8 Tips for Optimizing Pinterest

January 4, 2013 by Jenny Melrose

Struggling to gain traffic to your site and not sure how to increase it?  Pinterest can make an immediate difference on your traffic.  There are specific way to optimize though.  Here are my 8 Tips for Optimizing Pinterest.

8 Tips for Optimizing Pinterest

Struggling to gain traffic to your site and not sure how to increase it? Pinterest can make an immediate difference on your traffic.

This was originally written in 2013.  Holy Moly that makes me a blogging dinosaur!  I have updated the tips as of July of 2016 though to make it more relevant to today.  

Over the last couple months I’ve been trying to pay particular attention to the effects of Pinterest on my traffic as well as on others.  I’ve paid attention to what gets pinned and repinned in order to determine if there is something that is helping the pin to be successful.  In doing so, I’ve come up with 8 Tips for Optimizing Pinterest that you can put into action now.

***  This is my most important tip so it doesn’t even get a number, just a bunch of stars.  You absolutely have to have a pinnable image that is vertical in your post.  I highly recommend making your pinnable the very first image.  I also recommend using a collage pin.  I usually create a collage of two pics with words in the middle for my food posts.  They are usually 750 x 2000.  Otherwise, I recommend using an image that is vertical that is 750 x 1500 like the one above that has graphics over-layed over the picture.  I use stock photos for images that don’t really fall into my photography wheelhouse.  Here’s a recent collage food pin that is doing really well.

1.  When you as a business, brand or blogger are creating a post make sure to name your image in the title section of your image.  You want your Title of your picture to correspond with the title of your post.  For example, my above image is titled: Tips for Optimizing Pinterest.  Your title should include your keywords, which will help with Pinterest as well as SEO.  I also recommend filling out the alt text of the image to be written as authentic, thoughtful copy.  So I have the alt text of this pinnable image as, ” Struggling to gain traffic to your site and not sure how to increase it?  Pinterest can make an immediate difference on your traffic.

2.  Include a description in the caption box of the image.  This way when the image is pinned, there is a description that is corresponding with it so no one is wondering what the image is specifically about.  If you look above you’ll see that I included the description “8 simple tips that can be done now for businesses & brands to optimize Pinterest.”  I’ve clearly labeled who and what the post can be used for. I don’t waste time doing this anymore because I have rich pins. If you are using pinterest as a business then you need to have a business account and set up rich pins so that part of posts render if create a recipe.

3.  On your image, watermark your web address.  We know that we all pin directly from the website that the post comes from, but not everyone knows to do this.  Therefore, get your web address directly on the image.

4.  In your title of your image include your Twitter handle.  More and more people are sharing their pins via Twitter and Facebook after they pin an item.  By adding your twitter handle to the title you are now notifying yourself and everyone else every time your image is pinned and then shared automatically on Twitter.
The only time I recommend tag someone is with their Pinterest handle and only in the comments. You would tag a person so that they know that you have commented and can interact with you. It’s a great way to gain fellow Pinterest users as followers.

5.  Also in the title, include hashtags (#) for the keywords that are in your title.  Were you aware that within Pinterest you can search for a particular keyword.  Your hashtags make your pins part of their internal search.  OH MY GOODNESS FORGET THIS!  You can still search within pinterest so your keywords are extremely  important, but for the love of all things Pinterest, DO NOT use hashtags.

6.  On your site, for the love of Pete, have a Pin it button!  There are so many tutorials out there on how to add one that you are only hurting yourself if you don’t have one.  If you’re on WordPress just pick a plug in.  There’s multiple so no excuses!

7.  I finally figured out that joining a group Pin board is the bomb dot com.  The group pin boards are awesome because they are built with interests in mind.  So you have people with similar interests all looking for that type of pin.  The amount of repins that you see within a group board is exponentially more than you’ll see if your pinning to your own pin board.  Remember, more repins means more exposure!  Group pin boards are still huge in my eyes.  You have access to all of the followers on a board and most pinners have a couple of group boards that they are accepting contributors to.  I have a Whimsical Creations board that I am still accepting contributors to.  You just need to follow the instructions on the board in order to get added.

