Many of us are aware that infographics have the potential to enhance a piece of online content, especially when it comes to reinforcing statistics and increasing knowledge retention. Because they are so visual, infographics can catch people’s attention in a way that text content will never be able to do, which also has the benefit to increase their shareability. However, some are less aware of the potential benefits that can be obtained from using infographics to increase reach and attract a greater audience in the first place.
In particular, virtually all good SEO consultants would highlight the advantages that are associated with the use of infographics as part of a search engine optimisation strategy. With that in mind, in this article, we outline some of the main tactics you can effectively utilise for infographics, in order to boost your own SEO results.
Gain Natural Inbound Links
Good quality backlinks remain one of the most important factors influencing your visibility on search engine results pages. In fact, according to an analysis of more than one million Google search results, backlinks correlate with high placement more than any other factor, while there is a strong correlation between overall link authority and high placement too.
Therefore, a key part of your SEO strategy has to be based around attracting links. However, ever since Google's Penguin update was first rolled out, it has been equally crucial for these links to come from high authority domains websites or blogs. In simple terms, this means the quality of inbound links outweighs the sheer quantity.
Infographics provide an ideal way to attract this kind of authoritative links, because they offer content creators a concise way to back up or add to their points with visual information. Therefore, the simple act of including an infographic within a piece of content makes that content more likely to be linked to from other quality sources.
Evidence of this is provided in a recent study by Moz, which found that infographics are not only one of the preferred content types for publishers, they are also one of the content types that generate the most backlinks. For real success, however, you will need to use statistical data and avoid making your infographics too "busy" or over-crowded.
Infographics for Link Building
Of course, every SEO expert London has to offer will also tell you that relying on natural links alone is unlikely to produce the results you are looking for. Instead, you need to engage in a link building strategy. With written content, the way to do this is perhaps more immediately obvious, but it is perfectly possible to do it via infographics too.
The best approach here is to publish your infographic on your own website first (this is really key), accompanied by written content (ideally a good title and description), and then reach out to other websites that publish relevant content, asking them to feature your infographic within their content. The goal here is for them to also include a link back to your original infographic, increasing its authority with Google.
For this approach to work, you will need to supply a description of the infographic, containing some relevant keywords. An article published by QuickSprout also highlights the value of supporting text in drawing attention to the infographic, encouraging users to want to to find out more, which can encourage clicks through to your website.
Websites you reach out to may be willing to include your infographic and its accompanying text in content they are working on, or you might instead opt to create long-form content for them to publish. In many ways, this can be "win-win" for both you and the website that you reach out to, with them receiving content and you receiving backlinks.
It is crucial that Google recognises your website as the original source for the infographic, rather than their website. This is why it is so important to publish the infographic on your website first and to obtain an inbound link from them. Doing so will help to communicate the infographic's place of origin to the search engine.
By working with professional SEO consultants, you can leave this kind of outreach to them. Experts in the field will also have a clearer sense of the types of websites to reach out to in order to build your page authority.
Giving Google What It Wants
Ultimately, to boost SEO results through the use of infographics, you need to give Google as much to work with as possible. This means taking some basic steps to optimise the infographic itself, as well as the page it is on.
The aforementioned QuickSprout article stresses the benefits of using a sensible file name for your infographic. This makes logical sense, as an infographic entitled "001.jpg" tells Google absolutely nothing about what the graphic is, whereas a name like "seo-ranking-factors.jpg" provides Google with some valuable information to use.
You should also include alt text, which is text displayed if your image fails to load. Google uses this to ascertain what the image actually is, so an example of an effective alt text string would be "Infographic showing SEO ranking factors".
Meanwhile, Search Engine Watch recommends publishing your infographic in two places on your website, if possible. The examples given are to publish it once on your blog and again on your website's "resources" section. The content around the infographic should be unique for both locations, so that Google has two pieces of original content to crawl.
Finally, it is important to also use your infographic to capitalise on the SEO benefits connected to social media. Research published by Neil Patel shows us that around 74 percent of companies ask their employees to share content on social media, but only around 20 percent of companies say their employees actually do so.
Infographics provide an ideal way to make content more shareable, potentially boosting those numbers for your business. 'Shares' provide valuable social media links to your content, which is another major ranking factor for Google, while those shares can also generate additional clicks and, potentially, new customers, users or readers.
The Last Word
When it comes to achieving results with search engine optimisation, many people overlook the role of infographics. Yet, any knowledgeable SEO expert will highlight the value. In particular, infographics can help you to attract backlinks from high authority sources, develop a beneficial link building strategy, boost visibility on search engine results pages and improve the shareability of content.
By Christelle Macri
Having worked in the Internet advertising and search industry for over 17 years, I have acquired a real passion for digital marketing. I am currently working as a consultant for ClickJump, advising on marketing strategies and implementing integrated campaigns for direct clients and agencies within a variety of sectors, including B2B. Follow me on Twitter @christellemacri