Is Your Pinterest Strategy REALLY Working? (You’re Focusing On The Wrong Metrics)

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If you’re relatively new to using Pinterest as a traffic source, then you might be focusing on the wrong metrics for success. In fact, your Pinterest efforts may be falling flat and you don’t even know it.

It’s not your fault though. Pinterest makes it easy to focus on the wrong metrics without you even realizing it. Heck, I made the same mistake for the first month or so when I started using Pinterest as a potential traffic source.

Hopefully, I can prevent you from making this same mistake.

Garbage Numbers Are Garbage

When you’re on Pinterest, your account proudly displays your number of monthly viewers right under your profile name on the page. And as you grow your account, that number rises impressively.

You might even be quoting it to others as a sign of how awesome you’re doing on Pinterest. You may even be paying a VA to do your Pinterest marketing and using that number as a sign of how well he or she is doing at the job.

Here’s what that number looks like on one of my accounts:

pinterest views

Well, guess what? That number is complete and total garbage. It is completely fucking useless – who cares how many times your pins have been seen?

Being seen doesn’t do shit for you.

To further confuse you, Pinterest also gives you some stats on individual pins that you’ve pinned to your boards. You can see what this looks like for one of my recent pins below:

pin stats

So, here’s what those stupid little numbers mean:

  • 985 views
  • One pinning
  • Zero clicks

That means that 985 people saw the pin and out of almost 1,000 people viewing it, only one person saved it (or pinned it) to their board. And not a fucking one of them clicked through the link to get to my site.

Stop Using Pinterest For Data

The problem is that Pinterest is shit at give you data that is actually useful. Sure, if you love vanity metrics like a few hundred thousand useless chumps view my pins, then keep using Pinterest for data gathering purposes.

The truth is that I until I took the screenshots from one of my Pinterest accounts today, I don’t even remember the last time that I actually went to the Pinterest site. I do all of my pinning with Tailwind.

And then I get the data from where it actually matters – Google Analytics. If you go to Acquisition –> Social –> Overview, then you can see exactly how many click throughs that you’ve gotten and which pins have been responsible for those clicks.

analytics social

And when you do that, you can see exactly which social networks are sending you traffic and how much traffic they are sending you. This is really important because it lets you know how successful your social media marketing efforts really are…or if they suck.

Remember: it usually takes several months for Pinterest traffic to really grow.

So, using the same site that I have the Pinterest screenshots for above, here’s how my social traffic looks for the past 30 days.

analytics social networks

Now, that is quite the difference from the 242,000+ monthly views number that Pinterest so proudly displays. This is why you cannot use that stupid number as any indicator of anything meaningful.

And, if you want to see which pins are responsible for driving the traffic, you’d just click on Pinterest on your analytics screen and it gives you a list of the URLs (shared URLs) that people from Pinterest landed on.

Of course, the one thing Analytics won’t tell you on this screen is which exact pin it is if you’re split testing pin designs for the same URL. But, you CAN get to that data in Analytics.

All you have to do is click on your URL from the Shared URLs list and then you can see the URL of each pin that brought someone to that page on your site. I hope that’s not too confusing cause I cannot screenshot it without revealing my own site.

Using That Data

Now that you know where to really find the meaningful data, it’s time to make the most of it and really boost that traffic from Pinterest.

So, just look at the URLs on your site that are bringing in traffic to your site. These are the topics and pin designs that are working for you – congrats!

Now, go out there and make (and pin) more content like this. Rinse, and repeat.

Identifying the most popular posts for Pinterest traffic to your site also means you know which posts to use for list building and creating lead magnets, etc.

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6 thoughts on “Is Your Pinterest Strategy REALLY Working? (You’re Focusing On The Wrong Metrics)”

  1. Another great post Shawna! Thank you. Haven’t jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon yet. But intend to.

    Any thoughts on the so-called “glitch” in Google’s algorithm last week that had the SEO community clutching their pearls in horror…. I personally think Google doesn’t “do glitches” and was doing some testing for yet another core update.. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Yeah, I’m with you on this one and don’t really believe it was a glitch. I think they accidentally made something live before they meant to do so. I had taken that day off so I didn’t see what the results looked like, but I did see all the panic in the SEO groups the next day.

      Reply
  2. Hey there Shawna, good advice to lean into what’s already working. Are there any tools for competitive analysis in Pinterest that you are aware of (discovering popular topics in your niche, what types of pins are working best for others, etc.)?
    Came across your blog via the Youtube video with Doug Cunnington – I found the chat very interesting.

    Reply
    • Hey Steve,
      You can use Ahrefs. Go to Content Explorer, enter in your topic/keyword, then set a filter for social shares, select Pinterest and enter in your number of shares to look for. This is a good way to see what’s gone viral or semi-viral on Pinterest. Then you can create something similar/better. Hope that helps!

      Reply

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