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      Nameservers vs. DNS: A Complete Guide


      If you’re thinking about migrating your site to a new hosting provider, you may be wondering what it will mean for your domain registration. Perhaps you’re worried visitors will be unable to access your content if you switch web hosts.

      This is why it’s important to understand what nameservers and the Domain Name System (DNS) are and how they work. This understanding can help you manage your migration more efficiently.

      In this post, we’ll take a closer look at nameservers and DNS records. We’ll also show you how you can access these essential components of your site. Let’s get started!

      Nameservers vs. DNS Records: What They Are and How They Work

      A nameserver connects your domain name with the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the server that hosts your website. Thanks to nameservers, browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox can direct users to the right page when they type in a site address.

      Typing a site address into Google.

      For example, if you type “myblog.com” into Google, the nameserver tells the browser where that domain is located (i.e., the address of your web host). Without this information, the browser wouldn’t be able to display the site.

      Nameservers form part of an online database known as the Domain Name System (DNS). This system is part of the  Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which defines how computers communicate via the internet and private networks.

      DNS plays an important role, as it aids the conversion of simple domain names (e.g., myblog.com) into an IP address (e.g., 12.34.56.78), which computers then use to identify one another on the network. Effectively, DNS functions like a phone directory. It contains records of web devices, such as computers and servers, and their associated IP addresses.

      Every domain has its own DNS records, which include the nameserver. These are generated when you register your domain name with a hosting provider or a domain registrar. Therefore, your nameserver points your domain name to the IP address of your host or registrar.

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      How the Browser Finds Your Website

      Everything that is connected to the internet has an IP address, including websites and servers. There are millions of IPs in use all over the world, and they are all unique. Your site will have its own IP address, which your host provides.

      However, your domain name needs to be able to connect with your site’s IP address. For example, when you enter a site’s URL into an address bar, your browser will try to access the corresponding page. To do this, it will go through some steps that the user doesn’t see.

      First, the browser connects to the target site’s domain registrar. Then the registrar points the browser to the target site’s hosting provider (e.g., dreamhost.com). Once the browser arrives at the web host, it will look for the correct nameserver (e.g., ns1.dreamhost.com).

      The process is practically instantaneous, so as users, we don’t fully appreciate the additional steps. However, should you decide to change your hosting provider, you’ll need to point your domain name to your new host. This is a vital step. Otherwise, users will not be able to find or access your site.

      How to Use Nameservers and DNS Records

      Knowing how to access your domain’s DNS records, including your nameservers, can help you arrange a smoother transition to your new host. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can locate and manage these important records.

      Locating and Managing Your Nameservers

      Your domain’s nameservers can be found in your web hosting account. These might also be available on the hosting company’s documentation page.

      The nameservers for domains managed by DreamHost are:

      • ns1.dreamhost.com
      • ns2.dreamhost.com
      • ns3.dreamhost.com

      If you’re a DreamHost client, you can also log in to your hosting account to view your nameservers. To start, navigate to Websites > Manage Websites in the side menu.

      Managing your websites in DreamHost.

      Next, find the domain you wish to edit and click on the DNS tab on the right side of the screen. This will bring up a page with your nameservers.

      Locating your nameservers in DreamHost.

      Note that if your domain is registered with a different company, you won’t be able to update your nameservers from your DreamHost account. To manage your nameservers, you’ll need to log in to your account with the company that manages your domain.

      If your domain is registered with DreamHost, you’ll be able to edit your nameservers. For instance, if you wish to replace your current nameservers, you can simply erase them from the box and type in your new ones.

      You can also manage your domain from the Registrations page in your account. For more information about this, you can read our complete instructions for editing your nameservers on DreamHost.

      Alternatively, you can find out what a website’s nameservers are by performing a WHOIS lookup. Nameservers are public records, so it is possible to find this information by using a third-party tool.

      Several sites offer this service, including lookup.icann.org.

      Running a WHOIS search.

      You can type the domain into the search bar, and a list of records will appear. For example, here are the nameservers for google.com:

      Viewing nameservers in a WHOIS search.

      Note that a WHOIS search can also show the personal details of the domain’s owner, including their name and email address. Some hosting providers and domain registrars offer WHOIS privacy, which protects the identity of the user.

      Locating and Managing Your DNS Records

      Your DNS records are just as easy to locate and manage. You can log in to your hosting account to view your records and make changes to them. If your domain is managed by a third party, such as a domain name registrar, you’ll need to log in to your account with that company.

