Pinterest Analytics: How Do I Actually Use It?

pinterest-analytics

Let me first start by saying we are huge Pinterest fans, they have brought a lot of good to the social media realm and they are breaking down some big barriers. That being said, you can imagine how excited we were when Pinterest released its Web Analytics. After all, we are a Pinterest marketing company and anything that will give us more clarity into our clients campaigns and accounts we are interested in.

We dove into Pinterest’s Web Analytics expecting the goodness of a data brownie sundae: warm, gooey and insightful. But realized Pinterest has only given us the whip cream without the actual substance to back it up. Sure the data looks and tastes good but it wasn’t satisfying and it didn’t tell us what we really wanted to know.

But we can’t expect the world from Pinterest with their first stab at analytics. So what did they give us? What can we do with it? And what was it we had really hoped to see? We answer each of these questions as they relate to each section in Pinterest’s Web Analytics and hope it will help you decipher your own Pinterest analytics data and lead to some action ideas.

Pins and Pinners Section

What Pinterest gives us: Analytics tells us the daily average number of pins that happened from your website and the daily average number of people who pinned from your website. (Note: One Pinner can have multiple pins) Pins_and_Pinners_Section The big blue and orange numbers are the daily averages based on the time frame you selected. Each dot on the graph is that day’s number of Pins and Pinners. The gray percentage increase or decrease is comparing the current time frame to the previous time frame of equal length.

What we really wanted: We wanted to see specifically what was being pinned from our site on a daily basis. A report of content from the site then a count of how many new pins it received that day would be much more insightful than a simple number that could represent pins on one piece of content or 56 unique ones.

We hoped to be able to answer questions like: Is there a content piece that is continually getting repinned? Is there content that never gets pinned? Is the site getting pins across all its posts or just one? You can look at the ‘Most Recent Section’ to see what is being pinned at the time but that doesn’t help to track a campaign that lasted a month or spot data trends over time. You could also look at the ‘Most Repinned’ section. But again, that only shows pins that are currently doing well not ones that could be growing or could grow if you knew what occurred daily.

What you can do with the data you have: Any statistics class will teach you correlation does not equal causation. But with the low amount of data given we may have to bend a few statistic rules and make some assumptions in order to get actionable items from the data. So here are some assumptions that could be made based off the following data conditions:

  • The Pinners data line follows almost exactly the Pins data line:
    • Assumption: Your Pinners are only pinning 1 to 2 pieces of content from your website on a visit.
    • Action Item: Add more site navigation. Not just top navigation but links inside posts to more content, ads on the side, pictures of other posts that are popular to pin at the bottom of the post. Help your users find more items to pin during their visit.
  • The Pinners data line stays relatively flat:
    • Assumption: People are reading but not pinning your content, (this assumption hinges on the fact that your traffic for the page is increasing but your Pinners are not).
    • Action Item: Add a pin it button to your content. If you already have one, try increasing the size or placing it in a more prominent place. Also, add a call-to-action at the end of every post. For example, “Don’t forget to save this article on Pinterest for future reference.”
  • The Pins percentage number is a negative number:
    • Assumption: The number of pins from your website this month is lower than the number you received last month because of your content or marketing.
    • Action Item: If you are getting fewer pins, it could be the traffic to your site has dropped overall or it could be the content you have produced over the last month has not been as pin-worthy. If it is due to your site traffic dropping, increasing your traffic should bring your pin number back up. If your traffic has remained the same then experiment with new content images. Try redoing the images for your past month’s content if you feel it is good content, or simply create new content with great images. Poor images can kill a piece of content faster than anything on Pinterest.

Repins and Repinners Section

What Pinterest gives us: The daily average number of how many times content from our site was repinned and a daily average number of how many people did the repinning.

Remember: the big blue and orange numbers are the daily averages based on the time frame you selected. Each dot on the graph is that day’s number of Repins and Repinners. The gray percentage increase or decrease is comparing the current time frame to the previous time frame of equal length. Repins_and_Repinners What we wanted: We wanted a similar report as the one we would expect in the Pin and Pinner section. A report on specifically what content is being repinned and how many times it has been repinned. Also a break down of what time of day the repins occurred. Each industry is different and being able to determine when our target audience is most active on Pinterest would help in interacting better with Pinners and help highlight content at the best time.

