Infographics are a hugely popular method for companies to communicate their information. These can be used as advertisements, content marketing, press releases, how-to instructions, presentation handouts, brochures, posters, and much more. Hundreds of thousands of infographics are available online; however, most of them are poor designs that don’t produce the results the company had hoped for.
Here are seven best practices that you can learn from the most successful infographics:
1 TELL A STORY
Infographics can combine charts, data visualizations, images, illustrations, and text into a format that tells a complete story. They are stand-alone content pieces that should not only share data, but also help readers understand what the data means. A good infographic has an introduction as well as a main point, and finishes with a conclusion or call-to-action. You don’t want to just throw all the data you have into one design.
2 STAY FOCUSED
Infographics are supposed to be quick and easy for the audience to understand. Your infographic design should focus on one key message and tell that one story really well. Only include the information that supports the key message to keep the design clean and straightforward. Too much data will just clutter the design and cause information overload.
3 MINIMIZE TEXT
Nobody wants to read a text article that has been converted into an image file and called an infographic. Readers expect an infographic to be a visual design that makes information easier to understand than a text explanation. Too much text in an infographic design implies to the readers that the design doesn’t do a good job making the topic simple and easy to understand.
4 VISUALIZE DATA
Whenever you have statistics or data to include in your infographic, visualize that information with some type of chart, illustration, or diagram. One of the biggest mistakes designers make is to
display numbers in text alone, usually in a large font size. Big fonts are not data visualizations! A data visualization puts your data into context for the audience, making it easier to understand. And, by making it visual, your readers are more likely to remember that information later.
5 INCLUDE DATA SOURCES
To be credible, an infographic should clearly and openly cite the source of data. Credibility plays a huge part in the success of an infographic, and readers won’t share an infographic if they think the information is vague or questionable. The data sources cited should always be the original source of the data, and you should avoid citing data quoted in news articles or Wikipedia.
6 INCLUDE THE LINK
As a company or designer publishing an infographic, you would like readers to visit your website. However, most people that share infographics in social media or blogs fail to include a link back to the original infographic landing page on your website. You can’t hunt them all down and persuade them to add a link back to your website, but you can include the URL of your infographic landing page so that it’s always part of the infographic that gets shared.
7 OPTIMIZE FOR SEO
The key to successfully using an infographic design for SEO is relevance. The title, topic, and words used all need to be related to the website publishing the infographic. You want the infographic to appear in the search results when people are searching for your brand, products, or services—so it should incorporate the same keywords you are already optimizing for.