Viral Graphics And SEO Optimized Images
Lesson 9 Section 3
Creating Graphics That Attract Tons Of Attention
Once you have your boards in place, it’s time to make super pinnable post graphics. Since Pinterest is a very visual platform, the quality of your images is VERY important - it’s one of the biggest factors in whether or not your pins become popular.
These items not only apply to the images you create for your own content but also the content you’re pinning from other people. This means that even if a post is really, really, REALLY good, but it has a crappy image that does not follow these guidelines, it should not end up in your pins. Tweet it, link to it on your blog, but do not pin poorly designed content from other people.
Lesson 9 Video
Examples of what makes an image pin worthy
- High quality photography that represent a product service person using a product or service or reason to use a product or service - Lifestyle images
- Images that evoke emotion or inspire with great visuals quotes or both
- Images that show complete directions on how to do something
- Images that represent a certain step within a process
- Images that display statistics, data and facts on a particular topic infographics
- Header images for a piece of content or a section within content
- Tip lists are pinned and saved more than other images
- Pin your products ensuring they have brand and price showing clearly
Optimal aspect ratio is 2:3. Taller may give less distribution and be cut off in certain parts of the app. Stick with 2:3 or lower. The restrictions differ across the app and mobile platforms. Squares work but 2:3 is best. This recommendation is straight from Pinterest themselves.
Look at the screenshot below: the smaller images are a fraction of the height of the others, the text is almost unreadable, and the number of pins reflects it at only 2. If they had built a better image, they wouldn’t have had to spend a dime at all!
The best image ratio is between 2:3, with a minimum width of 600 pixels. And as you can see above, the images that follow these rules are doing pretty well!
Optimally, 2:3 would be an image around 800 pixels wide by 1200 pixels tall. While Pinterest shy's away from the really tall images, Infographics, Pins with a lot of content, sometimes need a larger format. In that case, you want to go with have a ratio of 1:3.5 would be something like 800 pixels wide by 2,800 pixels tall
(I make the width for all of my images 800px because this allows me to make ONE image that will fit many applications - though I do sometimes crop it to 800x800 for Twitter and Instagram.)
Tall Images Might NOT look good in your content posts
You can fix that by adding images and then wrapping them in a piece of code so they’re hidden until someone goes to pin your post. Type this in exactly as you see it below
<img src="INSERT PIXEL IMAGE URL HERE" alt="ADD SEO TITLE HERE"
data-pin-media="INSERT YOUR PINTEREST IMAGE URL HERE"></div>
Download this image and use it as your pixel image: https://bit.ly/2QGIZ0l
Upload it to your server and replace ="INSERT PIXEL IMAGE URL HERE" with the URL from your server. Then upload the Pin image to your server and replace ="INSERT YOUR PINTEREST IMAGE URL HERE =” with the actual URL of the Pin image. Take the completed code above and paste it directly into the html of the webpage near the bottom and before the closing body tag </body>.
HOW IT WORKS: This is an optimized version of some simpler code found on the web. That short code available slows down your site and the user experience this method does not. It loads a small invisible pixel to you site upon page load. The larger Pin image only loads if they press the pin button. It is a small pixel. When your blog or article loads, it only loads the small pixel and saves bandwidth.
Add in as many huge images as you like and they’ll never make your post a mile long or slow it down again. This solves the issue created If you create several different images that you might want to include in a post, each optimized for a different point made in the article.
A smart simple SEO trick is to always rename your image with a keyword. You should also always fill in the alt tag (when available) with a different but relevant keyword.
Both of these fit into an overall SEO strategy. Just because a particular marketplace or site does not require it, still always follow best practices because many of these sites and marketplaces are still indexed by Google and it matters with Google.
PRO TIP: The half-life of a tweet is 24 minutes, the half-life of a Facebook post is 90 minutes, and the half-life of a Pinterest pin is 3.5 months. Half-life is the amount of time it takes for an item to reach half of its total engagement.
No Site, Marketplaces Only?
It doesn't matter if you have no site as far as SEO and Best Practices are concerned. Remember what we said in the first lesson, people eat with their eyes. You only get one chance at a first impression. Your product images need to be able to sell your products on their own.
Use lifestyle images that the user can relate to. Your goal is to give them a mental image of themselves using the product. Lifestyle images, tasteful branding, and (limited) helpful text on the image is still suggested.
