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Exact match? Our contest to rename it for Google is sealed with an -ish

Though it was hard to see Matchy McMatchFace miss the boat, we do have a winner in our bid to rename the search company’s not-so-exact match.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Unriddled: The Great Ride-Hailing Rush, the Latest Troubles for Facebook, and More Tech News You Need

“Unriddled” is HubSpot’s weekly digest of the tech headlines you need to know. We give you the top tech stories in a quick, scannable way and break it all down. It’s tech news: explained.

1. Ride-Hailing IPO Season

A day after ride-hailing app Lyft said that it had filed its S-1 last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company’s top competitor, Uber, had followed in its footsteps and filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of its own. While the timing of Lyft’s IPO is somewhat uncertain (some are predicting a spring date between late March and early April), Uber’s filing signals that the company could go public as early as Q1 2019.

Uber, meanwhile, has resumed testing and limited operation of its self-driving cars after a tragic accident involving one of its autonomous vehicles took place earlier this year. Read full story >>

2. British Parliament Publishes Internal Facebook Emails

UK Parliament last week published over 250 redacted pages of internal Facebook documents, including emails. The documents were previously sealed in California, where Facebook is being sued by a company called Six4Three — the founder of which put the materials into the possession of UK lawmakers during a trip to London. While the contents of the documents contain what some call “lacking in anything crazy damning,” they do point to Facebook’s approach to competition. Read full story >>

3. Amazon Will Crowdsource Alexa’s Answers

In a classic case of, “How could this possibly go wrong?”, Amazon says it will launch Alexa Answers: a program that invites a number of users to help Alexa answer questions for which the voice assistant might not have sufficient information.

“Once in a while, customers throw curve balls at us with various questions,” writes Alexa Information VP Bill Barton in an official blog post. “We’re involving the Alexa customer community to help us answer questions Alexa can’t quite answer yet.”

The program, which Barton says is “invitation-only,” will allow select customers to contribute answers and details to questions that Alexa has been unable to answer. Read full story >>

4. Amazon’s Go Stores Are Expanding

In other Amazon news, the company says that it will expand its cashierless Go stores in both size and location. Last weekTechCrunch reported that the ecommerce giant is testing the cashierless technology in larger store formats, leaving many wondering if it’s planning to bring this feature to Whole Foods — a natural grocery chain that it owns. Now, according to Bloomberg, Amazon is also exploring the possibility of opening Go stores in airports, “to win business from hungry, time-pressed travelers.” Read full story >>

5. Curated News From Google Assistant

As Google itself pointed out in a recent announcement, radio is almost a purely “in-the-moment” medium that allows users to tune into whatever the current programming might be, regardless of context. Now, the company says that it has partnered with a number of news organizations, ranging from local NPR stations to the New York Times, to create personalized news playlists for users. With the help of Assistant’s AI, the playlists will be created based on when the user asks for it to be played, as well as her listening interests. Google says it has built an an open specification for news organizations that want to create audio programming for this feature. Read full story >>

6. What Happened When Google’s CEO Testified Before Congress

Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified yesterday before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. Here are the key questions he faced, and the themes that echoed throughout the hearing. Read full story >>

7. The State of Virtual Reality: Where We Are, and What’s to Come in 2019

Where do things stand with virtual reality, and the immersive technologies inspired by it? At VRX, here’s what the experts have to say. Read full story >>

8. Google Lens Comes to iOS

iPhone users, rejoice (maybe): Google’s Lens object recognition technology has finally arrived in the company’s iOS app. 

Lens first made its debut at Google’s 2018 I/O developer conference and was initially released on a number of Pixel devices, prior to becoming available on a broader range of operating systems. Read full story>>

9. What’s the Business Case for Virtual Reality? 

Also at last week’s VRX conference, after we got a taste for the state of virtual reality, we next examined how this technology can be used in business. Read full story >>

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Google Search Console AMP enhancement report to combine issue types

Beware, Google is making some changes to the AMP report – this is what you need to be on the look out for.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Google Maps’ ‘For You’ tab comes to iPhones and a whole lot more countries

The personalized recommendations tool will be available in 130 countries on Android and 40 on iOS devices.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Evolving Keyword Research to Match Your Buyer’s Journey

Posted by matthew_jkay

Keyword research has been around as long as the SEO industry has. Search engines built a system that revolves around users entering a term or query into a text entry field, hitting return, and receiving a list of relevant results. As the online search market expanded, one clear leader emerged — Google — and with it they brought AdWords (now Google Ads), an advertising platform that allowed organizations to appear on search results pages for keywords that organically they might not.

