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One of the best things a business owner can do for themselves is a install a Pin It button on their website and blog. Even if they aren’t active on Pinterest, Pin It buttons give visitors to the site an easy way to pin images.

If the site happens to be a WordPress site they have access to my favorite plugin, the Pinterest “Pin it” Button from Phil Derksen. I recently received a question from Ileane Smith from Basic Blog Tips about this plug in.

Optimizing Pinterest Pin It Button and Pin Descriptions for SEO

Ileane asked:

“Cynthia, do you have a tutorial that goes into more detail about using the SEO settings on this plugin? I think I’m missing out on all of the benefits of it. Thanks.”

I’m so glad Ileane asked this question. I’ve seen many site owners miss out on a big opportunity when it comes to their pin it buttons and their pin descriptions in general.

There are many customization options in the pro version of the plugin such as how the pin it button looks and where it appears, but there are no specific SEO settings.

Pinterest Pin It button settings

Just because there aren’t any SEO settings for this plugin, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t potential for SEO benefits. Once the plugin is installed, the area that is the most important to pay attention to is located at the bottom of each post and page in the Pin It Button Settings box, specifically the description area.

I wish I could put flashing neon lights around this to emphasize how important it is.

The most import part of the Pinterest pin it button is the pin description

Why is this so important? 

This where you, the site owner have a huge opportunity to improve the chances your pins are found. The more often your pins are found, the more chances you have for repins. The more repins your images get, the more potential for traffic to your site. More traffic generally leads to more sales and conversions. Sounds good huh?


How to optimize

As you can see in the image above, if you leave this box blank it will default to the post title. This can be ok if you have a SEO and Pinterest friendly blog post title. Tiles such as “Great News” or “The Worst Idea” are catchy and cause intrigue but really aren’t optimized for search.

To optimize for search, use words or phrases in the pin description box that people are likely to search for related to your topic. Be careful not to just list a bunch of keywords, give some information about what the image links to.  This becomes somewhat of a balancing act, you want to give information but not go overboard and write too much. Think short, simple and informational.

Once people search for your topic and your pin appears in the results, they then have to scan the page for pins that interest them. If your image catches their eye, you don’t want to turn them off with a bad pin description. Which one would you be more likely to repin?

Keep your Pinterest pin descriptions short


Even though both have the same image and link to the same information, people might get turned off by the pin with the longer description. As a pinner, I would have to edit the pin to suit my pinning style and that means work. Is it really worth my time and effort? Avoid putting people in this position.

In May of 2013, Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann stated that Pinterest is positioning itself more in the area of search rather than as a social network. and when you think about it, this makes sense. Pinterest is a place for discovery. Much of that discovery does happen when people scroll through the images on Pinterest but more and more people are using the search feature of Pinterest to find more of what they’re interested in. Whether using the Pin It button plug in or not, optimizing your pin descriptions can be very beneficial.

Are you optimizing your pin descriptions? What are some of the worst you’ve seen?


Cynthia Sanchez is a Pinterest marketing consultant and expert. Cynthia created, one of the early leaders in Pinterest education for businesses. Contact Cynthia on LinkedIn:

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    Installing a Pin it Button can provide you an easy way to pin images.

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    Actually, my intention is how to lead my pinterest as an online marketing professional ?

  3. […] that can be used with different browsers and several that can be a part of the website such as the pin it button I use here. Each day there seems to be a new pin it button to choose from and they each seem to […]

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    Cynthia, this is very helpful. I wanted to use your link for the “pin it” button but it is broken. Thought you deserved a heads up on that.

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    Great tutorial! I have been scouring the internet all day to find how to make the description for your pin using pinterest pro plugin! It works great for the pin it button in the sharebar. However, if you pin from the pin it button on hover over images the description does not come up how I typed it. How do I get that to work? I want the description to say my post title then blog name. Thanks!

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      Thanks Jen! Unfortunately, at this point those other buttons pull the descriptions from the image file name and/or alt text not from your custom description that you enter into the plugin.

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    Hey Cynthia, I loved this post. All too often, business owners use social media thinking that they’re getting the most out of it. However, little steps like remembering the description can definitely go a long way. Thanks for sharing!

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    Cynthia, love this blog post. Somehow, Pinterest is not getting maximized by many owners but in my own experience, this shouldn’t be the case! Thanks for informing the world.

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    Pinterest Button always been amazing for boosting social signal and targeting audience cause its more viral

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    I love this blog. Thanks for sharing.

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    Hi Cynthia, this is a great post with useful information. Had a question on the descriptions and how in depth I should describe my photos. I’m a wedding photographer using Pinterest to show my work and many times use for an example “bride & groom kissing at their wedding” then write the venue or location name. Should I be describing more, like how the bride’s dress is made (vintage, elegant) what color the groom’s suit is, etc? and what about using keywords like “San Diego wedding photographer” in the descriptions? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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