What Makes a Good Infographic?

October 23rd, 2019

Today’s Community Contributor is Daniel Berry, an SEO Strategist with more than 14 years of professional writing experience. Daniel regularly tries to think outside the box when it comes to SEO, copywriting, social media, lead generation, marketing automation and other areas of digital marketing. He has held a variety of marketing roles for major corporations and small marketing agencies over the past few years, and loves passing on what he learns to others. He has written several detailed reviews on TrustRadius of the tools he uses at work. 


There are several things in life where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Take peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, for example. Peanuts are okay, but kind of boring by themselves. Fruit is similar. But if you process both of these elements and layer them between slices of bread? It’s pure heaven.

Infographics are the same way.

While the parts that make up an infographic are nothing new—copy, images, creativity—treating and combining them the right way can create an engaging form of content that people won’t soon forget. According to a survey by Venngage, 40% of marketers say that original graphics like infographics are their best-performing, highest-engaging content format.

Wouldn’t you like your content to do the same thing? If so, here are a few crucial components that make a good infographic.

Research

As with most forms of written content, the best infographics make use of great research. Infographics are often built around statistics and numbers, so finding reputable sources for these is important. Invest at least a fourth of your time on research, finding the best snippets to call out on your graphical masterpiece. 

Of course, you’ll need to reference any sources you use. Many companies do this by including URLs and other information at the bottom of the infographic. Just don’t try to pass off other surveys, studies, and statistics as your own if they aren’t.

Engaging, Short Copy

Next, good infographics have compelling copy…but not a lot of it. Yes, you’ll see infographics out there that are full of text, but it makes it more difficult to read and visitors will be less likely to scroll down and view the rest of the infographic (especially if they’re on mobile). There needs to be a nice balance between words and graphics. If you’re unsure about the right ratio, take a look at some of these examples of infographics that explain complex topics with minimal words.

This is why statistics and facts are great elements to include in infographics. They’re usually only a sentence or two and they quickly capture your audience’s attention. If you focus enough on the research aspect of your infographic, your time spent on the copy itself will be minimal.

Great Visuals

As MIT points out, 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual, so graphic selection and design is probably the most important part of your infographic. (It’s in the name, after all.) Visuals in infographics also tend to have a specific purpose, such as leading the reader along toward the bottom of the piece. Here are some best practices for infographic visuals:

  • Only use one or two clear, easy-to-read fonts.
  • Utilize simple colors to convey emotions.
  • Design it to lead the reader toward the bottom (e.g. arrows, clear sections).
  • Make use of whitespace and don’t use too many visuals.
  • Don’t overthink it!

Creativity

Finally, thinking outside the box can go a long way toward making an infographic that isn’t just good, but also memorable. It’ll also make your infographic interesting and shareable. (This is especially important for rare occasions when the infographic is gated behind a form.)

Perhaps the infographic is printable. Or, maybe it features interactive elements. The more creative, the better.

Bonus: SEO 

Finally, one last tip that doesn’t necessarily result in a better infographic, but it does help more people see it: optimize your infographic for SEO. Since the text for an infographic is in an image format, it doesn’t get picked up by search engine crawlers. A workaround for this is to include all the text for your infographic below the image. It doesn’t force people to scroll through your text to see the imagery, but it does boost the page’s SEO value. Also, be sure to include appropriate alt text and add social media sharing buttons.

There you have it! By including these components, you’ll be well on your way to creating a great infographic that is better than the sum of its parts.