So you want to improve your business or website views by getting more visitors. And because you are in this post, I am sure that you already know how valuable Pinterest is in getting free traffic to your website.
But how do you keep up with the Pinterest algorithm? In this post, I will talk about what actually is the Pinterest algorithm about and how I beat its neverending changes.
What is Pinterest and how does the Pinterest Algorithm work?
When using any type of social media platform, you will have to face the never-ending changes in its trends and algorithm. And Pinterest is no exception to that. If you are new to Pinterest, you may be welcomed with the misconception that people go on Pinterest to find quotations and outfit or home decor inspirations. I mean, sure it is, but it is also more than that.
Pinterest also is a place where you can develop your business and build a community.
But first, you first have to know and understand what Pinterest is.
Does Pinterest Really Work? Understand how Pinterest works
Pinterest is a visual search engine and is used to find new inspirational content, which frequently includes people with buyer intent. Meaning, they are searching for something with a high chance of purchasing something from that Pinterest search.
Aside from this, people frequently use Pinterest to save their favorite images and organize them into boards when looking for home, recipe, or DIY project inspiration. And for businesses and creators, Pinterest and Pinterest marketing is a gold mine if you want easy Pinterest traffic to your website or online business since you can directly put links on pin images.
Understanding The Pinterest Algorithm Changes
Ever since Pinterest launched, they have been improving and making new changes and updates consistently.
If you want to know about Pinterest and become successful on Pinterest, understanding the algorithm should be your top priority. And no, it won’t be overwhelming as you expect. With that said, let’s dive into the Pinterest algorithm.
In a nutshell, the Pinterest algorithm works by enabling users to discover pins relevant to their interests thanks to the Pinterest search algorithm. The user’s search query, the user’s activity on Pinterest, and the content of the pin are just a few of the variables the algorithm considers when determining how relevant a pin is.
Aside from this, a good way to make the Pinterest algorithm happy is if Pinterest users engage with your pin and have a high interaction on your pins.
There are actually four factors the algorithm on Pinterest considers:
- Domain quality – Domain quality is how Pinterest recognizes your blog. It basically refers to the quality of your website by detecting the popularity of the pin that came from the website. If people are posting your pins directly from your blog or website, then Pinterest will see your site as a source of high-quality content and will up your domain quality. It is important to claim your website so Pinterest can see that your website source is verified.
- Pin quality – The search engine algorithm determines the quality of your pin will be based on the engagement your pins get from Pinterest users. So, it is important that your Pinterest content is always of high quality.
- Pinner quality – Pinner quality refers to the effectiveness of your content on the platform. It looks at the effectiveness of your pins (if pinners will engage with your pin), and how often you pin or post new content.
- Topic Relevance – When a user searches for a relevant topic, Pinterest looks at your keywords to decide whether to display your content. Pinterest recommends your pins to users by analyzing the keywords on your pins. So, it is best to learn how to optimize your content on Pinterest.
Best Practices & Tips to Beat the Pinterest Algorithm: Pinterest Marketing Strategy Tips
Does Pinterest really work in helping your business and drive traffic to your blog? If so, how do you grow your audience on Pinterest? What is the best Pinterest strategy out there? The Pinterest algorithm is always changing, so how should I keep up? Is there a new algorithm out now?
If those are your questions, then you have come to the right post because I have here an easy 2023 guide with some easy tips and tricks.
1. Create Idea Pins
In the last 30 days, I made an experiment on my account to post 2 idea pins and one video pin per day with the recent algorithm.
So I actually repurposed these 5 second short videos. I used each video as the first slide for Idea pins, and then I also published the same video as a separate Video pin with a link to a respective post on my site.
So let me show you my stats for the last 90 days so you can see the trend before and after. Since I started creating Idea and Video pins in August, my impressions and engagements were consistently climbing up.
There is a clear upward trend since the beginning of August.
And you’ll see when I look only at my Idea pins, there is a clear spike at the beginning of August that lasted throughout the entire month.
Before this experiment, I was creating Idea pins maybe like once in 2 weeks, so now with 2 idea pins a day it was a huge increase.
I didn’t create idea pins before because I thought they were pretty much useless for established accounts like mine because you can’t link to a specific post from an Idea pin. And I thought that it might take time for Pinterest to notice those pins.
But I will show you now that this test has proven that Idea pins might be more helpful than I thought.
There was also an improvement for Videos pins but it’s not as impressive as for Idea pins.
Clearly, Pinterest gives Idea pins an extra push in the algorithm. The only downside of the Idea pins is that you can’t add links to them. But is this true in 100% of cases?
No. First, on mobile devices, you can add links to Idea pins (by adding stickers with a product).
Some accounts are already participating in Beta which allows them to add any kind of links to Idea pins on the desktop (and not products only like in the previous method).
But the best part about it is that somehow my stats for the Standard pins also improved as a side effect of these efforts on Idea pins.
So even though this month I slowed down on creating new Standard Image pins, creating new pieces of content like Idea pins (sometimes even rich pins) helped me get more impressions and clicks on existing Image pins, so you can expect also that your overall account performance gets better when you diversify your Pin style.
2. Consistent Pinning of Fresh pins
Now, this is a no-brainer but if you leave your account inactive for 6 months, I can assure you that your stats will drop significantly. Pinterest isn’t gonna boost your account if you have been inactive for several months now.
They might stay the same for a month or even two because your pins are ranking for certain keywords, and Pinterest is a search engine. However, the search engine algorithm determines what pins they will rank but only for a limited time.
So, if you stop posting new pins, eventually your older pins will lose their positions with every new search update, as they won’t be considered fresh or up-to-date.
Here is an example of one of my old accounts. I actually abandoned it a couple of years ago and moved my domain to a new account.
