If you’re using Pinterest to grow your online business, refer to this guide on the Pinterest algorithm and learn how it works. Plus, I’ll share some tips and tricks on how you can organically grow your Pinterest account!
Let’s be honest for a second… Over the past year, algorithm changes have been a headache for many content creators.
Before we get started, here are a few related blog posts on Pinterest marketing:
How Does the Pinterest Algorithm Work?
Pinterest has a Smart Feed similar to the feeds you see on Instagram or Facebook. It shows you specific pins based on your interests and preferences. It’s a similar concept to the home feed you are accustomed to on Facebook and Instagram.
Here are the four key factors that determine what you see on Pinterest:
Pinterest looks at the domain quality of your website, meaning that it considers the performance of the page URL that you link to in each of your pins.
How does Pinterest determine the quality of the content on your website? If pinners click through to your website and stick around to dive into your content, your domain quality on Pinterest will increase over time.
Note: If you haven’t done so already, convert your Pinterest account to a business account and claim your website. Enabling rich pins can also boost your pin engagement and performance.
Pin quality refers to how Pinterest measures the different ways that pinners react with your pins. Like social media platforms like Instagram, these measurements are usually called engagement.
The different measurements include saves, pin clicks, and outbound clicks on Pinterest.
How often are pinners engaging with your claimed pins? Naturally, you’ll have better results when you improve your engagement on each of your pins.
Pinterest will distribute them to your followers first when you publish new pins. If the pins resonate well with your audience first, they will push out your pins to other Pinterest users who share similar interests.
Pinterest first distributes your claimed pins to your followers to determine if it resonates with your target audience. Then, the algorithm will share your claimed pins with more people in their own Smart Feeds.
Another way to please the Pinterest algorithm is by establishing credibility directly with Pinterest. Like Google’s algorithm, you can establish credibility by creating quality content that your Pinterest audience loves. The more unique content you create, the more Pinterest shares your feed with others. Show Pinterest that you are a source of high-quality content and they will reward you for it.
Here are a few ways you can improve your Pinner Quality:
- Be an active pinner! Create a game plan where you’re able to pin new content weekly or even daily.
- Pin popular content. Pinning already popular content to your board will bring more viewers to your profile and introduce them to additional pins of yours.
- Increase sales of your content, pinning pins that resonate with your audience.
- Increase engagement and Pinterest traffic. By using Pinterest analytics to determine “trending” pins, you’ll have a head start to know the type of content your audience would like to see, helping to improve your overall Pinterest marketing strategy.
The last piece of the Pinterest puzzle is relevance. Pinterest wants to show pin images that align with search trends and individual preferences.
In other words, applying keywords to every pin title, pin description, even within the pin graphic itself will give Pinterest a good idea of what the pin is about.
In order to be relevant on Pinterest, perform your keyword research first and have a content plan in place. Share relevant content in alignment with the seasons because seasonal searches are very common (like “Christmas sugar cookies” in December).
Note: You can use the Pinterest trends tool to give you an idea of when to publish certain blog posts and products. You can also head to the Pinterest search bar and see what keywords will generate as you type in a search term. You can also check the Pinterest “today” tab for daily inspiration on what pinners are searching for.
How Pinterest Calculates Engagement
First, we need to understand engagements on Pinterest. Engagements are called “actions” in the algorithm and include:
- Clicks (Outbound clicks)
- Long clicks (Outbound clicks with a dwell time of 30 seconds or longer [source, Definition 4.1])
- Close-ups (now called Pin clicks)
How to Grow on Pinterest
Follow these best practices, and you’ll see significant progress with Pinterest!
Your profile should include your claimed domain as well as a brief description of what your business is about. Give pinners an excellent reason to follow you!
Each Pinterest board should have at least 2 or 3 words to describe the board’s purpose. For example, “best organic skincare.”
The board descriptions are also brief but rich with keywords.