      If you have a DreamHost account, your DNS records can be found on the same page as your nameservers.

      Viewing your DNS records in DreamHost.

      You can add a new DNS record to your domain by clicking on the blue Add Record button. As you may notice, there are different types of records you can create. Let’s take a closer look at the most common ones.

      A Record

      The address record is the most basic type of DNS record. It is used to point a domain (or subdomain) to an IP address.

      CNAME Record

      The canonical name record points a domain to another domain, as opposed to an IP address. This is used when a site has subdomains, such as shop.myblog.com or donations.myblog.com.

      Adding a CNAME record in DreamHost.

      These are subdomains of myblog.com. Let’s say that each of these subdomains has a CNAME record containing the value “myblog.com.” Since the DNS is looking for an IP address, when the CNAME record is accessed, a further lookup is carried out at myblog.com (as this is the value contained in the CNAME file).

      It will then return the IP address stored in myblog.com’s “A” record. This means that these subdomains are aliases of the main domain, and the canonical name (or “true name”) of these subdomains is actually “myblog.com.”

      MX Record

      A mail exchange record is used to direct emails to an address registered on your domain (e.g., hello@myblog.com) per the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), the standard protocol for email.

      It is important to ensure that your MX records point to the right mail server. If not, emails won’t be delivered to your account. We also recommend that you back up your emails before switching to a different host.

      Adding an MX record in DreamHost.

      NS Record

      As mentioned previously, this is the nameserver record. You can use this setting to change your nameservers so that they point to your new hosting provider.

      TXT (Text) Record

      This one allows you to insert text into your DNS records. Originally, the TXT record was designed for human notes, such as site descriptions or development details. However, it is possible to include machine-readable data.

      Adding a TXT record in DreamHost.

      This record can help you to protect your site against spam. It also enables you to verify your domain, such as by adding a Google Site Verification record. It is very common to have multiple TXT records for a single website.

      Monitoring Your DNS Records

      When updating your nameservers and other domain records, you’ll need to take DNS propagation into account. This is the time it takes for your DNS records to update across the internet. For example, when you modify your nameserver to point to your new hosting company, this change can take up to 72 hours to come into effect.

      At DreamHost, we offer a DNS propagation checker to help you monitor your records. To access this tool, simply click on DNS checker on your Records page.

      Accessing the DNS Checker in your DreamHost account.

      On the next page, you can check your website’s current IP address and DNS record information. Our interactive maps show you the status of your records across nameservers in different locations.

      Using the DNS checker to view the status of your records.

      The green checkmarks on the map indicate that your DNS is up-to-date in the specified locations. Meanwhile, a single red cross suggests there might be a problem with the DNS server in that location.

      If you see multiple red crosses, it may mean that you haven’t configured your DNS at the company where you registered your domain. However, this could also be a sign that your new DNS settings haven’t yet finished updating.

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      Nameservers vs. DNS in a Nutshell

      Understanding how nameservers and DNS Records work can ensure a smooth transition when migrating your site to a new host. It is imperative that your domain name points to the correct nameserver. Otherwise, site visitors will be unable to access your pages.

      At DreamHost, we make your life easier by managing the entire transition process, including your domain transfers. We also enable you to manage your own domains and DNS from your hosting account, and our service comes with free privacy protection for your domain.



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      Web Accessibility Guide for Designers (6 Key Tips)


      As a website designer, you play a significant role in a website’s accessibility and inclusiveness.  Many design elements, from typography to media, can create barriers for those with disabilities. With so many items that need to be addressed, it may feel like an impossible task.

      Fortunately, there’s a lot of guidance available for designing a website that’s accessible to all. By giving careful attention to a few key areas, you should be able to include accessibility in your design process without breaking stride.

      In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the concept of web accessibility and its importance. Then we’ll cover six key areas to keep in mind when designing an accessible website. Let’s get started!

      An Introduction to Web Accessibility

      Web accessibility means that all aspects of a website are usable by people with disabilities. Without it, much of the information on the internet would be inaccessible to a large percentage of the population. For online business owners, this would also equate to losing out on potential sales.

      As of 2019, nearly 60% of the United States population with disabilities lived in a home with internet access. That translates to a lot of people who rely on accessible design to use the web fully. People with disabilities also tend to adopt technology at lower rates, meaning they may not have an option for which device to use when accessing a website.

