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Hackernoon logoTips for Optimizing your Infographics for the Best SEO Results by@Christina Josh Wilde

Tips for Optimizing your Infographics for the Best SEO Results

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@Christina Josh WildeChristina Josh

An SEO Guru, Helping Professionals

Infographics are pretty astonishing.

It is one of the best ways to interpret a complicated topic with proficiency and they make information come alive.

Research found:

People following directions with text and illustrations do 323 percent better than people following directions without illustration.

This is why infographics are liked and shared on social media 3x more than any other sort of content.

If you put your mind to it, cave paintings and hieroglyphics dating back to many years back achieved the same sort of thing.

They weren’t very practical but instruct just how hard-wired we are when it comes to visual information.

So there is no doubt why infographics been so useful in content marketing.

You can find your infographics in 3 clicks or less across all the document apps you use.

Unbounce even went so far as to say “infographics are the most impactful  gadget in your content marketing arsenal.”

And with any kind of content you make, you’d want it to be SEO friendly.

But,

When you’re using SEO for an infographic, it demands a slightly different approach than the one you wish to use for a traditional blog post.

I would demonstrate the most important components of infographics SEO to make sure yours get proper visibility in the SERPS in this post.

According to Brogan Renshaw, Director of Firewire Digital "Infographics now need to be quality, with thought put into the story and data being shown.. Question the infographic - is this really the best way to present and add something else to the story being told?"

Brogan further says "In all this, don't forget that the information you are offering to readers has to be relevant, engaging and useful! When presented in the right way that stands out from the pack, infographics can still be highly effective to land links."

The biggest obstacle:

I’d start by saying that infographics are actually just images.

They are generally saved in JPEG, PNG, GIF etc formats.

Surely they are much more powerful and contain much more information than the typical image, but this is how google visions them.

Google can’t read images like it can read text based content such as a blog post.

Luckily, there are many other elements you can optimize.

According to Vince Martellacci, from ForgeCollective " Infographics can definitely help SEO. First, you can add alt text to your infographic to help it appear in google image search"

The primary step should be the keyword research:

You can’t take advantage of keywords in the body of the infographic, but there can be some areas where you can put in some keywords.

That is why you still have to put some keyword search while monitoring your SEO to identify the primary keyword phrase as well as a couple of secondary phrases to target.

Suppose that I am planning on creating an infographics about productivity hacks.

Searching it on Google keyword Planner shows that “Productivity hacks” is low competition which is a good sign.

The only setback is that it’s a short tail keyword with only two words.

But I might be able to make it work, If I added “infographics” to the bottom of the “productivity hacks”.

The important part here is to perform keyword research the same way you would do for any other type of content.

The only difference would be that how you would go about inserting those keywords.

According to Samuel Kane from The Money Pig "Bloggers and other readers can easily link back to a site that includes attractive and relevant infographics. When you get relevant backlinks from other sites (mostly top-tier brands) SEO ranking increases exponentially"

Page loading speed:

In 2010, Google announced that page loading speed was a ranking factor.

Pages and contents that load quickly will get preference.

A faster load time tends to translate into a lower bounce rate, more time spent on your website and so on.

You should be aware about how long it takes for your infographics to load.

Considering the fact that infographics are fairly bulky images, so this can definitely be a concern.

Keeping in mind that PNGs, JPEGS, BMPs and TIFFs loads the fatest, so choose the format accordingly.

Loading speed of your infographics can also be tested with this free tool.

Just type in the URL.

It will be analyzed and graded by google.

Google will help you provide with specific advice for speeding it up if there are any issues.

Jason Reed, the Head of Content at Suppwise.com says "Creating an infographic that goes viral is all about providing value to the reader. You have to remember that while your goal may be to have your infographic shared, your reader's goal is to answer a question."

Importance of alternative text.

Your alternative text is equally Important.

This text is the alternative of an image that makes somebody aware about the content of the image in the event that it doesn’t load properly

“Screen readers for the blind and visually impaired will read out this text and thus make your image accessible.”

More importantly, this gives you another shot at explaining Google what’s in your infographic.

In this scenario, I can use “Infographic explaining 15 productivity hacks.”

Choosing the right file name:

Choosing the right file is important.

This is one of the factors google will analyze to determine what your infographic content is about.

Make sure to get it right.

You obviously want to stay away from anything generic like image002.png.

If you do such mistake, it would tell Google absolutely nothing and is going to be a strike against your infographics SEO.

A much better option would be anything like productivity-hacks-infographics.png.

It would help google know exactly about the sort of your content.

Just be careful about keyboard stuffing, using the same phrase a lot of times or anything else that’s spammy.

Evan Ankney owner of sportsbookscout.com says "Infographics are also what I call “link bait”. An attractive infographic makes your page more enticing for someone to link to, assuming the infographic is well crafted and useful. The indirect result of the infographic could be more links, which would in turn boost rankings"

Reasons for the importance of URL:

Reasons for the importance of URL are obvious.

As I highlighted in a post from NeilPatel.com that referenced Google’s top 200 ranking factors from Backlinko, when it comes to the significance of URLs, here is what we know:

  • URL length is listed as #46
  • URL path is listed as #47
  • Keyword in the URL is #51
  • URL string is #52

I’m not going to cover about the URL optimization here.

