According to Wikipedia, “information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.” Simply put, an infographic is a poster-like illustration that’s composed of text, graphics, and color.
For example, the text in this blog could be replaced with an infographic like this one from customermagnetism.com:
Some examples of commonly seen infographics include transit maps, weather charts, and graphs that display statistical data like election results.
How is Infographics relevant to SEO/SEM?
Infographics are generally designed to be linkbait, which is web content that was created specifically to attract attention and to be shared, resulting in inbound links. Since infographics are essentially image files (.jpg), they are easily shareable. A cleverly designed infographic also has the potential to go viral. More links and shares ultimately mean more traffic to your website, which of course drives up your SEO value.
How Effective Are Infographics?
This depends on who you ask. Companies who design infographics will tout its importance and effectiveness and support their case by using statistics like these:
In the past two years, infographic search volumes have increased over 800% on Google (statistic from 2012)
Publishers who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t
Here’s an infographic from unbounce.com tooting the horn of infographics:
Click the image to see the full graphic. It includes a lot of statistics.
A google search on infographics also brings up a lot of naysayers who say that infographics is either already dead or will soon fade out of existence. Here’s an example: Infographics Are Dead: Why Your Content Team Should Stop Producing Them.
Dead or Alive?
The answer is… neither. Infographics was once the darling of content marketing -- when it was still a novelty. As with all novelties, once the hype caught on, the novelty faded. When infographics were all the rage, any decent infographic had the potential to go viral. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon, which led to an oversaturation of infographics on the web. Too much of anything turns people off. This led to prophecies about its imminent death.
But the fact remains, infographics work. If something works, it will survive. As part of a larger content marketing strategy, infographics are still a very effective tool.
Instead of abandoning infographics altogether, marketers have become more innovative, creating so-called “interactive” infographics. Take a look at some of the creative infographics from designbysoap, a UK firm that designs infographics. Interactive infographics are fun and… interactive! Search engines love sites that encourage visitor interaction.
With interactive infographics you truly have a win-win. The information you wish to convey is in a condensed, easy-to-digest format and presented in a fun interactive package that will (hopefully) wow your site visitors and make them want to share it.
A Valuable Marketing Tool
Infographics can be a valuable addition to your content marketing strategy. If you feel that your brand’s message can be conveyed through an infographic, go ahead. You can create an infographic yourself using Photoshop or free online tools (just search for “free infographic tools” and you’ll find at least a dozen). However, if you’re not confident in your creative abilities or if you have the budget for it, consider hiring a professional designer. The right infographic, marketed properly, can reap great rewards for your online business.