149: How to Get Your Content to Stand Out on Pinterest with Yuka Ohishi

Welcome to episode 149 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork talks with Yuka Ohishi about optimizing your posts for Pinterest.

Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Steph Jones from Steph Yoga about realizing there needed to be a change in her career and how she made that change happen. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

How to Get Your Content to Stand Out on Pinterest

Pinterest can be one of the biggest sources of traffic for food bloggers, so it’s important to optimize your posts, descriptions, and photos for Pinterest success.

That’s why Yuka is here today. She has worked at Pinterest for a few years, and she knows the ins and outs of the platform. She’ll answer some of our members’ most common Pinterest questions like how big your pins should be, how hashtags work, how to optimize Pinterest descriptions, and so much more.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your Pinterest efforts, this episode is for you!

In this episode, Yuka shares:

  • How she started working with Pinterest
  • How often you should be pinning
  • Why the new profile will help you customize your presence on Pinterest
  • Whether or not you should use rich pins
  • How SEO works on Pinterest
  • How to optimize your Pinterest descriptions
  • How hashtags on Pinterest work
  • The ideal size for long pins
  • How to get more traffic from Pinterest

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If you’d like to jump to the comments section, click here.


Bjork Ostrom: In this episode, we are chatting about all things Pinterest. Ways that you can be building your following as well as getting more traffic to your blog, leveraging the incredible tool that is Pinterest.

Bjork Ostrom: Hey there, everybody. This is Bjork Ostrom and you are listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast, brought you by wptasty.com. WP Tasty is the go-to place for people that are looking for solid plug-ins, especially if you are in the food and recipe space, and we have two plug-ins right now Tasty Recipes for all you food bloggers, which a lot of you that listen to this podcast are food bloggers, which makes sense. As well as Tasty Pins, and Tasty Pins is a plug-in that actually works for all blogs and we’re gonna talk about that a little bit on this podcast.

Bjork Ostrom: But with this little sponsorship we actually do what’s called a Tasty Tip, so we’re not just gonna talk about the WP Tasty products. We’re gonna give you a little bit of a tip that you can apply to your blog, and we call that the Tasty Tip. Today’s Tasty Tip is going to be about this thing called Rich Pins, and we’re going to be talking about Rich Pins with Yuka on the podcast today, and why they are important, and some considerations that you should have if you’re gonna turn Rich Pins on.

Bjork Ostrom: And some of you might be thinking, “Do I have Rich Pins for my Pinterest account and for my blog?” And there’s a way that you can test for that, and that is called the Rich Pins validator. If you don’t know if you have pins on your site or if you don’t know if they’re fully optimized, you can use a tool from Pinterest called the Rich Pins validator. You can get there a couple ways. You can go to foodbloggerpro.com/richpins and that will redirect you to the tool.

Bjork Ostrom: You’ll need to have a Pinterest account and then sign in or you can just Google, Pinterest Rich Pins validator, and that will bring you to the page as well. What you can do here is you can drop in a URL for one of the posts on your site, and Pinterest will look through that and will make sure that you have all the information that you need to have Rich Pins. If you don’t, there will be some information from Pinterest about what you can do to fix that problem and as you scroll through the information on that Rich Pins validator page, there will be some green check marks or red exclamation points and those will be either telling you everything’s all right if you have a green check mark, or there might be a little warning sign that you need some more information that’s not included in order for your pin to have all of the different elements needed for a Rich Pin.

Bjork Ostrom: You can go ahead and check that out again. You can just search Rich Pins validator or go to foodbloggerpro.com/richpins and that will redirect you to the Rich Pins validator. That is a great little tool to make sure that you have Rich Pins set up, which we are going to be talking about on the podcast today with Yuka Ohishi.

Bjork Ostrom: Yuka is from Pinterest. She works for Pinterest and she is the Creator Programs Lead and the International Program Manager at Pinterest. She has an inside track on the important things that are happening behind the scenes at Pinterest. She’s going to be talking about some new updates that have recently come out, as well as some considerations that you as a creator should be aware of in order to increase your presence on Pinterest and the traffic that you’re getting back to your blog from people pinning content from your site or repining that content once it gets on to Pinterest. There’s going to be a lot of great tips, a lot of great takeaways in this episode. I’m excited to share it with you. Let’s go ahead and jump in. Yuka, welcome to the podcast.

Yuka Ohishi: Hi. This is Yuka from Pinterest.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, so excited to have you here.

Yuka Ohishi: So excited as well.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. We have, obviously, a lot to talk about. Pinterest is a really big deal, especially in our niche, but before we do that I wanted to hear a little bit about your story, how you got connected to Pinterest and a little bit of background of what you do at Pinterest.