8.  Lastly, pin your own material, but make sure that you’re pinning others as well.  I try to go with the rule that for every ten pins of other people that I pin then I can pin one of my own.  I’ve found that scheduling tools like BoardBooster, Tailwind and Ahalogy are extremely valuable.

Be sure to check out my social media tips, which includes an entire series just on Google+ that includes video tutorials!


  • Jill Flory

    Great tips! I do have a question about adding a twitter handle and hashtags to the title of the pic. That stuff doesn’t show up when you pin it and I’m not sure exactly what you mean. are there separate lines for that stuff? I remember reading about adding titles to your pics etc. but I’ve just not taken the time to do it!

    • Jenny Melrose

      Great question Jill. When you upload your image in the spot for the Title of the image you want to add your twitter handle and hashtags. If you go to pin the image in this post, you’ll see my twitter handle and hashtags included. I just recently started doing this and it keeps me better organized because I’m able to track everything better. Are you on WP or blogger?

      • Rachel R.

        On WP, the alt tag is what shows up in the Pin description. (“alternate text”). (Unless you’ve gone in an edited the html directly with data-pin-description=”Your Pin description”)

  • Hilda @ From Overwhelmed To Organized

    GREAT tips Jenny! I’m still relatively new to Pinterest ( a few months) but it’s already one of my top referring sites. And I notice a big jump in traffic when I’m more active on Pinterest than when I’m not. I’m going to have to start implementing some of your tips to make it work even better for my blog. Thanks so much for this post!

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m glad you found it helpful Hilda. I tried to put the tips in the order of importance so you don’t feel overwhelmed by it all. Rather, you can systematically optimize.

  • Kathe

    Smacked myself on my forehead w/ number 7! I belong to several group pinboards but it never occurred to me to pin my own stuff to those boards! Total Duh! moment for me! Thanks for the tips Jenny! You’re da best 🙂

    • Jenny Melrose

      Sneaking one in the mix in those group boards is definitely the best way to go. Thanks for reading Kathe!

  • Kelly@ Here Comes the Sun

    Thanks for the tips. My top referral is Pinterest so I’ve been working on all this stuff too. However, where do you find the “caption” part of the image? Is it the same as the title? I am on blogger and I upload my pics and then hit “properties” and I have two lines where I can enter a title. The second line says “alt text”. I usually just add the same title to both boxes. Am I doing this right?

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m on WP so there’s a caption box to be able to add it but I’m pretty sure that there’s something in blogger. Check this link and see if it helps for the caption. http://bloggerindraft.blogspot.com/2010/02/improvements-to-blogger-in-drafts-text.html I usually try to adjust my alt text to be more specific. For example, the title for the image on this post was Tips for Optimizing Pinterest @russej10 #pinterest #tips. The alt text I had was 8 Tips for Optimizing Pinterest. For my Strawberry Mascarpone Cheesecake, I added recipe to the alt title.

  • Renonda

    Great reminders Jenny!

  • Erin's 2 Cents

    Thanks for sharing these tips! I already do some of them, but there are others you pointed out that would be good to start. ~Erin

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m glad I could help Erin. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Lyuba @willcookforsmiles

    Great tips Jenny! Thank you 🙂

  • Karie McKean

    Thank you so much for sharing- I love quick tid-bits of information- it is so hard to get sucked into Pinterest that I forget that I’m supposed to be working! LOL!

    • Jenny Melrose

      I think we all fall into that trap. I’ve probably lost weeks of working time in Pinteret. Thanks for stopping by Karie.

  • Rosie

    Fantastic tips. I have not really used Pinterest as much as I can because I wasn’t sure how it could help me. Thank you!

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m glad I could help Rosie. Thanks for stopping over.

