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The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Marketing

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Pinterest marketing is incredibly effective. 

Marketers target Pinterest users by sharing content that’s too irresistible for us to pass up. And with over 433 million people on Pinterest, why wouldn’t marketers want to be on the platform? Not to mention 83% of users have made a purchase from content they’ve seen on Pinterest. So, how can your business use Pinterest as a marketing tactic to help improve your brand awareness and conversions?

In this guide, we’ll cover the answer to that question as well as how Pinterest works, which Pinterest marketing strategies you should implement, how small businesses can benefit from the platform, and which tools you can use to ensure your Pinterest marketing strategy works for your business. But first, we’ll review what the platform is and how it works — let’s get started.

 

Users add, or Pin, their chosen content to boards with a common theme to keep it organized so other users can discover new content related to their interests.

If you haven’t yet opened a Pinterest account, learn more about that process here. Once you sign up, you can begin sharing content and, therefore, social media marketing on the platform.

To make the most of the platform, upload your business’s content from your computer or mobile device, Pin content you find on the platform, and add content you find on the web using the Pinterest browser button.

Engagement is key. Follow the boards of your friends and competitors, “Like,” and comment on others’ Pins, re-Pin (or repost) content, and share links to your website and blog in your Pins.

It’s important to note there are personal and business accounts on Pinterest. Choosing a business account will allow you to gain access to Pinterest Analytics and other features including a visual search tool, a native video player, and the ability to run Pinterest ads if you choose — making the platform ideal for marketers.

Now, let’s review some Pinterest marketing strategies to help you improve your influence and impact on your audience.

 

These strategies represent ways to add Pinterest to your greater marketing efforts. Here are a few benefits of using Pinterest for marketing.

1. Distribute your content.

85% of Pinners search for and prefer visual content. This makes Pinterest a uniquely strong place to distribute all types of content, including written blog content. Unlike Instagram, users can click-through live links.

On Pinterest, you share content on Pinterest boards. Boards save all of your Pins and distribute your content for your followers to explore. You can have as many boards as you want, and they can be organized into themes, ideas, plans, or types of inspiration to make it easy for your audience to find the content they’re looking for.

You can also invite people to join your boards — which would make your board a “group board” — if you want other contributors to add content they believe works with your board’s theme. This is a great way to increase engagement and interaction on your profile.

2. Build a community.

Online communities bring together like-minded people and serve as helpful hubs for businesses.

With a Pinterest community, you can count on your followers and fans to interact with your boards, consume your content, and make their way to your website — driving traffic in the process.

There are millions of people who use Pinterest every month. By treating your Pinterest board as a two-way street through which you can interact with and engage users (not like a one-way billboard), you can build a loyal community of Pinterest users who may become customers, too.

How to Build Your Pinterest Following

Although you can search for and add specific friends via their name, Facebook account, and other identifiers, this is time-consuming and would make it nearly impossible to substantially grow your following.

Instead, consider the following methods to build out your base of fans and followers on Pinterest.

  • Promote your Pinterest account via your other social networks.
  • Follow accounts you believe would want to follow you back.
  • Watch what your competitors are doing to increase their base of followers and learn from their techniques.
  • Use keywords in your posts (we’ll discuss these tactics in more detail later).
  • Ask influencers to re-post some of your content to gain the attention of their followers.
  • Pay for a Pinterest ads account to run ads on the platform.

3. Educate customers.

Pinterest is rife with tutorials, infographics, how-tos, and links to additional educational content. Given its propensity for visual content, it’s a powerful channel to educate and engage customers.

While creating and sharing content for your Pinterest profile and marketing to users, be sure to keep your target audience in mind.

Similar to the way you would when creating new products, developing your branding, or posting to other social networks, you want to ensure you’re pushing out content that appeals to your target audience, current customers, and buyer personas on Pinterest.

You can do this in a few different ways:

  • Research your buyer personas to determine what type of content would be most helpful and appealing to them.
  • Survey and ask your current followers and customers for feedback on what they want from your company on Pinterest.
  • Look at what your competitors are doing well (or not) to help you think about new ways to push out your content and make it unique.
  • View the boards of your current followers and customers to aid in your understanding of who your audience is and what they’re most interested in.

4. Drive website traffic and boost online sales.

Pinterest, unlike Instagram, allows you to link your visual content to another website — namely, your website. This feature allows you to share both written and visual content and direct users back to your website in the process. 

This is a powerful addition to your marketing as it can boost online sales, too. Many brands use Pinterest to showcase product images while sharing content.

For example, this board, created by the clothing company Madewell, serves as a source of travel inspiration and is paired with real products they sell to get their audience excited about their brand, the lifestyle they promote, and the idea of purchasing some clothing.