Within Google Ads came a tool that enabled businesses to look at how many searches there were per month for almost any query. Google Keyword Planner became the de facto tool for keyword research in the industry, and with good reason: it was Google’s data. Not only that, Google gave us the ability to gather further insights due to other metrics Keyword Planner provided: competition and suggested bid. Whilst these keywords were Google Ads-oriented metrics, they gave the SEO industry an indication of how competitive a keyword was.

The reason is obvious. If a keyword or phrase has higher competition (i.e. more advertisers bidding to appear for that term) it’s likely to be more competitive from an organic perspective. Similarly, a term that has a higher suggested bid means it’s more likely to be a competitive term. SEOs dined on this data for years, but when the industry started digging a bit more into the data, we soon realized that while useful, it was not always wholly accurate. Moz, SEMrush, and other tools all started to develop alternative volume and competitive metrics using Clickstream data to give marketers more insights.

Now industry professionals have several software tools and data outlets to conduct their keyword research. These software companies will only improve in the accuracy of their data outputs. Google’s data is unlikely to significantly change; their goal is to sell ad space, not make life easy for SEOs. In fact, they’ve made life harder by using volume ranges for Google Ads accounts with low activity. SEO tools have investors and customers to appease and must continually improve their products to reduce churn and grow their customer base. This makes things rosy for content-led SEO, right?

Well, not really.

The problem with historical keyword research is twofold:

1. SEOs spend too much time thinking about the decision stage of the buyer’s journey (more on that later).

2. SEOs spend too much time thinking about keywords, rather than categories or topics.

The industry, to its credit, is doing a lot to tackle issue number two. “Topics over keywords” is something that is not new as I’ll briefly come to later. Frameworks for topic-based SEO have started to appear over the last few years. This is a step in the right direction. Organizing site content into categories, adding appropriate internal linking, and understanding that one piece of content can rank for several variations of a phrase is becoming far more commonplace.

What is less well known (but starting to gain traction) is point one. But in order to understand this further, we should dive into what the buyer’s journey actually is.

What is the buyer’s journey?

The buyer’s or customer’s journey is not new. If you open marketing text books from years gone by, get a college degree in marketing, or even just go on general marketing blogs you’ll see it crop up. There are lots of variations of this journey, but they all say a similar thing. No matter what product or service is bought, everyone goes through this journey. This could be online or offline — the main difference is that depending on the product, person, or situation, the amount of time this journey takes will vary — but every buyer goes through it. But what is it, exactly? For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on three stages: awareness, consideration, & decision.


The awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is similar to problem discovery, where a potential customer realizes that they have a problem (or an opportunity) but they may not have figured out exactly what that is yet.

Search terms at this stage are often question-based — users are researching around a particular area.


The consideration stage is where a potential consumer has defined what their problem or opportunity is and has begun to look for potential solutions to help solve the issue they face.


The decision stage is where most organizations focus their attention. Normally consumers are ready to buy at this stage and are often doing product or vendor comparisons, looking at reviews, and searching for pricing information.

To illustrate this process, let’s take two examples: buying an ice cream and buying a holiday.

Being low-value, the former is not a particularly considered purchase, but this journey still takes place. The latter is more considered. It can often take several weeks or months for a consumer to decide on what destination they want to visit, let alone a hotel or excursions. But how does this affect keyword research, and the content which we as marketers should provide?

At each stage, a buyer will have a different thought process. It’s key to note that not every buyer of the same product will have the same thought process but you can see how we can start to formulate a process.

The Buyer’s Journey – Holiday Purchase

The above table illustrates the sort of queries or terms that consumers might use at different stages of their journey. The problem is that most organizations focus all of their efforts on the decision end of the spectrum. This is entirely the right approach to take at the start because you’re targeting consumers who are interested in your product or service then and there. However, in an increasingly competitive online space you should try and find ways to diversify and bring people into your marketing funnel (which in most cases is your website) at different stages.

