For many Bloggers, Pinterest is their Number One referrer. I am no exception. The difference is Pinterest was not a slow build for me. In fact unbeknownst to me, I happened to post my #1 visited post on THE DAY Pinterest changed their algorithm. That day was August 14, 2014. At the end of the day, I had no earthly idea that my mini traffic high would never go back down. This is How Pinterest Changed My Traffic FOREVER + Tips to boost yours too!
When I really look at the numbers, my week before the change, I totaled 396 total weekly page views. The following week, I totaled 2,517 and I didn’t post until Thursday. That’s an increase of 636%. The following week (the first full week after the change) page views were 3,841, or an increase of 970%. I kept holding my breath for days waiting for the high to come down. That was ELEVEN weeks ago, and my traffic only keeps increasing.
I commonly wake up after seven hours of sleep to 40+ pinterest notifications of pins, repins and new follows. I’ve gained 165 new Pinterest followers and 72 new site subscribers in the past two weeks alone. All of these statistics and numbers may not be that impressive to you, but let me say I am a very new blogger. I posted my first test post on June 14, 2014. Two months after I began blogging, this happened. In just over four months of blogging, I have amassed over 55,000 all time page views.
I know what you’re probably thinking, all those page views are just for one post. Well, you’re partially right. That post drives a majority of my traffic, but while people are here, they click on to the next post. While we’re talking referrals, Pinterest accounts for 95% of my referral traffic. But 15% of my traffic is direct traffic. What thats means is for my daily October average of 875 views, 131 of those views come direct to me without a referral. Considering the fact that my total average daily page views before pinterest changed my traffic were 66 a day, I think that’s pretty darn awesome.
So enough stats already, right? What post did this? Well, my post on How Essential Oils Changed My Beauty Routine. And the pin? Folks are still re-pinning it. And re-pinning and re-pinning. This below is a screenshot of my top referring pin. It’s not even pinned to one of my boards. Thus the beauty of the new algorithm. I had a very tiny following of less than 100 followers. But a pinner with 26,000 followers saw my pin as a “related pin” in their feed and pinned it. Boom!
But how do you get YOUR pins to turn up as related in a big pinner’s feed? And are related pins the only way to get your pins discovered? Nope. Your following is still important, so is when and where you pin. So are keywords in your pin descriptions and board descriptions.
The new algorithm-driven feed, referred to as “smart feed” is made up of three types of pins.
1. Pins from people you follow.
2. Related pins similar to those things you already pinned.
3. Pins according to interest lists.
Feed #1 is just like everything you already knew about pinterest, so I’ll skip over that. Related pins and pins that get tagged for interest lists are chosen based on keywords in the pin descriptions and the board descriptions to where they are getting pinned. All of these pins get sorted through a Smart Feed Worker (yes, sometimes an actual person) who rates your pins according to relevancy. That means good content moves to the top of the feed and bad or spammy content gets filtered to the bottom, regardless of your following or when you pinned. Below is the image that made the pin that started it all.
This brings me to the last part of my post: My tips to help Pinterest boost your traffic.
1. Switch to a BUSINESS ACCOUNT. If you’re still rocking a personal account, just switch it over.
2. Get that spankin’ new business account VERIFIED. This allows pinners and Pinterest workers to know you are a trustworthy source.
3. Get RICH PINS. Rich Pins give your pins more detail. Your favicon will show up on all pins, recipes will auto fill and meta descriptions will auto fill too. Your pins look better and more professional without you having to do anything extra than what you already do to add SEO to your post.
4. Add the PIN IT BUTTON. People need a reminder and an easy way to share your content. The pin it button ads a pop up graphic to pin your picture every time a reader scrolls over one of your images. Easy Peasy.
5. Make great pins. There is no cheat sheet here. You need long, colorful and compelling pins with great descriptions and unique content. This will sound like a hassle, but don’t forget the payoffs!
5A. Long Pins. This means the pictures need to be longer than they are wide. The maximum width of images displayed on my blog are 640 pixels. Pictures that are at least 640 x 950 show up larger in Pinterest’s feed. If they are too long, the images will get cut off and must be expanded before a prospective pinner can see the whole image. Don’t make a potential reader have to click more than necessary to get to your content.
5B. Colorful and compelling pins get attention. Pinterest is first and foremost a visually driven site. The fact is people like to pin pretty stuff. Make your stuff pretty dangit! If it isn’t gorgeous or colorful, add some colorful and attention grabbing text and graphics. I like to do this every time no matter what my images. That way if someone pins my pin and deletes a description, my keywords are still on the image. Its all about brand recognition to a certain extent.
5C. Great descriptions and unique content drive traffic to your site. Big beautiful pins get people’s attention, but a compelling description gives them enough to intrigue them to read all about it. BUT you can’t give them everything right there in the pin. Remember what your momma said? “Why buy the cow when they get the milk for free”. Same goes for pinning. If you don’t keep some content exclusive to your site, they have no reason to click through.
Finally, once you get people to your site, You absolutely must have content that gives them a reason to stick around. If you’ve got a bunch of grammatical errors, they won’t stick around. If you pulled a bait and switch on them, they won’t ever come back. Treat readers how you want to be treated and they’ll keep coming back.
How did YOU find this article? Did you find me on Pinterest? If so, thanks so much for clicking through. Tell me in the comments below how the new algorithm is changing your Pinterest strategy.