How to optimize your blog for Pinterest

I remember when I first joined Pinterest — it was still in beta, and I had to wait a month for my invitation to come through. All the top lifestyle bloggers were early adopters, using it to pin inspiration for home decor, fashion, DIY projects, and other gorgeous photos. No one would dream of pinning an image with text on it!

Fast-forward almost seven (!!!) years, and my Pinterest feed is covered with inspiration for every area of life — not just outfits and recipes, but tips for blogging, social media, business, and more. Pinterest has become a search engine in its own right. In fact, I find myself turning to Pinterest to find answers almost as often as Google! With a few simple tweaks, you can make the most of Pinterest for your blog and start driving more traffic to your site. In this post, I’m sharing these tweaks for how to optimize your blog for Pinterest. The first three can be done in less than an hour, and the last two are simple tweaks to your blog processes.

How to optimize your blog for Pinterest

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1. Confirm your website

Confirming your website with Pinterest does a couple of things. First, it adds your profile picture and link to any pin that comes from your site — which means that anytime someone pins your content, they are also increasing exposure to your Pinterest profile automatically. Second, it allows you to access Pinterest analytics to see what people are pinning from your site — so you can create similar content in the future!

To confirm your website, install the Yoast SEO plugin (which I highly recommend for improving your SEO anyway!). Then go to the SEO section in WordPress and navigate to the Social tab. Within that, look for the Pinterest tab. It has a field to enter the meta tag to confirm your site. Get your meta tag from your Pinterest profile, under Account settings, in the website field. Click the link to confirm your website and it will generate the meta tag that you need to copy and paste into Yoast SEO.

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2. Enable rich pins

By default, Pinterest includes very little information about a pin — it simply shows the image, the link, and a button to visit. Rich pins add a lot more information to anything pinned from your site, automatically. Follow my tutorial for enabling rich pins over here.

3. Add a pin-it hover button

If you want people to take action on your site, then you want to make it easy for them to do so. So if you want people to pin your images, the best way to get them to do so is to make it as easy as possible with a pin it button on your images! I highly recommend the Social Warfare plugin (affiliate) and use it on this site. While there are a number of pin-it hover button options out there, Social Warfare is my favorite because it takes the functionality a step further by allowing you to easily set the default Pinterest description for your pins. It also even allows you to easily add a hidden image specifically for Pinterest if the vertical style that’s optimal for Pinterest graphics isn’t right for your blog. Furthermore, it allows you to set a default image for their sharing buttons. However, if that’s more functionality than you want or need for your site, check out my tutorial for adding a pin it hover to your images over here.

4. Create pin-friendly graphics

If you’re already creating graphics for your blog posts, be sure to include at least one pin-friendly graphic. The recommended size is a 2:3 ratio. Since my content width is 700, I make my graphics 700 x 1050. I have a template for my graphics to speed up the process.

Since my blog is for tips and tutorials, it’s common and accepted for me to feature a blog post graphic with a text overlay. But if you’re a lifestyle blogger featuring gorgeous photography, naturally you won’t want to clutter up your blog with text overlays on your photos. Gorgeous photography typically performs well on Pinterest anyway, so just make sure that you’ve included at least one image at the 2:3 ratio. If it’s an evergreen post with some type of tutorial element, like a DIY or recipe, consider adding a hidden image specifically for pinning with a text overlay. That way the text will catch attention on Pinterest but will not detract from the content on your blog. You can use Social Warfare to add a hidden pin image, or follow this tutorial from Kimberly Herrington.

5. Search for blog topics

If you want people to pin your posts, it makes sense to pay attention to what they’re already pinning, right? Pinterest makes it super easy to find what people are searching for already. Just search for a broader topic that you already write about, and you’ll find a list of related searches at the top that are more specific, in order of popularity. Here’s a search for one of my topics, WordPress:

How to optimize your blog for Pinterest

See that bar at the top? That tells me that people are looking for posts for beginners, on themes, tips, and tutorials. I can click on any of those subtopics to get even more specific — for example, “step by step” is really popular for WordPress beginners. So a potential blog post for me might be “How to start your WordPress blog, step by step.” Then you can check out the top results for more inspiration. Here you can see that information on plugins, tutorials, and widgets are popular, so I might write a blog post about my top 5 must-have plugins for WordPress beginners.

[clickToTweet tweet=”If you want people to pin your posts, pay attention to what they’re already pinning.” quote=”If you want people to pin your posts, pay attention to what they’re already pinning.”]

You don’t have to spend too much time on Pinterest to get ideas — just spend a few minutes searching within your niche to generate a bunch of ideas that you can refine later. After all, it’s much easier to refine an idea you already have rather than starting from scratch (or a blank WordPress editor!). Also, I like to do a quick Pinterest search as I’m writing a blog post to see if there’s a different angle I could approach or another way to write my blog post title to match what people are looking for.

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P.S. Once you’ve made your blog Pinterest friendly, don’t forget to share your profile link on your site! Learn how to create a social media menu in WordPress.