It’s true that infographics have become somewhat more difficult to attract attention with, but a clever concept and solid execution around promotion can still help generate a lot of authority and a high volume of quality links for a domain quickly. The question is always, “What sorts of things make good data visualizations?” In this post we’ll walk through three categories of infographic and offer a real-world example of each from the WordStream blog itself.
Evergreen infographics are graphics that aren’t tied to a specific date and won’t get “stale” over time. A couple of examples of this type of graphic are:
- “History Of” graphics that detail the chronology of an event in the past or a specific topic – even if new events occasionally happen in the future, these are typically pretty “fresh” months after being published.
- “Cost of” graphics that detail how much an event or series of events cost
A very recent, very successful example of this type of infographic is WordStream’s twenty most expensive AdWords keywords graphic launched last week: the most expensive keywords list may change over time, it’s likely to look pretty similar and I’m sure people will be referencing the graphic for months and months as authoritative on the topic. The graphic was linked at by a host of authoritative sites such as Wired, TechCrunch, The Guardian, and several others.
The great thing about these types of graphics is that they can be launched whenever you like and don’t need to be completed before a news event is cold or by a certain date. One of the strengths of this graphic was the meticulous data preparation process Larry undertook, which he was free to take his time with and “get right” because of the flexible, evergreen nature of the graphic. Even more of a strength than that, however, is the fact that these types of infographics tend to continually garner passive links over time, even after you stop promoting them.
A second type of infographic is news-related graphics. Infographics that are tied to specific news events can be really powerful for garnering a lot of links quickly. This might be an infographic that talks specifically about an event and details what happened, or it might be more loosely related and have a bit more of a shelf life. For instance, when Google shuttered Google Wave the WordStream blog featured a list of Google’s failures that was linked to by CNN.com, and generated a link from TechCrunch in relation to a totally different event because while the infographic was topical for the Wave closing, it wasn’t unique to that event entirely.
Similarly to news-related infographics, graphics related to a recurring event can generate a lot of attention from press hungry for any sort of news or content related to the event or holiday. However, they force you to research and design the graphic on a specific deadline schedule, and they are difficult to make “timeless.” Unlike a news-related graphic, though, these concepts are at least perennial and of course you can take a similar tack to the news-related example above and create a graphic that is technically evergreen but has some relation to an event. A great example is WordStream’s Earth Day infographic, which focused on the concept of the Internet and the environment and netted links from Mashable and the LA Times.
Focus on the Fundamentals
Regardless of the types of infographics you’re creating, the common thread between those that are successful are:
- A strong, link-worthy concept
- Good research
- Solid design
- Well-timed launch of the graphic
- Smart promotion
Depending on the graphic one factor may be more important than the others, but these are generally the ingredients of winning infographic design and promotion.