How to design Pinterest pins that drive traffic

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Looking to create eye-catching Pinterest pins that drive traffic? 

Last year, I hired a Pinterest VA who unfortunately tanked my traffic to just 50 visits per month. I took back control and revived my Pinterest traffic within 3 months. With 20 years of experience in graphic design, I’m sharing the best practices, design tips, and standard pin specs to help you create eye-catching and click-worthy pins! Whether you’re a seasoned content creator or just starting out, follow this guide to design beautiful pins that stand out on Pinterest.

Pinterest standard pin specs and best practices

Ideal dimensions and aspect ratios for Pinterest pins

The standard size for any Pinterest graphic is a ratio of 2×3. That means that vertical graphics work best.

Pinterest squeezes all of its content into vertical columns that are the same width. Have you ever noticed that horizontal images rarely appear on your Pinterest feed? That’s because if you pin a horizontal image, you’re shooting yourself in the foot – your graphic will get squeezed, just like all graphics do, but it will appear extra squeezed (and barely noticeable) given its size.

As for a specific size to create your graphic, since Pinterest follows a ratio there’s not one standard size per se. I tend to design all of my graphics for Pinterest at 1000px wide by 1500px tall, which is the size that Canva uses for Pinterest.

You can make your Pinterest graphics even taller, but don’t make them too tall, because at a certain point it will automatically get chopped off at the bottom.

Using Rich Pins

Rich pins provide additional information directly on the pin, such as product details, recipe ingredients, or article headlines. By enabling rich pins for your content, you can provide more context, enhancing its visibility and usefulness to users, and encourage them to engage with your pins.

Creating Fresh Pins

To get the most out of Pinterest, you should play by their rules – the Pinterest algorithm has favored “fresh” pins for a while now. Fresh Pins are defined by Pinterest as images or videos that they haven’t seen before. You can create several images that link to the same blog post, page, or product listing, and each of those would be considered fresh when saved to Pinterest for the first time. Read more about Fresh Pins from Tailwind.

Fresh pins are new images – but you can create new Pinterest images for old content. Fresh pins can link to a URL you pinned before.

An easy way to create fresh pins is by creating pins using different titles for the same blog post. I create images for Pinterest using different titles for blog posts – and then match the text title of the Pin to the title I used in the image. Doing so can also help improve search engine visibility. When you use several different titles, you increase the chances of your content showing up in different search results, driving more traffic to your website. This strategy can also help you reach a wider audience, as different titles may appeal to different groups of people. 

Use Pinterest templates to quickly and easily create a variety of images for Pinterest. Apart from my own Canva templates, Creative Market also offers a lot of different pin templates.

Optimizing Pin descriptions for search

Using relevant keywords and descriptive language in your pin descriptions can improve the discoverability of your pins through Pinterest’s search function. Consider what terms your audience might use when searching for content like yours and integrate those keywords naturally into your pin descriptions – or use them to mix up the titles for your fresh pins.

Add a call-to-action in your description to encourage users to click through to your content, driving traffic to your site.

Creating click-worthy pins

Make your pins pretty

Pretty pins receive more saves and clicks from users. When a pin is saved (or re-pinned), it increases its reach and drives more traffic to your website or blog posts.

This tip should be obvious, but I have seen some pretty cringe-worthy graphics pop up in my Pinterest feed, and I strongly believe (from experience) that pretty things will always perform better. Why? Because when a Pinterest graphic doesn’t look too great, it creates the impression that the content it’s promoting won’t be too great either. 

Generally speaking, when something looks beautiful, professional, and attractive, people are more likely to click on it, buy it, share it, etc. So, spend some time creating Pinterest graphics for your brand that reflect the value of your content.

Create an eye-catching title

Take the time to understand who your target audience is and what type of content resonates with them. By understanding your audience’s preferences and interests, you can tailor your content, titles, and pin designs to better meet their needs and capture their attention.

When you’re creating your graphics, you want to think about what you want to stand out as someone’s scrolling on Pinterest. This plays into what you name your blog posts, obviously, as well as SEO. When you’re naming your posts consider how you can create a title that will stand out.

For example, which one of these titles sounds better:

  • How to Launch
  • How to Launch Your First Online Course in 60 Days

You’re more likely to click on the second title because the first one is too vague.

My favorite tool for creating a good title is the Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer.

Creating a consistent pin style for brand recognition

The purpose of using a Pinterest template is to establish consistency. The more consistent you are with the graphics you use for your brand and business, the more recognizable and trustworthy you will become for your audience. Use a consistent style in terms of color scheme, typography, and overall aesthetic.

