How to Create Pinterest Images That Convert

5 Guidelines to Follow When Designing Pinnable Images

In this post, I am going to teach you how to design Pinterest images that generate clicks and repins and convert into website traffic! The design of your Pins is just as important as the quality of your content so do not overlook this crucial piece of the Pinterest puzzle.

Before I jump into the post, I want to welcome you the final post in my 5-part #PinterestBootCamp Series! In this five-part series, I’ve shown you how to up your Pinterest game so you can start getting traffic and leads for your business!

In case you missed the first four posts in the series, you can go back and read them here:

  1. Is Pinterest Right for Your Business: 14 Niches Perfect for Pinterest
  2. 4 Mistakes You’re Making on Pinterest
  3. 6 Ways to Optimize Your Pinterest Account for Maximum Results
  4. Why Pinterest Isn’t Working for You and How to Fix It

Now it’s time to dive in and talk about Pin design! First, I want to quickly address why design is so important and then I’ll share some guidelines when designing images for Pinterest. Finally, I’ll share the free tool I use to quickly design high-converting images.

I even have a swipe file with 7 Winning Pin design templates you can download for free at the end of this post!

Why is Pin design so important?

Pinterest is a visual search engine. This means you need to create images that will catch the user’s eye and encourage them to click through to your blog or e-commerce store.

Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong way to design a Pin image. There is no magic formula or one perfect design that’s guaranteed to convert. However, there are a few basic guidelines you can follow that will guarantee more repins (or saves) and clicks; which is the goal on Pinterest.

5 Guidelines When Designing Pinnable Images

1. Vertical Images Only

Long, vertical images perform best on Pinterest. There are a couple reasons you want to load vertical images only. First, long images perform extraordinarily well. Second, some group boards and Tailwind Tribes have a rule stating vertical pins only. Third, you can include more images and text on long Pins.   

The standard size for Pinterest images is 735 x 1102 pixels. Depending on your content, there are times when it makes sense to create an image that goes well beyond the 1102 pixels in height.

Check out these pins below. The pin on the left is 1102 pixels tall. The pins on the right are much taller! Notice how the multiple images and text on the taller Pins tell a story and grab your attention. Extremely tall pins work particularly well for fitness and food!

Pin Length Comparison

You can essentially load any size image to Pinterest, but avoid square or horizontal images. I use a free online design tool called Canva.com to design all my images. Canva has pre-loaded templates for every type of image you can imagine – in the exact dimensions required!

Canva.com is nothing short of amazing and has saved me so much time and energy! I’ll dig into Canva later so keep reading.

2. Include Text

I can’t stress this one enough. Text on your images is crucial! Pinterest is extremely visual and Pinterest users scroll through their smart feeds extremely fast. Your images need an attention-grabbing headline or call-to-action that give users a reason to stop and save the Pin or click through to your website.

Take a look at the two images below. Both Pins feature an image of a beautiful fruity drink, and both Pins click through to a round-up blog post with multiple cocktail recipes. However, when quickly scrolling through your feed you would never know the image on the left is for 21 cocktail recipes.

Importance of Text Image

One could argue the image on the left appears more professional and visually appealing. However, the image on the right makes smart use of text and will win that click over the image on the left.

Text is even more important as Pinterest makes changes to the Smart Feed. At the time of writing this post, rumors have been floating around that Pinterest plans to get rid of rich pins. This basically means the bits of text you see at the bottom of each Pin will go away and you’ll need to click on a Pin to read the headline and description.

Bottom line, make smart use of text in your images. Include the headline of your blog post or a call-to-action to visit your e-commerce site or Etsy shop.

3. Keep It Simple!

Some of you may be thinking, I have long Pins and I include text on them, but my Pins just aren’t converting. What’s the deal? More than likely you’re not keeping the design simple. When in doubt, less is more!

Take a look at the two images below. Sorry, Twinpickle.com, but that Pin on the left is a hot mess. It’s extremely hard to read the text with that strange photo of Beyonce pregnant in her underwear. I can barely read that this Pin leads to an article of the 10 best twin pregnancy reveals. What a great idea! That’s content that should convert like crazy. But, the image itself is so cluttered.

Simple Pin Design Image

Now, check out the image on the right. This Pin leads to a similar type of content, also includes multiple photos and text, but unlike the image on the left, it begs to be clicked. What makes it so different?

Basically, the image on the right keeps it simple! The images are not cluttered together and each image is fairly straightforward. The text is not placed over an image which allows it to stand out against the white background. Keep your Pin designs simple!

4. Design with Small in Mind

When designing your Pin images, you also need to keep in mind how people will be viewing them. The Pin appears very large on your computer screen while you’re designing it, but when it’s displayed in the smart feed it’s actually much smaller.

