Food & DIY Bloggers: Pinterest isn’t listening to you!
How to Make Your Photos Perfectly Pinnable
Optimize for Pinterest (without making Google mad) in 10 minutes
According to Moz.com, Pinterest is in the top 10 of the most important websites in the world and second only to Facebook in terms of its ability to drive traffic via social media.
While everyone thinks of having quality images on their site as essential to performing well on the platform, the text that describes those images can be just as important. This text appears below an about-to-be-pinned image and is saved along with the pin. When optimized correctly, this text increases the likelihood of the image being found in a relevant search – likely resulting in traffic to your site.
Pinterest has become a search engine, so you have to learn to speak “search” as a blogger.
Traditionally, Pinterest most commonly selects the alt attribute (sometimes called alt tag) of an image to use as the default pin description. If you follow blogging best practices, you know that you should always include an alt value attached to each image.
The alt attribute had a purpose long before Pinterest came along: to describe the image to people that can’t see it (maybe they’re visually impaired, choosing not to load images over a slow connection, etc). At the same time, this attribute is describing to search engines what’s in the picture, something that when done well can improve your site’s SEO.
This original (and still primary!) purpose remains today, and optimizing for it can conflict with what is considered a perfect Pinterest description.
Again, according to Mox.com, good alt text have the following characteristics:
…is sufficiently descriptive, but doesn’t contain any spammy attempts at keyword stuffing
Alt text is, first and foremost, designed to provide text explanations of images for users who are unable to see them
Keep it (relatively) short
The examples given on that show that alt text is not necessarily expected to be a complete sentence.
Contrast this with the optimal Pinterest description, from the folks at WPTasy.com.
Pinterest descriptions should be crafted with search and exploration in mind, utilizing keywords and hashtags (respectively) to reach the maximum number of users on Pinterest.
The author of that article recommends making the description a sentence and using hashtags, pointing out that the latter get high visibility in search results.
Because of these conflicting priorities, Pinterest came up with a new attribute that can be added to images specifically for Pinterest Descriptions – data-pin-description. This allows alt to retain its original purpose while (most) Pinterest Pin buttons will pull the description for this new text.
Let’s take a look at an example from my wife’s site, Kitchen Stewardship.
<img alt=”St Peters Spicy Fish Seasoning with Pan fried fish” data-pin-description=”St. Peter’s Spicy Fish Seasoning – made my husband, the fish hater, tolerate fish! Woo hoo! #meatless #vegetarian #cleaneatingrecipes #realfood” />
As you can see above, the alt attribute sufficiently describes the the photo such that someone not able to see it would be able to tell its contents. At the same time, the data-pin-description will be used as the pin’s description, complete with hashtags and an extra selling point. Yes, the person she’s referring to is me. 😉
How The Blog Fixer can Help
After purchasing our Pin Description optimization service, we’ll work with you to define a set of rules that will automatically add the best data-bin-description value to all of your images.
- Use existing values from your post or images such as alt, title, Yoast meta title, Yoast meta description, post title, or post excerpt.
- Define rules to determine when each is used. Longer or shorter than a specific number of words, not blank, contains or doesn’t contains certain words, etc.
- Add an extra description depending on the category or tag of the post
- Add hashtags depending on the category or tags of the post
For example, on Kitchen Stewardship, we used the following rule set:
- Add or replace data-pin-description to an image if it doesn’t exist or is less than 5 words
- For the first part of the value, use one of the following values:
- alt – If more than 10 words
- Yoast meta title – Yoast meta description – If Yoast meta title is not blank
- Post title – Category based description – If neither of the above two qualify.
- Example Categories and their descriptions:
- Real Food Recipes = “total real food deliciousness from our family to yours!”
- Save the Earth = “natural, eco-friendly and tested by real (busy) families”
- Example Categories and their descriptions:
- Add any number of hashtags at the end based on tag and category. Examples
- meatless = “#meatless #vegetarian”
- gluten free = “#glutenfreerecipes”
- Freezer Cooking = “#freezercooking #freezermeals”
- Real Food Recipes = “#cleaneatingrecipes #realfood”
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