8 Ways To Increase Traffic From Instagram

Instagram has over 300 million monthly active users. That’s 300 million people you can direct to your website. Some may argue that the demographic just isn’t right for their business, and consists mainly of younger people, primarily females. It’s actually quite the opposite. Men make up 51% of Instagram’s audience and 26% of online US adults use Instagram. Most companies can find a portion, if not most, of their demographic on Instagram and generate quality traffic from the social network.

Unlike other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram can be a bit more difficult to encourage a follower to leave the social network and visit a website. Advertising is always an option, but can still be a stretch since the feature is relevantly new.

If you’re struggling to direct Instagram followers to your website, try these 8 tips below to help increase traffic, as well as have a stronger brand presence on Instagram.

1. Promote Instagram On Your Website

There are many ways you can incorporate Instagram on a website. One of the most common ways is by adding an Instagram feed to the homepage or side panel of a site. Another option is by making an entire page dedicated to Instagram. Pigment, a local gift and decor shop in San Diego, has taken this idea a step further and created a “Shop Insta” page. Followers can purchase their favorite products featured on Instagram. Each time a photo is posted on Instagram Pigment uploads the same photo, adds a caption, and links to the purchase pages for each item featured in the image.IMG_3175
This is incredibly helpful for customers and followers who see products they love on Instagram, but are unsure of where to find each of them on the website. Create a page on your website that showcases all of the Instagram photos and links to each of the product pages featured in each Instagram photo. Doing this will encourage followers to not only leave Instagram and visit your website, but also easily make purchases online.

2. Include a Link on Instagram

Underneath the biography section of Instagram is a perfect place to include a link to a website or landing page, especially since it’s the only place you can include an active link on Instagram. Posts, comments, and captions can include links, but they are unfortunately not clickable. Followers have to either write down the URL or memorize it and open a web browser on their phone to visit the URL. Too many steps.

Thankfully, Instagram provides one space for an active link. Underneath the 150 character biography section is where a URL, which can be changed numerous times, is included. I recommend making whichever URL you want to include trackable. You can make it trackable by using tools like Bit.ly that not only shorten the URL, but can be customized so it is easy to remember, as well as tracks clicks.

3. Take Advantage of Hashtags

Hashtags play a vital role on Instagram. They let users see relevant photos, ideas, and captions they wouldn’t have discovered before. This can ultimately drive traffic to a website from new followers gained using hashtags, as well as increase brand exposure. Beware: It is easy to get a little carried away with hashtags. Here’s a few tips for practicing proper hashtag etiquette on Instagram:

  • Don’t include 25+ hashtags in each post.
    Yes, hashtags are a great way for a brand to be discovered, but only when used wisely. A caption shouldn’t stretch two image heights when scrolling just because it’s full of hashtags. Around 5-7 hashtags is acceptable per post.
  • Include relevant hashtags.
    It’s very irritating for Instagram users who are searching for hashtags like #tree and come across a photo of a laptop in the hashtag feed. Because the laptop photo tagged #tree in their caption, it’s now on the #tree feed. Use hashtags minimally and wisely, choosing only ones that relate to the actual image and not just people you’re trying to reach.
  • Check the Trending Tags section on Instagram to see which hashtags are trending.
    Follow along and see if you have a photo that relates to one of the trending tags so you can join in on the feed. This is another great way to keep track of the “Daily Holidays”.. like #NationalPizzaDay while incorporating your brand. Just make sure you’re following Etiquette Rule B when doing so and contribute a relevant photo to the trending hashtag feed.
  • Get creative and try new hashtags.
    Zone in on one area of your photo and emphasize hashtags that fit that specific topic to avoid using the same hashtags over and over again. For example, if the photo is of Friday’s free office lunch include hashtags like #FreeFridayLunch #LunchAttheOffice #ThanksBoss #WeLoveOurEmployees #TGIFL.

4. Use High Quality Images

Candid shots are great and engaging, but pixelated images are unattractive and make a brand look bad. Impressive photos with captivating calls to action are what makes Instagram users follow new people and leave Instagram to visit a website – wanting more. Display your best products, make a brand personal, and add contrast to make a photo stand out on Instagram.

Another way to post great photos on Instagram is by including images that relate directly to your demographic. If you have a trendy bunch of customers and trendy inventory of products, feature such products in images with filters, borders, and photo editing tools that your customers are using on their own photos. If you’re unsure how customers are styling their photos follow hashtags that relate to your products and check your followers public profiles. Follow along, making yours even better.

