Why Pinterest Is Important to Designers and What You Need to Know

It’s been only two and a half years and Pinterest has risen quickly to become one of the most popular social networks. In fact, according to a recent article from Anthony Myers on CMSWiRE, Pinterest is now the fifth most popular social network.

According to a July 2013 study from research firm, Semiocast, Pinterest now has 70 million users… That means that Pinterest is a significant player in social media. Web designers can’t afford to ignore it.
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For designers, though, there’s more to Pinterest than just networking. The design of Pinterest itself has influenced web design. Pinterest is a source of inspiration for many, and some use Pinterest as a sales tool. Pinterest can even drive search engine traffic.

Pinterest can be a powerful tool for web designers, yet many designers overlook the many of the advantages of having a presence on Pinterest.

In this post, we’ll talk about the various aspects of Pinterest that web designers need to understand. At the end of the post, you’re encouraged to share your favorite Pinterest boards.

Influence of Pinterest Design

Pinterest has influenced web design in many ways.


The Pinterest site design, which basically imitated a bulletin board in a grid format, inspired many other sites and made a significant contribution to web design. Phil Simon, writing on Inc., refers to this is The Pinterest Effect.

If you’ve been asked by a client to design a grid-based site, it’s likely because your client has seen Pinterest (or a similar site). Two big brand sites with a grid-based look include:

  • StumbleUpon. The current StumbleUpon home page design has a definite grid/bulletin board look to it.
  • eBay. eBay’s most recent redesign gave the site an Pinterest-like appearance.

Even major retailers are starting to use a grid-based design on their e-commerce websites.

These are just some of the biggest brands who have adopted the look. Many smaller sites also have the look. And of course, there are some sites that are almost Pinterest clones in look and functionality. Website owners can even buy premium grid-based WordPress themes.

There’s no telling whether the Pinterest-look will become a web design classic, or just a trend. But since the look seems to be effective for many sites, it’s quite possible that it will be a web design classic that you can’t afford to ignore.

Inspiration from Pinterest

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Image source: Russ Neumeier

All designers need inspiration from time to time.

Fortunately, Pinterest is a great place for designers to go to look for visual inspiration. There are many boards created specifically for web designers and others created for artistic or creative audience.

To find Pinterest boards to inspire you, try searching Pinterest using the following terms:

  • Art
  • Colors
  • Design
  • Fonts
  • Graphics
  • Infographics
  • Logos
  • Patterns
  • Typography
  • Web design

There are literally hundreds of boards out there for designers so you should have no trouble finding inspiration. We’ve even given you a head start by listing 10 inspiring Pinterest pages in this blog post.

Marketing with Pinterest

There’s more to Pinterest than just finding creative ideas. Pinterest also useful from a business perspective.

Pinterest can also be a marketing tool for web designers. You can showcase your own work, or discuss the work of others.

In fact, many web designers use Pinterest to create a portfolio of their work. If you are using it to market your freelance web design business, make sure that your URL is permanently attached to each image. That way, even if the image is repinned potential clients will still be able to find you.

You can also post an image of a WordPress theme you are selling and link to the landing page URL. Another way to promote your business on Pinterest is to post information about discounts and specials. Many Pinterest users make money through affiliate links.

Pinterest even has a feature to help sellers who use product pins. They notify users when the prices of items that they pinned have dropped.

Be careful not to spam the site, though. As with any other social media shares, you should only share high quality materials.

Pinterest and Web Traffic

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Image source: a2gemma

Like most of us, you want to increase the amount of traffic that comes to your website. After all, getting prospects to visit your site is one of the reasons that your build it.

Pinterest has a high click-through rate, so it can be a great way to drive traffic to your design website. Don’t forget to include the button on your blog posts.

There is some debate over whether Pinterest can help your site’s SEO through link building. Writing on Search Engine Watch, George Fischer makes some interesting points on how Pinterest affects SEO in this post, Leveraging Pinterest for SEO and E-commerce.

Social media also plays an increasingly important role in determining how the search engines will view your web pages. Plus, Pinterest is another way to connect with prospects and clients online.

Learn More: How to Get Started

How do you get started on Pinterest? If you’re not familiar with the Pinterest social media platform, you may be asking yourself this question. Fortunately, there’s a lot of information out there.

Here are three of the best guides to getting started on Pinterest:

  • From Jamie M Swanson on Problogger, Heavyweight Help: The Complete Guide to Getting Started on Pinterest. Jamie has written a very thorough guide that explains the importance of Pinterest and details many of its features. If you want to learn about Pinterest, this is an excellent overview.
  • From Ekaterina Walter on FastCompany, The Ultimate Guide To Pinterest For Every Brand. This is another great overview for new Pinterest users. It includes some definitions, introduces metrics, and even includes a helpful infographic.
  • From Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner, Pinterest Business Accounts: The Definitive Guide to Getting Started. Do you need a Pinterest business account? This post explains the difference between a personal and a business Pinterest account. It also provides the steps to get started with a business account and even gives you some tips on how to make the most of Pinterest business account.

Your Turn

Do you use Pinterest? How do you use it? What are your favorite Pinterest boards?

Share your answers in the comments.

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