Pinterest Marketing: inspirational board from MadewellSource

By integrating Pinterest on your website, you’ll be able to easily drive traffic from one of your web pages directly to your Pinterest profile so your leads and customers can begin viewing your content in seconds (and hopefully follow you!).

These Pinterest widgets and buttons allow your website visitors to interact with your Pinterest page via your website and give them the ability to view and follow your profile or go directly to a specific Pin or board. The network’s widget builder helps you quickly customize, create, and add this feature to your site.

pinterest button and widget

Source

These 9 Pinterest marketing strategies hold value for businesses of any size, in any industry. This universal approach to marketing is one reason Pinterest is such a valuable social media tool.

1. Sign up for a business account.

To market to your target audience, you should create a Pinterest business account. As mentioned, this free account provides you with access to Pinterest Analytics (which we’ll review in more detail shortly) and other handy marketing features such as a profile that clearly states you’re a business, Pinterest widgets, and Pinterest tag. If you already have a Pinterest account and want to convert it into a Pinterest business account, you can also do that without losing any of your content or work.

Note: If you’re looking to enhance your business account and run ads on Pinterest, you can do so by upgrading your account — and setting up your method of payment because this part of Pinterest is not free — to target your audience more aggressively with the help of the platform’s Ads Manager.

2. Choose the right categories for your content.

By choosing the right category for your content to be shared in, your Pins and boards will become more searchable for users looking to discover content similar to that of your business. Users can search for specific categories on Pinterest or simply go to the “Categories” section of any profile on the platform to view all content related to the topic they’re searching for.

Pinterest Marketing: looking for popular categories on Pinterest

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Some of the most popular Pinterest categories include travel, health and wellness, and beauty.

3. Use unique images and videos.

Similar to other social networks, Pinterest contains a plethora of images and videos. Not only do you want to ensure you’re posting images and videos that will help you promote your brand and market your products/ services, but you’ll also want to ensure they stand out against all of the others on the platform. Otherwise, why would a user choose to follow you over your competition?

Here are some ways to ensure you’re sharing great and unique visual content on Pinterest:

  • Create and share branded videos to promote your products and company. Pinterest users watch nearly 1 billion videos per day on the platform.
  • Share images and videos that show your products in action so viewers can more easily envision themselves using them.
  • Avoid excessive blank (or white) space in your images — images with 30% less blank space in the background are pinned most.
  • Create videos between 30-90 seconds long because they’re proven to have the highest performance.
  • Create specific boards to share images of your company’s most helpful data visualizations and infographics if you have them for your audience to use as resources for their businesses.

4. Leverage keywords.

By using keywords throughout your profile, posts, Pins, and boards, you’ll be more likely to organically appear in users’ feeds and searches. Keywords and phrases on Pinterest are related to specific niches being searched by users.

For example, if you sell suitcases, you might use keywords and phrases like “vacation” or “going on a trip” throughout your profile and Pins. This way, when a user searches one of those terms, your profile and images of your suitcases will appear on their feeds.

When performing keyword research on Pinterest, start by searching terms related to your niche within the platform itself.

In the image below, I searched for the term “travel” and not only found content related to that niche, but Pinterest also provided a number of related keywords at the top of the screen. This tells you what other related terms users are searching for to support your research.

Pinterest Marketing: how to perform keyword research on PinterestYou can also use the plugin Keywords Everywhere to see the search volume for terms on Pinterest. This helps you understand the level of demand for the keywords you’re using.

Here are some locations in which you can insert keywords on Pinterest to improve your chances of organically ranking through search:

  • Bio and profile
  • Pin descriptions
  • Board titles
  • Board descriptions
  • Image-Alt-Text

For those of you who choose to pay for Pinterest ads, there’s also an option to use the platform’s keyword targeting tool to help you reach your audience through your ads.

5. Share your content on other social networks.

To promote your Pinterest account and content, you should share your Pins, images, and videos in other areas to improve your chances of being seen and followed. For example, you can claim your business’ Pinterest account on Etsy and YouTube so your followers can easily learn about the other platforms you’re on and how they can view more of your content. Additionally, claiming your account will provide access to analytics and data on all of these Pins so you can see the other networks your audience is most interested in.

You can also link your Pinterest profile to your Facebook and Google accounts so you can easily add and find friends, share content across networks, speed up your login on all accounts, and backup your profile in case you lose or forget your password details.

6. Follow, engage, and interact with other accounts.

When you follow and interact with other Pinterest users and their accounts, you’re able to initiate and maintain personal relationships between them and your business. This type of engagement has the potential to make your followers feel a level of loyalty towards your brand that keeps them coming back to your profile for inspiration, ideas, and to buy products.

