SEO: Do Infographics Help?

Written by: Jason Bayless | July 01, 2015

When it comes to SEO, infographics get a really bad rap. It’s not because they’re being overused or made poorly — although that is a bit of a problem. It’s because they’re huge images that take time to load on a browser. In that respect, infographics might be considered the anti-SEO. This doesn’t have to be the case, however; there are a few ways to implement this tactic while keeping your website friendly for search engines.

Importance of the Infographic

Infographics are essentially link bait, which is content created with the intent of gaining attention. Ideally, it’s interesting enough that someone who looks at it wants to share it with their friends. One major factor of a good SEO tactic is to increase the number of links back to your website. Infographics show information in a convenient and interesting way, so people should theoretically end up linking back to you as it goes viral.

Just because this is a link bait tactic doesn’t mean it’ll always work. The primary key is to ensure that your graphic is accurate and just generally good quality. Adding a few random stats and hastily piecing together an image isn’t enough to get anything to go viral; in fact, it will take plenty of effort, research and hard work to develop something worth sharing.

In other words, if you’re going to make the effort, then get it right. Pick an exciting topic and keep your design pleasant to read. Looks are important, unlike with standard text posts. If design isn’t your strong suit, find someone whose is. When you’re done, be sure to share it with the right people — such as your existing audience — to get the ball rolling.

Of course, we come back to the most important questions of all. Why exactly are infographics still helpful to SEO? What can be done to make them more useful?

Inforaphics are Evergreen Assets

Many people respond better to visuals than text posts; this is evidenced by the fact that image posts on Facebook are shared more than five times the amount that text posts are shared.

Not only is the speed at which a user can process information a factor, but this is also due to the fact that infographics can provide evergreen information. You may reach a spike in social activity if you report controversial news for the right people at the right time, but that relies more on luck rather than a permanent asset that keeps relevant.

Brands Can Gain Traction

Infographics give a company the ability to penetrate a difficult industry where guest posts may normally be difficult to obtain.

For example, high frequency trading is a specific niche for specialists, meaning they won’t just hand out guest blog spots to anybody who walks up and asks for them; they would need the experience that shows they have the expertise needed to provide authority. That could take a long time.

Instead, launching a simple infographic that reflects your expertise can be shared with several bloggers in the industry, giving you a foot in the door that would have otherwise been impossible.

Recreate an Infographic Using Code

As previously stated, one of the big problems with using infographics is the fact that they’re huge images that some people don’t want to wait to load. It’ll take you some effort, but there’s a great way to bypass this: Convert the image using HTML and CSS. It’s a method that search engines will appreciate since the bots can read the plain text written on the website.

Those adept with Canvas and JavaScript can easily replicate most design and layout options, creating something that all modern browsers and devices will be able to render. Not only this, but you don’t even need to stop with a static infographic; using JavaScript will add valuable interactivity, giving readers a greater experience.