I have been blogging since 2014 and have been using Pinterest since 2015. Pinterest is my main source of pageviews, accounting for at least 80% of the traffic on this blog and as high as 90% on my other blogs. You can see how a significant drop in Pinterest refers influences my stats and ultimately, my income. So it really sucks when I see a huge downturn in traffic refers from Pinterest.
Right now I am seeing a lot of posts and inquiries in Facebook blogging groups about bloggers seeing their Pinterest impressions and click-throughs drop. They are scrambling to figure out why this is happening to them and what they can do to reverse this trend. First let me say, stop freaking out. Every business has it’s ups and downs. If you track your stats month to month and year to year, you will see your own natural ebbs and flows. For me, I have always seen a dramatic drop in traffic in February EVERY SINGLE YEAR. This year, my traffic went substantially up in February so I thought I had finally broken free of that trend. But lo and behold at the end of February, my refers started to drop every day. March began most disappointingly.
I know you will hear all sorts of reasons out there in cyber land, especially putting the blame on algorithm changes, but for those of us that track our trends, it’s no surprise. Chin up, the upswing will begin in April, and it will take you till September to reach your high of January and February and by December , you will set a new record high. At least that is according to my own personal observations.
BE AWARE: This is the time most marketers will try to sell you their Pinterest courses. You are probably fretting and grasping for any new knowledge to get your numbers up again and they know that. Make sure if you are going to buy a course based on another bloggers’ stats, they show you their numbers RIGHT NOW not February which was phenomenal for everybody. Chances are, their numbers have dropped too and they don’t know the secret to outsmarting the yearly trend.
I personally recommend Amber Temerity’s Pintessential Planning. Thorough and affordable, plus Amber is very hands on and available to questions.
Does this natural downward trend mean you should just lay down and take it? Heck no! This is the time to do some maintenance, review your performance and perfect your strategies.
What To Do When You Experience A Significant Drop In Pinterest Traffic
1. Turn off your automation or turned it down.
Your instinct right now is to pin more but that will hurt you not help you. Pinterest’s algorithm rates your account. That is what influences your ability to be seen in the smart feed. If you continually pin without getting a lot of interaction, meaning repins and click through’s, Pinterest will assume that the content you share is not very good (or shareable) and will push less of your pins into the smart feed. (similar to what Facebook does) It is better to pin less and have a better engagement rate than to pin more with the same results. So if you are using an automation tool like Boardbooster or Tailwind, turn down the frequency of your own pins.
Need help setting up your Boardbooster account properly? Check out my course on how to master Boardbooster here.
You may opt to turning off automation for your own pins altogether. Yes, manual pinning is more time consuming but when you use a social media platform as close to how it is intended to be used, i.e. the non blogger way, you WILL see better results. Pinterest is smart. Just because you use an approved app like Tailwind, does not mean that Pinterest doesn’t know that you are not on the actual platform. You will be rewarded for spending time on the actual platform.
2. Evaluate your group boards.
Not all boards are created equal and just because a board has thousands of followers, does not mean it is beneficial to you. It is simple to check how well the group boards you belong to are doing. On Boardbooster, go to reports, then board performance. On Tailwind, go to track your brand page, then board insights, then select group boards only.
If a group board is not performing well either for you or as a board entirely, it is time to say bye-bye.
3. Join niche specific group boards.
You know when you go to repin something on Pinterest and it suggests 3 boards at the top that you may want to pin that to? Are you surprised sometimes when the right boards show up? You know why that is? It is because that pin and those boards have been SEO optimized and Pinterest is recognizing what that pin and those boards are about. That is what you want happening with every single one of your pins and boards.
Though general group boards are great because you can pin any of your content to them, they are bad for creating a strong SEO presence for your pin. Ultimately, you want your pin being pinned to boards that boost its SEO. Fashion to fashion boards. Blogging to blogging tips. Cleaning to life hacks. Get it?
Pinning to topic specific group boards is more challenging as you have to pay attention to what and where you are pinning but the benefit is bountiful.
4. Pay attention to trending.
Did you know that there is a tool within Pinterest to see what is being searched and repinned the most on Pinterest at any given moment? Click on your search bar and you will find a drop down menu. In it you will see the keywords you have most recently searched for, topics Pinterest thinks you would be interested in and at the bottom, trending topics.
If you have any pins that cover those topics, make sure to pin them right then to relevant boards. You can also use that list to create new content, new pins and new boards. Make sure to include those keywords in your descriptions and as hashtags.
5. Curate great content with a customized smart feed.
One of the best strategies you can use to increase your Pinterest collateral is to share awesome content. The way to do that is to have a smart feed that shows you pins that will resonate with your audience.
If your feed is filled with crap that you don’t want to share, you have some work to do. You may have to unfollow some people and boards to get there. Don’t be squeamish. You have to cut out the fat.
Then, follow new boards and topics that you will want to share. Stop following entire profiles and get in the habit of choosing the boards of a pinner that interest you. This will cut down on the fluff that isn’t relevant to your ideal reader.
6. Make new pins.
Pinterest loves new pins and new content. This is a great time to make new pins for your most popular posts or posts that you believe should have garnered more action.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. I have too many clients that get stuck in the “I must brand all my pins” and “they must all look alike”. Bull shit. If you check out any blogger that is really rocking Pinterest, you will see that they have multiple pins for every post in a variety of styles.
You don’t have to add all these new pins directly to your posts either. Upload them to Pinterest using the “+” symbol in the upper right corner of your Pinterest profile. Watch the analytics of your new pins and if one takes off, then you can either add it to your post or replace the one that is there already. Please remember to always change the image file on your computer to include keywords BEFORE you add the image to Pinterest or your post. This step greatly improves your SEO. Don’t skip this step in haste.
7. Improve descriptions.
Pinterest is a search engine as well as a social media platform. That means that you should optimize your pins as much as possible. Go back through older posts/pins and make sure you have used good SEO practices to increase pins’ effectiveness.
You can do this by:
- Uploading image files with file names that include keywords
- Completing image alt tags on your blog and pin descriptions on Pinterest to include keywords and relevant hashtags
- Use keywords on images as text
Good SEO techniques will greatly improve your ability to get into the smart feed of your followers as well as be found in pinners search results.
Bottom line: Get in the habit of being a good pinner and user of the Pinterest platform and you will be able to increase your impressions and click-thrus. Start now when you have hit a lull in your Pinterest traffic and you will set yourself up for huge success as the year progresses.