Is Pinterest Traffic dead to Pinners Needs? Are You Still Getting Some? A Case Study.
Okay I know, I know, the headline simply makes your heart almost stop…After all as a blogger, brand, online marketer, e-commerce store owner, Pinterest is one of your Top traffic sources… Well so it is for us, it is our Top Traffic driver…YET it drives me nuts…Sometimes! :p
So, let me help you out of the dilemma. Pinterest traffic is NOT dead, but Pinterest Boards are definitely having a hard time getting people the boost they hope to get at time of publishing.
Let’s agree that Pinterest has laid out a plethora of changes that even the most dedicated pinner would say Phwoah, hang on there for a minute. Can I get my head round this before you drop a new change?
Still as a content marketer, you still stand a better chance of growing your reach faster with Pinterest.
Lets pre-face the statement I made: Is Pinterest Traffic dead? The Answer is NO…So why did I make it?
For months, Pinterest traffic for many has been a hit and miss. For a couple of months in 2018 Ours was too.
What Caused our Pinterest Traffic Snafu
I humbly consider myself “Pinterest Savvy.” I have been ranked along with some seriously top bloggers and called a Pinterest expert by respected people in the Digital marketing space!
Our blogs were receiving 3-5000-page views per day from Pinterest. Between 2017 and Nov 2018 this Pinterest traffic dropped to 93 views per day, yet have over 200,000 monthly Impressions! ☹ You can learn more about Impressions and what they mean for your business here.
What was going on here? Was Pinterest broken?
On further investigation we found that one of our Pinterest Assets had got what they call a “shadowban” …
(We learnt that a new VA Posting pins without checking linked content, pinned something that was banned on Pinterest. We reckon from another client on our boards over and over…in the hope of getting some of our traffic…And that account got shut down.)
Suffice to say that VA is NOT working for us anymore.
For 7 months we hee-hawed with Pinterest and it they finally agreed with us that the shutdown was a mistake and said account was reinstated just last week. Yayy Phew.
This account had over 8000 followers by 2nd July 2018. On being reinstated it had dropped down to just under 2400 followers.
But guess what? We dont care, we got it back. We will rise the follower numbers sooner than you can say end of year!
SO FEEL FREE TO FOLLOW OUR LIFESTYLE PINTEREST BRAND HERE
Now, we tried everything to fix the numbers. We use Tailwind and hand pinning alongside meticulously tracking via our Google Docs.
Our pins are good, I truly believe that! We create fresh pins for every piece of content. Even when we refresh older content, we create new pins!
At the time we had a combined 22,000 follower count. I am good with White Hat SEO…
We participate in some of the best group boards, Tailwind tribes and I love to think we follow Pinterest Best Practice…So why wasn’t Pinterest bringing us much traffic anymore?
Our Google analytics were alarming (I thought) and Pinterest analytics didn’t marry up!
BUT I learnt way back that a lot of what Google claims to be “Organic Traffic” in many cases is actually Social and in our case; Pinterest Traffic…
What Exactly Happened to Pinterest Traffic?
First it must be understood that if you have been pinning your content over and over using the same Pin images…that is causing a sharp drop in your Traffic. Pinterest wants FRESH content and images.
We don’t have above problem with our strategy and even with Cross Pinning taking a back seat after the FB/Pinterest Update. We still use fresh images.
Understand that despite using Tailwind, you won’t get much more traffic either (At time of publishing). Unless you use the Unlimited Smart Looping functionality…
And according to Chinese whispers, that can cost you lots of boosts, and Pinterest is more interested in …You got it, fresh content.
Pinterest is more interested in …You got it, fresh content.
So, what was the problem…?
Aahh we were looking at our analytics all wrong… Damn! #FaceSlap
Our Tracker links showed over 14,000 clicks for the month of February 2019. (See image below)
So why was Google showing Under 12k and Pinterest well 93??? ☹
Well, my excuse is Google has changed things a lot inside of the Keyword tool.
Yep. Inside of Google analytics I was NOT Checking the “channel” where our traffic is coming from. That’s where to check by the way.
Right inside of “Acquisition” is a Sub-tab: All Traffic and under that is Channel.
In the chart at the bottom of the page select “Pinterest”.
That’s where our Pinterest breakdown was and how it came and we realised that more than 7k of the “Organic” was Pinterest. Phew.
When I checked Pinterest Analytics, I now saw what the problem was as well. And now I can tell you where to look too!
Over on Pinterest, check your Pinterest Analytics, head to Audience Insights data. You can find out which pages your Pinterest traffic most visits. Check “Secondary Dimension” and find behaviour. You will see the Web pages or posts on your site that attract Pinterest traffic. Right down to Gender, age, location and device. Pure dope isn’t it?
So, my dear friend Pinterest Traffic is NOT dead. But it definitely is Not as massive or Targeted as it used to be. Could be due to the multitude of changes, whatever it is. We are keeping a beady eye on it. Now…
We have fixed the problem (fingers crossed) and are seeing an increase in not just impressions, but click throughs to our sites again yay! So…
How Can you too Get More Traffic from Pinterest?
How Can you too Get More Traffic from Pinterest?
Day by day with patience, yes grab that garment already! You will see an increase in Traffic from pinterest to your blog/brand… Of course, you can tweak chop and change what works for you…
If you have a budget for your marketing, you could Invest in the Ultimate Pinterest Roadmap and cut your journey shorter.
But, if funds are truly tight, take the DIY road that takes time below. ??
