How to SEO Your Infographics for the Best Results!
I’m a huge supporter of infographics. My agency’s infographic design and outreach service is one of our most popular services for one very simple reason – high quality infographics that are well researched and provide value are the easiest way to secure links from the top media sites in the world.
Sure, they allow you to take a complex or boring subject, and explain it in a fun way, using visuals, but let’s be honest. Their ability to help build authority links is why people are such fans of them. They produce results.
Most websites you approach are going to turn you down if you are seeking an editorial link, but they will at least listen to your pitch if you use an infographic as link bait. Why? There are several reasons:
- Infographics receive a lot more social shares than regular blog posts do, which helps drive more traffic back to the post, which the website hopes further explores, visiting additional pages and maybe even converting into a newsletter subscriber or a customer.
- Infographics can be used by the website on other platforms very easily. They are great to share on Facebook and can even be repurposed on visual social networks like Pinterest.
- Infographics are top line quality content that costs the website $0 to produce. They don’t have to pay to create them and they don’t have to pay an editorial team to proof read and edit prior to publishing.
Touching on the last point above, it’s important to understand that websites that use contributors still have a lot of costs to publish that content, even though they are not paying the writers. For examples, websites like Forbes and Inc. use a contributor model, where they don’t pay for content. Authors receive exposure and bragging rights and work for free. But that doesn’t mean it’s totally free for the website.
They have a full time staff of editors that clean up the submissions and make sure they follow the editorial guidelines. They will also interlink relevant articles, insert ads and offers, etc. So, for every contributed article, it might cost them a few hours of work.
An infographic, on the other hand, requires no editing. They website can receive it and within minutes publish it, attracting page views, social shares, and advertising revenue. They love them, as long as they are high quality. Fivver and cheap outsourced infographics will never get you anywhere. You need to be willing to spend money on a well researched quality design if you want to earn links.
One thing a lot of people forget about when creating an infographic, and that is SEO. They figure that it doesn’t matter since it’s not a traditional blog post, but that isn’t true. It just takes a slightly different approach. I wanted to take a minute to discuss this, as I see a lot of people missing out because they completely ignore SEO when it comes to infographics.
So here’s some tips on how to SEO your infographics
How Google Views Infographics
Even though infographics are complex pieces of content, let’s not forget one very important thing. In the eyes of Google, they are just images. They have no way of differentiating them from any other image. Infographics are usually in PNG or JPEG format. You will occasionally find them in PDF version, if they are small.
Google can’t crawl an infographic like they can a long-form blog post containing 2,500 words. But there are things you can do to help improve the SEO of the infographics you post on your website.
Keywords Matter. Yes, Even with Infographics.
Even though you aren’t writing a long blog post, keyword(s) still matter. You should identify several keywords that someone would search to find the products or service you are selling. Why? Because if your infographic performs well and gets picked up by major media outlets and authority websites, they are going to use your infographic title and some of the headings from it to write their post title and description.
How can this help you? Well, if you happen to get picked up by a website like Forbes, they are going to always outrank you more times than not. So, if they rank for keywords you would love to, but just don’t have the authority for, then wouldn’t you like for that traffic to hit their site and see your company featured? If it’s done well enough, you will see a lot of that traffic click-through and visit your website.
You are leveraging their ranking potential to funnel traffic back to your website. Will it all turn into referral traffic? No, but when we are talking about large authority sites that receive millions of visitors a day, even a small percentage of that converting to referral traffic is great.
So, always do proper keyword research when doing an infographic. You will need to use those keywords in your title and headings of the actual infographic and then use them in the elements listed below.
Title and URL Structure
Just like a regular blog post, your title and URL should include your main keyword. With an infographic you want to take a little different approach. I would avoid generic keywords, because you are working with limited SEO possibilities with an infographic. Let me give you an example. If you are a company that sells diet and weight loss products, you would not want to use “weight loss” as your focus keyword.
Instead, you might want “how to lose weight after pregnancy” to be your focus keyword, and use that as the title of your infographic…
“How to Lose Weight After Pregnancy”
…and also make sure that your URL is:
Not only is this a keyword with less competition, but it’s also one that is going to help pull in very specific traffic to your website. They have one goal if they are searching for this term in Google, and that is to drop weight after having a baby. This also allows you to put a very targeted offer at the end of the infographic. Since your readers will be very targeted, it will help you achieve a much higher conversion rate.
Image File Name
This is something that you should focus on when you are performing outreach, and getting your infographic republished on authority websites. This is a little SEO hack that I have personally seen work very well on almost all occasions.
