Infographics, those colorful and familiar data charts made popular first by USA Today and now appearing everywhere, are a great way to build your inbound link profile – both inbound link numbers and domain diversity — with very little effort on your part. These graphics, illustrations, and charts appeal to the approximately 65 percent of the general population who are visual learners. We humans are, after all, designed for visual interpretation of data. According to the Visual Teaching Alliance:
- 40 percent of all nerve fibers connected to the brain are linked to the retina.
- 90 percent of information that comes to the brain is visual.
- The brain processes visual information 60,000 faster than text.
It’s small wonder that the popularity of infographics increases year after year. They appeal to a society that is constantly being bombarded with information and that has an all-time low attention span. Good infographics convey the salient information quickly, can state a position or make a point, and are easily scanned. A successful infographic is one that goes viral – that is, is copied onto other blogs or websites, tweeted and re-tweeted, dugg, and shared on Facebook – and increases brand recognition and drives traffic to your website.
- Pick a topic that is relevant to your blog or website topic. If it can be entertaining, topical, or outrageous, even better. For ideas, search for “infographic” in the Google or Bing Image Search vertical, in Digg, or in Flickr. Set aside at least an additional hour for sharing all the interesting infographics you find with your Facebook friends.
- Pick accurate, useful information to visualize. Your infographic will only be as interesting as the data it depicts.
- Hire a designer specializing in infographics. Most of the infographics you admired in your research will include an attribution at the bottom or a link to the creator. Follow up with them.
- Make sure that the final version of the infographic includes your logo and/or brand name. This way, if the infographic gets copied without a link back to your site, you’ll still get your brand name seen.
- Credit your data sources. It adds credibility, too.
How you optimize the page or blog where you host the infographic is just as important as the graphic. This will help your target audience discover your infographic through organic search.
- Optimize the page according to SEO best practices. Include a descriptive keyword-rich title, enticing meta description, a heading, and a paragraph or two describing the topic and any additional points you want to make.
- Since most infographics are reduced in size to fit on your screen, include a link to a larger version of the infographic using keyword-rich anchor text. This is much better for SEO than the typical “Click to enlarge.”
- Optionally, link to a high-resolution PDF version for printing or purchase.
- At the bottom, add a window that displays the embeddable code, which includes:
- A link to your source page
- Keyword-rich ALT text
- Credits for your design firm and yourself
- Optionally, a keyword-rich caption
- Lastly, add your usual bookmarking and social sharing icon set to tempt the viewer.
By depicting useful information in a visual way; embedding optimized links, anchor text, and ALT text in easy-to-copy code; encouraging social bookmarking and sharing; and optimizing the host page for high organic rankings, you can increase your inbound link numbers, diversify the number of unique domains sending links, reach a whole new audience, improve brand recognition, and yes, increase traffic, too. So what are you waiting for?