      The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed the Web Accessibility Content Guidelines (WACG) to provide a set of standards to developers, designers, and others responsible for creating and maintaining content on the web.

      The accessibility guidelines are organized into four principles, sometimes referred to by the acronym POUR:

      1. Perceivable: Website components must be presented in a way that users can perceive, regardless of disability.
      2. Operable: Navigation and operation must not require input actions that a user cannot perform.
      3. Understandable: Users must understand how to use and navigate a website and the content on it.
      4. Robust: Content needs to be compatible with current and future assistive technology.

      These principles can seem overwhelming and even somewhat vague. However, there are concrete steps you can take to ensure that your website is accessible to everyone.

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      Web Accessibility Guide for Designers (6 Key Tips)

      Having touched on how vital web accessibility is, let’s look at six areas to consider when designing an accessible website.

      1. Make Visual Design Elements Readable

      Typography is a fun area to showcase your creative flair, but the primary purpose of your website’s text is to convey information. There are a few guidelines to be mindful of when working with typography.

      First, you’ll want to think about the contrast between the text and the background. Contrast is expressed as a ratio, and per WCAG guidelines, the minimum contrast is 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text.

      There are several tools you can use to test color combinations. WebAIM’s Contrast Checker is one of these.

      WebAIM’s contrast checker tool.

      Line height and letter spacing also come into play where accessibility is concerned. To keep text readable, W3C provides the following guidance:

      • Line height must be at least 1.5 times the font size.
      • Spacing between paragraphs should be two times the font size.
      • Spacing between letters must be at least .12 times the font size.
      • Word space should be at least .16 times the font size.

      Graphs are another way to present a lot of information in an easily understood format. However, if you’re only differentiating the elements by color, you could be shortchanging many people. In fact, there are about 3 million colorblind people worldwide who could be struggling with your content.

      To be certain visual elements are understandable, consider using patterns as well as color in your graphs. When selecting designs, we recommend choosing ones that are different enough from each other. For example, lines or dots are easily discerned, whereas lines of varying thickness may not be.

      2. Organize Content for Easy Understanding

      No matter what type of website you’re designing, chances are there is a lot of text. You can improve accessibility by structuring content in a way that’s easy to skim and understand.

      First, most users will appreciate you breaking your text up into short paragraphs. People often aren’t reading deeply on the web, and shorter sections are easier to scan through.

      Headings are also crucial to scannability. Each heading should accurately describe the content beneath it and follow a logical hierarchy. This means using larger headings first and progressively smaller ones as you cover more specific information.

      Using appropriate markup for your headings can make it easier for screen readers to read and navigate your content. In HyperText Markup Language (HTML), you’ll use tags <h1> down to <h6> to create hierarchical headings to break up your text.

      Headings arranged hierarchically from one to six.

      When adding links to your content, be sure the anchor text is descriptive enough that readers will know where clicking on it will take them. Also, it’s smart to mention if the link will open in a new window. A window opening unexpectedly can cause issues for screen readers and confuse the user.

      You should also let your users skip through the content without using a scroll wheel or repeatedly pressing an arrow key. This can be as simple as including a table of contents at the start of a blog post. You can also have a button that skips right to the main content of the page.

      A ‘skip to main content’ button.

      Next, we’ll explore some ways you can make interacting with your website easier.

      3. Keep User Interface (UI) Elements Intuitive and Device-Independent

      User Interface (UI) elements are anything on a website that visitors need to interact with to navigate, and they play a major role in the overall User Experience (UX). UI elements can include scrollbars, dropdown menus, and notifications.

      For a website to be considered accessible, people using different devices need to be able to interact with these UI elements successfully. This means that device-independent design is crucial.

      For example, some people are only able to use keyboards. To make it possible for them to navigate a webpage, you can include focus indicators to highlight buttons, links, and text fields when a user tabs through a page.

      Anything on your website that can be interacted with should have a corresponding focus indicator. The appearance can vary from one browser to another, but they typically show up as a blue or white outline depending on the background color.

      A focus indicator on the Google search page.

      When adding focus indicators, you’ll need to define tab order. This order should be similar to how you read: top to bottom and left to right. You can test this by tabbing through your site.

      Try to keep navigation and other menus in a consistent order throughout the website. These elements should also appear in roughly the same locations on each page because it makes them easier to memorize and quicker to use.