I agree with the argument that creating content for people earlier in the journey will likely mean lower conversion rates from visitor to customer, but my counter to this would be that you’re also potentially missing out on people who will become customers. Further possibilities to at least get these people into your funnel include offering content downloads (gated content) to capture user’s information, or remarketing activity via Facebook, Google Ads, or other retargeting platforms.

Moving from keywords to topics

I’m not going to bang this drum too loudly. I think many in of the SEO community have signed up to the approach that topics are more important than keywords. There are quite a few resources on this listed online, but what forced it home for me was Cyrus Shepard’s Moz article in 2014. Much, if not all, of that post still holds true today.

What I will cover is an adoption of HubSpot’s Topic Cluster model. For those unaccustomed to their model, HubSpot’s approach formalizes and labels what many search marketers have been doing for a while now. The basic premise is instead of having your site fragmented with lots of content across multiple sections, all hyperlinking to each other, you create one really in-depth content piece that covers a topic area broadly (and covers shorter-tail keywords with high search volume), and then supplement this page with content targeting the long-tail, such as blog posts, FAQs, or opinion pieces. HubSpot calls this “pillar” and “cluster” content respectively.

Source: Matt Barby / HubSpot

The process then involves taking these cluster pages and linking back to the pillar page using keyword-rich anchor text. There’s nothing particularly new about this approach aside from formalizing it a bit more. Instead of having your site’s content structured in such a way that it’s fragmented and interlinking between lots of different pages and topics, you keep the internal linking within its topic, or content cluster. This video explains this methodology further. While we accept this model may not fit every situation, and nor is it completely perfect, it’s a great way of understanding how search engines are now interpreting content.

At Aira, we’ve taken this approach and tried to evolve it a bit further, tying these topics into the stages of the buyer’s journey while utilizing several data points to make sure our outputs are based off as much data as we can get our hands on. Furthermore, because pillar pages tend to target shorter-tail keywords with high search volume, they’re often either awareness- or consideration-stage content, and thus not applicable for decision stage. We term our key decision pages “target pages,” as this should be a primary focus of any activity we conduct.

We’ll also look at the semantic relativity of the keywords reviewed, so that we have a “parent” keyword that we’re targeting a page to rank for, and then children of that keyword or phrase that the page may also rank for, due to its similarity to the parent. Every keyword is categorized according to its stage in the buyer’s journey and whether it’s appropriate for a pillar, target, or cluster page. We also add two further classifications to our keywords: track & monitor and ignore. Definitions for these five keyword types are listed below:

Pillar page

A pillar page covers all aspects of a topic on a single page, with room for more in-depth reporting in more detailed cluster blog posts that hyperlink back to the pillar page. A keyword tagged with pillar page will be the primary topic and the focus of a page on the website. Pillar pages should be awareness- or consideration-stage content.

A great pillar page example I often refer to is HubSpot’s Facebook marketing guide or Mosi-guard’s insect bites guide (disclaimer: probably don’t click through if you don’t like close-up shots of insects!).

Cluster page

A cluster topic page for the pillar focuses on providing more detail for a specific long-tail keyword related to the main topic. This type of page is normally associated with a blog article but could be another type of content, like an FAQ page.

Good examples within the Facebook marketing topic listed above are HubSpot’s posts:

For Mosi-guard, they’re not utilizing internal links within the copy of the other blogs, but the “older posts” section at the bottom of the blog is referencing this guide:

Target page

Normally a keyword or phrase linked to a product or service page, e.g. nike trainers or seo services. Target pages are decision-stage content pieces.

HubSpot’s target content is their social media software page, with one of Mosi-guard’s target pages being their natural spray product.

Track & monitor

A keyword or phrase that is not the main focus of a page, but could still rank due to its similarity to the target page keyword. A good example of this might be seo services as the target page keyword, but this page could also rank for seo agency, seo company, etc.


A keyword or phrase that has been reviewed but is not recommended to be optimized for, possibly due to a lack of search volume, it’s too competitive, it won’t be profitable, etc.

