Updated March 2023
If you’d prefer to listen/watch instead of read, check out our YouTube video on how to clean up your Pinterest profile and boards!
At least two times per year, we like to go through our Pinterest boards and make sure they are cleaned up and organized. This DOES NOT involve deleting pins. Move your finger away from that delete button.
We can’t wait to show you our simple four-step method for how to organize Pinterest boards — PROMISE it’s not overly time-consuming.
If you are more of a visual learner, we have an awesome step-by-step guide in our Simple Pin Shop! We walk you through all the steps in this post, but also includes pages for notes, a checklist, and more.
How to Organize Pinterest Boards: A Step-by-Step Tutorial
Step 1: Pinterest Profile Cleanup
Take a quick glance at your boards. Do they still reflect your mission or niche?
Does your profile picture, description, and overall boards still communicate your message? If not, make a few changes.
- Change out your profile picture making sure to use the same picture you have on other social platforms. Consistent profile pictures can make a huge difference in brand identification.
- Update your description with keywords that tell pinners what you are all about.
- Make sure your website is claimed which will result in a link from Pinterest directly to your website.
- Find out why we aren’t editing the description typo in the YouTube video above!
Step 2: Moving & Re-titling Boards
Starting first with the boards that no longer fit your niche, move these to secret or archive them without losing followers. If you delete, you WILL lose followers. Don’t delete! Before moving to secret look through the board to identify viral pins. With the need-to-know metrics feature you’ll be able to tell how that pin is doing.
Do a double check in Pinterest analytics* –> Overview –> Top Boards –> Sort by most “outbound clicks”. You want to do this to make sure the board you want to move to secret is not listed. If it is, it indicates that the board is driving traffic and we don’t want to interrupt that. If there are no viral (legacy) pins feel free to convert to a secret board.
Pinterest added a tool for organizing boards and sections. For the archive feature, Pinterest will no longer send you information in your Smart Feed regarding this board. It’s basically taking it off the table. This is a great tool for those who are average users no longer using the board. It sends a message to Pinterest that it’s no longer an interest to include in their Smart Feed.
note on board sections
Sections are a useful tool for the average user, not a tool for marketers. Pinterest has said in a recent webinar that sections do not hold any relevance to search. So use them if you REALLY love things to look super organized, but if not, just ignore them.
Now let’s move on to adding new Pinterest board titles.
If you haven’t ditched your cutesy titles (YUM….anyone?) then it’s time to get a little more savvy with your titles. Pinterest needs your board titles to be very specific or it won’t know how to categorize your pins.
Here’s how I do keyword research for board titles. Look at the search bar inside Pinterest using the search prediction terms that pop up.
Then when you click on that term you’ll see all applicable Guided Search boxes pop up. These keywords are key for creating board titles. This is how Pinterest is organizing content so its best to fall in line with how they are already organizing content. The bubbles have changed colors over the years and color doesn’t indicate importance.
To provide an example of keywording an existing board, take your “Morning” board filled with breakfast recipes and title it “Simple Breakfast Recipes” or better yet move all specific pins (pancakes, maybe) to a new board and title it “Easy Pancake Recipes.” The keyword variations are endless.
Step 3: Assess Group Board Effectiveness
Group boards should only be one part of your strategy, not all of it.
If you are exclusively pinning your content to group boards, we would strongly suggest you dial that back. Not utilizing your personal boards and relying so heavily on group boards, puts you at the mercy of a group board owner. A group board owner could remove you at any time or delete the board altogether.
how to evaluate group boards
- Does the topic still fit within your niche or do you write content that will fit on the board?
- Is there activity on the board or does it seem to be a dead space with little to no repins?
- How many contributors? Less is more. Having 5-10 contributors who are active (pinning regularly) is going to be vastly more productive than having your content buried in a board with 50, 75 or even 100s of contributors.
- How many followers are on the board? If there are 100K followers, 2000 contributors and little to no repins this tells me that the feed moves too fast OR Pinterest is not showing the board content to very many people. Conversely, if you have 50K followers but the group board only has 2K then you would be better off creating a personal board for the same content than staying on this group board.
Group boards come and go all the time. It’s okay to leave if the board is no longer helpful to your business. Consider joining up with just a few friends who have a similar niche.
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Step 4: Create a Pinterest Board Order
If you want to take the time, you can arrange things to uniquely fit your brand!
Just keep in mind that Pinterest is constantly changing and recently has been reordering boards based on the most recently pinned to board (regardless of how you set your boards). In the past, we have always arranged our boards by starting with our blog/product boards on the top left followed by our most popular boards.
For example, for food bloggers we choose all recipe boards, then kitchen, DIY, decor and if they have any lifestyle boards, followed by seasonal and lastly group boards. If someone lands on our profile on a desktop, we don’t want them to see group boards first.
For board covers and a clean look, make sure you choose an image that does not have text. The image will always drop down, displaying the top of the pin image as the cover. So if something doesn’t have text it makes it easier.
We’ve gone the route of creating custom board covers in the past. Our advice on this – only do it if you’re bored and spending the evening binge-watching the latest Netflix show.
That’s it! Now that your Pinterest boards are organized and cleaned up, they’re ready for more beautiful pins.
Want us just to do it for you? We’d love to! Just enter your information here.
Additional Simple Pin Resources:
- How to Upload Video on Pinterest (blog post)
- Listen to the Simple Pin Podcast (over 300 episodes dedicated to Pinterest marketing!)
- SPM Pinterest Marketing Services (hire us!)
If you are looking to stay up-to-date with changes to the Pinterest platform and get marketing tips designed just for you, make sure to sign up for the Simple Pin newsletter. It comes out every Wednesday and is chock full of tips, action items, and strategies to help you propel your Pinterest marketing to the next level.