This is probably the most important factor in the Pinterest algorithm so read this section closely. “Fresh pins” are essentially brand new pins that have never been seen on Pinterest before.
Creating fresh content (new blog posts, new products, and using new high-quality images) is the key to seeing growth in your Pinterest analytics and referral traffic.
More fresh pins = more chances to be seen on Pinterest
New images and new ideas shared on Pinterest will be well received by the algorithm. Avoid resharing duplicate pins because they won’t have the same distribution as the original pins do.
If you decide to republish older pins, republish content on Pinterest sparingly. There are a few exceptions to this strategy, but in general, I’ve only been republishing pins once or twice per year.
At the end of the day, publishing fresh pins every month should be a top priority if you’re going to invest time in Pinterest marketing.
You can publish standard pins, video pins, and Idea Pins on Pinterest. Lately, Idea Pins are seeing the best results! Publish one or two Idea Pins per week. Pinterest is investing a lot of money into these, so it’s clear that they are here to stay!
Video pins and standard pins are only considered fresh if the content is brand new to Pinterest. That includes the URL you are linking to within the pin.
Republishing pins or recreating new pins for older blog posts are okay, but these pins don’t perform well as brand new pins.
The best performing Idea Pins have the following elements:
- Video content or an eye-catching photo on the cover slide
- Keyword modifiers in the title slide like “top 10” or “the best” or “how to.”
- They are shared to the most relevant boards first (I’ll manually repin them to one or two other boards later on)
Make sure the slides are structured in a way that tells a story and keeps the pinner engaged. For example, if it’s a recipe, walk them through the step-by-step mixing process and show them the final result! Pinterest prefers Idea Pins that are at least 8-10 slides.
Note: Make sure you preview the Idea Pins before you publish. Check for errors and make sure each slide is easy to read and see on mobile devices!
Related: How to Create Idea Pins on Pinterest
Schedule Your Pin Content
An easy way to hold yourself accountable and share new content on Pinterest every month is by scheduling pins ahead of time!
You can schedule pins directly through Pinterest, but you can also use third parties like Tailwind, Canva, or Planoly. There are a few benefits of using Tailwind, including controllable distribution of your pins across different boards on your profile. But scheduling pins on Pinterest is totally free if you’re just getting started.
Currently, it’s not possible to schedule Idea Pins. But, you could set aside 2 or 3 hours of time and draft up 3 or 4 Idea Pins. The drafts will be saved and then you can hit publish on each one, at an optimized time.
Consider advertising one of your best-quality pins. Running promoted pins is relatively affordable (compared to Facebook anyway).
Related: Pinterest Ads vs Facebook Ads
The Bottom Line
- Share new content consistently that is high-quality and helpful to your audience.
- Incorporate video content into your pinning strategy.
- Make sure your website is as fast as possible, easy to navigate, and full of valuable content!
- If you want to see growth on Pinterest, spend 1 or 2 hours per week creating FRESH (brand new) content on the platform.
Pinterest Algorithm FAQs
How often should you pin on Pinterest in 2022?
Pinterest marketing is about quality over quantity. The number of pins I typically publish per day lies between 1 and 5 pins per day and sometimes up to 10 per day. The number has gone down drastically since pre-2020 because the focus now is on publishing Idea Pins and video pins.
How do I grow my Pinterest 2022?
The most important thing to remember when talking about Pinterest marketing is to pin content consistently and frequently. Focus on creating high quality content that is helpful for your audience. Make your content revolve around them—share a solution to their problem.
Is Pinterest a social network?
Pinterest isn’t a traditional social network like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, or even TikTok. Pinterest is a visual search engine, and it’s a platform that pinners flock to when they are searching for ideas. Currently, people don’t come to Pinterest to engage in conversation or see what their friends are up to. They look for inspiration and tutorials.
Did you find this Pinterest marketing guide helpful? Make sure you keep coming back for the latest tips and tricks involving Pinterest!