Here are four ways you can build strong and lasting relationships with your target audience through your marketing tactics on Pinterest:

  • Follow new accounts of users who state or show they have interests related to the work your business does and the content you post (you can do this by searching keywords and hashtags or reviewing the people who follow your current audience members).
  • Re-Pin, Like, and comment on the content your followers and fans share.
  • Respond to the messages your followers write on your content to personalize their experience on your profile and make them feel heard.
  • Create engaging posts that showcase your expertise in your industry, teach your followers how to do something, or get them involved (in a giveaway or contest for example).

7. Use social media best practices.

When using Pinterest, be sure to follow the same social media practices you would on other social networks. Examples of this include remembering to interact and engage with your followers, regularly post to (and update) your account, and avoid blatant self-promotion that feels pushy and forced to your audience.

Additionally, you can focus on the following five best practices to boost engagement on Pinterest.

  • Encourage your followers to feature your brand in their content (and maybe offer to repost them or re-Pin their content if they do).
  • Provide your audience with an incentive — such as a prize — for choosing to follow and interact with you as well as create posts featuring your products and branding.
  • Offer your audience discount codes, coupons, as well as details about your latest products, and updates to existing products to keep them coming back to your profile.
  • Ensure your content is helpful and useful for your audience members — all content should have a purpose and/ or meaning.

8. Analyze your results.

If you’re putting all of this effort into marketing on Pinterest, it’s probably safe to assume you’re going to want to ensure the work you’re doing improves your business’ conversions and brand awareness.

So, you’ll need to analyze the results of your Pinterest marketing efforts to keep track of your referral traffic, number of engagements, leads generated, and anything else you’re interested in learning more about. The easiest way to do this is through Pinterest Analytics.

Pinterest Analytics provides you with four major types of information including:

  • Metrics about your profile as a whole.
  • Insights about the number of people who save and re-Pin your content.
  • Platform metrics to understand how people interact with your content via both desktop or mobile.
  • Data about your most popular Pins.

Pinterest for Small Businesses

If you have a small business, you may be wondering whether or not putting all of this effort and time into implementing Pinterest marketing strategies is actually worth it.

Short answer? Yes, it is.

Pinterest is one of the more versatile, affordable, and impactful marketing tools for businesses that are looking to convert more leads, drive traffic to their websites, and increase brand awareness to use.

Plus, Pinterest users have the highest purchase intent of any other social media users. Let’s discuss some more ways small businesses, like yours, can benefit from creating a presence on Pinterest.

Tell a visual story.

Pinterest helps you tell a visual story about your brand. Through pictures and videos, you’re able to show — rather than tell — your audience what you’re about as a company, the things you value, what and who you support, and the types of products and services you sell.

Pinterest provides you with a unique and engaging way to introduce your small business to platform users.

Humanize your brand.

Social media of any kind can help you humanize your brand and give it some personality — Pinterest is no exception. On the platform, you’re able to reach out directly to your audience members, chat with them one-on-one or as a group, and assist them through any difficulties or roadblocks they encounter while doing business with you.

You’re also able to show your audience and followers how much their support and business mean to you through giveaways, videos of your behind the scenes work, latest company news, product information, promotions, and discount codes.

Creating and maintaining these business-to-customer routines early on humanizes your brand, sets the tone for what your company will be known for, and shows customers how you intend to grow with them in mind.

Feature your blog posts.

You can use Pinterest to feature your inbound marketing efforts such as your blog posts or content offers. For example, you can Pin a photo or video to a board and include a link to blog post about that visual content. This not only promotes your blog posts but it also drives traffic directly to your website.

link to blog on pinterest

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Display your work and showcase your expertise.

Pinterest is a great way for your small business to display your work and showcase your expertise in your industry. Examples include Pins with images and videos of your work, infographics, data visualizations, and blog posts.

Due to the fact you might not be a recognized brand yet, doing this is important. That’s because as your business grows and you become more well-known, you’ll be more likely to be recognized as an industry leader and a business with helpful and applicable content for audience members.

Drive traffic to your website.

Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to your business’ website — this will help your small business generate leads and conversions. You can share URLs in your profile as well as on your Pins and boards. For example, you may choose to post content with a link to your email sign up page, “About Us” page, or blog.

Conduct market research.

Pinterest is a great resource for conducting market research. It’s especially helpful for small businesses that may not have a large following quite yet or the experience to know exactly what their audience members expect and want in terms of content.

With Pinterest, you can easily review what your competitors — and the companies in your industry that are more established than yours — are doing. This will allow you to discover which tactics they’re using on the platform and see what’s working for their audience members. You can also look at the content your audience Pins as well as who they’re following and interacting with.

Pinterest Marketing Tools

There are a number of tools you can use to help you reach your target audience and engage users on Pinterest. There are three major types of resources to help you accomplish this — account management tools, image design and creation tools, and follower count and community growth tools.

