Here’s something you probably know about Pinterest if you’re here: Pinterest can drive a lot of traffic to your website. It’s a search engine, so what Pinterest wants is for its users to discover content that fits exactly what they were searching for.
One of the ways Pinterest decides what to show people when they search for something on their platform is by taking pin descriptions into consideration.
So when you’re thinking about how to use Pinterest to get traffic to your site, you should focus on writing keyword-rich pin descriptions that will help your pins show up in searches that your target audience is doing. (That way they can discover your content and hop over to your site!)
Let’s talk about how to write good pin descriptions that drive traffic and help boost your pins in the Pinterest search algorithm. Let’s also discuss what you should do with them once you have them.
Getting a handle on pin descriptions will help make a positive impact on your Pinterest marketing strategy overall, so let’s get to it.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links within this post are affiliate links, which means that I’ll make a commission if you choose to purchase something through them at no extra cost to you. If you do, thank you! If you don’t, thank you for reading anyway. I only recommend stuff I actually use and like and would recommend to a friend.
1.) Use keywords related to your content in your pin descriptions
Ideally, you’ll already have your keyword research in place because you did it before writing your content. But if you didn’t do that, go ahead and start typing in the title of your post or theme of your content and see what exact keywords pop up.
For example, say you wrote a post about freelancing tips. If you type that into the Pinterest search bar, you’ll notice a lot of keyword suggestions pop up. You should see something like this:
These suggestions are keywords that people are actually searching for, which is great info to have because you can use these keywords in your pin descriptions for maximum visibility.
Then, add those keywords to your pin descriptions if possible! You only want to use relevant ones, but this is a good way to find a few more keywords that you may not have already thought of.
Using keywords in your pin descriptions is an absolute must because keywords help Pinterest figure out what your pins are about and what kind of searches they should show up in.
2.) Use all the pin description real estate (500 characters)
This isn’t a hugely important tip, but you have 500 characters to use for your pin descriptions, so you might as well use it. As long as your descriptions sound natural and non-spammy, it’s a good idea to use all of that space when you have time to write longer descriptions. Might as well!
3.) Include a call to action in your pin descriptions
Everything you post online for your business should have a call to action, for the most part. This includes pin descriptions! Most CTAs in pin descriptions will probably be to click over to your blog post, but make sure to explicitly state that. You could also ask them to repin your pin or leave a comment on it. Any kind of engagement will boost your visibility on Pinterest.
Add the most captivating part of your pin descriptions to the beginning, because like with any bit of copywriting on the internet, you hook them with the first thing they read/see. So spend the most time crafting that first sentence, then use the rest of your description to give more context and add more keywords.
4.) Write 5+ pin descriptions for each post or piece of content
Okay, so I know that you probably don’t want to do this, but this is one of the two things that reinvigorated my Pinterest views and traffic last year after some major Pinterest algorithm changes.
Since the focus on Pinterest now is fresh content, I’ve been making more pins for and writing more descriptions for each post.
I have a Google Doc in my blog’s folder that houses 6 pin descriptions for each piece of content that I make. I design 12 pins per post, so each pin description goes out with 2 pin designs throughout the course of a year.
5.) Use hashtags (if you want)
Pinterest has gone back and forth on hashtags. At one point, they didn’t make sense to use in pin descriptions. Then, in 2017, they were advantageous to add because hashtags were clickable on Pinterest.
Now, in 2021, there’s less of an emphasis on hashtags once again, but it definitely doesn’t negatively affect your reach and might actually give you a little boost in the algorithm from time to time. I add 2-4 of them to the end of pin descriptions if I have some extra room, but I don’t worry about deeply researching the hashtags that I use. I save that energy for keyword research because that’s where the real results are.
6.) When you add your pin descriptions to your pins, don’t put them in your alt text
Alt text is an HTML attribute that’s meant for accessibility purposes. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not supposed to be used primarily for SEO. It should be a concise and accurate description of the image, because the alt text is what will be read aloud to someone who cannot see your image.\
You should put your pin description in a whole separate attribute called “data-pin-description” for the best results. You can do this one of two ways.
a.) Manually adding the data-pin-description attribute for each of your pins by adding that code into your image tags. To do this, in WordPress with the classic editor, click “Edit” on the post you want to add a pin description to, then click on the “Text” tab in your editor.
Then, find the code for your pin you want to add the description to and add your data-pin-description code to the very end of it, inside of the closing bracket.
Here’s what one of mine looks like:
b.) Using a plugin to manually add them for you. WP Tasty is a plugin that provides a box that you can fill out to add your Pinterest descrtipion seperately from your alt text, which is exactly what you want, without having to go through the hassle of adding the code manually. It’s a pretty good price point for a premium plugin, too, so if you’d rather not deal with code then this is the way to go.
Wrapping up: How to write Pinterest pin descriptions and where to put them
Okay, y’all, that’s everything I have to teach you about pin descriptions. Don’t neglect them! Here’s a very quick recap for ya:
- Use relevant keywords.
- Use as much of the 500 characters as possible, as long as your description makes sense and sounds natural. Add the “hook” to the beginning, because users will only see the beginning unless they click to expand to read more.
- Include a CTA.
- Write multiple pin descriptions for each post (preferably 5+) to get more variations out there for maximum visibility on Pinterest.
- Try using hashtags when you have extra room in your descriptions.
- Use data-pin-description to add your descriptions to your pins on your website. Alternatively, use a plugin like WP Tasty to help you add them without code.
Do all of that and you’re good to go! Did you learn anything new from this post or are you already a Pinterest marketing master? Comment, because I’d love to hear if you had any takeawys! ?
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