How To Design Pins That Drive a Ton of Clicks in Minutes
You just wrote a killer blog post. You designed a beautiful pin graphic that you are very proud of. You expect this pin to skyrocket your Google analytics stats the moment you hit publish. But unfortunately, dreams don’t always come true.
What is your primary goal in the Pinterest platform as a content creator? To design pins that will make Pinterest users slow down their scroll. To design pins that stand out in a sea of pins and pique the user’s interest enough to make them click through it.
But the weird thing is, beautiful pins don’t always equal to more clicks. Because research has found that Pinterest users prefer to click on a very specific kind of pin. Pinterest is a visual platform, so of course, the pin has to be somewhat beautiful to satisfy user’s needs for aesthetics, but it doesn’t mean it has to be the most beautiful work of art ever created.
After observing hundreds of viral pins, I realized that all of them have a few common features. The formula for a clickable pin is so much simpler than you think. If your pin has all the ingredients of a click-worthy pin, it will surely drive a ton of clicks and increase your blog traffic within a few weeks.
But remember that although a lot of people consider pin impressions as vanity metrics, your pin has to be seen to get clicked. For the Pinterest algorithm to show your pins to a large group of audience, it has to be SEO optimized. So first, you have to learn the basics of Pinterest SEO and optimized your title, pin description, board name, and board description for Pinterest.
Now, we can focus our attention to pin graphics. What is it about pins that have thousands of clicks? Initially, it might seem like a mystery or even dumb luck. But there is a very specific formula when it comes to designing click-worthy pins. In this post, l will outline a 5 step process for a perfect clickable pin design that will drive tons of traffic to your blog and as a bonus, I’ll show you how you can significantly shorten your pin design time to 6-7 pins in 10 minutes or less.
5-step Formula for creating Click-worthy Pinterest pins
Step 1: Choosing the right pin ratio
There are essentially four kinds of pin ratios, 1:2, 2:3, 1:3 and of course the pin ratio that must not be named: the infamous horizontal pin.
1 : 3
1 : 2
2 : 3
If you don’t want to make the Pinterest algorithm angry or upset do not pin horizontal pins. Forget it even exists. The 1:3 ratio is too long for a pin and part of the image will get cut off in the feed, and also anger the Pinterest algorithm which trust me, you don’t want to do. Wow, I never thought I’d get to a point where my life’s decisions would depend on the whims of an inhuman bot this much.
The acceptable pin ratios are 2:3 and 1:2. Pinterest has announced that the preferred pin ratio for the platform is 2:3. A lot of pinners opt for the 1:2 pin ratio because it appears larger in the feed and grabs user attention easily, but Pinterest didn’t really like this practice and modified its algorithm to prevent making 1:2 pins popular.
In short, the optimal pin ratio is 2:3 with the dimensions of 600px in width and 900px in height.
Step 2: Selecting the Background Image
Once we have our pin dimensions set, we have to choose a background image that will serve as the base of our pin. When selecting a background image keep the following points in mind:
- Don’t use stock photos due to copyright issues. If you don’t take your pictures, use images from sites that offer free photos for download like Pixabay or Unsplash.
- The Pinterest algorithm prefers high-quality photos, so choose high-resolution images.
- Bright images are much more likely to be noticed by users than dark images.
If you end up using a dark image, make the image brighter and more eye-catching by increasing the brightness, contrast, and saturation of the photo.
- Images with warm tones like peach, pink, orange, red, or yellow are more likely to be clicked than images with blue or cool tones. Research has found that colors in shades of pink and warm peach are more likely to be clicked than any other color. If you can’t find an appropriate image with warm tones, use a black and white image and add warm-toned colors to the text overlay which we will get to later.
Take this pin for example. I couldn’t find a warm-toned photo that would fit the context, so I added an image that has black and white as its primary colors and chose a warm color for the text overlay to make it more vibrant and clickable. The result is that it ended up being one of my most popular pins that brought thousands of visitors to my site.
- Choose images without faces. Pins with faces are half as likely to be clicked as pins without faces.
- Pins, where the ratio of background images is less than 40%, are more likely to be clicked. For example in this pin, the background image is less than 40% while the rest is covered with text overlay.
- You want most of your focus to be on the text overlay, not on the pin image. So choose an image that does not overpower the text.
In a nutshell, choose bright images with warm tones that do not have faces, and do not overpower the text. The amount of background in the pin graphic should be less than 40%.
Step 3: Adding Text Overlay
Beautiful pin images with no text may get a lot of repins. But if you want people to click through your pins, which should be your main objective as a blogger, adding text overlay is a must. The text should be the most visible and vibrant part of the pin, and should take the spotlight over the background image. There are two factors to consider when designing a text overlay for you pin that will catch pinners’ attention: the text graphics and the text itself.
- Use bold and eye-catching fonts that are easy to read. Avoid using cursive or handwritten fonts because users will not spend more than 2 seconds trying to understand your pin text. Making the font hard to read will cause them to skim over it.
