Do you feel like you’ve tapped out your link building strategy?
Is your cold outreach simply not getting the results it used to when you first started trying to build links?
How about when you’re trying to get anchor links back to some of those less exciting, but highly transactional pages?
Your gut is probably suggesting that the methods you relied on years ago, might just not be as effective anymore. And guess what?
Your gut is right.
If there is one thing marketers are great at, it’s ruining things for everyone else. We find a strategy that works wonders, and we tell everyone about it and over-saturate the space. And then all the marketers who relied on their secret strategy get upset and develop a new one, forced to wait until another marketer comes along and ruins that too.
Well I’m here to ruin one marketer’s dream by sharing this highly under-utilized, but extremely effective means of generating high-quality backlinks, to those hard-to-rank pages.
Sorry, not sorry.
Today I am going to share a method that Venngage has used as a highly successful SEO ranking strategy, and that strategy is to use contributor infographics or “Guestographics” (guest infographics) to build links.
Not a designer? No problem. Venngage’s free Infographic Maker and easy-to-edit infographic templates let anyone create their own designs.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a Guestographic?
- When would you use Guestographics?
- How do I know Guestographics work?
- How do I get backlinks from an infographic?
What is a Guestographic?
A ‘Guestographic’ is a phrase we have coined internally here at Venngage to describe an infographic that we collaborate on with a potential partner, or as a value add to driving natural links to pages on a website.
Here’s an example of a guestographic we made for HubSpot. It’s a template, so you can customize it and make it your own, too.
The Guestographic Method can be a low effort and cost-effective way to generate high-quality SEO backlinks, while also building excellent relationships with other marketers in your target markets.
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When would you use Guestographics?
Depending on the content that you are driving to promote, there are various types of link building strategies you might leverage. Guestographics are the ideal method to build links to those harder to promote pages.
Any page that requires very specific anchor linking, or is less engaging in nature, like a sales page, would be a good candidate for using Guestographics.
For example, we partnered with Mention to make this guestographic. We could ask them to include a line of text below the infographic that says “Create your own infographics for free with Venngage, the Infographic Maker.” I get to link to a sales page on a specific term I want to rank for: infographic maker.
Your contacts may also want to share the guestographic on social media, which will further help with your brand visibility.
How do I know Guestographics work?
Great question. Guestographics have been a staple strategy for many successful businesses that leverage SEO as a major acquisition channel. At Venngage we’ve made almost 200 Guestographics which have contributed to nearly 200,000 organic sessions a month to some of our highest converting pages.
How do I get backlinks from an infographic?
There are four simple steps you can follow in order to achieve similar results as Venngage by using infographics as part of your link building strategy. You can also check out our Guestographic partnership page to see how we approach this strategy.
Step 1: Find list articles that already drive some organic traffic to their blog content, but lack an infographic, or other high converting content
There are a lot of great pieces of content on the web that are already created, but might be visually lacking. List-based articles in particular are already easily formatted in an ideal way for quick infographic creation.
For example, you could easily customize this infographic template for any list. Just click to edit the text and click the illustrations and icons to replace them with icons from our free library.
Start by using a tool like Ahrefs, or SEMrush to figure out which content is out there.
I use Ahrefs’s Content Explorer function to source articles that are already driving some organic traffic, and include the words “X number of tips for ____” in the title, like this:
I can then look through a small segment of these articles to see which ones might not have an infographic already, or that seem generally very text heavy.
Here is an example from the Mayo Clinic on tips to tame anger management. As you can see from the image below, the article is highly text heavy, but formatted easily to plug into a ‘10 Tips’ infographic template.
The same can be said by searching for content that includes variations of numbers in the title. If you’re looking for easy to edit infographic templates, Venngage offers over 10,000 different templates that you can get started with.
Step 2: Pitch your Guestographics to site editors and ask for an outline
Whenever I speak about using guestographics for SEO, a common question I get asked is how to scale the process effectively?
One of the most common time-wasters with this method is the ongoing back and forth between you, and the person you are pitching the guestographic to.
A workaround we’ve found useful, here at Venngage is to ask for an outline of the exact content to include in the infographic, up front. The reason for this is that in many cases, if you’re the only one controlling the outline, once you send it back to the site owner or editor for review, they will come back with some very small micro changes.
These micro changes can make what was supposed to be a single-day turnaround time, a far longer process and result in frustration on your end, as well as the person you’re pitching to.
This is why asking for an outline upfront is recommended. It will ensure that the site you’re creating the infographic for is happy with the copy, and you can focus on pushing out guestographics more efficiently.
Step 3: Use a low-cost infographic maker, like Venngage
When it comes to creating your guestographics, there are naturally a number of ways you can approach this. You can hire a full-time graphic designer, but this can be a very expensive choice.
In the United States, the median cost salary is roughly $45,000 a year.
Instead, you can use a free infographic maker like Venngage, and choose from a range of professionally designed drag and drop templates (like the examples below) to quickly change text, colors and fonts with the click of a button.
This way, even a small shop marketing team can produce a wide range of guestographics in a matter of hours, rather than waiting for a graphic designer to get a unique infographic designer together in what will realistically take a few weeks.
How to make a guestographic in Venngage in 5 easy steps:
- Start by signing up for your free account here.
- Choose an infographic template from thousands of options.
- Use the drag and drop editor to quickly update the information in the pre-designed template.
- Automatically apply branding assets using the My Brand Kit feature.
- Download your infographic as a PNG, PDF or PowerPoint file.
And voila, it’s as easy as 1,2,3 (and 4 and 5).
Step 4: Complete your Guestographic and get those backlinks for SEO traffic growth
Now that you’ve got your guestographic finalized, it’s time to send it back to the site editor for final approval.
When sending back your infographic to get features, ensure that you also give context to the site owner about how you would like them to credit you in the article. It’s important to let them know what type of link and anchor text you want, otherwise they might not deliver in the most optimized way.
Guestographics are a great strategy when you are trying to build natural links to pages that are a little bit more sales forward. I would recommend using this strategy for landing pages that are more geared towards demand generation. Pages that are more transactional in intent are a good place to start, since typically informational intent pages, like blog posts or surveys are commonly referenced on a natural basis.
In summary: Guestographics should be your go-to backlink strategy
So there you have it. A simple and effective, yet highly under-utilized way to drive high-quality backlinks, to those more transactional pages, that not enough people are using.
Infographics, especially mini infographics, are also perfect for improving your on-page SEO and driving more traffic to your website. If you’re not bored with me yet and want to learn more SEO strategies, take a look at our guide on how to use mini infographics to improve on-page SEO.
Once again, I apologize to all the marketers out there whose lives I have inevitably ruined. But to all of those who did not know about this strategy before, go forth and use infographics to build links and massively improve your SEO rankings.