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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!

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