How to Optimize Photos for Pinterest

Thursday, July 4, 2013

How to Optimize Photos for Pinterest

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How to Opitmize Photos for Pinterest

How to Optimize Photos for PinterestWelcome to the Blogging Crash Course! Helping you grow your blog into the powerhouse you know it can be!

Last week, we looked at the importance of watermarking photos. This week, we continue our photo discussion and talk about how to optimize your photos for Pinterest. 


If you haven't read the watermarking photos post, then I suggest you start there and then come back as watermarking is especially important for Pinterest. 

This week we're going to talk about a few Pinterest tips to help with getting your photos noticed, including titles, the often overlooked alt text, file names and keyword best practice. If you've wondered how to get your photos on the search results pages of Pinterest, then this is the tutorial for you! All right, let's go!



While meal planning for July, I did a quick Pinterest search for slowcooker recipes. To my surprise as I was scrolling through the first set of pins, I noticed a familiar post: one of my own photos had made it to the top of the Pinterest search results!

Pinterest Search Results for Slowcooker Recipes

Intrigued, I did searches for other relevant terms to see if any of my other pins were benefiting from top billing and they were!

Before we go on, let me say: I'm not a Pinterest expert and I'm not addicted to Pinterest. I pin sporadically at best and mostly from my iPod when I'm watching TV or in bed, before going to sleep or ... in the loo! (That Pinterest app is just so damn handy!) That said, I'm only sharing with you what I do and what has clearly worked for me.

Optimizing Photos for Pinterest with Keywords
Without rehashing the entire watermarking photos post, if you watermark at least one blog photo with the title of the recipe or post, you'll already have keywords for plugging into your image title, your blog post's URL and your Pinterest description.

Ensuring that your title watermark matches your image's file name and the keywords in your post's URL and the keywords in your Pinterest description is the best combination for pumping SEO attention to your blog and your pin. Since text as an image can't be read by search engines, it won't boost your SEO. However, it will make it easy for you to come up with  consistent keywords for a specific post.

Here's an example:

Optimizing Photos for Pinterest Tutorial Editing Title and Alt Text
 The main keywords I wanted to use for this post were: smothered, pork chops, kale and mustard.
So I made sure to use them in the title watermarking for this photo.

I also used them in the post's URL like this:
http://anyonitanibbles.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/southern-smothered-pork-chops-kale-crisps-mustard-mash.html

The Pinterest description for my title watermarked photo is simply: "Southern Smothered Pork Chops with Kale Crisps and Mustard Mash"

But using keywords in those three ways alone isn't enough to really get the attention I want on Pinterest. So I've upped the ante by including my keywords in the image's file name on my computer and in the image's title and alt text in my entry.

The file name for that specific photo on my computer is: "pin_southeren smothered pork chops kale crips mustard mash.jpeg"

When I insert the photo into my blog post, I make sure I edit the title and alt text to include my keywords as well. Like this:

How to Optimize Photos for Pintrest Editing Title and Alt Text
How to Optimise Photos for Pinterest Add Keywords to Title and Alt Text
How to Optimise Photos for Pinterest Amplify your Images with Keywords

Pinterest Descriptions that Write Themselves
There are loads of benefits to editing the alt text of your images, but the most important one in terms of Pinterest optimization is this:

Pinterest pulls the description for your pins from the alt text!

Test it! When you try to pin the image of the Southern Smothered Pork Chops, you'll notice that the pin's description is auto-filled with the contents of my alt text field.

If you fail to edit the alt text of your photos, the pin description will default to your image's file name. In this case, if I had failed to alter the alt text, the description would have said: "pin_southeren smothered pork chops kale crisps mustard mash".

But what if I had failed to change the image's file name to reflect my keywords? The default pin description would then reflect the image's number and would look something like this: IMG_07584. In short, I would be losing out on valuable keywords.

With your photos optimized for Pinterest from the on start, you'll find that your Pinterest descriptions practically write themselves. What's more, when other people pin from your blog, the description of their pins will automatically include the most pertinent information. In my own Pinterest experience, if I pin something and the description is already filled in with the important information (and not too much of it!) I don't tend to change what the description is.

It may seem a bit labor intensive, but this method really pays off. By having my keywords plugged in so heavily, I benefit from appearing at the top of Pinterest search results with any combination of search items I put in.

For instance, here's what I get when I do a search for kale crisps:
How to Optimise Photos for Pintrest Search Results for Kale Crisps


Want to know more about alt text? Check out these articles here and here.

I hope this quick tutorial of how to optimize photos for Pinterest has been helpful for you! Be sure to come back next week, when we'll be discussing the Golden Rules of Guest Posting!

