Pinterest is the most powerful traffic driver of all social media platforms but can be confusing to understand and use for business. Getting the click – and a website visit – is the ultimate goal of a Pinterest strategy, but it only happens if you’ve done everything right and the stars align.
Without further ado, these are five simple rules and tips you need to know for designing Pinterest images that convert.
Create Pinterest-specific images
I know, I know.
You work hard on your social media content and want to leverage it any way you can. Cross-posting your Instagram images to Pinterest is perfectly fine. It’s encouraged to claim ownership of your handle in profile settings so your Instagram content is tied to your Pinterest profile.
However, the focus of your Pinterest content strategy should be images designed specifically for Pinterest.
A Pinterest-specific image is vertical and taller than it is wider. The rule of thumb for optimal pins is 2:3 ratio. Current recommendation is 1000×1500 pixels. Pinterest image specifications are a subject to change. If you’re reading this in the future, check the Pinterest best practices page for the most up-to-date sizes.
Apply your branding
Branded pins form a uniform look that distinguishes you from your competitors and improves the brand experience for your audience.
So what’s the right mindset for creating pins? Think of your pins as part of your brand. They operate as an extension of your website. When your audience clicks on your pin (keep in mind pins also show up in Google search results) and lands on your website, the journey should be seamless in terms of look and feel.
Branding can make a stock Pinterest template yours.
So how can you brand your pins?
- Use your brand fonts in the same hierarchy as on your website.
- Apply your color palette.
- Use your brand elements and shapes to make your pins distinctive.
- Borrow layout design ideas from your website.
- Always add your brand name: wordmark, logo, or URL (yourbrand.com).
- Use brand photography.
Make it readable
Super small fonts are an aesthetic choice for some, but it’s not what drives the clicks. Let me put it this way: if I can’t read it, I ain’t clicking.
Pinterest says that 85% of its users are browsing on mobile. This number has steadily gone up over the past few years and will likely continue to do so.
I don’t mean to sound like Captain Obvious here, but what seems large enough on a desktop computer may not necessarily be readable on a phone screen. If in doubt, upload your test images to a secret board and preview them on your phone.
Color contrast also affects readability. For example, white text on a light background is unreadable.
Get to the point with your copy
Okay, now your pins are looking good. It’s time to polish the message.
Your pins are not meant to hold a ton of information and extraneous details. Considering that Pinterest is very visual and people’s attention spans are declining, a concise text overlay is the way to go.
So get to the point. What’s on the other side of the pin?
This is about your audience. What’s in it for them? Why did you create that piece of content? How does it help them overcome their challenge? Can you appeal to their emotional needs?
Pinterest loves a call to action! Want to grow your email list with a freebie? Launched an online course? Want more people to see your Instagram reels? Seeing is believing, so plaster your product or a mockup on the pin and remind them to check it out.
Don’t forget keywords
Last but not least, you must give an offering to the Pinterest SEO gods.
Nah, I’m just kidding (sort of).
There’s no need to sacrifice your firstborn, but throwing in some appropriate and researched keywords helps Pinterest show your pin in all the right places.
Remember, Pinterest is a search engine.
Here are some quick tips for keywording your pin images.
- Name your image before uploading with keywords, not gibberish.
- Write a pin title. It’s a short prominent text next to your pin, meant to provide more context for Pinterest and your audience.
- Fill in the pin description. Just because it’s not always visible, doesn’t mean it’s not working in the background. Set the expectations by writing in natural language and complete sentences (vs listing keywords), include 2-4 most relevant keywords and put the most compelling message in the beginning. Lastly, ask them to do something!
A good way to study the art of creating pins is to collect pins that make YOU click. Create a secret board and every time you come across a pin that stands out to you, save it on that board. Study what they have in common. What made you click?
Similarly, pay attention to your own pins and how they perform, and try to find common themes.
Creative and SEO best practices aside, it often comes down to experimenting, especially as a Pinterest newbie. Get creative, switch up the copy and design, and see what resonates.
About the author
Maris Lainemäe is a Pinterest Marketing Strategist and the owner of Jungle Soul Collective. She specializes in working with women-led service-based businesses that are ready to use Pinterest to attract, connect with, and convert their dream clients.