There is a good reason why you probably have not seen a post about using Instagram to generate website traffic, and it's this: generally speaking, Instagram is far more about improving brand visibility and building a community than about driving traffic to your website as a general rule of thumb.
Sure, one of the side effects of engaging on Instagram is increased traffic to your website. That said, using the site ONLY to drive traffic will surely end in disaster. Focusing solely on getting people to your website will, in the long run, damage your credibility and simply won't be worth it.
However, with that noted, there are some key ways you can increase the chances that your interactions on Instagram will lead to increased website or traffic and engagement.
Here are my top 5 ways to get traffic from Instagram!
1. Add your URL to your bio.
When new or potential followers want to see what you're all about, the first place they'll go is your Instagram bio. And that means your bio is the prime location for your website or blog URL.Your 150 character bio doesn't leave much room for creativity, but including your website URL should be a priority. Apart from your URL, a good strategy is to briefly tell who you are, what you do, and how you're different.
2. Add a shorted version of your URL when you leave comments.
While links in Instagram comments are not live (hyperlinked), they are a live link when you share the same photo on Facebook and Twitter for example. This may help drive additional engagement and traffic.Just remember to keep your comments on point, relevant and engaging (i.e. no spam!).
3. Watermark your images.
You never know which of your images may go viral! Don't take chances: make sure you watermark your photos with your company name and URL.Have no clue how to watermark your photos? There's an app for that! iWatermark allows you to easily stamp your URL on your photos, and it's inexpensive ($1.99 I believe) to boot. There is also an app for the iPhone, iPad and the Android.
4. Highlight popular posts or roundups.
Image-based sharing by necessity means that sometimes you have to think outside the box. While on Facebook or Twitter it's easy to share a blog post and generate traffic to your site, on Instagram, you have to be a bit creative about it. Try starting a weekly roundup of favorite posts or products from your site (and of course create a great image for the roundup!), and your Instagram followers may be interested enough to want to visit your site.
5. Include a price tag on your product photos
There is nothing wrong with qualifying your traffic! Don't be scared to include price tags on all your product photos. There's no need to hide the fact that you're an e-commerce site; in fact, product shots with price tags generally receive higher click-throughs on Pinterest than those without. I'll bet the same's true on Instagram. If a person is interested in your product, they don't want to ‘hunt around' for the price of it.
It's important to remember the reasons you are using Instagram: to build brand visibility, and to give a more authentic, personal feel to your business. But you also want to make sure that fellow Instagrammers who want to connect with you via your website can do so easily.
And that's it! My 5 ways to get traffic from Instagram! Do you find Instagram a good source of traffic to your website? Why do you use Instagram for your business?