… but if you can foster discussion, that can be very good for visitor retention.
Optional “sticky” tactics that come with a cost:
Polls and surveys: I love publishing polls and surveys but often the plugins used to create them can slow down a site a tad. It’s one of those cost/benefit decisions.
Popular Posts plugin: I’ve never used this because it’s a hog of a plugin but I wish I could without compromising speed. People migrate to what’s popular.
Pretty much anything that adds bells and whistles via a plugin comes with a speed cost.
These days I lean toward not using any extras and prefer instead to deliver a faster site.
How I increased time-on-site by 58% to 330% across my niche site portfolio
In 2020 I deployed a method on one niche site to see if it would increase time on site and hence improve user experience.
The results were astonishing. That first site enjoyed a 62% increase in time on site. That is a huge win. Check out the before and after time-on-site Analytics screenshots:
- Average page views per session: 1.24
- Average time on site: 55 seconds
- Average page views per session: 1.61 (30% improvement)
- Average time on site: 1 minute, 29 seconds (62% improvement)
I then deployed the same strategy on 6 more niche sites. The increase in time-on-site on every site was just as good ranging from 58% to a whopping 330% improvement.
I reveal what I did and how to do it in my On-Site SEO Deep Dive course. Click the following button to grab this course:
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.