In the highly visual business world of today, the infographic (or infographics) that you use can make the difference between your online visibility and the stagnation of your marketing efforts.
Here are just a few of the ways in which using the right infographic(s) improves your search engine optimization (SEO) endeavors.
Danny Todd (a.k.a. “Cleveland SEO Guy”) defines infographics this way, “Infographics are cleverly illustrated, colorful, easy-to-read, and often vertically-oriented images, showing charts, graphs, figures, and other useful information.
Chances are that you’ve seen a few in the last week. Though written content should be the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy, don’t underutilize infographics. They have their advantages.”
Quick Observations of an Effective Infographic
Let’s take a look at the infographic to the left, to get us going on the topic of infographics. It is called the “Top 5 Male Athlete Hairstyles (Infographic)” and it is an infographic by the team at Men’s Hairstyles Club.
What can we learn by looking at this infographic?
- Infographics can be made to share any message or topic. I mean, would you have thought of hairstyles for men?
- Infographics can be long and vertical. (They can also be wide and horizontal!) In other words, infographics can come in many sizes and shapes.
- Infographics tend to include text and additional images (and sometimes statistics or how-to steps, like this one does).
Benefits of Infographics (to SEO Endeavors)
So, what is the big deal with the SEO benefit(s)? Glad you asked! That is what we are presenting in the rest of this article!
And, it includes some expert tips from those “in the know.”
Benefit 1: Make the ranking process easier.Get your page listed in the “image search” of search engines. You don’t have to be limited to only the default text search.
The Google image search is just as powerful as the text search, and people will be able to find you on two lists instead of just one.
The image database is generally smaller (as compared to text search), meaning that you automatically put yourself in a better position by even using images in the first place. If the images are relevant, you have an even better chance at doing well in the search engine(s).
Let’s not forget about Bing image search. After all, there is not only “one” game in town when it comes to searching the web. 🙂
According to Janette Speyer (Partner at Web Success Team and Hot Ice Media), “If you use Google, you have the option to search for images. Once you put alt tags, keywords, and titles on your infographics, your blog will be more easily found [in the image search].
If your blog gets very little traffic, you have the advantage of [using] the images (infographics) to make up for it.” Hopefully, this moves you up to where you need to be in the ranking!
Benefit 2: Benefit by social interaction (and the resulting SEO ranking).Gain visual recognition with your potential viewer. This leads to interaction which leads to better rankings.
As a part of that interaction, give the audience (people) something to talk about, which is the name of the game for a really well-constructed infographic.
According to David Leonhardt (President, THGM Writers), “SEO is highly dependent on the perceptions of online ‘publishers.’
By publishers, I mean anybody from the New York Times to my uncle, when he posts to Facebook. Every time a company is mentioned in an article or in a tweet, it helps the SEO effort. Infographics give people something to talk about, or from an SEO perspective, a reason to talk about you.”
The major search engines are constantly determining the relevance of your content by the human reaction to it. Pictures ensure that more people interact with the content.
This is simply a fact because people react and interact with media. (Remember the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?”)
On the topic of social sharing and delivering the message, Danny Todd says, “For one, they stand out amidst a sea of text. Website visitors can quickly differentiate between an ordinary picture and an infographic.
Using them just often enough keeps things interesting. They also make it easy to compress and simplify what might otherwise be exceedingly complex information, reducing extraneous details and distilling the crucial facts into an easy-to-understand format.
If your infographics are relevant and informative (as all your content should be), they’re likely to be shared on social media.”
The human interaction (and reaction) pushes your content up in the search engine listings. It also gives you more organic click-throughs, a statistic that will help your ranking improve even more, in the long run.
Benefit 3: Gain the ability to use more tags.Pictures can have tags just as easily as any other content. This option helps those of you who want to raise the count of a certain keyword on your webpage without turning what could have been an excellent article into a keyword-soaked piece of worthless dribble. How? Include infographics!
By doing this (including an infographic), you may then use the tags that are inherent in the picture as another excuse to put the keyword on your page. Google and the other major search engines will recognize this as a valid use of your keyword and associate your page more readily with it. The more easily that your page connects with a keyword, the higher your search ranking goes.
Helpful Tips from the ExpertsWhen asking our Expert Panel what else they would recommend, regarding infographics (beyond just SEO), they gave us the following tips.
Keep It Simple (Content)
According to David Leonhardt, “Keep it simple. If you want people to talk about you, give them something simple that they will understand.
Don’t try to create the longest Infographic of the ‘Everything about…[such and such]’ variety. Assemble a few pieces of interesting data that are tightly related, to form a single idea.”
Keep It Easy (Production)
David Leonhardt continues, “The design does not have to be fancy, either. My most successful Infographic ever was made in a simple table format that I had whipped up on Fiverr. It will never win a beauty contest, and just might be in line to enter an ugly contest (but it looks better on Slideshare).