I went back in Pinterest analytics as far as the tool allows which is just about 1.5 years ago. So you can see here after a drop in stats since I didn’t post anything on this account, it’s practically a dead flat line.
For some reason, people assume they can create a bunch of pins, publish them all in a span of a few days and then come back to Pinterest 3 months later hoping to see the results.
Even though I like to remind you that the Pinterest algorithm is designed as a search engine, it’s not exactly the same as Google. You can’t upload all the content at once and wait for it to be indexed and ranked.
You have followers, engagements, spikes of user activity, and comments on Pinterest – all these elements of a social media site also are part of the algorithm. And you can leverage them only by posting on Pinterest consistently.
It doesn’t mean you have to manually log in on the platform several times a day, you can rely on an authorized Pinterest scheduler, for example, I use the Tailwind app. This tool will help you grow your Pinterest account easier by acting as your own scheduler.
This is the perfect Pinterest partner for your marketing strategy. Tailwind will batch your content creation and schedule your pins even a few months in advance.
You can start your free account using my link.
3. Optimize your Website for Pinterest Saves
All popular and established accounts have something in common.
When you look at their top-performing pins, most of them are pins created by “others”. So these are not the pins that you created by saving a pin linked to your site. These are the pins that your website visitors saved to their Pinterest accounts because they liked your content or your website and wanted to get back to it later.
And the reason I am saying that this is something you’ll typically see on established accounts is that most of them have their websites correctly optimized for Pinterest sharing.
And when users often save pins from your website, for the Pinterest algorithm this signals that your content is high-quality content and is worth being shown to a bigger audience.
Let me show you more specifically what you need to do on your site. If you have a WordPress blog, it’s very easy to set this using the Grow Plugin by Mediavine. There are many plugins for social sharing buttons but I find that Grow has the best options and settings specifically for Pinterest save buttons.
See on my blog I have Save buttons hovering on top of my images, and I have Pinterest buttons on the left always following the user while they read the content.
I have sticky buttons at the bottom of the page for Mobile readers.
I am also reminding users at the end of each post that they could share this on the Pinterest board.
4. Optimizing for Keywords
You can’t ignore keywords and SEO if you are trying to grow on Pinterest. Many users browse Pinterest to get inspiration for upcoming projects and get ideas for things they want to buy.
For instance, I searched for a social media-related keyword, and I got these results.
As you can see, all the suggested pins are relevant to my search query “how to grow on social media”.
Let’s check one of the pins that showed up in the top results.
This one is from a medium-sized Pinterest account, she has about 37k followers, so it’s not a huge account with millions of followers. Yet she managed to rank for the keyword related to growth on social media.
She used the keyword “social media” in the pin title, in the pin description and even as a text overlay on her image pin itself. In addition to that, the pin was saved by another user to a board that had Social media in the title as well. That’s a perfect combination!
And in case you were wondering whether or not you should use hashtags on Pinterest, here’s updated info.
I actually go more in-depth on this topic in my Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets Course – you can join our members-only community using the link up there and in the description and you can ask me any questions there and access my video lessons.
5. Leverage Seasons and Trends
Why is this so important on Pinterest and Pinterest search algorithm, perhaps more than on any other platform?
Well, I think it comes down to user intent on Pinterest. People like to save pins to their boards as inspiration while they are planning for future events and seasons.
Think of ideas like wedding planning, birthday parties for kids, summer activities or Christmas DIY ideas, home renovation inspiration, and so on.
These are just some examples of the things that people typically plan months in advance.
You can go to Trends.Pinterest.com and look for a specific keyword and see when users start looking for this on Pinterest.
Here, I looked for Thanksgiving Crafts and although the spike of interest in this keyword is obviously in November, by the end of September there is a clear upwards trend and it’s already a good time to save your Thanksgiving-related pins.
This Trends tool is great but I think as a Pinterest marketer, you should have a calendar of your content and publish pins up to 2-3 months ahead of the season or before the holiday.
And I have a Pinterest Trends Planner with all the popular seasonal keywords and topics listed for you month by month.
6. Improve User Engagement
As with any other platform, Pinterest will always give a boost to content that generates higher user engagement.
So what kind of engagement can you get on Pinterest? You will have to know what Pinterest wants and the pin quality they make viral.
Well if you look at my stats I’ve shown you that in the past 30 days, I managed to get a 24% increase in the overall engagement on my pins.
According to Pinterest’s official definition, Engagements include saves, Pin clicks, outbound clicks, carousel card swipes, secondary creative (collections) clicks and Idea Pin forward/backward swipes.
And remember what I did to get higher engagements? I just created a lot more Idea pins and Video pins on my account in the last month.
On Idea pins and Video pins you’ll notice that users can leave reactions like hearts. You can also leave comments.
If you look at the standard image pins, users have only the commenting option but what I am trying to say is that all these engagements can help your pins rank higher and be shown to a bigger audience.
What you can proactively do to get more comments on your pins is open your pins that have the highest impressions and ask a question in the comments to those pins, to prompt a conversation and responses from your audience.
The Pinterest Search Algorithm Is Always Changing
Although the Pinterest algorithm is constantly changing, there are a few crucial factors built into the Pinterest algorithm and platform that you can manage to make sure that your content is seen by as many users as possible. And this is by using relevant keywords, pinning frequently, and posting high-quality content to increase your chances of success.
I would also recommend optimizing and organizing your Pinterest profile and engaging with your Pinterest audience. It might take a bit of time, sure, but I will assure you that Pinterest will show you just how much powerful its platform is when it comes to growing your business.
I’m Anastasia and I’m a full-time blogger, online entrepreneur, and Pinterest marketing strategist. I help digital entrepreneurs and bloggers drive targeted traffic from Pinterest either through my online courses or through Pinterest consultancy.