Once the keyword research is complete, we then map our keywords to existing website pages. This gives us a list of mapped keywords and a list of unmapped keywords, which in turn creates a content gap analysis that often leads to a content plan that could last for three, six, or twelve-plus months.

Putting it into practice

I’m a firm believer in giving an example of how this would work in practice, so I’m going to walk through one with screenshots. I’ll also provide a template of our keyword research document for you to take away.

1. Harvesting keywords

The first step in the process is similar, if not identical, to every other keyword research project. You start off with a batch of keywords from the client or other stakeholders that the site wants to rank for. Most of the industry call this a seed keyword list. That keyword list is normally a minimum of 15–20 keywords, but can often be more if you’re dealing with an e-commerce website with multiple product lines.

This list is often based off nothing more than opinion: “What do we think our potential customers will search for?” It’s a good starting point, but you need the rest of the process to follow on to make sure you’re optimizing based off data, not opinion.

2. Expanding the list

Once you’ve got that keyword list, it’s time to start utilizing some of the tools you have at your disposal. There are lots, of course! We tend to use a combination of Moz Keyword Explorer, Answer the Public, Keywords Everywhere, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads, ranking tools, and SEMrush.

The idea of this list is to start thinking about keywords that the organization may not have considered before. Your expanded list will include obvious synonyms from your list. Take the example below:

Seed Keywords

Expanded Keywords

ski chalet

ski chalet

ski chalet rental

ski chalet hire

ski chalet [location name]


There are other examples that should be considered. A client I worked with in the past once gave a seed keyword of “biomass boilers.” But after keyword research was conducted, a more colloquial term for “biomass boilers” in the UK is “wood burners.” This is an important distinction and should be picked up as early in the process as possible. Keyword research tools are not infallible, so if budget and resource allows, you may wish to consult current and potential customers about which terms they might use to find the products or services being offered.

3. Filtering out irrelevant keywords

Once you’ve expanded the seed keyword list, it’s time to start filtering out irrelevant keywords. This is pretty labor-intensive and involves sorting through rows of data. We tend to use Moz’s Keyword Explorer, filter by relevancy, and work our way down. As we go, we’ll add keywords to lists within the platform and start to try and sort things by topic. Topics are fairly subjective, and often you’ll get overlap between them. We’ll group similar keywords and phrases together in a topic based off the semantic relativity of those phrases. For example:



ski chalet

ski chalet

ski chalet rental

ski chalet hire

ski chalet [location name]

catered chalet

catered chalet

luxury catered chalet

catered chalet rental

catered chalet hire

catered chalet [location name]

ski accommodation

ski accommodation

cheap ski accommodation

budget ski accommodation

ski accomodation [location name]

Many of the above keywords are decision-based keywords — particularly those with rental or hire in them. They’re showing buying intent. We’ll then try to put ourselves in the mind of the buyer and come up with keywords towards the start of the buyer’s journey.



Buyer’s stage

ski resorts

ski resorts

best ski resorts

ski resorts europe

ski resorts usa

ski resorts canada

top ski resorts

cheap ski resorts

luxury ski resorts




skiing guide

skiing beginner’s guide


family holidays

family holidays

family winter holidays

family trips


This helps us cater to customers that might not be in the frame of mind to purchase just yet — they’re just doing research. It means we cast the net wider. Conversion rates for these keywords are unlikely to be high (at least, for purchases or enquiries) but if utilized as part of a wider marketing strategy, we should look to capture some form of information, primarily an email address, so we can send people relevant information via email or remarketing ads later down the line.

4. Pulling in data

Once you’ve expanded the seed keywords out, Keyword Explorer’s handy list function enables your to break things down into separate topics. You can then export that data into a CSV and start combining it with other data sources. If you have SEMrush API access, Dave Sottimano’s API Library is a great time saver; otherwise, you may want to consider uploading the keywords into the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension and manually exporting the data and combining everything together. You should then have a spreadsheet that looks something like this:

You could then add in additional data sources. There’s no reason you couldn’t combine the above with volumes and competition metrics from other SEO tools. Consider including existing keyword ranking information or Google Ads data in this process. Keywords that convert well on PPC should do the same organically and should therefore be considered. Wil Reynolds talks about this particular tactic a lot.

