Careful research, interesting content and a unique design all make for a great infographic, but without effective distribution and good search visibility, your efforts will go to waste. Here are five tips to ensure your infographics get the Google juice and social shares they deserve:
1. File name and alt attribute
Google crawls file names as well as web pages, so a short, descriptive title is crucial to optimizing your infographic for search. Avoid keyword stuffing, and keep it relevant. “coke-vs-pepsi-infographic.jpg” is much, much better than “infographic362.jpg.”
The alt attribute is an element of HTML designed to stand in for images in situations where they can’t be displayed. It also provides a semantic description of the image to search engines. So, a good alt attribute would be “Coke vs Pepsi infographic.” It’s really that simple.
2. Consider a landing page
You could just post your infographic on your blog, but why do that when you can promote it with a specially designed landing page as well? An ideal landing page consists of the following:
- H1 Heading
- Short description (one or two paragraphs)
- Social share buttons
- Embed code
- Facebook comments plugin
- Link to your homepage
- Newsletter signup
This setup is much cleaner and more attractive than a blog post, and makes it easier for visitors to share on their own website or social media profile. The easier your infographic is to share, the more inbound links you’ll get (providing it’s worth sharing.)
3. Specific subject, specific search terms
The best content is relevant and valuable. Unfortunately, you can’t be relevant and valuable to everyone at once, so choose your topic carefully. Sell pet food online? That’s great, but it’s unlikely that anyone will retweet an infographic about dog treats. An infographic about the effects of cat ownership on mental health is more likely to do the rounds on Facebook.
As a general rule, more specific search terms have lower keyword difficulty and less competition. This means you have better chance ranking highly on Google for a niche topic than a broader umbrella term.
4. Be honest and transparent
You can’t future-proof your infographics, but you can certainly reduce the likelihood of them getting penalized in future. Infographics are not Trojan horses, and if you use them to smuggle irrelevant or misleading links onto other sites for the Google juice, there’s a good chance you could get penalized by future updates to the algorithm. Based on this, Google’s Matt Cutts says he “would not be surprised if at some point in the future [Google] did not start to discount these infographic-type links to a degree,” so it pays to keep your conscience clean and not try to game the system.
5. Make it mobile
Last year, Facebook said that 48% of its daily active users used mobile devices to access the service — so if you expect your infographic to be shared on social media, you need to make it accessible to people using smartphones.
Test your infographic on multiple devices and remember that, although screens may be small, resolution is usually pretty high. Interactive infographics (while great for desktop engagement) are likely to alienate your mobile audience, although some experts expect that to change as mobile devices become more equipped to handle them. Will infographics still be enjoying their existing level of popularity by then, though? That remains to be seen.