  • Single Mom in the South

    Great information and I’m relieved to know I’m doing most of this… not on Twitter and need to install a Pin It button… I have a follow button… not sure why I never added the Pin It button.

    Happy SITS Saturday Share!

    • Jenny Melrose

      Glad to help! Thanks so much for stopping over. Enjoy your weekend!

  • c @ annuary chit

    Great list! #4 is an awesome tip that I’ll have to try out I never thought to add my twitter handle before!

    I’ve been noticing other people using the caption to add descriptions lately. For the most part I add the title | blog name in the “alt text” section (I think that’s it) when I insert the picture in the post. I’m using WordPress. Happy Sharefest 🙂

    • Jenny Melrose

      I just figured #4 out this week. It’s all about increased exposure. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • thedoseofreality

    These are such helpful tips! 🙂 I am stopping by from SITS Sharefest and am so glad I did! 🙂

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m so glad I could help! My real strength is G+ so if you ever have any questions please feel free to get in touch.

  • Brooke

    This is so, so, helpful! Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m glad I could help! My strength is G+ and I try to post regularly about. If you’re interested feel free to subscribe by email to have the tips dropped in your inbox.

  • Phyllis

    Thanks for the tips! Newer to the blog community, but did have a post that went crazy on Pinterest this Dec. Please explain the hashtags. What is it and how do you add them on WP?

    • Jenny Melrose

      A hashtag is the number symbol that you put in front of the category that your post is about. For example, my Strawberry Mascarpone Cheesecake had the hashtags #cheesecake #strawberry. Hashtags are important when people are searching for a particular item, which is something you can do in Pinterest.

  • Vicky @ Mess For Less

    These are all great tips and yes, i don’t know where I would be without my group boards. Love them!

  • Lauren

    Your tips are always so helpful. Just pinned it. Thank you for sharing at our Pinteresting Party. 🙂

  • Debbie

    Great tips, Jenny! Some I do but there are a couple I didn’t and will be sure to start. Not sure about the Twitter, I have an account but rarely use it.
    Debbie 🙂

  • Pam

    Very useful post!!! I’ve never thought about #7 before, but totally makes sense. I’ll be following through with that one. Twitter I have yet to come to terms with. I’ve pinned this post. I’d love you to share this post at our Ongoing Linky that’s just for Blog Tips .

  • Deby

    A question about number 7 – group boards. I don’t know how to find them. Can I search for these somehow – or is there an easy way to find or identify them please? Sorry if this is a daft question, but I’ve looked all over Pinterest this morning and I can’t seem to find a single group board !

    • Jenny Melrose

      As far as I know there are only two ways to be involved with group boards. The first is to create your own and then invite people that you follow on pinterest to become involved with the board. The second is to be invited. If you’d like email me your pinterest account URL and I’ll invite you to the group board that I’m a part of.

  • Jenna

    Thanks so much Jenny, I am still struggling with a lot of the techy stuff, and often forget to pin my own posts. Thanks for all the info, I am pinning your post!! and signing up to follow!

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m glad I could help Jenna. The social media aspect can definitely get overwhelming. Feel free to subscribe by email so that you can get all the latest tips and tricks. I’ll be sharing tips for G+ later this week.

  • Diana Rambles

    Great tips! PINNED!

  • denyse@crazy beautiful life

    Hi Jenny! These are great tips. I really do need to utilize my Pinterest more then I do. Thanks for sharing this.

    I’m having a GOOGLE + Social hop. I’d love for you to hop on over, grab a button and link up your Google +. If you don’t have Google + it’s ok, come link up your blog or favorite post.


    I’m also looking for Pinterest Pinners to feature every week beginning in January. If you are on Pinterest and are interested in being featured come link up! Who knows you might meet some other great pinners and gain a few great ideas.