The background of an image is another important factor for posting quality Instagram images. Some of the best Instagram users have carefully crafted a background for their photos. Whether their displaying a perfect homemade candy bar for Halloween or a high fashion purse, photographers and designers are making backgrounds a priority and using them as a tool to highlight a product. Engagement increases tremendously, as does traffic from Instagram when multiple products are featured in front of well thought out backgrounds.



5. Share Event Details

Have an event or sale coming up? Post a photo about in on Instagram! Not only will this create engagement and excitement over the event, but it will also encourage users to visit your website for more information. As questions about the event/sale begin to multiply on a post, stay engaged and respond to each comment. A response is a great time to tell a follower the answer to their question is on the URL in the bio section.

6. Show Only a Tiny Bit of Skin

Instagram is a wonderful place to tease your followers. I type this wholeheartedly, and with dignity. There’s several ways to show just a preview of what’s to come, new products, a promo code that’s coming up, and more. This is where you want to work with your design team and get really creative. Let’s use @thesnobjournal as an example.
This post features a gorgeous Nikhil Thampi dress. The lighting is perfect, the background compliments the dress and the hues are on point. Well done designers! What makes this post even better is that it’s about a new blog that will soon be posted on the website. There’s now over 5,493 people who are excited about this new blog post and over 150 who commented sharing their anticipation to see more.

Once the blog post is finally live, The Snob Journal can post another photo from the photoshoot letting users know they can now visit the website to read the whole post. Which brings us to the next tip.

7. Share Photos From the Blog

Every blog post should have at least one photo. Use that photo, if not multiple photos, and share it on Instagram telling followers the newest post has been published. Add typography over the photos to include a call to action or snippet about the post. This gives followers a bit more information about what the newest post is about, plus they can relate to it once they land on the blog page and see the same image.

8. Promote Contest Details on Instagram

Hosting a contest online? Share an image that represents the contest, include a detailed description with entry details, and create a specific contest hashtag to share across social media. When sharing contest details on Instagram update the URL in your profile with the contest landing page so people know where they can participate, plus visit your website. This makes entering, visiting the website, and getting new followers easier.

Take the contest a step further and make Instagram one of the steps by including a “Like our Instagram page” as one of the steps. This creates a pattern from Instagram users to the website, as well as from the website to Instagram.

How do you drive traffic to your website from Instagram? Share your favorite steps in the comments below!

Pubcon Las Vegas 2015 Evening Events List

Here is a list of events we know of so far. If more should come up we will add to this list. We look forward to seeing you in 10 days!

Monday, Oct. 5

5:30-7:30pm The Pubcon Kickoff Networking Reception at the South Hall Las Vegas Convention Center in Salon A. This is open to all Networking, Gold, Platinum, and Rock Star level passes. You will need to register and get your badge first, so hit the convention center at bit earlier to register.

Tuesday, Oct. 6

7:00-9:00pm Pubcon is hosting a Networking Event at Señor Frogs inside Treasure Island. You have to have your badge for entry. This tends to be an informal event.

8:00pm Epic Dinner – to attend you had to be registered months ago. You cannot walk into this event; if you are not on the list you cannot attend.

9:00pm Purpose Inc. Poker Night at the Mirage Hotel and Casino poker room. You must register to play or watch ahead of time. More info here.

Wednesday, Oct. 7

6:00pm – who knows?  The AuthorityLabs mixer is at the Breeze Bar in Treasure Island and is open to anyone. Come meet us and some of the best in the industry.

7:00-11:00 The U.S. Search Awards at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. You must have a ticket to attend and this is a formal event.

Thursday, Oct. 8

5:30pm-whenever The Pubcon Classic will be at the Venetian’s Rockhouse. You must have your Pubcon badge to attend.

AuthorityLabs at #Pubcon: Attending, Speaking & Networking

First, let’s start with a coupon for 20% off of AuthorityLabs for one year!

Any new customers can use coupon code “pubcon2015” for 20% off of our tools through 10-01-2016.

We are bringing 5 from our AuthorityLabs team to Pubcon Las Vegas 2015!

Check out the team pictures below so you know what we look like and come say hello at Pubcon! We have also provided Twitter handles for communications at Pubcon, day or night. We will be at the conference daily, at networking events and at Epic Dinner. Also, make sure to join us for the AuthorityLabs networking event and free drinks on Oct. 7, at 6pm at the Breeze Bar in TI.

