Pinterest is one of the top traffic sources for bloggers, so using it correctly is a great way to enjoy a usage boost. However, if you haven’t used the site before or even looked into it seriously, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed.
After all, it’s a bit different than other social sites because it’s so image-heavy. Fear not! Consider the seven ideas below to be your step-by-step guide to make your blog Pinterest-friendly. Your viewers will appreciate it, and you can anticipate more traffic.
1. Turn on “Rich Pins”
Not long ago, Pinterest introduced a feature called “rich pins.” It allows people to add pins that include metadata to most of their pinned content. For example, there’s an app-centric rich pin that allows people to download an app you suggest without leaving Pinterest, and another one that makes it easy to save articles for later reading.
When setting up rich pins, it’s necessary to add certain metadata to your blog. The easiest way to do that is by downloading the Yoast SEO plugin. After doing that, find the SEO heading on the left-hand menu, then the “Social” section within it. Once you’re on the Social page, click the “Facebook” — yes, that’s right, Facebook — tab on the top and enable the feature that says “Add Open Graph meta data.”
Then, launch Pinterest’s Rich Pin Validator and paste in the URL to any page on your blog. Click the blue “Validate” button. After that, you should get a message that says, “Your pins have been validated,” and it asks you to apply to enable your rich pins.
Click the button to apply. You’ll see a message indicating your information will be reviewed and to keep an eye on your email for correspondence from Pinterest including questions or next steps to take based on your application.
Once approved, your pins will feature your blog’s name and its favicon — the little icon that shows up next to its URL in a browser.
2. Install a Recipe Plugin
Do you blog about foods and give people the resources to make dishes at home? Your blog needs a recipe plugin! WP Ultimate Recipe lives up to its name and is a worthy addition if you have a WordPress blog. It features a recipe-adding shortcode and the capability to easily add photos to every recipe post — a must for Pinterest, after all! It even allows viewers to change ingredient quantities if they’re cooking in bulk amounts.
If you’re a foodie blogger, using a recipe plugin will make your recipe pages rank higher in search results pages. Plus, it streamlines the process you go through for sharing recipes with readers.
3. Make Sure Every Image Has a “Pin It” Button
Part of making your blog truly Pinterest-friendly means inserting things that let Pinterest fans seamlessly do things on Pinterest while reading your blog. One way to do that is to ensure every image has a “Pin It” button. That button lets readers instantly share the images they see in your blog on Pinterest. The buttons promote your site and support Pinterest fans’ habits.
A WordPress plugin called jQuery Pin It Button for Images is a handy option you can use to add the necessary button to every image quickly. We use it here on Rainmaker Collective, in fact! If necessary, you can disable putting the button on images in certain posts, but there’s also a setting within the plugin that adds the button to every image you post, for all-encompassing results.
4. Edit Images to Make Them More Pinterest-Friendly
If you think all images are just as equally primed for Pinterest, think again. The perfect Pinterest photo has a vertical/portrait orientation and is longer than it is wide. A 2:3 aspect ratio is ideal. Also, it needs to feature text describing the image title and a call to action, if appropriate. Before adding text, edit the pictures to your liking, manipulating aspects like brightness and sharpness.
Adobe Photoshop is an excellent tool for making image edits, but PicMonkey’s Image Editor offers a free trial and has many of the same features as Photoshop, plus a library of premium fonts. It’s worth checking out if you’re not ready to invest in Photoshop yet, but you want a hassle-free resource for getting your images prepared for Pinterest. We also recommend Pixlr as a totally free in-browser image editing tool, and Pixelmator for Mac if you want a low cost desktop alternative to Photoshop. Take a methodical approach and have a Pinterest-ready picture in every post.
Want to see an example (and save this post for later)? Just scroll to the bottom of this post!
5. Give Alt Text to Every Image
Alt text, or an alt tag, is something that tells search engines what’s going on in a photograph Think of it like link text, but for a picture. Search engine crawlers can’t see images, but when you add keyword-rich alt text, that approach helps you rank better in search engines for the keywords it contains. Adding alt text in WordPress is simple. After uploading an image in WordPress, click on it to open a window containing boxes where you can add details about the picture.
The “Alt Text” box is the fourth from the top. Type descriptive text there and make sure to think about ways to use keywords wisely. Using alt text is a best practice for on-page SEO, and in most cases, alt text becomes your pin’s description.
6. Embed Pinterest Widgets on Your Site
Pinterest widgets serve as gentle reminders that people can interact with Pinterest and your blog simultaneously. They also show you’re aiming to make your site maximally welcoming to Pinterest users.
There are several widgets you might incorporate into your blog, such as the “Profile” widget, which shows the last 30 things you’ve pinned on Pinterest, or the popular “Save” widget. It allows users to save stuff they see and like on your blog, and then find it on Pinterest. The “Follow” widget encourages people to follow you on Pinterest, helping you gradually grow your following.
Widgets can slow down your site, so using them in sections that appear on every page, such as the sidebar menu, is not wise. Instead, try putting them in every individual post.
7. Join Pinterest Group Boards
A Pinterest group board is a moderated place where invited contributors can pin content to the pinboard. It’s an easy way for you to engage with like-minded Pinterest users. See a group board you’d like to join? Look carefully for instructions from the board administrator explaining how to request an invitation.
As long as the group board relates to your blog’s scope in some way, you can probably post things to the board that spread the word about your blog after officially getting invited. Before diving in and pinning things, though, read the posting rules carefully. If you and other users don’t abide by them, a board admin could close the group.
After reading these tips and explanations, you should feel much more equipped to run a Pinterest-friendly blog. Many of the things you’ve read about here will quickly become habitual — before long, you won’t have to think as hard about whether you’ve done everything necessary to optimize a blog photo for the site. You’ll just do it.
Happy posting and pinning!
Want to save all this useful info for later? We got you covered. Just pin the image below to your blogging board!