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How to Write Powerful Pinterest Headlines

May 12, 2020

This post contains affiliate links from products and services I find valuable. If you click through and make a purchase, I'll make a small commission, which comes at no cost to you. This supports my small business. Learn more here. 

Do you know how to write Pinterest headlines? Some people slap together their social media title, post titles, and Pinterest image headlines like they would a peanut butter sandwich. There is no method to their headings or subheadings. It just looks good to them. I want to show you a few tricks for creating headlines that drive traffic to your website from your Pinterest images.

Note: This post has been updated for 2021!

Save time with social media titles tools

Save Time with Using Tools for Your Headlines

Blog Post & Landing Page Headings

Before you create an image to use on Pinterest, consider the journey the audience is taking. They click on your image, and it leads to a post or page on your site. Is this content accurately described in the pin? If it’s a landing page, you want the heading of the page to correlate with your pin.

With that said, I want you remember this:

The text on your pin does not have to be the title of your post.

Although your pin can be reworded or have a different title, keep the theme and idea similar. When they click on your image, the audience doesn’t want to be deceived. So make sure the headings you use match up to what your page or post is about.

Someone on Youtube asked me if they could use the same title on Pinterest and their blog post and the answer is YES. In fact, the closer the title on the pin image to the blog post, the better. The title needs to relate so Pinterest can tell they are together. But, you don’t have to use the exact title. It just needs to be similar and relate to the points in your post.

Creating With Copy and Keywords

This concept is also necessary when you create pins. I suggest creating five to ten pins for every piece of content. Those pins can have different titles but direct to the same post or page. So mix up your titles a bit and see which ones work best, but don’t be deceptive or dishonest. Keep it real.

Maybe this is also obvious but text on an image isn’t always read well by Pinterest. So when you create the pin titles and descriptions, whether that’s in Tailwind or on Pinterest itself, remember that Pinterest isn’t reading the text on your image. This is why board titles, pin titles, descriptions, and hashtags are important.

According to Social Media Today, they state that Pinterest looks at the following when trying to categorize your pin:

  • Pin title, description, URL
  • Board name and description
  • Page title and description of the link
  • Search queries that frequently lead to clicks on the Pin
  • Names of objects detected in the image using a visual classifier

If you want Pinterest to notice your pins, graphics are only part of the big picture. Text and descriptions play a huge role too. Copywriters get paid big bucks to write words that sell. SEO experts live and breathe keywords. While I’m not expecting this from you, it’s crucial to understand that keywords and the copy we use matter when we are creating pin images.

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Tools for Keywords

When trying to come up with a headline for your blog post, there are a few tools I suggest using. One of them can be found right on Pinterest. It’s called the Pinterest Keyword Tool.

Here are a few basics before I show you how to use this handy little tool. When someone is searching Google, Amazon, Pinterest, or any other type of search engine, they aren’t necessarily using language that you think they are. You might think they are searching for “Asiatic Lilies,” but many of them are probably searching for “big red flower” or “red lily.” Keep that in mind, when you are searching up keywords on Pinterest or any other tool that you use.

Long-Tail Keywords

Another important thing is that people don’t just search up one keyword. They search up a string of keywords, which is called a “long-tail keyword.” It’s usually three words or more. Instead of “Lilies,” they are searching up “big red flower” or “lies that are red” or something like that. So you need to think like a person who is searching, not like an expert.

What does your audience think about?
Imagine what your audience is thinking and search terms they are familiar with

How to Use Pinterest Keyword Tool

To search up a keyword, go to Pinterest, and use the search bar to search a general term. Here I’ve used “Pinterest.” The second image isn’t exactly correct as the arrow is pointing to the Pinterest account, not the search term. You’ll create a search based on the following criteria:

  • Your pins
  • Product pins
  • Videos
  • People
  • Boards

By default, Pinterest searches ALL PINS, meaning it pulls up all the criteria. In this image, it’s pulled up Pinterest (people) as well as pins, boards, videos, etc. So if you prefer just to search “people” or “boards,” you can change that before you search. But for the sake of this tutorial, let’s just say that “Pinterest” where the arrow is pointing to is actually a board or pin. There, problem solved. Now it makes sense.

social media titles

You might need to put more than one term in the search to get long-tail keywords. When you see other terms in the drop-down list, those are keywords you should be tracking and using.

For your business, you could create a spreadsheet and start adding in keywords that work with your audience. Start with one or two niche words and search it up. Then turn those keywords into blog titles.

Let’s keep going with the keywords I’ve already located. I decided to go with “Pinterest headlines” because that’s a search term I found on Pinterest (I realize it’s not three words, but that’s ok. We’ll work with it.)

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Use CoSchedule for Headlines

Another free online tool is called Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule. I have to do a bit of creative thinking to use this tool, but luckily they have free resources to help me find the best words to add to my basic search term. Here’s a rundown:

  • Power words – These are phrases more than they are words, and you need at least one of them in your headline. Try things like “you need to know” or “pay zero” or even “for the first time,” and you will get some traction with your headlines.
  • Emotional Words – These consist of words like “attractive”, “wonderful”, “zinger”, or “confessions”. They draw in the audience through emotions and create a more shareable post. They are 10-20% of the headline.
  • Common Words – These are words that get used all the time (duh). These are words that put your thoughts together so your audience can read it better. It makes up about 20-30% of your headline. These are words like “a,” “about,” “these,” “why,” and “your.”
  • Uncommon words – These words make-up 10-20% of your headline and consist of words like “actually” or “awesome” or even “see.” These words aren’t used as much (another duh) but make the reader interested.