Melissa and Michelle will be speaking at Pubcon and their session details are below.

Chase Granberry, CEO – @Chasers

Unfortunately, Ruby the dog will not be attending.


Mike Benner, CTO  – @RefriedChicken

Unfortunately, the cute baby won’t be attending.


Steve Swedler, Product Manager  – @Swedler


Melissa Fach, Community Manger – @SEOAware


Michelle Stinson Ross, Head of Outreach – @SocialMichelleR


Speaking Details



Q&A With Online Marketing Experts: Does Social Media Affect Rankings

Does social media affect SEO and rankings? This question has been argued by the online marketing industry for years. Some argue there’s statistical evidence that proves social media has a correlation with SEO and rankings, whereas others oppose the idea due to Google’s Matt Cutts’ statement video discussing the subject. Where do you stand? Do you think what is shared on Facebook can have an effect on where a website ranks?

To help continue the debate, we asked two SEO’s and two Social Media Gurus what they thought on the subject. Although some of their answers were similar, some were boldly different based on their SEO and Social Media backgrounds. Read on to learn what SEO’s Jim Stewart, of StewArt Media and Greg Gifford of DealerOn, Social Media Gurus Samantha Kerstetter of OrganikSEO and Jenn Herman of Jenn’s Trends had to say.

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How Do You Start a New Client Campaign – With an SEO Strategy or Social Media Campaign First?

Jim: I would create your SEO strategy first as it will inform your social strategy. Good SEO starts with understanding buyer personas and what keywords they search for. When you begin publishing on social you use those keywords there as well.

The first step is to make sure their website lends itself to a successful search and social media campaign. It’s essential to review the site to make sure it’s setup to accommodate human users and search engines appropriately. The SEO campaign and social campaign go hand-in-hand after this step (and don’t forget about the essential content marketing campaign). The next step is to create valuable, consistent content, optimize it properly and then promote via social.

Greg: A social media campaign is a PART of a solid SEO strategy. We always include social media as a part of our SEO service. Sure, Google says there’s nothing there, but there’s simply too much anecdotal evidence that social makes a difference. Plus, it’s just good marketing (when done right). And, social’s important for link building as well. We just don’t see any way to separate the two any more – one depends on the other.

Jenn: In general, I would tend to lean towards promoting a social media campaign before an SEO strategy. This is based on personal experience and client experiences. I have found that building an online social media presence, developing the brand awareness, and using this platform to build quality website traffic is more effective in overall search results. I have found that the more people write for SEO and keywords the less value they create in their content

Have You Ever Seen Social Media Affect Rankings Firsthand?

Jim: Not directly. They do impact though. Think of a video that someone tells you to look up because they saw it in social. Typically they’ll say “just search for..”

Samantha: Absolutely. When our team at Organik SEO analyzes Google Analytics for clients that have a dedicated Facebook campaign and advertising budget, we find that a good amount of referral traffic is often from Facebook. This increase certainly helps the client’s website become more relevant in search. We specifically focus on sharing great blogs that spark conversations, encourage engagement and to drive traffic back to the website.

Greg: With our own clients, no. I’ve been a part of several tests though, and in every case, pages got indexed and ranked purely on social signals (the pages were “islands” with no inbound links and shouldn’t have been able to be indexed).

Jenn: I do not have an advanced SEO strategy (gasp, I know!). The only thing I use is Yoast SEO. However, if you search for anything related to Instagram, and specific social media questions my website will appear in the top search results. If I didn’t have a powerful and strategic social media presence, I don’t think the same results would happen from an SEO strategy alone. It is through the social shares, social proof, and repeated website traffic generated through social media that my blogs develop the basis for strong search results.

Do You Think There is Relationship Between SEO and Social Media Marketing?

Jim: They feed one another.  People discover in search and bring back into social. People discover in social and then look for more information via search.

Samantha: Yes, and it’s a big one. You need a successful SEO campaign to make sure your site and content is optimized. Social helps fuel the fire by spreading the content across the Internet.

Greg: Yep. Too much evidence to the contrary… BUT – even if we’re all wrong, there’s definitely a symbiotic relationship there… social feeds off of SEO, and SEO feeds off of social. With all the huge benefits that social brings (when done correctly), why would any business NOT want to make it a part of their online marketing mix?

