Why Infographics should be a Part of your SEO Toolbox
When the infographic entered the game several years ago it was an instant home run. Content marketers who adapted quickly reaped enormous benefits in terms of exposure and social media shares.
But even those who did not immediately jump on the bandwagon came to their senses soon enough. Infographics proved to be such a powerful tool for marketing ideas and getting shares that no one could afford to give them the stink eye.
So what are infographics and why are they effective?
First thing’s first: infographics are a visual representation of data (sometimes complex data, sometimes simple data – but data nonetheless) and as such they are more capable of getting etched into peoples’ minds.
Humans are a peculiar species; most of our communication is completely non-verbal. In fact, content marketers claim that videos are their best ROI content. This isn’t all that surprising considering that millennials are growing up and their favorite type of content is none other than video.
But infographics are coming are crushing it when it comes to social media shares and likes. It’s estimated that they do almost 3X times better than any other content when it comes to sharing.
This is because:
- 90% of information we absorb is visual
- We absorb that visual information nearly 60,000 X FASTER than info from any other stimuli
- 40% of people are purely visual learners – they remember what they see
You really don’t have to take my word for it, though. Below is an infographic explaining why infographics get the attention they do. Extremely Meta – but very useful, too!
One last startling fact for the unbelievers amongst you – in 2014 there were actually 5 different infographics that broke 100,000 in shares across different social media channels. If that doesn’t convince you of how useful they really are I don’t know what will.
6 Ways Infographics Boost Your SEO Efforts
One of the world’s most popular marketers, Neil Patel, claims that his most shared pieces of content are regularly infographics. This became so prevalent that he rarely ever publishes anything that isn’t graphic-rich.
According to Neil: ‘(Infographics) are generating more backlinks than any other type of content I publish’ – and herein lies the secret on why they help your rock search engine optimization. Infographics are easily shareable and if you endeavor to make them interesting enough they will do all the legwork for you – provided you market them effectively.
There are just some of the benefits of infographics that will aid your SEO efforts:
- Embedded links
The code for an infographic is provided as an embed code. This means that whenever someone shares or links your infographic they will create a link to your original page. As Patel said, there is no way that is more effective in creating backlinks than a well thought out infographic.
- Attractive and interesting
Infographics are by far more digestible than pages of boring written content. Break down your content into interesting facts and add some eye-catching images and graphs to it and you will create something that will appeal to a greater percentage of your target audience.
- Viral component
Infographics are hot and those executed well enough have the potential of going viral. Just one on-the-mark infographic can translate into thousands of shares and tens of thousands of visits to your page. If only a fraction of those visitors can be turned into customers you stand a lot to gain.
- Creates brand awareness
All infographics are stamped with your company’s logo, as well as (preferably) executed in your company colors. If they’re not, then you’re doing it wrong. Make sure that every single graphic you publish has your company’s logo featured prominently on it.
- Establishes you as a thought leader
This is not an inherent treat of infographics – you won’t be branded a thought leader just because you made one infographic on a particular subject. But if you manage to make one that is good enough to gain some traction and social shares and create exposure and visibility for your business than all those people sharing and reading will definitely regard you as an expert on the topic.
Most infographics are created with mobile searchers on mind. Considering that they are now the bulk of internet users it would be extremely foolish not to do so. In that respect, they are good for SEO because mobile users will not punish you by leaving your page immediately (like they will when they notice a wall of text on there) and Google will not take that as a negative signal and reduce your score.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways marketers can benefit from creating outstanding graphics, especially those who are concerned with building natural backlinks and, in general, SEO. Infographics, however, can’t be left to their own devices once created. You will have to give them a little push in order to get them going. Once you do get everything right, you will be reaping benefits months after you’ve published one.
Marketing Infographics for Traffic and Links
There is a number of ways you can go about marketing your infographics so I won’t really list them all here. What I will do is give you a breakdown of tactics you should definitely employ for every one of the infographics you decide to put out there.
- Social media announcement and schedule
For the love of God, don’t create an infographic, post it on your blog and hope for people to pick it up from there. Create a social media announcement across all your platforms and let people know you have an exciting new piece of content for them!
Remember that infographics get a bulk of social media likes and shares? That is because people find them easy to share with friends – something that won’t be true if you don’t have it published on social media networks!
Schedule a series of posts and tweets and use everything you have at your disposal: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, everything. The best way to go about it is to take little snippets of content from your infographic and tease the audience a bit. Use the most thought-provoking and interesting facts you have there to spark their interest and get them to read more.
- Submit a press release
There are a lot of publications out there on the Web that cater to a bunch of different industries. Find the ones that are closely linked to what your infographic is about and contact the editor to see if you can submit a press release.
This approach is great for a number of reasons but predominantly because you will be getting through to your target audience much quicker than without it. Also, this alone will create a healthy number of backlinks to your graphic, which can only be beneficial to your SEO.
Make sure you optimize your press release for the keywords you’re targeting and contact only relevant sites and publications. Don’t push your work to editors who are not catering to your audience just because they get a ton of monthly visits.