 

Powerful Headlines in CoSchedule

 

There are various ways to approach your headline. How To Lists are popular and get clicked. You can read about the different types of headlines here. I decided to stick with a “how-to” headline:

HOW TO CREATE PINTEREST HEADLINES

Remember, I wanted to keep those keywords from Pinterest. I didn’t want to lose all that work I just did, so I include that in my headline. I scored a 63, which isn’t terrible, but I’m missing some key ingredients in my headline. It looks like I lack common and uncommon words, as well as a power phrase. Good start, but not quite what I wanted.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

If you scroll down the page, you’ll see a lot more valuable data. This bit of information about the first three words and the last three words is important:

headlines on Coschedule

It looks like the keywords are pretty darn good, but I lack sentiment. I love the frowny face telling me I messed up—nothing like good old disapproval to keep you motivated.

OK, let’s try this again.

I came up with a few other headlines and got varying results. The higher scored headlines below also were a bit too wordy, so I opted to use my best guess. Anything above 70 is pretty good. And I got Mr. Approval’s face, so I was happy and chose the headline that scored 76 (despite it being lower).

Coschedule headline tool results

Super Fast Headline Generator

One really quick way to get headlines is to use a headline generator. This one from Sumo is great! You plug in a few pieces of information and you get several different headlines.

I will say that these are “off the cuff.” You have to use your human generator (your brain) to fine-tune these suggestions. I love the way this gives you so many headlines with a few details.

Kickass Headline Generator from Sumo

Use the Kickass Headline Generator to Create Numbered List, How to, Why, Controversial, Fun, and DIY Post Headlines

Take these headlines and narrow down the one you think works best for your post. You could also use some of these for your Pinterest titles. Again, keep in mind the long-tail keywords you found on Pinterest. These keywords are essential when building your headlines.

Finalize Your Headline

Before finalizing a headline, ask yourself, “Is this really what my post is about?” Is my post about amazing headlines that go viral?

I didn’t care for the word “amazing” but I do think that if you use these tips, your posts will be shared and possibly go viral. So I think that’s ok to keep on there. But amazing? Not really a word I’d use.

I ended up changing out the word “amazing” for “powerful”.

There, much better.

You can use this same process to finalize your headline too. Don’t just go by what a number says. Evaluate the language and see if it makes sense for your audience. Don’t be wordy for the sake of keywords.

Using Your Keywords

Use this new title for your blog post or landing page. Then incorporate it into your Pinterest strategy. If you need to create new boards, you could use the original search term (i.e., Pinterest Headlines, for instance). I’ll show you how to use this in a pin image.

We don’t want to use the same title for each of our five pins, so think up variations. Use the tools I mentioned above for ideas, or if you are giving away a free guide or resource, that could be your title. You want to produce five titles to use on your pins and their titles and descriptions. Here’s my final headline for my post:

pinterest headlines

And here’s my five Pinterest pins with the headlines:

Create Pin Titles and Descriptions

Armed with tools and knowledge, now you can set forth to create your Pinterest Titles. I’m going to show you how I do this from my website because I use a tool called Tasty Pins, which allows me to create all the copy behind the scenes. When someone comes to my blog and tries to “pin” an image, I’ve got the copy set up to do so. Check it out right now by hovering over my pin image and saving it to Pinterest (The Pinterest icon should pop up so you can save it):

Pinterest Headlines that Go Viral

Writing Social Media Titles & Descriptions

From inside WordPress, I can use the Tasty Pin plugin to write my title, description, and hashtags. I can also choose to disable pinning if I don’t want the image to be pinned (such as with a logo or other non-Pinterest image).

pinterst pin

If I want to track the pins, I can place the “repin ID” which is an ID number you can find after the pin has been published on Pinterest. Right now I don’t have it up on Pinterest, but I can go back in later and update this if I want.

I can place several pins on this post without posting them directly to my blog post. It’s hidden using a feature inside of Tasty pins. It looks like this:

hidden images inside the Tasty pin plugin
Hidden Images in Tasty Pin Plugin

Pinning to Your Boards

You can also do this on Pinterest when you pin your images. Use your keywords that you looked up at the beginning using the Pinterest Keyword tool and then use that in your titles, descriptions, and hashtags. Use the titles on your pins to vary the copy. Then go and manually pin these to your boards!

I also schedule these to Tailwind Tribes and my Tailwind Queue, but when I manually pin, I just put them in my board for my blog, so I am doing both manual pins and scheduled pins. It doesn’t take much time. You could also add them to groups if you prefer.

A/B Testing

You should make a note of which pins work the best. In a few months, hustle back to your Pinterest Business Dashboard and locate which pins had the most success. Even if your pins didn’t get interaction, look at the pins that did. Could you replicate anything about those pins in your own Pinterest strategy? What keywords and layouts did they use?

Keep an eye out for what works and what doesn’t. By posting five different images per post or page, you can get a good glimpse into what your audience is needing. Take notes on that and keep fine-tuning your graphics and copy to attract your audience.

Create 5 pins per post or page
Create several pin images per post or page – I suggest five each

Save Your Research

Save the headlines you came up with above in a spreadsheet or other document. You might want to reference these later for similar posts. I like to keep a running tab of keywords inside an Excel spreadsheet so I can access them when I create posts and pins. This will save you time and energy next time you are looking for post headline ideas.

Summary

Instead of trying to “wing” your headlines, use the Pinterest keyword tool, online headline tools, and your knowledge of your audience to create headlines that convert. Create your titles and descriptions with this knowledge and watch your audience grow! Be sure to A/B Test your images and make a note of which ones work and which ones weren’t successful. By taking notice of what your audience wants and what is working, you can continue to take steps towards a successful Pinterest strategy that helps your pins go viral.

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About the Author

Pinterest graphic designer and digital strategist for business owners and change-makers who want to be seen and heard.

Michelle Buck

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