1. Social Media Management Tools

Social media management tools help you schedule posts and organize your content on any social network, including Pinterest, prior to actually posting it.

This way, you can ensure everything is shared and pushed out as planned. Social media management tools often have analytics capabilities as well, which you can use in tandem with Pinterest Analytics.

Some popular social media and Pinterest management tools include:

  • Hootsuite gives you the ability to schedule your Pins in advance, gain insights into your data and analytics, and measure your results on Pinterest.
  • Tailwind provides you with analytics about your Pinterest profile, a data reporting system to help you determine what’s doing well with your audience members, and advice about the best days and times to share your Pins.
  • Sprout Social allows you to take advantage of a range of features to help you reach your target audience and buyer personas through Pinterest. These include platform analytics, engagement tools, post-scheduling capabilities, and details about the type of content your audience wants.

Pinterest has also launched its own scheduling tool, allowing Business users to pre-schedule their content within the platform.

2. Pinterest Image Design and Creation Tools

Pinterest image design and creation tools allow you to design, edit, create and publish professional-looking photos and images for the platform (along with any other social media site and your website).

Considering Pinterest is a visual social network where users discover eye-catching, beautiful, and creative images and videos, it’s important your content looks perfect so you can attract more followers and engagement on your profile.

The following three tools are great for anyone who doesn’t necessarily have a background in fields like graphic design or art but still wants to share unique and polished content on their profile.

  • Canva allows you to create professional images for Pinterest with over 1 million images, graphics, templates, and icons available to choose from.
  • Pablo provides you with a way to create beautiful images for Pinterest in under 30 seconds with easy-to-use effects and templates.
  • PicMonkey gives you the ability to create and edit images and has advanced image editing tools such as masking, mirroring, and double exposure.
  • AdobeExpress offers intuitive tools and templates, and Photoshop-quality effects to create expertly-designed images for users of all skill levels.

3. Follower Count and Community Growth Tools

Follower count and community growth tools on Pinterest are available to help you promote your profile and content as well as increase your number of followers and engagements. The following three tools were created to help you accomplish this specifically on Pinterest.

  • PINGROUPIE provides you with the number of Pins, users, and followers on different group boards on the platform so you can determine whether or not you want to join and Pin your content on it.
  • Loop88 helps you to create shareable content they’ve determined is ideal for Pinterest to help you attract your target audience and grow your following.

Start Marketing On Pinterest

Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool with the ability to help you organically increase brand awareness, boost conversions, increase sales, and create long-lasting relationships with your target audience and buyer personas.

You can achieve all of these things for your business by following the Pinterest marketing strategies we reviewed and incorporating the available tools and resources to help you succeed as a business on the platform.

So, sign up for a business account and begin creating unique and engaging content to market to your customers and followers on Pinterest.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Pinterest Templates

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MARKETING

How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works in 2023 [Updated]

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How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works in 2023 [Updated]

LinkedIn bills itself as “the world’s largest professional network” — and they have the numbers to prove it. With over 875 million members in more than 200 countries and regions, LinkedIn is immensely popular and well-used. On top of the sheer size of the platform, nearly 25% of users are senior-level influencers; about 10 million are categorized as C-level executives, and LinkedIn classifies 63 million as “decision makers.”

If you’re a B2B marketer or brand, you probably already know this social media platform offers you an excellent opportunity to reach your target demographic. However, seizing that opportunity is easier said than done since LinkedIn uses a unique algorithm to serve content to users.

In this article, we will walk through how the LinkedIn algorithm works in 2023, best practices for beating the algorithm with organic content, and how brands can elevate their presence on the platform.
 

What is the LinkedIn Algorithm?

 
The LinkedIn algorithm is a formula that determines which content gets seen by certain users on the platform. It’s designed to make each user’s newsfeed as relevant and interesting to them as possible to increase engagement and time spent on the platform. In this way, the LinkedIn algorithm is similar to the Facebook or TikTok algorithm, though LinkedIn’s is slightly more transparent (which is good news!). 

In fact, LinkedIn itself is a good source for demystifying the algorithm and understanding what content is prioritized for members. But the general function of the LinkedIn algorithm is to review and assess billions of posts every day and position those that are most authentic, substantive and relevant to each user at the top of their feeds.  

How the algorithm achieves that function is a little more complex.
 

How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works in 2023

 
 
LinkedIn users’ feeds don’t show posts in chronological order. Instead, the LinkedIn algorithm determines which posts show up at the top of users’ feeds, meaning that sometimes users see older or more popular posts before they see more recent ones.

Several factors influence the LinkedIn algorithm, and the factors change relatively often. Let’s take a closer look.
 

