The following article first appeared on Social Media Examiner. You can find the original article here.

Do you want more pins and repins?

Are you looking for ways to drive more traffic and engagement?

If you want your content pinned more often, you need to make it easy for visitors to take action.

In this article, you’ll discover how to optimize your images for pinning and repurpose your most popular pins for increased engagement.

1. Add the Pin It button.

Pinterest offers a free widget that allows you to add a Pin It button to your images on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and Wix. You can even add the widget to your iOS and Android apps. Best of all, it’s free, customizable and easy to install.

pinterest marketing best practices

When visitors want to pin something from your site, all they have to do is click the button, choose the board they want to share to, and confirm the pin.

To maximize the effectiveness of the Pin It widget, it’s a good idea to add it to all of your images – not just the first one. That way, your visitors can quickly choose which image to pin.

Keep track of which images are pinned most – it’s a good gauge of which ones are most attractive to your audience. Take that into consideration as you create new images for your upcoming articles and product pages.

Does the Pin It button really work? Yes. Brands that adopt the Pin It button are seeing greater distribution of their images.

Three months after Allrecipes added the Pin It button, more than 50,000 recipes were shared to Pinterest. Better still, the site continues to see a significant lift in the volume of recipes shared by their community. This is purely earned media – a critical driver of brand awareness.

content marketing on pinterest

As you go through the widget installation process, customize your button to reflect your brand aesthetics. The shape, color and hover function should all match your site. Where you place the button is important too. You can manage all of these options from the Pinterest widget page.

You can even A/B test the size and placement of Pin It buttons to determine which version works best. When BuzzFeed enlarged the Pin It button on share bars and put the icon at the top of images, they increased pinning tenfold.

a/b test images

2. Write pre-populated pin descriptions.

An important part of increasing pins and repins is making things seamless for the user, right? Part of that is providing a relevant description so the user doesn’t have to.

In many cases when a user pins an image, the default text is uninspired, nondescript or missing altogether.

optimize my pin descriptions

That means the user does one of two things: pins the image with the lame description (which hurts the chances of repins and subsequent click-through traffic), or they take the time to write their own description (which may not include a brand or product mention).

Which one do you think happens most often? People usually don’t want to take the time to complete an extra step – they prefer that you do it for them. Give them what they want. Every time you create a pinnable image, write a short description about the image, article or product it’s promoting.

Now it’s possible that people over on Pinterest will repin your image based on how attractive it is, even if the description is awful. But why take that chance?

write better pinterest descriptions

Increase your likelihood of repins by providing a description with pertinent information about your product or blog content. Start with basic attributes, such as the product style, your company or blog name and other important identifiers.

The more creative you get, the better. Great copy combined with great images not only increases repins, but also click-throughs to your site.

3. Watch what pinners do.

Of course, you can’t guarantee pinners will use your customized pin descriptions. Sometimes users want to make a note to themselves or add a little of their own personality.

You can learn a lot by watching how pinners change your descriptor text. How are users talking about your product? Which keywords are they using? How do those fit with your brand, product or content?

Ultimately, these insights help you make more educated marketing decisions and drive engagement on your website. For instance, let’s say one of your products is frequently described using the term “gift.” Start using “gift” in your content and pin descriptions.

You can also use the keywords to optimize homepage headers, product descriptions and product categories.

popular pinterest images

4. Showcase popular pins.

When your audience pins your images, they are essentially telling you which of your products matter to them and which image they think best represents that product. As a result, popular and trending images on Pinterest have become a reliable way to predict which creative assets will drive the most engagement on your site.

To leverage top-performing pins, sort your images by interactions. Pick your best images and content, and repurpose them. For example, create a gift guide on your blog that includes your most pinned gift items.

Or, take a cue from Nordstrom and use those popular pins to create a top pinned board on your website.

trending images on pinterest

From here, shoppers can browse products by category, making it even easier to explore, save and potentially purchase items that have been voted up by Pinterest peers.

5. Stock your digital shelves.

OK, so you’ve optimized your pins and repurposed them to increase traffic and engagement. But what happens when the pinned products are out of stock? Most sites just throw up a sold out or 404 page. If you’ve ever encountered this, you know how frustrating it is!

out-of-stock images on pinterest

As a business, if you’re guilty of the dreaded 404, you’re missing a huge opportunity to keep potential customers engaged.

To address the “empty shelves” problem, make sure your social and ecommerce efforts are aligned. Keep a close eye on Pinterest data to identify bad referral links and pass that information along to a team member on the ecommerce side so he or she can reroute users to active landing pages.

Those landing pages should offer to collect customers’ email addresses so you can let them know when the product is back in stock. If you don’t plan on restocking the item, provide suggestions and links to similar items.

Some Final Thoughts

Pins and repins bring attention to your company and products in an organic way. Most pins are the result of a consumer saving an image while browsing your site.

The optimization tips in this article help you make it easier for visitors to pin your content, which can lead to an increased number of pins, more traffic and (hopefully) more sales.