Before you send your infographic to a website, find a recently published infographic and determine what width infographic they use, and re-size yours accordingly before you send it over. Assign one of your keywords as the file name. For example, you could use a variation of the example above and use “lose pregnancy weight fast” and if your file is a PNG, it would look something like this:
They will almost never change the file name as long as you send it in the correct size, and make sure you mention that. Tell them you sent it in the correct size so they don’t have to adjust it. It’s just an easy way to pull additional traffic to your infographics and help expose your company to more people. Use a different image file name for every outlet you pitch.
This follows the same idea as above, although you really don’t have control of how other websites deal with the alt-image tag. While you can send them a file that has your desired name, you cannot do that with the tag. That is something they do internally when creating the post.
You can, however, make sure that the alt-image tag is done properly on your website. I personally like to avoid straight up keywords with this, and instead, write a very long-tail search sentence that helps to identify the page content. Remember, this is just another piece of the SEO puzzle that Google analyzes when determining what the page is. It is very important on infographic posts, because Google can’t crawl the infographic content since it’s an image.
When another website is posting an infographic you send then, 9 times out of 10 they use the image file name as the alt-image tag as well, so it can still help. That’s another reason it’s important to send them a keyword focused image file, rather than something like 876238478237535.jpeg.
A lot of infographic posts have an introduction sentence and then they go right into the infographic. While this is good in a sense, because it allows the visitor to engage with the content right away, it does nothing to help your SEO.
I would suggest writing an introduction paragraph of at least 300 words, and break it up into little paragraphs and information blasts. You can highlight the different sections of the infographic, and this also lets you use your keyword and several variations.
You want to please the search engines, but also not turn off the visitor, who is expecting to see an infographic and not a long drawn out blog post. If you use lots of 2-3 sentence paragraphs and bullet points, they can quickly skim through it and get right to the information they want without annoying them.
In a regular blog post you are working with a lot of real estate, so you can sprinkle in headings without them being too obvious and include keywords and variations throughout them. With an infographic, you are working with a small area of text, especially if you are doing 300-word introductions.
This is why I mentioned using short paragraphs and lots of bullet points. This gives you the opportunity to use headings to describe what is included in the bulleted areas. You can also get very creative by leaving an image credit description and share code text in heading format at the bottom of the infographic.
You could put something like, “Share this infographic about losing weight after pregnancy” in heading text, right above the HTML code share box. You could also write something along the lines of, “This pregnancy weight loss infographic was designed by [your company name]” in heading text as well. Those two examples are just additional ways to get heading keywords in an infographic post with limited text real estate space.
Infographics, especially very graphic-heavy ones, can really slow down page load speeds, especially on a website that uses shared cheap hosting. They are typically the largest image files on a website.
Hosting on your own dedicated server or using a CDN are the best ways around this, but I understand that not everyone has it in their budget to go this route. You should always use a good cache plugin and an image compressor, at the very least. If you are using a theme, there is a good chance that it’s not properly optimized for speed. Many of the $50 pre-made site themes are clunky, but you can still clean them up. The easiest way is to run a Google PageSpeed test and then follow the suggestions, or pass them onto a developer.
Securing authority links via infographic outreach is great, but if your site and page loads slow, that tells Google that your website might not present the best user experience. In that case, you will not move up high in the SERPs, even with excellent links.
This should be the focus of every website owner, but you will notice lags in speed on infographic pages just because of the image file sizes you will be hosting. Imagine compression will help, but it isn’t the do-all solution to the problem.
As you see, there isn’t anything in this list that isn’t part of regular SEO that you would focus on for a blog post or service page of a website. While it’s the same basics, it just requires a little different approach.
The biggest thing to remember is that Google doesn’t crawl an infographic the same way it does a long piece of content. This makes the SEO even more important, because you are working with a much smaller same of text when you post an infographic.
In order for an infographic to be effective, you need the visitor to start absorbing it right away. They aren’t going to read through a long blog post. Infographics are best to pull in attention from people that normally wouldn’t take the time to read posts.
Many people assume that since they aren’t posting a regular text based blog post, there isn’t a way to optimize it for SEO. You want to make sure you are optimized, especially if you are using the infographic for link acquisition. If you get a handful of authority links pointing back to it, these SEO tips will help you rank above everyone, even the authority websites that re-publish it.
If you have any questions about how to optimize and infographic or how to use them as bait to secure the best links, even if they aren’t directly related to your niche, then leave a comment below. I will do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible.
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