We're hiring

We love digital - Call
03332 207 677Circle Info
and say hello - Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm

Call 03332 207 677Circle Info

Tom Howlett

50 Elements That Make Infographics Successful [with examples]

8th May 2012 SEO, SEO Resources 6 minutes to read

GrowthInfographics are useful ways to display information in a clean, structured and visually appealing way. They work well because they immediately capture people’s attention and they are much easier to browse through compared to lots of text within a Blog post.

Infographics have been around for a long time and have always been useful for visualising information. More recently they have been utilised as part of a wider link building strategy and for building brand awareness. One of the reasons they are effective is because people like sharing them amongst their social circles, just like they may do with mages that have a humour element. People enjoy sharing and browsing interesting infographics on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites dedicated to infographics (Visual.ly for example).

So what elements make a highly sharable and interesting infographic? Here I will include references to current popular infographics and discuss what has made them a success. The aim of which will be to highlight the particular elements of popularity and share-ability to help you create more successful infographics in the future.

1). The Trustworthiness of Beards (http://visual.ly/how-much-you-can-trust-bearded-man)

The title of this infographic explains it all really. This humour orientated post looks at the different styles of facial hair and how trustworthy it deems them to be.

What makes it successful:

  • Unique and attention grabbing subject.
  • People are able to establish the subject of the infographic without studying it.
  • It has a simple and visually appealing layout.
  • An unordinary shape – It is more wide than long and that is unusual for infographics.
  • At first glance there is not too much information (text content) that might put off some people (time element).

2). Are You Happy? (http://visual.ly/are-you-happy-0)

This infographic is very simple and consists of a flow chart layout where it poses questions and you follow the path to the answer.

What makes it successful:

  • Very clean and clear layout.
  • Nice design.
  • The purpose of the infographic is very clear.
  • Simple, yet effective – This will improve its ‘share-ability’.
  • Little content – No need to trawl through lots of text to establish whether it is a useful infographic.

3). Mac Person Vs. PC Person (http://visual.ly/mac-person-vs-pc-person)

This graphic plays on the continuing Mac vs. PC battle and aims to directly compare both fans in a few different areas.

What makes it successful:

  • Clear title and purpose.
  • Well structured with a clear layout.
  • Good design with tidy graphics – well suited colours.
  • Interesting subject – Relating to the popular debate PC vs. MAC – Sure to conjure up people’s inner preferences to which they will want to share and put their point across.
  • Sectionalised layout – No need to browse full infographic to take some useful/interesting information away.

4). School Cafeteria Food vs. Prison Food (http://www.good.is/post/infographic-school-cafeteria-food-vs-prison-food/)

This infographic directly compares prison food with school dinners to see if there are any similarities or differences to find out who received a more balanced meal (USA related).

What makes it successful:

  • Controversial subject.
  • Direct and clear comparison using subjects that effect lots of people.
  • Interesting and clear headline.
  • Visually appealing and attention grabbing graphics.
  • Mainly image driven and not too much text content.
  • Includes a few simple and interesting facts.

5). Outbreak – The Deadliest Pandemics in History (http://www.good.is/post/infographic-the-deadliest-disease-outbreaks-in-history/)

This graphic contains a mixture of interesting facts with some history by displaying information related to the deadliest and most well known pandemics/disease outbreaks.

What makes it successful:

  • Interesting topic – A subject that is fear inducing.
  • It has a simple and clear design layout.
  • Not a huge level of text content.
  • Quick access to interesting and educational facts.
  • Illustrations resemble bacteria – This makes for an unusual and eye catching design.

6). Should Your Business be on Pinterest? (http://columnfivemedia.com/work-items/intuit-infographic-should-your-business-be-on-pinterest/)

This infographic is another flow chart style graphic that is meant to help businesses establish whether they should be using the Pinterest site by following simple steps.

What makes it successful:

  • It relates to a site that is very popular at the moment.
  • It initially comes across as a guide that could have a benefit to a business or individual (Useful information).
  • Clear and well thought through layout.
  • Design is reminiscent of the Pinterest site (Similar colours, clean edges and layout).
  • A flow chart layout that influences people to work through.

