What is it with backlinks? What makes every digital marketer crave them? Well, let me put a simple analogy here:
Imagine having a garden with beautiful plants that you never water. It has two possibilities here, it will either be lucky enough to survive on rain and groundwater, or it will die (more likely). However, if you consistently provide enough fresh water for your garden, the plants will not only survive but they will flourish and be more fruitful.
Backlinks for your website are just like water for plants. The more backlinks you get, the more relevant your site becomes in Google’s algorithm, making it more likely to rank higher on the search engine. For instance, Think of an eCommerce store that you want it to be available for worldwide customers. For that, you would want to build a strong foundation of backlinks as an SEO essential. And guess what? Infographics play the most vital role in it. As a result, you’ll get more traffic coming in and eventually higher conversion rates.
One of the best tools for link building is infographics, for quite a variety of reasons:
1. Easy to share
You can share infographics almost anywhere, be it social media, blogs, landing pages, emails, other websites, and even printed materials. Thanks to this trait, infographics have become the most shared content on social mediaㅡ they’re liked and shared 3 times more than any other type of content.
2. People love visuals
Humans are naturally visual learners, as we understand content with visuals better than text-only content. For that reason, visual content like infographics usually receives more views and engagement than written content according to multiple studies.
3. Contains valuable content
Infographics were made to transform complicated data and information into digestible and engaging content. That’s why it usually contains valuable information that’s useful for a lot of people. The more useful your infographic is, the more likely people are gonna link back to it.
4. Easy to read
We currently live in a fast-moving world, where the audience doesn’t have a lot of time to read a full-fledged article. In fact, 80% of internet users prefer scanning through a web page than reading the whole thing. That’s when infographics’ simple and easy to read format comes in to play.
5. Long-Lasting Effects
Copyblogger created an infographic about 15 common grammar mistakes that people make every day. The infographic was made in 2012, but it’s still going strong today, driving backlinks and traffic to the Copyblogger site. This infographic has amassed 503 comments, 6,500+ tweets, 60,000+ likes on Facebook, 2,000+ LinkedIn share, and 194,600+ Pinterest pins to date.
How Infographics Can Build Backlinks
This little thing called infographic has the ability to cause a chain reaction called link-building. So, how does it work exactly? Well first, you post an interesting infographic about a certain topic on your website, then share it on your social media as well as reach out to other websites with a similar topic.
Second, if those people like your infographic and feel that it’s useful, they’ll share it on their social media and websites. Then, their friends and partners will know about your infographic as well. And if they like your infographic, they’ll share it too. Not to mention the big publications and famous bloggers that may pick up your content along the way.
This chain reaction goes on and on, the more people share your infographic, the more traffic, and backlinks that you’ll gain. Google’s algorithm will notice that your web page contains valuable content in it because the visitors keep coming. As a result, your site will rank higher on Google for that specific topic and keywords.
Types of Infographics
There are two types of infographic readers, let’s just call them Mr. Brain and Mr. Heart. Mr. Brain is the logical people who mostly use their left brain. These people like statistics, data, numbers, charts, and things like that. On the other hand, Mr. Heart is the right-brained people who value storytelling, imagination, and narratives.
For this reason, infographics are divided into two types to match the readers’ persona: statistical infographics and narrative infographics. The difference is quite clear from the name alone. Statistical infographics are mostly used to share findings from a particular study or research and rely on numbers and percentages to present the data. Example of a statistical infographic:
On the other hand, narrative infographics transform facts and data statistics into visual storybooks. Instead of blatantly presenting the data as what they are, this type of infographics turns them into exciting stories that add an emotional value for the readers. One of the best forms of narrative infographics is a timeline infographic, like this one:
Tips on Making Infographics
As the industry’s practitioner since 2012, we’ve surely been through many ups and downs in creating high-quality infographics, that’s why we don’t want you to make the same mistakes that we did. Here are a few tips on how to make infographics that attract tons of backlinks.
1. Decide your target market
Before you create an infographic, you have to decide who’s the target market and which is the particular group of people this infographic is made for. This way, you can create more personalized content that engages the audience emotionally which gives your infographic more value.
For instance, take a look at this infographic created by CashNetUSA who was picked up and shared by Entrepreneur. This infographic targets introvert people and has amazed more than 15,000 shares and 87 live backlinks.
2. Pick a fresh and relevant topic
Millions of blog posts and infographics are published every single day. If you use the same old topic that’s been used again and again, what makes you stand out from everybody else? Come up with something different, so people will notice your content and will be more likely to share it.
You can either use a common topic with a different take on the issue, or you can be up to date and search for the current trending topics. If you choose the first one, you can create something like this infographic by Digital Marketing Philippines:
Source: Digital Marketing Philippines
This infographic offers an alternative view of common perception in digital marketing and got 254 shares as well as 70 live backlinks as the results. However, if you prefer to create new content that hasn’t been covered a lot, something like this will work:
This infographic was created by Monetate in the early days of Pinterest, so not a lot of websites covered this topic back then. What’s so amazing about it, although this infographic doesn’t have overly beautiful visuals, it still got 441 backlinks and 173 referring domains!
3. Provide valuable data statistics
Do you notice one thing that’s always there in every marketing article? Data statistics! It’s one of the most sought out things in the world of digital marketing. Marketers and writers need data statistics to back up their arguments.
There are two ways to do it, the first is to conduct your own research and present your own findings. By conducting your own research on certain topics, you’ll be able to provide values that can’t be found anywhere else, like this study by Buzzsumo which has already attracted over 4 thousand backlinks:
The second thing you can do is to compile all relevant studies of a certain topic from trusted sources across the internet and present them into one digestible infographic. The example comes from our own infographic that got picked up by Entrepreneur in 2018:
We compiled 55 facts and statistics about SEO from more than 40 sources. To date, this infographic has been shared 509 times and receive 182 backlinks.
