How to Optimize Your Images for Pinterest

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Creating great images is not enough: For better Pinterest visibility you need to optimize your images alt text and add rich markup.

Pinterest can be a major search of traffic. The great thing about Pinterest is that the life of a pin can be ridiculously long. I still have pins that I added two years ago and they still receive 2-3 re-pins (and thus more traffic) every week as of today.

Obviously, to reach that channel, you need awesome images added to your site pages to prompt people to share them on Pinterest. I have listed some awesome tools to create pinnable visual content here.

But creating images is not enough: for better Pinterest visibility you need to do more homework. Here are some tips on how to get optimize your images for Pinterest stream and search.

1. How does a pin get generated?

Whenever anyone pins an image from the web page using "Pin it" button, by default Pinterest would grab alternative text of the image.

How to optimize images for pinterest

 That description is what people see below your pinned image whenever they read their Pinterest stream, search Pinterest or browse your Pinterest profile.

Related ArticleHow Business.com and other B2B Marketers Use Pinterest Effectively

How to optimize images for Pinterest

The pin description is also what plays the major role in Pinterest search: That's what Pinterest indexes and retrieves keywords from to understand what the image is about.

2. Optimize your alt text

That makes the alt text a very important part of your images - something you want to make more descriptive and eye-catching.

BrightonCormac shared a cool idea of using traditional keyword tools (like the free ones based on Google, Bing, Amazon and Youtube suggest results) to give more meaningful context to your image alt text (to make images easier to find).

If you own an ecommerce site, adding a call-to-action to your alt text is another smart idea (While not making it sound spammy). This way your Pinterest traffic will have better chances to convert because most people will see the text and click the link with the specific call to action in mind (relevant intent).

Another great trick for ecommerce sites is to add product specifications to the alt text. Think about all those people who pin images from ecommerce sites in order to bookmark the page for the holiday wishlist or a shopping list. Having those product specs in their shopping list is very handy and will probably prompt the user to buy from you!

Related Article5 Changes Instagram Should Make to Cater to Marketers

Deal Pursue is one the best examples of how to use Pinterest descriptions. Try pinning any of their deals: By default the pin description will contain most convincing information of why that must be the best deal:

How to optimize images for Pinterest

3. Take advantage of rich pins

Like most social media networks, Pinterest supports rich markup enabling you to better explain to search bots what matters most on the page. Here's supported markup and types of rich pins. Both Schema.org and Open Graph work for creating those.

With rich pins you can have more than just a description retrieved for any image. For example, an article rich pin will also contain more information from the pinned page:

  • Domain the images is being pinned from
  • The title retrieved from the page where the pin is coming from
  • The associated page author
  • The business name and the favicon
  • The associated page meta-description

And only then follows the actual image description we discussed above:

How to optimize images for Pinterest

All that information (except for the meta description and the author) also makes it to the streams and search results making the pin more eye-catching:

How to optimize images for Pinterst

Judging from my personal Pinterest analytics, rich pins generally get more impressions, interactions and clicks.

You can use Schema.org generators as well as Open Graph Wordpress plugins to enable rich pins for your blog. There's also an official rich pin validator to run your pages through.

Are you optimizing your images for Pinterest stream and search? 

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