If you’re blogging, you should be creating images specifically for Pinterest. Pinterest is a top traffic source for many blogs. For most bloggers, it provides more traffic than organic searches. It’s basically a huge search engine made up of content produced almost entirely by bloggers. Pretty cool, huh? This guide will show you how to create perfect Pinterest images and how to optimize their use inside your blog posts.
Quick Reminder: Name ALL your images for SEO
While it doesn’t really matter for Pinterest images because they rename it anyway, you still want your images to be searchable. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. will all be able to rank your images for keywords if you name them correctly.
Use dashes to separate words; use “Get-the-Most-Out-of-Your-Pinterest-Images” rather than “GetTheMostOutOfYourPinterestImages” or “Image_87392”. This will allow search engines to read the file name correctly.
This applies to all images you use on your blog. All of them! Well, all the ones you want to show up in search, anyway.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get on to the rest of the good stuff!
Creating Pinterest Images
When creating images for Pinterest, you’re going to want to make sure you’re doing all of these 3 things
- Using long, optimized images
- Adding text to your images
- Creating a default description with keywords
Use long, vertical image sizes
Looooong images perform best on Pinterest! That image you just saw? Yup. That’s my pinnable image for this post. I admit, they’re kind of annoying to view on desktop browsers but on mobile, it’s perfect. Most web traffic these days is coming from mobile devices anyway.
A good, easy-to-remember size to use to 800 x 1200px. The image will get shrunk down to proper size once uploaded to Pinterest. To ensure an image looks it’s best, though, you want to use a slightly larger size.
The most popular size for a pin is 736 x 1104px or 735 x 1102px. I suggest using even numbers for image widths, however. This is because screen sizes always have an even number of pixels. When you view an image in the center of your screen, an even number will divide in half correctly. It’s just a slight difference, but I promise you this plagues us designers, lol!
Add a headline
If you don’t add some text to your graphic, people are just going to think it’s a pretty image. You need to tell them there’s some knowledge to gain by visiting your link.
Make sure your text is easy to read. Use large type sizes and good contrast to keep your headlines readable. You can add a white background as a text box or fade the background image if you find it tough to choose a readable text color.
Name the image properly
Ever wonder how Google Images is able to display the correct images when you search for something? This is part of it.
Since Pinterest is really just another search engine, just like with trying to get your posts to rank on Google, you need to do everything you can to get your pins to rank on Pinterest.
Refer to the SEO reminder I mentioned earlier if you’re not sure what I mean. Though the actual file name won’t show up on Pinterest, it’s still important to have it right for search engines.
Don’t take your images directly from your graphic creator to your blog! Optimize the image for online use. This will help keep your blog loading speedily.
I like to use TinyPNG (good for JPGs also) and JPEGmini to optimize images before uploading to my blog. There are also some plugins you can get for WordPress that will optimize your images as you upload them, b ut so far, I haven’t found one that gives me better results than these two tools.
Adding to Blog Posts
Once you’ve created your images, you don’t want to forget to add it to your blog posts. But don’t stop there. There’s still a couple more steps to go!
Add alt text
This is what will become your pin description. You should set this so there’s a default description every time you or someone else pins your image from your website. This will give you a little bit of control over of your pin even though someone else is pinning it. Of course, they can change the description if they want, but most of us are way too lazy for this! lol
Remember, alt text is also tracked by Google and other search engines to display your images when someone using image search. Make sure your description makes sense for general search engines as well as Pinterest.
You might consider adding a pinnable description to other images in your posts as well. Not everyone knows (or cares) exactly how Pinterest works and they may still post images other than the one you’ve created specifically for Pinterest. If you add these descriptions to your other images, you’ll have your keywords on those as well.
Remember that only the first 140 characters of your meta description (the search result description for your whole blog post) will be searchable on Pinterest. It’s also only available if you have Rich Pins enabled.
Make sure the keywords you want it to rank for are close to the beginning to make sure they appear on Pinterest. It’s best if your description makes sense for Pinterest and Google. As long as it’s explaining what a person can find in your article and includes the right keywords, you should be fine.
Add your pin to your boards and group boards
If you don’t pin it, how are others going to find it? Especially if you’re just starting out. This seems kind of obvious to some but to others, they just don’t think of it or they’re still in the mindset that self-promotion = bad. It doesn’t, if you’re doing it right.
