How to Prepare Your Pins for the Smart Feed | A Free Pinterest Checklist for Bloggers

If you're a creative, with business online + you want your content discovered, you should be pinning it on Pinterest.  

It's as simple as that.

However, just writing a blog post + slapping an image up is NOT going to get you very far.  Before you post, there are a handful of things that you can do to your images to give them a better chance of being repinned on Pinterest.  Repins lead to click-throughs, allowing others to discover your products or services + could potentially cause your content to go viral. 

If you remember in a previous post HERE, I talked about Pinterest's SMART FEED + how it ranks the highest quality pins, showing them on the top of the feed, and how this ranking is based on a few different factors.  Similar to preparing your written content for ranking in a Google search, your images need to be SEO optimized for Pinterest in order for them to be seen.  

How to optimize every image on your blog for Pinterest before hitting publish | Preparing your blog for the Smart Feed.

To break it down, Pinterest awards a higher ranking to pins that are thought to contain more valuable content + have higher quality images.  These pins also receive more engagement through likes, repins + click-throughs.  With the addition of the Smart Feed, you won't see all of the images pinned by every person you follow- only the highest quality ones.  And, you will now see pins from people you DONT FOLLOW, based on pins related to others you've saved.   Pinterest can actually even show you pins related to your interests, personally curated + based on your online searching habits.  (P.S. You can turn this "Personalization" off in your account settings if you don't want Pinterest "spying" on you, haha). 

What I'm getting at is that there is a ton of competition out there + you work hard creating your content.  Why not give your images a fighting chance to be seen by the masses?  Throw out the right bait, and reel in the BIG ONES, #amiright ?

Let me get back to the main point, which is explaining what Pinterest looks for when ranking pins + how to prepare your images for pinning domination.  



First things first, in Pinterest-land, looks matter.  You should always start with a beautiful, hi-quality photo or a well designed graphic image to grab the attention of your intended audience.  Take a second to look at the main feed of Pinterest.  Click on the Popular page, and notice which images jump out first.  What colors are they using + what fonts?  Did you know that vertical images with a 2:3 or 4:5 ratio actually get pinned 60% more than others?  I guess size matters too... #thatswhatshesaid #sorry #imdone



Once you have the perfect visual sidekick to your content, you should name it something descriptive.  A photo straight out of your camera will have a generic name like IMG_1234.  Leaving it that way can totally kill your SEO.  Before you upload your image on your post, change the name to include important keywords + explain what the image is.  Additionally, make sure you fill in your ALT text + image descriptions every time you add media to your website or blog.  There are tutorials that will show you where to enter this type of information, it just depends on what you use to host your site.  



Always enter a detailed description for your pins.  You definitely don't want to just repeat the image title or the headline of your blog.  Because of Pinterest's ranking system, you'll want to fill this valuable space with a keyword rich description (20 characters minimum).  This is your opportunity to write compelling copy that invites a reader to click through your image to get the full story.  Try to answer this question for your audience, "What will I learn/see/ get when I click on this?"  

Sidenote, DO NOT USE HASHTAGS.  This does nothing on Pinterest.  In fact, it could actually hurt your chances of being found on the Smart Feed.   



Pinterest takes repins, likes + comments into account when ranking.  If you are taking the time to post truly valuable content with keyword rich descriptions + visually exciting images, you should be GOLDEN.  

Here's a tip:  If you notice that no one is engaging with your pins, try deleting + rescheduling them for different times/days to see if they work better.  I talk in detail about scheduling HERE.  If you're still not getting any bites- maybe you need to change up your image or description.   



A business account on Pinterest doesn't look or function differently than a personal account, and it doesn't cost anything.  You can learn how to switch from a personal account to a business one here.  Setting your account up as a business allows you track your analytics, which will help you to track different pin's performance.  You can also set up Rich Pins or Buyable Pins through a business account. 


While there is a bit of work up-front when preparing your pins for Pinterest, the pay-off is definitely worth it.  By completing these steps on every image, you are allowing Pinterest to find your work + share it with others.  It ensures that each time someone pins an image from your site, it's already fully optimized with the description + keywords that you want other pinners to see.  

And to make it all just a little easier on you, I have created a checklist that you can download right now, so you can make sure each image is pin-worthy before you post.  


P.S. It's editable so you won't even have to print it out! 

I hope this answers some questions about why optimizing your images for pinning is important.  Do you have any other tips on prepping pins?  Leave them in the comments below!