Yuka Ohishi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I have been at Pinterest for about four years now, but I actually started in the Tokyo office when we were starting out our business in Japan and I was just getting hired as a Community Manager in the Tokyo office and I was there for a year and then three years ago, I moved to San Francisco to join the international team where we work with a lot more countries to bring the wonderfulness of Pinterest all over the world and not just the U.S. Yeah, that’s kind of how I got started with Pinterest Before I moved to Pinterest I was working at a game company.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay.

Yuka Ohishi: But when I was there I was not very happy because I did not really love the product I was creating.

Bjork Ostrom: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Yuka Ohishi: When I joined Pinterest I was doing what I truly love personally, and that kind of led me to Pinterest and yeah, I just personally love the product and this year we’re focused more on our creator audience like you and everyone listening to this podcast and so that’s really exciting for me because I am also a creator outside of work and I do, I started as a style blogger a long time ago, but right now, I’m really into creating videos on YouTube.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, we’re actually talking about that a little bit. I was doing some research for this podcast and then sometimes this happens, where it’s under the name of research, it just ends up me watching YouTube videos, which is what happened because you have this great creator channel. It’s such a great fit for you at Pinterest because Pinterest is a community of creators. So not only are you a creator, but you are working with creators. We’ve had multiple conversations about some of the ways that we at Pinch Of Yum use Pinterest and getting some insight from you and feedback. And eventually we came to this point where we were like, “Hey, let’s record this for a podcast, publish it to our audience and let them know some of the things that are happening at Pinterest that creators should be aware of. So, excited to jump into some of the questions we have, both from me personally, as well as from our community.

Bjork Ostrom: But before we do that, I thought it’d be good to start at a high level. People know Pinterest and they understand it. But I think it’s helpful on this podcast and just in general to address the why behind, the reason why we’re using certain tools. So, can you talk about Pinterest as it relates to food and recipe sites, and food and recipe content. Why is Pinterest such a good place for recipes and for food photography?

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah, absolutely. I think taking even one more step back, our mission of the company is to help people discover and do the things they love. And you think about that, food is a really important part of, universally and globally, everyone has to eat. Designing how you eat, how you feed your family is a really crucial part of a lot of peoples’ lives.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Yuka Ohishi: And a lot of people are looking for new ideas, healthier options. Whatever it is that they’re looking for, it’s just a very real problem that people have. And Pinterest is a great place to find ideas that they can do in their actual lives.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Yuka Ohishi: So we have 21 billion food pins on Pinterest fun fact. It’s also one of the most popular categories among both men and women, and all over the world.

Bjork Ostrom: Do you have any statistics in terms of where it lands as a general topic on Pinterest? Is it number one, number two? And what are the other really popular types of content?

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah, some of the other popular ones are fashion, home décor, DIY. But food is also one of them so I guess among those four, and maybe hair and beauty is another one. So, those five are at the top, no matter where you go. And then the ranking might change per country.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Yuka Ohishi: Overtime, but those are the most I think universal and things that resonate to everyone.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, absolutely. So, let’s talk about successful creators. So we talked about how Pinterest is a place for creators, either people that are creating and documenting, or people that are then taking that documented creation, and recreating, but not necessarily documenting it themselves. So they’re looking for inspiration for the things that they are creating. For the people that are doing that first category, creating and documenting, what are some of the common characteristics of them having success on Pinterest? And you can speak to it both from literally being on Pinterest and having a profile and having people that are following them, as well as being off of Pinterest but creating content that then is brought in to Pinterest and people find it and use it and engage with it.

Yuka Ohishi: Mm_hmm. I think for Pinterest, kind of similar to what I was saying before, people are looking for things to actually be able to do. So things that is clearly something that people find useful and helpful is something that works really well on Pinterest. So creating content like that, and more attainable is really popular, and I think more frequency rather than just one off post, like once a month.

Yuka Ohishi: So, having frequent cadence is also a good trait to have.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And I think the attainable piece is really important. Can you talk more about that? And why that’s important, and what that would look like, let’s say if you were creating a recipe. What does it look like to publish a piece of content that is an attainable recipe, and maybe the photography, how that goes along with?

Yuka Ohishi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right. I think it’s always kind of a balance between how amazingly beautiful it is, and the attainable piece could be contradicting sometimes. But I think having ingredients that you’re using or even the keyword like easy or 15 minutes or whatever that is to help people understand why it might be for them is important and really helpful for people who are trying to find ideas in their busy lives. Trying to find recipes to cook tonight, yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, got it. And then, one of the things you said was the frequency. And I know that a lot of people will say, ooh frequency, this is kind of a hot topic. How frequently should I post to Pinterest? Is that what you meant by frequency? How active you are on your profile?