  • Paula Parrish

    Great Tips! Thanks for sharing this information. ;o)

  • Rose @ Walnut Acre

    Good tips. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m glad I could help. I’ll be sharing some tips for G+ on Friday so keep an eye out. I’d love to have you subscribe so they get dropped right in your inbox.

  • Deana

    Thanks for the great tips !

  • The Quiet Mom

    Thanks for the tips. I know this will help a lot of bloggers out there.

    Already your follower hopping by, blogging @ Getting Healthy with Essential Oils

    I am also inviting you to join Tiddle Diddle Handmade Shoppe’s first giveaway event.

  • Angie - easylivingmom.com

    Great tips, thanks! I especially like your rule of posting one of your own pins for every 10 of someone else’s.

    I host a link party every Thursday – I’d love you have you join and share this.

    Thank you for the great post!


  • Lesley B

    Found your link on Live, Laugh, Rowe Link Up. Thank you so much for these tips. I’m hoping to start adding some of my own ideas to Pinterest soon so I’m bookmarking this post for sure.

    • Jenny Melrose

      Thanks so much for stopping by Lesley. I’m glad I could help. I’ll be sharing some tips tomorrow on how to use G+ to your benefit as well so stop back or feel free to subscribe for free so that everything gets dropped right in your inbox.

  • Deirdre

    This is great- I always forget labels…then I’m like, oops! I host Photo Friday Blog Hop tomorrow and would love for you to link up!~Cheers 🙂

  • Emily

    Great tips! I’ve been on Pinterest for like two years now and I still feel like I don’t really understand how it affects my blog traffic (especially on my new blog)! I’ve sort of just discovered group boards and I love your tip on how to use them, but how do you find/become a member of one?

    Found your blog on the Craftberry Bush Linky Party and will definitely be stopping by more in the future 🙂

    • Jenny Melrose

      Thanks so much Emily! I’m glad I could help. In order to get on a group board you can either start one of your own and invite people that you follow or you will need an invitation to one that is already started. If you send me your pinterest url, I’ll invite you to the boards that I am a part of. I’d love to have you subscribe for free this way you can get all my latest posts dropped right in your inbox.

  • Katie @ Simply Clean Living

    Thanks for the tips. This gives me a lot to think about! What type of group page is the page you’re on? I’m really interested in the idea of joining one.

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m part of numerous group boards (diy, cookies, recipes, blogging tips, valentine ideas, etc.) Send me your pinterest url and I’ll invite you. Also, feel free to subscribe for free so that my latest tips get dropped right in your inbox.

  • Myrachael

    Great post, Jenny! I’m not new to Pinterest, but I am new to blogging and networking within the blog world. This post is awesome! Do you recommend having a separate Pinterest account from your blog or do you use your personal? Thanks for sharing your amazing tips!

    • Jenny Melrose

      I use my personal pinterest account, but I have it linked and verified with my blog. I would definitely get verified. I’d love to have you subscribe for free so that you can get tips like these dropped right in your inbox. I shared a post on Maximizing G+ on Friday that you might find helpful as well.

  • Trish - Mom On Timeout

    Great tips Jenny – featuring tonight!

  • Erin@Managing the Manor

    Thanks! I’m “pinning” this for future reference 🙂

    • Jenny Melrose

      Thanks so much Erin! I recently shared tips on G+ too, just in case you’re interested.

  • Crystal & Co

    There are also some analytic tools that can help you keep track of what is being pinned and who is pinning it.

    PinAlerts will notify you by email when your stuff is pinned. Then, you can go in and like the pin, leave a comment, etc to engage and show activity. While you’re there you can also follow them.

    Pinalytics will show you all of the analytics for your pins, how many times they are being shared on Facebook, Twitter, etc., as well as where you rank for certain SEO on Pinterest. Nifty tool.

