The author’s opinions are entirely his own (except for the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect those of Moz.
There are many ways to improve your SEO, not the least of which is link building. But do you feel that the quality of results from your link building strategy is starting to wane?
If your answer is “yes,” you are not alone. Link building has taken off in the world of content marketing, but we’ve exhausted typical strategies by overusing them.
There is one way to improve SEO and brand awareness that marketers haven’t used extensively yet – designing visitor rankings.
This is a strategy we at Venngage have been using for years to gain backlinks and improve SERP. Guestographics isn’t exactly a secret, but since very few content marketers know about them, here are our tips for creating and serving them.
What is a visitor?
A guest is basically a guest infographic. We’ve used this term internally for years because it has a very specific purpose.
Guestographics are created in collaboration with other brands. It’s their content with our infographic design. This has become an effective way to improve SEO for both parties.
For example, we’ve partnered with Hubspot to turn our Lead Generation Ideas blog post into the infographic below:
Over the years, we have used this strategy to partner with many sites. Our team has helped build connections in the industry, earn backlinks for us, and improve your SEO.
Why should you create a guestbook?
It’s easy to create backlinks for some types of content. Blog posts, survey results, and interviews often offer unique content that marketers are happy to include in their posts.
But what about pages for which you want unusual or specific anchor text? What about landing pages? How can you improve SEO for those pages through link building? You can spend all your time doing outreach and cold research without getting the desired results. Showcasing visitors designs design can significantly reduce your work because you will get more positive responses.
For example, we wanted to generate links to a page using the infographic body, but ran into a brick wall. This phrase is sales-y and sites didn’t want to hyperlink that specific anchor text.
However, when we offered to design a reference infographic, they were happy to add our link to our favorite link text when they included our guest in their posts. Both parties win.
Why does this strategy work? Because everyone loves visuals. It is easy to peel off. Additionally, in the content-rich internet space, visuals are better at attracting users.
And if you have original research, why not share it in infographic form, like this example, to appeal to a wider audience?
According to these link building stats, original research and visuals are a killer combination in marketing.
We’ve produced 200 hospitality images since we started using this strategy and have generated 200,000 membership sessions per month. We’ve also improved our SEO and rank at the top of our conversion pages. Here’s how we did it.
How to improve SEO with Guestographic
If you are still wondering how to improve website SEO with visitor data design, here is the six step strategy that I mastered.
1. Find the right guest content
One thing we learned the hard way is that not all publications offer great infographic content. It would be impossible to condense a very long article with multiple titles and subheadings into one graphic.
You also don’t want to promise more than one visitor. Whether you rely on a designer, an agency, or an infographic solution like Venngage, design takes time.
What we’ve found is that simple list articles make great infographics. The menus are easy to read and follow a consistent pattern. All they lack is the visual appearance, and that’s where Guestographics come in.
An infographic template, like the example below, can be easily customized for different menu articles.
But how do you find the list of posts that will help improve your SEO? You can use a tool like Moz, SEMRush, or Ahrefs to find relevant content.
Since we’re looking for listings, we’ll go to Moz’s keyword overview and search for “10 Tips for”. You can be more specific and search for “10 Content Marketing Tips”.
The next part is a little more guide. Click through each link and browse through the content. You don’t want to introduce a visitor to a site that already has a graph for their menu.
You also want to see the listings in detail. Like we said, it’s hard to repurpose overly complex posts into a graph.
On the other hand, if the post is specifically full of text but formatted into a list, then this will be the right target for you.
2. Define your audience
Before you display your visitor data on a site, take the time to define your target audience. Remember that the goal of this exercise is to improve the SEO of your website. Having backlinks is great, but if they’re not from your industry or related to your brand, links in the SERP won’t help.
Guestographics design requires some effort to create. You don’t want to hand it over to just anyone. That’s why we define our audience by creating user personas.
For inspiration, here’s an example of a customer profile.
How do you decide the ideal users for your brand? Analyze your existing customers. Where does the traffic to your site come from? Who are the top buyers?
If you feel that you do not have enough demographic information, or you cannot determine a user’s interests, submit a survey or quiz to collect this data. Talk to users directly for more information.
Overlaps in interests, demographics, pain points, and solutions will help you identify two to three ideal personalities. These will become your goals when choosing the sites you want to promote.
3. Choosing keywords to improve website SEO
There are still a few stops on the way to the pitch. You know your ideal personality, but have you found the best keywords that will improve your website SEO effectively?
