Pinterest is an incredible traffic driver for bloggers of all types, but as the platform grows, it’s taking a lot more to cut through the noise (and spam!). These are a few tips to make your blog more pinnable and rock your pin game.
1. Write an AWESOME description
Pinterest at its core is a search engine, whose results are highly visual and keyword driven. That means it’s CRUCIAL to use keywords relevant to your post in your pin’s description. For example, this description is okay-ish:
“10 Ways to Make Your Blog More Pinnable”
But it would be a lot better if I used keywords people are searching for, especially if I’ve incorporated that post’s title into the graphic (I’ll get to that in a bit!). A better description would be:
“10 Ways to Make Your Blog More Pinnable — Get tips on how to optimize your blog for Pinterest, create eye-catching images that people will repin, and increase your site traffic.”
Not only does it incorporate a wider swath of keywords that bloggers might use, but it’s more descriptive – it tells the pinner what to expect and how this post will help them.
2. Keep your description between 100 and 200 characters
There’s a time and place for verbosity, but your pin’s descriptions are not among them. Keep it concise, descriptive, and interesting. Remember to provide the “gimme” – answer the question “what’s in it for me?” for your audience because that’s what’s going to pique curiosity and drive people to your posts.
Hubspot reports that the most consistently optimal pin description length is between 100-200 characters.
3. Include your description in your alt tags
When you pin an image from your site, the description is automatically populated based on your image alt tags.
Umm, what are alt tags, Resa?
Good question! They’re the tags that basically explain what an image contains. If for some reason the image link is broken, the alt text will appear instead of the broken image icon (you know the one) as an “alternative” to the image. See? Additionally search engine crawlers look for alts to understand what your site’s images contain, and site readers will read the alt tag to provide greater context for the visually or cognitively impaired. Rad, right?
Pinterest also pulls the alt tags from your images and sets those as the titles of your pins.
But how do I set the alt tag?
WordPress makes this REALLY easy.
- Click Add Media
- Upload your image using the WordPress uploader
- Once the image has loaded, you’ll see a few entry fields on the right. Scroll to the one titled “Alt Text.”
- Enter your title. DONE. Wablam.
Squarespace’s editor uses captions as alts, so just click to edit your image block and enter your text in the caption. Just make sure that your caption isn’t displayed if you don’t want to show it. It’s not necessarily as elegant a solution as WordPress, but it works!
4. Switch your account to Pinterest for Business
Pinterest for Business enables a SLEW of features made to enhance your Pinterest experience and reach more people. Prominent among these features are:
- Pinterest Analytics: Insights about what your followers are into, which of your pins are your best performers, and ways to expand your audience and refine your strategy.
- Widget Builder: You can create buttons to pin items, show off your profile or fave boards, and you don’t even have to know how to code!
- Promoted Pins: Boost your pins and reach a larger audience (for a price, of course).
- Rich Pins! This sexy little feature gets its own section, but the short of it is your pins are more robust and includes more detail than your average pin.
5. Enable Rich Pins
Rich pins are RAD, you guys. Basically, rich pins have more information than the average pin, including your site’s favicon (so make sure you add your favicon to your site!). There are 6 different types of rich pins, and they all have really helpful features:
- App pins include an Install button,
- Place pins have a name, address, and phone number,
- Movie pins have cast information, ratings, and reviews. Super cool, right? For bloggers, the
- Article pins include a headline, author, and story description while
- Recipe pins include the serving size, cooking time, and ingredients list.
- Product pins include product pricing, availability, and a link to a site where you can purchase the product.
You’ve probably already seen them in action, but you can see some examples above as well. I highly recommend getting to know and taking advantage of rich pins to set your pins apart.
6. Use the right image layout
Vertical images outperform horizontal images bar-none, and when you’re browsing Pinterest, it’s really easy to see why. Since the site is arranged in columns, the image is sized down proportionately by width. That means your horizontal image will maintain its relative dimensions, but it’s going to be super small and won’t take up a lot of visual space. Basically, it’s going to get lost. Vertical images, on the other hand, take up a lot more of the available visual space, so even if you don’t see it at first glance, you’re likelier to catch it as you keep scrolling. On top of that, you can put a lot more imagery and information into a vertical image.
