Most bloggers that discuss Pinterest marketing talk about the basics of using the platform, such as creating a Business account, using Rich Pins, and optimizing your profile and boards with keywords.
But, as an active and engaged Pinterest user, I see a number of not-so-obvious mistakes that Pinners are making all the time. Many of them can affect how your Pin is shared, and whether it gets clicks back to your website.
In this article, I outline 7 not-so-obvious Pinterest mistakes that are hurting your shares and engagement.
- 1. Using the wrong code in your Pins
- 2. Not writing a good Pin description
- 3. Using the wrong aspect ratio in your images
- 4. Putting your overlay text at the bottom of the Pin
- 5. Not testing multiple Pins for the same post
- 6. Making it hard to find your Pinterest share button
- 7. Hiding your Pins on your post
1. Using the wrong code in your Pins
I see many Pinners using their image’s alt text to generate their Pinterest description. But, the primary purpose of alt text is to describe the photo to visually impaired users, so doing this can harm your website’s usability and search engine optimization (SEO).
In addition, many Pinterest users have no idea how to optimize their Pins so that the correct description gets picked up by Pinterest’s share buttons. Here’s a comparison of how your description appears if you’ve optimized your Pins properly as opposed to not using the proper code.
The Pin on the left was hard coded using the piece of code below. I save it in a text file and modify it for each Pin.
<img src=”THE IMAGE YOU WANT DISPLAYED ON YOUR BLOG” alt=”YOUR ALT TEXT GOES HERE” data-pin-media=”THE IMAGE YOU WANT SHARED ON PINTEREST” data-pin-description=”YOUR PINTEREST PIN DESCRIPTION, KEYWORDS AND HASHTAGS GO HERE” data-pin-url=”YOUR BLOG POST URL” data-pin-id=”YOUR PIN ID AFTER IT IS PINNED TO PINTEREST” />
Note: If you’re confused by what “YOUR PIN ID AFTER IT IS PINNED TO PINTEREST” means, it’s just the number I’ve highlighted in red below. This is your Pin ID that Pinterest assigns to your Pin AFTER you share the image on Pinterest.
You need to copy and paste this number into the code for your Pin, by going back and editing your blog post and then saving the post again.
That way, whenever someone shares this Pin from your blog post, they will end up sharing the Pin that you chose so this pin will get more shares and more chance of going viral on Pinterest.
The code above also helps me ensure that the correct description gets picked up by Pinterest. The image on the right shows how Pins that are not properly coded get picked up by Pinterest. Which one would you rather share?
You can either add the code above manually or automate the process of adding it with the WPTasty plugin for WordPress. This will help you prevent errors that creep in when doing this manually (which happens pretty often).
2. Not writing a good Pin description
Pin descriptions can be up to 500 characters in length, but you don’t have to use up all of that space. According to the blog here, the most repinned and commented on items have descriptions of 200 to 300 words.
Your Pinterest description should include the following:
- Mention the problem or pain point addressed in the blog post
- Tell the Pinterest user how your post solves their problem
- Add a call-to-action such as “Click here” or “Read More” to get the click
- Add a few relevant keywords and no more than 20 hashtags for optimization
DO NOT keyword stuff your descriptions. I see Pinterest users making this mistake all the time. If keyword stuffing didn’t work for Google SEO, it will cease to work on Pinterest too.
When that happens, can you go back and change the spammy descriptions on all your old pins? No, you can’t! Use SEO copywriting best practices to write Pinterest Pin descriptions that both users and Pinterest loves.
Here’s an example of what you can put in your Pin description according to the code above.
alt=”Pinterest Marketing Guide PDF – Learn How To Use Pinterest The Right Way”
data-pin-description=”If you’re a blogger or have an online business, you need Pinterest marketing. Download my Pinterest Marketing Guide PDF, a guide to getting started on Pinterest, and learn how to use Pinterest the right way. Get Pinterest Tips that even the Gurus are not teaching. Pinterest Tips | Pinterest Marketing | How To Use Pinterest | Pinterest Strategy #pinterest #marketing”
According to Pinterest, to pick keywords, think about who you want to see your Pin, and where you want it to appear. You can also start typing your topic into Pinterest search to see recommended topics.
To find the right keywords to add in my description, I use the Pinterest Search feature so I can use the ones that Pinterest users are actually typing into the search bar, and to find the most appropriate keywords for my content.
Pinterest keywords are not necessarily the same as the keywords that people type in on Google.
3. Using the wrong aspect ratio in your images
It bears repeating that Pinterest favours a 2:3 aspect ratio in your Pins and that the preferred Pin size is 600 x 900 pixels. Still, I see Pinterest users Pinning square and horizontal Pins all the time.
If you want your Pins to be displayed properly on mobile devices (which is where 80% of all Pinterest searches happen), you need to use Pinterest’s recommended aspect ratio for your Pins.
This is the ideal anatomy of a Pin, according to Pinterest.
Now, this may be a personal bugbear of mine, but I hate it when people put their Pin overlay text at the bottom of the Pin because it forces me to scroll down to read the text so I can figure out which board to pin it to.
Why on earth would you make it harder for Pinners to Repin your Pins? If you do that, you’re bound to get fewer Repins and less engagement.
5. Not testing multiple Pins for the same post
I’ve been guilty of this mistake too. Sometimes it’s too much trouble to create another Pin for your post when you just spent 30 minutes creating the perfect one.
But creating more than one Pin not only gives you fresh content to Pin (every new Pin image is fresh content in Pinterest’s eyes), but also allows you to test which designs are doing better than others.
For example, I created these 3 Pins for one of my posts before I found that the one in the middle was performing best.
Arrgh! I hate when I click on a blog post that I need to share (since I participate in a number of Facebook groups with sharing threads for Pinterest) and have to search for the sharing buttons to share a post.
If you don’t have easily accessible sharing buttons on your blog, no one’s going to bother looking for them unless they have to.
I don’t understand why that isn’t obvious to other bloggers too, especially when it’s so easy to set up a floating share bar on your blog with free WordPress plugins like AddToAny.
7. Hiding your Pins on your post
Now I know that a lot of bloggers love to use plugins like Social Warfare to hide Pins on their blog and I have to wonder why.
I mean, you’ve gone to all that trouble of creating a bunch of beautiful, Pinnable images for your blog post and you can easily display all of them at the bottom making it easy for readers to click on the one they like best.
So, why would you hide them and make it harder for Pinterest users to find them? I’ve never understood why bloggers would be ashamed to display something they spent so much time and effort slaving over just because they think it makes their blog look a bit cluttered.
Here’s a revelation – it doesn’t make your blog look cluttered if you do it right. And how are you making it easier for readers to Pin your posts when they can’t even see your beautiful Pinnable images until they click the share button?
Are you making any of these Pinterest mistakes on your blog? If so, I hope you found this list useful.
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