Are your Pinterest impressions, engagement and reach going down right now? Starting in October to November 2020, my Pinterest analytics began to show a significant decrease in all of the metrics – impressions, engagement and link clicks.
In order to try to fix this issue, we need to try to understand exactly what’s going on here. I made a video to try to dive into what’s happening and hopefully throw some light on the issue of the great Pinterest monthly viewer decrease aka the pinpocalypse!
If you want to check out the video, click here to watch on my YouTube channel or press play below!
Or for a quicker version (less than one minute) check out my Short video here:
If you’re checking out this blog post, I will assume you’ve seen a similar decline in your Pinterest stats lately. Let me know in the comments what you’ve noticed!
Interested in more of an overview of marketing on Pinterest? Check out my dedicated guide, linked below!
EDIT: Since publishing this post on 1/7/21, Pinterest made a further chance that has subsequently impacted almost every Pinterest users’ monthly viewers in their analytics. This where the real pinpocalypse kicks in.
Here’s the little information box you will see whenever you pull up analytics that date back from prior to 1/21/21 (January 21st, 2021):
Before 1/21/21, data may look different. impressions used a different definition and included saved Pins.
Also from Pinterest’s updated Review Pinterest Analytics article, a new definition of ‘Monthly Views’ reads:
The number of times your published Pins and Pins saved from your claimed domain or accounts were on screen in the last 30 days.
But what does this all mean, in layman’s terms?!
From what I understand, this changes to Pinterest’s definition encompasses the following: The pins that you have saved to your boards which actually link back to someone else’s website/ Instagram page/ YouTube channel or whatever, no longer count as a view on YOUR Pinterest profile.
Only the pins that – when clicked – take viewers to some of your own published content, are counted towards your monthly viewers.
A ‘claimed domain’, in this case pretty much means pins from your own website.
So, if you have pins you did not create, pinned on any Pinterest board you own, expect your monthly viewers and other metrics, to decrease.
This is quite a big change for Pinterest to change the definition of something that we were all used to. But, I have to admit grudgingly, that it does make sense. It ensures that only your own unique pins, linking back to your own unique content, get counted towards your account stats.
So some of the reasons I dive into in this article are a little outdated now, but I decided to keep them in because there other reasons why your pin impressions may be going down, past simply the changed definition of what counts towards your monthly views. OK, on with the original blog post!
1. Dive into my own Pinterest Analytics decline – a case study
My engagement has gone from 1.2 million (where it had been for a few months) right down to 260,000 and dropping steadily. It didn’t seem that I had done anything different!
Here I was looking at the last 30 days from October 15th to mid-November 2020, and as you can see the impressions audience and engagements have all pretty much gone down the same amount.
For the last seven days, I noticed that it’s started to pick up a little bit – only showing a decline of 30%. And looking at a larger timescale, say the last 90 days, everything was on a very even keel until October, when the impressions dropped off a cliff!
So, how to explain this decrease of 75%?
Comment below if the same thing has happened to you!
2. Pinterest is highly seasonal
The first thing I think we need to point out is that Pinterest is actually highly seasonal. That means it isn’t always a steady rise in traffic so long as you continually pump out content.
This was a little difficult to me to wrap my head around, honestly! We’re just so used to seeing upward growth on platforms like our blog and our Instagram.
We’re used to it going like this – the more content you push out. the greater your page views or impressions or engagements every month.
But with Pinterest it’s a little bit different. Your impressions are not really going to be a flat line or have steady, predictable growth. If those topics aren’t being searched during the current season, your viewership will drop significantly.
So, viewers and engagement will have seasonal fluctuations.
The kinds of topics that people are looking for are very different at the beginning of the year, during the major holidays and for occasions like Valentine’s Day and Halloween, when users are searching for ideas and inspiration.
Of course, those changes can be pretty easy to pinpoint. But I had to dig a little deeper when trying to understand why my analytics showed such a decline.
A lot of my content is related to weddings. And that isn’t searched for as much in the weeks leading up to the holidays.
if this is correct, I expect to see a big uptick in the new year. Typically that is the time when a lot of couples get engaged and start looking at Pinterest for wedding inspiration.
3. You targeted a trend, which is no longer popular
Trends come and go without warning. Whether you realized it or not, it might be that your pins matched a particular trend which is no longer being searched for as much.
Dive into your analytics to have a better look at each one of your boards, so see if certain boards are suffering from less reach than they used to.