4. Create content based on your expertise
Bruce Lee once said:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
This quote holds true in almost every profession. A musician who studies only guitar all his life will be a master guitarist and if people have questions regarding guitars, they’ll surely look for this person for his expertise. However, a musician who studies and plays all kinds of instruments won’t be an expert in anything.
In digital marketing, things work just like that. You need to decide what’s your niche, what topic do people need you for your advice. Neil Patel is an example of it. He focuses solely on providing content about SEO, and now his website is one of the biggest digital marketing sites on the internet.
How to Build Links With Infographics
After you finish creating the infographics, the next thing you must do is to promote it. Because if you don’t, no one will find or pick up your content. Follow these 5 easy steps to promote your infographics and gain tons of backlinks:
1. Publish it on your site
The first thing you need to do is publish the infographics on your own website. If you follow the steps above and manage to produce awesome infographics with valuable content and amazing design, chances are you don’t need to promote it heavily, people will automatically come and share your infographic. But, don’t worry if it doesn’t work that way, as we still got 4 steps to go.
2. Search for potential websites
Next, publish your infographic on infographic directories like Pinterest and Canva. Here’s the complete list of infographic directories compiled by SEO blog. After that, start searching for potential websites to reach out. Personally, we use Ahrefs to help us collect massive amounts of websites in a short period of time.
Basically, what we do is to go on Ahrefs homepage, click on “Content Explorer”, and type our target keyword. For instance, with the keyword “how to create infographics”, we’ve got over 3,000 potential websites to reach out:
3. Collect their email addresses
The third step is to find the email addresses of people who work on those websites, be it a writer, digital marketer, CEO, or manager. This is the hardest and the most time-consuming part because we manually go to each website and search for the contact person.
We use FindThatLead for email collecting because this platform has the ability to perform email searches based on domain name and social media links. It also has a feature to verify an email, to find out whether the address is valid or not.
4. Start sending personalized emails
After collecting and validating the email addresses, it’s time to reach out to them. There are two options to do this, you either use email tools like Mailshake to send an email blast to tons of addresses at the same time or you can email them manually one by one.
Usually, we do an email blast to websites with a lower Domain Rating (DR) and we send personalized emails to websites with a 70+ DR. We found it more effective this way.
5. Offer them something valuable
Now, the thing with cold emails is that the reply rate is low because the people you reach out to don’t even know who you are. Here, your persuasion skills will play a big role. It’s important for you to nurture all the people that reply to your mail. If they’re interested in your infographic, good, now you only need to convince them to share it on their site.
But if they’re not interested, offer them something that’s valuable for them and their site. For example, you can offer them a guest post to accompany the infographic. It’s a win-win solution, they get fresh new content that suits their audience, and you get a fresh and new backlink.
Examples of Viral Infographics
In 7 years of our existence, we learn one important lesson that not all infographics are made equal, some will perform better than the others. A lot of factors come into play, there’s no one single formula in creating successful infographics.
With that being said, we have to keep learning from other people’s successes as well as avoid other people’s failures. Here, we’ll go through several infographics that got viral and hopefully, you can learn a thing or two.
1. Best Employers In America 2017
In 2017, Forbes and Statistica created an infographic about the top ten companies that have the best employee satisfaction rate on a scale from 0-10. This infographic has since amassed over 70K views and 31K shares.
2. Habits of Highly Successful People
This infographic was published by Entrepreneur in 2017. It reveals the habits of more than a dozen successful inventors and entrepreneurs in the U.S., from Ben Franklin, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, and many others. It has gathered over 25K shares since.
3. Most Valued Companies in the Past Century
Do you ever wonder what companies were huge hundred years before today? If you do, just take a look at this infographic by Visual Capitalist. This infographic shows the most valuable companies in 1917, 1967, and 2017. It’s been shared more than 21K times.
4. How Top 5 Tech Companies Make Their Millions
The next example is still from Visual Capitalist, they seem to have a knack of making viral infographics. This one has gained even more shares, which is 47K. This infographic compares the revenue and earnings of the top 5 tech giants in the U.S. It also shows which of their products bring the most sales.
5. All Food Brands in The World Are Owned by 10 Companies
This infographic was crafted by Good to show that all food and beverage brands in the world are owned by just 10 companies. This infographic was made to show how major corporations’ monopoly has made it almost impossible for startups and small businesses to compete. Such a unique and purposeful infographic, no wonder it gets 36K shares to date.
6. Late Bloomers who Succeeded Despite Their Age
Look at this infographic every time you feel too old to start learning about something. Another Entrepreneur content, this infographic tells the story of 15 successful persons who started their career late, as late as 90 years old! More than 13 thousand people have shared this infographic.
7. Universal Basic Income
The last example of this viral infographics list comes from Futurism, which has gathered over 19K shares. This infographic explains Universal Basic Income (UBI) in a simple and engaging way, to ensure that the audience understands this complex matter easily.
It has everything you need to know about UBI, from the basic explanation, the proponents of the movement, the arguments for and against it, the case studies, and others.
There’s no single formula to succeed in creating infographics that attract tons of backlinks because digital marketing is not science― it’s fluid, non-static, and keeps changing. You just need to keep creating and testing your content to know what’s working for you and what’s not.
With that being said, if you’re sold on the idea of using infographics for link building and want to create one, we’ve recently compiled a complete list of infographic tools and platforms. The article contains over 100 tools you need to create a compelling infographic.