- The human eye is more likely to be drawn to numbers than words. So, a great way to draw attention to your text is to emphasize the numbers.
- The main phrase of the pin should be highlighted. This adds dimension to the pin, makes it more visually appealing, and immediately tells the user where to look. For example: if your pin is about How To Create a Self-Care Morning Routine where the main topic is Morning Routine, highlight the phrase by writing it in a larger font, or a different color than the rest of the text or by adding a different colored background to the phrase.
Take a look at this pin I created for my blog post: 7 Tips to Supercharge Your Productivity When Working From Home for example. The main phrase in the above pins is Productivity, which is highlighted by a different colored ribbon in the background.
- To make the text pop, choose a color for the background of the text overlay that is in high contrast with the font colors. If the font color is dark, color the background with a light color and vice versa.
The Text Itself:
The text on the pin graphic does not have to be the same as your pin title or your blog post title. A smart decision would be to curate your blog post title into a text that grabs the pinner’s attention. It is seen that there are two kinds of pins that pinners are most likely to click through in the Pinterest platform:
- Tips, steps or any other form of listicles
- How-tos and guides.
So, transform your blog post title into something that users in the Pinterest platform would find most valuable. For example, if your blog post title is Resourcefulness, Your Key To Success, where you explain how making a small change in our mindset can allow us to become more successful in life, the text in the pin graphic could be: How To Become Successful by Changing Your Mindset.
Step 4: Adding a Call to Action
An important driver for succeeding in Pinterest marketing or any kind of marketing is understanding your audience’s psychology. If you can figure out what makes your audience’s brain say, “I should click that!” or “I should buy that”, then there’s very little stopping you from being a successful blogger or a business owner.
Call To Action Pin
Call to action is an extremely powerful way to get viewers to click on your pins and drive traffic to your blog. So how can you place an effective call to action on your pins? There are two ways:
- The most effective way is to offer a freebie in your blog post.
- If you don’t have a freebie, you can place messages that include action words like Click or Start or Get and words that create urgency in the user’s mind, for example: today or now. To make sure people don’t skip reading your CTA (call to action), place an arrow beside your CTA that points to it. This will tell users where to pay attention to.
- Use bold fonts with a color that’s contrasting to the background. But don’t make your CTA font size larger than the text that explains what your pin is about. You want pinners to know what the pin is about first before you start telling them to click on it.
Step 5: Branding Your Pins
Establishing a powerful brand identity is extremely important for the long term success of your blog or small business. And this branding strategy should be reflected in your marketing schemes as well. If you haven’t designed a brand identity for your blog yet, check out my post on How to Brand Your Blog.
Branding will allow you to increase your reach on Pinterest and drive traffic from your old visitors. Let’s say, a visitor finds value in a post they came across from one of your pins. If they see a similar pin they’ll remember the value your site offered them on a previous occasion, and are more likely to click through it.
Branding your pins can be done in a couple of ways:
- By using your brand colors consistently throughout your pins. If you think your brand colors are not appropriate for Pinterest marketing, then use a different warm-toned color. Whatever color you choose, remember to use it consistently in all of your pins.
- Use the same font pairing in all your pins.
- Choose the same form of layout or design for your pins.
- At the bottom section of your pin, add your domain name. If you want to be a little extra, add your logo as well.
Shorten Your Pin Creation Time
We know that one pin per post is not enough, especially now in 2020 since Pinterest prefers fresh pins due to recent changes in the Pinterest algorithm. But time is precious and we should all optimize our pin designing process so we can design 6-7 pins in on sitting within 10-15 minutes. What I do is create a single pin according to Pinterest algorithm best practices in Canva. Then I make 6-7 copies of the pin, and make small changes in terms of color or layout in each of the pins. Using this formula, Designing the first pin shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, as this guide already gave you a very clear idea of what you need to do, and the rest of the process should be completed in 5 minutes.
For example, here is the first pin graphic I designed for a my blog post 5 nighttime routine self-care habits for a better tomorrow
Then I made 6 copies of the same pin and made small alterations to each of them, to create multiple clickable pins in minutes.
So to summarize, design pins with a 2:3 ratio, choose bright, warm-toned background images that do not overpower the text, add text overlays with large fonts and highlight the numbers. For an extra clickable pin add an effective CTA. Finally, brand your pins to attract fans of your previous blog posts. Lastly, to make multiple clickable images in a short period, start by creating a single pin according to the process outlined above, and then make slight alterations to copies of the same pin to transform each copy into a fresh pin image.
Did you find this post helpful? Did you notice a similar pattern in your most popular pins? Share in the comments below.
About The Author
I’m Zarnaz. I’m a self help junkie, caffeine addict, writer, engineer and I’m extremely passionate about the science of people. I want to know what inspires you, motivates you, drives you to make better choices and ultimately, how to help you reach your full potential. This is a blog dedicated to that cause.
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