Traffic Sources

Dominating with The Smart Feed & Search

Lesson 9 Section 3

The Smart Feed is the grid of pins that you see when you first log in. It shows you high-value pins with the most engagement first in the topics you have followed and your recent searches.    This is very important, it doesn't show the newest pins, it shows the pins with the highest engagement.  

Back in 2001, I was a beta tester for with a new form of advertising called pay per click. In the beta program, we learned about the functions of their system. We learned what the triggers were for ads and the connections being made at the time to tie search to advertising.  Who would have known then that it would become the multi-billion dollar industry it has? 

Lesson 8 Video

I realized then that understanding the functions and assumptions of the system was a substantial advantage.   Understanding how the Pinterest algorithm categorizes and ranks information is a definite advantage. Pinterest follows a specific pattern of naming and classifying Boards and Pins.

Optimizing for this naming structure will give you a serious advantage. It increases exposure of your content. Optimizing for this structure across all your properties will aid your SEO across all search engines.

Utilize The Naming Structure To Increase Exposure

Let me explain. Pinterest utilizes an algorithm that categorizes items according to topics. There are thousands of them. Studies show that using Pinterest category names as your top-level board names increases the engagement of your content. This is because each category has a feed. Using a category name increases the chances of appearing in the category feed which will catapult engagement and reach.

Sections named using long tail keywords related to the top level topics further categorizes the content. It refines Pinterest's understanding of the content. If you have 8 sections under the main board, each about a sub-topic. It further refines and defines the subject matter.

Mimicking Pinterest's naming structure benefits your content, images, descriptions, and sharing effectiveness. It will also make the non-performing content easier to identify and do something about.  The Pinterest Smart Feed is the algorithm at work right in front of you.

Maximize the Algorithm by only pinning high-quality content both yours and others.

The unique Smart Feed lets you keep your finger on the pulse of new, upcoming trends in your niche or industry. It can also show you what products are losing traction so you can change your product line to meet demand before the trend develops. This gives you a huge advantage over your competition.

Smart Feed Best Practice

  • Use only quality images - Crisp, clear, use text to emphasize the Pin but consider the size of the font.
  • Pick the best keywords for the board, pin, description, etc. - Never leave a description blank or without keywords
  • Write seductive descriptions using your best keyword phrases. Make your descriptions stand out so that they get pinned more often.
  • Pin consistently - This is important to your followers, but also to Smart Feed. Those businesses who always pin quality pins get the most attention from the algorithm.
  • Share relevant content - Make sure your content is relevant to the board to avoid confusion by the algorithm and your followers. Relevance is important for both users and the system.
  • Make sure the pin image matches the content - Portrait shaped images produce the best results.  Remember most are using their mobile device for access.
  • Always double-check the URL's point to the original content before you pin something. Spammers are everywhere, including on Pinterest. Pinning low-quality content will hurt your community reputation, your brand, and your bank account.
  • Optimize your website and products for Pinterest - Add Pin It button and widgets to your blog so visitors can pin your content to their boards. The more often this occurs, the higher the Smart Feed recommendations will be.

Make sure all your images are pinnable and use Rich Pins on your site.  Look at the images below.  Notice the effect that the font and text size has on the Pin itself?  Now look at the portrait vs landscape shaped images.  Which catch your eye?  Pay attention to these details.

Regardless of Amazon suggestions, we understand that mobile viewing is growing.  More and more of your buyers and users view using their mobile devices.  Consider a good mix of portrait images in your Amazon listings to accommodate.

Pin Post Sizes-2
Pin Post Sizes

Pin Rank Determination

Pins gain value by the number of pins they receive as well as the amount of engagement, comments etc..  Pins with the most value are shown at the top of the smart grid (like ranking in a search engine).

First though, you have to get your Pins in front of the correct people.  When you share new content from a source.  Pinterest shows it in the Follow feed of the people that Follow you. Their engagement with your new pin is the factor that indicates to Pinterest how relevant it is and how much priority to assign it in non followers Smart Feeds.  How do you get your Pins ranked?  By only posting high quality, engaging content.

Board Rank Determination

The value of a board is determined by the number of high-value pins it contains. The more people pin your board content, the higher those boards will rank and the more likely content from those boards will show up in the smart grid. (Which is why some of the pins you see in the Pinterest feed have zero pins - they come from high-value boards.)

More pins equal higher value pins; higher value pins equal a higher value board. Content from high-value boards shows up more often in the Smart Feed, which means it’s more likely to be pinned.

Pin It And Forget It Does Not Work

If a board consists of 50% popular pins and 50% pins with little to no shares, add additional high-value pins to build board value.  Pinterest now says DO NOT DELETE or alter the pin and description.  If you have a poor performing pin, go back to the source and create a new pin with a title and description variation.

As you continue to pin more content more often, make a habit of checking board quality once a month. If a pin doesn’t gain traction within the few weeks, continue pinning that pin according to your schedule, but also create a new variation several weeks later..