The key to its success is that the idea is simple and captivating, and people have been sharing it ever since.”
Gain Exposure for Your Brand
According to Danny Todd, “Content marketing with infographics has grown rapidly in recent times, with little sign that readers are growing tired of them. The ability to condense a lot of information into a simple graphic makes them easy to follow, but the infographics can still impart well-researched knowledge.
For the content creator, an infographic can spread across the web, providing branding and SEO benefits that can last long into the future. Businesses that ignored the trend will be wondering whether they should get started with infographics now. Read more…”
Janette Speyer offers this tip: “I also share my images on authority websites like Instagram, Pinterest, and more. This gives me more opportunities to be found. The ultimate goal is for people to see my blog, right? Any way you can post or syndicate those images will increase your chances of being seen.”
Well, you’ve arrived at the right place. Here is a short listing of their biographies and social media links, for your convenience. This was made easier through the use of the wonderful online tool, MyBlogU. Thanks, MyBlogU!
David Leonhardt (President, THGM Writers)
Infographics have never been central to my SEO efforts. But I have created (well, supervised the creation of) at least a dozen Infographics in my day.
These have covered fields as diverse as tech, housing, and fertility. Done properly, Infographics can be an effective form of content marketing.
Danny Todd (a.k.a. the Cleveland SEO Guy)
I am known as the Cleveland SEO Guy. I started in the SEO business in the 1990s when it was a far less complicated industry. Over the years, I’ve formed relationships with some of the leading SEO experts in the business.
In doing so, I’ve learned SEO secrets that very few in the SEO services business actually know. This is why I consistently rank sites in the top 10 results on Google for competitive terms, while some of my competitors struggle to achieve top 100 listings.
Janette Speyer (Graphic Artist)
I started my career as a graphic artist. In early 2000, I merged my business into the digital space. At that time graphics were not searchable, so we avoided them like the plague. As more social media platforms made their way into the world, images became not only a must but a necessity.
I took to adding infographics to my blogs for those that wanted just a quick visual of what I was writing about at the time. I developed many graphics and used social media to bring more traffic to my website. The images boosted my traffic by a good thirty percent (30%).
ConclusionIn short, use infographics whenever you can in your presentations online. You gain credibility with your audience and with the major search engines! Your content is more easily found, and you will improve your overall online marketing ROI (return-on-investment) simply by formatting your research in this way.
Every digital marketing agency’s SEO tactic has been changing exponentially since the industry came about, mostly because Google and other search engines have kept it evolving to keep providing results on content that is relevant, of a high quality, and add an overall value for the end user, that is to say whoever you are trying to direct to your website to, your target audience.
But through all the changes, the importance of backlinks have entrenched themselves deeper into SEO strategies, so much so that any mistakes made with them can have utterly devastating results for the overall rating of the sites concerned.
So if your traffic has been struggling to reach your target mark lately, you might want to take advantage of the internet to gather helpful tips in selecting a web hosting company, SEO firm, or whichever digital marketing agency you feel can best assist you in achieving your business’s goals, and reach your target audience properly by ensuring that your website ranks highly enough to reach your targets audience and provide a favourable conversion rate.
Or, you can go ahead and read on to determine where you could have been going wrong, and what you can do to change it for the better. This guide will help you review your link building profile and polish it up by pointing out some of the most common mistakes in this regard.
They include spamming your homepage with all your links; taking a backseat once you’ve achieved your initial results; not making the best use of your anchor texts and trying to push links to content which are not relevant to who you are attempting to link to.
So let’s start with the first of these:
Building most of your links to your homepage
You obviously do want some of the links referring back to your homepage, this will help with making your site all the more crawlable which will help your rankings, but it happens all too often that just about every one of a website’s links directs you back to landing pages.
The trouble with this is that it makes for very shallow indexing of your site, and so can end up being counter-productive.
It’s recommended to spread your link building efforts equally across your site to ensure that users don’t have to trawl around for ages to find what they need, and so it is incredibly good at building trust with your users and creating an overall, high quality user experience.
A good rule to follow is that when navigating your site, a user should never be more than three clicks away from finding content which is relevant to them, anything more and they start losing interest, which means you will undoubtedly suffer a ranking drop from a high bounce rate.
Deep linking (or spreading your links across your website) will give your site more link juice, making it easily crawlable and therefore having favourable outcomes for the site’s ranking.
As far as SEO is concerned, deep linking gives you more opportunities to achieve favourable search engine visibility since it backlinks to all of your pages. This also makes your links seem a lot less like spam, which Google dutifully penalises heavily for.
Slowing down once you get good results
SEO is a dynamic field, and changes are just about constant. Getting to the first page of the search results is an enjoyable achievement indeed, but don’t expect it to stay that way once you’ve gotten your website there.