5. Aligning phrases to the buyer’s journey

The next stage of the process is to start categorizing the keywords into the stage of the buyer’s journey. Something we’ve found at Aira is that keywords don’t always fit into a predefined stage. Someone looking for “marketing services” could be doing research about what marketing services are, but they could also be looking for a provider. You may get keywords that could be either awareness/consideration or consideration/decision. Use your judgement, and remember this is subjective. Once complete, you should end up with some data that looks similar to this:

This categorization is important, as it starts to frame what type of content is most appropriate for that keyword or phrase.

The next stage of this process is to start noticing patterns in keyphrases and where they get mapped to in the buyer’s journey. Often you’ll see keywords like “price” or ”cost” at the decision stage and phrases like “how to” at the awareness stage. Once you start identifying these patterns, possibly using a variation of Tom Casano’s keyword clustering approach, you can then try to find a way to automate so that when these terms appear in your keyword column, the intent automatically gets updated.

Once completed, we can then start to define each of our keywords and give them a type:

  • Pillar page
  • Cluster page
  • Target page
  • Track & monitor
  • Ignore

We use this document to start thinking about what type of content is most effective for that piece given the search volume available, how competitive that term is, how profitable the keyword could be, and what stage the buyer might be at. We’re trying to find that sweet spot between having enough search volume, ensuring we can actually rank for that keyphrase (there’s no point in a small e-commerce startup trying to rank for “buy nike trainers”), and how important/profitable that phrase could be for the business. The below Venn diagram illustrates this nicely:

We also reorder the keywords so keywords that are semantically similar are bucketed together into parent and child keywords. This helps to inform our on-page recommendations:

From the example above, you can see “digital marketing agency” as the main keyword, but “digital marketing services” & “digital marketing agency uk” sit underneath.

We also use conditional formatting to help identify keyword page types:

And then sheets to separate topics out:

Once this is complete, we have a data-rich spreadsheet of keywords that we then work with clients on to make sure we’ve not missed anything. The document can get pretty big, particularly when you’re dealing with e-commerce websites that have thousands of products.

5. Keyword mapping and content gap analysis

We then map these keywords to existing content to ensure that the site hasn’t already written about the subject in the past. We often use Google Search Console data to do this so we understand how any existing content is being interpreted by the search engines. By doing this we’re creating our own content gap analysis. An example output can be seen below:

The above process takes our keyword research and then applies the usual on-page concepts (such as optimizing meta titles, URLs, descriptions, headings, etc) to existing pages. We’re also ensuring that we’re mapping our user intent and type of page (pillar, cluster, target, etc), which helps us decide what sort of content the piece should be (such as a blog post, webinar, e-book, etc). This process helps us understand what keywords and phrases the site is not already being found for, or is not targeted to.

Free template

I promised a template Google Sheet earlier in this blog post and you can find that here.

Do you have any questions on this process? Ways to improve it? Feel free to post in the comments below or ping me over on Twitter!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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Here’s your exclusive insider look of SMX West

Elevate your career with 30+ sessions, 50+ expert speakers, networking, clinics, meetups and more!

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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SearchCap: Google Lens for iOS, Facebook search ads & eCommerce SEO

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Facebook starts testing ads in search results

The test inventory will be available in Facebook and Marketplace search results.

The post Facebook starts testing ads in search results appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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Marketing Day: Facebook’s ad tests, Alexa’s email feature, Hulu’s OTT ad marketplace

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

The post Marketing Day: Facebook’s ad tests, Alexa’s email feature, Hulu’s OTT ad marketplace appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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8 ways to effectively extend your Instagram reach

The greater your Instagram reach, the more eyes you can get on your brand’s visual content.

Seems like a no-brainer, right?

But in the face of the platform’s ever-changing algorithm, brands need to explore beyond traditional Instagram tips and best practices.

Expanding your reach on Instagram is about much more than a brute force content marketing attack, by the way.

Listen: Instagram moves crazy fast. With over a billion monthly active users and a constant flood of content, now’s the time to rethink how you can extend the lifespan of any piece of content.

And in turn, your Instagram reach.