Yuka Ohishi: Yes. Maybe not literally only on your profile, but lots of different ways to think about this. So you as a creator, you can bring in, you can pin from other people or pin from your own website. The most important thing is to pin from your domain at least once a week or so. So that you have content from your domain coming into Pinterest. And then I think there is also a FAQ question about should I pin from other people? And that’s also a popular question. But I think it honestly doesn’t, from a technical standpoint, it doesn’t really matter. But I think building that community of authentically saving something if you find it useful or if you actually want to try it, saving from other people and having a board with your content and with other people’s content is really interesting for your followers or your potential followers that are checking your profile out. So I would say try to be authentic to how your followers and pinners would want to see your content and how helpful it is. Rather than trying to do math or check the algorithm if you will.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah, that’s how I would think about it.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s similar to google, and we can talk about Pinterest SEO in a little bit.

Yuka Ohishi: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: The idea being, don’t try and think what the algorithm wants, try and think what people want because that’s

Yuka Ohishi: Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: What the algorithm wants, is what people want. And so, it’s less about understanding machines and robots, I mean that’s a piece of it, and we need to understand and be aware of that. We’re going to talk about some of those things that impact the algorithm, but the algorithm is always going to serve the better purpose of the people that are using the platform, and people will use it more if they’re seeing content that they like and enjoy and that matches up with them. And is quality content.

Yuka Ohishi: Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: So I feel like it’s, we say it over and over, but it’s like content is king. Quality content is king.

Yuka Ohishi: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: And has such a big impact. So one of the big updates for Pinterest recently is the new profile. So we’d be interested to hear what’s new about it and also what creators need to do in order to access that. How can they, is it something they turn on and how does that work?

Yuka Ohishi: Right. So we are still rolling that feature out. So if you don’t have it yet, we might be still, still be in the process of getting it to you. But please make sure you have a business account if you don’t already. So that’s the kind of the criteria that we’re using to make sure you get the business profile. So, yeah, that’s kind of the criteria, and if you already have a business account but don’t see it yet, please hold tight, we’re rolling it out. But, yeah, that’s kind of how you turn it on, but we’re really excited about the new profile and I hope everyone loves it. The two new things that stand out probably, is the cover and monthly viewers. And if you had a chance to play with cover, that is basically kind of a, like a representation of your pins from a feed or a board that you have. And you can customize that whenever you want. But basically our business profile is designed to give you an opportunity to customize your presence and to highlight the best idea that you have. When pinners access your profile, they can immediately tell what type of content to expect when they follow you. So it acts like a showcase.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s an opportunity for you as a business to brand your Pinterest account. So, whereas if you just have a personal account, it’s going to be more of an organized set of the different boards that you have, but you’re not going to be able to brand it in the same way because people probably aren’t going to be coming to you in the same way that they would a business or an influencer to follow along.

Yuka Ohishi: Hm-mmm. Right. I guess, on the pinner side, it’s more about utility and organizing, whereas on the brands or bloggers, creator side it’s more about how you present your self and present your content is kind of the distinction we’re making here.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Great. And then, the other thing you talked about…

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah, and then the other part is…

Bjork Ostrom: Is the monthly views

Yuka Ohishi: That is the new metric that we’re showing on your profile. And that is a metric of your unique people who saw your content over the last 30 days. Whether that’s from, on your profile, on home feed, on following tab, on search, where ever all over, on Pinterest. We will count that as an aggregate number to show your total influence on Pinterest.

Yuka Ohishi: So if you think about how Pinterest works, your following count is not the ceiling if you will. And so the more followers you have, with a new following tab as well, it does help you get more distribution or kick start your content, but that is not the only audience that will see your content. So we want to make sure that we expose the actual number that represents your influence on Pinterest and how much reach you have.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And idea being that you could have not many followers, but if you have really incredible content that is being created on your blog or on your website then distributed on to Pinterest, then you might have a lot of influence because a lot of people are seeing that even though they’re not coming back and following your specific Pinterest account. The actual pins that you have that were originated either from your profile or from your site are getting viewed a lot. So that monthly view account, does that take into effect all of the views from your blogs URL? Or does that include all of the views from pins that you have repinned? When you look at that monthly view account or number, what does that number represent?

Yuka Ohishi: Yes, so both actually, what you mentioned. So if I pin from your blog and you don’t pin that specific pin for example, that will still count. The distribution that happened through me so if my followers see the pin came from your blog, that also counts as monthly viewers because people are seeing your content. Then if you pin on your profile, that also counts as your viewers.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So, it’s possible for one piece of content to be increasing the view count on multiple different profiles on Pinterest.

