This is Your Brain on Visualization

How long do you think your attention span is? Maybe a minute or even two, right? Sadly, your attention span is 8 seconds. That’s one second shorter than that of a goldfish. So, when you show people paragraphs of text, don’t expect them to read it all.

But did you know visualizations such as infographics are thirty times more likely to be read than text? And if that’s not enough to convince you to start using visualizations within your marketing, maybe this infographic will change your mind:

Click on the image below to enlarge:

this is your brain on visualization

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.

Conclusion

You should consider creating infographics because they drive 250% more traffic than ordinary blog posts do. If you don’t believe me, just look at Mashablethey get three times more tweets when a post includes an infographic than when it doesn’t. Plus, 65% of people are visual learners, which means showing data in a visual format will make it easier for your readers to learn.

Once you create an infographic, make sure you check out this post as it will teach you how to make it go viral.

So, what do you think about infographics? Do you think they are worth creating?

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Comments

  1. Wow Neil, I’m not kidding. That’s the best stuff I ever viewed on the whole damn internet. I mean, I feel like going through it again and again.

    It’s more than just a usual Infograph. It was really worth content after all.
    Thanks a lot :) Mind if I Re-Blog it?

  2. Hi Neil…

    Wow… I did NOT realized that… :)

    Thanks mate for sharing the Data… Really appreciate it… :)

  3. Is it just me or did this infographic double up on information?

  4. Kool info graphic image with all tips and information, its really easy to understand.

    Thanks

  5. I agree with your premise. I disagree with your conclusion.

    The premise is that people have short attention spans, and unless they are incredibly intrigued, enough to delve into a full reading of the text, they are gone after 8 seconds.

    The conclusion is that big, complicated Infographics such as the one above (a perfect example, although I have seen many that are much more complicated) will hold their attention.

    Perhaps for a comparable amount of information, they will see more with Infographics, I will concede that. But the real issue is presenting way too much information all at once. Much more effective to pull out one or two key facts and leave the rest for another day.

    • David, I agree with your main points. However, I feel people will get bogged down in the minute details if it is catered towards them. I have often revisited infographics many days after a first view because I remembered a compelling fact or argument. I think there is definitely a balancing act one must consider when making infographics between visual aspects and information. Thanks for reading!

  6. Infographics are good. How long will they be a trend? It will be interesting to see what creative video technologies take off in the years to come.

  7. Personally I do find that my eye is drawn to colorful cartoon style infographics like the one above with illustrations. I managed to look at this a little more than 8 seconds, perhaps 80, but I did get up from my desk to brew a pot of tea :)

    • Emily, love how your calculations were very time driven :) Sometimes I can get lost infographics for up to 30 mins. There is just so much information embedded within them. Thanks for reading!

      • Cheers Neil. May I suggest the acquisition of an InfoCompass for those times you get lost in the data and cartoons :)

        Thanks for sharing this stimulating content, have a great day!

  8. Thanks for the article/infographic, Neil. How do you make your infographics? Is there a particular software product you use? Thanks!

  9. That infographic did not hold my attention for long. It was way to long and complicated. It felt like a lot of visual noise. I actually prefer the simplicity of well written text, punctuated with high quality photos. Maybe that is just me though.

    • Damien, as they say, to each their own. Some people are more visual while others are more text driven. The beautiful thing of infographics though is that you can combine the two to create stunning visuals with a lot of text surrounding them :)

  10. Thank you Neil for such an informative blog post and inforgraphic. I have a question though.

    I run my blog together with its sub-blog.

    In the main blog I provide English grammar tutorials which explain things using comics, colorful tables, charts and infographics.

    Then I also run my sub-blog where I provide adademic tips and advice. Each post in this blog is 15,000-2,000 word long.

    Quite surprisingly my second blog gets two or three times higher traffic, social media shares and Likes.

    Am I missing something here? Can you please comment on this please as I and my partner put lots of efforts, time and energy to create content on our first grammar blog.

    Thank you)))

    • I think the second one does better because the information is more detailed and probably advanced. The same goes with Quick Sprout, it does well because my posts are really detailed and have a ton of information.

      Sites with less posts, but really high quality content, tend to get a lot of links and search engine love. Same with social media traffic.

  11. but how do you make the infographics??? Kind of like saying people like videos over text but if you don’t have tools to make videos, then what’s the point.

    Can you give us a crazy easy tool to make infographics with?

    thanks
    Steve

  12. Really nice. Its hard to believe but the hotel industry are using Infographic since modern color printer was invented. We hotels use the same philosophy while developing a hotel brochure, that the guest would remember our hotel through a brochure. :)

    • That’s a great parallel. I Think brochures are a perfect example of infographics. They have all the information you need placed in a very visual way. Would love to hear the metrics you use to gauge the effectiveness of those brochures.