People need help envisioning the item in context. Tell them how they’d use it or style it. If you only have a product shot, add context in a creative description. Tasteful branding doesn’t hurt performance and helps develop trust with an audience and carry your brand association down the line of saves.
Your business is part of your story. It is imperative that you tie your brand to your pins for recognition and awareness. Do not make your brand/logo the focal point of everything you do. You are not selling your brand or logo, you are selling the end result that purchasing your product provides. You want to be associated with the solution, their happiness and satisfaction
PRO TIP: Include your site’s URL on all Pinterest images. The goal is to get your pins saved many times to reach more people with your brand. If you don’t include a URL watermark on your images, people may forget where the idea even originated. This is also a good way to increase brand recognition.
Choosing A Background
Since Pinterest is a highly visual platform, the background of your image is almost as important as your post title.
It needs to accomplish three things:
- Help to demonstrate what your post is about. So you wouldn’t write a post about eye-shadow trends and use a photo of construction equipment.
- Make the text easy to read. Try this trick: once your image is all finished, hit the zoom tool (magnifying glass) in your image editor and shrink it down to about 25 percent. This is about the size it will be when it shows up in that crowded Pinterest grid. Can you still read the text?
- Coordinate with your overall brand. Creating ONE image template that matches the colors, fonts, and overall feel of your website will help to make your pins more recognizable.
You will quickly find content from certain people that you know always provide great content. Take notice how accustomed you get to them when you recognize the branding patterns they use and naturally save their material without reading it.
Noticing their branding, unconsciously reacting and pinning it automatically. Brand recognition is worth its' weight in gold. Consider creating a brand stylesheet with specific reference colors that you use across all platforms.
When you create images for your product listings, also have the different size variations created at that time so you have a marketing package of all of the necessary photos. Use a color or pattern for your background, but images with a photo background (showing people, but not their faces) tend to do better than images with graphic backgrounds.
PRO TIP: Use images without faces in them. Pinterest images that show a still life scene are engaged 23% more than ones with faces in them.
This is where people make their biggest mistakes. They use their Pinterest images as an art project. They toss in lots of fonts and colors and design elements in an attempt to look creative, and it just ends up looking cluttered.
Clutter is VERY difficult to read. Keep it simple, do not over-complicate things.
Text is useful when it explains or contextualizes the image. The image may not tell the whole story of the content. The text can help set the expectation and put it in context.
1 | Choose no more than TWO fonts (one for the main title and one for a tagline, if need be). Thin fonts are very bad for Pinterest - bigger and bolder is better. That is why I prefer fonts like open sans that have multiple font weights - it makes picking fonts a snap!
2 | Choose a contrasting color. If your image is light, use a dark font; if it’s dark, use a light font. Don't be afraid to try things but remember, most are viewing on their phone. It takes an image with proper proportions and contrast to grab their attention.
Which of the images would you click above?
- The first image makes great use of contrast and color, except I would have made the third image a close-up of just one doll for clarity.
- The second image makes poor use of font color.
- The third image is good but serves no purpose. Move the text to the black space and used an image more representative of the point of the pin.
- The last one, is great. It could have been brighter with a little more pop to it, but from a layout angle, looks fine.
3 | Include one or two pops of color to catch people’s eyes as they’re browsing.
Now look at the revisions that I made to the images. Notice how simple text location changes made a huge difference to the middle two pictures. In the first image I put more of a focus on the actual doll. In the last image, I injected color into the wreath and shadow on the text.
These images all work well because the most important part of the text and the thing people will be scanning for is extremely easy to read. The images help to explain what the post is about without having to read the text.
Video - Promoted Carousel
Promoted Carousel is available to businesses on Pinterest looking to achieve brand awareness goals or performance goals like traffic and conversions. This format can present a product’s numerous features, drive additional purchases by showing multiple items in a Pin or increase awareness with a multi-image brand story.
People on Pinterest are uniquely open to inspiration and discovery, so Promoted Carousel allows businesses to tap into that mindset with immersive experiences that create excitement for their products and services.
This concludes Lesson 9 and wraps up Optimizing the Components. We have gone over why Pinterest is important, established the foundation of how to maximize the potential of the platform itself and the optimization of the different components themselves.
The balance of the workshop is Maximizing the full potential of everything that you have learned so far to use Pinterest as a source of warm, motivated traffic. I mentioned at the beginning of the course and I will bring it up again now. As you see traffic coming from Pinterest, be prepared because it may come at you like a tidal wave.
Download and print these documents to follow along at home.