A strong, natural link portfolio is a key element of an organic SEO plan. While link-building outreach can be difficult and time consuming, it becomes easier with the right content. Visual content, like infographics, can help. Infographics are a good way to build interest in a topic or industry that may have difficulty attracting an audience naturally.
Advantages of infographics
Stories told visually are both memorable and easily sharable. Approximately 65 percent of all people are visual learners, which means over half your audience is more likely to respond to an image or video than to textually based content. Infographics help you speak to that segment and give them something to share with friends and colleagues.
Infographics are also a good way to generate marketing content that is not overtly salesy. People are inundated with advertising messages all day, and they tune out quickly. But when you offer knowledge and facts, you provide something of value. This helps build trust and authority. If you can become a resource for information, people are more likely to revisit, share and link to your content.
How to use infographics effectively
1. Tell a story that is not about you. Do not make infographics that are just about your firm. Think of topics that are relevant to the legal industry as a whole, or your practice areas specifically, but would still be interesting to a diverse group. Try some of these ideas:
Hand out tips: Tips tend to perform well in both article and infographic form. Some examples include “Tips for Improving Your Credit Score,” or “Summer Bicycle Safety Tips.”
Take advantage of relevant events: Use some of the momentum from a topic that is already in the news to create interest in your infographic. The recently abandoned Comcast—Time Warner Cable merger received steady attention for many months. A business law oriented firm could have created an infographic detailing the anatomy of a merger and strategically used hashtags related to the proposed merger to gain a wider audience.
Go month-to-month: Most months have at least one commemorative designation. Pick designations relevant to your practice areas and release infographics referencing those topics. For example, April is Financial Literacy Month, May is National Bike Month, September is National Preparedness Month, October is National Bullying Prevention Month and so on. Each of these commemorations provides an opportunity for creative firms to illustrate the concept visually.
Give legal lessons based on fictional situations: Legal document company Rocket Lawyer released an infographic titled, “Legal Lessons Learned from Mad Men” during the height of the show's popularity. It outlines some of the many ways the show's characters violate modern workplace regulations and is relevant to both the legal profession and popular culture. It successfully makes information interesting and relevant that some would otherwise consider to be a bit dry.
2. Think of subjects that allow you to reach out to other sites. While infographics can be fun, their purpose is to attract links and shares. Other industry sites are not likely to link to a graphic solely about your firm's accomplishments, but they might link to a graphic detailing trends in law firm social media use. Make outreach easier by designing infographics around topics of general interest.
3. Include social sharing and an embed code. Infographics that sit only on your website are not generating the needed level of interest. You want people to share them. Including an embed code is one way to promote sharing by giving visitors a way to post the infographic to their own sites.
Embed codes, however, are not used nearly as frequently as social sharing. Visitors should be able to easily share your infographic on popular social media sites. When preparing the graphic for sharing, use metadata to give it a good title and description that will catch people's attention. Compelling titles and descriptions help encourage views and additional sharing.
4. Jump on the hashtag bandwagon. Hashtags make it easier for people to find your infographic by turning the hashtag text into a searchable link and by allowing your infographic to appear in searches with other relevant content. An infographic celebrating National Bike to Work Day by offering bike safety tips, published by a firm in San Francisco, could contain the hashtags #bicycle, #biketowork, #bikesafety or #bikesanfrancisco. Just be sure not to over-hashtag. One or two per post is plenty.
5. Submit your infographic to directories. The more places your infographic is published the better. A site like infographicsonline.com is a good place to start.
6. Associate your infographic with an article as part of a sharing strategy. When you post your infographic on your site, include a brief article about its contents. This provides some SEO benefit and makes it more likely the page will be seen as a source for quality information.
In addition, link outreach efforts will be easier if you have a unique article associated with your graphic. With this strategy, you are essentially creating a landing page to showcase the graphic, complete with accompanying article, sharing links and internal links to other relevant content on your site. In this way, your infographic landing page can serve as a stepping stone to guide people to more content on your site.
Good infographics have longevity and marketing value. They can help build natural links that will not earn a Google penalty. And you will be developing content that corresponds with the way people think and learn naturally.