1. Assess and Filter Content by Quality

 
When someone posts on LinkedIn, the algorithm determines whether it’s spam, low-quality, or high-quality content. High-quality content is cleared, low-quality content undergoes additional screening, and spam content is eliminated. 

 

  • Spam – Content flagged as spam can have poor grammar, contain multiple links within the post, tag more than five people, use more than ten hashtags (or use expressly prescriptive hashtags like #follow, #like, and #comment) or be one of multiple postings from the same user within three hours. 
  • Low-quality – Content categorized as low quality isn’t spam but is judged as not particularly relevant to the audience. These posts can be hard to read, tag people who are unlikely to respond or interact, or deal with topics too broad to be interesting to users.  
  • High-quality – “Clear” content is easy to read, encourages engagement, incorporates strong keywords, uses three or fewer hashtags, and reserves outbound links to the comments. In other words, it’s something your audience will want to read or see and react to in a substantive way.

 

2. Test Post Engagement with a Small Follower Group

 
Once a post has made it through the spam filter, the algorithm distributes it to a small subset of your followers for a short time (about an hour) to test its ability to generate engagement. If this group of followers likes, comments or shares the post within this “golden hour,” the LinkedIn algorithm will push it to more people. 

If, on the other hand, the post is ignored, or your followers choose to hide it from their feeds (or, worst of all, mark it as spam), the algorithm will not share it further.  
 

3. Expand the Audience Based on Ranking Signals

 
If the algorithm decides your post is worthy of being sent to a broader audience, it will use a series of three ranking signals to determine exactly who sees it: personal connection, interest relevance and engagement probability. 

These signals boil down to the level of connection between you and the user who potentially sees the post, that user’s interest in the content’s topic and the likelihood of that user interacting with the content. We’ll break down exactly what these ranking signals are further in the post.
 

4. Additional Spam Checks and Continued Engagement Monitoring

 
Even after a post is pushed to a broader audience, the LinkedIn algorithm continues monitoring how users perceive it in terms of quality. If your content is marked as spam or entirely ignored by the new audience group, LinkedIn will stop showing it to those audiences. On the other hand, if your post resonates with new audiences, LinkedIn will keep the post in rotation. So long as the post gets a steady stream of engagement, posts can stay in circulation for months.
 

8 Best Practices to Make the LinkedIn Algorithm Work for You

 
 Understanding how the LinkedIn algorithm works is the first step to reaching more people on LinkedIn and ensuring your content is well-received and engaging. The next step is optimizing your content based on the factors the algorithm prioritizes to maximize its effect. This is where mastering the ranking signals comes into play.

Here are eight tips for crafting high-performing LinkedIn content:
 

1. Know What’s Relevant to Your Audience

 
Relevance is what the algorithm prizes above all other content qualities. For LinkedIn, relevance translates to engagement, which leads to more time spent on the platform, which results in more ad revenue and continued growth. Following this tip will win you points in the “interest relevance” and “engagement probability” ranking categories. 

The entire LinkedIn ecosystem is set up to prioritize highly relevant content. To ensure your posts are relevant, create content focused on your niche and your audience’s specific needs and interests. As LinkedIn’s then-Director of Product Management Linda Leung explained in 2022, “we are continuously investing in the teams, tools, and technology to ensure that the content that you see on your feed adds value to your professional journey.” 

Use customer research and analytics from other social media platforms to learn more about what your audience wants to know. Focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that helps professionals succeed in formats they prefer (for example, videos, which get three times the average engagement of text-only posts). But above all, posting content that is personal and has industry relevance is vital. 
 

2. Post at the Right Time

 
As with most things, timing is crucial for successful LinkedIn posts. It’s even more critical when considering the “golden hour” testing process integral to the algorithm’s rankings. Remember, how much interaction a post gets within the first hour after it’s published determines whether it gets pushed to a broader audience. That means posting at the optimal time when your followers are online and primed to respond is a central factor to success.

You are the best judge of when your top LinkedIn followers and people in your network are most likely to be on the platform and engaging with content. But for the general public, data suggests the best time to post is at 9:00 a.m. EST on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Cross-reference these times with your own analytics and knowledge about your audience — like a common time zone, for example — to find the best time for your posts.
 

3. Encourage Engagement

 
Your post format can play a significant role in user engagement. The LinkedIn algorithm doesn’t explicitly prioritize videos over photo and text posts, but LinkedIn’s internal research has found video ads are five times more likely to start conversations compared to other types of promoted content. 

Asking a question is another great way to encourage interaction with your post. If you’re sharing industry insights, open the conversation to commenters by asking them to share their opinions or experiences on the topic. 

Additionally, tagging someone in your LinkedIn post can expand its reach, but only tag relevant users and people likely to engage with the post. You don’t automatically get in front of a celebrity’s entire following just because you tagged them. In fact, the algorithm’s spam filter can penalize your post for that. But when you tag someone relevant, the tagged person’s connections and followers will also see your post in their feeds. 
 

