This post is not going to tell you that your:
- pins aren’t pretty enough
- headlines aren’t catchy enough
- or that you’re not pinning at the best time of the day.
Instead, we are going to address real problems, many of them recently addressed by Pinterest.
You’ll learn which major mistakes bloggers and Pinterest VA’s are making on Pinterest and how you can avoid them to get more Pinterest traffic. This post will also help you avoid falling into the trap of outdated advice so you can see more Pinterest growth for your online business.
Let’s dig in to the mistakes!
This post contains affiliate links which means I make a small commission on purchases made through them. I only recommend products I love and actually use in my business.
#1. Still Using Hashtags
Pinterest is pretty well known for not being able to make up its mind about hashtags. So, let’s take a look at a little brief history of how their recommendations have evolved over the last few years.
For many years, Pinterest’s stated best practices were to use up to 6 relevant hashtags in a pin’s description. Anything over 6 hashtags was considered spammy.
In 2021, Pinterest Support representatives quietly denounced hashtags and removed the hashtags section of their Creative Best Practices altogether.
In a June 2022 webinar, a viewer asked a Pinterest representative specifically about hashtags. The rep advised creators to: “Stay away from hashtags because it’s not an authentic functionality or feature on Pinterest.”
You can see that video and learn more about why hashtags are no longer relevant in this post.
Play it safe and remove hashtags from your strategy!
Instead of using hashtags, simply add more keywords into your pin descriptions in sentence form. For example:
Learn more about (_keyword_), (_keyword_), and (_keyword_), plus see how it can help you (_keyword_) in this post.
As long as the sentence is readable, you can list out as many keywords as you like. But I generally add 3-4 keywords per sentence, like the example above.
Historically, Pinterest has always had trouble making up its mind about hashtags. So, if we use keywords in sentence-form like this, we won’t have to worry about our pins getting suppressed because of hashtags or keyword stuffing.
For more sentence starters and ChatGPT prompts to help your write keyword-rich pin descriptions FAST, check out my Pin Description Prompts Swipe File + ChatGPT Prompts:
Hopefully Pinterest will stick to their decision to remove hashtag functionality this time. But we’ll see. 🤪
Update April 30, 2023
UPDATE: Of course that decision didn’t last long! Hashtag functionality (being clickable) has recently been reinstated. This happened when Pinterest started integrating content from their collage-making app, Shuffles. Shuffles is a hashtag-based platform, so, they needed Shuffles hashtags to link back to the Shuffles app. I’m still not using hashtags for keywords though. There’s no indication that we should!
At least we can rest easy knowing OUR pins won’t be suppressed because we didn’t listen to their recommendations!
#2. Too Much Repinning
One of the most troublesome algorithm updates happened back in 2020… Let me fill you in on what happened.
After seeing massive drops in clicks and impressions, many Pinterest marketers contacted the Pinterest Help desk looking for answers.
Then, a common theme started popping up in their responses… Many bloggers received emails condemning the amount of repins shown on the accounts in question.
Here’s an example:
For Pinterest managers, like me, this was a major shift.
Most of us set our pricing based on the number of pins posted per month. And MOST of those are REPINS!
Pinterest has been saying for years that they prefer ‘fresh content’ over any other content. This time they really mean it, apparently.
Reducing the number of repins posted should be a primary focus for your account.
Does that mean you need ZERO repins? No.
I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so my accounts and client accounts are all zero-repin right now (but it’s only possible because of this scheduling hack).
But, as a general rule, you’ll want the ratio of fresh vs. repin to always favor on the side of fresh. More fresh pins vs. repins. Always.
#3. Using the Wrong Keywords
In all of my research and experience with Pinterest marketing, Pinterest SEO is definitely the most important concept and skill to learn if you want to be successful on the platform. This is because because Pinterest is a visual search engine.
Everyone is using search engines, and if you want to get found online, you need to learn search engine optimization (SEO). Period.
Pinterest SEO is very easy to learn and implement as opposed to Google SEO. Google’s algorithm is older and more complex, so learning Pinterest SEO first is a good way to dip your toe in the SEO pond.
