Infographics are one of the best white hat ways to gain a great amount of backlinks to your site. They could go viral and bring a good amount of traffic to your website with just some basic infographic marketing tactics. Though, chances are, they won’t be able to gain even half the amount of links they possibly could have unless you leveraged some techniques specifically crafted for getting powerful links.
Sure, you can approach hundreds of generic, low-quality infographic sharing sites and get published with a very low conversion rate. But that's not what you want. There’s a favorite model of mine I use time and time again when I build links to infographics for personal or client sites, and it bears fruit every single time.
I published my first-ever infographic on domain authority on TechTage. After the initial buzz building period, I quickly leveraged the most reliable method of my arsenal by building some decent quality, powerful, contextual links to it.
This method might sound simple, and it doesn’t really involve many hassles, either. It's composed of two major steps:
1. Find suitable targets, and
2. Perform some email outreach.
Finding Suitable Targets
I use two methods to find relevant targets to get my infographic published on.
1. Competitor Backlink Analysis
I just take a really popular infographic related to the one I published, put its URL in a backlink analysis tool, filter links and look for only dofollow’ed links. I try to think about and understand which links are the easiest to replicate.
You should be fairly careful with this process, though. Sometimes you’ll be overwhelmed by the amount of backlinks you see pointing at a really popular infographic. I wouldn’t take an infographic from a much larger site, for example, because there will always be reasons why they were able to get some backlinks, that I, as the owner of a significantly smaller site, won’t be able to get.
As a result, I generally choose an infographic that’s just decently popular and has between a fifty and a thousand links pointing at it. You can do this by simply searching on Google. The ones that rank on the first few pages for relatively popular terms tend to have a good amount of links pointing at them, so something as simple as searching on Google might work really well for this purpose.
Once you’ve zeroed in on an infographic, just run it through a backlink checker and export the referring domains along with the referring pages. Many CSV and XLS exports will allow you to sort results by domain and page level authority, which would be an added bonus.
The easiest of links to replicate would be the infographic directories. You’ll be able to tell which one’s a directory most of the time, simply by having a look at their domain names (for example: infographicdirectory.com). The difference between approaching a generic infographic directory out of the blue and targeting only the ones that have already published a similar infographic is the latter will yield you much better success rates.
Another type of links often easy to replicate are blog links. These are the links given by some relevant blogs in the field. These would mostly be high-quality, relevant, contextual backlinks.
Once you’ve listed all the suitable targets from your current target separately, you can move on to the next infographic.
2. Google Reverse Image Search
After choosing the infographic to find links to, you can find links in another (and much easier) way using Google’s own reverse image search functionality.
If you’re using Chrome, you can simply right click on the image and click "Search Google for this image.”
Then you’ll automatically be taken to the first Google listing pages that contain the infographic. You can then determine on your own which domains are the easiest to get links from, based on the points I’ve discussed in the previous section.
Performing Some Email Outreach
Accept it: outreach emails that demand links seem pretty cold.
To tackle this problem, I’ve developed a way of outreaching, especially for infographic link building campaigns. Here are the steps:
- Email the target sites (from the targets list you’ve built with the help of the previous section) and simply tell them you’ve published an infographic on [topic]. Mention any special things about it (such as a well known site that already re-published it). Simply ask them if they just want to check it out. This works as a curiosity factor.
- If they reply, "Yes," send them a link to the page containing your infographic. Casually mention they can share it on their site if they want. Also, ask if they need an embed code (so you can provide one) if they decide to publish it. This helps differentiate you from a selfish link-seeker.
- If they can publish the infographic, many will email you directly after publishing it, and a few will even ask you for the infographic embed code. You can provide them the embed code and thank anyone for publishing your infographic.
You can use a software like Yesware to keep track of your sent emails and stay alerted if someone opened an email of yours or not. If someone didn’t respond the first time, I’d recommend following up no more than once. If they reply the second time, great for you; if they don’t, just move on to the next target.
Here are some of the ways you can increase your conversion rates with respect to getting your infographic published on the target sites after your email outreach:
Most infographic directories love to include a unique description, specifically written for them, along with an infographic. So, if you give them one within around 150-250 words based on their requirements, you’ll drastically increase your chances of getting your infographic published there.
Larger sites will often want to be mentioned as a "co-producer" within the infographic. They’ll want their logo, along with your own site’s, in the "co-produced by" section. You can increase your chances of getting the infographic published on bigger sites by tweaking your original infographic and adding the target site’s logo alongside your own. Infographics, especially great ones, generally cost a lot of money to create. If you’re not comfortable with image editing and Photoshop, and your original infographic designer won’t do any further adjustments, you can hire designers from sites like oDesk, 48HoursLogo, Elance and Fiverr.
Editors and heads of content production teams of bigger sites are busy people, so you should clearly mention in your emails what the specialty of your infographic is and why they should publish it. This helps increase your chances because it saves their time.
Infographics are not just good for getting your site to go viral, they are also a very solid medium for generating backlinks to your site. If you’re able to build some inbound links to your infographics quickly after they’re published and they rank well in search engines as a result of that, chances are they’ll keep earning links on autopilot for as long as they’re still relevant. By leveraging a solid infographic marketing strategy with a focus on link building, you can very easily attract the kind of high-quality backlinks from really authoritative websites that traditional textual content can’t get you.
So, what other ways do you recommend for building relevant, high-quality backlinks to infographics?