What you can do with the data you have: Again, here are some assumptions that could be made for the Repin and Repinner section based off the following data conditions:

  • The Repins data line is relatively flat
    • Assumption: You are not producing new content monthly that would dramatically affect the number of repins you get.
    • Action Item: Our recommendation is to take the time once a month to create an image that is outstanding. One that will really stand out and that links to uncommonly great content. Continue to create good baseline content because it helps draw attention as well, but once a month create a “wow piece” and then really push/promote it. If you do, each month you will have a piece of content that is spiking the Repin numbers in your analytics. And it will build on itself because you will still be receiving attention from last month’s “wow” content.
  • Repins data line sees an uptick every 7 days or so
    • Assumption: The best day for you to pin is on those uptick days. To make a blanket assumption like this, we would also need to know if your pins’ impressions happened at the exact same time every day. Because we do not have that data just lengthen out your data range as far as possible and look for a trend.
    • Action Item: If you find an up tick occurs between Thursdays and Fridays then specifically assign someone to pin all of your new content each week on those particular days. Aim to pin a couple times between 5 PM and 8PM EST. Studies have shown during that time range the highest number of people are on Pinterest.

Impressions and Reach Section

What Pinterest gives us: The big blue Impressions number is the daily average number of times your pins showed up in main feeds, board feeds, or in search results. The orange Reach number is the daily average number of people who saw your pins. (this can be a little confusing that the numbers are different. Because feeds are updated when something is pinned and not when someone is looking at a feed, content can get pushed out of a feed before anyone actually sees it.) Impressions_and_Reach What we wanted: Viewing a breakdown of where our pins appeared with the number of repins they received during that impression would help us determine where the best places to pin are, what times of day are the best to pin and what days of the week. A breakdown of where our reach is actually occurring, especially which keyword was used in a search impression, would help us create better pins.

We could answer questions like: Do we see a higher number of impressions from a particular phrase we could create more content around? Is our reach number high on a particular group board but the repin rate is low? Do we need to create better descriptions or board names to help come up for particular search phrases?

What you can do with the data you have: Again, here are some assumptions that could be made for the Impressions and Reach section based off of the following data conditions:

  • Reach number is high and Repinners number is low
    • Assumption: Your pin conversion rate (conversion being a repin in this instance) is low. A quick and dirty way to calculate the conversion rate on your pins is to take the repinner number and divide it by the Reach number. If you get above a 1% you are doing pretty good, if you are getting below a 1% try the action item below.
    • Action Item: Test longer images, create an image that is 3,000 to 5,000 pixels long. Try using thumbnail images from 15 of your other posts. Title the image, “15 Ideas That will Change your Life”, or “Fifteen 15 Minute recipes” etc. Then link the pin to a landing page that links to each of the 15 posts. You can also test using brighter colors in your pins, lime greens, bright orange, etc. Anything to help your pin jump off the page.
  • Impressions number is high and the Reach number is low
    • Assumption: Your pinning is occurring at the wrong time of day. If your pins are appearing a lot in Pinterest but people are not seeing them, then your pins are getting buried in the feed.
    • Action Item: Test times of day to pin, we have found that pinning between 5PM and 8PM EST allow us to reach more people, but if we try to anticipate those peak times and pin too early then we find our pins quickly get buried in the feed when rush hour comes.
  • The Impressions data line is growing faster than your Reach data line
    • Assumption: You are pinning more but your followers or the group board followers you are reaching out to are becoming less active. A popular trend in social media is to have a contest to increase the number of likes or followers an account has. This often however greatly dilutes your numbers because anyone, interested in your or not, will enter the contest just to win the prize. People often use social media accounts they created just for contest entering, so you may be getting likes and followers from dummy accounts. Has anything happened in the last few months that would dilute your followers?
    • Action Item: Avoid contests as a method to increase followers. Instead, reach out inside relevant group boards, follow people that like similar things as you, and leave informational comments when appropriate. Increasing your following with only people truly interested in you will give you a smaller number but it will be a much more active number and one that will be more likely to pin and repin the content you post.