7). Social Media Cheat Sheet (http://columnfivemedia.com/work-items/flowtown-infographic-the-small-business-social-media-cheat-sheet/)

This infographic displays information relating to some of the most popular social media sites. It has a chart style layout that gives an overview of each platform and how to get started with each.

What makes it successful:

  • It has a clear subject and introduction.
  • It has a purpose and use (in this case it is a useful guide to some common social media websites).
  • Clean and interesting layout and design.
  • Every business would have heard about social media and its benefits; this will help improve interaction and sharing potential.
  • Content is broken up into small and manageable chunks.
  • Colour theme is easy on the eyes and text is easily readable.

8). Social Impact of the Royal Wedding (http://www.behance.net/gallery/The-Royal-Weddings-Social-Impact-INFOGRAPHIC/1977405)

This infographic was released around the time of the Royal Wedding and displays information relating to the wedding and the way it was discussed on the most popular social media platforms.

What makes it successful:

  • Using a popular and current event (at the time) to build an infographic.
  • Has an interesting subject.
  • Very visually driven design (almost reminiscent of an invitation).
  • Clean and easy to browse layout.

9). Twacked – When Good Twitter Accounts go Bad (http://www.veracode.com/resources/twitter-infographic)

Every so often we hear about how a well known company or organisation makes a mistake on one of the most popular social media platforms and usually tries to withdraw this mistake once they realise it didn’t quite go to plan. This graphic talks about some of the most well know errors made using the Twitter platform.

What makes it successful:

  • Unique and interesting title. Makes you want to know more.
  • Tagline and summary also makes people want to read more.
  • Sectionalised layout, easy to browse.
  • Uses lots of interesting facts and figures.
  • People enjoy reading about social media related mistakes.

10). Where’s Google Making its Money? (http://www.wordstream.com/articles/most-expensive-keywords)

Google is a huge multinational corporation and most people will use their services on a day to day basis. It is always interesting to learn where these companies make their money and this infographic displays information relating to this and mentions the most expensive keywords through AdWords.

What makes it successful:

  • Clear headline/title/subject.
  • It speaks about a well known and successful company.
  • Has interesting facts relating to the company.
  • Has a simple centred graphic that relates to the most expensive keywords.
  • Easy to see information at a glance.
  • Little text content, focuses on stats.


The infographics mentioned in this post cover a variety of subjects and have all been proven to be popular, there seems to be common elements that make up these graphics and help create a successful infographic. Below is a list of common elements that can help you create a successful infographic:

  • It should have a clear subject and outline.
  • A unique title helps attract attention. Including a tagline will summarise the content of the infographic without making people search.
  • Interesting topics tend to work well, or taking something that is well known and approaching it from a different or humorous angle.
  • A clean and well structured layout works well. People should be able to jump to the sections that interest them, or alternatively be able to browse the information they need without searching too hard.
  • An interesting and visually driven design helps capture attention initially.
  • Keep text content to a minimum or ensure the graphic is not too crowded with large paragraphs of text.
  • Interesting facts tend to work well, people may just read the facts and leave but they still may share the infographic amongst their social profiles.
  • Controversial subjects tend to work well.
  • Easy to follow guides relating to popular platforms.

Image Source

Business Graph Output Growth Of Silver Bars via BigStock

Share this post

1 Comment

What do you think?

Michael Hawkes

4 Tools to Help You Create Engaging Content

Michael Hawkes
5th Jul 2019
Content Marketing
Callum Coard

BrightonSEO Roundup: Practical Insights into Winning Featured Snippets

Callum Coard
5th Oct 2018

Digital Ideas Monthly

Sign up now and get our free monthly email. It’s filled with our favourite pieces of the news from the industry, SEO, PPC, Social Media and more. And, don’t forget - it’s free, so why haven’t you signed up already?
  • We’ve got some really cool stuff we want to share with you. So you don’t miss out, let us know which of the following you want us to email you about going forward:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Circle Cross

Unlike 08 numbers, 03 numbers cost the same to call as geographic landline numbers (starting 01 and 02), even from a mobile phone. They are also normally included in your inclusive call minutes. Please note we may record some calls.