In recent yeas infographics have wallpapered the internet, spread by people with a message to tell and a public eager to click on it.
Infographics deliver across a wide front. They translate complex information into a form that people find easier to follow and understand. The data is streamlined to slot into the memory and shaped into an attractive package that’s easy to share. So not only is your message more effective, but an infographic takes it to a wider audience.
Why is visual content so effective?
Thanks to millions of years of evolution, we are genetically wired to respond differently to visuals than to text. The human brain takes in image elements simultaneously, and directly to long-term memory. On the other hand language must be decoded in a sequential manner that takes longer to process and must travel through short-term memory (with it’s limited ability for retention).
In addition visuals have a direct psychological effect – graphics engage our imagination and stimulate other areas of the brain that simple text never could. You’ll recognise this ability to tap an emotional response from how you’ve seen imagery used in the advertising industry.
Infographics as ‘taster’ or ‘teaser’
Supporting text may link to a more in-depth analysis that may otherwise have remained unexplored by many readers, particularly for the estimated 40% of the population who are visual learners.
The teaser that 93% of human communication is nonverbal was sourced from Silent Messages by Dr. Albert Mehrabian. Although such a precise quantification is impossible this headline serves as shorthand to draw our attention. (Realistically the amount of communication that is nonverbal depends on the circumstances and the individual, though it’s generally accepted to vary between 60% and 90%).
Infographics are more engaging and more convincing
Surprisingly the use of visuals itself adds weight to a message – the audience perceives that there must be something worthy of highlighting. Research has shown that visual aids make presenters with average skills as effective as more advanced presenters who don’t use visuals. And presenters who used visual aids were 43% more effective in persuading people to take a desired course of action.
We find images much more convincing than whatever text may declare, as this example makes clear:
Which carries more weight for you – the text or the image?
Image credit: trung1145
Popularity of infographics on Google
Traditionally infographics have been seen as less SEO-friendly than text alone. Information within an infographic in the form of an image can’t be indexed by Google – however infographics can be published in an HTML format which is readable by search engines. Infographics with SEO built into their design can now be created without the technical skills of developers thanks to specialised tools and websites such as Piktochart, Vizualize, or Infogram.
How to optimise an infographic for SEO
- Make the title of your post relevant to the subject because as with other content the post title carries the most weight for search engines. Include the world ‘infographic’ in the title to attract searches specifically for this form of content – the latest figures show 27,100 searches for this term each month.
- Add a relevant ALT Tag or Image Name, which is the basic information required for a Google image search.
- Add supporting text alongside the infographic, such as an overview or summary using relevant keywords. This will also prevent your site being penalised for duplicate content.
- Remember to include your logo and encourage embedding within other sites to increase visibility.
What contributes to the success of an infographic?
First and foremost a good infographic relies on interesting data. The infographic provides an insight into that data which may be otherwise difficult to comprehend or absorb. This involves selecting the key points and translating them into a visual form – key parts of the process are editing out extraneous information and amplifying the message you want people to take away.
Use visual styling to attract the attention and unify the package – so the whole should appear as one structured message to explore rather than a disparate collection of points.
Every brand can benefit from infographics
Research shows that links were more effective when infographics were less widespread. But they still have a strong ability to drive traffic and they remain a valuable branding tool.
Infographics generate more traffic than text alone. They also encourage people to share your content which not only provides natural links for SEO but brings in further qualified traffic. Your brand benefits from greater visibility, and in a visual format that can paint a picture to reinforce your message.
And the last point to remember is that a sea of text can appear bland – adding graphics to a page improves the overall appeal of your site and makes for a more enjoyable user experience.
An infographic lets you take your most important points and translate them into a persuasive message that people are keen to absorb and share. There are four key take aways – and each one is a reason to incorporate infographics across your content marketing plan:
- Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text.
- We find images more convincing than text.
- People actively search for the term ‘infographics’.
- Publishers that feature infographics grow traffic 12% faster.
You can explore the full infographic on the next page or download the original.
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