37 comments:

  1. Meredith/GreenCircleGroveJuly 4, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Great tutorial! I will be using your ideas. I saw this on Thursday Favorite Things.

    Thank you.

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    1. You're welcome, Meredith! :) Glad you found it helpful!

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  2. I reallly struggle with getting high up on pinterest and it always seems to happen by accident! thanks for this great tutorial! gonna go give it a try :)

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    1. No worries, Holly! :) I'd love to hear how it goes for you!

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  3. Mindblown! I did not know a thing about this; using your suggestions going forward. Thanks!

    Kim @ *Soliloquy Of Food & Such*

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  4. Great tips thanks - I must admit that people not filling in the alt tag is one of my biggest bugbears!

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    1. Hahaha! Oh, good! I thought I was the only one who grumbled at blank alt tags! :)

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  6. Love this Anyonita! I'm always up for your tutorials because it's the stuff I need to learn! :) Come share it at our weekly link party http://www.theprincessandhercowboys.com/2013/07/on-display-monday-9.html

    Thanks again and hope you are well!

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  7. Thanks so much. I've recently learned about the Alt Text, but didn't know how Pinterest used it. I'm visiting from On Display Monday (@ Snippets of Inspiration and others).

    Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Christy! :) Yes, not many people know about the alt tag!

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  8. This is awesome! I didn't know that about the Image Properties, thanks so much!

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  9. I'm trying to get better with the alt text, because it also affects people being able to steal your photos. If your name is in the photo alt text, it will still link back to you/your website :) I LOVE pinterest a little bit too much!!! I need to try and search and see where my recipes pop up :) Thanks Anyonita!!!

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    1. Oh, Lisa! I didn't even know that about that alt tag! Thanks for informing me! :)

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  10. MrsNibbles, excuse me while I scream:

    AAARRGGHHH!!! Social media!!!

    But I know that if I want my blog to be a success, I will have to utilize these options to the best of my ability. I've been on twitter for so long, but I am starting to communicate more on it. I've always had a facebook page so that wasn't a big deal. This Pinterest thang is interesting though. I just signed up late last month and I only have two pictures that I've pinned. I will get to more pinnings, though.

    Thanks so much for the advice because I will definitely use it.

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    1. Haha, I understand your frustrations with social media, but you're right, it's so vital to the success of blogs! Good luck with Pinterest! :) I'll see if I can find you & help you get into the pinning a bit more!

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  11. Thanks for the awesome tutorial! Pinning!

    Ritchil
    http://chengand3kids.blogspot.com/

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  12. Awesome tips, thanks for sharing! Visiting today from Ducks In A Row Wonderful Wednesday hop.

    Michelle @ On A Wing And A Prayer

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  13. Thank so so so much!

    And yes yes yes on optimizing alt tags, descriptions and image titles. Search tools cannot read the text on images so keywords and hashtags there will not help as much. That's for user purposes.

    And I looooooove Macarons but haven't found any good ones since my one trip to Paris :(

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    1. You're very right, Kit! :) That's exactly the point of alt tags! :)
      Like you, I couldn't find any good macarons outside of Paris, so I decided to learn to make my own & started my macaron business! :) You should check it out: http://www.themightymacaron.com

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  14. Thanks so much for your help here. Is there an image size that is best for pinterest too? I have noticed that some pictures are larger than mine, and I'm wondering if I am doing something wrong....thanks again!

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    1. Hi Renee, I'm not sure there's an official size, but I would say try not to use anything smaller than 600x400. Hope this helps! :)

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  15. Nice tutorial. I am pinning it to my Blog Stuff board. Thanks for sharing it. Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

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  16. Very interesting Anyonita! I have to bookmark it to read it again! wow...who would have known! came over to visit you from The Princess and Her Cowboys party
    Lizy@http://justdipitinchocolate.blogspot.com/

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  17. Tank you so much for always sharing your tips. I am only 7 months into blogging and still learning by the day. I used to think I was tech savvy...now I know how my parents feel...I am LOST! Thanks for sharing at the Friday Follow Along at www.frugalfitfamily.com and sorry it took so long to swing by!

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  18. Lol Awww Heather, it'll all come! :)

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  19. I'm drowning too...lol. I feel like I'm getting bombarded with so much stuff. You have a lot of great tips on your blog. Thanks for sharing the info.

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  20. Anyonita, I am CRAZY about this post!!!! Thank you thank you thank you, you must have a crystal ball to know exactly what I'm needing to see!! Awesome.

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  21. Hi Anyonita, I filled in the alt text with the description I want for my photo, but it will only post the title of the photo. I followed your directions, but perhaps I am missing something?

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    1. Hi Sammi,
      Could you provide the URL to your site? I'd be happy to take a look and try to work out what is happening. :)

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