Staying on top (in fact featuring at all) requires you to constantly work to get the best online marketing for your business today, and not later. So keep on building up those backlinks and with a bit of luck you will enjoy the fruits of your labour for a long time to come. Give up on it however, and you will soon be taken over by sites which are consistently active, since Google doesn’t really want to push sites that seem inactive.
This means concentrating on building an energetic link-building profile by reaching out to other website administrators who share some form of relevance to your site. Beyond that, your efforts should still be as strong when it comes to creating interesting and informative content that will attract backlinks, and most importantly, you should still be conducting regular site audits even when everything seems to be working properly.
Doing this will not only help ensure that you consistently achieve favourable rankings, but will tighten your current paradigm and keep your backlink profile easy to manage in the future.
Leaving these efforts until later may not have an immediate negative affect on your SERP appearance right now, but it will make things easier for your competitors, and will almost surely lead to poorer results when Google eventually releases any updates (forcing you to rush back to your profile and knock out another site audit to rectify your link profile when there isn’t really time to do so.)
Forgetting about Brand Anchor text
So you’ve opted for extensive keyword research through a supplier of SEO services and you are adamant that only the keywords that they kick up should be used as anchor texts. And why not? They are the professionals. But how many times in your content have you used your name, brand, or URL?
Using either of these without making them into backlinks is just a wasted opportunity here you could be doing more to push your brand, so try not to forget to do it whenever it comes up.
The important thing to remember here is that the names and URLs you’re referring to should come up as naturally as possible, if it sounds forced and robotic, it will likely just end up looking like spam.
Thereby taking what could have been a great marketing opportunity and making it detrimental to your efforts. Always take the opportunity to attach appropriate links to your company or brand name, unless it runs the risk of making the content sound unnatural.
Not bothering with content relevance
Even before the days of Google, content relevance has been a big determining factor for search indexes. Search engines want to provide their users with websites that are of high quality and are relevant to what is being searched; and that’s the bottom line.
This is often overlooked, especially when sites take advantage of mass backlink services (or link farms) which may boost your ranking initially, but when users arrive at your site and leave in annoyance, not having been directed to what they are looking for, it will negatively affect your bounce rate, and ultimately damage your site’s rating.
Beyond this, irrelevant content will do nothing for a natural link building profile. No self-respecting website administrator wants to link with a site that may put a dent in their own profile, so in this regard, your content’s attractiveness should come almost purely from its relevance.
A final note
Always consider the do’s and don’ts of link building to stay ahead of the game. SEO and content marketing is a long running and time consuming process which, if you’re doing it within the search engine’s guidelines, shouldn’t give you staggering results over night.
If that’s what’s happened then chances are that you are exploiting some kind of loophole. These black-hat techniques may give fantastic results initially, but when they are eventually flagged by the search engine’s crawlers, your visibility will take a nasty hit, one that is an absolute hassle to fix.
The trouble comes when you’re not prepared when Google rolls out an update, and their newly developed algorithms make the site’s rating suffer horribly as a result. So avoid the temptation for the quick fixes in your link building strategies; slow and sure wins the race, and gives you time to learn from your mistakes.
Spreading the destination of your links out evenly, staying active on your website where you can (this is where blogs are helpful) and remembering to keep links relevant are essentially key points in achieving SEO greatness for your site.
Instagram has been around for a while but most businesses haven’t yet figured out how to best utilize the platform.
Here 5 actionable Instagram marketing ideas for you to start with!
1. Invest in Instagram Ads
This tip is contributed by Janette Speyer (Partner at Web Success Team and Hot Ice Media)
We run a small agency in Los Angeles specializing in consumer goods. Many of our clients are in the food industry. As we all know, Instagram is a powerful visual messenger. It did not take long to convince everyone to try it out.
Our Facebook rep showed us how to navigate Power Editor. (Power Editor is a 3rd party app that Facebook uses for ad placement.) Although I am used to working on many ad platforms, this one does take a little getting used to.
Once we found our way around the app, we were ready to think strategy. The holiday season is a perfect time to start promoting any product. So we built a concept around the time of year when shoppers are looking for new ideas.
We debated if it was best to show the product in the imagery or just stick to a single picture that would convey the brand's qualities.
It is often difficult for our clients to omit their packaging pics in the message. We opted to indulge them and let it run to see what came back to us.
Targeting the right audience
The benefit of using Instagram on the Ad Manager is that you can use the same parameters that you use in other Facebook ads. Our target markets are already defined and it is a good starting point for our first campaigns. We can always tweak later as the results come in.
We are happy with our initial findings. Although far more expensive than regular Facebook ads, Instagram ads are worth the money. Even more so if you are if you are in the consumer goods business. Prices range from about $1.50 an impression to $3.50 on the higher side as opposed to Facebook that ranges at $.10 to $.60.
