5 Tips to Optimize Pinterest

As bloggers we all know just how important Pinterest has become in our daily lives. It’s a place where we gain inspiration for our posts as well as inspire others by driving them back to our blogs.

Pinterest, while full of inspiration and information, can sometimes become a black hole of images that are never seen or more importantly repined. Some of the basics in Pinterest optimization include verifying your website, adding a “pin it” button to your blog, and improving your images’ search-ability to drive more traffic to your blog.

Pinterest uses an internal variable system that ranks certain pins higher in a search than others; similar to Google yet less intense. So how do you get your best pins up to the top? Follow these quick 5 steps to improve your search-ability.

  1. Keyword Enrich Your Boards: As bloggers we love to be creative when it comes to our boards, especially in the way we name them. However the title of our boards is just as important as the content within them. Just like most internet search engines, Pinterest can’t “read” images, therefore you must be as specific as possible with the title of your boards in regards to its content.
    Make sure to use keywords to describe the images you’re pinning, for example: “Florida Beaches” is much more descriptive than “Places I Love” or “Small Bites for Brunch” is better than “Mmmmm”
  2. Descriptions + #Hashtags: Hashtags are not just for Twitter anymore! After doing some research on the top pinned pins so far this year, every single one of them had a proper description. While Pinterest allows you up to 500 characters, the ones that were the most re-pinned and kept me interested were those with descriptions 200-300 characters long. However along with these descriptions, hashtags were used to add another layer of search-ability. It’s best to add your hashtag in front of your most relevant word within your description. i.e. “This do-anywhere #exercise works your butt, legs, core and arms all at the same time.”
  3. File names + Alt Tags: With every image uploaded to your blog, a descriptive file name & alt tags are key to having any search engine pick up and understand the image. Pinterest, Google, and Bing all use file names and alt tags to categorize your images. When it comes to your file name, save your image files using keywords such as “Mint-Sweater-And-Jeans.jpg” instead of something like “DSCS4111.jpg”.  With your Alt Tags make sure they are 150-200 characters long and make it specific as possible, example “a bouquet of pink roses”.
  4. Image Size: You know those images on Pinterest that go viral – well it’s pretty much guaranteed that it is a vertical image. Vertical images take up a larger amount of space on the home page therefore they stand out more. Pinterest images look best at 600px in width and there is no limit to the length of your images, so when compressing your photos, try and keep your image around 600px in width to maximize your potential on Pinterest.
  5. Repin your Images: A little known fact about Pinterest is that when searching for something specific on the site – say “chocolate chip cookies”, all the images produced on that page will have at least 1 re-pin. What that means is that Pinterest ignores any pins that haven’t been repined at least once, therefore it is unlikely anyone will see them. So what do you do if some of your images aren’t getting repined? Repin your own images again!

Many media outlets like Refinery 29 and Bustle are constantly repining old articles to drive more traffic to their site – and let me tell you it works! You never know whose attention it will grab the second time around.

Pinterest is one of the best tools around for driving traffic and readers to your blog but takes effort to master. What other tips do you guys have for optimizing your Pinterest account? I’m excited to learn from all of you fellow bloggers!

Be sure to follow Monica of Caravan of Style on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

  • Katherine

    Hi! So I have a question: I know what a file name is, of course, but what is an “alt tag” and how do I make one? Thanks! I am an idiot.

    • Katherine-
      An Alt-tag or Alt-text is a way for search engines to decipher what an image represents. Here’s a quick video that shows where you would add these using WordPress: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5DEdX2a4ZU. Hopefully this helps!

      • Katherine

        Thank you so much, Lauren!

  • Megan Jedlinski

    Great tips!! I will definitely be using these for future pinning!

  • Really great tips, Monica! The Alt-text suggestion is really useful!

  • beauty for bloggers

    great article. love your site, ladies