A picture may be worth a thousand words, but even the simplest infographic can be worth ten times that amount of new visitors to your website. Like all Web professionals, affiliate marketers should always be looking for new ways to increase traffic to their sites. The use of infographics in blogs, newsletters, RSS feeds, white papers and other pages throughout your site is a surefire way to improve not only the volume of traffic but also your brand awareness and search results rankings.
And with today’s resources, you don’t have to be an award-winning Web designer to create alluring infographics that will generate higher numbers of visitors and relevant backlinks. You may have to be a little more creative in your thinking, but the tools are available to build visually appealing charts, graphs and timelines out of otherwise dry data about your products, services or industry. Below are five suggestions for affiliates who want to enhance their business with the use of infographics.
You wouldn’t be in business on the Web if you didn’t have any content, but too many Web professionals limit their content to words and a sprinkling of supplementary images. Underneath every Internet business’ top layer of Web content is a certain amount of data, much more than most website owners realize. That data could be product information, sales figures, industry news, consumer trends or the global economy, and data is more likely to elicit a reaction in infographic form than it is in a block of text. Look through the pages of your website to find examples of data that could be presented in a simple pie chart or bar graph, and try to condition yourself to think that way as you add new content to the site.
I would wager that anyone who follows the above suggestion will be surprised at how much data they already have on their site that can be turned into an assortment of infographics. Keep in mind, however, that there’s more to creating effective infographics than just creating graphics — they also have to provide useful information. Obtaining useful information often requires a little bit of digging, but as we all know, most of the data you will ever need is right at your fingertips. In addition to thinking visually, also try to start thinking statistically as you read RSS feeds, newsletters and other content around the Web. In the absence of useful new data falling in your lap — which it will if you have the right mindset — start doing your own research and compiling relevant data for future blog posts, newsletters, etc.
Search for Ideas
Every creative person needs a little outside inspiration once in a while, and millions of new infographics appear on the Web every day. You can’t help but see the most relevant ones just by doing your standard industry research, but there are some other resources to go to when you have infographic-block. One of the best is the Flickr Infographics Pool, which has thousands of examples to get your creative juices flowing again. There are numerous other sites where you can view both simple and sophisticated infographics, and a Google search is all that’s required to get you unstuck.
Use Your Resources
Once you’ve established a vision, gathered your data and sought the proper inspiration, you’re ready to get to work. A rudimentary knowledge of Photoshop and a free open-source image editor is enough to get the job done, but why not try these online tools first? Wordle is a fabulous tool that will transform any block of text into an engaging visual package that will draw readers’ eyes. Another resource is the Visual Communications Lab at IBM, where you can create virtually any kind of graphic simply by uploading the data and watching it “visualize” based on the information you provide. Dipity is a site that creates eye-catching timelines, and Omnigraffle can do all of the above but only for Macs.
Ask for Help
The resources above can help make an artist out of anyone, but sometimes it just makes more sense to go to the professionals. Lacking any ability in graphic design but having realized the potential benefits of infographics, there are several resources for getting your great ideas onto the Web. The two that come to mind first are Infographic World and Column Five Media. Both are highly reputable firms that specialize in the ideation, production and execution of infographics that are aimed at driving more traffic to your website.