Pinterest Smart Feed
Were you aware that Pinterest have recently changed what they present on their home feed? The home feed being the page you land on when you visit Pinterest which shows you all the latest pins from people you follow, in chronological order. Well Pinterest are heading more down the Facebook route and optimising your home feed to show you the pins that they think are most important for you.
The announcement about this can be found on Pinterest here but to highlight the most important things for you:
- Not all pins will be shown as soon as they are pinned, Pinterest will hold some back for a later time or may not show them to your followers at all.
- Pins will be prioritised to show 'best pins' first rather than newest pins first. So they will no longer be shown in chronological order.
- Different sources of pins will be mixed together at different rates.
So what does that mean for you? As a user it means you should no longer get the problem of seeing the same pins in your feed over and over again. Also the ones you do see should be of good quality. Plus when you get that one person who pins hundreds of pins in one go they should no longer swamp your feed, those pins should be staggered out. All undoubtedly good things and an improvement to Pinterest. The downside if you may get pins you don't want in your feed, and you may not get shown pins you wanted to see.
What about as a business user, someone who is trying to promote their business through Pinterest? Well if your site is what Pinterest considers to be a source of good quality pins you pins should be rising to the top, above pins from other sites. However if your pins are not considered to be good quality then your pins may not be shown at all, or may appear lower down in the feed possibly sometime after you pinned them.
This of course leads to the obvious question, what do Pinterest consider to be 'good quality pins'?
Starting with the obvious, if your pins are linking back to poor quality sites, or spammy content then that will not be considered good quality. You shoud ensure that the content on your site is good quality, not just for Pinterest but for SEO reasons and to keep your site visitors happy too. If you have a verified business account then that will help your pins rise higher. You can verify your account here.
Make the most of the description box, on both your boards and individual pins. There is where your SEO knowledge will come in useful, to write good but non-spammy descriptions of the content you are linking too. Have a look at my SEO post on keywords here. As with SEO don't over do it on the keywords, and don't fill your description with tons of hastags either. Pinterest have confirmed that using too many hashtags could detrimentally affect your pin. Write in a genuine manner, and use a relevant description to help people find your pins. Try to make it as clear as possible what people will be seeing if they click through from the pin. As with SEO you want to aim for niche keywords so there is less competition, go long tail (ie. rather than 'sewing projects' you could say 'simple sewing projects for beginners').
Don't forget that not only you can pin things from you site, but you want your site visitors to get pinning too to help you reach even more people. So make sure your site is pin ready, have a really good lead image on each article, ideally with a relevant image description as a lot of people don't bother editing the description when pinning. Make it easy to pin too, have clear 'pin it' buttons on your site or images. You may even want to remind them in the text every now and then to pin if they enjoyed your post.
If writing a project or tutorial, or if your image doesn't completely explain what your post is about I find it best to use Pic Monkey to add text over the image so people know what to expect. For me I want people to know they will be getting instructions to make the item in the image, not an opportunity to buy it. I may have put in my text description that it is a tutorial, however when people re-pin they could change the description. They cannot however change any text I put on the image. Below is an example of one of the lead images I use on my projects on The Sewing Directory.
I don't know for sure but I'm suspecting it will be like Facebook in that if you post loads of content in close succession they will only pick a couple to show your followers. Whereas if you aim for a slower more steady stream of content you will probably reach more poeple.
You also want to be paying attention to the new way Pinterest is categorising pins. People can pick from categories which appear when you click to the right side of the search box, and then those categories are broken down further as you can see from the image above. Firstly people can choose to follow these interests and will get a blend of pins from that interest category/sub category in their home feed. So if you pin fits into popular categories you could attact new folowers, re-pins and click throughs to your site by getting found this way.
Secondly, Pinterest users now get 'related pins' in their feed, around a quarter of the pins in my feed are 'related pins'. These pins are based on the type of pins you pin on your own boards. So if the pins from your website cover topics that lots of your target audience will be pinning your pins could come up in their feed as related pins.
So what should you do to make sure your pins rank well on Pinterest?
- Go back over your exisiting pins, remove any that have dead links, link to dodgy sites or low quality content.
- Go back over your pins and boards and make sure they have relevant descriptions and are not full of hashtags.
- Go into your Pinteret Analytics, click on the 'Your Audience Tab' and then the 'Interests' tab to see what interests your followers have. Make sure they are similar to what your business does, if not you are perhaps not reaching the right audience with your current pins.
- On your website or blog make sure you make it easy for people to pin, have relevant image desccriptions and use text over the images if necessary to make it clear what the pin links to.
If you enjoyed this post take a look at my feature on using Pinterest Private Boards