Noticed a change lately in the amount of traffic coming from Pinterest?
You're not the only one.
For some bloggers, traffic has tanked. For others, it's dropped a decent bit. Some of you might not have seen much difference at all. (And some may have even seen an increase!)
For bloggers who are seeing the changes, here's what you may be seeing overall when it comes to Pinterest:
- Substantial loss of blog traffic from Pinterest (that almost sounds like a medicine side effect, doesn't it?)
- Pins to group boards might no longer be getting usual number of re-pins
- Fewer pins in your feed from people you actually follow
Ick. Ack. What in pinland is happening?
It's Pinterest's new Smart Feed. And I'm here to convince you it's not as bad as you think. You can read the “written-by-engineers-so-it-went-over-my-head” version on the Pinterest Engineering blog. If you ask me, Susan Wenner Jackson from Ahalogy explains the Smart Feed in lay-blogger terms:
Instead of seeing a stream of pins from accounts you follow in their chronological order, users now get a dynamic blend of pins based on three factors:
- Who you follow (Note: Pins may not be chronological, and some may no longer show up for you if they’re not performing well or relevant to you.)
- Related Pins (based on what you pin and who you follow)
- Interests you’re following
We’ve also learned that pins are “weighted” by two measures: how influential the pin is (how many pins link to that same content), and how engaged the pinner is (how frequently she’s pinning and the quality of her pins’ content).
If you haven't noticed Related Pins yet, just take a closer look at your feed. They look like this!
You can see why a pin was recommended and rate the pin too if it's completely irrelevant to you.
The Good News about the Pinterest Smart Feed (Yes, There's Good News)
Consider it leveling the playing field. More and more people will find you via search on Pinterest. Why is that cool? Because it's not critical to have tens of thousands of followers or to be in 100-people collaborative boards any longer. Even if you're just starting out, your pins can reach new audiences, which brings you more traffic and repins!
A lot of people have compared the Smart Feed to Facebook's algorithm, but your Facebook posts can't magically be seen by non-fans without paying. Sure it might come up in someone's feed because a friend of theirs engaged with your post, but Pinterest Related Posts don't need engagement to show up. That means your pin could get seen by more eyeballs than strictly your followers.
On the side of being a Pinterest user, you don't have to spend as much time sifting out new people to follow because Pinterest brings them to you by showing you their pins. No, it's not perfect (I know some people have had to mark some pins as inappropriate), but the Smart Feed is actually showing me awesome social media and blogging related pins I wouldn't have seen otherwise.
So how do you re-work your Pinterest strategy to master the “new” Pinterest and get your traffic back where it belongs?
- Accept that search on Pinterest is king: Optimize your pins, boards, and posts to be found in search by using relevant keywords. It's not enough to have lots of followers any longer.
- Make it uber easy to pin content from your blog: Pin It buttons and compelling images are the very basics.
- Create pin descriptions with a balance of keywords and engaging copy: You can't rely on keywords alone with descriptions or you'll look spammy. Craft the right balance and you'll get seen in search AND get pinners to click through to your blog.
Need a hand with the most-searched keywords, how to optimize your blog for Pinterest, and a daily/weekly/monthly strategy that works? You know where I'm going with this, don't you… The Pinning Perfect e-course launched in late summer and has sold out every time we've offered it. Knowing that the Smart Feed changes are throwing bloggers for a loop, your instructor, Anna Luther, and I worked on this post together to give you some quick answers. And to give you all the nitty-gritty details, you DEFINITELY want to sign up for this course. We'll cover HOW to write compelling and search-friendly descriptions, not to mention how many pins you should pin each day.
As a student of the course, you'll be able to join a Facebook group and two live chats where Anna will be working overtime to stay on top of questions and provide feedback. Plus, you get lifetime updates to the course!
That means anytime Pinterest changes their mind, you'll get the inside scoop on how to adjust your pinning strategy.
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the Social Media Strategist (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!