Tired of your posts feeling like a flash-in-the-pan? In this guide, we’ll delve into exactly how you can squeeze more out of your Instagram content both on-platform and off. The end result of these tactics is more traffic and long-term engagement for your Instagram posts.

1. Start cross-posting your content

Perhaps the most straightforward way to extend your Instagram reach is to cross-post your content to other social platforms.

Pretty simple, right?

Instagram automatically gives you the option to publish content to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, for starters.

Instagram already allows you to cross-post content for Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr

Cross-posting Instagram content to Facebook, in particular, is fairly common practice. Check out this recent post from Starbucks’ Instagram…

…and how it translates directly to the likes of Facebook.

Facebook Starbucks photo


Of course, the caveat here is that you shouldn’t cross-post everything. You obviously don’t want all of your social feeds to look identical (think: a bulk of your Instagram content should be exclusive to Instagram).

There’s also the fact that optimization varies from platform to platform when it comes descriptions and hashtags.

That said, there is a place where you should consider cross-posting regularly if you aren’t already: Pinterest.

Notice that there’s a natural link between Pinterest and the types of visual, inspirational posts that kill it on Instagram. Because Pinterest is more of an “evergreen” network in terms of search, it’s a prime place to house your Instagram posts.

With the help of Sprout, you can schedule your Instagram content in tandem with your Pinterest page. There’s huge potential for audience crossover to extend your Instagram and Pinterest reach simultaneously via smart scheduling.

Sprout scheduling can help you flesh out your content calendar

As an added bonus, Sprout makes it easy to duplicate Instagram posts so you can fine-tune them for Pinterest.

To extend your Instagram and Pinterest reach, you can cross-post your content via Sprout

Optimizing your Pinterest for business via photo tags and links instantly makes your Instagram content searchable for the long-term. This also allows you to publish to both platforms without having to hop between them. More reach, more time saved.

Scheduling posts for Pinterest and Instagram at once means less work on your plate

2. Claim your Instagram account on Pinterest

To further cement the link between the two platforms, Pinterest now allows you to claim your Instagram account.

Claiming your Pinterest allows you to attribute Instagram posts to your profile officially

Doing so can be done in a matter of seconds and provides access to analytics regarding engagement for your Instagram content across Pinterest. Claiming your Instagram account on Pinterest also provides your brand content attribution, meaning that you can drive more Pinterest traffic directly to Instagram.

If nothing else, this gives your social presence a more “complete,” consistent feel. Anything that drives engagement between platforms and teaches you more about how people are sharing your content is a plus.

3. Embed your Instagram feed on-site

No matter what industry you’re in, embedding your social content on-site is a smart move.

For starters, user-generated content such as customer photos is proven to increase conversions. Embedded feeds not only provide opportunities for compelling visuals on-site but also serve as strong social proof.

Your Instagram feed can represent some seriously valuable real estate, especially for ecommerce brands. Check out how Beardbrand curates their Instagram content for their homepage. This feed does double duty of showing off real-world, satisfied customers and eye-popping product imagery.

Lookbooks and embedded feeds can help funnel traffic from your homepage to Instagram

Of course, extending your Instagram reach doesn’t mean only promoting your Instagram feed.

For example, ThinkGeek embeds their Pinterest feed on-site in lieu of Instagram. Depending on your site layout, doing so might make sense yourself. As long as you have your Instagram account claimed, though, you can funnel that Pinterest traffic back to Instagram.

ThinkGeek's embedded social feeds are another smart example of how to funnel site traffic to social media

Without using a third-party service, you can embed your Instagram in WordPress with just a bit of copy-and-pasted code. You can similarly use this widget builder if you’re looking to extend your Pinterest reach, too.

4. Double-dip Instagram content on your blog

If you’re sick of using bland stock photos and graphics for your blog posts, your head is in the right place.

So why not use some of your polished Instagram content instead?

Compiling Instagram photos for blog posts and round-ups is a low-hanging way to get more mileage out of your Instagram content. Likewise, it’s a great way to introduce readers to naturally introduce readers to your social feeds. This rings true for long-term readers and search traffic alike.

For example, ANNA sourced photos from their Instagram to flesh out their fashion-based blog posts.

