How Infographics Can Create Compelling Content for Your Blog

Infographics can create compelling content for a blog

Emma J. Fox

Pictures can communicate ideas with more impact than text, and that’s why infographics have become so popular.

Infographics are entertaining, engaging, visually appealing, and have better recall value than a blog post with all text.

But, from an SEO and business marketing perspective, do infographics really benefit your blog? Yes, they do.

Why Infographics?

Infographics have several key advantages. They can:

  • Improve SEO. Infographics help your blog get better visibility in image search results.
  • Generate inbound links. Not everyone wants to invest in their own infographics, so if you include an attractive one in your post chances are that readers who find the information relevant will use your infographic on their site, thereby generating inbound links.
  • Build your brand. You can add your brand name to the infographic, thus enhancing your brand awareness. Whenever another site uses your infographic, their readers will learn about your brand as well.
  • Leverage social media. You can gain maximum leverage from social sharing networks such as Pinterest and StumbleUpon. Users on Pinterest, the social media site for sharing visuals, love infographics, so you can attract both traffic and followers by pinning useful and interesting ones. We all know that social signals can help in improving your site’s search rankings.
  • Generate more traffic. You can get additional links and traffic from infographic sharing sites as well.

The infographic here (courtesy Zabisco) illustrates several additional benefits.

Infographics to create compelling content

Using Infographics Effectively

Ready to leverage infographics effectively for your blog? Here’s what you can do:

  • Make it engaging: Don’t just jump on the infographic bandwagon unless you really have something meaningful to convey. An infographic needs to capture your readers’ attention and align with the message of your blog post.
  • Summarize compelling data: Your infographic should highlight an interesting new trend. You need to perform careful analysis of the data to find a unique point of view. Piggyback on data from third-party sources, or conduct your own survey to identify trends.
  • Create an interesting design: The whole point of featuring an infographic is its visual appeal. No matter how interesting your data may be, unless it is illustrated in an interesting manner, no one will read it. But, interesting doesn’t mean complex or confusing – keep it simple and easy to grasp. You can create an infographic using Flash or HTML5 to make it more interactive, instead of using a one-dimensional static image.
  • Use SEO techniques on the infographic’s description: Feature the infographic within a blog post and include descriptive text. Include keywords, relevant phrases and backlinks to other posts within this description to aid your overall SEO efforts.
  • Promote the infographic: Nothing sells unless you share it. Leverage social networks, PR, email and other marketing strategies to publicize your infographic. Along with Pinterest and Stumbleupon, you could also try Viral Content Buzz — a free tool that helps infographics go viral.
  • Add an embed code to your infographic: An embed code enables readers to embed your infographic in their content while ensuring that you get a link back to your site. You can use a free WordPress plugin to generate an embed code.

So what are you waiting for? Do a search on a topic of relevance to your blog and you’re sure to find an infographic that you can download to help tell your story.

Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media, a Vancouver based SEO company. Pitstop Media helps businesses across North America successfully increase their search visibility.

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Comments

  1. Am with you and agree with what you say. A picture paints a thousand words…

    My objection is that I am yet to see an infographic that’s attractively designed. They are far too busy and messy, or as you put it, complex or confusing. Hence personally don’t even pay attention to them.

    Why should I use infographics instead of photos or videos? What would I gain?

    • From Emma — Catarina, infographics — same as any with other online marketing strategy — are abused to the level where you will find just simple graphs “re-branded” as infographics. I think that we slowly start to develop an “infographic blindness” similar to “banner blindness,” where we get so used to and bored by them, that we simply ignore them.

  2. I’m with Catarina on this. While it’s totally understandable that visuals are highly more effective, the infographics I’ve seen are just so busy that I lose interest in them and find myself – reading MORE! Kind of defeats the purpose.

    Maybe they will become easier to read?

    Great post!

  3. It’s funny. I am a highly visual person, yet infographics do not appeal to me. Nor do videos on a blog.

    I love pictures and short, compelling text.

    But thx for sharing. It’s obvious many people do like them.

    • Doreen — I can see your point. But I think a lot of readers like video — it’s a highly visual medium and I use videos from time to time to break up the monotony of all type. Also, Google owns YouTube and there is the added benefit of SEO.

