6 Mistakes to Avoid When You Make an Infographic

May 28, 2013

9:00 am

Great news! Infographics now “count” as an SEO tool, and recent algorithm changes allow infographics to be scanned for SEO keywords. This just made things a lot easier for many businesses, considering more people are prone to looking at images rather than reading articles. After all, it's much easier to scan a graph about obesity rates in American than read a bunch of dry percentages.

However, creating infographics is no easy task, and now SEO writers are having to moonlight as graphic designers. The good news is that there are many free or low-cost tools to help you create an infographic. There are still a few pitfalls to avoid, and some common newbie mistakes to prevent. Here are six big mistakes to avoid when you make an infographic.

1. Too Much Text

It's an infoGRAPHIC, not an infoARTICLE. This means that while text certainly can be used to highlight points, the majority of the image should be, well, an image. This can be especially difficult for SEO writers who are used to relying on their way with words to convey information. The transition can be tough, but aim for at least a 70 percent image goal.

2. Low-Quality Images

Finding high-quality images that can be legally used, such as from free stock photography sites, is a challenge. Some people think they've found the perfect image, but it's copyrighted or it's just not large enough. Cheating in this way is a lazy approach, and might even lead to a lawsuit if the rightful owner finds out.

Instead, hone those graphic design skills to create original images, or invest in a stock photography membership to have access to more options.

3. No Spell or Fact Checking

There's a bit of a catch-22 when it comes to relaying information. People want to “break” a story first and be the first to supply information. However, this should never be done at the risk of making an embarrassing mistake. Always have at least two sets of eyes on an infographic before publishing, double-check spelling and grammar, and triple-check any facts or statistics.

4. No Responsive Design

Responsive design is when a website or infographic is designed to display well on any platform. This means everything from a lumbering old PC to the latest Samsung Galaxy S4 will display the infographic perfectly. This takes more time and effort, but it's an absolute must. Otherwise, some viewers won't see the image and become discouraged, leading to higher bounceback rates.

5. No Marketing

A person has made an incredible infographic with high-quality images and engaging content, and there's nothing else like it – now what? Leaving it to fester on a website isn't going to get anything done, and now it's time for a little marketing and outreach. Make the infographic as shareable as possible, post it on sites when appropriate, and utilize social media to get the information out.

6. No Follow-up

Most infographics allow for comments, and this is where the possibility of going viral comes into play. However, without backing up the infographic and engaging in comments, it can turn a viral image into a dead one. An infographic needs to be nurtured and cared for like a baby chick, so don't leave it to fend for itself. Until it's standing on its own, it needs to be babied along the way.

Are infographics easy? Not at all, and they're a completely different beast compared to SEO-rich articles. However, they're trending now for SEO and a fantastic way to reach new demographics. Give them a shot, but make sure to avoid these pitfalls.

The History of Infographics

Guest author Drew Hendricks is a tech, social media and environmental addict. He's written for many major publishers such as National Geographic and Technorati.

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