Instagram posts are perfect pieces of visual content to supplement your blog

From cover photos and examples to influencer shout-outs, their Instagram feed ultimately provides the basis for their blog.

This sort of double-dipping is a brilliant way to make your blog posts pop without having to do produce any extra graphics. If you’ve been struggling to keep up with your blog, consider how your own Instagram feed can serve as a much-needed source of ideas and inspiration.

5. Experiment with evergreen and trending hashtags

Having an explicit Instagram hashtag strategy is obviously a must-do for greater reach.

Hashtags essentially make your posts searchable, which is why it makes sense to experiment with different combinations of hashtags versus relying on the same ones over and over.

For example, consider how different types of tags can appeal to different users, including.

  • Branded hashtags for existing fans and follows (#swatchlovesart)
  • Time-sensitive hashtags that capitalize on the popularity of an event (#worldcup2018)
  • Community and industry-specific hashtags which are essentially evergreen (#ecommerce)
  • Niche hashtags that have lower search volume but more specific intent (#unicornhairdontcare)

The takeaway here is that new tags can instantly introduce you to new followers without breaking a sweat. A combination of trending and evergreen tags might very well give you the best of both worlds when it comes to Instagram reach.

6. Show off your static Stories

It’s no secret that Instagram Stories are all the rage right now.

That said, the short-term, self-destructing nature of Stories might not seem intuitive to attracting a new audience, right?

Not necessarily.

Bear in mind that Instagram keeps stories static on your page even after they’ve been published. As a result, rolling out consistent stories ultimately serves as a secondary video channel for your brand. Rather than treat stories like a “one-and-done” affair, you can use your compelling storytelling content as a tool for piquing the interest of new followers.

Brands like Uniqlo do static Stories right, showing off their seasonal fashion tales in addition to their “Fan Friday” Stories where they show off customer photos.

You can get more mileage out of your previously published Stories by hosting them on your Instagram homepage

A Story-heavy presence proves to potential followers that your account is active and engaging. This ultimately compels more people to follow you, especially in a day and age dominated by video content.

7. Publish video content to IGTV

Speaking of visual content, the recent launch of IGTV further speaks to the need for brands to hop on the video bandwagon for greater Instagram reach.

Although IGTV is relatively new, it’s rather clear that Instagram is pushing the platform pretty hard right now. IGTV serves as yet another place for brands to publish video content more akin to what you’d see on YouTube versus the like of Stories.

IGTV is an emerging platform to increase your Instagram reach

IGTV is still in its early stages, but consider that any followers you gain on IGTV translate to your regular account. Furthermore, the platform allows for heavy tagging and links to drive more attention to your Instagram content and promotions alike.

Again, the more avenues you have to engage with followers, the better. Although there still might be a lot of question marks surrounding IGTV, it’s a natural stomping ground for any brand already investing in video.

8. Run your top-performing posts as ads

In addition to Stories and IGTV, Instagram continues to roll out new features for its ad platform.

With concern over a loss of organic reach akin to Facebook, there’s a reason why brands are playing with the various Instagram ad types such as Canvas and Stories to reach new followers.

While the concept of running an ad might be daunting, you can look no further than your own content as a starting point. If you had a particular post totally crush it, why not consider running it as an Instagram or Facebook ad? Given the platform’s hyper-specific targeting parameters, you can get your feet wet with ads without blowing out your budget.

Oh, and tools such as Sprout’s own Instagram analytics can help clue you in on which of your top-performing posts would be the basis for a fresh ad.

Sprout automatically identifies your top-performing content, some of which might be prime for running as

And with that, we wrap up our list!

So, how are you extending your Instagram reach?

If you’ve been freaking out over your Instagram reach, relax.

Reality check: there is no “silver bullet” that’s going to supercharge your engagement rate. Instead, it’s a combination of the tips above that’s going to make it happen. As the Instagram algorithm continues to change along with user behavior, a combination of experimenting on-platform and heavy promotion off-platform is the way to go about maximizing your reach.

We want to hear from you, though. Any recent stories about your Instagram reach? Doing anything different heading in 2019? Let us know in the comments below!

This post 8 ways to effectively extend your Instagram reach originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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