How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

How to Avoid Writing Bad Pinterest Headlines and Get Found

This is one of those topics I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. Ok, here’s the deal. You need to think about what you write on your Pinterest pins as being searchable headlines. Because they are. Searchable, that is. After you read this post, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to write the text for your pins. I call it headline writing because it’s similar. For how to write other types of headlines, you might like this article, Headline Writing: 10 Reasons It’s a Pain in the Asterisk.

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

Pinterest is a Huge Search Engine

This is a thing that many marketers don’t get. Pinterest is a search engine. Pinterest does a lot of stuff that Google doesn’t. Here’s a fantastic article about Pinterest Search, by the way. So if you write “this is great,” or “hoo boy” on an otherwise great pin, nobody is going to find that pin. It could theoretically come across someone’s stream, but for the most part, it will be invisible.

How Do You Search?

How Do You Search?

How Do You Search?

Think about how you search. Get on Pinterest right now and do a search for “carnitas.” Now look at the guided search results. You can refine your search by adding the words “Mexican,” “Slow Cooker,” “Paleo,” etc. If your recipe includes all those terms already, why not include those words in your description?

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Here are some examples of bad, better, and best descriptions, using the carnitas example from the last paragraph:

Bad Headline: Yummy recipe!
Better Headline: Delicious Pork Carnitas Recipe!
Best: Mexican Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas – Super easy pulled pork recipe and an amazing way to get juicy, mouth-watering results!

You can see from your search on Carnitas that the top search results already have quite a few good search terms, plus a beautiful, vertical image.

Description Length

Don’t make the mistake a lot of people make and include only a character or a single word in your pin’s description. Add information that lets other pinners know what is behind the pin. Is there simply an image? Is there a full article about cruises to the Mediterranean? Some studies show that descriptions should be 200 characters long to be the most repinnable.

Best Words

Some words are better than other words for Pinterest. You may want to use your own keywords, if you know them, in your pinned blog posts. Take a look at Mashable’s article most popular searches, by country, for 2015. Can any of them be applied to what you pin? Your pin might not necessarily go viral, but you could get a few more repins by using better terms, even if those words aren’t about mason jars, cats, or DIY pallet projects!

Make Your Description Flow

Make Your Description Flow

Make Your Description Flow

Write in a concise, short sentence, if possible. If you must use a phrase, make sure it makes sense. For instance, if you’re pinning something from your own blog, describe what it’s about and why someone would want to click on the link.

Avoid Hashtags

When Pinterest first appeared on the scene, people used hashtags. Sometimes too many hashtags. Now Pinterest is moving away from hashtags, and if your post has too many hashtags, your pin could be labeled as spam.

Pinterest Image Sizes

No post about Pinterest would be complete without a discussion on pin size. You might have a fabulous description with keywords, but a lousy picture. Don’t do that! Here’s a good article on pin sizes. That said, the longer, skinnier pins do the best on Pinterest.

Study Your Own Pins

Study Your Own Pins! The pin above has been repinned nearly 7,000 times.

Study Your Own Pins

Which of your own pins has been popular? For instance, the pin above continues to be repinned one year after it was pinned! Can you tell why? Repeat what you did with that pin, if possible!

 

 

Comments

  1. Great article. Headlines for Pinterest, like blog posts, matter. Pinterest is all about search. The Hashtag point is spot on. I use my branded tag and 1 other for the core category (#recipes, #gardening etc). If memory serves, they aren’t active on mobile.

    • Hi Robert,
      I used to use hashtags on Pinterest, but lately not at all. In some Pinterest forums, people are recommending going back and deleting them. That might be too much work, but I’m not using them at all at the moment. Let me know how it goes with your branded ones, and if they help. I’m curious!

      Thanks for your comments, as always.

      Sincerely,
      Carol Stephen

  2. Fantastic post full of useful information. People tend to forget that discovery is done by search and words. I think that disconnect comes because it is such a visual medium.

    • Hi Kittie,

      You’re right about the disconnect and the visual nature of Pinterest. Not writing a good description is probably the #1 problem I see with companies who want their pins to be seen! If it’s just a fun pin and for yourself, it doesn’t matter so much. Even then, it’s fun to be able to share with others and writing a good description ensures that interesting pins will be discovered.

      Thank you for commenting!

      Carol

  3. Kittie Walker recommended I read this and I am so glad I did. I think we have great images and pins and it has been so hard to get them out into the feed. Will go back to most recent and see if editing descriptions will help.

    One item I’d love you to comment on is about rewriting descriptions on repins. You don’t hear much about this. I get lazy or run out of time & hardly do it.

    • Hi Roslyn,

      Yes, I’d go back and rewrite descriptions. You can then repin them if you’d like them to be at the top of the feed. If the board has few pins, you might also want to delete the original, older pin. Let me know how that works out!

      Sincerely,
      Carol Stephen

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