A stunning 54 percent of websites have duplicate content, according to a study by Search Engine Journal. This is an SEO faux pas sure to penalize their search engine rankings. So why do they do it? Many businesses struggle with producing new, valuable content that will grab and keep readers' attention, so they reuse the same stuff over and over again.

Nine in 10 consumers prefer visual content over text, and the good news is that you can produce quality visual content no matter what your budget is. But if you need more reasons to invest, take a look at what visual content can do for your SEO.

A few months ago I explained how to improve the SEO for your visual content. But why make the effort in the first place? Here are five ways that visual content can boost the SEO for all your other content--from social media channels to your home page and key pages on your site. 

1. It lowers your bounce rate.

Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors that leave your site after viewing just one page. So basically, it's a measure of your success in grabbing and keeping your audience's attention.

You can decrease bounce rates by breaking up text-heavy pages with visual content. People only read about 20 percent of the text on any given page, and attention spans continue to plummet. In short, audiences are less and less interested in a reading assignment. Visual content creates more social engagement, and boosts the average time on page. So keeping them on any page longer requires a wealth of visual content.

2. It grows your backlink profile.

Getting other sites to link to yours--or backlinks--is key for SEO success. Because people are so much more likely to share visual content, you can boost your backlinks--and your website's overall SEO--by producing more infographics, motion graphics, interactive infographics, social media micro-narratives, and other types of visuals.

Meanwhile, other marketers are just as aware that sharing your motion graphic or infographic will boost their own SEO. That makes them more likely to repost it and link back to your site than if you were offering up a block of text.  

3. It increases engagement.

According to Outgrow, an astounding 96 percent of people who start taking BuzzFeed quizzes finish them. How does BuzzFeed achieve such high engagement? Because interactive content such as quizzes engages with people directly, personalizing the experience of being on a web page. After all, if you feel like the content on a site has been tailored precisely for you, you're more likely to stay there. That's why visual interactive content packs such a punch.

4. It boosts conversions.

Visual interactive content also boasts a 70 percent conversion rate. Given the level of engagement it inspires, it's easy to see why. Motion graphics, meanwhile, increase conversions by 80 percent, driven by the exploding popularity of online video. These and other types of visual content offer up clear reasons to buy a product or service while cutting through the unnecessary filler text.

5. It increases traffic and sharing.

Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social channels compared to text-based and other traditional formats. It's inevitable, then, that it will drive more traffic to your site. In fact, Slate reports that one piece of interactive content on BuzzFeed was liked on Facebook 2.5 million times and viewed more than 18 million times. Given just how visually oriented much of BuzzFeed's content is, it's no surprise that their global audience totals 650+ million people.

Visual content can boost your SEO from every angle. Consider how you can build it into your next marketing campaign.