By Ruth Stillman
[noun] – a graphic visual representation of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.
The concept of infographics is not new. In fact, some sources cite examples going back as far as the 19th century; and some might argue that prehistoric cave paintings in Lascaux could be considered a form of an infographic. What is new, however, is the recent proliferation of infographics and the tools to create them becoming more readily available. Additionally, advances in technology providing Internet access on a growing array of devices, combined with users seeking immediate access to information, have contributed to the rapid growth in popularity of the medium.
Infographics & SEO: "Hmm, but It's an image…"
When looking at components of a web page that contribute to SEO, images and graphics are not on the list. Search engines cannot read jpg, gif, or png files, so if these are being used to replace text, you are hurting yourself in the end. But even though Google and Bing cannot read the text in an infographic (unless it is created with HTML, CSS, and java script as in this example from the NY Times
), this type of image can still play a part in your SEO plan. Let’s take a look at how this can be accomplished.
How to Ensure Your Infographic Contributes to SEO
Some of the steps to ensure your infographic contributes to the SEO value of your page are also good practices for SEO experts to use in general. These include:
- Providing a descriptive page title that is semantically related to the content.
- Using keyword relevant heading tags (H1, H2, etc.).
- Embedding the infographic within a page of information that supports the infographic (or is supported by the infographic) that should include a short description about the infographic.
- Making sure the infographic provides true value and relevance to the topic of the page.
But wait, that’s not all…
Simply following the above steps is a good start, but alone won’t nudge the SEO needle. By creating an infographic that is visually appealing, relevant, and engaging, there is more of a chance that someone will include it in their blog post, or share a link with friends.
Social sharing of your page or post containing the infographic can drive traffic to your site and is easily accomplished on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Open Graph Metadata allows you to specify the title, image, URL, and description to be used and provides a more attractive presentation on Facebook; Twitter Cards allow Tweets that contain links to be displayed with more content than in a typical post; and finally, since it is an image, your infographic can be posted on Flickr. Although Flickr ruses “no follow” links (meaning they do not count towards your SEO), it can still bring visitors to your site.
As SEO marketing experts will tell you, SEO is all about getting your website ranked by the search engines and driving users to your site, it makes sense that you want to do as much as possible to succeed. Providing the information that users seek in an easy to follow format such as an infographic can be a part of your strategy.
As an example, here is an infographic Bridgeline put together for our eBook, "7 Reasons to Consider Responsive Design For Your Company's Next Generation Website":