I often lump ‘Pinterest’ in with my social media management tasks. I post to the platform, just like I do my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, after all. And I use a scheduler – Tailwind. In reality, though, Pinterest is a search engine like Google or Bing.
Pinterest is an image-based search engine where users look up topics and queries.
This means you should be optimizing your blog and posts for Pinterest, just like you do for the other search engines, to make it easier for searchers to find you. And there are searchers looking for what you offer. There are 150 million Pinterest users on the platform, and while, yes, over 80% of these are women, approximately 40% of new users are men.
Pinterest may also feel like ‘more work’, just like your other social media efforts. I could almost hear the sigh and see the shoulder slump. Thing is, your blog could be on Pinterest, whether you are or not.
Readers can use social share buttons, your URL or the Pinterest extension to add your articles to their feeds. (How to know if they are? Search Pinterest for your titles or check your Google analytics to see if Pinterest is a referral site.)
This means, whether you have your own account or not, your site should be optimized for Pinterest.
These five strategies are simple and straightforward:
- Research keywords – not only is keyword research super helpful for your blog post and search engine optimization, it’s good for Pinterest, too. You’ll need it for the next two points.
- Add conversational alt-tags to your images when you upload them to your site – Normally, this is the description people will see if your image doesn’t load, and what search engines read to determine the image subject. When it comes to Pinterest, this is the text that will show up below your image when someone pins it. A chatty or interesting caption will be attractive to re-pinners.
- Use hashtags – Pinterest doesn’t have limits on hashtags so use them prolifically. Include them in your profile description and each of your board descriptions. You can also add them to your image alt-tags (mentioned previously). You could add them to your pins from other sources, but this is quite a bit of effort with little return on investment.
- Create simple, beautiful images – When a reader pins your post, the image shows up better if you keep the images simple and high resolution. Beauty actually comes in second – no matter how attractive it is, if it’s blurry or pixelated, no one will repin it.
- Add hidden images – Rather than cram a bunch of extra images in your post, I like to hide them instead. When someone uses the Pinterest extension or social share button, all images become visible for your reader to pick from. See below for a quick tutorial.
BONUS: You can also apply to Pinterest for Rich pins. This allows Pinterest to pull metadata from your site. You must have a business account if you’re applying for these (which you should have, anyways, to see analytics and promote your pins).
Adding invisible images to your articles and blog posts:
- When you finish creating your post, add your additional images at the bottom using the ‘insert media’ button.
- Switch to the text view, scroll down to your images and add the following before the image links: <div style=”display:none;”>
- Then, after the image links, close the loop by adding: </div>
- When you switch back to the display view, you shouldn’t see the images. Publish the post.
You can test the images by either using the Pinterest extension for Chrome. Or you can head to your Pinterest account and upload pins using the post URL. All the visible and invisible images should appear.