Many marketers focus the majority of their efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, giving little thought to Pinterest. While it is smaller than these other three networks, there is no question that it has a powerful presence in the social media world. Consider the fact that in 2015, more than 25 percent of social network users and 18 percent of internet users in the United States will use Pinterest. Optimizing your image content is key for reaching this demographic of social media users.
Use a portrait orientation for the header image
Pinterest displays images in portrait orientation. This means that if you create header images in portrait orientation, users will see the whole images right from the home page or a search page without having to click through to the pin. Portrait orientation allows you to tell a story much more effectively than you would be able to tell that same story with landscape orientation. For example, if you’re sharing a recipe for soup, you may want to capture several steaming bowls of soup with a fresh basket of bread in the background. It is much easier to set up this composition for portrait orientation. You may also decide to create a portrait oriented collage for the header image with multiple images to give readers a better feel for the content.
Include text on the header image
Aside from writing Alt Attribute tags (see next paragraph) for your header images, you have no control over the captions that users create for your content. While many users include detailed information in their captions, many users don’t. Including text right on the header images ensures that all Pinterest users will know what the content entails. You may want to think about including a logo or URL so that there is no question about the source of the content. Choose easy to read fonts, font sizes, and font colors that don’t distract from the images.
Write an ALT Attribute tag for the header image
An ALT attribute is an attribute of the img tag. It is intended to serve as an alternative for a visual if the image can’t load. Many internet browsers also display the alt text when a user rests his mouse on an image. Pinterest pulls the ALT attribute automatically each time a user pins an image with a tag. Writing these tags increases the odds of having the captions that you want for your content on Pinterest. Keep the ALT attribute concise and use targeted keywords to boost search results.
Mix up your image content and tags
You don’t want your image content to become formulaic. Posting the same type of images over and over again turns off users and can hurt your search engine results. Be authentic and avoid becoming repetitive or boring.
Above all, use high quality, relevant images
Finally, if you’re only going to focus on one aspect of image optimization, it should be the quality of your images. Even without portrait orientation, text, and tags, it’s much more likely that users will pin high quality images. Choose images that are relevant to the given content so that Pinterest users will understand what type of content they’re getting, whether or not a user has included a detailed caption.
Creating optimal Pinterest images is as ongoing process. Don’t stress about overhauling all of your content. Instead implement these strategies for all new content and make updates to older, high traffic content as you can. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different tactics until you settle on the methods that work best for your blog or website.