Pin Titles Explained – How to Optimize and Use Them

It’s no secret that Pinterest is moving and shaking their features this year. The latest change is their addition of Pin titles – another feature to allow us to optimize for search results and conversions to clicks. Pin titles are so new Pinterest hasn’t updated their own developer documentation to share how to optimize your website for Pin titles! Let’s explore what Pin titles are and how we can make the most of this new feature.

Disclaimer – Pin titles are a brand new feature and we’re all learning as we go. I worked hard to compile the most accurate information available at the time of publishing this post, and will keep it updated as new information comes in. For all I know, Pinterest will change everything tomorrow! Also, some links in this blog post are affiliate links which means I might make a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on them.

What are Pin Titles

Screenshot of a pin on Pinterest showing a Pin titleI like to think of Pin titles as Pinterest’s own answer to Facebook’s open graph titles – with one key difference – optimizing for search. We know Pinterest isn’t exactly a social network, but also a visual search engine. Before Pin titles were officially introduced, Pinterest used their Rich Pins feature to pull metadata from our sites to optimize pins – limiting us to one Pin title per blog post. With this new tag we have flexibility to test multiple different meta titles without being limited to the one defined in our site metadata. Just like with split A/B testing for Pin graphics or descriptions, you can test different Pin titles.

How to Optimize Pin Titles

First and foremost, when optimizing your Pin Titles, avoid resorting to clickbait. Clickbait is never the answer folks! There are three key areas to optimize your Pin titles for:

  1. Search Engine Optimization – What does Pinterest need to know to serve your Pin in search results? What is the most relevant and accurate information about your post?
  2. Attention Grabbing – What will get pinners to save and click on your pin? Without resorting to clickbait?
  3. Most Important Info – What do you want pinners to know in the first 30 or so characters of your Pin title? We don’t know yet where Pinterest will truncate title lengths in different Pin views, but keep the title under 100 characters.

In addition to avoiding clickbait titles, you don’t want to repeat the pin description in your Pin titles. Pinterest reads both for their search results, there’s no need to be repetitive. Instead, think of it as another opportunity to get different – but relevant – keywording in. For some niches, especially the food niche, this will be difficult to do – so don’t sweat it. There’s only so many ways to title a black bean taco recipe.

How to Optimize Your Website for Pin Title Tags

Chances are, your website already has the most important metadata in place to tell Pinterest what your default Pin titles are. By optimizing for these metadata tags, anyone who pins from your website will pull the Pin title you want. I can confirm that Tailwind currently pulls Pin titles from a few places – the tag data-pin-title, the standard Open Graph title tag, Twitter title tag, and page meta title.

The most common tag – that you probably already use – is og:title. There are a variety of WordPress plugins that allow you to define this tag – Yoast being the most common. Follow these instructions to make sure Yoast is set up properly to handle Open Graph tags and test one of your pages with the Facebook sharing debugger.

Screenshot showing two pin drafts within Tailwind with two different titles for the same blog post.

This screenshot shows how Tailwind pulled the two data-pin-title tags for this blog post.

Tailwind looks for the data-pin-title tag first, and will resort to the og:title tag if it’s absent. Implementing the data-pin-title tag is the same as other Pinterest tags like data-pin-media and data-pin description. It looks like this:
<img src="image url here" data-pin-title="Pin title here" data-pin-description="Pin description here" />

Using the data-pin-title tag gives us flexibility to test different titles within the same blog post, just like testing different pin images and descriptions. This is working within Tailwind when using the browser extension, which cuts down on time while scheduling – but it is buggy within Pinterest itself.

API Partners & Plugins

As of the writing of this article, Pin titles are a brand new tag and there’s a scramble to add support for them. This means that some tools, like API schedulers and website plugins, might be temporarily broken. Pinterest is requiring that Pin titles are included whenever a pin is published via a partner tool. Tailwind has already adapted to these changes, but they are still working out some bugs.

Plugins like Tasty Pins and Social Pug currently do not have support for the new data-pin-title tag. I reached out to Tasty Pins and they’re working on adding support for data-pin-title.

I know it’s frustrating that support for Pin titles isn’t available everywhere yet, and it feels like this was sprung on content creators without warning by developers. Please don’t lash out at tools like Tailwind, they were just as blind-sighted as we were and are working hard to smooth out the bugs. Behind every software system and plugin are real people trying to scrape by just like us.

