Give up your coffee, save a lifePinterest is huge, there’s no denying it , and it’s a great traffic driver to your website whether for products or information. I recently went on a surfing binge building a series of Pinterest boards for a client. These weren’t just pins from their website. Noooo. We recommend that a small percentage of the pins on a board be about you, they should be about the topic and bring together a useful, insightful or just plain beautiful perspective on the topic at hand.

The thing is, many websites are still not friendly to “pinning”. Sites that are framed, dynamic image generation, Flash slideshows, all hinder the ease in which people can pin your images and drive traffic to your website. If I can’t pin that beautiful product photo on your site not only will I move along and pin it somewhere else, I’ll have a negative reminder of your site.

So. what to do?

USE HTML5 slideshows

Flash slideshows don’t work with Pinterest. Flash pages don’t work with Pinterest. HTML5 is a much more user friendly option for many reasons, including making your site more friendly to Pinterest! So get rid of the Flash and give those images a chance!

Check your meta tags

Often when pinning an image from a website the Pinterest bookmarklet will grab the meta tags for the page instead of the description of the image. This may have no relationship to what you want people to think of when they see the image. This can depend on the configuration of your website, but it’s just a good idea to make sure these items represent your website well.

Add Alt text that includes the description of the image

Many sites don’t take advantage of ALT tags on their images. Not only is it good SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but it allows you to suggest the description that the user will get when they pin that image.

Use great, legal images

Use compelling images on your website. Pay attention to how the image looks, and never, ever use images you “just grabbed from Google“. If you don’t own the copyright don’t put those images out there in the first place. The better the photo the more re-pins it will get too, and every re-pin is a win for you.

Add a “pin it” button to images on your site

On standard websites, grab the code for a pin it button from Pinterest’s goodies page.

If you have a WordPress blog there are plugins you can add to easily add a “pin it” button when they mouse over an image on your blog. Here are a couple of plugins to look at:

Try it for yourself

Download the Pinterest Bookmarklet from the goodies page and try it out on your own site. What comes up when you try to pin an image?

Blocking Pinterest from your site

Several sites are less than thrilled with people re-sharing their images all over the place. Most notably National Geographic and several photographers have blocked the site from easily pinning images. If you don’t want people pinning from your site, simply add a meta tag and tell Pinterest to bug off!
Here’s the code.

Just include that in your meta tags and Pinterest will not allow pins from that page thorugh their PinIt browser add on. It’s no guarantee they won’t just copy it and upload it anyway, but it’s a start.

WHy, why, why?

Is this really working for business? Check out these stats from Curalate and you tell me.

Pinterest States from Curalate