Infographic or Listicle?

Infographics and listicles have an ambivalent relationship with consumers. Some praise their brevity, their memorability, and some despise their short, bare content. An infographic is simply a visual way to display data in a chart or image. A listicle is simply data in the form of a list; an example would be “8 Tips for WordPress Image Optimization.”

If you’ve conducted research on SEO practices in the past, you’ve discovered that many SEO blogs utilize these two visual resources to organize information and attract visitors to their website. Here we will discuss the benefits of each of content marketing tools, which format applies to your intended audience, and the best practices when using an infographic or listicle.


Consumers absorb information better in a visual format and many do not want to read long passages to find the information they are looking for. Many SEOs have begun utilizing infographics in the past few years as a way to create good link-building opportunities.

This is because infographics are more widely shared across social media platforms than a simple blog post and many websites will link back to an infographic to convey the information they deem necessary. Of course, good links provide higher SERP rankings. Infographics are also embeddable, and when using a WordPress document it will create an automatic link back to your website, which means more links!

Not only do infographics stand out visually, but they also provide a greater emotional appeal to readers. Infographics help to highlight relationships and the impact that something has on another through its visual elements and its wide use of statistics. Infographics help show expertise in a subject through its sheer depth and organization of information. They also help to create brand awareness; simply submitting your logo with a visually stunning infographic will help to promote your brand.

Infographics have begun to rise substantially in searches and there seems to be no down-side of using an infographic.

Create a Stunning Infographic

Infographics must first be unique and provide in depth research about a particular topic you are pursuing to discuss. Infographics should not look like click-bait.

There are a number of infographic templates out there and you shouldn’t choose one that consumers are familiar with. You want to create a custom infographic that will resonate with readers and leave them with a message. It’s important to create sizing features that will adjust to different online platforms.  

Combining the message of an infographic with the aesthetic of an infographic is the trickiest part. You don’t want to pack too much information into an infographic, you could write a text based article for that purpose.

Infographics are supposed to be simple, utilizing minimal text and lots of visual elements to appeal to the visual part of the brain. Of course, you don’t want the message to get lost in the process through too much visual clutter. Graphics are supposed to assist in the narrative format and infographics can serve as excellent public service announcements because of their narrative structure.

Hiring a designer and creating a long thought out infographic will pay off in the end. Do not forget to add a share button for your infographic; infographics are so special because they can go viral almost as fast as a major news story.  


In a world of such ubiquitous information and on-the-go mobile platforms, capturing reader attention is key. This is where listicles thrive. Their number or list based format have an eye catching element to it. Readers know how much information they are going to consume and in some cases that information is already ranked in terms of importance through the listicle. Listicles are both short and memorable, only containing anywhere from 5-10 items ideally. Mainly, listicles are just fun to read.

The main benefit of listicles is their share-ability. Listicles are funny, compelling, and can spark conversation a lot more than a long-form article. The incorporation of images or videos also makes them more likely to be shared on social media and drive reader engagement. Platforms like Cracked have utilized this format for years will lots of success. Many traditional news media sites have even begun utilizing listicles to help attract readers and write articles in an easier format.

How to Create a Good Listicle

Just like infographics, listicles must be unique, combining the right amount of text with its visual pair. By looking at failed listicles you can see where others have failed. Listicles that shed light on previously unknown information and contain the research of a long-form article are more likely to perform better over social media.

When mapping out a listicle, it is good to know the angle of the listicle and to know which type of listicle you are trying to make. Then it’s good practice to map out your subheadings beforehand. Be specific with your subheadings and do not convey too much information. There should be more to be gained from the underlying paragraph below a subheading. Lastly, don’t conclude with a weak ending. Listicles often have introductions and conclusions that should be as succinct as the listicle itself.

Infographic or Listicle – Which Do I Choose?

Depending on your niche market your business can most likely utilize one of these visual formats to create a storm of social media engagement. For most news organizations listicles will be your primary focus. Non-profits and charity organizations are more likely to use infographics to tell an overall narrative that is related to their cause. Yet, for small businesses, knowing your consumer is the best way to gauge which format to use.

For an auto dealership an infographic will be more effective because of the emotionally charged decision buying a car can be. Infographics can be utilized by banks, financial institutions, and insurance sales. Listicles apply more to retail and often don’t have as much emotional charge. The best listicles are funny listicles and most retail outlets like Macy’s or a small mom and pop store can use listicles to create brand awareness for their business while gathering social media awareness. Both have untold benefits and there is no harm in using either of these formats in your content.