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The Science Behind The Perfect Pinterest Pin

Anyone who frequently uses Pinterest for personal use, or to promote their own work, knows the value of a visually appealing Pinterest pin. Even if you’re not looking for a great work planner or a recipe for beef bourguignon, there is no resisting a beautiful pin.

If you’d like to increase your Pinterest pin views, and especially repins, there is almost an exact science to the business.

Take these tips to make your pins the most pinned on Pinterest. You’ve got your image selected and ready to pin, but before posting it to Pinterest let’s focus on the quality of the image.

Pinterest Pins look best when they’re vertical.

Vertical images i.e. images that are wider across rather than longer in height have been found to be more appealing, indicate a professional photographic formatting and receive more views on the Pinterest Smart feed.

Pinterest tends to distort or resize photos that fall out of their ideal image aspect ratio: 2:3 or 4:5.

Yep, that’s right, Pins unfortunately get cut off in feeds if the ratio is greater than 1:3.5 – so make sure the image isn’t too tall. According to Buffer, an image that is 600px wide should be between 900px and 2100px tall.

In fact, Pinterest partners Curalate recently released stats that showed these images between 2:3 and 4:5 aspect get 60% more Repins than very tall images.

“Images between 2:3 and 4:5 aspect get 60% more Repins”

You can’t argue with data like that.

perfect-pinterest-pin

What is aspect ratio?

Don’t worry I was thinking the same thing (thanks Google!). It’s how the width and the height of an image relate to one another. <-

For instance:

A 2:3 aspect ratio could be:

  • 600 pixels wide by 900 pixels tall
  • 800 pixels wide by 1,200 pixels tall

Have you ever uploaded a pin and thought, “That looks horrible!”? It’s probably because the orientation is not correct, or the sizing is off. Take time to edit your photos to the right size and quality to ensure more pins are repined and receive maximum engagement. Don’t forget: Pinners are drawn to images that they couldn’t necessarily snap with their own camera.

More on sizing for different pictures on Pinterest:

Profile Picture:

This is a very important picture to have if you are hoping to create a great following on Pinterest. Focus on images that are 600×600 pixels, and you can resize them down easily.

Feed Pin Picture:

This is what everyone sees when scrolling through their Pinterest feed. These images should be 238 pixels wide, and height will be adjusted depending on the image. Do not use smaller widths than 238 pixels, or the image will be distorted.

Enlarged Pinterest Pin:

Congratulations, someone opened your pin! Now to get the full visual impact, make sure the image resizes to 735 pixels wide, and the height is adjusted per the picture. Anything below 735 pixels will be distorted and less professional looking.

Boards:

When you want people to follow an entire board, draw them in using a well-placed pin. When they get to your board, make sure your board is visually appealing and organized as well. For the board cover (the largest image on the board), make sure the image fits neatly into a 217 x 147 pixel area. If it doesn’t fit in that area, the image will exceed the box size, and will not be nearly as clear. For the board thumbnails (underneath the board cover) use 51 x 51 pixels. This may be hard to do, so find images that can be resized to this area.

Website Images:

The Holy Grail of Pinterest: Someone found your website, and wants to pin an image or an article or what-have-you from your site. They create their own pin (yay!), and select an image to use.

If you have great photos with the right sizing on your website, they will have a number to choose from. If you don’t, they’ll be lucky to get one image that is pixelated or doesn’t fit quite right. If you want to make it easy on them, and increase the odds of someone repinning their pin, make sure your photos on your website are at least 100 x 200 pixels. This makes it easy for Pinterest to adapt and resize as needed automatically.

optimum-pinterest-pin

Now that we’ve exhausted the image sizing topics, let’s focus on the actual subject of your photos. After all, a great pin is nothing without the image!

Pinterest Image Guidelines – A Step By Step Method Checklist

According to Science, this is the perfect Pinterest Pin:

best-pinterest-size

1) No Faces

First off, it is important to note that faces do not get pinned as much as “things,” or inanimate objects. While this may surprise you, there is also sound logic behind this. It’s easier to see a beautiful masterpiece as your own when another person isn’t involved in the image. “I could make that,” or “I’d love to be there”- you get the idea. When you place a person in the image, it takes away from the pinner’s ability to relate.

Thus, Rule #1 is no faces.

2) Little Background (Almost Staged)

Now that we’ve established the no-faces rule, let’s focus on the rest of the photo. Make sure the subject of the photo is the main focus; do not have a whole bunch going on in the background. The background should be fitting to the pin, like food on a table, or paint on paper, hair on a cat… Hopefully you get the idea.

Try not to use stock background images, as this distracts and makes it look less professional. When in doubt, use a plain white background or a little set-up that allows you to change the color using lights.

3) Moderate Light & Color

Speaking of lights, focus on being mediocre. Do not flood your picture with light, and do not make it too dark. Ensuring a 50% saturation in your photos (use a photo editing software to configure this) will let you get the most possible repins for your effort. Natural lighting is generally best, as it is more appealing to the eye when scrolling through canned photo after canned photo.

4) Certain Colors Perform Better

If you’re taking of a photo of your backyard, a recipe you just tried, a notebook you just purchased, or even cosmetics or something you’re selling, focus on making color the attraction. If you use an all-white background, use accent colors to draw in the eye. White with a pop color is visually striking. Also, photos that use red or orange in their photos attract more traffic and repins than pins without those colors. More than double the amount of repins than images where blue is the main color!

Think of how a cop pulls over the brightly colored cars more than the nondescript tan sedans (who are always speeding)- it’s the same idea.

Summary

You may be thinking, “Geez, images aren’t THAT important, it’s the idea behind the pin.” Well, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Multiple data analyses of viral pins have shown that the image itself is what gets passed around, not the content. If you’re hoping that your cruddy photo with a great article attached to it will get pinned, it surely will.

But if you have a great photo with all the right dimensions and aspects, and great content behind it… Well, you’re nearly unstoppable.

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