Trying to evaluate Pinterest group boards?
It’s a challenge! Pinterest stats make it nearly impossible.
And it IS important to know which boards are helping you build your Pinterest presence – and which are actually dragging you down.
Wasting your time.
Making it look like your content sucks.
Because no one’s interacting with your pins on those group boards.
But how do you know which “those group boards” are?
Tailwind makes it easy! (P.S. They always do!)
Note: Looking to join group boards? Read this post instead.
Why Should You Evaluate Pinterest Group Boards?
Most Pinners seem to think you should get on as many group boards as you can, and Pin as much stuff on them as is allowed.
They see this as building links to their site, pumping up repin numbers, tricking the Pinterest algorithm, and (hopefully) getting some traffic to their website.
News flash: Pinterest knows better. If you think of Pinterest as a search engine (which is how they repeatedly describe themselves), then think how Google works:
- Links from high quality sites to your site build your domain authority.
- Links from low quality sites to your site are meaningless (think “link directories”).
- Links from spammy sites to your site devalue you in Google’s eyes.
Now reread that and think “Pins on high/low/spammy quality boards” and you’ll see what I’m getting at. Pinterest can see which group boards are a dumping ground for desperate marketers.
I get it, we all want to post our Pins all over Pinterest. Me too!
But have you noticed how group boards are driving less and less repins – and traffic? (If not, you definitely should read on).
Friends, just like we can’t fool Google, we can’t fool Pinterest either. They’re not pushing Pins on low-engagement boards into the Smart Feed. They’re devaluing your account because those lousy boards are part of it – even thought they’re not your boards.
Did ya notice those boards are on your profile page? Hmmm…
For more about this concept of “bad neighborhoods,” see Jon Morrow’s post on SEO Mistakes (section 2).
What Do Others Say About Leaving Pinterest Group Boards?
For the most part, Pinterest doesn’t tell us what works and what doesn’t. We have to test things out and see what works on our own accounts. My account, and at least these two others, have improved by dumping the crummy group boards:
“Pinterest wants people to pin more to their own boards these days, so try that. I scaled back my group boards and traffic went up. I have a few I pin to daily and then sprinkle in the others as it works. My traffic is more than double what it was in May. So, it seems to be working.” ~Tracie Fobes
“That [lousy] board is dragging down your overall engagement score and decreasing the likelihood of your pins showing up in the smart feed. The smart feed is a popularity contest. You don’t gain popularity by hanging out with the losers or wallflowers. I had zero growth with followers and traffic from May – July. At the beginning of August I left half of my 21 group boards. In the next 6 weeks, my traffic from Pinterest went up, and I’ve gained 200 new followers.” ~Renee Gardner
Can You Evaluate Pinterest Group Boards without Tailwind?
You can’t see engagement stats on your Pins to group boards.
Sometimes, you can see the engagement stats for your Pins to group boards on your “Pins” page – if you can find them. Sometimes, those stats won’t open for me.
You can get a vague idea of which boards are performing by going into your Pinterest analytics.
Here’s how: Analytics > Profile > Clicks > Boards with the most clicked Pins from the last 30 days > Show more
Now you can see if any of your group boards are getting clicks to your site (as long as those boards are in the top 20).
You won’t know which Pins, or when you Saved them. If you’ve been on the board for a while, it could be a really old Pin. But you can sort by date pinned with Tailwind (below).
I actually had 8 group boards in my top 20, which surprised me (of course, that also means 12 were my own boards). One was a board I was kicked off over a year ago, I think for pinning something that was deemed irrelevant. I bet that’s the Pin that’s still sending clicks.
NOTE: Group boards may get high Impressions, but I urge you not to put too much value on that. You can’t take Impressions to the bank. Clicks and Saves show that people are seeing and acting on your Pins.
Oh, and by the way – a group board I’m on with close to a million followers was way down at the bottom of the list with 30 clicks. Not so great. Of course, other group boards didn’t even make the cut.
How to Track Your Website Traffic from Group Board Pins
This works for any Pins, but is particularly critical for group board Pins – since you can’t see which Pins are getting Saved or Clicked in Pinterest Analytics.
- Keep a list of each Pin’s URL after you Save it to a group board. Note the date you Saved it.
- After a month or more, open Google Analytics.
