Pin this content: 4 things referral data shows about Pinterest

Pinterest users (Pinners) have individual taste, from modern kitchens to goth nurseries. One important trait they share: using the platform to find helpful, inspiring ideas to read about.

Although Pinterest sends less traffic across’s network of publishers compared to Google or Facebook (1.4% vs. 49% and 31%, respectively), that ratio shrinks significantly in categories including Home & Garden, Hobbies & Interests, Food & Drink, and more.

Looking at the categories that bring the most attention to content from Pinterest reveals insights about who identifies most with the platform. This data can help marketers and publishers figure out what Pinners read, where they’re reading it, and when they’re paying attention.

Planners read articles from Pinterest well before a season hits

No matter the season when people host a party or prepare for a picnic, they rely on Pinterest to gather ideas and make a plan. In fact, Pinners start using Pinterest for seasonal purposes up to two times earlier than other platforms. And what do those Pinners do as they make their seasonal plans? They read articles and content they find in droves. It’s important evergreen content is ready and available for pinners planning ahead.

In’s report, 2018 traffic sources by content categories and topics, we found Pinterest drives a huge amount of traffic to content about Home & Garden—13.4% of all readers of Home & Garden articles came from Pinterest. This put Pinterest right behind Facebook (15%), though still well behind Google at 57%.

The data analyzed for this report was from April 2018 to May 2018, the middle of spring. During those months, I find myself digging out of hibernation. I get rid of items I haven’t used in the past year; organize and decorate; and plant a few flowers, herbs, and other plants—in other words, everything Home & Garden.

Taking a look at data from another holiday, from June 29 to July 4, categories involving food, such as Food & Drink, Desserts & Baking, and Vegetarian, take the cake (pun intended) for top categories for the week. Topics of articles that people found on Pinterest that week include Salad, Pasta, Hamburger, and Grilling, which sounds like a barbeque I’d like to attend.

For marketers and publishers hoping to tap into the pool of seasonal pins and Pinners, it’s imperative that you have articles available well ahead of the holiday weekend. Peak times for Fourth of July traffic came on July 2 and 3.

Pinners want more to look at

In an episode of The Center of Attention podcast,’s CEO Sachin Kamdar said, “Pinterest is the number one referrer of traffic to Fashion & Style, excluding [Facebook and Google]. You get an understanding of what Pinterest is oriented around—it’s very visually focused.”

To enhance the visual appeal, Pinterest introduced a visual search tool which allows Pinners to zoom in on a part of a Pin’s image to search and explore the products, colors, or patterns in the image. According to Pinterest, there are over 130 million visual searches each month, with home decor and style being the most popular things people are searching for.

Pinterest is more than just pretty pictures. It’s great for any content you produce that’s visual. Lifestyle domains like Allure, Vogue, and Glamour often publish highly visual tutorials that are widely shared on photo-based sites such as Pinterest. For example, we looked at posts in our network that received the most traffic from Pinterest. Top posts included a slideshow with the 17 best wedding and engagement rings to mix and stack, different ways to air-dry your hair, and a tutorial on how to easily apply glitter nail polish. If this is the audience you want to reach but haven’t, how visual is the content you’re creating and how can you increase it?

With over 100 million people around the world saving 75 billion ideas on Pinterest, there’s a huge opportunity for brands and publishers to take advantage of Pinterest as a powerful marketing tool to help Pinners find ideas that match their own unique tastes and preferences.

Night-owls: Pinners build their boards during leisure time

The top categories referred by Pinterest match attention patterns of “leisure” reading—usually topics that aren’t “work-essential”. Traffic from Pinterest increases into the evening, peaking around 10-11pm all week long. Whether looking for recipes for dinner or late night inspiration, it’s clear that Pinners are waiting until after work or once the kids go to bed.

This behavior continues through the weekend. The pattern of traffic remains lower during the day, increasing into the later part of the evening. So, if you want to reach these readers, that’s the best time to connect with them.

The “P” in Pinterest might as well stand for “personal”

Pinterest emphasizes the discovery and curation of other people’s content to use for inspiration, researching, and shopping. Pinners are active across the entire consumer journey, from discovery to purchasing. In fact, 93% of Pinners use the platform to plan purchases, and 67% say they’ve discovered a new brand or product from business content on Pinterest.

Based on the categories that Pinterest refers audiences to, this connection to brands may come from the personal nature of the categories. What we eat, where we live, and what we enjoy is inherently personal, a trait the platform benefits from in a way that other, more news-focused platforms do not.

Marketers and publishers operating in the categories that get the most traffic from Pinterest have an opportunity to earn their audience’s attention by feeding people’s interests and aspirations with quality content and inspiring them to take an action. Lifestyle subscription box company FabFitFun capitalized on the opportunity to monetize what people were paying attention to on Pinterest by offering a special edition box based on the Pinterest 100 report.

So, while the overall percentage of traffic from Pinterest may be small, the opportunity definitely is not.

The data in this post derives from Currents, a new product that shows the attention of over 1 billion people each month and 850,000 viewed articles each day. Learn more about Currents and explore the data for yourself.