Also, keep in mind that approximately 75 percent of Pinterest’s traffic comes from mobile devices. This means your beautiful Pin is shrunk down to about an inch wide when the end user sees it.

Take a look at the Pins below. Which Pin do you think was designed with small in mind? Which image is easier to read at a quick glance?

Small Design

Both pins are long, use text, have a simple design, and promote similar content. The only difference is the Pin on the left was designed with small in mind. It’s extremely easy to read the text and you know immediately what that Pin is about.

The Pin on the right was not designed with small in mind. It’s very difficult to read the lines of text above the word “motivated.” A user would have to stop scrolling and make a point to read the text.

So, how do you design with small in mind?

  1. Opt for bold fonts that are easy to read over thin, script fonts.
  2. Make your text as large as you can without compromising the “keep it simple” guideline.
  3. Avoid images that are cluttered or have multiple points of focus. Remember the twin reveal Pin from earlier? The Beyonce image had so many elements going on and was really cluttered; making it difficult to process what that Pin was about.

5. Consistency is Key

When creating your Pinterest images, it’s also important to keep the design of your Pins consistent and well branded. This means using the same 1 or 2 fonts and 2 to 4 colors on all your Pins. You also want to maintain a similar layout amongst your Pins.

Look at the examples below. The first set of Pins are all from the same website, but you’d never know it! All three designs are completely different, use different colors and different fonts.  

Not well branded pins

Now let’s take a look at a set of well-branded Pins. The set of Pins below are all from the same website, and it’s obvious at first glance. The design is consistent, the fonts are the same, and the colors are complementary.

Well branded Pins

It’s important to brand your Pins so your audience can easily recognize your content. As you build trust with your audience and people start to know, like and trust you, they will always save or click your Pins when they see them.

What Design Tool to Use

Now that you know the basic guidelines of Pin design, it’s time to create your first high-converting Pin! Lucky for you, experience in Photoshop or Illustrator isn’t necessary and you don’t need a design degree to create images that convert. All you need is an internet connection!

My absolute favorite tool is Canva.com. Canva is a free online graphic design tool that’s extremely easy to use. I was an Adobe snob for years and became an immediate convert the day I discovered Canva. It’s so simple to use and allows me to create images super fast.

To help you get started, I’ve designed 7 Canva templates for you! Create your free account with Canva.com and use these Winning Pin Canva templates to design your own branded Pins that convert!

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that you don’t have to create the perfect branded image right away. Test different styles and see what performs best and what feels right for your brand. Your Pin design can and should evolve over time. Check out the evolution of my Pins:  

Bottom line: design with the 5 guidelines in mind, test different elements, track your analytics, and fine-tune your Pin design strategy over time.

ACTION ITEMS

I’m a woman of action, so each post in this 5-part series lists specific action items you need to complete before the next post in the series.

  1. Download the 7 Winning Pin Canva Templates and create your free Canva.com account
  2. Select a template that fits your brand and customize it with your brand fonts and colors.
  3. Post your Pin designs in the Facebook Group and ask for feedback from the group.


Well, that’s it! I can’t believe the five-part #PinterestBootCamp series is over. But, that doesn’t mean the Pinterest fun has to stop. If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for my free 5-Day Pinterest for Business email course.

In the 5-day course, I’ll show you:

  • How to find the right keywords for your business
  • What a strong Pinterest foundation looks like and why it’s important
  • The 3 technical mistakes many Pinterest users make
  • My winning pinning strategy that gets website traffic and email subscribers
  • The secret sauce of Pinterest – this is a lesson you don’t want to miss!

Pinterest for Business Course Banner

Are you ready to take your Pinterest game to the next level and start getting more website traffic and email subscribers than you ever thought possible? Of course, you are! Click here to take the free Pinterest for Business 5-day email course.  

About the Author:

Angie Gensler teaches online business owners how to use Pinterest to drive traffic, generate leads, and increase sales. She is a seasoned marketing professional focused on keeping it real. This means real simple tutorials and resources that cut out the confusion and provide actionable tips. She is passionate about her family, dance parties, and creating a life worth living!
  • Shelby

    Awesome post. I’m happy to know I’m doing some things right, but I definitely learned some new tips! Thanks.

    • Hi Shelby! Thank you so much. I’m so glad this post was helpful for you. Thanks for commenting!

  • Galatians513

    Wow this is seriously helpful. I’m going to pin this so I can refer back. Thank you!

    • Awesome, I’m so glad you found it helpful and thanks for Pinning it!!!

  • Nailil Ivaldi

    This is great, and I will keep this in mind, as I am turning my attention to Pinterest and using it to grow my blog’s traffic.

    • Hi Nailil! Glad you found it helpful. Let me know if you have any questions as you work to use Pinterest to grow your blog.