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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

10 Tools for Creating Infographics and Visualizations


Hello there! I'm Miranda Rensch, Product Manager at SEOmoz and lover of visual communication. Communicating visually is one of the most effective ways to explain complex concepts and relationships, and can be a great way to explain your services/products and create valuable site content. I often use diagrams and whiteboarding in order to communicate new features and concepts internally with my team.
I've compiled a list of tools you can use to create visualizations, or simply use to communicate visually with your teammates. Enjoy, and feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!

Tools for creating simple infographics and data visualizations

1. Piktochart

Piktochart is a web-based tool that has six decent free themes (and a whole bunch more for the paid version) for creating simple visualizations. You can drag and drop different shapes and images, and there is quite a bit of customization available. You can also add simple line, bar, and pie charts using data from CSV (or manual entry). You can export to PNG and JPG in either print or web quality. Note that with the free version, you get a small Piktochart watermark on the bottom of the PNG / JPG downloads. 
 

2. Easel.ly

Easel.ly is another free web-based tool for creating infographics. You cannot create graphs using real data with this tool, but its really good for conceptual visualizations and storytelling. It has a beautiful user interface and the themes you can start with are gorgeous. The themes support many common purposes: map, flow-chart, and comparison/relationship graphing. This tool has the best selection of well-design objects (people, a bunch if icons, landmarks, maps, animals, etc.) and backgrounds that I've seen throughout this list of tools. Additionally, you can upload your own images with the free version. You can download a web-quality version as JPG. This tool is still in beta, but it seemed to work pretty well to me!
 
easelly-infographics

3. Infogr.am
Infogr.am is another free, web-based tool with some really nice themes and a great interface for creating simple infographics. This option also allows you to create charts using real data. There are 31 chart options that offer some really cool displays, like a radial bar graph, scatter charts, bubble graphs, and map charts. You can also add your own images and video. When you're done creating your infographic, you can embed it on a website and publish it to the infogra.am site (I wasn't able to find a way to download). This app is also in beta, but again, seemed pretty solid to me.
 
infogram-tool
 
  
 

4. Visual.ly

Visual.ly (I know, these visualization tools love their '.ly's!) has some simple free tools worth mentioning, many of which integrate with social networks to analyze Twitter and Facebook data. You can create fun Venn diagrams, Twitter account show-downs, visuals that analyze hash tags, and a few others, but there's almost no customization available. However, they offer a marketplace where you can get connected with visual designers and motion graphics artists who specialize in infographics. The site itself also has a ton of great info graphics to inspire you or your designers. There is some serious data visualization eye candy in there, people.

5. Tableau

Tableau has some free tools for creating data visualizations. It is not web based, so you have to download the software. Once you do, you can upload a spreadsheet or CSV and create a variety of interactive data visualizations types, including heat maps showing density of an activity by location, Venn diagrams to show associations, bar charts, line graphs, and others. This tool is for Windows only. See Tableau's gallery for examples of the types of visualizations you can create or learn more about how it works.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Link Building Build Links Like You’re Popular–and Get Popular

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/build-links-like-youre-popular-and-get-popular/57898/

We all remember what it is like to either watch the cool kid in school or even be the cool kid. You remember high school when the cool kid rolled up in their BMW, was surrounded by the most beautiful of ladies, and always threw the most talked about parties. Well, today, you are going to realize how emulating that kid (that you could have very possibly loathed) can be a great philosophy when it comes to building links and reputation on the Web.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Ultimate Guide to Advanced Guest Blogging

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-advanced-guest-blogging

With “content marketing” being the indisputable SEO buzzword of 2012, we can expect 2013 to see an onslaught of marketers trying to build links with guest posts. The growth in this market will cause some sites to lower their guest posting standards, others to raise them, and still more to stop accepting them altogether. Google will target low quality guest posts with increasing zeal, and it will get harder to see results if the effort and strategy aren't there. We're going to help you combat this by sharing how we got posts up on ProBlogger and Search Engine Journal, and by introducing you to our strategy for success with our clients.

Friday, 1 February 2013

SEO Smackdown Round 2: Old vs. New Search Engine Optimization

SEO Smackdown Round 2: Old vs. New Search Engine Optimization

I recently re-read this great quote from a book entitled “Algorithms in a Nutshell.” To summarize, the authors wrote:
“… A good way to solve problems is to start with the big picture… [because if you don’t understand the big picture] you may solve the wrong problem, or might not explore other—possibly better—answers.
I thought that idea neatly summarized the perceived battle between “new” SEO and “old” SEO. Search optimization professionals should know and understand the big picture before they define and tout the “new” SEO.
Instead of focusing on flavor-of-the-month/day/year optimization tactics, what are the big-picture items SEO professionals should always keep in mind? Does each flavor-of-the-month tactic support the big picture… or is it merely a flavor-of-the-month tactic that can largely be ignored or discounted?

Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Link Shrink Is In: 3 More Crazy Assumptions About Linking

The Link Shrink Is In: 3 More Crazy Assumptions About Linking

Building on last month’s column, Five Linking Myths That Need To Go Away In 2013, one of the best and worst things about the Web is the never-ending supply of absolutely horrifying bad information that must be clarified. This helps keep people like me in business. I feel like a link doctor. A Link shrink. So thank you to all the folks who love to make completely unsubstantiated claims about links and linking strategies.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

What Skills Do SEOs Need In 2013?

What Skills Do SEOs Need In 2013?
2013 is a lot different than five years ago when it comes to SEO. Think about what we have much more of now. We have social, deeper localization, Panda, Penguin, EMD, and tons of other Google updates. We have analytics certification, we have content marketing, conversion optimization, and so so much more. It is not just about creating as much content as possible and as many links as possible.

SEO Tips: Top useful SEO Sites

SEO Tips: Top useful SEO Sites

Search engines are the most important source of traffics for all blogger, without a good place in Google majority of Blog will never be visited. This is why you mast take same time to optimize your blog by using same SEO (search engine optimization) tips.

 17 useful SEO sites