What is an Infographic?
Infographics use colorful diagrams to engage and inform viewers simultaneously. “To look is an act of choice,” suggested media critic John Berger, and infographics can sway the viewer so that the choice seems simply inevitable. A well-designed graphic creates a sense of immediacy, suggesting that the information is both important and easy to understand. They are convenient to share online, and more likely to go viral than text alone. Embedding allows viewers to post infographics on social media sites. The embedded infographic can be seamlessly displayed on the social media page, while clicking the image will link back to the host site and quickly create more traffic.
However, even a high number of posts and re-posts does not necessarily improve visibility on search engines. While the spread of infographics throughout social media can successfully boost web traffic, this tactic does not follow the common methods of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a strategy to promote web traffic by raising a site’s placement to the top of a search page. A successful SEO campaign also makes a website appear more frequently in a related searches.
When browsing the web, options often seem limited to the sites ranked at the top of a search. Users rarely venture farther than the first page to dig up information. Instead, users forgo their initial set of keywords, rephrasing to find new material. If, as expected, the user quickly changes the wording of the next search, SEO algorithms improve the odds that the same website will top the page again and attract more attention. Infographics do not fit this model. Because the text presented in an infographic is part of the image itself, the words are not searchable content. Even if a user searches with the exact words they read on an infographic, hoping to find a specific one, the search engine cannot derive text from the image and make the right match.
Promoting Infographics Can Help SEO
Although reposting infographics is not a surefire way to optimize web searches, infographic submission sites help build an audience beyond the reach of social media. These sites serve as directories for select infographics. The directories attempt to present the cream of the crop, and boost SEO for the infographics’ host sites. Directory listings include written text that make approved infographics searchable. Infographic creators can help boost their SEO by rewriting the titles and descriptions for each directory submission so that they will also differ from text on the host site. With multiple versions of these titles and descriptions, directory listings are more likely to include keywords used in a wider range of searches.
The easy appeal of infographics reminds web creators that primal senses still command the largest audience, even in the disembodied realm of the internet. “Seeing comes before words,” wrote Berger, pressing that “the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.” Infographics blur the boundaries between sight and insight, empowering viewers to absorb information in a way that is both effective and enjoyable.