Ecommerce merchants are constantly looking for new and creative ways to promote their online stores, and by now most have realized the value of running a blog to attract visitors to their site in the hopes of converting them into paying customers. There are a number of different blog techniques that merchants utilize to gain traffic and improve organic rankings, such as writing product reviews, top ten lists, contest promotions, or customer question and answer segments.

However, very few ecommerce merchants are leveraging infographics as a regular component of their search engine optimization strategy, and this is an area that they could consider experimenting more often. Infographics have great potential to give them a leg up over their competition. Below are some tips and ideas about how you can integrate infographics into your SEO efforts. This plan will allow you to gain more back links to your ecommerce store, which in turn could help you rank better for your target keywords.

Ecommerce Infographic Tips and Ideas

1. Infographic Design: In-House or Outsource?

Creating an infographic might sound easy in theory, but in reality it takes a unique graphic designer with a distinct skill set to produce a truly captivating piece of content. Not only should the graphic designer know how to create awesome layouts, but they should also have the ability to tell a story via design.

First evaluate if you or anyone on your team has the competency to design an infographic. If not, take a hard look at your outsourcing options. There are not a lot of specialized infographic design agencies to choose from, and the quality and pricing can vary depending on who you choose to outsource your design, so take your time and choose wisely. Going with the first company you find could save you time, but in the long run it could end up costing you.

2. Make Your Infographics Make Sense

While there are plenty of sites that have implemented infographics as part of their SEO strategy, some of them are doing it in a spammy way. This means just slapping an infographic on your site because you know it will get links, whether or not the infographic actually makes sense in the context of your site. Stay away from this kind of move if you want to keep your efforts white hat.

Most best practices will tell you to keep the concepts of your infographics closely aligned with the focus on your online store. Topics relating to ecommerce are fair game, since the nature of your business is selling online. You can also create concepts that relate to your niche within ecommerce.

Take, for example, an ecommerce merchant who has an online store that sells sports memorabilia. They are looking to further their SEO efforts by engaging the public with infographics. This merchant could look to do a myriad of sports-related infographics, like the History of the NCAA, the Evolution of Baseball Cards, or Football vs. Soccer. All of these concepts still pertain to the niche of the online store, and would drive traffic from relevant sports-related sites to the online store.

3. Add Your Logo and Get a Creative Commons License

If you plan to put the time, energy, and possibly money, into an infographic for your online store, then it's absolutely critical that you make sure that you brand it properly with your logo. There are two techniques that are most common for branding. One is placing your company logo at the bottom of the infographic, near the sources. This is a good approach to use so that your branding is still present, but it is not too obnoxious.

Another way that some companies like to brand their infographics is by incorporating their name into the title, so it would be something like “Big Bob's Sports Memorabilia presents: Football vs. Soccer.” Companies that use this style will also sometimes include their logo at the bottom of the infographic to reinforce the branding.

Another tip for branding your infographic is to get a free Creative Commons License. This helps you ensure that people properly attribute the infographic back to your online store. Once the Creative Commons License is in place, you have some leverage to use if you have to contact people who are not giving you credit and linking back to your infographic. You can ask them to modify it so that your site receives the proper credit. This step is a must, as you want to get the maximum amount of links possible each time you publish an infographic online.

4. Use Data-Driven Design

This tip may seem like a given if you know anything about infographics, but surprisingly it is one of the biggest points of contention for those entrenched in the niche. Take for example an online store that sells custom cookie cutters, who wants to create a cool infographic to help compliment their SEO link building efforts.

One easy thought might seem to be to do an infographic showing a variety of cookie recipes. Unfortunately this would just be pretty pictures with words. That's not really an infographic. A better approach would be to create an infographic about cookie consumption in the United States. It might be difficult to find all of the data needed, but in the end, this would make for an interesting infographic that would draw people into your online store and rely on actual data to drive the design instead of just putting up images and words.

5.Provide Information that Viewers Will Remember and Share

It is abundantly clear that in this day and age that people have short attention spans. In fact, chances are that if you actually made it this far into this post, then you probably just scanned over most of it. Compared to a normal blog post, an infographic is more visually stimulating. This will provide you with a better chance of keeping those people with short attention spans stuck on your site.

When you create your infographic, strive to have data that will spark an "a-ha" moment among viewers, that they will not only remember, but share with their online social circles. If you take the History of the NCAA infographic idea as an example, one big "a-ha" moment might be that UCLA currently holds the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships, with 11 national titles. The only team to come close to UCLA, is Kentucky with 7 national titles. While this is a very simple statistic, it is the type of data that would spark a UCLA alumni to share this infographic on Facebook so he can brag to his buddies who went to other Division I schools.

In order to make sharing your infographic easy for viewers, you need to make sure to provide proper embed code at the bottom of the post. The embed code contains anchor text with the exact keyword you want to target, and the specific page to which you want to drive viewers. Additionally you should make sure social media sharing buttons for sites like LinkedIn, Digg, Stumbleupon, Facebook, and Twitter are easily available and prominently displayed.

About the Author:
Nick Grant is the co-founder of ZippyCart.com, a leading ecommerce software review website known for its yearly Top 10 Ecommerce Solutions review, ecommerce news blog, and expert reviews of the best ecommerce solutions available online. Nick has been writing for the on ZippyCart since its inception and also manages all social media campaigns associated to the blog.

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[Via: ZippyCart - reviewing the best ecommerce software online]infographic image]

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