How to Optimize Infographics for SEO (Checklist)

Content Marketing, SEO, Web Design

Content is the key to a successful SEO strategy, and images are one of the best ways to make your website more complete. They make your pages stand out more, add visual appeal, and can even help people understand your content more completely. Strong images and infographics will make your website better, which is still the best way to drive online traffic.

The downside to images, though, is that search engines like Google can’t understand them as well as they understand text. That’s why it’s important to give images special attention when you create your SEO strategy.

Newspaper With Images
Infographics are important to websites for the same reason they’re important on the cover of a book or the front page of a newspaper– they grab the reader’s attention.

Benefits of Infographics for SEO

The best infographics should be both informative and aesthetically pleasing. Use them to present clear, useful, well-researched information in an attractive package, and you’ll get much more attention than you could with words alone.

Here are just eight of the many reasons businesses should use infographics on their sites:

  1. People are better at remembering information that’s paired with a visual element. (Source: Brain Rules)
  2. Colorful images can raise a person’s willingness to read something by up to 80%. (Source: Saurage Research)
  3. Posts receive 650% more engagement when they include images. (Source: Webdam)
  4. People skim roughly 20% of the words while reading online, but eye tracking studies show that readers spend more time with images than text. (Source: NN Group)
  5. Original graphics like infographics get more engagement than any other type of visual content. (Source: Venngage)
  6. Blog posts with roughly one image per every 100 words are twice as likely to be shared on social media. (Source: BuzzSumo)
  7. 87% of all the Facebook engagements received by brands are on posts with images. (Source: Quintly)
  8. Infographics get liked and shared three times more than any other type of content on social media. (Source: NN Group)

Some of the best marketing strategies help businesses kill two birds with one stone. In the case of infographics, they help create high-performing blog posts while also providing great content for social media. For a quick example of why infographics are important, see how much better this image looks than the list above:

Benefits of Infographics
This infographic is more visually appealing than a wall of text, and gets the information across clearly.

As it says itself, this infographic is much more likely than a plain list to get shared on social media or in other blog posts. If someone wants to share this image on social media, the tag at the bottom will even point their audience to this website.

Better yet, the person sharing this infographic is likely to include a social media mention or link to Buddy Gardner. Shareable visuals can lead to inbound links for SEO, social media clout, and increased brand awareness.

SEO Checklist for Infographics

Web Development and Technical SEO Coding
You don’t have to be a coding wizard to optimize your images. Some technical SEO skills definitely help, but there are easy things you can do, too.

Making good infographics can be time consuming, and certainly takes longer than just banging out an article and including a few stock images. Businesses that follow SEO best practices will get more from their visual content. For starters, use this five step infographic SEO checklist:

5-Step SEO Checklist for Infographics
Can you check all the boxes on this infographic SEO checklist? If not, read below to see each step explained in greater detail.

1.) Keyword Research – The Foundation of SEO

As with every search engine optimization effort, it’s important to start with thorough keyword research. Without it, you won’t know what you’re optimizing for, and it’s hard to hit your goal when you don’t know what it is. Identify primary keyword phrases and close variations, then keep those in mind throughout the process.

Keyword Research for SEO
Use your favorite keyword research tool, and begin with the end in mind for all your SEO efforts.

2.) Add Optimized Alt Text to Your Images

The alt text is important to both user experience and technical SEO. If the image doesn’t load properly for any reason, people may be able to get an idea of its contents from the alt text. Alternatively, some screen reading software for the visually impaired will read alt text aloud.

Finally, Google is reading this text, so a keyword-rich alt text can give your image (and the page it’s on) a boost. Only add keywords when they’re relevant, though– Google is getting good at telling when you’re stuffing them where they don’t belong.

how to optimize alt text for images in Webflow CMS
CMS platforms like Webflow make it simple to add alt text to your images. Leaving this blank is a wasted opportunity.

3.) Name the Infographic File With SEO in Mind

This is just like optimizing the alt text. Pick something that describes the image accurately, and, ideally, make that description keyword-rich. Google will crawl the image name, so that’s one place to give the search engine a hint about what it’s looking at. “SEO Checklist For Infographics” describes the most important image in this article better than “image-043.”

an example of how to name images for SEO
Hopefully this article can rank for “SEO checklist for infographics,” and it happens to include an image that fits that description perfectly.

4.) Use Supporting Text to Supplement Your Image Optimization

Google can’t read the text on your infographic (yet), so it might miss any keywords on the image itself. In addition to the tips above, you can make up for that in a few different ways:

  • Introduce your infographic with a keyword-rich explanation of the image.
  • Consider your infographic while you optimize the meta description and headlines on your page.
  • Use the caption wisely (without being too wordy or resorting to keyword stuffing).
  • Keep the URL of your article and image fairly short, but use them to advance your SEO strategy when you can.
An example of how to choose an image caption that will help with SEO
This caption from a recent article describes the image accurately, while also working in one of the main keyword phrases from that article: “local SEO.”

5.) Minimize File Size for Faster Load Speeds

Simply put, smaller files load faster than enormous images, and Google (just like everyone else) prefers web pages that show up quickly. Don’t shrink your file so much that it becomes fuzzy or hard to read, but do keep the file size down as much as you can. To find out if file sizes are slowing your page down, check PageSpeed Insights by Google.

Example of test results for page loading speed
The Buddy Gardner homepage gets a perfect 100 for desktop loading speeds, but only comes in at 81 for mobile loading. Google identifies opportunities for improvement when returning a score.

Final Words on Optimizing Images for SEO

SEO for infographics shouldn’t be too much different than it is for any other content. The only twist is that Google can’t always understand the image itself, so it’s especially important to optimize everything around it. The search engine is getting smarter all the time, so good context clues can definitely help your infographic rank higher in Google search results.

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