There’s no doubt about it—Pinterest is often the number one source of traffic for blogger. In fact, I’d venture to say that Pinterest can be the most powerful social media tool for your blog’s growth. There’s a number of reasons behind this conclusion, ranging from increased traffic to great SEO benefits for your blog. But navigating Pinterest isn’t always the easiest for bloggers. Pinterest categories is one of those things bloggers are most confused about. What category should you choose for your boards? Does it even really matter?
Do Categories Matter on Pinterest?
Pinterest first started adding categories for boards in 2010. See the graphic on the right and how old the Pinterest logo looks? Yup. For most of us who weren’t early adopters to Pinterest, categories for boards were baked right into the platform! Trying to navigate Pinterest used to be a serious nightmare if you were trying to find something specific, rather than just browsing.
The original idea was categories made easier to find what you wanted to see on Pinterest, well before their search function was as advanced as it is today. Today, categories don’t hold as much importance as the content of the pin, where it comes from, and how pinners interact with it.
Do you remember just how awful their search used to be? Blog Clarity wrote this complaint about Pinterest search in 2012 about just how awful their search function was, especially if you didn’t include really detailed descriptions. Since then, Pinterest’s search function has come a long way. In fact, Pinterest is one of the most advanced search engines out there. Just read this from Tech Crunch from June 2015:
Rather than relying on keywords, which Google has traditionally done, Pinterest can provide a search experience that serves more like a flow of ideas. For example, when a user searches for chairs, Pinterest may direct them to other classes of chairs like stools or rocking chairs, whereas an engine like Google may dive more deeply into simple chairs. Pinterest’s update to Guided Search adds a layer on top of that by suggesting filters right away.
What this means is that Pinterest’s search feature is smart. Like really, really smart. Sure, it probably doesn’t have the power that Google has, but it’s using it in a very different way. Google is starting to make similar changes in terms of how it treats content online—and is even pulling pins from Pinterest instead of reinventing the wheel.
Categories are still useful on Pinterest, don’t get me wrong, but they’re definitely not as important as they used to be. Instead, it’s more important to focus on the content of your pin, including the description, the content on your website where the pin is linked, and how other pinners interactive with your pins.
How to Pick the Right Pinterest Category
So how do you actually pick the right category for your Pinterest boards? Some boards are super obvious, like a board of women’s outfits and clothing you love—that’d belong in Women’s Fashion. Some categories are pretty easy to pick.
But what about the strange, more difficult ones? Like this question from Rebecca:
— Rebecca (@autumnleavesbl) September 15, 2015
Here’s the process I go through to find the right category:
- Think about the audience that will want to see your pins. What are they searching for?
- If they picked a category to look at, which one might it be?
- Take a look at that category and see if your pins would fit into the content being shown. If not, try again.
- Don’t find something right? Don’t sweat it. Just pick something you think is logical and move on!
The best board for blogging and social media content? Technology. There’s always a big number of pins in that category related to blogging—and it’s the most logical in my mind.