      Touch targets are the areas a user taps when using a touchscreen device. When defining touch targets, you’ll want to be sure they’re large enough to be easily tapped by anyone. For example, people with neuromuscular disorders may lack the fine motor control needed to interact with a tiny target.

      However, you also don’t want to create targets so large that they overlap with nearby elements. Tapping one button when you were aiming for another is enough to frustrate anybody.

      Some users rely heavily on keyboard shortcuts. While you can define shortcuts for your website, it may not be the best course of action. Keyboard shortcuts are not standardized across the web, and any you create may conflict with the device someone is using. If you decide to add custom shortcuts, be sure to make this clear and provide guidance for using them.

      There are some types of interactions that aren’t available on every device. For example, while pinch-to-zoom is convenient for mobile phones, it’s impossible on any computer without a touchscreen. Be sure content isn’t locked behind actions your users may not be able to perform. Provide multiple avenues to your information.

      UX is a highly involved area of web design with a lot of moving parts. Therefore, you might consider adding a section to your style guide to help maintain consistency for all UI elements across your website.

      4. Make Input Controls User-Friendly

      Input controls are a subset of UI elements intended to accept input from a user. Examples include text fields, checkboxes, and radio buttons.

      Forms can be tricky to design with accessibility in mind, but there are some guidelines to follow. You can start by labeling each field of your form. You might also include some example text in the field itself.

      A lead generation form with labels and example text.

      When laying out forms, we suggest using a vertical structure and placing each field on its own line. This makes navigating the form easier for keyboard-only users. On a related note, ensure that focus indicators are placed throughout the form.

      You might break long forms into multiple sections as they can be overwhelming. You could also add a progress bar for people to know where they are in the process; this is likely to be appreciated by your users.

      Finally, be sure to provide error messages that are clear and easy to understand. If possible, don’t clear the entire form when an error is made. It’s a good idea to include instructions for how to fix the mistake as well.

      5. Include Multiple Ways to Enjoy Media

      Media can add a lot to a website, but there are accessibility issues to be mindful of. Fortunately, you can ensure that any media you use is enjoyed by everyone.

      First, some types of media are best avoided altogether. Flashing animation or pop-ups can potentially trigger seizures in some people. You may also want to skip scrolling text or animated content that can’t be paused. It can be difficult or even impossible for some users to absorb.

      If you feel the need to include scrolling or animation, there are ways to make these elements more accessible. Be sure text moves slowly enough that visitors can read it easily. In addition, make it possible for users to pause the content and be clear about how to do so.

      When you create video content for your website, you can include closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. You should also add a text transcript of the video’s content for those using a screen reader.

      Visitors who use screen readers can sometimes have a difficult time with images on a site as well. To make it possible for these people to see what is happening in a picture, you can include alt text.

      Adding alt text to an image of a person playing guitar.

      Alt text is a description intended to show up when an image fails to load. However, screen readers also speak this text, so those with visual impairments don’t miss out.

      When you’re writing alt text, you’ll want to be as descriptive as possible. You can base your description on what is featured in the image and the context of the surrounding content. Also, there’s no need to include the words “Picture of…” at the start of your alt text, as the screen reader will add that automatically.

      6. Perform User Research and Testing

      User research and testing probably aren’t as exciting to you as the design process, but they’re crucial for nailing accessibility. User research is best done early in the process to get a handle on who your users are and what they expect from you. You can do testing throughout the design process to help keep you heading in the right direction.

      Thorough research ensures that none of your users will fall through the cracks and will help you develop a plan for designing your website. You might use focus groups or surveys to determine what users need from your website and how they intend to use it.

      You’ll likely want to do some testing throughout the site-building process. You might try A/B testing at the wireframing stage when there’s still time to pivot. Once your site goes live, you could observe people using your website and ask for their thoughts as they accomplish specific tasks.

      During research and testing, it’s best to gather a diverse group of participants. Including those of all abilities gives you a better chance of designing a site that works for everyone.

      You can also perform testing yourself, such as trying to navigate your website using only your keyboard. For other elements of accessibility, you might want to try a plugin such as WP Accessibility.

      The WP Accessibility plugin.

      This plugin is free to use. It can help you correct a variety of accessibility issues.

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      Let’s Make Accessibility Standard

      Focusing on accessibility during the design process can result in a website that’s accessible to everyone. While it may seem like a lot to keep track of, the payoff is well worth the extra effort.

