Pinterest Board Covers: How to make optimized Board Covers that look amazing [step-by-step guide]

Pinterest board covers are a great way to make your Pinterest profile easy to navigate for both your human visitors and the Pinterest algorithm – especially if your board or your profile is new.

One way to let the Pinterest algorithm know what your board is about is to make a search-engine-optimized board cover. The board covers have the added advantage that they make your profile look organized and professional to visitors, and if you make your pins the right way, they'll get shared too!

Just compare the three profile page board lists below. Which one looks easier to navigate for visitors? Which one is easier to understand for the Pinterest algorithm?

image shows three example Pinterest profiles, two of which don't have cover images set and one which does

The answer of course is that profile #2 is easier to navigate for both visitors and the algorithm.

This post explains the steps to make your own Pinterest board covers which are optimized for both human visitors and the Pinterest algorithm.

Ninja Note: There are other important steps that need to happen before you make your board covers. If you haven't already chosen your keyword-focused board name (read about that here) created your new board (read about that here) and written your board description (read about that here), please go back and do those steps first.

Let's get started!

1. Create a Pin image (the image that will display as your board cover)

The first step is to create a regular sized Pinterest pin image that is on-brand, with the name of the board in the top portion of the pin. Be sure to save your image with the board title as its file name.

Most of the advice you'll see out there is to create square board covers, because Pinterest displays board covers as a square on your profile.

However, we're not just making board covers for the sake of making board covers!

Because every board cover has to first be created as a pin, we want to make them as sharable as possible. When I'm writing this (June 2020) the Pinterest algorithm prioritizes pins which are 1000 x 1500 pixels, so it makes sense that we stick to their recommended pin ratios rather than making a square image.

BUT – a rectangular image getting displayed as a square does mean that we need to be careful about the layout of the pin image, so that our text doesn't get chopped off and look shabby if the pin gets displayed differently to what we expect.

Pinterest pin showing which parts of the image are shown by default as a board cover and where to position your main title and additional detail.

Note: Pinterest does give you the option to choose which portion of your image to display as your board cover, but I've found that whatever part of the image I specify, Pinterest usually ignores my preference and just displays the top portion of the pin.

2. Create a keyword-rich pin description

If you used this post to create your board, then you can copy and paste your keyword-rich board description as your keyword-rich pin description in your swipe file.

Just swap out the ‘follow this board for…' section for a ‘pin this for later!' call to action.

Make sure your description also includes 3-4 keyword hashtags that directly apply to your board topic.

3. Grab the board URL

Every board you create on Pinterest has its own unique URL.

It will be in the form of:

To grab the URL, navigate to your board and copy the board URL from your browser.

4. Create a new pin on the appropriate board

There are two ways to create your new pin. The first is to go to ‘create' > ‘create pin' on your main Pinterest menu, then select the appropriate board from the list.

create > create pin menu options on Pinterest

The other way is to go to your profile, then navigate to your boards. Hover over the board you want to add the board cover to (NOT the edit pencil) and click to go to the board itself.

click the board cover, not the edit pencil

Once you're there, click on the plus button and select ‘create pin'.

how to create a pin by clicking the plus button

This will bring you to the pin uploader, where you:

  • upload your image
  • add the pin title – which should be the name of the board/topic ONLY
  • copy and paste your keyword-rich pin description from step 2
  • grab the destination link from step 3 (the link to the board URL )

Make sure you are pinning to the correct board and hit the PUBLISH button.

pin uploader with areas for text input highlighted

5. Nominate your new pin as the board cover

Now that we have added the keyword-rich board cover pin to the right board, we need to tell Pinterest to use that new pin as the board cover.

Go back to the boards page on your profile. Click the pencil to edit your board.

Select the empty board cover to add your board cover (or click on the pencil to edit your board cover if you've already got one specified).

board cover selection button

Click on the arrow to the left of the image until you see the pin you just added.

Drag the view box to show the top half of your pin.

When you're done, click the red ‘save changes' button.

6. Update your board details

While you're in board editing mode, check to make sure your board has a keyword rich description (here's how to write one) and a category nominated.

Make sure that you HAVE NOT selected ‘keep this board secret' and click ‘DONE'.

NinjaTricks for making your Pinterest board covers:

Adding board cover images is something that you tend to do once, so it makes sense to batch your processes and save time. I'm making a video showing you my process for making board cover images, and it will be posted here when it's ready.

Key takeaways from the video:

  • Before you start, make sure you've chosen your topic-based board names, written keyword-rich board descriptions, and created your boards.
  • I make a list of the boards I have made, as well as their board description and board URL in a notes app on my computer so that I can easily copy and paste what I need into the pin uploader.
  • I batch create the images and make sure they are named exactly the same as my boards before I upload them to Pinterest.

Will you be using this tip?

If you found this tip interesting or useful, save it for later by pinning it to your Pinterest Marketing board on Pinterest now.

How to make Pinterest board covers - step by step guide

Remember, just reading about ways to improve your Pinterest SEO won't actually improve your Pinterest marketing – you need to take action and implement these tips to actually benefit from the results!

Blue skies!

P.S. If you used this tip to make your Pinterest board covers, would you please let me know? I'd love to find out how you went and see if there's anything that needs to be updated in this guide.

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