- Navigate to this screen to discover traffic from a Pin: Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals
- Click on Pinterest to expand the search details. You’ll see all of your pin URLs listed.
- Edit the date on your analytics to look at the traffic from the day you pinned it through the current date.
- Copy the last section of the URL, the numbers. Example: my URL is https://www.pinterest.com/pin/148548487692719476/ so I just want 148548487692719476.
- Paste the number into the search box above Behavior. Click the search icon.
- Now, you’ll see the total number of clicks to your site for that individual pin on that board.
This is a long and cumbersome process that’s probably going to yield a lot of zeroes. Just sayin’.
I expect you’ll find that most Pins on most group boards aren’t sending you much traffic. BTW the Pin I searched was on my own board.
How to Quickly Evaluate Pinterest Group Boards with Tailwind
You can easily determine group board engagement in Tailwind.
If you’re not currently a Tailwind user, grab a free trial! Unfortunately, on the free trial you won’t see all the stats mentioned here.
You could upgrade for a month, just to see if the stats help you. I can’t live without them! Pinterest analytics just aren’t very useful.
Freebie possibility: share your Tailwind referral link and earn a free month of Tailwind for every person you refer! It’s a way to try out the Plus Plan for free.
I use and love Tailwind! If you decide to upgrade, I’ll get a referral fee.
The fastest (but not complete) way to evaluate is by going to Track Your Brand Page > Board Insights. Uncheck any type of board but Group.
The stat I feel is most important is Virality, which is repins per Pin. Sort the boards by highest to lowest Virality. You’ll have a rough idea of your group boards’ quality in seconds.
Why do I look at Virality? High engagement is great, but a board with a ton of followers with low repins per follower can still get you better results than few followers / high engagement.
Case in point, I’m on a group board with almost a million followers. When it had a .01 engagement score, I was getting plenty of repins. Now the engagement rate has actually dropped to .00, but repins per Pin is still better than 4. (Clicks suck though, as I mentioned above).
But that board with the stunning 15.53 engagement rate? 180 followers, woohoo 😛
The Repins number will vary by the number of Pins on the board – not helpful.
So on the Board Insights page, the only number that helps is Virality, because it shows repins PER PIN.
How to Accurately Evaluate Pinterest Group Boards
Virality and Engagement are lifetime stats, so they could be high due to a few viral Pins that happened years ago. Not completely accurate, but it will give you a quick overview of your group boards.
While the Virality score is the fastest way to judge a board’s overall performance, to determine exactly how your Pins are performing on a specific board recently, go to Optimize Content > Pin Inspector > By Board, and choose each group board one by one, as well as the time period you wish to evaluate. I go back two months. I’ve found that the stats won’t change after that time – i.e. Pins on group boards won’t suddenly get engagement after a month or two. They’re dead.
You can see the total pins you added to the board in that time period, and add up the number of repins if you want. Or, if you’re just seeing a lot of 0s, make a judgment call!
And, you can track traffic the same way I outlined in the section above, though you can easily grab the Pin URL from Tailwind for any board and time period.
How Do I Know Which Pinterest Group Boards to Leave?
Once again, this is a judgment call.
- What’s your personal repin rate? (Track Your Brand Page > Profile performance > Virality score)
- What are your own best and worst board repin rates? (Track Your Brand Page > Board Insights)
- What are your best and worst group board repin rates? (as above)
If you’re scared to dump any group boards at all, just stop pinning to the worst ones for a month, and re-evaluate your overall profile performance and Pinterest traffic.
I personally have left most group boards with under 1 repin per Pin Virality score.
I’ve been tracking repins per Pin on my Pins all year (accurate method), and will likely leave more boards, and pin less to even more boards.
My traffic is up! I’ll let you know if that continues.
Want to Learn More about Tailwind?
You can jump in and try it out free. I find it indispensable for evaluating boards and Pins, as well as keeping my content circulating on Pinterest, and increasing my website traffic! If you decide to upgrade to a paid plan for access to all the stats, I’ll get a referral fee.
You can use your own referral link to earn a free month of Tailwind for each person you refer! It’s a great way to try the Plus Plan at no cost to you.
Or read more of my thoughts on Tailwind for Pinterest:
If you used these tips to evaluate Pinterest group boards, leave a comment to let us know what you learned!