Do you remember what it was like back in the day?
Social media felt like a far simpler place just a few years ago.
If you wanted to open the traffic floodgates, all you had to do was pop up a post, upload a video, or just update a quick status.
And just like that your followers started shooting up, and traffic flowed to your site.
It’s a little different these days.
Those floodgates have closed, and organic reach on social platforms is all but extinct.
Or is it?
What if I told you there was a simple Instagram strategy that could increase your reach, engagement and followers?
Better yet, you can even use it to drive free traffic to your site as well.
No Insta ads, campaign budgets, or endless conversion costs.
It all comes down to something called the Instagram Hashtag Ladder strategy.
Let me show you…
Boost Your Reach, Engagement, Followers And Website Traffic In 5 Simple Steps
The hashtag ladder strategy helps you rank your Insta posts using hashtags.
It only takes a few minutes to implement, and you certainly don’t need a PhD, fancy software, or a decade’s experience to make it work for you.
You include a set of 30 hashtags for each post you put up that range from ‘easy to rank’ all the way up to the harder to rank for hashtags.
Once your posts start to rank on the easier hashtags, they start to gain exposure and “velocity”, essentially moving up to the next “rung” on the ladder (as they start to grab more engagement you start to rank for the tougher hashtags).
The entire idea with this strategy is to push your posts up their respective ‘ladders’, gaining more momentum, which essentially tells Instagram that if they show that post to more people it’s likely that they’ll engage with it (over others).
Naturally that’s a win-win for both you and Instagram.
Depending on your niche you might find certain types of posts rank quicker or better than others.
Start out with single posts before you move on to carousels as you might find more success there first.
Once you get a feel for the approach you can start looking at what types of posts get specific metric boosts and you can start focusing on specific types of posts from there.
So that’s the strategy in a nutshell, but where do you actually start?
You’ll want to begin with broad seed categories and then narrow them down to hashtags (or keywords). The best place to start are hashtags and categories linked to the actual content you’re posting.
For every post you have four groups of hashtags:
- Easy to rank: These are hashtags with 50k posts or under. You want to start out by hitting the easy to rank for hashtags which will bring views and exposure to your content.
- Average to rank: These are hashtags with posts between 50k and 100k. Once you start gaining momentum from the first ‘rung’ you start to rank on this level. This momentum is what’ll push you to rank for the harder hashtags.
- Hard to rank: These are hashtags that have between 100k and a million posts in them. These are the larger hashtags, and if you rank in the first two categories you should be well on your way to ranking your post.
- Difficult to rank: These are hashtags with over a million posts in them. They’re the big kahunas. If you hit the first three categories, you have a decent shot at ranking here!
How you decide to split the number of hashtags per grouping is totally up to you.
You could start evenly, with roughly 7 hashtags per grouping, but once you start to follow your metrics you might start leaning towards adding an extra hashtag or two to specific groupings.
If you’re just starting out with this approach it might be easier to add most of the hashtags to the first two groupings / ’rungs’, that way you’ll start to get a feel for the strategy and what works for your posts moving forward.
If you’re persistent, consistent, and watch your metrics closely, you should start to see a boost in just a few days.
You might have noticed that was only four steps though…
You see step #5 is where the magic really starts to happen, and where you can start driving free traffic to your site.
Check it out.
Increasing Your Traffic In One Simple Step
At this point you’re starting to get increased reach, engagement, and followers on your posts.
Should you just leave it there, like most people do?
Of course not.
If you splinter your website content and create a number of bite size posts from them, you can link back to the full posts on your site using the link in your Instagram profile.
All you’d have to do is setup a dedicated page on your site and every time you post to Instagram you’ll add that post to this page linking through to the original article / piece of content. Then all you’d need to do is add that page’s link to your bio and simply add a “view link in bio for more” to each Instagram post.
That way anyone who interacts with your post on Instagram is pushed to the link in your bio where they’re then sent to your website.
Bada-bing bada-boom! And just like that you’re starting to use your reach and engagement to drive traffic to your website.
The Hashtag Ladder Strategy: Free Engagement, Followers & Traffic In 5 Simple Steps
In just a few minutes a week you can start growing your Instagram account and boosting your website traffic.
The strategy is simple; you add 30 hashtags to each Instagram post, split by tags that are easy to rank, average to rank, hard to rank, and difficult to rank.
Once you start getting engagement based off the easy to rank tags, you’ll be pushed up your ‘ladder’ and start ranking for the average to rank tags, then the hard to rank tags, and ultimately the difficult to rank tags.
Once your posts have increased reach and engagement, you can start pushing them towards your site via the link in your bio.
In just a few days and weeks you’ll start to see the effects, and with those 5 simple steps you’ll be reaching more people, having more users engage with your content, and ultimately driving free traffic to your site.
Until next time, here’s to free Instagram traffic.
Steve De La Cour
Kong, Founder & CEO