      Keep the following in mind when you’re designing your website:

      1. Make visual design elements readable.
      2. Organize web content for easy understanding.
      3. Keep User Interface (UI) elements intuitive and device-independent.
      4. Make input controls user-friendly.
      5. Include multiple ways to enjoy media.
      6. Perform user research and accessibility testing.

      Building an accessible website is a lot easier with the right web host in your corner. DreamHost’s Shared Unlimited hosting can ensure that you get off to a great start with a fast and reliable website!



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      Pinterest Marketing Guide: How to Promote Your Business in 2021


       

      If you run an online business, chances are you spend a lot of time on your social media marketing. If you’re not including Pinterest in your marketing plan, you could be missing out.

      Pinterest is a highly visual platform that functions more like a search engine than a social network. As a result, you can reach new audiences, drive more traffic to your site, and access detailed analytics to help you achieve your goals. Even better, Pinterest is a fairly easy platform to get started with.

      In this guide, we’ll discuss why you might want to get your business on Pinterest. Then we’ll share six steps to help you set up an account, create shareable Pins, and build your presence on this platform. Let’s get started on your Pinterest marketing strategy!

      Why You Might Want to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business

      Pinterest is so much more than a social media platform. It’s actually a visual search engine, which comes with a unique set of advantages for businesses. For one, content lasts much longer than on other platforms, meaning your Pins can continue to yield results for you months after you post them.

      Something else that makes Pinterest attractive is its user base. The platform boasts approximately 459 million monthly users, most of whom are adults. If this is a demographic you’d like to target, it’s smart to put your business on this platform.

      Finally, 80% of Pinners discover new brands or products on Pinterest. This makes it an excellent tool for putting yourself on the radar of new audiences.

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      Pinterest Marketing Guide: How to Promote Your Business in 2021 (In 6 Steps)

      Now that you’ve seen that Pinterest can be a valuable addition to your marketing strategy, let’s have a look at six steps for getting started.

      Step 1: Set Up a Pinterest Business Account

      Your first step will be to set up a Pinterest business account. This account type differs from a personal account in a few key ways. First, you’ll be able to claim your website and other social platforms, so your profile information will show up on every Pinterest Pin that includes your content.

      You’ll also be able to build ads and use them alongside your organic Pins to help drive traffic and conversions. If you’d like some additional guidance, you can sign up for a free ads consultation.

      Finally, a business account will grant you access to detailed analytics. You can pull valuable insights from this data to improve your Pinterest strategy.

      To set up your business account, head to Pinterest Business and click on the Sign Up button. First, you’ll be asked to create an account or log in to an existing one. Next, you’ll be brought to this screen where you can begin building your profile.

      Adding basic profile information to Pinterest Business.

      You can include as much or as little information as you like. You’ll probably want to include a profile picture, as well as a few ways for customers to reach you. If you have a physical location, you can add that information as well. Remember to click on the Save button at the bottom of the screen if you make updates.

      Step 2: Create Popular Pins

      Once you have your Pinterest business account ready to go, it’s time to create some Pins. Before you get started, you’ll want to identify some of the popular trends in your niche. Fortunately, Pinterest provides you with a few tools to accomplish this.

      First, you might want to have a look at Pinterest Predicts. This highly visual report is full of advice for what topics will soon be trending in several niches.

      The Pinterest Predicts tool.

      You can also narrow your search by category or audience. Alternatively, you can download the report in PDF format.

      You might also want to check out Pinterest Trends. This tool is a bit more focused on the present, so you can use it to discover what’s currently trending on Pinterest in different categories.

      Current trends on Pinterest.

      Click on any keyword to see a graph of searches over time. You’ll also see the most popular Pins for the search term, as well as a selection of related trends.

      A graph showing searches over time.

      These tools provide powerful insights that can help you plan the content of your Pins. However, there is also a strong visual component that you’ll want to keep in mind.

      As we said, Pinterest is a highly visual platform, so you’ll want to be sure the images you’re using for your Pins are top-notch. Of course, you’ll want to choose high-quality images, but you’ll also need to pay attention to the size.

      The best Pins are longer than they are wide. While the ideal image size is 735 by 1102 pixels, it’s more important to be mindful of the aspect ratio, which is 2:3. This will prevent the images in your Pins from being truncated in users’ feeds. You’ll also want to add alt text to your Pins, just as you would on your website, to make them accessible.