      • Well we haven’t chosen any metrics to gauge the brochure level. But I’m trying to move on the online marketing segment, as infographic for my hotel will be a very unique idea in my city.

  13. Didn’t mean that to be whiny…. do really appreciate the content!

  14. The real question is why the ‘author’ of the infographic chose to use the same visualizations and information multiple times?

    • It was something I am testing. I am tracking engagement and I wanted to see if placing the same information in the infographic multiple times (to help drive home the message) increases engagement and embeds.

  15. I’ve recently started using infographics in my facebook posts on my business page and the engagement for those posts is a lot higher than text or even video.

  16. Less attention span than a goldfish, huh? Very informative post, Neil. I know pictures always work better, but now I have to figure out how to make my own infographic!

    Thanks for the info.

  17. Here’s how short my attention span is:

    scrolling, scrolling, “wow, pretty pics”, scrolling, comment section. :)

  18. I’d say…

    Infographics work for some niches, not all…

    If you want to succeed with this data sharing model, you need to ensure your infographic is short and to the point… this one right here is super lengthy and personally I didn’t have time to go through it from A to Z.

    What about you guys? What’s your opinion on the length of an info-graphic?

    To me, data and information needs to be shared briefly and fast, so that the reader actually gets to implement the tips herein… isn’t it?

    • I agree with you. It was too long and some of the data points were repeated. I was testing out a hypothesis that drilling in the data points by repeating them would create more engagement. But based off my analytics data, the opposite happened.

  19. Wowwww…You guys at Quicksrout&co are PHE-NO-ME-NAL.

    In addition to its awesomeness, this infographic is pretty useful.

    Ton of Thanks, Neil.

    Woww…

  20. I’m tired of low quality infographics that overwhelmed the internet these days, so now I rarely pay any attention to most of them.

    But this topic was intriguing enough for me to check it. And I like it, because it’s appealing, simple and informative.

    • Ogi, good point. There are a ton of crappy infographics that sometimes clutter up the feed. However, I think there are some great diamonds out there you just have to dig for them.

  21. Infographics are great if you can find someone to do a great one for you and at a price that you can afford. I’ve tried the free sites like infogr.am, but I don’t have an eye for design at all and have wasted countless hours try to design my own infographics with dismal results. I did find someone on Fiverr who said that he can create one for about $15, but one would have to come up with all the data etc, which is probably the hardest part anyway. Still it is something that I really want and need to do. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Coleta, definitely. It takes a person well versed in graphic design to create something stunning. I think there are some reasonable options though. I would suggest against fiverr as you may not know the source of their information or if it’s even accurate sometimes. Let me know if you find any other solutions!

  22. Hi Neilm

    I really love infographic, it keeps memory and it shows the power of creativity in oneself. More so from my own perspective, eye draw attention from a catchy colour combination like the one above. Thumb up sir!

    • Adesanmi, glad I could help. I think it’s all about getting eyes on your subject matter. Thanks for reading and please let me know if you have any questions :)

  23. I need to create more visual elements. I am in the quotes industry and wonder how much that will help. But it doesn’t hurt to give it a try at least.

  24. Neil your content is awesome, loved the post the other day about content conversion and this one is equally awesome!

    Keep it coming,
    Mike

  25. Wow! I never saw a beautiful infographic such as this! And very informative.

    I’d love to do this on my blog but I’m not a graced with computer graphic skills.

    Is there any app that can help me to create one? For someone who is not a graphic-savvy.

    Thanks!

  26. In some cases infographics as source of information is cool, but they can not replace web pages in old plain text, like comics can not replace books. However visual stuff can be a great invitation to read the content it reproduces

    • Michael, I completely agree. I think they best use as supplements or marketing tools. Print is here to stay, it’s all about the things that surround print though.

  27. An image is worth a hundred words and is far less boring than a video. :)

    Great infographic.

  28. I totally agree about the effectiveness of infographics Neil. The thing that puts me off as a publisher though is I have no clue about how to create them. Do I need to be a graphic design whiz or are there some tools I can use? (Maybe there’s another post in there. :-) )

  29. awesome post neil and you are absolutely right that info-graphics plays a very important role increasing traffic. and i must say you really did hard work to write a single post. it’s always worth reading your articles.

    thanks for sharing.

    • Gaurav, traffic and a stunning visual go hand in hand. Glad you enjoy the article. I try to make things as easy to digest as possible without diluting the content :)

  30. wow i never know about the power of infographics in blogging.From now onwards i will try to create great visual infographics.Thankyou.