Yuka Ohishi: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Cool. It’s really interesting. So people should be sure to check that out if they have a business profile. They can access those two important things. The monthly views, which would be important to see and display on your site, as well as getting some branding from that kind of cover image area that you can have.

Yuka Ohishi: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: For people in our niche, but also this applies to other niches as well, one of the things that is important for Pinterest is this thing called a rich pin. Can you talk about what rich pins are? And why they’re important.

Yuka Ohishi: Hm-hmm (affirmative). So rich pins are a type of special type of pin where we take some of the meta-data on your site to be able to display more rich information on Pinterest. So for recipe pins, we show your ingredients and measurements or time that’s needed and things like that, that’s written on your schema.org or OG tags on your site.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And so for our niche, for recipes, if you use a recipe plug in on a word press site, than it’ll,

Yuka Ohishi: Hm-mmm (affirmative).

Bjork Ostrom: which is usually how people do it, it’ll mark up that recipe in a way where

Yuka Ohishi: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: Companies like Google or Pinterest can recognize that that is a recipe, they can take that meta-data like you talked about, pull that out and integrate it in certain ways. And right now on Pinterest, one of the ways that they’re doing that is by grabbing the ingredients, integrating that in, and one of the questions that especially when rich pins first came out, but I know comes up occasionally as well, is if people have more information on Pinterest, doesn’t that then keep them from going to my blog to view the page?

Bjork Ostrom: And people kind of go back and forth and say, “Well, maybe I shouldn’t enable rich pins because then people have to go to my site to get the actual information”, so can you speak to people that have that question of does it make sense to have rich pins and why is that an advantage? Or is there potentially a negative when it comes to traffic?

Yuka Ohishi: Right. I totally hear that point and I think that to be completely honest I think we haven’t been doing a very good job of utilizing the rich pins in a more meaningful way. Rather than, other than, just showing, it’s really really really helpful for pinners but not, we’ve heard many times from creators that it is, it could potentially take traffic away or not get as much click throughs.

Yuka Ohishi: However, we are going to be working on making this experience better for pinners and creators. And so regardless of the historical things with rich pins I would highly recommend that rich pins should be implemented and we’ll be working on more features that help you and help people with rich pins.

Yuka Ohishi: So for example, a feature that we worked on last year is the food filters feature that only is available in food queries. So if I search for queries like dinner, I will see a special type of filters where I can filter down by diet, or by time or by certain type of ingredients. And that is using rich pin data. So those add on features like those will be using rich pins and so right now for example on that feature, only pins with rich pins will get pulled in if people use that filter. So I think it will become more and more important as we develop more of those.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Yeah, and that’s, when it first came out we’re having some conversations with some people at Pinterest about it and that was one of the things they said was alright, deal with this long term is that we would love to build in search functionality that allows content to be more discoverable if you don’t have those rich pins then you’re just not going to even be included because you can’t have that search term applied to your content. It sounds like some of that is coming down the line so to be aware of that. And one of the questions that comes up in the community every once in awhile is like, ah, should I disable rich pins? Will that result in more traffic? And it sounds like, what I hear you saying is, sit tight. Because even though it might result in a short term boost of maybe people clicking over, the long term play with Pinterest is to build that content, or build that meta-data into the search process, and therefore make your content more discoverable.

Yuka Ohishi: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Bjork Ostrom: And the other thing I’ll say, just for clarity’ sake, is right now it’s just ingredients. And I know there’s a time when it’s maybe a feature that was being tested for recipes specifically, and it had ingredients, and then instructions as well. And I don’t know if you were with Pinterest at this point, but there’s this like massive backlash and people disabling rich pins, and Pinterest heard that, reversed that feature. But I think that, for this niche, is the really big thing, is like the combination of ingredients and instructions.

Yuka Ohishi: Totally.

Bjork Ostrom: Because people still need to know how to make the recipe, they can’t just use the ingredients and figure it out. And so if it’s just ingredients, I think that makes sense, and results in people still clicking over to see the recipe, while having the benefit of the search functionality on Pinterest.

Yuka Ohishi: Hm-mmm. Yes and again, it’s really important for us to make sure that the pinner experience is great, but also the creator experience and benefit is also great. So both of those has to co-exist, and I think in the past we kind of, we haven’t done a great job, or in that case that you just mentioned, we, how we didn’t value the creator side as much as we should have. So that’s why we reversed it really quickly. But as we dive deeper into working with you and working with other people in the creator community we should get much much better at these type of things.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.

Yuka Ohishi: And make sure we honor both.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s been fun for us, and just to affirm, Pinterest, what you’re doing it’s very obvious that are interested in creators and feedback and that’s not true across the board for every social media company. So it’s been awesome to see that and to have that. An example being this podcast here, coming on and talking about best practices and things like that too.

