When we hear something new, we remember only 10% of it three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with the same information, we retain 65% of that information three days later.
This statistic only proves that humans are visual beings. Given that, it’s not surprising at all that 90% of information sent to the brain is visual.
That’s why many wise digital marketers are now focusing on visual content creation. And, one of the most powerful types of visual content are infographics.
Allowing you to pack a sea of data in a visually appealing and easily digestible format, infographics will boost your traffic, increase user engagement, and earn loads of authoritative likes and shares.
Here are 7 exceptionally smart and easy ways digital marketers can search engine optimize (SEO) their infographics:
1. Pick A Digitally Savvy File Type
Understanding the key types of image file formats is critical when optimizing infographics. These are JPEG, GIF, and PNG files.
GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, is widely used for animated graphics and images with simpler colors, such as banner ads or social media memes. When creating infographics, you should avoid this file type, as it usually has a limit of 256 colors and comes in lower resolution.
PNG is one of the most common image file formats across the web. It provides greater color depths and has a better resolution than GIF formats, but it also has a greater file size.
This is why JPEG is the most popular image format, especially when it comes to creating high-quality online photos, infographics, or artwork. They provide amazing editing and compression options. In other words, the size of this file type can be lowered, while the quality of the image remains untouched.
2. Use Rocket Science To Compress Images & Boost Load Times
Okay, this isn’t rocket science. It’s just a bit of technical SEO. When creating an infographic, you want it to be large, easy-to-follow and, of course, high-quality. Such infographics grab visitors’ attention, engage them, and minimize bounce rates.
Unfortunately, if not optimized properly, they may kill your page speed, too.
Website speed is one of Google’s key ranking factors. It may heavily impact user experiences, as well. Surveys say that 79% of online users won’t return to a website after experiencing performance issues. Given that, it’s not surprising at all that one second of delay can decrease conversion rates by 70%.
The solution to this problem lies in compressing images. You can use numerous online tools like JPEG Optimizer, Tiny PNG, and Kraken.io that will minimize the size of your images without hurting their quality.
Use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check your page load times. Enter the content’s URL and click “Analyze.” Apart from the information about your page speed, you will also get specific tips on how to speed your page up.
3. Conduct Mastermind-Level Keyword Research
You won’t be able to insert the keyword into the main body of the infographic, but there are certain areas where adding keywords still makes sense. These are, for example, your URL, headline, meta description, image alt text, image file names, and H1 headings.
Keyword research is the nerve center of any content development process, as they make you findable in the SERPs. Therefore, similar to creating any other type of content, you will want to find your primary keyword, as well as several secondary keyword phrases to target.
Say you’re writing an infographic about on-page SEO. Use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, or Keywordtool.io to find the popular keywords in your niche that still have low competition. In this case, a keyword like “on-page SEO” may work for you. To make it even more relevant, add “infographic” to the end of it.
4. Choose A Quick-Witted File Name
The file name is one of the key factors search engines analyze to determine what your content is about. File names like Image 5312.jpeg tell Google nothing about the purpose of your infographic.
Instead of such generic names, name your file somewhat descriptive. Let’s get back to the example of the infographic about on-page SEO. In this case, file names like “on-page-seo-infographic.jpeg” will deliver greater value to both users and search engines.
Such concise and informative file names are SEO-friendly and, above all, they tell search engines what your content is about. Sure, you should optimize the file name with the target keyword, but make sure it’s added organically.
5. Optimize Your Alt Text With Wise Insight
The optimization of the alt text is as important as writing a solid file name. The alt text is an alternative to your images. For instance, if an infographic doesn’t load properly, the alt text will tell a visitor what your content is about.
In the era of voice technologies, the blind can also benefit from properly optimized alt text. Namely, the screen reader will read out your alt text and, in this way, make the infographic understandable to visually impaired users.
The alt text is equally important for Google’s crawlers that can read textual content only. In our example of an infographic about on-page SEO, we will probably want to write the alt text like “An infographic explaining X on-page SEO hacks.”
Always make your alt text descriptive, informative, and unique. Above all, just like with writing file names, never spam your alt text with keywords. This may hurt both your rankings and user experiences.
6. Create A Clever Sitemap
A sitemap provides information about your pages, content, files and the links between them. Search engines use them to improve their website crawling tactics.
An image sitemap is, logically, a sitemap for your images. You should create a sitemap that saves all significant images on your website in one place. This way, you will tell search engines that you have visual content on your site and get them to crawl, index, and rank it faster. This will maximize your chances to get ranked higher and be discovered in relevant image searches.
7. Write An Intelligent Supporting Description
Writing and designing a comprehensive infographic is exciting, but it’s not enough. To grab users’ attention and gain a competitive advantage, consider adding supporting text at the very beginning.
Write an attention-grabbing headline and a few solid paragraphs providing a quick preview of the infographic and highlighting the most important facts from it.
Sure, you don’t need to write a lengthy, 1500+ words article to back your infographic up. Instead, 300-500 words will be enough to add value to your readers.
Your infographic can benefit a short description on multiple levels:
- First, this is an opportunity for you to insert keywords organically.
- Second, you can link internally to the related content on your blog.
- Third, it piques users’ interest and motivates them to check out the infographic.
- Finally, it provides additional context for Google’s crawlers and lets them understand the meaning of the infographic.
Over To You
Optimizing infographics for search engines is similar to doing SEO for any other content form. The only difference lies in the fact that Google’s crawlers still cannot read images. Therefore, you need to focus on those elements of the infographic that can be understood by search engine spiders.
Most importantly, you need to ensure that each infographic is user-oriented. Make them quality, readable, and pleasant to the eye and, at the same time, focus on maintaining spotless page load times.
By applying these tips, you will ensure that your infographic images are perfectly optimized both for search engines and humans. This way, you will have an opportunity to gain the maximum visibility in the search results pages and show your whole digital marketing team what an SEO brainiac you are.
Editor’s Note: The article is part of the blog series Grow Your Business brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.