While you absolutely should be pinning yourself, you don’t want to be only pinning yourself. Barely anyone if going to follow you if your only board is Your Blog Name Here. Most of your content should be from other people. Yes, even your competitors.
A lot of people like to follow the 80/20 rule; 80% content from others and 20% your own content. So if you’re posting 50 pins per day, 10 of them should be pins linking to your own content.
Other Useful Tricks
Okay! You’ve got your image, it’s optimized and uploaded to Pinterest. Those are the very basics. There’s still some more you can with your images so listen up.
Make sure you have rich pins enabled
Rich Pins will allow you to have extra data displayed at the bottom of pins. There are Rich Pins for apps, movies, products, places, recipes, and of course our favorite as bloggers, articles. Each will display different kinds of info:
- Apps: (iOS apps only) Includes an install button
- Movies: Ratings, cast members, and reviews
- Products: Pricing, availability and where to buy
- Places: A map, an address, and a phone number
- Recipes: Ingredients, cooking times, and serving info
- Articles: A headline, author, and description
Each one of these things gives pinners a little bit more info about your post blogs and products to entice them to click through.
You can activate rich pins easily if you’ve got the Yoast SEO plugin installed (and maybe other plugins but this is what I use so it’s what I know!). Just visit this website and type in your URL.
Why would you want to hide it, you ask? Because a huge image is going to slow your page down. You don’t need an 800x1200px image smack in the middle of every one of your posts. While it may make sense to do this sometimes (with infographics, points you really want to drive home, or it’s the only image you’ve got for your post) most of the time, it’s just taking up space and bandwidth.
Hiding the image inside your post keeps the image from actually loading until someone hits the share-to-Pinterest button. Pretty cool, huh? There’s actually another cool trick you can do with this that I’ll talk about in a bit.
How to hide Pinterest images on your blog
Add your pin image into WordPress like normal. Click over to the text editor and find the code for the image. It will look something like this:
Add the following code right before the <img tag:
<div style="display: none;">
Add this piece of code to the end, after the />:
In the end, you should end up with something like this:
(Notice how my image is named properly.)
Go back over to the Visual editor and you’ll find that your image as disappeared! Magic!
For those of you who know a little bit about HTML and CSS, you have to use this as a div or span tag. It doesn’t work if you add to the img tag.
Don’t forget to make sure it worked
To test it, do a preview of your post and click on one of your Pin It buttons. You should see the image available as something you can pin even though it doesn’t show in the post.
Embed your own pin
An alternative to hiding the image is to just embed a pin itself with a Pinterest widget. An added bonus is that you’ll be forced to create pins for each of your posts. You definitely don’t want to forget to pin your own posts!
You can create a Pin widget here, or use a plugin if you’re using self-hosted WordPress. I believe if your blog is on WordPress.com you can just copy and paste the pin URL and it will automatically embed it.
View pins from your site
I wish I could remember exactly where I learned this little trick from, but for now, I’m just going to credit this article on Mashable since that’s where I just visited.
If you type in a URL like this:
You can view a list of every pin saved from your domain. Or whatever domain you type into the link. This includes your own pins as well as pins by other people.
Just in case you’re curious and want to take a look at mine, here’s a go: https://www.pinterest.com/source/bloggingbutterfly.com/
Notice that URL!
Let readers decide your best pinnable images
So now you know how to hide pinnable images and how to view what others are pinning. There’s one more thing you can do with this info. Remember the trick I mentioned earlier? Here’s what I was talking about.
You can use both of those tips to help you find your best performing image design. Offer a bunch of different images and check back to see which image was pinned the most. Compare this with analytics from Pinterest, Tailwind, or Boardbooster (commission/affiliate links). Did a particular style outperform all the rest? Which resulted in the most clicks to your blog? Was one more shared more than all the others?
You can use this to plan for future image designs for each post. If a certain graphic style is working well for you, focus on using that pin in group boards and looped pins, and make sure every post has a similar image available.
Time to Get Pinnin’!
The most important thing to remember is to pin your own posts. Pin them to all relevant boards you have, including one made especially for all your blog posts. Add to any group boards for related content. Remember, don’t just pin your own content. No one wants to follow someone who is only sharing their own stuff!
I hope these tips have helped you get started with Pinterest or will help you improve the quality of your Pinterest images. If you found this post useful, I’d appreciate it if you gave it a share and signed up for my email list. I have more great tips like this one posted every week.