I like to plan out a client’s keyword strategy as soon as we start working together. That way, I can build a solid, optimized foundation so their account has the best chance at long-term success.
A well-rounded Pinterest SEO Strategy will generally involve adding main keywords with supporting long-tail keywords to Your Profile, Your Boards and Your Pins.
If you want to master Pinterest SEO in just 1 day, make sure you sign up for Pinterest Rank Boost 2.0 to get all my best tips, hacks, and methods to get pins ranking in search consistently. It’s easy!! Use the coupon RANK at checkout to get 50% off.
#4. No Consistency
One of the worst things you can do for your Pinterest account is to stop pinning or only pin sporadically.
I’ve always been told that consistency is key on Pinterest, but I never knew how crucial it was until March 13, 2022. On that day, all Pinterest users experienced an Analytics glitch that showed a massive drop in traffic and impressions.
The analytics problem was fixed within a couple of days, but some bloggers started reporting massive traffic loss which started around the same day (March 13th).
Here’s what I heard from them:
- Overall Pinterest traffic is down 70-90%.
- Their pins are gone from search results.
- Images no longer link to their original blog post — sometimes the pin links to the source image URL in the WordPress Media File.
Some accounts recovered from this update/glitch, but most who were affected did not recover.
It’s very possible that this is a Ranking Update. Ranking Updates happen when Pinterest adds a new parameter to the ranking algorithm. If a pin (or the account who created the pin) doesn’t meet the requirements set in the new parameter, it will lose its rank in search results.
So, Why Didn’t This Update Affect ALL Accounts?
We don’t know for certain, but one recurring theme among affected accounts was their pinning frequency. The accounts who were de-ranked were not pinning every day.
From a software engineering standpoint: if their account had not added a new pin within the set parameter (I’m guessing it was 24-36 hours because it makes mathematical sense, but that’s pure speculation), it’s claimed URL pins lost rankings.
All accounts who pin daily, to my knowledge, did NOT lose traffic. Their analytics returned to normal.
Whether this was a glitch or an intentional Ranking Update, it showed us how vital daily pinning is on the platform.
At the very minimum, you should be adding at least one fresh pin each and every day!
Since I manage multiple accounts, I use a scheduler (Tailwind) to make sure I’m consistently saving pins daily.
Alternatively, you can use Pinterest’s native scheduler for free to schedule pins up to a month in advance.
Go to the Pin Builder, and select the “Publish at a later date” option to schedule your pin to be published at a later date.
As long as you’re saving at least one pin per day, your account should be protected from any future updates that down-rank inconsistent accounts.
Plus, consistency is key in ANY Pinterest strategy.
Be careful not to give up too soon! It takes time to find exactly what works best for your account and niche on Pinterest.
How to Stay Up-to-Date on Pinterest Best Practices
Many of the mistakes bloggers make on Pinterest are the result of outdated advice floating around on the internet. Since I’m already staying on top of the algorithm for my clients, one of my goals is to help you stay ahead as well!
If you sign up for the Free Pinterest Strategy Guide linked below, you’ll be added to my email list where I send out regular newsletters filled with Pinterest news and algorithm updates. I’ve been told it’s the BEST newsletter for staying up-to-date on Pinterest news. 🙌
Ready to Get Ahead of all the Algorithm Changes on Pinterest?
Learn what’s changed and start getting results with our most popular download — the FREE 2023 Pinterest Strategy Guide! This guide is hosted on Podia so I can quickly keep it updated (updates happen ALL the time!). Once you sign up, you’ll have forever access to future updates. 🙂
I hope this post has helped you avoid some of the most common mistakes I see bloggers and Pinterest managers making on the platform lately. The last thing we want to do is make the algorithm mad!
Save this post to your Pinterest Marketing board for later! ⤵️
More Pinterest Resources:
- Learn Pinterest SEO in Less Than 1 Hour & Get Your Pins Ranking in Search Results
- How to Set Up a Pinterest Business Account
- Did You Know You Can Use Your Pinterest Account for Market Research?? — It’s Easy + FREE!
- How to Set Up the Best Pinterest Boards for Your Blog or Online Business