Pinterest is a key part of my marketing strategy. It helps to drive a significant portion of the traffic coming to my website (currently about 36%). When I was just getting started, it was an even bigger percentage — about half of all traffic!
As a visual search engine, design is a really important part of making Pinterest work for your business. So, here are a few pointers to help you design Pinterest pins that get clicks and helps you grow your audience and brand.
Graphic design starts with a blank canvas, so let’s begin by talking about what size that canvas should be.
Because of the way Pinterest lays out its content, taller images take up more screen space. For that reason, those taller images are the ones that tend to do a lot better (than horizontal images) in terms of getting clicks.
Pinterest states that the ideal ratio is 2:3, and the minimum width should be 600px. So a good size for your images is about 600 x 900px. Of course, like anything else in business, it’s always worth testing different tactics. You might even taller sizes, or even square sizes.
Note that in some instances (such as on mobile devices) content gets cut off if the pin is too tall — so keep that in mind. It’s a good idea to have any important info (like your text) closer to the centre to avoid having it be chopped off.
Good design is all about usability. When we’re talking about screens and people looking for information, usability firstly means making your pins easy to read. So, your font choice is crucial!
My suggestion is to keep things very simple. A nice, bold font that’s large enough to see even if the pin is small (like when it’s viewed on a mobile device). Definitely take it easy on the script fonts which can be a little tricky to decipher sometimes. And any hairline-thin typefaces can easily get lost too, especially if used on top of images.
Related post: How to create a beautiful typographic hierarchy
This one goes with your typeface choice. Make sure your text is clear and legible by using colours that help it to stand out from the background. If you’re using a dark background, use white or light-coloured text and vice versa.
The colours you use should come from a limited palette of brand colours. Like with any marketing strategy, this is an opportunity to grow familiarity around your brand, and colour is a powerful way to do this. On my pins, for example, I use a range of colours from my secondary palette, but my logo always appears in the same red colour and is visible at the top of every pin. It makes it easy to tell when you’re looking at one of my pins.
Using an image isn’t essential, but it can help you catch the eye of your target audience. I like to test both — pins with images and pins without.
When using images, make sure they fit with your brand. Consider the kind of mood you want to create for your audience. Pick images with subject matter that relates to them. It may also be worth thinking about your brand colours and selecting images that match your palette.
If you want to use an image in the background, choose one that isn’t too busy and doesn’t have too many contrasting colours. That can look too distracting and make it difficult to read the text on your pin. Try find images with white space (empty areas) where you can position text. Plenty of stock images that this into mind. My go-to free stock image site is unsplash.com.
Alternatively, you could use a coloured overlay to tone down your image. Basically, that’s a layer of semi-transparent colour which allows your image to still be visible whilst making it easy for your text to stand out.
Building a brand is all about consistency, and of course that includes design. Using a template not only keeps your business looking visually consistent, but it can also be a huge time-saver. (No designing from scratch every time.)
Use the above points to create a visually appealing design that fits with your brand, and then use it as a basis for future pins. You might swap out colours, images and text to keep things fresh, but the overall style should be visually consistent.
Remember that you’re not just looking for clicks for clicks sake. Your aim is to find a relevant audience and help them see your content (blog, lead magnet, etc). With that in mind, use these design tips to make pins that are helpful and make it easy for your target audience to get the information they need. At the end of the day, I truly think the best designs are the ones that simply give users the experience they’re looking for.
Although I haven’t gone into it in much detail here, it’s also worth considering the design of your landing pages (or wherever you’re sending traffic). Make sure there’s consistency there, too. If someone clicks on your Pinterest pin, the page they then end up on should look like an extension of that pin’s design. It’s all about meeting expectations!