No area of graphic design and web informational marketing is hotter than infographics. The source of this new boom can be laid on the doorsteps of Google’s February 2011 declaration that original content would be prioritized. Infographics grabbed hold of the public consciousness as a new way to spin established data in a stylish and original manner and be richly rewarded by Google’s search ranking spiders. Infographics simply put to imagery what plain text and graphs did before. They meld the statistician with the graphic artist that when done well is greater than the sum of its parts.
The problem with any new fad or trend is that it can be over done or simply done poorly to satisfy some expedient goal. There are those that have already come to the conclusion that infographics are already over-used and can take too much time to creative for their potential payoff, but few can argue that the combination of more artful and creative presentation with valuable data has lifted the art form. If that’s what it takes to received valuable bank links increase viewer engagement, and drive key site traffic to unique content, then it’s worth the investment. With the trend of people spending more hours online than they do watching television, it will only increase the need create innovative ways of grabbing the web attention of these overwhelmed by data viewers. The engaged viewer serves as a key partner in dispersal of your content through the easy to use social media options.
The advantages of investing in infographics:
1. Traditional text heavy article clutter is replaced by a more visual and textured display of key information.
2. The graphic layout and creative display options allows you to give your own emphasis versus the more egalitarian and limited text and font display.
3. The artistic rendering of the data transforms the information from just data to a graphic plus data connection in the viewers memory.
4. Google has expressly indicated that this type of unique content will allow you to better leverage link building and search ranking tactics to promote your site than previous content and link-farm methods.
5. Infographics done well can make the viewer key in on the key issues better, thus better influencing them in a particular direction.
Achieving that last goal, “infographics done well” isn’t a given. There is a delicate balance between between being too arty and being too text. While simplicity is key, there needs to be enough original artist contribution to make your project impactful and worthwhile.
Considerations to keep in mind when creating an infographic:
1. You want viewers to easily grasp the essence of your infographic. Simplicity of message, but complexity of delivery. You don’t want your artisty and organization to be a distraction where it is too busy, too short or lengthy, too texty, or too many images.
2. Plan out your theme in advance, while mapping out the layout and what you want the viewers to take away from the infographic before you get too involved in its creation. Don’t be afraid to draw conclusions from your evaluation of the research, data and facts.
3. Your data doesn’t need to be unique or original, but it should be researched well with an emphasis on picking out helpful and valuable information that might not have been seen this way before. While there are many publicly available research studies conducted by governmental agencies, if you are using privately generated information make sure you request permission and cite if the data or facts are proprietary.
4. If the viewer can’t grasp a sense of the infographic within a couple seconds, they are likely to disengage quickly. “KISS” – keep it simple stupid.
5. For designers, keep in mind that it is legible and scalable as a thumbnail won’t give it adequate justice, but should still have compelling visual features at all sizes.
6. Make sure to include some SEO-intended copy that sums up your pieces and you must have the URL embedded in the code along with all the recommended social sharing options.
Embracing the popular infographic trend requires a serious approach and time commitment, but it can be a very rewarding experience for your site’s traffic and search ranking, so take the process seriously.
In a follow-up article, we will discuss the next key step once you have created an infographic of which you can be proud; getting it widely seen.