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Let’s talk about some other important areas of a Pinterest pin. So, one of the things that has kind of changed and is becoming, not necessarily had changed but maybe some of the best practices have changed, is this idea of an optimized description area. And there’s this thing called SEO, which a lot of people are aware of. It’s search engine optimization. And Pinterest, just like YouTube and just like Google, is a search engine. And as creators, we need to think about how we can optimize the content we have on these sites, or on Google, or on YouTube, or you know on Pinterest. And so, from an SEO standpoint, can you talk about some of the important considerations that creators should be thinking about when they’re creating a pin or when they’re publishing content on their blog?

Yuka Ohishi: I think this is very very similar to Google SEO, but we definitely care about keywords, like helpful keywords, relevant keywords, detailed descriptions on pins. Or strong call to action, so is it about buying this thing, or is it about making this recipe, what am I, what is the call to action on this content, is really helpful. Yes, I think the general, or the high-level advice would be to use great keywords.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And it’s, one of the things that, this is maybe six months ago now, is we’re trying to figure out how to optimize on our blog for Pinterest,

Yuka Ohishi: Hm-mmm (affirmative)

Bjork Ostrom: One of the things that, we ran into this issue because we’re not necessarily power users on Pinterest, but the content that we create on Pinch Of Yum has a lot of potential to perform well on Pinterest. And we wanted to figure out, we understand the basics of SEO for search engines, how do we start to implement that for Pinterest? And one of the common practices for Pinterest was with your image, on your blog, using either the title or the alt text area, to put in a Pinterest description. But then what we realized is then that allows us to not optimize for SEO, and this came from a conversation we had with a SEO expert on Food Blogger Pro, Casey Marquis, from Media Wyse. And he said you need to look at this. So we stepped back and said how do we optimize for both? And we created a plugin for that called Tasty Pins which allows you to write a Pinterest description that’s pulled in with the image. And that’s been super helpful for us, cause now we can optimize for Pinterest and SEO.

Bjork Ostrom: But on the Pinterest side, when we’re crafting that description, whether that be on our blog or on Pinterest itself, and let’s say we have a keyword, and just to make it easy, we’ll use chocolate chip cookies. If that’s the keyword that we’re focusing in on, what does a good description look like? What are the elements that are included in a really strong optimized Pinterest SEO description?

Yuka Ohishi: I would say again, it’s kind of thinking through the pinners point of view. What are they, what would they be looking for if they want to find this content? So definitely probably chocolate chip cookies, maybe snacks, maybe dessert, maybe sweet snacks.

Bjork Ostrom: Hm-mmm (affirmative)

Yuka Ohishi: Things like that. So or is it about baking? Is it about gluten-free cookies? Is it about things you can do with your kids? All these different points of view where people might be searching for content and where do you want to see your content being shown.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Yuka Ohishi: Like a brainstorming process, I guess.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure. And so it’s maybe a little bit different than Google in the sense that it sounds like you can be intentional about ranking for multiple different keywords. So for the chocolate chip cookie example, you could say a perfect afternoon snack for kids in the summer, these chocolate chip cookies are really quick and one of my favorite recipes.

Bjork Ostrom: And so that would mean you would potentially rank for afternoon snack, you’d potentially rank for chocolate chip cookies. It sounds like it’s possible if you’re intentional, to have multiple different keywords included in your description, is that right?

Yuka Ohishi: Yes. But one thing to note is that that is not the only thing we use for ranking or for SEO so other things like what is the board name that people are searching or people are saving their content to or other pins that get saved along with that pin.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Yuka Ohishi: So for example maybe people are saving your chocolate cookie pins to Christmas boards because it’s really great for Christmas. Then you could get ranked on Christmas for example.

Bjork Ostrom: That makes sense. Or if you have a really, or if you have let’s say a salad, and it gets saved to hundreds of healthy recipe boards, then if somebody searches healthy recipe, maybe you have that in the description but also people have saved it to the board which then increases the likelihood even more that they would find that when searching for that search term.

Yuka Ohishi: Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: Is there anything on the actual origin page that influences how something ranks? So I’m thinking of let’s say Pinchofyum.com/chocolatechipcookies. Is there anything Pinterest looks for on that original page, that original URL where the content is from that then informs the ranking on Pinterest?

Yuka Ohishi: Yes, so even if you, this is like your extreme example, but even if you don’t use or leave your description blank, we can look into the html or the website that it comes from and try to understand what the pin is about.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Yuka Ohishi: So, we are looking into multiple sources to understand what your content is and what resonates with other people.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. And then the other area of descriptions that are starting to become more important are hashtags. So can you talk about how hashtags are used on Pinterest? And how many of those should people include in their URL, or in their description?