    • Jenny Melrose

      Crystal – Thank you so much for stopping in and leaving these valuable sites. I’ve already registered for both and I can’t wait to get my hands on the data. It was too sweet of you to stop by and leave me such a fabulous resource. I’ve been watching the HOA’s from Mom Blog to Money Blog and the one’s with Kelli as well. I got half way through the pinterest video today, but was interrupted by my very busy 3 year old daughter. My strength currently is G+. If you ever need someone as a resource, I’d love to help. Thanks again! Jenny

  • Shaffer Sisters

    Thank you for sharing this we are new to all of this promoting, so all of the help is awesome.

    • Jenny Melrose

      I am happy to help. I’ve done an entire series on social media. If you run into any questions, please feel free to ask. Please feel free to subscribe by email for free so that you’ll get my latest posts dropped right in your inbox.

  • Jeni

    Thanks for the Pinterest tips, just starting out on the technological side of things!! And any tips are very welcome.

  • Alice (@mumsmakelists)

    Great post.

    Would love for you to link it up at my new Empty Your Archive link party which is a chance to dust off great posts from your archive – there is a particular focus this week on Pinterest – would really love to see you there, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x

  • Mary @over40andamumtoone

    great tips, I have so much to learn. Will be making notes 🙂 Found you through the Mums make Lists linky – great find 🙂

    • Jenny Melrose

      I’m so glad to help. I have an entire series on social media so feel free to stop back any time.

  • Aruna

    Thank you so much for the great tips on how to optimize Pinterest. #4 gives the clear idea about Pinterest and easily understand shared automatically on twitter.

  • Rachel @ I Love My Disorganized Life

    Awesome tips, and totally necessary! These sites don’t come with user manuals!

  • Lori Johnston

    Quick question. Is it still necessary to add hashtags to pinterest submissions? I’ve noticed that some people are no longer adding them.

    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life

  • Melody ambler

    Hi Jenny, thank you so much for writing this article! I don’t write blogs, but I love to read and subscribe to them. But because I am not tech- savvy, I eventually unsubscribe to blogs I follow that I can’t pin because it just gets discouraging. I know certain things can’t be passed on, but I am just talking in general. If I love a site, and over and over see things I want to save, but there’s no pin it button or something, I just get discouraged. Thank you so much!!

  • Becky @ A Calculated Whisk

    Nice tips! I still don’t see where the twitter handle is, though…I pinned the image in this post to my blogging board and didn’t see it. Other tips I like are installing the pinterest hover code so users can pin whichever image they like, and pinning vertical images (portrait as opposed to landscape) because they are larger on Pinterest and stand out more.

  • Michelle

    I always Tweet a link to my posts but never thought about adding my twitter handle to a photo. I have recently started watermarking my images with my web address. Great post!

  • Sandi

    I am glad I found your site. You have a lot of great articles. Do you know of any gluten free pin boards on Pinterest?
    Thank you

  • Joan - thenurseteacher.com

    Thanks for the great tips – really trying to get more traffic from Pinterest!!

    p.s visiting from SITS!

  • Reginia Cordell

    Thank you. These are great tips. I will definitely start using the hashtag more often.

  • Susie@homemaker-mom

    Thank you for the tips & wisdom. I feel so over whelmed it would be to hard to go back & change all mine so I will start to from here on out do all of that to new ones.! Thanks again!

  • Jenni

    Thank you for the tips! I don’t use Pinterest as much as I should so this is just what I needed 🙂

  • Nicki Lewis

    These are great. Have been doing some of these but need to incorporate some of them

  • Carlysa

    Great Tips! I get pin happy yet haven’t used much hashtags and didn’t know about adding twitter handle.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Meredith@A TIPical Day

    Adding the twitter handle to the pic description is genius! I am going to start doing that! Thank you!

  • Barbara

    I’m still a novice with Pinterest, and I always welcome advice on strategy …. thanks Jenny !

    I’ve retweeted your ‘8 Tips for Optimizing Pinterest from The NY Melrose Family’

  • divya

    Great thinking and great blog. Very helpful for me.Thanks for sharing this blog.

  • Trisha

    Thanks for this informative blog.

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