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Apr 16, 2020
Guides, Instagram Hashtags

9 Essential KPIs for Improving Your Hashtag Strategy

Take a look at our new, concise guide on how to improve your hashtag strategy just by measuring and analyzing these 9 essential KPIs.

Julia Cohen

Like any good marketing strategy, analytics are essential when it comes to monitoring your hashtag performance, and improving your current plan. But often, whether you are a creator, Social Media Marketing Manager, small business or agency it can be hard to determine what to measure and where to start, especially when there is little information out there. In this guide, we will talk you through the 9 essential KPIs you should be considering when it comes to measuring (and improving) your hashtag strategy. This is relevant if you use Instagram and are trying to grow your account, no matter what the reason is, so get ready to reach up to 40% more people, just by monitoring these KPIs and implementing the results.
  1. Ranking Ratio %
  2. Times Used
  3. Hashtag Impressions
  4. Average Best Rank
  5. Efficiency Score
  6. Posts Made
  7. DAPC
  8. Average Likes
  9. Profile Views

Ranking Ratio %

It can be challenging to constantly check in on whether your posts are performing or ranking on the specific hashtags you have used. And, whilst you might rank once or twice on a hashtag, it might be more efficient to use another, better performing one, which you rank on almost 100% of the time.
To determine this, you can use the Ranking Ratio % metric. This metric shows you the number of times you have used a hashtag, against the number of times you rank on that hashtag. By looking at your Ranking Ratio performance on a set of hashtags you have used, you can determine which ones you consistently perform highly on, and utilize them in your future strategy. If you have a low Ranking Ratio, on a specific hashtag, you might consider swapping it out for another. Understanding whether you are ranking on hashtags is essential for a watertight strategy, and by consistently monitoring the Ranking Ratio, you can isolate the top-performing hashtags, tailored to your account.

🧐 How do I measure it?

A Ranking Ratio above 15% is ideal, above 40% is good, above 60% is great and above 80% is excellent. In order to get the most accurate Ranking Ratio, you should use the hashtags you are trying to measure enough times, so that the result is based on a larger, more accurate data set. This is available on Analytics Pro via Flick so you can avoid trying to calculate your Ranking Ratio manually.
ranking ratio improve hashtags

Times Used

How do you know when you’ve used a hashtag enough times to determine with enough certainty whether or not it is working for your account? It is important that you don’t make any quick decisions without enough intel, but also that you aren’t consistently using a hashtag that just isn’t giving you any results.
The Times Used metric, will show you exactly how many times you have used a specific hashtag on your account, without you having to keep track. This means you can start to determine whether or not that hashtag is giving you results over time, or whether it’s too early to tell.

🧐 How do I measure it?

You should be using a hashtag at least 7 times before you determine whether it is performing well for your specific account. Remember to consider the competitiveness of certain hashtags when you are analyzing your results.
For example, if you have used a highly competitive hashtag 7 times, and ranked once, this is actually great. Competitive hashtags for your account will naturally be harder to rank on, but will give you a greater return if you do. Consider all of the metrics mentioned in tangent with Times Used, to get an accurate idea of whether or not to keep using a hashtag.

Hashtag Impressions

This is probably the most popular metric when it comes to measuring your Instagram hashtags, because it is directly available on the platform’s Insights. You can swipe up on existing content, in order to see how your group of hashtags performed overall in terms of getting eyes on your content. This gives you a better idea as to whether the hashtags you are using, are working for your account.

🧐 How do I measure it?

Firstly, it’s important to give your post enough time to collect Impressions after you’ve posted. This means, you should wait at least a full day after posting, to get an accurate look at the amount of Impressions your hashtags have garnered. This is because, if your post starts gaining traction over time you may slowly rank on more competitive hashtags, giving you even more Impressions than 5 minutes after you have posted.
To find your hashtag Impressions, just click ‘view Insights’ on the post you want to analyze. You should be able to see the different channels you gain Impressions from (hashtags being one of them). If your Impressions are comparatively low, it means that you probably haven’t ranked on any of the hashtags you used. Again, consider this metric as part of the bigger picture, before you decide whether removing this hashtag will improve your strategy.

Average Best Rank

When you rank on a hashtag, you can either sit in the top 9, top 25, top 50 or top 100 posts. If you are able to reach the top 9, your post will be seen by a greater number of people. So, your goal is to try and rank somewhat highly, in order to increase your chances of reaching new accounts.