Jenn: I absolutely believe there is a correlation between SEO and SMM. My blog will consistently rank high in search results and these results drive up to 2/3 of my daily website traffic. Because I have built a trustworthy website, with social proof in the number of shares, regular traffic (generated from social media), and a consistent creation of new content, my site consistently gets ranked higher in searches than other sites, many of which invest a lot in their SEO strategies.

Where Do You See the Future of SEO and SMM?

Jim: Social is so important for getting people to share your content and backlink to it. This sends signals to the search engines that the content is worth taking note of. Broadly speaking search happens inside social as well which is why keyword selection is so important. A lot of search is now happening via interfaces like SIri.  You need to be creating great content and reaching out to your communities so you get found when people are looking.

Samantha: SMM is already being more heavily incorporated in search, as is evident by the recent change to Google that allows you to see companies’ tweets when searching for their name. More marketers are continuing to realize that you can’t focus on one element of digital marketing to have a successful campaign. You must take a holistic approach. The trifecta, to me is content marketing, SEO and social media.

Greg: I think it’s obvious that social signals will become more weighted in the ranking algorithm – as soon as Google figures out how to keep people from gaming the signals. I’m a firm believer of the fact that the ONLY reason they’re not more powerful now is because Google can’t figure that piece of the puzzle out yet… At some point in the future, social signals will displace links as the most important gauge of value.

Jenn: I think we’ll continue to see more value from social media affecting SEO and search rankings. Search engines will continue to update their algorithms, taking more stock in the social proof (shares and traffic from social media). As we continue to rely more and more on social media for our news sources and entertainment, search rankings will need to adapt to this perception of value in providing relevant content in search results.

In Five Words or Less, How Would Describe the Relationship Between SEO and SMM?

Jim: Social & Search have a symbiotic relationship.

Samantha: A holistic approach to a successful digital marketing campaign. Sorry. That’s nine. :)

Greg: They both start with S  (← Well said, Greg!)

Jenn: Social media positively impacts SEO.

What side of the fence do you stand on? Comment below to share your thoughts about the effects of social media and SEO.

Tips on Networking at #Pubcon Las Vegas 2015

We have a lot of tips for you today. First, we have networking tips from the Pubcon Facebook group and then we have our “Pubcon Survival Tips” hangout video with Dave Rohrer & Simone Heseltine, which is full of tips for networking, making the most out of the conference and handling the after-conference activities.

Simon Heseltine  – Speaking in Vegas

“Talk to people in the first place… ..and don’t be afraid of talking to the speakers… but maybe not constantly about online marketing,”

Jenny HalaszSpeaking in Vegas

“Tweet. And meet people who tweet. We’re a friendly bunch.”

Sean Dolan

“Don’t be too cool to admit you’re looking to hang out with people. It’s a friendly bunch.”

Ashley WardSpeaking in Vegas

I’ve made a few great connections at the Monday night networking party, people I stayed connected with throughout the conference

Ryan JonesSpeaking in Vegas

I’ve met a lot of people just by tweeting on the #pubcon hash tag. Something like “I’m going to the buffet or this bar, or blackjack.. anybody want to tag along?”

Melissa Fach Speaking in Vegas

Don’t be afraid to ask someone to introduce you to someone you have wanted to meet for a long time.

Alan BleiweissSpeaking in Vegas

“Go to the plethora of networking events! Show up – introduce yourself. Be respectful of not interrupting.”

Trish Carey

“Monday night networking event & Twitter! I’ve always attended solo and was especially worried my 1st year how I would meet people.”


Make sure to come see us at 6pm on Wednesday at the Breeze Bar in Treasure Island to meet our team and to have some free drinks.

Pubcon networking events.

  • The first is on Monday night from 5:30-7:30 at the convention center.
  • The second is on Tuesday night at Senor Frogs at Treasure Island, 7:00-9:00.
  • The U.S. Search Awards are on Wednesday night, 7:00.
  • Thursday’s event hasn’t been announced yet.

6 Ways to Create New SEO Keywords

Keywords have a lot to do with SEO. Using the wrong keywords can cost you conversions, while utilizing the right keywords can increase web traffic and rankings. Although they are primarily used for Adwords, keywords can be placed throughout websites, in blog posts, and social media updates. Embedding keywords in such places can help improve where a website ranks, as long as it’s done in a professional manner, avoiding keyword stuffing and spamming.

There are several tools available to help generate SEO keywords specific to your business and industry, but at some point you’ll need to take a break from spreadsheets and get creative. Using data, analytics, and brainstorming you can create successful keywords to improve your SEO. Follow the steps below to stay on top of keyword trends and discover new phrases to add to your online marketing.