- Create Fresh pin images for your content, We create at least 10 Images and we try to create at least 2 images for Older content for every 10 of New content…I know lots of work so how about you invest in a Pinterest Management team Or Hire a Virtual Assistant to help out.
- Definitely Create a google doc of every pin you share, when you shared it, which board and when you re-pinned it. Add its stats a month later and see how well it performs 6 weeks down the road.
- Automate your efforts by Scheduling out your Pins to relevant boards, including refreshing older content…Remember the 2 extra images? Keep your Feed fresh with new content and Pinterest will love you for it.
- Use large fonts, in fact, use a specific font on your images. Adopt a Colour pallet, so your images are easily identifiable. (We love gold and peach) Not forgetting your Logo for Brand exposure and reach Jose! Text on Pin images helps with Pinterest SEO as well. Pointing pinners to where your image leads or topic.
- Long images are Not as popular on Pinterest anymore. We have reduced our images to about 600 x 850. Sometimes we even pin our Social images which are square, esp. with quotes. Give these more priority, schedule them often with Tailwind. You will thank me later.
Long images are Not as popular on Pinterest anymore. #PinterestUpdate #PinterestTips
- Do use long tailed Keywords in your Pin image description, Alt text and Boards description. SEO is absolutely a must after all Pinterest is a Visual Search engine! My trick is I do my best to use Pinterest search terms. These are easily found by typing slowwwly a word in Pinterest search bar and it shows you what’s trending in a drop-down menu. Bingo.
- Once we publish a new piece of content, we make sure our first 5 pins are to our own relevant boards, then we post to 3 related Group Boards. Then we pin 5 other people’s content. We then Schedule the new content to be drip fed across category related boards over the week. The focus here is SEO. Pinning your content to a non-related board is a Waste of bloody time! We can tell which pins and boards work for us via Tailwind analytics.
- Clean up your boards, leave non-serving spammy, group boards. They are Dropping your Street cred and SEO for sure. Not serving your brand at all! Also, delete any Pins that didn’t perform. Pins with No Re-pins, no engagement even if you have re-shared said content over and over…RELEASE them!
- We deleted some of our useless group boards full of “social share; unloved spammy pins”. We lost a few Followers and some of our own pins dropped numbers.
- We also have tried an old technique where: we pin to our most relevant board first and pin to at least 4 more boards. Then we repin each of the above Pins once a day or every other day. We also mix in Older content, for which we create new pin images.
- Understand that the circa 2016 “Set and forget” strategy that worked so well on Pinterest and literally made it our top referrer stopped working last year…I doubt they will let it back. With Pinterest going public, they want MORE ACTIVE USERS, with new content and pins. Simple.
With Pinterest going public, they had to find ways to monetize to pay the share holders, like Facebook did.
They want you to Promote your content Ala Promoted Pins. So they’re squeezing your organic reach. That has decreased a ton… All the more reason why you need to learn how to make it pay you. Just like we shared How you can Hack the Facebook Algorithm.
Clean up your boards, leave non-serving spammy, group boards.
But everything we’ve done so far. was worth it, a huge SEO hack here. We have gone back to our good old category boards and we will delete more boards! Less boards, more focus and More Traffic. For now.
- We definitely Re-pin our most productive and popular pins to our boards, Tailwind tribes and group boards we haven’t shared to yet. (The most viewed, clicked on pins, delivering sweet traffic to our websites).
Re-sharing older content is only if it is ALREADY Popular. Otherwise Pinterest has come out strongly for Fresh New Content. And lots of old popular pins seem to have lost the shine…so balance things here.
- This may sound counter intuitive, but Pin More Manually more often. Pinterest loves the HUMAN touch! WHY? Because thats where the emotional touch is. Humans are the ones who click through and buy. That way Pinners feel its worth it as a digital platform to invest their dollar. Also, you will find your manual pins gaining traction faster. You get more quality results.
- If you are new to pinterest, you might feel it’s a good idea to be part of sharing groups esp. via facebook. BUT The danger is you will be pinning other people’s less considered pin images. They will predominantly be irrelevant to your niche or brand ethos… Thus drop your SEO. If you are a blogger determined to win with pinterest, you might prefer to join Tailing Tribes in your niche.
Those all over the place pins from syndication groups reduce your brand authority and don’t drive any traffic to you. WHY? Because most new bloggers are intrinsically selfish and they haven’t learnt the Golden rule of Blogging as ensconced by Ryan Biddulph. In giving you receive…Its also biblical! 😉
Understand that, lots of bloggers are CLOSED to investing in themselves. Your SEO will suffer, and you won’t make any sales…any time soon.
So if you are dedicated to serving more people, and as your authority grows, release the majority if not all as soon as you gain some traction! UNLESS they are niche groups.
Pinterest Traffic, We Still Love it – Its a Wrap
And that’s it, you will see better more focused results I promise. Pinterest Traffic is NOT dead, it is just less as more than 250 million people are pinning and want some of that juice. Pinterest wants to clean up the stage and I bet they are a wee bit worried about Instagram growth.
I know other pinterest experts will hate me for sharing this, but hey, cest-la-vie. We live and let go.
Pinterest Traffic is NOT dead, it is just less abundant
I hope you learned something from this “Pinterest traffic is dead” resource – and you are seeing the wisdom of learning the art of ATTRACTING the right traffic.
Have you seen and used Pinterest Video Yet? I am so stoked, will talk about it soonest!
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Julie Syl Kalungi
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