🧐 How do I measure it?

It’s great if you can rank on a hashtag to begin with, but it’s even better if you are consistently ranking highly on specific hashtags. This is also a good measure for those that continuously rank on hashtags, and don’t know which ones to switch out in order to improve their performance even more. Your Average Best Rank will tell you the position you rank on average on a given hashtag (across the amount of times you have used it). Again, the more times you use a hashtag, the more accurate the data is.

Efficiency Score

Sometimes, you might not have enough time to analyze your hashtag strategy, especially if you are in a pinch to post your content. Taking a look at the Efficiency Score of a hashtag for your account, is a great way of getting a rounded idea of how well it is performing.
The Efficiency Score combines a host of essential metrics, to illustrate an overall health score of a hashtag. It takes into account Rank Ratio, Hashtag size and Average Best Rank. It is relative to the hashtags you have used and your overall performance.

🧐 How do I measure it?

As the Efficiency Score will differ depending on your account, you want to look at the overall list of Efficiency Scores for the hashtags you have used. A higher Efficiency Score is better, as it means you are more likely to rank highly on that hashtag. You can swap out hashtags that have a lower Efficiency Score once you have tracked them for enough time.

Posts Made

There are a number of ways that you can predict whether a hashtag is likely to perform well for your content, before you even use it. One of these, is by taking a look at the amount of posts that already exist in that hashtag. This gives you an idea of how popular the hashtag actually it is, which in turn gives you an indication as to whether you’ll be able to compete – in other words, whether you are likely to rank. This metric is known as Posts Made.

🧐 How do I measure it?

Whilst we display Posts Made in Analytics Pro, you can simply check the Posts Made of a hashtag by searching for it on Instagram. You will be able to see the total number of posts in that hashtag overall, which will help you determine whether or not it is competitive. If you are a smaller account, you might want to try and use hashtags with a lower Posts Made (under 100k posts) as these tend to be a lot less competitive than hashtags with over 1m posts. However, you should still use a good variety of hashtags with high and low Posts Made, in order to improve your hashtag strategy and ensure your content has the best chance of ranking.


Just like Tweets or YouTube videos, sometimes you can propel your content to viral status, by jumping on trends via Instagram. Hashtags can work in a similar way, and if a hashtag is trending at any point in time, if you use it at the right moment, your post could get seen by a much larger audience.
Think about it like TikTok. Just like you might search for the ‘renegade challenge’ on TikTok, you could equally search for that hashtag on Instagram, to find videos related to that challenge or trend. And, the way that you can determine whether or not a hashtag is trending, is by taking a look at its DAPC (Daily Average Post Count).

🧐 How do I measure it?

The DAPC is viewable in both Analytics Pro, and our classic hashtag search tool. DAPC takes an average of the amount of posts published in a given hashtag across the last 7 days. If the DAPC of a hashtag is high at a specific time, it may mean that the hashtag is trending, so if your content relates to that trending hashtag, you could use it to try and jump on a trend. If you are trying to come up with ideas for content, you could equally search for hashtags with a high DAPC, and create content based on a trending hashtag you find.

Average Likes

The Average Likes of a hashtag, is the average amount of likes that the top-performing posts get in that specific hashtag. Your Average Likes, is the rough average amount of likes you get on the content you share on your Instagram account. This is an essential metric to remember when it comes to planning out your hashtag strategy, and specifically – picking the hashtags that will help you rank and improve.

🧐 How do I measure it?

If you use hashtags with a similar level of Average Likes to your account, you are much more likely to rank in the top posts of that hashtag. If you post content in hashtags that are too competitive for your account (a much higher Average Likes than your own) then you are less likely to rank.
So, if you get 600 likes on your posts, you’re more likely to rank on a Hashtag that has an Average Like count of 300, than you are with one that has 1500. First, get an idea of your own Average Like count, and then compare this with the hashtags you collate during your research. It’s good to get a wide span of competitive and noncompetitive hashtags, do give your content the best chance at ranking.

Profile Views

Another indicator of how many new users you are reaching via your hashtag strategy is by looking at your profile views. If you are getting a high number of impressions via hashtags but no one is clicking through, this means the quality of your content, or the call to action on your post could be stronger.

🧐 How do I measure it?

To see your profile views, head to the post on your feed that you want to analyze. From here, tap on ‘View Insights’ and you should see the number of profile visits you received from that post.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to improve your hashtag strategy, with these 9 essential KPIs.

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