4. … But don’t beg users to engage

 
The LinkedIn algorithm penalizes posts and hashtags that expressly ask for an engagement action like a follow or a comment. In an official blog post from May 2022, LinkedIn said that it “won’t be promoting” posts that “ask or encourage the community to engage with content via likes or reactions posted with the exclusive intent of boosting reach on the platform.” Essentially, content that begs for engagement is now considered low-quality and should be avoided.
 

5. Promote new posts on non-LinkedIn channels

 
LinkedIn doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither do its users. Content that gains traction in other channels can help boost LinkedIn posts and vice versa. Sharing posts on your website, other social media platforms, or with coworkers can spark the initial engagement required for a viral LinkedIn post. Promoting content on other channels can also encourage inactive LinkedIn users to re-engage with the platform, and that interaction will be interpreted as net new engagement for your post.
 

6. Keep Your Posts Professional

 
As the “professional social networking site,” LinkedIn has a well-honed identity that extends to the type of content it favors. Specifically, business-related content that users will find relevant and helpful to their careers or within their industry. 

This might seem common sense, but it can be tempting to think that content that earns lots of clicks or likes on other social media platforms will perform similarly when cross-posted on LinkedIn. Unfortunately (or fortunately), hilarious memes, TikTok dance clips and personal videos don’t resonate with the LinkedIn algorithm. 
 

7. Avoid Outbound Links
 
 

The urge to include an outbound link in a LinkedIn post is real, especially for B2B marketers using LinkedIn to generate leads and traffic to their websites. But this is universally regarded as a tactic to avoid. LinkedIn wants to keep users on the platform and engaging; link-outs defeat that purpose. Therefore, the algorithm tends to downgrade content that includes an outbound link. 

Posts without outbound links enjoyed six times more reach than posts containing links. Does that mean there’s no room for a link to your brand’s website or blog with additional resources? No. But the best practice is creating content that encourages a conversation and letting the audience request an outbound link. If you feel compelled to link to something off-platform, include that link in the comments. 
 

8. Keep an Eye on SSI

 
LinkedIn has a proprietary metric called the Social Selling Index, which measures “how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships.” Per LinkedIn, social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than those users with lower SSI scores.

A higher SSI boosts users’ posts closer to the top of their audience’s feeds. While this impacts post visibility for individual posters rather than brands and companies, it remains a significant influence on LinkedIn’s algorithm and is worth noting. 

Source: Business 2 Community
 

An Overview of Ranking Signals on LinkedIn’s Algorithm

 
 
As mentioned earlier, there are three ranking signals the LinkedIn algorithm uses to rank posts in a user’s feed:
 

  1. Personal connections
  2. Interest relevance
  3. Engagement probability

 
And here’s how each signal impacts a post’s ranking:
 

Personal Connections

 
In 2019, LinkedIn began deprioritizing content from mega influencers (think Oprah and Richard Brandon) and instead began highlighting content from users’ personal connections. To determine a user’s connections, LinkedIn considers these two things:
 

  1. Who a user works with or has previously worked with
  2. Who a user has interacted with before on the platform

 
At the top of the feed, users now see posts by people they engage with often and by anyone who posts consistently. Users also see more posts from connections with whom they share interests and skills (according to their LinkedIn profiles). 

That said, as of 2022, LinkedIn is also “creating more ways to follow people throughout the feed experience,” including thought leaders, industry experts, and creators that may be outside of a user’s network. So it’s important to remember that personal connection is just one factor influencing post ranking.
 

Interest relevance

 
Relevance is another of the three ranking signals – and in many ways, the most important one. LinkedIn explains on its engineering blog: “We already have a strong set of explicit and implicit signals that provide context on what content a member may find interesting based on their social connections and the Knowledge Graph (e.g., a company that they follow, or news widely shared within their company).”

LinkedIn also uses what they call an “interest graph” that represents the relationships between users and a variety of topics. This lets the LinkedIn algorithm measure the following:
 

  • How interested users are in certain topics
  • How related are different topics to one another
  • Which connections share a user’s interests

 
The algorithm also considers the companies, people, hashtags, and topics mentioned in a post to predict interest. To maximize the interest relevance ranking, you have to understand your target audience and craft content that they’ll find relevant.
 

Engagement Probability

 
Interaction plays a significant role in a post’s ranking on LinkedIn. The platform uses machine learning to rank interaction in two ways:
 

  1. How likely a user is to comment on, share, or react to a post based on the content and people they have interacted with
  2. How quickly a post starts receiving engagement after it’s published. The faster users interact with a post, the more likely it will appear at the top of others’ feeds

 
Users who regularly interact with others’ posts in their LinkedIn feed are more likely to see interactions on their content, which in turn means that they’ll be more likely to show up on other people’s feeds.
 

