The Pinterest smart feed decides how to rank pins based on a Pinterest user’s search. In this post, I’ll share what I learned from Pinterest headquarters about the smart feed and share the optimal keywording and Pinterest image techniques.
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Pinterest Smart Feed
If you have been following me for a while, you’ll know that I had the opportunity to visit Pinterest Headquarters in the fall of 2017. I was able to visit again this last week and had a great visit!
I really wanted clarity on a lot of questions, but I focused on asking about the Pinterest Smart Feed. I know that as content creators your real focus is driving traffic to your site. I was SO impressed with Pinterest and their focus on encouraging creators to generate content that not only inspires pinners, but encourages pinners to explore. Discovery that leads to action.
Optimized Pin Size
As a Pinterest strategist, we’ve been confused lately about the optimal pin size. We’ve seen an emphasis from Pinterest on using 600x900px for our pins or, overall, a 2:3 ratio vertical size. If you spend any time in the Pinterest smart feed, you’ll see a wide range of pin sizes. In the past, I think the preference has been ‘bigger is better,’ with large pins stretching down the feed. I got some clarity from Pinterest about this and there is definitely a shift from the longer pins, and the smart feed will begin to reflect this over time, displaying pins that fit a 2:3 ratio that tell a story, inviting pinners to click through to discover engaging content.
Action: Focus on vertical, high quality pin images that use text overlay, tell a story, and are branded with a logo.
Optimized Pin Description
Keywording is still the optimal way to have your pins discovered in the Pinterest Smart Feed. As a Pinterest marketer, I am very interested in the best way to curate pin descriptions. I know that keywords connect pinners to new ideas and hashtags are now in use, but is there an optimal way to write a pin description?
A recent Pinterest webinar said this about pin descriptions:
“Lead with the most important message. The first 65-75 characters show up in the feed and the rest is shown in the close-up. Use the description to add more context to the idea… “
I’ve written about ways to keyword your Pinterest account here, but the main focus, as this webinar suggested, should be using “relevant, user-friendly keywords to maximize your chances for additional distribution.” Do not keyword stuff- the smart feed is picking up on poor keywording strategies. Another thing to emphasize, based on my visit to Pinterest headquarters, is to tell a story in your description! Then, invite users to take action with soft call-to-actions (shop, join, discover) to your content, followed by relevant hashtags.
Action: Craft 2-3 sentences that are keyword rich, catalogue style pin descriptions (plus hashtags!)
There are so many other things on the horizon for Pinterest, and I am so excited to be aligned with a platform that truly cares about inspiring content that is useful and practical for the Pinterest user. As a creative small business, you really need to hone in on your unique value proposition (UVP) and how your content distinctly benefits and solves a problem for your desired audience. With inspiring authentic content, enticing pins, and strategic keywording, you can use Pinterest to grow your visibility and drive sales to your site!
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Kyrsten Sherwood says
This is so helpful, Vanessa!! Thank you for taking he time to break this all down – I totally need to check on what I already have to make sure I’m doing it right haha.
I’m so glad Kyrsten! Honestly, the longer pins started to take over, but, like billboards in a beautiful community, they were never intended to be that big so the algorithm is going to be pulling away from showing them in search.
Very informative. I’ve been curious about how to get more exposure for my pins. I’m going to try these tips.
So glad it was helpful, Marie!
Thanks for the useful smart feed tips Vanessa. Is interesting to see how quickly things change on Pinterest. Before it was all about long images and now that is changing too. What do you think about keyword stuffing your profile and boards descriptions?
Hi Bianca! I’m so sorry I missed this comment! Of course, keyword stuffing is not ideal and the Pinterest algorithm will pickup on some of those ‘pinning strategy’ loopholes.