While Pinterest is a huge marketing opportunity for bloggers, there’s one important traffic source that gets overlooked a lot in the blogging world – the search engine. I’m as guilty as anyone of not being more mindful of my Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and unfortunately I’ve allowed my Pinterest marketing to effect my SEO for far too long by not learning how to optimize images for both Pinterest and Google.
So what is this big mistake you’re making with your pinnable images? Well, you’ve probably been taught to use your Alt Text area to create your Pinterest description because that’s a place Pinterest and Tailwind looks for it. The problem is… we’ve all been hurting our SEO and worse, our audience’s user experience (particularly for those that are visually impaired) because the Alt Text is meant for describing the image – not for our long Pinterest description and it’s many hashtags. #oops
So what is a Pinterest Description?
Your Pinterest description is the information displayed along with the pin image on Pinterest. When you pin an image from your website, it looks for your description and then auto-populates it on Pinterest. This description aids in your content being found on Pinterest.
Where does Pinterest get the description from?
There are a few places that Pinterest looks for your description, one of which is the Alt Text attribute you may have been taught to use (maybe even by me – hey, I’m not perfect okay?). But there’s other (better) ways to give Pinterest the same information. Here’s a few ways Pinterest can get your description:
- The image’s “data-pin-description”
- The Alt Text attribute
- The title of your page
The best way to provide your description to Pinterest
If you’re asking yourself “What the heck is the data-pin-description?”, don’t worry… it’s not nearly as scary as it looks, and I’m going to show you 2 different ways by which you can provide that information so that you are giving Pinterest your pin description the correct way.
Most pinners utilize the official Pinterest buttons and/or the buttons from Tailwind. This button is designed to look first for your “data-pin-description”. If it doesn’t find one, it looks for your Alt Text attribute, followed by the title of your page.
Option 1: Coding it yourself
The first way is to use a text editor to write out the code for your image and include the appropriate tags. For reference, here’s what they typically look like…
This way is very simple to do, but it can be uncomfortable for some who maybe aren’t used to writing out HTML. That’s where Option 2 comes in.
Option 2: Using a plugin
I’m using a plugin called Tasty Pins by WPTasty which provides you with tools you’re probably much more familiar with so that it’s easy to insert your Pinterest description without sacrificing the SEO power of your Alt Attribute.
Check out this image for example…
Notice that the plugin has given me a place now for my Pinterest description. Now I can input the description at upload, plus have a place for my alternate text.
When you insert the image into the post, the code will look like what I taught you in Option 1 – without you having to write out all of the code yourself.
Why does this even matter?
A third of all Google searches is for images! It’s no wonder Pinterest is so popular – people love searching for visuals. By not utilizing your Alt Attribute correctly, you’re harming your SEO and ruining your chances of appearing in search.
Have you ever Googled yourself? It’s not nearly as vain as it sounds, honest. I do it often in Incognito mode. It gives me a better understanding of what other people are finding when they search for my name (seriously… my name is my TOP keyword search in Google Console and has been for like, ever).
Give it a try. Open up Chrome or your browser of choice in Incognito mode (this will prevent Google from showing you biased search results) and search for some keywords you want to rank for. Don’t see your images there? If you’re not utilizing your Alt Attribute correctly, you may not be showing up in results like you could be!
Which option will you use?
Are you going to use the data-pin-description code, or go the plugin route? Let me know in the comments below!