The sole purpose for an infographic is to attract natural backlinks… period! This comes in the form of either graphic embeds or by webmasters linking to your graphic in a blog post or on a web page somewhere.
Getting Diggs, Stumbles, Tweets, and Facebook Likes, is all good and can help send some pretty decent social signals to the engines that your content is quality, but in my honest opinion, even if you manage to attract a lot of the social signals mentioned above without attracting any backlinks, your infographic has flopped.
In this post I want to discuss a few ways that I have found effective in generating a lot of backlinks for my clients and for my personal sites when I produce and promote an infographic. I want to start out by discussing blogger outreach.
Until recently, I believe blogger outreach has been pushed to the back burner when it comes to infographic promotion. Search marketers have been of the mindset that if they get enough Diggs, Stumbles, Tweets, and Facebook Likes, that can generate enough visibility to attract links and embeds without having to reach out to bloggers. This is flawed thinking and needs to be done away with immediately. Through proper blogger outreach, you can increase your success rate and generate way more backlinks than just focusing on promotion via social media channels. So let’s dive into how to begin the blogger outreach process.
I like to start with some basic competitive analysis. The idea of creating and promoting infographics is nothing new. The chance of someone in your niche having created and promoted a graphic is pretty high and with a few search queries you can typically dig these graphics up and begin your analysis.
Once you find a graphic in your niche, you should jump over into Open Site Explorer (OSE) and analyze the backlinks that the graphic attracted. When doing your analysis, the settings in OSE should be as follows:
- Show – all links (I don’t care if they are followed or nofollowed. Nofollowed links help diversify your backlink portfolio)
- Links From – only external
- Pages To – this page
- And you can display your links grouped or ungrouped. It doesn’t really matter when doing your analysis.
Once you filter down your results, you now have a great list of sites linking to the graphic in the same niche that you can reach out to and see if they would be interested in embedding or linking to your graphic as well.
Google Image Search
After building the list of linking domains in OSE, I like to find the URL of the actual infographic and do an image search for the URL. This will drum up many of the websites that are actually embedding the graphic, not just linking directly to the graphic or blog post where the graphic lives.
You should then take all of these sites and add them to your list from OSE, dedupe, and begin your outreach.
Tumblr is an untapped resource when it comes to infographic promotion. For those who don’t know Tumblr is the hottest free blogging platform on the web right now. Tumblr is different from other free blogging platforms because of their “reblogging” feature that makes it super easy to find content related to yours and with the click of a button, share it out to your blog. If you publish a sweet graphic that is non promotional and tag it properly, your chance of getting a ton of reblogs is pretty good and it just might snowball from there.
You can leverage Tumblr by setting up your own Tumblr blog to post your graphic and others in the same niche (less self promotion adding other graphics as well), doing some outreach to bloggers on Tumblr who publish infographics, or both (I recommend both).
Pinterest is an interesting community that I’ve been playing with lately. I’ve only been tinkering with it a short time, but have seen phenomenal results in getting graphics spread throughout the community. For those who don’t know, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows you to organize and share images you find useful or interesting online.
Just like how Tumblr has a “reblog” feature, Pinterest has a “repin” feature that allows others to repin an interesting image they find in the community on their pinboard. Each time someone repins a graphic, it links to the web page where the graphic lives. Ingenious!!! The trick with this is to make friends who may have interest in the data found in the graphics you are pinning. If not, your chances of getting repins is much smaller.
So there you have it, three ways to help promote your infographics outside of Digg and StumbleUpon. Yes, it takes some time and effort, but the return on time invested is enormous.
About Greg Shuey
Greg Shuey is the Vice President of Client Services for SEO.com who offers professional SEO services. He oversees SEO strategy and fulfillment for all SEO.com clientele. He blogs regularly at SEO.com and occasionally blogs for SearchEngineJournal.com, YOUmoz, and SearchMarketingWeekly.com. You can also find him on Twitter and Google+.