Yuka Ohishi: Right, so you can add up to 20 relevant hashtags. And we are using hashtags to be able to identify useful and fresh content. And so pinners are using hashtags to search for new content on Pinterest. Things like hashtags are, on Pinterest it’s more about utility than humor for example. So hashtag I hate exercise is not a great hashtag

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah different than something like maybe Twitter where it’s a little bit of a cross-over, it’s both utility and a communication tool. You wouldn’t do that as much on Pinterest, it would be more just strictly saying like here is where I would categorize this piece of content.

Yuka Ohishi: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So up to 20, and one of the common questions we get is if I want to know what type of hashtags to use, how do I do that? What’s the best way for people to do hashtag discovery on Pinterest to know the best places to include a certain piece of content?

Yuka Ohishi: Right. We do have, when you go to the search tab, you can see some trending ideas, or trending searches. But if you’re looking for something specific, this is also the same for keywords, but if you search for something that you’re trying to work off of for example if you have a pin about dinner recipes, you can do that search for dinner recipes and see what the search guides tell you. Those are the little tips that have other keywords related to that search term.

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Yuka Ohishi: So for example if I do a search for dinner recipes I see guides like easy, healthy, for family, crockpot. And that’s what other pinners are searching for together with the dinner recipes keyword.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Yuka Ohishi: So that’s something you can work off of.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, so it’s giving you a little bit of insight into user behavior as it relates to a certain hashtag, kind of like people also, it’s like on Amazon, people also bought, people also used this hashtag, and you can use that as kind of a launching pad, and I’m guessing you could go down an infinite number of different rabbit trails with that. Great, that makes a lot of sense.

Bjork Ostrom: So one of the questions that came up, and I think this is important, is this idea of optimized size of an image for Pinterest. And this has changed over the years, where you used to see these really long images and they would take up the whole feed so you’d get a lot of clicks, you’d have a lot of attention with them. So people would create these long images but now that’s kind of changed a little bit where maybe long images are still influential but Pinterest is starting to change how they handle those images. So can you talk about what that change is and why that happened. And then after that, what is the ideal size for an image on Pinterest?

Yuka Ohishi: So the, again goes back to kind of the pinner side of things. But when pinners are looking at their feed or searching for something, they are, we call them giraffe pins. The really long pins weren’t, were taking up a lot of space. If it wasn’t that helpful for them, it’s kind of like a lost opportunity for them to find a better one, or a more useful one. So we are trying to optimize how people consume, how people can find and get to the content they want more quickly, and to be able to discover new things that they haven’t already.

Yuka Ohishi: So the recommended size now is 2×3. And it’s okay if you want to go higher, but we, you can think of it as like if it’s longer, you would have to earn that engagement through that extra pixel if that makes sense.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Can you explain that little bit further?

Yuka Ohishi: I would highly recommend that.

Bjork Ostrom: That idea of earning

Yuka Ohishi: Sorry, you were breaking up a little bit.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh sorry. Yeah.

Yuka Ohishi: So in the past, the really long pins have been counted as if you get one view and get one engagement that is the same as if you had a really short pin and you got one view and one engagement. However, it is taking up a lot more space than the other pin, and so if you are taking that much space and you’re not getting as engaged, then it’s kind of, it’s a lost opportunity for the pinner.

Yuka Ohishi: So if you were to take up that much space, you have to earn more engagement to be able to rank the same way as a shorter pin.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So I’m going to try to explain that back, let me know if this is, if I’m understanding it correctly. Idea being if you have a really long pin, and somebody pins that to Pinterest, it’s almost like you need to earn the, you’re taking a bigger risk and

Yuka Ohishi: Yes.

Bjork Ostrom: If people engage with it, if people are interested in it, then it will display that larger image and you will have the positive upside potential of having more screen real estate for lack of a better term, because it’s a piece of content that’s performing well, and it’s also longer. But if you have a shorter image, it’s possible that with the same amount of engagement that would perform better because it’s not taking up as much space in the Pinterest feed of content.

Yuka Ohishi: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Yuka Ohishi: Yes, and the recommended size is 2×3 and 600×900 pixels.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Yuka Ohishi: It could work with square, but 600 is the width that you can go with.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So one of the questions that comes up occasionally is this idea of a hidden pin and idea being that people have a post on maybe let’s say a recipe post, and they have an image that they really like but they don’t want to display in the post, but they want it to be available on Pinterest. And so what they do is they’ll hide it in a way where if people click the pin button, then it shows up, but it doesn’t show up in their actual post. So is that something that is impacted on Pinterest side of things? Is there things that people should consider when their using that strategy?

