Is Pinterest Still A Good Source for Free Traffic?

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely heard that Pinterest is dead, over, or “hates bloggers”.

Let’s just address the elephant in the room when it comes to Pinterest right now.

You might be experiencing any or all of these situations I’ve heard regarding Pinterest today:

  • Organic traffic is down
  • Idea Pins are encouraged yet can’t be clicked so they don’t result in traffic directly
  • Emphasis on Shops, which feels exclusionary to bloggers and content creators
  • Tools like SmartLoop, that got results, are being phased out
  • Viral pins are a thing of the past

What’s true is that Pinterest has changed. The results we can expect have changed.

The good news is not all Pinterest business accounts are experiencing these same negative situations.

And there continues to be massive opportunity for traffic from Pinterest.

Yes, Pinterest is still good for bloggers, content creators, and most of all, for traffic.

Before we get into the details, I invite you to grab my free DIY Pinterest Account to optimize your account for the best performance today. It’s free and includes a detailed checklist to follow to make sure Pinterest understands what you offer and can start showing your pins to pinners who are most ready to take action now. CLICK HERE to get it now.

Should I Ditch Pinterest for Another Free Traffic Source?

One of the conversations I see over and over online is discussing alternatives to Pinterest.

Reliance on any single platform for traffic is a bad idea because your business:

  • Is susceptible to algorithm and platform changes
  • Reaching only the audience of that platform and not others
  • Growth is limited by the number of people on the platform

It is a good idea to have a presence on multiple platforms in addition to working on your Pinterest traffic and presence. Each platform has unique benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to traffic, Pinterest is hands-down my go to.

Don’t want to read this post? Watch this broadcast to learn more about how to use Pinterest today:

Outbound Links on Social Media Platforms Compared to Pinterest

For the sake of being thorough, let’s look at some of the popular social media platforms I’ve seen discussed as Pinterest alternatives:

TikTok allows some opportunities to post outbound links. You have to be super creative with your content to get noticed. And the content does not continue to be distributed months and years later.

Instagram continues to allow only one outbound link in the profile. You can link in stories but again, you have to be producing content consistently. If you stop showing up, everything grinds to a halt

Facebook has openly discouraged links unless they are on paid content, such as ads.

YouTube also discourages outbound links in video descriptions.

  • Use multiple platforms to establish a presence for your business
  • Understand that the platforms will change
  • The virality factor of platforms historically diminish over time as the algorithms become more sophisticated, making it harder to get noticed
  • Most social media platforms are not built to send traffic off platform

No other social media platform allows outbound links and provides traffic in the way Pinterest does.

Don’t stop using Pinterest in order to use a sexy new social media platform – I’ll tell you more about how to use Pinterest today later in this article. But first, lets’ address the other “Pinterest alternative” that everyone is flocking to…

Should I Focus on Google SEO Versus Pinterest?

Google is the largest search engine in the world and should be part of your traffic strategy, no matter what.

That said, focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) for Google alone is leaving everything in Google’s hands. Google also experiences algorithm changes which have historically resulted in sudden traffic drops.

I recommend working on both Pinterest and Google SEO. Here’s why:

  • What’s good for Pinterest is good for Google, and vice versa, as both focus on user experience
  • Save a pin once to Pinterest and it lives forever; pins never expire, unlike social media posts
  • As a pin ages, Pinterest has more information about the pin as each new person interacts with it, each time it is pinned to a new board and this information helps Pinterest serve that pin to the people most interested in it and most likely to take action

Start with researching Pinterest keywords directly on Pinterest.

Playing a Long Game with Pinterest Traffic

Unlike social media platforms where content has a short lifespan of as little as a few minutes, pins on Pinterest keep working for you.

Some sites reference that the lifespan of a pin is 4 months however, Pinterest does not remove pins from rotation on the platform. In fact, bloggers report that “old pins”, pins published a year or more in the past, are gaining traction.

As long as the pin is saved on Pinterest, the pin continues being served in relevant search results based on user interaction with it over time. This means that your pins live on forever and can start delivering traffic at any time, even if they did not initially deliver any traffic.

Pinterest is built on search as a key function of the platform. This means Pinterest will always need content to fill search results, put between ads, and to compete with other search engines like Google. When there’s a deficit of new content on a topic. Pinterest pulls from “old pins” to fill the search results. Again, your pins live on forever and can start delivering traffic any time, even if the pin never delivered traffic in the past or had very little virality.

Pinterest is the 10th largest site in the world with 5 billion monthly searches; you’re missing out on a big piece of the traffic and search marketing pie if you don’t have a presence on Pinterest. So let’s get into how to create that presence in a sensible way.

What to Do on Pinterest Now

Don’t stop pinning. Even if you have experienced a loss in momentum and traffic, it’s important to continue to have a presence on Pinterest by saving new pins. It’s tempting to give in to the hype and negativity around Pinterest but there are practical ways to continue a presence on Pinterest that gets results.

If time is an issue, consider scaling down pinning frequency, especially if you have opted to publish to Pinterest manually and without a scheduler like Tailwind … or if you are wanting to focus on other platforms. The pins you save today will bring you traffic tomorrow and for years to come and that only happens if you publish pins to Pinterest over time.

Next, be sure to optimize your account with a thorough Pinterest account audit. The audit process ensures Pinterest has all the info it needs about your pins to serve them to the right audiences in search. Start with my free DIY Pinterest Account Audit guide and checklist to get you started on optimizing your account for maximum performance.

If you need fast traffic right now, consider using paid advertising on Pinterest in addition to organic efforts. Ads force your content in front of people as long as you’re paying for their attention.

The biggest mistake I see businesses make with ads is that they neglect or stop all organic activity. And once they stop paying for ads, all of the traffic also stops. If you use ads, continue pinning organically to build organic momentum, even if you’re using paid traffic right now.

Look at your analytics – what has worked? Is all the traffic coming from “old” pins? Start planting new pins today so they can grow. Look to those “old” pins … and optimize those blog posts and landing pages using my next tip.

Make sure you give the Pinterest visitor a way to stay in communication with you by having an email signup form or lead magnet. If this feels overwhelming, start with your most popular posts. Then send them emails after they sign up- don’t just one and done.

Make sure your pins are optimized. It’s a mistake to just pin something to check off a box on the to-do list. Spend the time to research keywords and build a competitive pin. Again, this will pay off for years in the future.

Remember that on Pinterest, pins live forever.  The pins you save today are working for you forever. It is a mistake to write off Pinterest. Like all of the other platforms, Pinterest will experience a Renaissance and be the platform that everyone overlooked. Except that you’ll have a solid foothold and momentum because you stayed and worked a solid strategy.

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