It’s SUPER important to check in and see whether your pins are performing well. You can do this by simply scanning through a board to see what content is garnering the most pins. Or by checking out your Pinterest analytics . . .

Top Pinned Pins

Do Not Delete Low-Value Pins From Any Boards

Pins that aren’t performing well, or not receiving as much engagement, will not hurt the performance of your other Pins. One dud Pin might have a hard time itself, but it’s not going to bring the rest of your Pins down.

Keep in mind that under-performing Pins could potentially become popular in the future, so deleting them also deletes the chance of this happening. It’s more important to spend your time reviewing your account’s analytics to discover what type of Pins are working well for your audience.   Taking the time to go back and monitor Pin performance is time well spent. 

This is a huge change from recommendations in the past but this is straight from the blog of Pinterest. We do not recommend ever deleting your own Pins.  Consider pining the content direct from you site again, this time using an altered tittle and keywords  

The 80/20 Rule

Pinterest looks for people that curate relevant, high quality content. It also considers the value of your profile as a whole. To boost the value of your profile initially and become a resource for your audience, you will need to share others' Pins mixed in with your content.   A good ratio is 80:20.  Share 80% content from others and 20% content from your own.  This means for every one pin of your own, you should be sharing four pins from someone else.

Once you have a lot of your own content, you may be able to focus on only your own content and not pin others content.   Don’t pin just anything - use pins that already have high value (aka lots of saves) and pins with high-quality images and descriptions.   Pinning pins that haven't been shared (low engagement) should be a rare thing because it does not help you at all. Use the search bar at the top to look for content that would fit well into your boards.

Using Search For Pin Ideas

You MUST create content people actually want to see and know about or they will not pin them!

If your game plan is to grow product or site traffic (and in turn, your subscribers, customers, or clients), then pinning content people are actually searching for would be a smart move. And lucky for you, Pinterest makes it a piece of cake to see what’s popular. All you have to do is start typing into the search bar at the top and it will begin to fill in your search query with popular topics.

Smart Search

According to the results above, if you post about home organization or decor, then writing posts about desktop, office, or cubicle organization, or doing a round-up post on the best desk accessories would have a good chance of bringing in lots of pins.

Some of you do not have websites as you only sell on Marketplaces. Utilize your FB account and create a business page for your business. Instead of posting or creating linkable content on your website, you now have a place to post content which can be linked to from pins and other resources. Ensure your e-commerce storefront from whatever marketplace you list on is linked and well represented on your page and in your posts.

Look at the types of posts that end up at the top of the search results below- what do they have in common? (Check the organic results, not promoted.) This shows the most popular pins and topics. Now you have a topic that you know is popular. Use the information here and on other platforms to start the conversation

Search Keywords

Once you’ve chosen a search term, Pinterest will continue helping you with post ideas by providing more popular terms to add to your search query, in the order of importance. For example: in the search below, the words Office and DIY and trending higher than Desktops and Hacks.

Pinterest Search

Use this information to not only come up with relevant and on-trend post ideas but also to choose which posts from your archive to re-share and which keywords to include in the description.

Using Search To Find Niche Influencers

Pinterest Influencer Search

Notice above, the search is for mountain bike, but the drop down on the search entry field is pointed towards People.  As you will notice, the results are showing the people behind the top boards, how many boards they have and how many followers.  

Notice the second one only has 2 boards with 4.5k followers, kind of interesting.    Take advantage of this feature to find new influencers, people to follow, accounts to possibly get ideas from, networking, etc... the list is endless.  If you are looking for actual influencers to market with, we suggest not to chose the biggest, most expensive ones.  Instead go for the up and coming influencers.  They are motivated to produce results for you more than the established ones are.

Lesson Task:

If you didn't gain a lot of insight and value from this lesson and how it can help your marketing in other ways then hopefully this task will further help you understand the sheer value of smart Pinterest Smart Search.

Using the included worksheet for this lesson, again go back to the first worksheet and the top content /products that you are looking to promote and drive traffic to. Enter the top converting keyword phrase into Pinterest Smart Search and examine the related phrases in the drop-down. copy all of the relevant ones and also search those phrases writing down the related phrases.    This is just an exercise and will be refined in the next lesson. It doesn’t have to be perfect. This is to get your mind thinking in the right frame-set.

Keep your eyes out for any keywords that you aren't currently targeting with your content or product. You are bound to find something. No one is perfect. Every time we run it we come up with something.

We also have a Post Title Practice worksheet form Lesson 5. Using the Smart Search, practice creating and revising titles. Search and find some of the best modifiers for your niche. Remember, if you put the effort in while creating these now with your actual products or content, when this workshop is finished, you will have all of the pieces in place to dominate in Pinterest.

Lesson Essentials

Download and print these documents to follow along at home.

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