Understanding Pinterest’s Advertising Potential – Comparing Outgoing traffic in 2013 and 2014

Back in June we’ve posted an article about Pinterest’s potential in driving sales to the e-commerce industry. That article followed the rebranding that Pinterest went through at the time, trying to target high-end publishers.





Plan, Buy and Do

Since then we’ve been tracking Pinterest’s traffic, trying to understand what sort of businesses can enjoy the massive exposure and outreach that are available on this social network. Back in our June post, we mostly found shopping sites such as Etsy.com, Amazon.com and Polivore.com. From Pinterest’s tagline, it’s obvious they don’t feel the same. Is Pinterest going for a broad spectrum audience and advertiser base? We can’t really answer that, but we can give you a current picture of Pinterest’s most popular traffic destinations.

Expanding Audience Interests

In July-August 2013, this was the category distribution of outgoing traffic from Pinterest:


Top outgoing traffic categories in Pinterest – July August 2013


As you can see, most of the traffic went to other social networks, followed by the obvious options: Shopping, Recipes and Art & Entertainment. These were the top 10 sites getting traffic from Pinterest:



In July-August 2014, a month after their branding changes, this was their category distribution:


Top outgoing traffic categories in Pinterest – July August 2013


As you can see, Shopping took the first place with Magazines not too far behind. Social networks went down to the third position followed with Recipes. Art & Entertainment, which had 3.85% just a year before (which comes up to 1,054,900 outgoing visits), doesn’t even appear in the top 5 categories.

Here are the top site getting traffic from Pinterest in July-August 2014:



Winners and Loser

The obvious winners here are Esty, which got an increase of around 150% comparing to the same period on 2013 and Buzzfeed that got an increase of almost 400%. Youtube double its traffic from Pinterest and there were a couple of new entries in the top 10 list – Dribbble, with almost 1 million visitors from Pinterest, and Refinery29, that is also starting to get a nice flow of traffic.

Amazon, while not making the top 10 cut, actually had a small increase in traffic as well. From its 13th position on the list of sites getting traffic from Pinterest, Amazon managed to get a 4% increase. eBay which didn’t make the top 10 in both years, managed to get an increase of 30%.

So what can we understand when we check outgoing website traffic?

By digging into the outgoing traffic of Pinterest, we can get an understanding of the visiting audience interests. From there we can conclude which businesses can gain by advertising on Pinterest. This is true for any publisher which you’re considering using. By running this quick analysis, you can get an understanding of its potential before spending even $1 of your advertising money.

Remember that we’re looking on the overall outgoing traffic of Pinterest, which include both organic and paid traffic, so you should look on these numbers as an indication for the potential under each category.

About the Author -

Natalie Halimi is the Head of Marketing Communications & Education at SimilarWeb. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, Natalie has promoted services and products in the B2C and B2B arenas, in various industries.

Discover the secrets of online success