If you’re wondering how to write the best Pinterest Pin descriptions – that is, descriptions that work for traffic, SEO, and engagement, we’ve got you covered!
As with everything on Pinterest, there’s an art and a science to it.
When you get the art right, you’re appealing to a reader’s emotions, challenges, and desires for the future. 🎨
When you master the science, your Pinterest SEO will improve, leading to more and more distribution and website traffic. 🔬
I’d call that a win-win! 🎉
First things first, though, what IS a Pin description?
Looking for an easy way to write great Pin descriptions? Get our Pinterest toolkit! Also featuring a checklist for creating perfect Pins and proven (free) image templates. You'll wonder how you Pinned without it!
What IS a Pinterest Pin Description?
The Pin description is where you provide more context for your image. This seems pretty obvious until you go looking for the Pin description. There is SO much on a Pin! For example:
For this Pin, the description is:
“How to make a gift bag from wrapping paper #wrappingpaper #gift #giftbag #howtomakeagiftbag #howtomakeagiftbadeasydiy”
But wait! What about the “Never buy pre-made gift bags again! Learn how to make a gift bag from wrapping paper. It’s easy and PERFECT for oddly shaped items!” bit? That sure LOOKS like a description!
That’s pulled from your website’s meta data if you’re using Rich Pins (and you should be), but it’s not something you change ON Pinterest and is not considered your Pin description.
If you’re ever unsure about which is actually the description, head over to the Pinterest widget builder and enter your Pin URL. It allows you to show or hide the description. Notice what it pulls for “description” for the Pin above:
Do Pinterest Pin Descriptions Matter?
Maybe you’ve seen Pin descriptions with just a couple of words, such as, “Love this!” or “Need to try this!” in your feed. But, I’d bet it’s been a while. Maybe you’re not inclined to read Pin descriptions (though, I am!). So you’re wondering – how much do Pin descriptions really matter?
Why Pin Descriptions Matter for Engagement and Traffic
Pinterest conducted a study of 21,000 Pins on Pinterest and analyzed various elements of Pin design and descriptions. What they found will amaze you! Here are just a few highlights:
- Including your business name in the first sentence of the description leads to a 54% higher conversion rate for email signups
- Using clear, actionable wording and a strong call to action increased email signups 70% and online sales by 6%.
- Adding a Price increased sales by 28%.
Clearly, descriptions matter to people on Pinterest.
Why Pin Descriptions Matter for SEO / Distribution
As with Google SEO, people may be your first priority, but the algorithm will be second!
Pin descriptions are absolutely vital to Pin distribution. Your keywords should be included in the Pin description, and they should match up with the keywords used in the page you’re linking to and with the Board title and description where the Pin is saved. Learn all about Pinterest SEO here.
All these keyword signals in your Pin description and other places help Pinterest surface your Pin to the right people and for the right searches. As with Google, don’t keyword stuff, and only use relevant keywords. And do include them in a couple of relevant hashtags.
Why Are My Pinterest Descriptions Missing?
If Pinterest Pin descriptions matter so much – you may be wondering – why are they missing half the time? Sometimes you see them on mobile, but not on desktop. Or you might see them on some Pins and not on others. If you manage several accounts for clients, you may see them on some accounts and not others.
Here’s what Pinterest says about this:
“Your descriptions might look different across Pin formats and devices. Sometimes people will see the full description in their feed, and sometimes they’ll only see the Pin title or a few words of the description. No matter what shows in people’s feeds, know that your description is working hard behind the scenes to get your content in front of the right people.”
Notice that last sentence. Descriptions matter even when we can’t see them! So, then, it’s important to know how to write a good one…
How Do You Write a Pin Description on Pinterest?
When uploading an image straight to Pinterest or when scheduling a Pin with Tailwind, you’ll see a box for Pin description.
On Pinterest, it’s the “Tell everyone what your Pin is about” field.
On Tailwind, it’s “Enter a description”
Not yet using Tailwind for Pinterest? Sign up with Pinterest. and save hours each week on your Pinterest marketing.
As for what to write in your Pin description, you’ll want to include anything that might help people decide if your Pin is relevant to them. The more details the better. Imagine you had 10 seconds to tell someone what your linked page was about. What would you say?
What to Include in Your Pin Description:
- Keywords and brand name near the beginning of the description.
- Natural sentence structure – no keyword stuffing.
- A call to action – tell people what you want them to do when they visit the page.
- As many details as you can!
- A few relevant hashtags. ️
Wait – hashtags on Pinterest? Yes!
Should I Use Hashtags in My Pin Descriptions?
Hashtags can also help your content appear in searches. Just remember that Pinterest hashtags are a bit different from Instagram hashtags. While #outfitgoals might work on Instagram, use something a person might actually search on Pinterest instead such as #fallfashion2020.
Pinterest Pin Description Examples
Understanding the elements of a strong Pin descriptions is nice, but how does that translate to creating an effective description? Let’s look at a few examples – one for each of four objectives: awareness, email signups, online sales, and offline sales.
Pin Descriptions Example: For Increasing Brand Awareness
Here, we’re TravelBali, a vacation resort 🌴:
Looking for an all-inclusive, family-friendly vacation holiday? TravelBali has easy packages and financing to help you plan your dream trip. Swim with stingrays, relax on a catamaran, and end your day lounging by one of our four giant pools with swim-up bars! Kids stay and play for free. If adventure holidays are you thing, we have that – rock climbing, cave diving, hang gliding… Or if you prefer a relaxing holiday, enjoy our spa with massage, sauna, mud bath, and facials – and of course, the beach with crystal waters and sand for miles! Choose your dates now. #baliholiday #beachvacation
The keyword usage here is strong. Great for attracting Pinners who are just starting to plan out a vacation. Notice that the brand name is near the beginning, and how compelling the copy is. I’m ready to pack my bags! The hashtags also play into the main keywords.
