Pinterest is not social media.
Surprised? No? Then you probably know that Pinterest is a search engine. Which means it can be a great source of organic traffic.
But SEO which stands for search engine optimization on Pinterest differs a bit from Google SEO, so in this post, I’m going to break down how to create the perfect pin to rise to the top of Pinterest search results.
First, I’m going to break this up into two different sections. I’m going talk about the pin image itself and then the pin description.
So let’s go ahead and dig in.
Did you know that Pinterest’s algorithm can in a way “read” Pin images? So your pin image isn’t just meant to attract eyeballs of users but to also make sense for the algorithm.
So make sure your Pin image uses graphics, photos, and words that actually relate to the content you’re sharing.
You need to be utilizing a two by three ratio.
This could mean 1000×1500 pixels or 600 x 900 pixels.
Really as long as it is a 2:3 ratio, the exact pixels don’t matter too much.
Now, if you’ve been on Pinterest a while – you’ve probably seen really really long pins as well. These are called giraffe pins and Pinterest has started cutting them off in various views (like mobile). Pinterest has also repeatedly said that 2:3 ratio is best practice.
The thing is there are still some niches, like the food niche, where a longer pin continues to do very well, but this is just for now. Since longer pins aren’t best practice chances are you won’t see long term success with them. So personally I recommend sticking to the best practice of 2:3 ratio.
Your image should include no more than a couple of fonts, two to three, max. This is because if you do more, you Pin image is going to get really busy looking and hard to read. So limit the number of fonts and make sure they compliment each other.
Speaking of complimenting fonts….
A common mix of fonts is something big and bold and then a script. Visually this combination looks great……
However, scripts can be hard to read for multiple reasons.
First, some scripts are so fluid with the letters long and close together that they are just hard to read, and when the user is scrolling through, they aren’t going to catch at a glance what it says.
Second, some schools have stopped teaching cursive, which means there are some people who literally cannot read script. So particularly if you have a younger audience, steer clear of script fonts.
Include no more than two or three colors for the same reasons you want to limit the number of fonts, you want your Pin to be easy to read and too many colors can usually make it hard to read.
There are, of course, exceptions to this. There are exceptions to every rule, but keeping your pin clean and easy to read is what you want as that type of Pin tends to perform best on Pinterest.
Additionally, while the multiple colors and fonts may be easy to read on the Desktop you’re likely using to create the pin. Most Pinterest users are looking on their phone when you shrink down that Pin – is it still easy to read?
Pro Tip:When creating pins in Canva or Picmonkey, or whatever tool you use – before publishing, zoom out to like 10% and see if you can still read what your pins says. If not – you likely need to make your font bigger and use less colors.
Again, there are exceptions to every rule, but brighter, warmer color tones tend to do better on Pinterest.
For example, blue is a cooler tone. That doesn’t mean blue can’t work on Pinterest it is just as a general rule that blue wouldn’t perform well.
Bright colors, like pinks, reds, oranges, yellows, and white – colors that create a bright and light image tend to do really well.
Generally speaking, graphics, so stock photos or photos, (whatever you’re using) that do not have faces showing tend to do better.
You don’t want to have to someone’s face showing because people go to Pinterest for ideas and inspiration so they want to kind of envision themselves doing the things – so they don’t want to see someone else’s face.
Other than that, photos that actually relate to the topic of your Pin are best. For example, you wouldn’t want a picture of a computer when your Pin is about fun outside activities.
There’s some divide in whether all your pins should be branded in the same style so it’s a recognizable brand or if it should just be what works best for Pinterest.
I think a bit of both and I don’t see why you can’t do both.
You should be creating multiple pins per post anyway so you could do one that’s like the same style for every single post and then you could do a pin that’s different.
But one thing you should ALWAYS include on your Pin is your brand logo, even if the Pin is not a particular branded style. Make sure you’re always branding your pins by including your logo. It not only ties all your pins together but it also it makes it easier to like claim it if someone steals it.
So long as the title on your Pin is relatively close to the title on your blog post – don’t be afraid to test different Pin headlines.
You want to make sure you have a catchy click-worthy title. Don’t be clickbaity, but make sure your title, is interesting and will make people want to actually click on your pin.
If you’re doing a list post, something like:
11 Ways to Increase Your Pinterest Clickthrough Rate
That’s awesome because list or “number” posts do really well on Pinterest.
However, when crafting your Pin, make sure the number is huge! It should be a minimum of two times the size of the words that you have on the pin.
My last tip for creating the perfect Pinterest pin image is to have the title, utilize the spacing of the photo or graphic.
So if you have like a graphic, let’s say it’s like a desk layout and so it’s like all the desk stuff on this side and have all the wording on this side. Don’t have it centered, there’s space for it in the photo. Use that space.
Here is an example:
Moving on to the description and how to write a kick-ass Pinterest description.
There are 3 elements to a kickass Pinterest SEO friendly description:
First, while you do want to please an algorithm, you also want humans when they see it, to click on your content. So you want to incorporate keywords in a human-friendly way….
AKA write in sentences.
But make sure to use your keywords in your sentences.
One of Newton’s laws of motion is that an object at rest will remain at rest unless an external force is applied to it. Your call to action is your external force. In other words, people won’t take action to click until you tell them to.
Something as simple as “check it out now!” would work, but your approach to the Call to Action (also known as a CTA) could vary depending on what the perspective of the Pin description is.
There are two different styles to writing descriptions and which one’s going to work best is going to be different for everyone. So I would suggest testing them for a month or so to see which does best for you.
The two types are writing pin descriptions is as a fan (1) or is informational(2).
So writing it as information and would be like:
In this post, learn the seven steps to starting your own dog walking business. We walk you through step by step how to set up your dog walking business, have your dog walking business up and running in a week. Check out the post!
A written as a fan description would be like:
I love dogs. I’ve always wanted to make money walking dogs and caring for them, but I had no idea how to start. And then I found this post. It’s super awesome. It walked me through step by step, how to set up my dog walking and dog sitting business. Uh, who knew I could make $1,000 a month. This is awesome. Check out the post!
As a general rule, (but remember there are exceptions to every rule) “Fan” tends to do better than informational but not always. It depends on your niche and your audience. So I’d test it.
Once you have a kickass keyword rich description with a call to action you want to finish your description with a handful of hashtags.
And I do mean finish your description, the hashtags should be listed last and not sprinkled into the description.
Keep in mind that hashtags on Pinterest are different than hashtags on Instagram. You’re not doing like #livingmybestlife.
Basically, anything that is a keyword or related keyword could be a hashtag.
Those are all the tips I have for crafting a perfect kick-ass Pinterest pin that does well.
If you want a checklist of all these tips, I’ve got you covered. Join the community and get access to all sorts of exclusive freebies and discounts including my Perfect Pin Checklist.
Pro TipTo view all the pins for your website go to: pinterest.com/source/exampleurl.com
Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.
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