Consider creating branded Pinterest templates on Canva that you can then use to quickly and easily create beautiful pins. Using templates will save you time when it comes to promoting your content. You can even use a template to create fresh pins and promote the same blog post over and over – just switch up your headline, rephrase your call to action, and you’re good to go!

Want to skip creating your branded templates from scratch and get started ASAP? Grab a set of customizable templates from my Canva Template Shop, no graphic design experience needed.

Choosing the right color palette

The use of color can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your pin. Using your branding elements, such as your logo or brand colors, can help increase brand recognition and make your pins more memorable.

But if your brand colors don’t stand out in the Pinterest feed, you can experiment with different colors on your Pinterest pins more easily than on other platforms. That’s because your pins will mostly be on their own in search results or the home feed. Creating a few different styles is a great way to create fresh pins that will attract different people to your content.

Pin designs using warm colors are said to perform better than those using a cold color palette, but you may want to A/B test to find out whether this is also true for your content and audience.

Choosing high-quality images and graphics

When designing Pinterest pins, make sure to use high-quality, gorgeous images. Whether you’re using stock photos or your own photography, ensure that the visuals align with your brand and content. Additionally, use eye-catching graphics such as icons to make your pins stand out.

Unsplash has gorgeous free photos that you can use in your pin designs. For premium photos, I love Styled Stock Society and Creative Market.

Add large, easy-to-read text

My Pinterest pin designs with very large, easy-to-read text perform best. Although the text may be easy to read for you when you create your graphic, it might not be when it’s shrunk down and squished into the vertical columns on Pinterest.

Add text in a color that complements your image and catches the user’s attention as they scroll. Add a call-to-action on your pin image to encourage click-throughs and drive traffic to your site.

There are two major points to pay attention to when adding text to an image: contrast and position.

Add text to images: Contrast

Contrast is about making sure the text is readable. Don’t use white text on a light background image, or dark text on a dark background image. If you have a busy image, lighten or darken the image. You can do so by putting a white or black partially transparent layer on top of it. That will allow for better contrast between the image and the text.

Alternatively, you can add an overlay with a background color that matches your brand and helps the text to stand out.

Text on Images: Contrast

Add text to images: Position

Position is about where you put the text on the image. The center of the image can be good, and is a fairly easy way that’s generally fail-proof.

Text On Images: Position Centered

Don’t put the text on the very edges, that usually makes it look cramped and awkward. If you want to put it in a more interesting place on the image, play around with the rule of thirds. Divide your image into three equal size sections horizontally as well as vertically, so you end up with 9 equal size sections on your image.

In professional photos, you will notice the photo’s subject is usually on one of the intersections between the horizontal and vertical lines. You’ll want to put your text on such an intersection too.

Don’t put it over the subject, instead give it space by using the intersection diagonally opposite of it. If the photo’s subject isn’t on such an intersection, play around with placing the text on the different intersections and see where you like it best.

Text On Images: Rule of Thirds

Using Canva to design your Pinterest pins

Canva makes it easy to create graphics for your blog or business. You can create images from scratch or use Canva templates.

Create a new design

To create a new graphic in Canva, click the “Create a design” button and choose the type of image you want to create, such as a Pinterest pin.

Create a Pinterest Pin in Canva

Add elements to create your Pin design

Once you have your blank canvas, you can use the tools on the left-hand side to add elements like shapes, icons, and photos.

Canva Elements

Add text to your image

After you have your desired image, you can click on the “Text” tab on the left-hand side and select a text style to add text to your image. If you’ve set up your brand kit in Canva, select a font from your brand kit to use in your Pin design.

Add text to images using Canva

Finally, you can customize the font, size, color, and alignment of the text to make it look exactly how you want. It’s very important that your text is easy to read, so if you need to change fonts to make your Pinterest images easier to read, do so!

Optimizing your pin designs by A/B testing

A/B testing different pin designs can provide valuable insights into what resonates with your audience and drives the most traffic. Use Pinterest analytics to track the performance of your pins, understand what content resonates with your audience, and identify opportunities for improvement. Experiment with variations in imagery, text, and layout to identify the most effective pin designs for your content.

Now that you know how to design Pinterest pins, you may want to add a custom Pin It button on your website so visitors can easily pin it to their Pinterest boards. More pins mean more eyes on your content, which can help drive more traffic to your website and grow your audience.

Hopefully these tips help you get started in creating beautiful graphics that will stand out on Pinterest. If you’re stuck with your graphics, head over and check out the Pinterest templates in my shop. Templates are a great way to quickly create beautiful graphics without stress or frustration.


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