  31. That was interesting but I would suggest that you increase the width of the content area a little bit so that it can accommodate wider pictures :)

  32. Totally worth making if you have the right topic.

  33. Liked it tremendously! Many 10x, Neil! Any chance to have the source links posted as text, especially those about the visual brain on the green board – neurons etc. :)

  34. Awesome post Neil and thank you for this wonderful infographic!

  35. Wow! This is really amazing. It is so right for our society. We are a visual world, we react so much better to images and sounds that to written text. I believe the lack of time, the fast rhythm of our lives, makes us prefer an image with a message, short and very focused, to long written explanations. Many of us have no patience to read, I have notice that very often.
    And in terms of business, who needs to hear long sentences about a product or a service? Use a very suggestive image with a very short and suggestive piece of text and you will be one step closer to success.
    Very cool material!!!!!

    • Teona, you bring up great points. I think in this fast paced world images are the only way to go. Additionally, we have such short attention spans because we are constantly being bombarded with information via ads, TV, etc.. Keeping it simple and to the point really does the trick. Images and inforgraphics are the new wave of content marketing :)

  36. Nice Info graph. i am looking for ideas how i can use infographic on my e commerce product page. Placing product pictures only wont do the trick. any suggestion please

    • It won’t work well on your ecommerce product page, but it could work well on your ecommerce blog. That way when people link to it, your overall site will rank better.

      You could try other visualizations with your product page, but I don’t think infographics are the best way to sell a product. I think it will actually hurt your conversion rates.

  37. Neil,

    I always enjoy the infographics you place on your site. They are crisp and informative. I have found myself referencing them for key points for my readership and look forward to creating my own.

    Thanks for what you do!

  38. It is very obvious that sometimes words are not enough to express a thing, but some sort of visualization can do the work. I love infographics around myself, as they usually allows me to learn and pick topic much quickly then reading a 1000 to 2000 words blog.

  39. Thank you for this excellent info graphics Neil,

    I would argue that it’s a balancing act between using simple info graphics with less messages and huge info graphics with lot of information.

    It’s hard to retain information from huge info graphics unless they are representing an extremely complex data which needs to be kept as a reference.

    i prefer info graphics with 5-6 messages at most.

    thanks

    • Glad I could help. I definitely think it is a balancing act. You really want to balance the images/visual aspects with the text and the points you are trying ot convey. I agree, your messaging should be to the point and force users to act a certain way. Thanks for reading!

  40. One of the biggest attention grabbers is something that is entertaining. A top quality visual presentation does just that; it entertains or at the very least, captures our interest.

    Even if you have a long infographic, the reader/viewer is much more likely to revisit the information and will probably do so on many occasions.

    I agree that infographics, at least top quality ones like this, will continue to be well worth the effort involved in producing them.

    • Glenys, great points. I think the first step to any transaction is the visual aspect. You really want to grab the attention of a visitor. Once they are sold on what you can offer them they will be more inclined to buy from you. Thanks for reading!

  41. First of all Neil Patel, I just want to say thanks for the great post, Now, I want to say something, yes visualization is much important than text or anything else, like if you have any visulation about your product or your idea then you can implement on it, otherwise if you don’t have any visualization then how can you think that you can win the world?

    • Imran, people are more inclined to look through images and find them interesting. While it is important to have great surrounding text it is the image that will get you the conversions. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions :)

  42. Was it intentional that you repeated the points multiple times? It’s a nice looking infographic, but a bit confusing when I had to double back and make sure it wasn’t me that saw the same points multiple times.

    Repeated:

    -9900% visualized information
    -50% brain
    -30x infographic
    -5x data 1986
    -200% increase search volume
    -150 million eyeball
    -1% visual data……. and more.

    It’s cute if you repeated it all on purpose, just a bit distracting!

  43. I also like to apply this methodology to social media. We always have a higher engagement rate every time we add an image to a post.

  44. well! Even if you have a long infographic, the reader/viewer is much more likely to revisit the information and will probably do so on many occasions.

  45. I think the best thing about visual data is that it is more interesting and playful, and in a way that people could easily understand what the information is trying to imply compared to only reading a plain text. Furthermore, the person reading it becomes more focused on the said information because it’s very interactive.

    • Anwell, you are spot on. Having visual aids really helps to complement your services. It’s all about creating a simple interactive design that allows people to understand what is going on at a glance. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing more from you :)

  46. I do agree with your every aspect but still Ive few questions in my mind the first question come to my mind is how info graphics can play a vital role in SEO ? and Neil can you spot a difference b/w an image and a html info graphic I personally believe that HTML info graphics have much more impact on SEO rather than in an image form! your reply will be appreciated
    Thanks

  47. Nice Info graph. i am looking for ideas how i can use info graphic on my e commerce product page. HTML info graphics have much more impact on SEO rather than in an image form! your reply will be appreciatedPlacing product pictures only wont do the trick. any suggestion please

  48. Pretty trick! Glad to see your blog. you shows awesome info graphics i want this type of ideas for my new project.

  49. Looks the infographics has just vanished. Can you please re-publish it correctly in the post?

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