Maybe look at ways of creating new blog posts and pins to revamp old topics and trends.
A quick and easy way is to go to Pinterest trends. It will show you a simple chart for every topic you can imagine (providing it has enough search volume), and how that has fluctuated over time.
4. Your pins aren’t showing up in followers’ home feeds
I had to do a little research on this one. But it turns out that, just like on Instagram, your content is tested with your followers first.
Your pins are shown to a small group of your followers and depending on their level of interaction, the pins may be eligible for wider distribution.
This answers a lot of questions for me. I was wondering how I can sometimes post essentially the same pin to a bunch of different boards.
Some versions of that pin get thousands of views, some only single-digit views. It makes sense that if followers tire of seeing the same pins from you, Pinterest will notice that. But I’ll touch more on that later when talk about fresh pins.
So, good interactions (close-ups, link clicks, hearts, comments) means possible wider distribution as a ‘suggested’ pin when someone just opens Pinterest before searching for anything.
Sure, good follower interaction isn’t the be-all-end-all. It may still come up just fine when a user searches for your topic (providing you’ve done your keyword research, Pinterest SEO and your ‘standing’ with the Pinterest algorithm).
But the fact remains that you’ll be missing out on the extra impressions you get from your pin being on the home feed of all your followers.
If your pins went from being recommended to now not being shown at all, then that is going to be a factor with the number of impressions going down.
And an ‘impression’, in case you’re wondering, just means that your pin is displayed on a screen.
‘Impressions from home’ is a very quick way of being seen, and you may have been benefitting from it without even knowing it. But it’s also very easy for that to be taken away from you.
5. Your pins aren’t being seen as ‘fresh pins’
Around June 2020, Pinterest made a big change to its algorithm. In a nutshell, one of the major changes was the focus on ‘fresh pins’.
What are ‘fresh pins’ on Pinterest?
Fresh pins are defined by Pinterest as pins that haven’t been seen on Pinterest before. A pin can still be ‘fresh’ if it links to the same blog post as other pins on the platform. However, a pin is only ‘fresh’ the first time it’s pinned on Pinterest.
So those fresh pins – completely new graphics – are everything now. This explains why pinning the same content over and over to different boards, group boards etc, no longer gives you good results.
Want to know how to create pins? Check this out:
Really this is a focus on quality, like all algorithm changes are. Anything spammy that users used to get away with is curbed slowly but surely with every algorithm across the board.
To future-proof your pinning practices, I recommend creating:
- Different versions of pins, so each blog post has 3 – 5 different designs that are not visually similar.
- A different pin description & title for each pin graphic. This is a no-brainer, because it allows you to target completely different keywords for one blog post!
- A pinning schedule, so that you spread your pins out over a long period of time. Never publish all your pins in one go on the day you created them!
- Use Tailwind to schedule your pins, making sure that you keep in line with Pinterest’s best practices (currently no more than 25 – 30 pins per day) posted automatically when your followers are most active.
For more information about getting starting with scheduling your Pinterest pins for free, check out my detailed article linked below. I have two ways for you, so you can pick what works for you!
I’ve more tips about optimizing your Pinterest pin descriptions here:
And you can check out the full blog post below.
6. You recently changed your niche or added content about different topics
I actually changed up my content a little bit in recent months. I saw my monthly viewer/ engagement decrease in October but I started posting pins about different topics from my usual wedding content in around June.
There’s no way of knowing how significant of a role this played in my Pinterest dropping, but I thought it was worth mentioning. At least anecdotally, this kind of makes sense!
So personally, I started posting a lot more content around something completely different from the subjects of weddings and wedding photography.
My new pins were clustered around topics like SEO, blogging and digital marketing.
Most of my base followers followed for wedding content. Are they going to want to see a bunch of tips about growing your email list and doing local SEO? I don’t think so.
It makes sense that the account would suffer a little for straying from the niche. If everyone was rewarded for posting all and any off-topic pins, then there would be no need to stick to a niche! More pins – on any topic under the sun – would equal more reach, so everyone would be doing it.
If you’ve done something similar and you’ve changed your niche or you’ve expanded or diversified, that may equal a drop in reach.
What you can do about the Pinterest traffic decrease
1. Experiment with video pins
I experimented with video pins because I began seeing them all the time on Pinterest. I thought I would see what all the fuss was about!
Actually I found some really great and surprising results! When i started using video pins, I would easily get over 6,000 – 8,000 impressions within 24 hours of my pin going live!