The importance of the topic is extremely important. If you are in the real estate business, backlinks from sites that print textbooks will not do anything for you.
Even if the keyword is profitable, if it is not in your industry, there is no point in targeting it. There will not be a huge positive impact on your SEO.
In fact, getting backlinks from anywhere and everywhere can harm your rankings. You don’t want Google to think that you are not an authority or thought leader in your field.
We use Google Keyword Planner to choose basic keywords and related keywords. If you want to know more, Loganix also has a handy guide for finding long-tail keywords.
You can also find related keywords from the Google search bar. Type a keyword and before pressing enter, look at the options shown.
Include the set of keywords in a chart, like the example below. This will make it easier to find the right type of content to create Guestographics for.
There is another reason why keywords are so important to this process: alt text. Marketers seem to forget that images also help you rank on Google.
Google Image Search is not as powerful a SERP as text search, but it does affect your keywords and rankings. That’s why images need keyword optimization.
We use this SEO checklist to make sure our keywords are used in the right areas, including image alt attributes:
Before you finalize your guest design, check that the alt text and file name attributes match your chosen keywords.
4. Geographical pitch
Once you have a short list of content that could benefit from a Guestographic site, it’s time to promote the site. Your offer must be direct and provide added value to the communication.
Remember, content editors are busy. They receive a lot of emails in their inbox, and a lot of them are asking for the same thing. They can’t take five minutes to read an email.
Since you are providing a Guestographic service rather than a collaboration link, you really have the upper hand over your competition. This is a good start. But your presentation still has to be perfect.
This is an example of a presentation we’ve used in the past. It gets straight to the point, delivers value, and demonstrates what we would like in return, which isn’t much.
Notice how we give examples of previous visitor business we’ve created with major names in the industry. Deleting the names isn’t necessary, but it helps show the contact you’re meant to work with.
If you are viewing your first guest and you don’t have any examples to show, include something that shows your credentials.
After you’ve submitted your presentation, continue after a few days. Try not to exceed three rebounds. If you haven’t received a response by then, they are not interested in Guestographic.
When you get positive responses, you can start to cooperate with the site. It took some trial and error to get to a process that didn’t require constant back and forth emails.
This is what we do. We ask the contact to outline the content, including:
Brand colors and fonts
call to action
We also ask the contact to take a look at our templates for inspiration. This makes it easier for the design team because they already have some guidance from the site.
Why do we require these details before the graphic design process? Because if we create the outline and send it to the customer for review, it will come back with modifications.
We make these edits and put them back for review, going back and forth until everyone is frustrated and no work has been done. It’s best to get the outline first and work from there.
Also, the design requires a lot of work even when we use our templates. If we also had to provide an outline and review the process, that would become a huge request.
5. Design an unforgettable infographic
With a customer’s checklist in place, you can start designing a guestbook that will successfully improve your SEO rankings for you and your contact.
As a design platform, we are used to creating infographics on a regular basis.
For organizations that don’t have designers, there are design resources available online (like Venngage) or you can outsource the process to freelance graphic designers.
6. Boost visitors’ designs to improve your SEO ranking
You have completed the work of creating a guestbook. Is that all it takes to improve SEO on Google? Unfortunately no. There is still another step.
The client site will promote their own array of visitors. It’s a huge selling point for its content, after all.
But you also need to promote it. Share the client’s post on social media and let the world know you’re creating visitor photos. This will also help you attract more users.
This is not all. Find other sites that might be interested in similar content and ask them to share the guest site. You can also offer the same service to them.
This is your chance to create a whole new awareness campaign. Use Guestographic as a tool to earn more links from new sites.
Guest is the forwarded content. But it can be more redirected to your content marketing strategy. Split your infographic into multiple social media posts or a slideshow. This is a great way to expand a single piece of content across multiple platforms and reach a wider audience.
The takeaway is: Treat every visitor as an opportunity to expand your backlink strategy.
Conclusion: Use Guestographics to Naturally Improve SEO on Google
Backlinks are an important part of improving your SEO, but getting backlinks is still a difficult process.
There is a lot of work that goes into getting backlinks. Most sites will likely refuse to link to you due to the large number of requests you receive.
If you can provide additional value to your contacts, you can not only earn a backlink but also create a partnership that lasts longer than a single conversation.
With each new and relevant backlink, you are telling Google that you are an authority in your niche and a site worthy of ranking at the top of the SERP.
This is the power of visitor science. They add value to your partners and position you as a brand willing to go that extra mile for their users.