      Like with your other social media channels, it’s best to keep your Pins aligned with your brand aesthetic. For example, you may want to include a branded logo on your images or just adhere to a specific style when you’re creating content.

      You can make it a bit easier to follow these guidelines by using a tool like Canva.

      Canva, an online photo editing tool.

      With Canva, you’ll have access to various templates for Pins, so you’ll always have the ideal dimensions. Canva also provides some powerful collaboration tools in case you’ll be working with a team. Finally, the Brand Kit feature will make it easy for you to keep your logo, colors, and fonts consistent across all of your social media platforms.

      Pinterest also lets you create video Pins. These play automatically as users scroll through their feeds, so they are more engaging than other Pins.

      When creating a video Pin, keep in mind that users won’t necessarily have their volume on as they scroll through the page. So don’t be afraid to include plenty of text, both to grab attention and to get your message across.

      Once you’ve created some brilliant Pins, the next step is to make sure they’re found. Similar to how you would handle Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website, you’ll rely heavily on keywords to rank high in search results. Therefore, you may want to include them in your Pinterest board names and descriptions. You can also add keywords to your image filenames.

      Step 3: Optimize Your Pins for Maximum Traffic

      So far, we’ve discussed how you can use SEO to be sure your Pins show up in search results. However, there are some other tactics you can try to help drive visitors to your website.

      First, some days and times are better than others for getting eyes on your Pins. While you’ll want to do some experimentation to discover when is best for your content, CoSchedule found that 8-11 p.m., 2-4 a.m., 2-4 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. are the best times to post. Additionally, you may want to publish your content on Fridays and Saturdays.

      You’ll also want other people to Pin your content to their own boards to help widen your reach. You can start by adding a Pinterest button to your website. The Easy Social Share Buttons plugin enables you to do this quickly.

      The Easy Social Share Buttons plugin.

      Of course, you’ll want to be sure you’re including Pin-worthy images with your content and placing them strategically throughout your website. While you’ll likely include a Pin It button with your social share icons, there are a few other places you may want to have one.

      If you have a blog, you can try optimizing your featured image for Pinterest to be sure it looks great when pinned. You might also want the button to appear when a user hovers over your photos or other shareable elements on your site.

      If you have an email newsletter, try including some of your Pins in it. Use this opportunity to show off some of your best content and urge readers to visit your Pinterest page.

      You might also try using a Pin’s Call To Action (CTA) to encourage people to pin your content to their own boards. The more popular a Pin is, the more likely it is to appear in search results and help solidify your reputation as an expert, which can also increase traffic to your site.

      Finally, you might want to connect your Pinterest profile with other social platforms and your website. You can do this by claiming your other accounts.

      From your Pinterest account settings, click on Claim in the menu at the left of the screen. You’ll have the opportunity to claim your website, Instagram, YouTube, Etsy, and Shopify stores. Simply click on the Claim button, log in to your account, and grant Pinterest the required permissions.

      Claiming a social media account on Pinterest.

      Now, any Pins created from your connected platforms will be attributed to you. You’ll also get credit for any Pins you made before you connected other accounts, but this may take a few days.

      Step 4: Build Relationships and Gain Followers

      Like other social media platforms, Pinterest is all about building relationships with your followers. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by posting frequently and consistently.

      Unlike some other social media platforms, overposting isn’t much of a concern with Pinterest. However, you don’t want to publish an entire day’s worth of Pins at one time. So instead, spread them out, keeping the optimal posting times in mind.

      You’ll also want to include a mix of content in your Pinterest strategy. Don’t be afraid to have plenty of content from other accounts if you think your followers will find it interesting. Providing value is essential to creating loyalty among your customers.

      Additionally, remember to respond to any comments left on your Pins. You can also leave friendly, helpful comments on your followers’ Pins to help build connections.

      While communicating with your audience is crucial, you might also want to engage with popular boards outside your immediate network. This tactic can be especially effective if you want to build relationships with influencers. If you decide to reach out this way, you can do some research to ensure that the creators and their content align with your brand values.

      To find popular boards in your niche, start by typing a relevant keyword into the search bar. To narrow your search to boards, use the drop-down menu on the right.

      How to search for boards on Pinterest.

      Once you click on a board, you’ll be able to see the follower count. If you’d like to follow the board, click on the three dots next to the name and select Follow.