I did have to pin them manually through Pinterest’s own scheduling system, but it worked out just fine because I only created a small handful of video pins to test them out.
Now, this caused a huge spike in my reach, as you can see from the screenshot below.
As video pins tended to be a little more labor-intensive to create and schedule, I stopped publishing new video pins. (I hope to bring out a video soon showing you how I create and schedule them – let me know if you want me to create this!)
Now, when I stopped uploading new video pins, I’m sure that all those impressions went right back down! As you can see from the analytics chart, they tend to cause a huge spike then back to the baseline of zero.
Video pins don’t seem to have a long shelf-life.
That said, they can really help with brand awareness, getting in front of new viewers. For this reason alone, and because Pinterest seems to be pushing video right now just like all the other platforms, give video pins a try!
2. Be consistent and pin 25 pins per day
As I touched on before, consistency is key on Pinterest. It’s a fine balance between ensuring you’re not going over about 25-30 pins per day – but also don’t let you pin queue run dry!
I use Tailwind, in my opinion the best Pinterest scheduler tool, to keep my pinning practices in check. I only go on it once a month (or whenever I publish a fresh post) and schedule ALL my content!
It’s well worth it if you’re looking to up your Pinterest game but don’t want to spend hours on the platform every day!
Another anecdotal tidbit here. I let my Pinterest queue run dry just before the time I saw the traffic decrease. I was away from home I and didn’t get around to the task of adding fresh pins and content.
My account never really recovered – but then again everything I’m describing seems to be basically what you could call ‘the perfect storm’.
I have no definite way of knowing if not posting anything for about a week really did have an impact on my monthly viewers declining so drastically. Nor whether it really does take a long time to recover.
So keep up a good, consistent schedule with lots of pins and make them fresh pins, too! The Tailwind Communities feature is very helpful for giving you a pool of contant to draw from, with the content creators being in your exact niche.
Plus, you’ll benefit from them organically sharing your own pins, too! Win-win!
If you’re wondering how you can possibly create the pin graphics to keep up with such a rigorous posting schedule, I completely have your back!
Sign up for Canva (it’s free for the basic level which is perfect for beginners)…
and then watch this tutorial to get your Canva design game up!
I promise you, it isn’t difficult or time-consuming to create dozens of pin designs that you can then reuse over and over for each pin you make. Even if you consider yourself absolutely horrible at design!
The secret? Templates! There are thousands of templates just for Pinterest pins which are easy as pie to change up – add your brand colors, text, photos or stock imagery, and a lot more besides. Never start your designing with a blank screen ever again!
3. Contact Pinterest to check you’re not being marked as spam
Make sure you’re not being marked as spam! I first heard about this one on the r/Pinterest subreddit. I read that some users are actually treated as spam and their pins are not being shown at all! But, according to the theory, Pinterest never alerted them to the fact.
So such users were never aware that their account was being marked as spam. Pinterest doesn’t always notify you that you’re considered as spam, or you’re breaching policies on the platform.
It’s a good idea therefore to reach out to Pinterest support like I did, and simply ask them what’s going on.
As you can see from the response, I was not being flagged, so I was able to rule this out as a possible cause for the drop in my engagements.
4. Use Google Analytics, not Pinterest Analytics
You should bear in mind that Pinterest analytics have never been that great! Sure, it has improved a TON in recent years, but it’s certainly not perfect. Sometimes your analytics will just be completely off for no discernible reason.
For a more accurate picture of your analytics (the metrics that really matter), look to your Google Analytics rather than Pinterest’s.
What are the ‘metrics that really matter’? Well, what really moves the needle is how many users are clicking through on your pins and landing on your domain!
How many impressions or monthly viewers you get on Pinterest is honestly more of a vanity metric.
Especially when you consider that about half of your pins may be other users’ pins, that you are adding to relevant boards just to keep up a regular pinning schedule and round out for boards.
Consider that sometimes you’ll see a massive spike in your monthly viewership on Pinterest, simply because you’re re-shared a viral pin that links back to someone else’s website.
The bottom line is: focus more on conversions than arbitrary numbers.
Focus on selling your products or getting more clicks over to your content.
Pinterest engagement and monthly viewership will almost certainly fluctuate over time. You can try and figure out why, but more importantly is not to stress about it and continue to make your content as good as it can possibly be!
For more tips on everything you need to know about using Pinterest for your small business, be sure to check out this Pinterest for Business playlist on my channel!