Elevate Your Brand’s LinkedIn Presence

 
The LinkedIn algorithm can seem intimidating, but it really isn’t. It relies on a series of rules and ranking measures that can be understood and mastered to present users with content they find helpful in their professional lives.

Knowing that the algorithm prioritizes engagement, relevance and connection will help get your posts in front of more LinkedIn users and improve your overall performance on the platform. And by following the eight best practices outlined in this article, you’ll be able to keep your audience’s interest and create plenty of opportunities for them to engage with your content. 

Tinuiti helps brands strengthen relationships with new and current customers through expert social media strategy and brilliant creative. Reach out to our Paid Social services team to learn how to start advancing your LinkedIn strategy today.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2021 and has been regularly updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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A Digital Practioner’s Guide to Starting the New Year Right

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A Digital Practioner’s Guide to Starting the New Year Right



It’s that time of year again – the holiday excitement has faded as we fall back into the workweek. With a year’s worth of work stretched in front of us, there can be both a sense of opportunity and overwhelmedness 

Because transitioning back into the swing of things can be daunting, We’ve gathered key takeaways from the previous year, global Opticon Tour, and how we can successfully apply those learnings in 2023.  

1. “Work about work” is holding teams back. Take this chance to declutter.  

Consider the reality of what most digital teams are up against. When it comes to managing the content lifecycle, draft documents that are stored in separate places and disparate tools that don’t work together are the norm for many. With no centralized point of communication and cumbersome workflows, it can take forever for teams to create and approve content, and work is often duplicated or unused.  

After work is completed, it can be easy to dismiss the headaches caused by inefficient, siloed workflows and processes. But the long-term effects of inefficient and bulky collaboration can be detrimental to a brand’s digital experience – and bottom line. (Those who joined us in San Diego at Opticon might recall this concept played out via ). 

Digital teams with unwieldy content lifecycles can take back control using , saving countless hours and frustration over the year.  

2. Change is constant. Set your team up to be adaptive. 

We all know how difficult it is to create amazing customer experiences these days. The world is moving faster than ever, and change is constant and chaotic with uncertainty on nearly every level: economic upheaval, rapid cultural change, ever-escalating customer expectations (thanks, Amazon), and a tight talent market.  

To not only stay the course but to also grow in this unpredictable environment, it’s important that teams constantly stay on the lookout for new ways to drive more sales and increase loyalty. In other words, consistently deliver modern, relevant, and personalized commerce experiences.  

But keeping pace doesn’t necessarily mean working harder. Optimizely’s Monetize solutions, teams can drive sales and loyalty with fewer costs and efforts.  

3. Data fuels a great customer experience. Test and optimize every touchpoint. 

As practitioners, we all know that the best customer experience wins.  

When teams don’t clearly understand what’s happening and when, they miss the mark. With little patience and high expectations, today’s customers will simply switch to a competitor that better understands them and provides a more personalized experience.  

But when teams work together to inject data across silos, they have the insight needed to make the right decisions and create with confidence.  

For instance, take the marketing team: with access to a slew of customer touchpoints and experimentation data, marketers should be a critical resource for understanding customers’ wants and needs. Developers, product teams, and beyond should utilize this data to remove the guesswork and inform strategies, priorities, roadmaps, and decisions.  

With customer-centricity at the heart of any great digital experience, the best experiences are fueled by data uncovered by high-velocity experimentation. Consider the power that Optimizely’s Experimentation products can have on your entire team’s ability to unlock personalized insights and better connect with customers.  

Hopefully, your new year is off to a great start – but if you’re feeling a little off track, contact Optimizely today to learn more about our DXP can impact your business and set you up for a successful and productive year.  

A special thanks to our sponsors at Opticon London – Microsoft, Google Cloud, Valtech, and Siteimprove – and Opticon Stockholm – Microsoft, Google Cloud, Valtech, and Contentsquare. 


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Top 6 SEO Tips for Bloggers that Will Skyrocket Google Rankings

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Top 6 SEO Tips for Bloggers that Will Skyrocket Google Rankings

The majority of blogs rely heavily on search engines to drive traffic. On the other hand, there is a misunderstanding that creating “SEO-optimized content” entails stuffing keywords into paragraphs and headers, which leads to barely readable blog articles.

But that’s not what SEO is all about. In this article, you’ll discover the top 6 SEO strategies and how crucial they are for improving your blog posts rank in Google search results.

How Important Are Google Rankings For Your Blog?

Search engine traffic is essential if you’re blogging in hopes of growing your business. After all, what’s the point in writing content if no one is going to see it? The higher your blog post ranks in Google search results, the more likely people will find and read it.