Pinterest notes that the ideal size for pins is 1:1.5-2.8 (so the height should be 1.5 to 2.8 times the width). Since the full-sized pin width is 735px, you’ll want your images to be 735px X 1100px at least and probably 735px X 2058px at most. Note: pins over a certain height get hidden and you have to click to see the rest. Keep it easy for other pinners and mind your dimensions!
7. Take advantage of hidden images
Use the text editor or an HTML editor to insert a hidden image at the beginning of your post.
I tend to put my pinnable images at the end of the post before the comment section, which sometimes can stop people from scrolling on to comment. To that end, this is a really cool trick if you have a long, pinnable image without actually showing it in your post and taking up your reader’s visual space.
To do this, use the text or HTML editor for your site and wrap your image code with the following:
<div style="display: none;"> </div>
So with the image code, it will look like this:
<div style="display: none;"><img src="your image URL here" alt="your super important alt tag here" /></div>
8. Learn when to use text overlays on your images
Text overlays are AWESOME on Pinterest, except when they’re not. The rare exceptions where this is the case are fashion, travel images, and food. Don’t get in the way of people’s food pr0n, you guys.
But really, though, when you’re using striking photos of outfits, flatlays of clothes, large images of food, and beautiful travel images, let them speak for themselves! If you really want to use an overlay, relegate it to a header or a footer (OR do the cool collage thing where you use a title box to divide 2 different images of the same thing – always a great alternative).
Overlays seem to be absolute musts for DIYs and how-tos (and sometimes even recipes), though, and a really popular layout for this is an image stacked on a text box stacked on an image.
9. Use multiple images for the same post
People respond differently to different images, so make sure to try different styles, different overlays, layouts, and even descriptions. Cycle them in periodically as a way to refresh old posts and continue to drive new traffic to them. Test and test and test the crap out of it, and make sure to compare results in your analytics! Once you can see which pins are the most effective, you can even delete the lower-traffic/lower-activity pins because apparently Pinterest will show users more frequently when their pins get a lot of activity.
10. Pin things that people will actually care about
I feel like this needs to be said, because pinning to save stuff for yourself can be fun and all, but if you’re pinning for business, there are some considerations to be made.
Let’s say you run a site about homesteading. Rad. You might post about chicken coops, vegetable gardens, sustainability tips. You probably wouldn’t post about that one time you randomly ran into a friend from high school at the grocery store. I hate to say it, but no one cares.
This is totally different for a humorist, I know, because humorists like The Bloggess have a gift for making something interesting out of the mundane. If that is not your niche, that’s okay! Don’t force it. I’ve tried to force it. It’s bad.
Similarly, and I know this is just me so take it with a grain of salt, parenting bloggers writing about how to be a blogger (while peddling affiliate links to low quality hosting), how to make money as a blogger, and their blogging income reports kinda drive me nuts. Unless you’re offering consulting for blogging strategy, this isn’t going to draw in your ideal audience – it’s only going to bring in other bloggers, and not all bloggers are interested in parenting topics, not to mention that many parents aren’t interested in becoming bloggers (I know, I know, why not, right?). I guess there is an intersecting niche in there, but it’s just so limiting that unless you’re planning to pivot into consulting, you’re cutting yourself off at the knees. If you REALLY love doing this, though, maybe separate your email lists so subscribers for each topic get the content they came for.
Bonus! Use a Pin-It Button Plugin
Your content is excellent, your image is beautiful, and your reader wants to save it – yay! Have you offered an easy way to pin things? It’s all fine and good to have a sharing button at the beginning and ends of your posts, and some people will have the Pinterest tool installed in their browser. However, you can make it even easier for them by using a Pinterest hover button. This way, when they hover on an image, a Pin It button will appear. What’s cool about this is it also encourages users to share, even if they weren’t thinking about it before. It’s unobtrusive, easy to find, and easy to use.
How will you make your blog more pinnable?
Pinterest is a great, free, HUGE marketing tool for blogs of all niches, and by taking a few simple steps, you can make your blog posts ultra-pinnable. What steps do you take to make your blog Pinterest-friendly?