Last time we spoke about the importance of hover pin buttons and how you can install one for your site. This was just one of the steps you can take to optimize your website for Pinterest.
Pinterest optimization isn’t just about using keywords in strategic places. It all starts on your website. I’ve noticed that people tend to neglect their website when it comes to optimizing for Pinterest – I don’t want you to make that mistake, so today we’ll talk about seven ways you can optimize your website for Pinterest and make sure the two get along nicely.
VERIFY YOUR WEBSITE
If you’re serious about your using your Pinterest account for business, make sure to verify your website. Claiming your website on Pinterest is a simple process but it gives you access to three benefits.
First, pins that come from your domain will be automatically associated with your profile and have your profile picture next to them.
Second, you’ll get access to website analytics and see what people save from your website (to enable this, you’ll also need to convert to a business account).
And as a bonus, you’ll get early access to new features and tools.
As of now, you can only claim one website and it has to be either your main website domain (www.examplepage.com) or a subdomain (subdomain.examplepage.com) but not subpages like www.examplepage.com/blog.
You can claim your website either by adding a meta tag to your website header or uploading an HTML file to your website’s root folder (on WordPress it’s usually called public_html and can be accessed via cPanel).
Recommended reading: How to Claim Your Website and Social Profiles on Pinterest
ACTIVATE RICH PINS
According to Pinterest,
Rich Pins show metadata right on the Pin itself, giving Pinners a richer experience and increasing engagement. Information in a Rich Pin is independent of the Pin description, ensuring that important information is always tied to the Pin. There are 4 types of Rich Pins: app, article, product and recipe Pins.
So they’re usual pins with a little bit extra that make your site more useful. They tell the reader what your article, recipe, product or app is about and raise their interest in your content.
To activate Rich Pins, you’ll need to do two things:
– add metadata to your site (this can easily be done using Yoast SEO as described here)
– apply for Rich Pins using the Rich Pin Validator
OPTIMIZE PIN IMAGES
When it comes to pin graphics, make them vertical. Vertical images stand out way more than horizontal because they just take up more space in the feed.
The official suggestion at the moment is to use images with a 2:3 ratio (either 600×900 or 735×1102). Make sure to keep the height of your image under 1102 px as very tall pins get truncated or just don’t show up in the feed at all.
Pick good quality images. Pinterest is often mistaken for a social network when in fact it’s a visual search engine, emphasis on visual. Images should be high-resolution and viewers should be able to tell what’s on the picture.
Brand your images. Use your brand colors and fonts but don’t overdo it. Keep it simple. I often see images with too much going on. Busy background, lots of text, fonts and colors is a no-go. It can be hard to strike a balance so it’s important to experiment.
Look around and see what’s working for other people in your niche and what looks good to you. Then put the two together and try out different designs. Soon you’ll find out what pin design gets the most actions.
USE THE SAME KEYWORDS IN BLOG POST TITLES AND PIN DESCRIPTIONS
Lately, Pinterest has been focusing on making sure the content on the pin matches the content on the site it links to. That’s why it’s important to make sure your blog post and page titles contain the same keywords as their respective pin descriptions.
Before you start editing your old pin descriptions to match page titles, keep in mind that there’s no point in editing old pin descriptions. It does not make a difference anymore. Instead, pin fresh pins with new descriptions that match the blog/page titles and make it your mission to do it right the first time with future content.
Recommended reading: How to Use Keywords on Pinterest
DON’T USE ALT TEXT FOR PIN DESCRIPTIONS
Another way to optimize your website for Pinterest is to use alt text for its intended purpose.
Nowadays it’s a common practice to use alt text to add Pinterest descriptions to an image. However, this can hurt your SEO. Alt-text is meant for screen readers for visually impaired people, search engines and for displaying text if the image fails to load. It is not designed for keyword and hashtag heavy text like a Pinterest description. Google only sees the first 16 words and uses accessibility as a ranking factor, which means that websites that properly use the alt text tag have better SEO. So you might want to move away from that practice.
What’s the alternative? Pinterest has its own attributes for Pinterest-optimized descriptions and displaying pin images. You can use them by hand or, if you don’t pair well with code, install premium plugins such as Social Warfare Pro or Tasty Pins. These plugins let you use Pinterest attributes via an interface. Read more about those plugins here.
Read: Pinterest attributes
INSTALL HOVER PIN BUTTON AND SOCIAL SHARING BUTTONS
Now that we’ve got the technical stuff out of the way, let’s talk about how you can increase your Pinterest traffic and pin rate.
First off, pin it buttons are currently a bit undervalued but it’s a great way to make it easier for your readers to share your content. It’s a button that is displayed somewhere on your website images and when clicked, the user can save your post to their Pinterest board in just a few clicks. I have a whole post about how to get one for your WordPress site in three ways.
Recommended reading: Make Pinning Easy! How to Add A Pin It Button to Your Website
Social buttons also make it easier to share your content, increase traffic, drive engagement and help your content gain exposure. Before you install any buttons, think about your target customer/reader and where they hang out. Make sure to not overstuff your buttons, only provide buttons for sites where your readers are more likely to spend time.
INSTALL A PINTEREST WIDGET
Similarly to pin and social sharing buttons, a Pinterest widget makes it easier for your readers to pin your content, see what you’re up to on Pinterest and follow you. A great place to put it is in your sidebar. Pinterest itself has a widget builder that lets you create your own widgets.
The most common way to include a Pinterest widget is to use the profile or board widgets. The profile widget shows your latest pin activity. Board widget displays 30 of the latest pins from a board of your choice. The board widget is great if you want to display the content of your brand board or just a specific board related to your niche.
What if you don’t have a sidebar or want the widget to stand out? In this case, your best bet is to install a third-party Pinterest widget such as Milotree.
Milotree Pinterest widget looks very similar to the official Pinterest widget but is displayed as a pop-up on the right or left side of the page. The goal of MiloTree is to grow your Pinterest (or Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and email) organically. People are more likely to click through to your profile if they don’t have to scroll up to the header to find the link.
BONUS: TITLE PHOTO FILES CORRECTLY
Pinterest has recently said that keyworded file names are not included in their SEO. However, keywording file names is a good SEO practice in general and it does affect how Google treats your content.
Search engines can’t see what’s on the image, they only understand the file name, so it’s important to include the keyword in the title.
What does that mean? Say your blog post is about homebaked carrot muffins and you even have homebaked carrot muffins on the pin image, but the image is called “DSC_56789”. That filename says nothing to a search engine. Instead, your file should be called something like “homebaked-carrot-muffins.png”. The file name should be descriptive of what’s on the image. Make sure to use keywords.
BEFORE YOU GO, PIN THIS