In SEO and content strategy, it is important to consider the value of everything that you publish. When content is designed to be valuable, it’s more likely that other sources will agree, and will link back to your site. Link building is important for your site’s authority in your industry. More sites linking back to yours means an increase in site traffic. And from there, you know the drill… more site traffic = more leads. There are a lot of ideas floating around for strategies to encourage link building. These ideas range from complex content strategies designed to create posts and resources that are incredibly shareable, to simply asking relevant sources to share your links. Today, we’re going to talk the value about a content form and link-building method that is hotly debated: infographics.
Infographics started gaining popularity around 2011. As graphic design software became more accessible and easier to use, content creators could design infographics to support their posts in a visually interesting and striking way. However, according to a study done on the use of infographics on Entreprenuer.com (among others), it seems that the golden age of infographics was around 2013-2014, and since then, they’ve slowly fallen out of favor. They’re being created less, published less, and most importantly, shared less. Content strategists have struggled to come up with a reason why.
This is not to say that infographics are an absolute no-go, but they’ve lost their prestige as the number #1 thing that every blog or social post should be accompanied by. This could be for a number of reasons. A big one could be saturation. If you search for any topic + the word ‘infographic,’ you’re bound to find thousands of image search results. With so many infographics about the same topics, it can be hard for readers to trust the accuracy of the data any one infographic displays. It’s also incredibly likely that a lot of infographics compromise their accuracy in favor of aesthetic, meaning they’re more “graphic” than “info.” After all, infographics are supposed to look good, and paragraphs dissecting the nuances of a piece of data aren’t the prettiest things in the world. Infographics can sacrifice context, which then renders the information useless.
There’s also the issue of responsiveness. When anyone other than a highly skilled graphic designer makes an infographic, they probably won’t think about making it scale for mobile devices. Plus, there’s no single set dimension for an image to look good on every social media platform. If done poorly, an infographic that was a sleek and beautiful addition to your blog can disrupt the mobile layout and make your content unreadable. Of course, there is a way to do it right, but that involves taking the time to do it right. Consider if the payoff is worth it.
My final concern with infographics is that they pose an accessibility issue. Screen readers can’t process them, and while the information could be summarized in an alt tag, it wouldn’t provide the same experience. Your content should be working hard to be accessible to all.
Infographics are not inherently bad, and you can use them… just be mindful. They can still provide value, they are still a viable link-building strategy. At the end of the day, your content strategy should be holistic, and unique to your business and industry. If you have solid reasoning that infographics are the way to go for your online presence, by all means. In fact, we’ll even make them for you. And we’ll do our best to make sure that all of the perceived negatives are mitigated. They should be as accurate, as responsive, and as accessible as possible. While I would strongly advise against them being the King of your link-building strategy, they can be a piece of the puzzle. Having trouble coming up with the other pieces? We get it… after the corner pieces, it can be so hard to figure out! In all seriousness, we can help. Let’s start getting you some backlinks, so that your site has the credibility you deserve.