Clicks and Visitors Section

What Pinterest gives us: The daily average number of clicks to your website that came from Pinterest and the daily average number of people who visited your site from Pinterest. There is a difference here. They are almost the same but here’s how they’re different: one person might be clicking to your website from more than one of your pins. This would lead to more clicks than visitors.

Note: Clicks will most likely be more than what you would see in Google Analytics. Pinterest tracks clicks not visits (not to be confused with visitors). To quote from Pinterest on this section, “Pinterest is tracking clicks, not visits. If a person clicks on two of your pins within 30 minutes, Google Analytics only registers those clicks as one visit, but Pinterest Web Analytics counts it as two clicks.”

Clicks_and_Visitors

 

What we wanted: It would be nice to see the clicks and visitors that came from a specific campaign. Currently this just combines all clicks and visitors across all pins and content.

For this section, we actually recommend you rely on your analytics software on your website. It will provide much more useful information about the traffic coming from Pinterest such as: where the visitors go once on your website, how long they stay on your site, and from where they exited.

Most Recent, Most Repinned and Most Clicked Sections

These are probably the 3 most popular sections being talked about on blogs and in the news. Simply because the data is visual and easy to interpret. At a glance, you can tell what is being pinned currently from your website (Most Recent tab), what is being repinned the most on Pinterest (Most Repinned tab), and what pins are driving the most traffic to your site over a given time frame (Most Clicked Tab).

You can export the data into a spread sheet from each of these sections, which can be useful.

What can you do with the data on the Most Recent tab?

Exporting from this tab gives you the most recent 100 pins from your website. This could be helpful to see what content people like on your website. This is nice data but not as useful as the other two tabs.

What can you do with the data on the Most Repinned tab?

On this tab you can select either one specific day to look at or a 7 or 14 day time frame. However, it seems that you aren’t able to select which 7 or 14 day period you want to look at. It gives you quick selects that default to the last 7 or 14 days. Exporting from this tab gives you the 100 most repinned pins in the given time period.

This data can be used to find influencers on Pinterest. Those who pin something and get lots of repins would be good to connect with and cater to if possible. You can also get an idea of which pieces of content from your site are getting shared the most and make more content similar to it.

What can you do with the data on the Most Clicked tab?

The Most Clicked tab is similar to the Most Repinned tab in that you are limited to the most recent 7 or 14 day period or one specific day to analyze.

With this data you will be able to see what images/pins are driving the most traffic on a given day. It’s one thing to have your content pinned but if you can get a high majority of those pinners to actually come to your site then that’s even better. Figure out which pieces of content are getting people back to your website and replicate that success.

As interesting as the data from these three tabs is, we have found it to be more like sprinkles on our brownie sundae: pretty to look at but really not much there unless you were to manually track it every day.

If you would really like to see what is doing the best on your website install the pin it button counter on each page of your website, or input all your content URLs into Social Tally and get a count for how many times that content has been pinned and repinned. Then use your favorite web analytics tool to see what is happening with the traffic once it gets to your site.

Conclusion

As marketers on Pinterest, we would find it more useful to be able to track all of the metrics above for each page or post on our site, rather than viewing this data in aggregate across all pages.

We view each page or post as its own campaign. With this kind of view in mind we can better gauge how our content is doing and make efforts to get more traction from each piece of content.

Pinterest has started to lay the ground work for insightful analytics but it’s not quite there yet. For the most part, it seems to give you aggregated data across all pins.

Did we expect its analytics to be perfect right out of the gate? No. Did we hope it would be? Of course. We have high hopes they will continue to develop it and release more data in time. But until then be careful not to get distracted by pretty looking data and forego actually finding a way to act on it.


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Comments

  1. Love these explanations. Thanks for putting this together.

  2. This was really helpful! We’re working on growing our social media platforms and this is a huge breakthrough for our analytics work on Pinterest. I especially value the action plans with the assumptions, it’s a great way to integrate what you feel unable to do into something that will take the marketing a step further. Thanks!

  3. Awesome Explanation….. 🙂

  4. Great summary, now going to analyze one of my boards!
    Thanks for posting.
    David

  5. Simple, comprehensive and useful. thanks!

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