It used to be that a week wouldn’t pass without one of us writing a Pinterest-related post.

In the last few months though we’ve barely covered the ‘visual discovery platform’. It’s not because interest has waned, in fact Pinterest currently has 70m users and the platform drives an unprecedented amount of traffic to retail sites.

It’s just because the best practice guidelines for brands to succeed on Pinterest haven’t really changed.

As an example, for a second year in a row ASOS is the most popular UK online retail site when it comes to having its content shared on Pinterest, according to Searchmetrics.

Content from ASOS generates an average 7,202 pins a week, which is nearly five times more than Amazon (1,620 pins) and almost seven times more than John Lewis (1,096 pins).

This is an incredible win and clearly shows that having a presence on Pinterest is just as vital as ever.

So what accounts for ASOS’s success?

Back in December 2013, ASOS had 49,458 followers (which was up from around 8,000 18 months prior).

Here’s how the ASOS Pinterest page looks now...

ASOS has seen a massive follower growth in the last year, with 220,784 users. Although the retailer only maintains a comparatively small number of boards compared to other brands, each one is meticulously curated, with each board containing on average 100-200 pins. 

ASOS has also made a point of adding its own brand name to each board to help drive search traffic to the page.

Not only that, it also thematically links each board with the <3s symbol (that means ‘loves’ right? Not spilt ice cream cone) which means that ASOS has to think more creatively about naming its boards.

For instance here is 'ASOS <3s Wrapping Up', which is much more interesting then calling it 'Clothes for Winter'.

It’s a thoroughly well-stocked board, that has five different trusted curators pinning images to it. This means users get to see a huge variety of fashion from various different sources to keep things updated and interesting.

The team at ASOS regularly pins and repins images from other sites and blogs, showing a desire to provide a deeper consumer experience by going beyond self-publicising. 

Brands that repin third-party content attract more followers than those who simply link back to their own ecommerce sites. The key is to remain relevant but also entertaining, useful or have a keen eye for visuals that your users find attractive.

There is also the standard ‘bread and butter’ of Pinterest here:

Inspirational quotes board.

Retro nostalgia.

And of course... uh... this...

All the types of content that Pinterest users generally respond to.

However the key thing that ASOS practices, which is also vital for any retailer wishing to drive traffic to its ecommerce store, is that it’s enabled 'Rich Pins’.

Meaning that any product image contains information on price and availability. 

This also links directly to the relevant product landing page.

For information on this, check out our post on how to use Rich Pins.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 27 November, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Simone Kurtzke

Simone Kurtzke, Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Robert Gordon University

From an SEO perspective, given that the board title is used both in the URL and in the H1 tag, I disagree with this sentence here: 'For instance here is 'ASOS <3s Wrapping Up', which is much more interesting then calling it 'Clothes for Winter'.'

I haven't used Pinterest professionally in a while, but if I were involved with it now I would certainly recommend that SEO / UX best practice is followed both in board titles and description. They should not just be search friendly but the SERP appearance should be optimised for any [brand name] + Pinterest searches.

They can (and should!) be creative in their use of the channel, but demonstrate this with the products they pin and curation etc. (but not at the expense of SEO).

almost 3 years ago

Jaaved Khatree

Jaaved Khatree, SEO & Content Manager at Propertyfinder.ae

yeah, I'm with you on that one Simone. Just did a search for "asos wrapping up" (not exactly what people would search for) and the board ranks (as you'd expect). However "asos winter clothes" brings up pages on asos.com with this board nowhere to be found. I think it's a bit of a tough call because you want your brand's personality to come through but you might also want to focus on SEO. Maybe this is geared towards people who don't find these boards via search - a lot of people use the app and website and maybe it's all just direct traffic instead of traffic from search?

Apart from this, their Pinterest strategy is on point!

almost 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

I would have thought that ASOS would prefer its website to rank in the SERPS for 'winter clothes', rather than its Pinterest pages, since the name of the game is selling clothes.

As it is, people who search for 'ASOS winter clothes' see 10 results which lead them to ASOS.com, while searching for the same term on Pinterest see a page full of ASOS products. The best of both worlds.

http://i.imgur.com/TjOpRml.png

almost 3 years ago

Jaaved Khatree

Jaaved Khatree, SEO & Content Manager at Propertyfinder.ae

and the key to that is the word 'asos'... without it, they don't feature on page 1 in SERPs (Google UK incognito - but I am searching from Dubai!) or in the initial page load on Pinterest.

almost 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Yes, but ranking for 'winter clothes' without the brand name is a different matter, and the board title on Pinterest is unlikely to get ASOS on page one. It may even be that ASOS has made a conscious decision not to target that term,. It may not be that valuable to the retailer.

almost 3 years ago

David Somerville

David Somerville, Head of inbound marketing at Fresh Egg

I would be interested to know what their conversions are from Pinterest as a traffic source. I think Pinterest is really useful for brands to pin an image and link this straight back to the product page, but how many people who repin something because they like it then go on to purchase?
For ASOS I would suggest the conversion rate is probably fairly good, but maybe it's all 'window shoppers'?

almost 3 years ago

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