Pin Descriptions Example: To Grow Your Email List
Now we’re home decor business 🏠:
For luxury linens at discount prices, think Adlers! From gauzy, no-iron summer curtains to luxurious holiday linens for the most decadent of family gatherings, we have everything you need at prices up to 80% off every day. Be the first to hear about new styles and price cuts when you sign up for our email list. #homedecor #linen
Again, keywords to attract people who might be interested in THIS particular content. There’s also a strong call to action and an enticing promise of up to 80%. Who would want to miss that?!
Pin Descriptions Example: For More Online Sales
Now we’re an athletic shoe company 🏃♀️:
Perfect for back-to-school, running a marathon, or running errands in style – Maple has the name-brand sneakers you want at the prices you need. We have shoes for men, women, and kids at prices starting at just $19.99. Trendy and supportive, all our trainers offer arch support, breathable linings, and the latest colors. Plus, we offer free recycling of your old shoes! Find your style now. #running #sneakers
Yes, that’s probably the WORST imaginary name for an athletic shoe brand, but it’s in the first part of the description. 😉 Adding in mention of a price, plus spelling out exactly what you offer make this a strong description. Including your differentiator (free recycling) can also make you stand out in a sea of sameness.
Pin Descriptions Example: For More Offline Sales
And finally, we’re a skincare company 💄 :
Summer sun left your skin in need of rescue? Check out our top 5 picks for affordable facial skincare products to rehydrate, fade discolorations, and leave all signs of summer skin damage behind! #summerskincare #skincare
Strong keywords here, and a quick, to-the-point statement of what you’ll read if you click. You don’t have to use all 500 characters to say it all!
If, like me, you find you sometimes need a refresher, why not download our Pinterest Toolkit now? It includes all of these examples, plus lots more great resources to help you make your best Pins ever!
There’s a theme here – strong use of keywords. But which are the right ones to use? 🤔 Glad you asked!
How to Find Keywords on Pinterest
You might have your keywords for Google purposes, but chances are, the ones that work on Pinterest will be just a LITTLE different. Why is that?
Google searches are often very purpose driven. For example, notice the auto-complete results for a search for “running.” “Running shoes” and “Running warehouse.”
People on Pinterest, on the other hand, have a slightly different intent when they search. For example, 98% of searches are unbranded, meaning people aren’t exactly sure what they are looking for. They want to be inspired.
Oftentimes, they are looking for ideas, tips, and inspiration rather than a particular item. That’s great news for businesses without the budget to invest millions in brand awareness.
Keyword research on Pinterest is fairly simple. Head over to Pinterest, and start typing one of your main keywords into the search box. The first thing you’ll see are some auto-complete suggestions.
In this case, entering “running” gave us:
- Running for beginners
- Running workouts
- Running quotes
- Running motivation
Write down any that are applicable.
Now hit Enter. You’ll see your feed displays many “running” Pins and just below the search bar, tiles with more related keywords. I’m seeing:
- To lose weight
- For beginners
- Before and after
This, my friends, is keyword gold. Pinterest is telling you straight out – when people are looking for running-related content on Pinterest – this is what they search for. You can use these insights to find keywords and even to tailor your editorial calendar for greater Pinterest success.
Repeat the process as many times as needed to get the keywords you need for the topics you cover.
Oh, and if you are up for a big Pinterest rabbithole of keywords, click on any of those tiles and you’ll get even more wonderful keywords to use.
How Long Can My Pin Description Be?
You have up to 500 characters for your Pin description. That’s plenty of space for natural use of keywords, hashtags, including a CTA, and all the information people need to know about what your Pin and the linked content can do for them.
If your description appears in the feed, it’s the first 30-60 characters that are most likely to appear. Put the most important, most compelling parts first.
Should I Edit my Pin Descriptions?
Generally, no. On Pinterest (as with life!) you’ll make the most progress when you look ahead. Improve your habits over time.
Adding hashtags to older Pins is one particularly inefficient use of Pinterest marketing time! The hashtag search results appear in reverse chronological order, and adding hashtags won’t reset that time Pinned. Just use them from now on.
Hashtag results will show the most-recently saved content first.
Now That You’re a Pinterest Pin Description Master…
If you remember nothing else about writing the best Pinterest Pin descriptions, remember that:
- Descriptions matter – both for people and for discoverability.
- Keywords matter – use them wisely.
- The more specific you can be in your descriptions, the better.
- Even if YOU don’t see them, Pinterest does, and they’re used for helping people find your content.
And make sure you grab our Pinterest toolkit. When you put compelling images and powerful descriptions, you’re going to see your reach, engagement, and traffic reach new heights.
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Alisa Meredith is Pinterest Product Specialist at Tailwind — a Pinterest marketing tool, scheduling tool, planning tool and analytics platform. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher on Pinterest and Promoted Pins in particular, having spoken at Social Media Marketing World, Agents of Change and appearing on The Art of Paid Traffic and Social Pros podcasts. Alisa has invested heavily in becoming an expert in her craft – realizing (and loving) the fact that the learning never ends! She lives in coastal North Carolina with her pampered pets Pepe the couch potato Cavapoo, and more cats than she’d like to admit to.