Yuka Ohishi: Hm-mmm (affirmative). It does not affect our side at all so you’re free to do that without being worried. However, I think there is a benefit to showing a pinable image just so your audience knows that you’re on Pinterest and they can save kind of like have that top of mind. But other than that I think bloggers want to keep their aesthetic and they have a certain way they want to present their content so I think that’s totally fine. We on the Pinterest side don’t penalize you for that at all.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And that actually brings up an interesting point which is the prompting or kind of call to action to have somebody on your site take an action that then results in something created on Pinterest. So do you have any advice for ways that people can improve the number of people that are pinning images when they’re on a blog post? Not necessarily when they’re on Pinterest but when they’re on their site. How can people increase the likelihood of something being pinned.

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah, I think a lot of pinners would also, will have different ways creating pins. So whether that’s if they have the pin button, or sorry, that extension button or if they click on the hover button that you have on your blog. But I think another way that you could do is you create a pin, and you embed it onto your post so that it’s a pin that’s embedded inside and it has the description and it has the pin it, or sorry the save button at the top so it looks like Pinterest branded and it kind of is really clear that they can pin that image because it actually looks like a pin.

Yuka Ohishi: But also I think another, in terms of call to action, think what really works is save for later because not everyone’s going to cook your recipe right now.

Bjork Ostrom: Yep.

Yuka Ohishi: And so a lot of people are looking for recipes to cook tonight, that’s also later if they want to pull that up in the grocery store or maybe over the weekend. I think that’s a great way to tap in to how people use Pinterest and use food content on Pinterest.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. So a couple things there, one of the things you said was to create an image that’s branded like Pinterest. What do you mean by that and what does that look like?

Yuka Ohishi: Oh, sorry, It’s not creating branded as Pinterest, but if you create a pin yourself that’s branded as your content, and you create a pin on Pinterest and then you use the embedded widgets to embed that pin.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Got it. Okay.

Yuka Ohishi: So if they want to click through to Pinterest and save from your pin, like your pin from your profile, it has the pin overlay and it has save on Pinterest and it’s kind of like a widget that’s embedded in your post.

Bjork Ostrom: Interesting.

Yuka Ohishi: So it’s very clear that you care about Pinterest and you want people to save on Pinterest.

Bjork Ostrom: So idea being in the same way that you would embed a YouTube video, you’d upload your video to YouTube you’d go over to your post, you’d embed that. People know that they can view it there in the post, but if they wanted to, they could also go over and follow you on YouTube or save that video and watch it later.

Yuka Ohishi: Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: Same idea for Pinterest where you can load something into Pinterest, have all of it optimized, have your hashtags, have your description. Take that specific pin, come back to your post and then embed that pin so when people come, they look at your site, they see oh this person is obviously on Pinterest that’s important to them. I’m going to save this piece of content, and it’s really easy to do because of that embed.

Yuka Ohishi: Hm-mmm (affirmative).

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Yuka Ohishi: Exactly.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay cool. And the high level way that people would do that, you would just click in to the pin and then there’s an area on Pinterest where you can then choose to embed that specific image.

Yuka Ohishi: Right.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Okay. And another question that came up was the idea of the Pinterest hover button. For Tasty Pins we have that the plug in, we have that built in. So if you install Tasty Pins it’s automatically going to have the Pinterest hover button on all of your images. Do you have any advice for optimizing that button? Or things that people should consider when they’re setting up their site to encourage people to click the pin it button?

Yuka Ohishi: Do you mean in terms of design?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah like is it better to create a custom one that’s branded or to use the actual Pinterest button? Any advice specific for that? And the advice could very well be it depends or we don’t have any data for that.

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah, I honestly don’t think we have any actual data. But it really also depends on how well people know about Pinterest in terms of your audience. I guess a lot of people in the U.S. is pretty aware of what Pinterest is and what the benefits are. So even if they don’t see a very branded Pinterest, if they see save on Pinterest, or pin it they can associate with oh this is about you know pinning to Pinterest or saving to Pinterest.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Yuka Ohishi: So I think that’s not, it doesn’t really take away from people being confused to what the button is, but yeah I think it also depends on how much your audience is engaged on Pinterest.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Cool. A couple other sites before, or a couple other questions before we wrap up, one of the questions has to do with the, with your site. So on Google, one of the things they talk about is your authority. So the authority of a URL or the authority of a blog. Is that something that’s true for Pinterest? I know we talked about it a little bit. But can your specific URL or blog build authority, and therefore be a more trusted resource on Pinterest? And if so, how do people become a more trusted or authoritative creator or brand on Pinterest?

Yuka Ohishi: This might go back again to kind of looking into the pinner point of view, but if you think about the pinner experience, if you click on something that you want to learn more about, if it goes to a 404 page or if it takes such a long time to load, or if there’s a bunch of popups, that’s not a very great experience and people might jump back to Pinterest really quickly. So that’s not, that will let us know oh people are not staying on your site or on this domain. So that might kind of hurt your integrity.