A Note About Rich Pins

Regardless of any tag you optimize for pin titles, if you have rich pins Pinterest is going to override the pin title with the rich pin one within 24 hours of the pin being published. It could be Pin titles are eventually going to replace broken rich pins, but that’s pure speculation. Should you disable rich pins to get the ability to customize Pin titles? No – rich pins pull a lot of data for search engine optimization that it isn’t worth turning them off.

Keep Calm & Don’t Overthink

Whenever Pinterest or another network throws changes at us, it’s easy to panic. Don’t panic. Think like your target audience and how they would search to find your content and you’ll be fine – you’re already doing that with your pin descriptions. Honestly, Pin titles probably won’t have much impact in the grand scheme of things – but that doesn’t mean ignore them entirely. I’m looking forward to seeing how content creators use this new tag!

Are you going to embrace Pin titles and start split A/B testing them? Let me know how you’re using them!

Photo of a desk from frontal view with a laptop, clock, and lamp. Text overlay says Pin Titles Explained.

Preparing for Emergencies as a Freelancer

This last August I found myself scheduled for emergency surgery – and quickly went into panic mode. How was I going to get enough work done to even be able to take the time off for surgery, let alone recovery? What if the worst happened, who would take over my business or even dissolve it? I was poorly prepared for emergencies as a freelancer, but thanks to that experience I knew what I needed to prepare for the next emergency. Preparing for emergencies as a freelancer is different for everyone, but these tips should guide you to come up with your own emergency plan.

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Hiring a Social Media Manager for Your Blog – 8 Important Questions to Ask

It’s a huge achievement to grow your content creation business to the point of hiring a social media manager. The decision isn’t easy, you’re putting a lot of trust into a virtual stranger. When you hire a social media manager, you’re handing off responsibility for your brand’s image on social media. Do not trust recommendations alone with hiring a social media manager for your blog – ask yourself these important questions as well.

Time and time again, I am connected with bloggers and brands who have hired a virtual assistant (VA) or social media manager (SMM) who was following old or bad practices. When some content creators find their way to me, they’ve lost access to their social profiles or they’re in ruins. I hate seeing that happen, and I want to equip others to avoid that all together. These 8 important things to consider when hiring a social media manager will help you avoid disaster with social networks and their algorithms.

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Layoffs, most of the time, are totally unexpected – and totally devastating. In the fall of 2014, my husband was hit with a devastating layoff – and we suddenly needed to replace his income to make ends meet. I was terrified, until that point I felt like my freelancing was just means to get us out of debt faster and have some fun money. Thankfully I had completely overhauled my business earlier that year and went from barely contributing to our budget to being able to support us both on one income. You can do it too and survive a devastating lay off with self-employment – all you need is some time and some sort of skills that you can use remotely – like editing Word documents!

My husband was laid off suddenly and unexpectedly – but we managed to survive that devastating layoff and find independence with self-employment! Here's how you can start a new career from scratch as a virtual assistance or any other telecommuting position!

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How to Buffer Video & Image Shares from Other Facebook Pages

Buffer is a great social media scheduling tool! Here's how to use it to schedule shares of video & image posts made by other Facebook pages. If you Buffer video & image shares, you get a boost of engagement & reach from the original page! In both a video tutorial & written format to follow along. | @ourmisadventure

It’s no secret that I’m a major fan of Buffer, and love to use it for managing profiles for all of my clients. But, it isn’t always straightforward how to do some things. It’s hard to develop something that depends entirely on others, and we all know how easy Facebook makes things. Yes, that’s sarcasm! One of the things that we have to adapt to with Facebook’s quirks is using Buffer to re-share videos and images from other Facebook pages. [Read more…]

Tips & Tricks for Pinning with Buffer

Note – A previous version of this post appeared on my other blog, Our Misadventures on August 5th, 2015. Since then I’ve decided to separate business from personal blogging and am moving this over to along with some updates. 

Not sure about switching to Buffer for your Pinterest scheduling? Want to see it in action before taking the dive? Or you're confused on how to use it? This webinar covers all the tips and tricks for pinning with Buffer.

Not sure about switching to Buffer for your Pinterest scheduling? Want to see it in action before taking the dive? Or you’re confused on how to use it? This webinar covers my favorite tips and tricks for pinning with buffer!

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Welcome to my new blog, Meg Bateman – Social Media Strategist! This is a new outlet for me to help others with their most pressing social media & blogging problems.
At the beginning of this year, I decided I needed to find a new balance in my life between running two businesses and making time to really enjoy life. One of the things that stood out to me was being able to help more people with the knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years. I only have so much time for regular clients and coaching calls, I needed to find a way to help more people with the time I do have.

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Thank you for your interest! I'm no longer taking on clients. Follow me on IG for personal updates.