Start With Search Engines

Search engines can be your friend, especially when it comes to research. Type in one of your business’ frequently asked questions into Google and see what kind of results automatically appear in the drop down as you type. The drop down displays popular search phrases based on an initial word or phrase you entered. Using Google’s search engine will give you new keyword phrases people are already searching for.
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While you’re on Google, scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see, “Searches Related To”. This section is exactly what it says and displays searches that are related to your search. When you’re running out of keyword options and need new inspiration head to Google and start searching.Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 6.35.22 PM

Think Like Your Customer

Sometimes your customers know more about your business than you do. When you’re consumed with the structure and functionality of the every-day tasks it’s can be difficult to separate yourself and see the company from the outside. Take a few moments to look at the business through a customer’s perspective to get a better idea of new keyword phrases. Answering the following questions will give you a better idea of your customers thinking behavior and what they might type into search engines.

  • What is your customer searching for?
  • What are some of the most asked questions about your business?
  • What type of language and slang, if any, would they include?
  • Does the customer have a high reading level?
  • What does your customer need? Is there a specific product they would come to you for?
  • What else does your customer buy on a regular basis? Taking a deeper look at what other types of items your customer would be interested in can create new keyword phrases you hadn’t thought of pairing before.

Break Out the Notebook

Get old fashioned, grab an old fashioned, and start writing down different keywords using a pen and paper. In an environment you can feel creative in jot down what your business is about. Then, explain a few of your goals, what you want to achieve for yourself and for your customers. Describe some of your products and where you get them from (local companies, international resellers, etc.). Read through your notes and pick out new keyword phrases. These phrases may not be the highest searched, but will generate new terms to add to your website and Adwords account.

When practicing this exercise, try answering the following 10 questions to help further improve your keyword brainstorm session:

  1. Describe your business in 5 words.
  2. Now, describe the business in 3.
  3. Use 1 word to describe your business.
  4. Describe your competitor in one sentence.
  5. Now, describe them in 3 words. Note: Refrain from using foul language 😉
  6. Describe your industry to someone who is new to it.
  7. Tell that person why they should join the industry.
  8. Give them 5 words to describe the industry you’re a part of.
  9. How would you describe your business to your mother using one sentence?
  10. What do you think you’re 3 most popular keywords are?

Divide Your Business Into Topics

Create a list of topics that relate to your business and industry​. These topics can be generalized ideas or broad topics. Bloggers will easily be able to do this, as the idea is similar to creating a new blog topic. For example, an SEO agency can have a topic list like this:

  • How to Rank Number One
  • How to Increase Your SEO
  • SEO Resources
  • Best Practices For SEO
  • SEO Leaders
  • ​What it’s Like to be Matt Cutts

​See how easy it is to create 5 unique keyword phrases from brainstorming topic ideas? Once you have a list of topic ideas, develop sub-topics and categories for each section. This will give you more specific keywords generated from a basic topic idea.

  • Category: Ranking on Page One
    • Topic: How to Rank Number One
      • Sub-Topic: Is it possible rank on page one?
      • Sub-Topic: Best tactics for ranking

Check Google Webmaster Tools

Google provides several tools for online marketers to analyze performance and rankings. Their Webmaster Tools has a section made specifically to keyword data. By logging in, you’re able to see what keywords are performing best on your website, and which ones aren’t. If you’re using Adwords you can use this information to better allocate budget, as well.

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Try Authority Labs

Successful search campaigns rely on both knowing where you rank for terms and which terms the engines>think your pages are about. Authority Labs is a tool to help bridge the gap between ranking and keyword research. Discover new keywords, keyword phrases, and even those annoying Not-Provided keywords.


With Not-Provided becoming the norm for keyword data in analytics tools, Authority Labs’ Now-Provided report is now a key part of any SEO toolkit. Focusing efforts on pages and keywords that already have some traction in the engines can be quick wins that pay off in a big way. By combining rankings, Google Analytics, volume, and competition data, Authority Labs is able to highlight your important keyword opportunities. Easily add these keywords to your rank tracking so you know where you stand with your SEO efforts.



Re-do the above steps frequently so you’re constantly using the most up-to-date keywords. Check how each keyword performs over time through data and analytics, as well. It’s important to frequently update your keyword spreadsheet to stay on top of new trends and ahead of the competition.

How do you come up with new SEO keywords?