      How to follow a board on Pinterest.

      You might also want to try inviting others to Pin on your boards. This can add some diversity to your content. To create a group board, click on the plus sign under the board’s name.

      How to create a group board on Pinterest.

      You’ll be able to set permissions for your collaborators. Choose whether they can change existing Pins or just add their own.

      Collaborator settings for group boards on Pinterest.

      You can also allow them to invite others to the board.

      Collaborator settings for group boards on Pinterest.

      Now, you can search for collaborators by name and invite them to your board. Alternatively, you can copy a link to the board and share it directly with them.

      How to invite collaborators to a shared board.

      You can find people on Pinterest the same way you find boards. After typing the user’s name into the search box, select People from the drop-down menu.

      How to search for people on Pinterest.

      You might want to connect with people you already know, such as friends and family, as well as bloggers or brands that you follow on other platforms. This can help you build a decent following more quickly.

      Step 5: Promote Your Brand

      When it comes to promoting your brand on Pinterest, Rich Pins are one of the most valuable tools you have at your disposal. Rich Pins include additional, real-time information and more ways to direct people to your website.

      Product Rich Pins display the price and availability of your products in real-time. When shoppers click on your Pin, they’ll be brought directly to your website, where they can complete their purchase.

      Meanwhile, Recipe Rich Pins can include ratings, cooking time, a list of ingredients, and whatever other information you might want to include. If you make changes to the recipe on your website, the corresponding Rich Pin will update automatically.

      A Recipe Rich Pin featuring ingredients and cooking time.

      If you’re a blogger, you may want to consider using Article Rich Pins, which display the title, pin description, and author of the piece. Like Recipe Rich Pins, this type of Pin will automatically update when you edit the article.

      Remember to include a relevant link to your website in every one of your Pins. As your content travels across Pinterest, you’ll want to ensure that users can quickly get to the source.

      While you do want to promote your products and services, your followers may get bored if that’s all they see from you. You can mix up your content by regularly pinning from other sources in your niche. While searching for other brands to follow, you can also save interesting Pins to a secret board to share later.

      If you have a blog on your website, you may want to create a board exclusively for your blog posts. This will be especially helpful for those who find you through Pinterest rather than your website, as they’ll quickly see the kind of content you publish.

      Additionally, you might want to put some thought into how you arrange your boards on your profile page. Keeping your most active and popular boards at the top can give a Pinterest user a sense of what your brand is all about. However, save some of this space for your blog posts and product boards as well.

      Pinterest boards on a user’s profile.

      Finally, you can take advantage of holidays, just as you would with blogs and other social media content. Try to have event-based Pins ready at least a month in advance, so you won’t feel rushed to publish content at the last minute. This way, when users are searching for Christmas gift ideas or Thanksgiving recipes on Pinterest, your content is more likely to appear in their feeds.

      Step 6: Track Your Success With Pinterest Analytics

      When you set up a business account, you’ll have access to Pinterest Analytics. You’ll want to get this feature set up as soon as possible so you can begin gathering valuable data, including your audience demographics and click-through rates.

      While you’ll have access to some information right away, to take full advantage, you’ll need to claim your domain. From your Business Hub, you can navigate to Analytics > Conversion Insights. Then click on the Claim domain button, followed by the Claim button next to Websites.

      Claiming a domain on Pinterest.

      You’ll have the option to claim via HTML tag, HTML file, or text record. Finally, enter your website’s URL and click on the Verify button.

      Verifying a website on Pinterest.

      Once you’ve claimed your website, you may also want to join the Verified Merchant Program. You’ll have badging on your profile that can help you generate trust, as well as a Shop tab where Pinterest users can make purchases without going to your website.

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      e

      Get Some Pinterest Followers

      While the thought of getting involved with another social media platform may not be appealing, the potential benefits of using Pinterest will likely make your effort worthwhile. Long-lasting, highly visual content can do a lot to help spread the word about your business.

      Let’s recap the steps we shared for getting your business on Pinterest:

      1. Set up a Pinterest Business account.
      2. Create popular Pins.
      3. Optimize your Pins for maximum traffic.
      4. Build relationships and gain followers.
      5. Promote your brand.
      6. Track your success with Pinterest Analytics.

      Do you need some help with your Pinterest strategy? We can handle social marketing for you! Learn more about our social media marketing services and how we can help you grow your business.



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