I am on Pinterest constantly. Because of this, I’ve noticed that some thumbnail pins that show up in my Pinterest feed have bonus descriptive info under the image. This bonus info generally appears as a favicon/logo for a brand/company, a link to the company’s website, as well as a bold article title that the image is linked from. I discovered this bonus info is actually what Pinterest calls a Rich Pin. According to the Pinterest for Developers site, Rich Pins show metadata right on the Pin itself, giving Pinners a richer experience and increasing engagement. Information in a Rich Pin is independent of the Pin description, ensuring that important information is always tied to the pin. As a now blog writer and a VERY long time Pinterest lover, I wanted to ensure my website’s pins are standing out on Pinterest and staying connected to my content. Today I’m sharing how I added Rich Pins to Pinterest with Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.
A little background
How Rich Pins work
Metadata a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. This means that Pinterest basically scrapes your website for your information to display as additional information on their site. This process ensures your pins are always linked to your site and unlike the common description, the information can’t be changed by anyone repinning or pinning from your site. With that information scraped, you’re pins are now considered Rich Pins. Check out the comparison image below for how normal pins visually compare to Rich Pins.
Types of Rich Pins
Rich Pins come in a variety of forms outside of the one iteration I mentioned above. The options include:
- Article – Include include a headline, author and story description (The option I mentioned above).
- Movie – Includes ratings, cast members and reviews.
- Place – Include a map and other information about the place, like the address or phone number.
- Product – Includes pricing, availability and buy location of items you sell.
- Recipe – Include ingredients, cooking times and serving information.
When I first read Pinterest’s page about enabling Rich Pins for my site, I had to go through it a few times. Even then, the language and terms were over my head. Just so we are clear, I am not a web developer. I might have learned some simple HTML back in my college years, but most things that involve web development are over my head. When starting this blog not too long ago, I definitely needed to take some crash courses in very basic CSS, SEO and WordPress, which involved A LOT of online research. This was no different.
From my experience working in a Creative Agency, I knew that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was important. In its most basic terms, SEO helps search engines figure out what each page of your site is about, and how it may be useful for users. In short, SEO can be used to help how your website appears in search engine rankings. Basically, good SEO can help your site to be closer to the top of the search results when someone searches for your topics through a search engine like Google.
How to add Rich Pins to Pinterest with Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress
1. Install Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress
Through my WordPress research, I came across the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. The plugin touts itself as an all in one SEO solution for a WordPress blog, plus it has a ton of active installs and a decent star rating. Perfect. Installing the plugin gave me additional tools and a way to help me create Rich Pins for Pinterest. To follow this tutorial, you will first have to install the Yoast SEO plugin onto your WordPress site.
To install the plugin, go to “Plugins” > “Add New” inside of your WordPress Admin area. In the top right search area, type in “Yoast SEO”. The plugin should appear at the top of the list. Click “Install Now” in the top right corner.
2. Verify your website on Pinterest
I started this process off by verifying my new website on my Pinterest account. This will not effect your Rich Pins, but it is a great way to link your Pinterest account to your website and yet another way to engage your audience. To verify your website:
- Click your name at the top of your Pinterest account
- Click the gear menu, then Account settings
- In the Website field, click Confirm website
- Copy the meta tag
Once you have the meta tag copied, go back into WordPress. In the lower section of the left sidebar, rollover SEO and select “Social” from the submenu. At the top of the next page, click the Pinterest tab. Under this tab there is an area to place your coped meta tag from Pinterest. Save your changes.
After you’ve copied over the meta tag, you can go back to your account settings on Pinterest. In the website area, your URL should now appear with a check box next to your URL with a message saying “site confirmed”. Your URL will now appear on to top of your Pinterest Profile.
3. Prep your website with meta tags
Pinterest’s first step to adding Rich Pins is to Prep your website with meta tags or an oEmbed endpoint. This can be a bit technical, so you might need to loop in your website’s developer. You got that right Pinterest, it is technical. And being my own website developer, I was a bit stuck. I powered through and looked to Google for some answers.
I found that to “Prep my website with meta tags” all I needed to do was return to the Yoast Plugin. This time, instead of going to the Pinterest Tab under SEO, click on the Facebook Tab. The first option under this tab is Add Open Graph meta data to your site’s <head> section. It also mentions that Facebook and other social networks (like Pinterest) use that data when your pages are shared. Bingo. Click “Enabled” to add the Open Graph meta data.
4. Validate your URL
Now that you have your meta data in place through Yoast, you will now have to verify your Rich Pins before they will appear on Pinterest. With Yoast working for you, all you need to do is go to one of your blog post pages, copy the URL for that page and paste it into Pinterest’s validator here. This confused me at first because I wasn’t sure if I’d have to do this for every new blog post I’d write, which seemed like a complete pain. But in fact, you only need to validate and click apply for one link on your site to enable Rich Pins across your whole domain.If any problems occur when validating, you may need to fix those before Pinterest will validate your pins. I did not have this issue.
5. Choose an option based on how you’ve marked up your page
After you’ve copied in your URL, you will be given three options to choose from based on how you’ve marked up your page:
- HTML Tags, if you used Open Graph or Schema.org formats
- oEmbed, if you used oEmbed format.
- Shopify, if you have a Shopify site.
Because Open Graph was enabled through the Yoast Plugin, click “HTML Tags”.
6. Apply for Rich Pins
After you’ve chosen your markup option, click “Apply Now”. If everything goes through, your Pins will show up as Rich Pins soon after you’ve applied. Pinterest says they should appear within the hour. You will receive an email confirming you’ve added Rich Pins.
And Voila! Now you can go back to Pinterest and check out how your Rich Pins look.
More Pinterest tips
For more Pinterest tips, check out my latest post: How to Create Pinterest Images that People Love to Pin.”
Have more Pinterest advice to share? I’d love to hear it!