Wow, that’s a lot to take in but read on, it will be worth it!
If you want to rank for a very competitive term in Google you need to get a lot of high quality links back to your content.
The days of dodgy link building are gone so to get good links you need to have great content.
Recently we invested significant time and a reasonable budget in creating an infographic on social media tools and we targeted the keywords ‘marketing tools’. This means that we optimized the post for this term and the aim was to rank within the top 10 search results for ‘marketing tools’ within two months.
After 6 weeks of promoting the infographic we now rank number 5 for this term on Google. With more promotion we can move this higher but with less promotion we will move down the ranks.
There were some tools and tactics we used along the way that helped us and we’d like to share them. Barney says that sharing is caring (if you have kids you’ll know who Barney is!).
Creating the Infographic
We created a concept about a day in the life of a Social Media Marketer. As our site focusses on tools and technology we outlined all the different tools that a marketer might use during the course of a very busy day.
The infographic was high quality and very visually appealing thanks to the guys at Socially Sorted.
In infographics it’s good to reference or quote people within it as they are more likely to share the infographic and/or embed it on their site. In total we mentioned over 30 tools. We also mentioned valuable resources – podcasts and blogs – that social media marketers could listen to or read, which added another 14 sites to the mix.
Performing the keyword research
We used Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords based on tools that we wanted to rank on. We wanted keywords that were competitive but not too competitive to make them impossible.
The term ‘Marketing Tools’ has over 6,500 searches each month so we felt that if we got into the top 10 results we’d get at least 500 site visits per month, and even more if we got within the top 5 search results.
When we did a search for “marketing tools” we saw some high profile sites that had optimized for the terms ‘marketing tools’ and had a lot of links back to this content. These were ones that would take us a long time to beat.
But we also seen other search results in the first 10 that were beatable.
For example, the following site has a domain authority of 54 with a page authority of 46 and there are 188 links back to the content. The domain and page authority is a ranking system that rates websites and pages out of 100. The higher the number the more important the page and website are.
Note: I have these numbers appearing in search results because I have a plugin installed called ‘Moz Toolbar‘ and this shows me the numbers.
At the time of writing our domain authority was 50 so not too different. With good optimization of our post based around ‘Marketing Tools’ and getting a ton of links back to our content felt we could beat this site in the the search results.
Publishing the Infographic
Publishing the infographic on it’s own it not enough, so we created a blog post and included the infographic within it.
It’s really important to have plenty of content within the post that makes it easy for Google to understand what the infographic is about. As far as Google is concerned the infographic is just an image so don’t ever consider creating a blog post with just the infographic in it!
When you publish the blog post you want visitors to be able to take a copy of the infographic and ’embed it’ on their site.
We are running WordPress so we installed the ‘Embed Code Generator‘ plugin which allows you to create an embed code that will be displayed at the bottom of your post. This is the code that people then take and add to their site so that the infographic appears on their site. When they embed it there is a link back to your site.
Here’s the configuration within the plugin:
- Source URL: Enter the address of where the original image of the infographic is stored
- Link Image to: If you click on the image where does it go? This was configured as the address of the original blog post containing the image.
- Title: The title of the image, this was ‘Social Media Marketing Tools’.
- Alt Attribute: This is the keywords that are used as part of the link (also known as the anchor text). You probably think that this should be the keywords you want to rank on (i.e. Marketing Tools). But the problem is that if you get hundreds of links back with all the exact same anchor text this might look unnatural to Google. The only keyword that won’t look unnatural is your company name because you will always get lots of links using your company name. So for this I put in RazorSocial. (Thanks to Brian Dean from Backlinko for this tip!)
- Width/Height: I didn’t configure this. You just need to make sure your image is a size that is suitable for most blogs.
- Courtesy of: I put in my company name (RazorSocial). ‘Courtesy of RazorSocial’ was displayed on the original image and any image that was embedded on other sites.
- Courtesy of site url: This is where you want the ‘courtesy of’ message linking to (i.e. back to the original source of where the blog post is).
Promoting the infographic
You can create an amazing infographic but if nobody hears about it then you will not get the links back. Here are some tactics we used to promote the infographic.
a). We used Buzzstream which is a tool for managing blogger outreach. We set up a separate section for infographics where we recorded who we reached out to and the results.
b) We searched for ‘Social Media Infographics’ and made a list of websites in Buzzstream that published social media infographics before. We only focussed on sites that had a minimum domain authority of 50 because we wanted to get a good link back to our site.
c) We shared on social media channels using Hootsuite. On Hootsuite we scheduled a lot of tweets in relation to the blog post. On each tweet we mentioned two different tool providers that were in the infographic. This grabbed the attention of the tool providers who started sharing the content.
d) We emailed everyone that was mentioned in the infographic. A good few of the tool providers then created blog posts about the content.
e) One large site we reached out to wasn’t included in the infographic. The deal was that if we create a custom version of the infographic with their name in it then they would publish it. So we created a custom version for them!
f) We shared the content multiple times on Google+ and mentioned the tool providers in our updates.
g) We submitted the infographic to infographic directory sites such as Visual.ly.
A lot of work went in to this particular post so I assume you want to know what results we got!
So here you go…
There were so many great sites that took a copy of the infographic and embedded it on their site. Over 100 so far and this is still growing. What’s great is that a lot of them also wrote an article about the content within the infographic and linked to us within the article. A link from the infographic back to your site is useful but a link within a post about the infographic is even better.
For some sites we wrote some content for the site. Even though this takes us extra time it was well worth it.
When you search for the infographic on Google you will see it mentioned on many sites!
The infographic was also pinned on Pinterest hundreds of times. Our Pinterest board looked like this!
A good quality infographic is nice but one that is focussed on particular keywords and promoted like crazy can yield you long term results.
We still get a lot of traffic and shares for this post and we still rank in the top 10 for ‘marketing tools’ and get traffic every day for these keywords.
Also our overall traffic goes up as a result of increased brand awareness.
Next steps are:
a). Create an infographic, go through the steps on how to make an infographic and then kick some ass!
b). Read this article about how to make your own infographic. If you don’t have a budget to hire a designer this could work well for you.
c). Leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!