  4. I tend to skim over most infographics because many of them strike me as just being too busy to bother trying to decipher. I see the same thing happening in some of the regular magazines that I read. This points to how online reading is making the reading process a less linear one. The only infographic I can recall becoming really engaged in was one that dealt with picking the perfect summer books. I guess the content was compelling enough to keep me following the myriad of arrows.

    • From Emma — Jeri, the attractiveness and relevance of an infographics might also be related to your particular situation (i.e. if you are in the book industry an infographic on oil sands probably won’t appeal as much as one on most wanted books in 2012).

  5. I don’t consider myself a visual learner. I much prefer reading text over watching a video but I do enjoy infographics. I think it’s the mix of data with images that I appreciate. Although I haven’t invested the time to create infographics for my blog yet, I would like to in the future.

    One reason that I like infographics is that I can share them on Pinterest. In fact, infographics are pretty much the only thing that I share on Pinterest. (Not that I’m very active on that site because I’m not but I do want to maintain some sort of presence there.) The infographics that I share tend to pertain to SEO and social media which are the two topics that I strive to rank for. Bottom line, I agree with Emma that (from an SEO and business marketing perspective) there are benefits both in including them on your blog and sharing them.

    • Sherryl — I know there are do-it-yourself templates to create infographics. I haven’t tried it yet, but I may put that on my task list for 2013. I’m not much of an artist so I’ll have to see if I can do it!

    • Hi Sherryl. Thanks for commenting on my article and for your suggestion with regards to sharing them on Pinterest. Did you find any success with them on Pinterest?

      I think that the purpose on an infographic is to take loads of data and either make it very easy to understand or enjoyable to analyze. If an infographic fails one these criteria, then it failed to communicate properly.

      • Emma, I can’t directly tie the impact of Pinterest to driving traffic to my blog because the infographics that I’m pinning aren’t from my site. I have noticed quite a few re-pins and people commenting on my pins. So, the way I’m using Pinterest is more to build awareness of me personally as my brand.

        To me, Pinterest is just one more social media site that I’m maintaining a presence on and since I rarely spend more than 5 minutes a day sharing infographics there, I believe there’s value in it even though, I don’t have any stats to prove it.

        • Interesting… I am not on Pinterest and I still try to gauge it’s worth the time. All I hear is that it might be good for B2C but it can’t be really used to generate b2b awareness.

  6. I agree that info graphics have the ability to catch and capture a readers attention. Like it is in all things, some are better at it then others. When creating an infographic product, it’s important to not overwhelm the viewer visually. Always allow for some white space to give the eyes a rest. Just my thoughts… 🙂

  7. Emma-Julie raises good points about the benefits. As others have mentioned, many are too busy and one reason I find is often there are juts a bunch of facts or points that do not build on each other. The other thing is back to simplicity and I think infographics could be better if they reduce the amount of information and keep the design simple.

    • @Susan: design simplicity and white spacing (as mentioned in a previous comment) are important for successful infographics. However, I believe, the key is to display a large amount of relevant data in the most pleasant possible layout. Reduce the amount of data too much and we end up with just nice graphs.

  8. Plain text is sometimes hard to read, especially when you have entire spreadsheets go over :). I think infographics publishers have two different approaches when they release them: first is to create an infographics only and promote it while the second is to accompany it with a well written article. The approach depends on the subject matter but in both case I would like to see the data sources behind the nice graphics.

  9. To me, what makes an infographic compelling is its ability to visually tell a good story and include some key takeaway messages.

    Your infographic must tell a good story about the problems that your customers are facing with. Use data and stats to dramatize the problems further. And then include a few takeaways to help your customers solve their problem, with one of the solutions being your product or service.

    One thing that I don’t like about most infographics is that they are too heavy on data and stats. Too much stats and data can make the infographic seems boring and overwhelming.

    I think an infographic is more compelling when it tells a story using a combination of data, stats, images, and illustrations. The secret is to organize the flow of information and data in a way that it is telling a story with characters, problems & conflicts, and include some takeaway messages to resolve the problems.

    As most studies have indicated, story has a powerful effect on people. .

    We recently did an inforgraphic on Internet privacy. Originally, the designer made it very data intensive. After adding the images and cartoons, it tells a better story.

    You can see it here, hotspotshield.com/2013/07/22/who-is-tracking-you-online/.

    • Peter — I agree that infographics need to be visually appealing. Sometimes they are so full of information you can’t understand what they are trying to communicate. Didn’t see the infographic when I went to your site, FYI.