What about B2B?
We did a personal test for our business to see what kind of engagement we would get. B2B is not as appealing as a good piece of pumpkin pie or a turkey. Surprisingly, we got lots of positive feedback.
So a few takeaways
- It is a visual vehicle so this is a great opportunity for "show and tell"
- You can use videos to tell the story
- It is not widely used yet. So now is the time before the noise level gets too high
- 80% of traffic these days comes from mobile
- You can use your budget for both Facebook and Instagram at the same time for more exposure. (Facebook will show that same ad on both platforms)
Paid reach is a necessity for most business. We have a unique opportunity with these low-cost platforms. Take advantage of this now before those prices go up. I was around in the days of traditional advertising and the price was prohibitive.
If you have experience in Instagram advertising, please also help SEOchat forum member in this thread.
2. Re-Market Your Creatives
This tip is contributed by Martini Fisher (Author of "History, Prehistory and Biological Evolution" and many others)
I started on Instagram about two weeks ago. It was only about a week before my last book came out. I used Instagram to show my face. People respond to faces and they don't get to see my face in my books, of course, so Instagram is good for that. I also used it to put a few snippets of little paragraphs and dialogs from my upcoming book, as well as some visual triggers I used.
In my research I took a lot of pictures – so I chose some good ones and uploaded them on Instagram. And I put some photos of random daily activities there.
It works for me. The photos involve my readers in my writing process, and they get a sort of "backstage pass" to what I look like and what I do on a daily basis. The dialogs I put in there give them little teasers of my upcoming book, and I met a couple of bloggers, reviewers, and fellow writers through Instagram as well.
3. Build Your Personal Brand
This tip is contributed by Sunita Biddu (Social Media Strategist & Blogging Coach )
I have started taking Instagram seriously just recently. I haven't marketed any project yet but personal brand marketing has worked very well. Well enough that it got me one big collaboration and two high paying clients. Played with this FAST social networks and figured out three most important things.
- RIGHT Instagram Hashtags Matter. I could clearly see the difference in response for posts with hashtags, without hashtags and posts with right hashtags. There are some key hashtags such as "awesome", "amazing", "instagrammers", "instadaily" etc. that flood your posts with response when used. Plus the most relevant and popular hashtags about your posts.
- Right Timing: A post made at 9pm received 85 responses within 5 seconds of posting. A post of similar quality posted at 2pm receives hardly 6 responses. You can imagine the power of timing.
- Your Bio Counts. Once you attract your audience, they would like to know more about you and that's where you bio would make the difference.
4. Build Loyalty
This tip is contributed by Lukasz Zelezny (Head of Organic Acquisition)
My personal experience with the platform differs in many ways from the potential that it offers many different brands. Any brand that wants to maximize organic reach will definitely be able to extract plenty of value from Instagram. Personally, I have not yet used Instagram for marketing in any formal capacity and I personally believe it will be difficult to use it in my specific case for selling anything in the near future.
However, there are brands that will be able to utilize the platform for marketing, and it is in some ways better than Facebook. I've read studies which show that Facebook users are far more likely to turn away from brands than Instagram users; in fact, Instagram users are actually receptive to following up with brands and engaging with them in a proactive fashion.
Instagram isn't as crowded when it comes to marketing. Virtually all marketers today use Facebook to promote products and services, but less than half report using Instagram. Because of this, I would definitely recommend that brands take a look at Instagram to see whether their business model is compatible with marketing in Instagram broader community.
It's also worth noting that Instagram doesn't filter out organic reach in order to force brands into paid marketing. Facebook used to offer a similar approach, but then limited organic page reach to boost marketing revenue. Instagram theoretically allows 100 percent of followers to see each post. Because of this, it's hard to deny that Instagram has marketing potential.
Instagram – at least for some brands – can be a great way to boost reach and fulfill marketing objectives. Its effectiveness will vary by industry and niche, but it's definitely worth looking into.
5. Extend Your Connections, Increase Your Interactions
This tip is contributed by Doyan Wilfred (Growth-hacker and content marketer)
Just like on all the other social media platforms out there, visibility is key.
In order to be successful on Instagram, begin with interacting. You should publish less and be actively engaging with other users.
Comments are more powerful than likes. Comment a lot!
Here’s how to manage your Instagram comments and likes.
Bonus Ideas and Resources
- Create an Instagram-based service. For example, this site lets you print our Instagram photos easily
- Integrate Instagram into your current site content to co-promote your Instagram channel and visual content using site. There’s a wealth of WordPress plugins for that (Here’s a handy guide on how to install WordPress plugins)
- Partner with a charity. Instagram is full of active non-profit startup that enjoy huge engagement. Support one of them to both do something good and build visibility on Instagram
Are there more Instagram marketing ideas? Please share in the comments!