And the more people who read your blog post, the more likely someone will take the desired action, whether signing up for your email list, buying one of your products, or hiring you as a coach or consultant. So, it is essential to have SEO optimized blog.

How To Incorporate SEO Into Your Blogs?

It would help if you started putting these six pieces of constructive SEO advice for bloggers into practice immediately:

1. Write For Your Readers

The standard of blog writing started significantly declining when “SEO content” became a buzzword. Instead of writing for people, they began to write mainly for robots in search engines. Unfortunately, some bloggers still express themselves in this way nowadays.  

But luckily, things have greatly improved, especially since the Hummingbird update and the rise of voice searches. The Hummingbird update was developed to assist Google in comprehending the purpose of searches.  

For instance, Google would understand that you are seeking nearby restaurants if you Googled “places to buy burgers.” It influences SEO because search engines are now more geared toward providing answers to queries and supporting semantic search rather than merely focusing on keywords.

You typically utilize Google, Bing, YouTube, or even Siri to find answers to questions. Take that idea and use it to improve your blog. Your writing should address the concerns of your intended audience in detail.

Your blog shouldn’t exist solely to help you rank for a particular keyword. Instead of concentrating on keywords, shift your attention to creating content that addresses the issues of your target audience.

2. Link to High-Authority websites

Don’t be scared to use external links when you construct your blog content. In addition to giving blog visitors more resources to read and learn from, linking to reputable websites demonstrates to search engines that you have done your research.

Research-based statistics from reputable websites are the best way to support blog content. Using compelling statistics will help you create a stronger, more specific argument that will help you win your readers’ trust.

3. Design a link building Strategy

Your search ranking is significantly impacted by link building. Why? Consider search results a contest where the people who receive the most votes win.

Google considers every website that links back to you as a vote for your website, elevating your content’s credibility. You will move up in ranking as a result. Here are some starter ideas for your link-building:

  • Communicate to other bloggers in your niche and offer to guest post on their website. Include a link back to your blog in your guest post.
  • Participate in online and offline community events related to your niche. For example, if you blog about fitness, you could attend a trade show related to fitness or health.
  • Create helpful resources that other bloggers in your niche find valuable, such as an eBook, cheat sheet or template. Include a link back to your blog on these resources.
  • Leverage social media to get your content in front of as many people as possible.

4. Learn About Google Webmaster Tools

Do you remember getting a warning from your teacher when you did anything incorrectly in elementary school? Your opportunity to clean up your act and get back on track to avoid punishment was given to you with that warning. In a way, Google Webmaster Tools serves that purpose for your blog.

Google Webmaster Tools will warn you when something suspicious is happening with your blog by giving you diagnostics, tools, and data to keep your site in good condition.

What you can observe in the Webmaster Tools Search Console is:

  • The percentage of your pages that Google has indexed
  • If your website is having issues with Google’s bots indexing it
  • If your website was hacked
  • How search engine bots see your website
  • Links to your site
  • If Google penalized your website manually

The great thing about Webmaster Tools is that it informs you what’s wrong with your website and how to fix it. To resolve any difficulties Google discovers with your blog, you can utilize a vast knowledge base of articles and a forum.

5. Include Keywords in your Meta Description

Does your post include meta descriptions? If not, you’re probably not providing your content with the best chance of being seen. Google also analyzes meta-descriptions to determine search results. The one- to three-sentence summaries beneath a result’s title is known as meta descriptions.

Use meta descriptions to briefly summarize the subject of your post, and keep in mind to:

  1. Make it brief.
  2. Use between one and two keywords.
  3. Since there will likely be other postings that are identical to yours, you should make your description stand out from the competition.

6. Establish Linkable Assets

A linkable asset is a unique, instrumental piece of content that’s so valuable people can’t resist linking to it. It’s similar to dining at a fantastic restaurant and a merely adequate one. You’ll go out of your way to tell everyone about the excellent restaurant, but if someone asks if you’ve been there, you’ll probably only mention the merely adequate one.

The ProBlogger job board is an excellent example of a linkable asset. For independent bloggers looking for compensated writing opportunities, it’s a terrific resource. The page is constantly linked in blog posts on monetizing your blog or websites that pay you to write for them. Why? Because it is rare and costly.

You can build the following linkable assets for your blog:

  • Free software or apps
  • Ultimate guide posts
  • Huge lists
  • Infographics
  • Online guide
  • Influencer tally reports
  • Quizzes
  • A case studies
  • Industry studies or surveys

Final Thoughts

By following these six SEO tips for bloggers, you’ll be well on your journey to improving your blog’s Google ranking. Remember that SEO is an ongoing process, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. The key is to be patient and consistent in your efforts, and soon you’ll start reaping the rewards of your hard work!

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