- Get your work submitted to directories
There is a whole bunch of great sites and directories that would be more than willing to publish your infographic, provided that it’s good. It doesn’t really cost them anything and it’s an easy way to add some extra content to their sites.
Try the following if you’re stumped for ideas but remember that there are a lot of others out there that you can ferret out with a bit of investigative work.
- Do some outreach
Manual outreach can be a tedious little task but there or ways to short-cut it and still profit immensely from it. Did you reference an influencer when creating your infographic? Or did you maybe source your information from relevant blogs?
Make sure to contact those influencers and blogs and let them know that they are featured in your piece of content. Most of them will give you the time of day – especially if you did a good job – and will share your infographic with their audience.
An even better idea is to contact those influencers and have them chip in before you create and publish. That way you will have some original thought weaved through your content but also onboard those influencers and get them to be more proactive in pushing your content to their audience.
What Makes a Great Infographic?
I know, I know – this was a really roundabout way to getting to the point but I wanted you to understand why infographics work, how they can help your SEO efforts, and what you need to do to get them to go viral before I chimed in with my two-cents on what makes a great infographics. So here it is:
- Make sure there’s a market for them
A lot of content creation is focused on pure fluff and filler and there really isn’t any reason why you should be adding to the junk that slowly taking over the Internet.
Do your research and find out what people are actually looking for, what they are interested, and make an infographic focused around that. Tools such as Ubersuggest or LongTailPro will go a long way in making sure that you’re not missing your mark completely.
- Do your own doodling
Or get a designer to do it for you. A lot of stock imagery has been overused to death. Just recently I saw an interesting infographic that looked exactly like the one I did months ago! Of course, I didn’t hold it against the guys because it was interesting but still.
The point is: with custom graphics you can do a lot more. You can get icons and images that reflect your company colors and you can tailor your fonts to mimic those on your page – essentially, you can put your stamp on that graphic and use it to build additional brand awareness, killing two birds with one stone.
- Facts, facts, and some more facts
A lot of marketers forget that the graphics are there to help people understand numbers and concepts more easily – don’t make the same mistake. Use only credible sources and if you can’t double check something then it doesn’t really belong in your infographic.
- The inverted pyramid
Take a cue from how newspapers and magazines format their pages. They use something called the inverted pyramid approach.
Make a bold statement near the top of the graphic – something that you’re sure will catch people’s eye and make them read more about it. After you get them hooked it’s all about providing sufficient evidence in the form of data that supports your claim.
Use the bottom of the graphic for your pitch, logo, contact information, and sources. They shouldn’t go on top – unless they are the most interesting part of your graphic. If that’s the case then you really shouldn’t be making one in the first place.
Should I Pay for it or Do it Myself?
Well, this is a bit of a biggie, I suppose. Personally, I would always pay to get a great infographic made – especially if it is from a designer I trust and think highly of. But this will be determined by your budget. Great infographics can cost up to a couple of thousands of dollars and you still have to do all the research and provide the designer with content. However, if you manage to partner up a great designer with a great writer, these almost always get a ton of traction and exposure.
If you want to dabble with creating one yourself – and why shouldn’t you – then I can recommend the following online tools that I’ve found most helpful in the past.
- Canva – This is probably our favorite image tool for creating infographics. It’s super easy to use, and the templates that they provide can make things go 5x faster than they normally would. Canva is totally free, and it only costs money if you want to use the stock photos/images that they have. There are more than enough free options available in Canva – if you don’t want to, you’ll never have to pay a cent.The really great thing about Canva is that you can make stuff that looks great without really having a good eye for the design – the templates they provide are all pretty great, and it’s just a matter of switching out the default text for whatever you want your infographic to say.
- Piktochart – definitely the most popular graphics-creation tool on the web. It has a free version but you will be stuck with their logo – and you really want your logo featured on your infographic.A monthly subscription is relatively affordable – around $ 27 – and gives you access to more templates. Also, you will be able to add info-boxes, charts, graphs and more.Keep in mind that Piktochart is not the easiest tool to master and that there is definitely a learning curve to it. Don’t expect your first infographic to turn out great but if you keep at it, you will soon create stuff that is good enough to publish.
- Easelly – this is a great tool that is also extremely affordable, to boot! For only $ 3 a month you will get access to thousands of free images, more than 60 fonts, and professionally designed templates that just might push you over the top and help you create a killer graphic. Also, it’s very easy to use, plus you will have an excellent support system and access to a designer that is more than willing to help you figure out the ins and outs of the tool.
- Infogram – like Piktochart, Infogram has a free version that you can use but it’s not extremely useful as it only allows you to download your infographic in a PNG format. However, you can subscribe for a month and pay $ 25 to get access to a lot more images, fonts, and icons. The reason why I really like this tool is because it is a lot more intuitive than Piktochart so if you’re not on the market for some extra features, this is the one I would definitely recommend.
Infographics should be one of the tools from your content marketing toolbox that you go back to time and time again. A good infographic paired with the right marketing can give your business a ton of visitors from social shares and referrals – and they can also net you hundreds (if not thousands) of links.