If you want to know more about it you can find it in the post I just highlighted.

But I can tell you that you should aim for a should URL that contains three to five words and a maximum of 60 characters.

This advice comes directly from Matt Cutts so you know it’s precious.

When you talk about keywords, make sure to include one or two of them in your URL.

Research from John Lincoln and Brian Dean shows that this is the sweet spot and considered as part of URL keyword best practices (at least for now).

Infographics can also help you garner some high quality links too.

H1 Tags still matter.

You cannot capitalize on the H1 tags(or H2s,H3s, etc) in the body of your infographic, you can still place one above your infographic so that Google can read it.

Did you see how the same keyword that was used in the infographic is used which is same as the H1 tag used at the very top?

This is very simple yet very effective way to provide more SEO juice to your infographic.

H1s might not be as big of a ranking factor these days as they were few years ago, but they certainly don’t hurt.

But while working with infographics they can be very helpful especially if you have a limited amount of text to work with.

According to Sébastien Debhi-Durand from viewpdf.com "Infographics are particularly useful to display even the most complex information. This is why they are becoming used more and more frequently. By simplifying the reading of long articles, the infographic format encourages the sharing of information and this is the first reason to include them in a SEO strategy"

Adding Supporting text:

I really like hacks, shortcuts, loopholes, etc.

You can call them per your will, but these little tricks will help you gain the edge on the competition.

There is this one specific hack I’d like to highlight in regards to infographic SEO

It’s pretty simple though. Add some supporting text at the beginning.

Here is a great example for you:

Have you noticed that it’s not very fancy.

It’s just a few paragraphs that expound upon the infographic and offer a quick preview of what it’s about.

It is helpful for two reasons.

The first one is, human visitors can be provided with brief description, which should hopefully pique their interest and make them want to check out the infographic.

Second and the most important one is that it supplies google with additional text to crawl and decipher meaning from.

This increases the chances of your infographic to be found and increases the likely hood that it’s indexed under the right keywords.

So it’s a win win situation.

100 words of supporting text can be of great help instead of going overboard and write 1000 supporting words.

As an added advantage you can put in couple of internal links to relevant pages on your websites.

According to Ingmar Folk from CoinFlip Trading "What I can say on infographics is that I get some good backlinks because of mentioning websites as source in the infographic. But I’ve done it with the help of doing outreach directly to the site owner. So yes, it helped my site with SEO"

Do’s and Don’ts of Meta description:

Let me show you the best practices to stick to when creating one for your infographics.

  • The length should be between 135-160 characters.
  • Keyword phrase should be included atleast once.
  • The content should be accurately described within your infographic
  • A CTA should be present at the end to encourage search engine users to click on the content.

Doing all the steps should make your infographic go further with Google and help you achieve more organic traffic.

If you want to read more about making a appealing meta description, you can ready this post from Yoast.

Expert Quotes From Marketing Experts:

I interviewed some of the top Marketing Experts to give their insights to the story, some of the best tips include:

  • Jessica from Copper H2O says "We have used and experimented with infographics since our inception in 2015 and have found them to be very helpful from a marketing and SEO perspective"
  • Christian Carere from Digital Ducats Inc. says "Infographics are an effective method for building backlinks and on average will result in 172% more backlinks than your typical blog post. People are more inclined to share an infographic because of the visual appeal it holds while packed with data or information."
  • Alexander Heinle from ZAGE says "We should always keep in mind that Google image research is big. With any picture, you can directly rank for a keyword. High-quality infographics could be your way to entering a new search category - image search"
  • Meg Marrs from K9 of Mine says "Our articles with infographics generally get shared 3x more than articles without any data visualization. This means more retweets, more pins, more shares on Facebook, etc. Take - for example - our Guide to the Best Dog Beds. In this guide we combine product recommendations with fun visuals and a full infographic at the bottom showing various dog sleeping styles and which beds may be best for dogs based on how they sleep."
  • Jakub Kliszczak from Channels.app says "Marketers create infographics and visual just to post them on various aggregators to gain backlinks without a second thought regarding the quality of those backlinks. The right way to use an infographic as your SEO fuel is to create a valuable asset that is worth sharing"
  • Marilyn Wilkinson from Full Stack Copywriter says "Infographics were a super popular SEO tactic a few years ago. These days, the trend is moving away from infographics and towards interactive multimedia content such as video and podcasts."
  • Domantas Gudeliauskas from Zyro says "Encourage readers to share the post via in-text links (which would get you the most benefit) or via hotlinking to the image. That might impact your performance a little if you end up going viral, but some link juice is better than no link juice.
  • Adam Lumb from LaptopUnboxed says "Infographics can also be VERY useful for attaining links back to your site which can have a tremendous impact on rankings. If you can create an infographic that is particularly useful, interesting, or informative, it’s quite possible that it will be shared to relevant people on social media and to similar websites."

Conclusion

SEO for infographics isn’t distinct from doing SEO for any other type of content.

Many of the same techniques and strategies are incorporated by it.

Google can’t read it like it reads a regular text-based content therefore the main thing you have to work around is the fact that an infographic is an image.

Gladly, there are many ways to get around this make sure that your infographic is perfectly optimized for search engine as well as humans.

You’ll make it to climb the rankings and achieve maximum visibility in the SERPs by covering all the basics.

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