Yuka Ohishi: So I would think about it in a more of like, what is the expected behavior, or what is the optimal experience for people visiting your site from Pinterest. And is that really fast, is it an actual link that leads to the content that they’re looking for? So if you have a pin about chocolate chip cookies and it links to something completely different, that’s a very, a weird experience for a pinner.

Bjork Ostrom: Yep.

Yuka Ohishi: So just thinking about kind of the authenticity and like an optimal experience as a pinner might be useful.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And in essence you want your content to be sticky. You want people to come to like it, to stay, to consume that piece of content. And if they go back to Pinterest it’s maybe an indicator that hey this wasn’t the thing they were looking for because now they’re back here searching for more information about this. Not that that’s the only indicator, but that that can impact it.

Yuka Ohishi: Or if they jump back one second later, that’s probably not great. But if they stay for more, they read the content, find out more information, then they go back, that’s an indication that they found value out of your site.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it.

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Great. We’ve covered a lot Yuka.

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: This is really important content, really important information and I know that people are going to find some awesome, actionable items that they can apply to Pinterest, and also just kind of some best practices as well.

Bjork Ostrom: So last question would be for somebody that is looking to increase their influence via Pinterest, for somebody that is looking to maybe get more traffic from Pinterest, that’s a really common question. Essentially as a creator leverage Pinterest, what would your advice be for those people? In terms of things they can start to do and mindsets they can have as their building their blog and their business.

Yuka Ohishi: Hm-mmm (affirmative)

Yuka Ohishi: So I think there is kind of two sides to it. So what you can do, and what you want your audience to do for you. So the first part is making sure that, especially with a new profile, make sure that your representation is what you want and what your brand is about. And making sure that you are bringing your content on to the platform and doing that frequently.

Yuka Ohishi: And on the other side, making it really easy for your audience or people who visit your site to be able to kind of do the work for you. So is it really, is it easy for them to understand that this is a pinnable image or is it, it’s a great resource for you to save for later. Having those type of call to action and another thing on your site could do is to have a call to action to follow you on Pinterest

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Yuka Ohishi: So that they can get your content on the home feed or following feed and stay up to date on what you’re up to. So kind of thinking about both sides and try to optimize on those two sides of world.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. That’s awesome.

Bjork Ostrom: So last question. For those that want to lean into the material that Pinterest has to learn more, what are the resources and where can people go to find those knowing that we’ll link to them in the show notes as well.

Yuka Ohishi: Yeah, for sure. We have a site called The Business Site. It’s business.pinterest.com. And that has all the different types of resources, links to find out more information about certain tools, certain features that you might be looking for. Another resource is that I’m running a Medium blog just for creators, so that is medium.com/pinterestcreators. And that has all the updates, more seasonal things, we’re trying to have more content there but you can find, things are tailored to creators like you on that blog as well.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. And we’ll link to those in the show notes, make sure people can check those out and stay in the loop. Yuka, thanks so much for coming on the podcast, for sharing all of the insights.

Yuka Ohishi: Thank you so much.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and Pinterest is a really important platform, both for us and a lot of the creators here. So thanks for all that you guys do over there to help us do what we do.

Yuka Ohishi: Thank you. I mean we’re not here without you so thank you so much for supporting us and giving us feedback over the years.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. Thanks, well the feeling is mutual, and I appreciate you coming on the podcast. We will be in touch, thanks so much and have a great day.

Yuka Ohishi: Have a good day.

Alexa Peduzzi: Hello wonderful listeners, Alexa here. And I just wanted to thank you for tuning in to the Food Blogger Pro podcast this week. I’m here to deliver you the reviewer of the week and this one comes from Sarah from veganchickpea.com. It says as a new blogger wanting to make an income from my blog, I really get inspired every week listening to this podcast. I love the variety of topics covered and I feel like new bloggers and more seasoned ones alike both get a ton of value out of the detailed content. I also like the lightness and jokes that Bjork brings in keeping things fun and not so serious all the time, while not distracting from the topic at hand.

Alexa Peduzzi: Thank you Sarah. We really appreciate the review, and we love that you think that both new bloggers and ones that have been in the industry a bit longer can still find something helpful from the Food Blogger Pro podcast. I think this episode with Yuka is a great example of that to be honest with you because Pinterest can be such a big traffic driver for food bloggers so we hope that you enjoyed this episode with Yuka, and we hope to see you here next week on Tuesday for a really special episode that I think you’re really going to like. So thank you for tuning in this week from all of us here at FBP HQ, make it a great week.

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