Beginner's Guide to Hashtag Research

Today I will show you how to find the best hashtags for your Instagram account practically.

It will take you several hours of boring and repetitive work to do this manually.

Instead, using my Hashtag Research Tool, it's a simple 3-step process.
If you are reading this guide, I assume you are new on Instagram, or you aren't getting the result you want using hashtags. Maybe you want to step up your hashtag game.

Probably you are in search of a quick solution.

Mastering hashtags can be a long and complicated process, but I will show you how can you get good results using this short guide.

To make it clearer to you and easier to understand, I will show you the complete process using a real-life example.

Let's say I have an Instagram account in the fashion niche.

This will be my next image to publish on it, but first I need to research the best hashtags to use.

Where do I start?

That's the scariest sensation, right?

If you are new, you don't need to know all the hashtag's theory that I explain in the massive"Tiny Hashtags Strategy".

Analysis paralysis is real.

That's why you need to spend 20% on theory and 80% on practice.

The minimum 20% part of theory you need to start is this guide and chapter 2 of the Tiny Hashtags Strategy.

It talks about the 10 Hashtags Guidelines you need to follow to avoid making expensive mistakes.

I suggest you read it, but here's a quick overview of them:
1 - Hashtags must be relevant to the content

2 - Create your Hashtag set from 3-10 keywords

3 - Use 30 Hashtags in your posts

4 - Generate your set using the Hashtag Ladder Rule

5 - Update your set every 24-48 hours

6 - Avoid banned hashtags

7 - Consistency is the key to success

8 - Caption or first comment? It's indifferent

9 - More time passed = better results

10 - Growth by hashtags is not linear
Now that you understand the basics, here's a rapid overview of the 3 steps required to make successful hashtag research.

Keywords Research


Hashtag Set Creation


Polishing Phase

To begin your hashtag research, you will need a professional software designed to do exactly this job.

The software you are looking for is the RiseDecoded Hashtag Research Tool.

You can use it and every feature for free, forever.

It's available for Windows and Mac

If you haven't already, download it now by clicking the button below.
Install it on your device and you are ready to go!

Step 1: Keywords Research

The first step aims to collect as many hashtags related to your niche as possible.

Open the software, and this is what you will see:
This is the "New Search" panel, where you can research thousands of hashtags inserting one simple keyword.

As you can see, there aren't hundreds of options or confusing settings, only what matters to make it easy to use, even if you are not a technician person.

What do I need to continue?

- One or multiple keywords
- To select from Normal or Deep Search
- To click on the Search button

You are probably wondering, what is a keyword? Aren't we searching for hashtags?

Let me quickly explain how the software works:

You insert a keyword, and it will find many hashtags that contain that keyword.

For example, you insert "Fitness" it will find hashtags like #fitnesspro and #realfitness.

At this point, you need to follow the Hashtags Guidelines number 1 and 2:

1 - Hashtags must be relevant to the content

2 - Create your Hashtag set from 3-10 keywords

The first thing is to watch your image and think about how best you can describe it.

You should aim for keywords that are a single word, short and simple.

Let's try with my fashion image.

Here's the keyword I thought about: fashion, outfit, style, clothes, jewel, look, wear, bag, dress, shopping.


Now you will insert them in the keywords field of the software:
Next, you will choose the search mode. There are only two available:

- Normal: the software will find up to 600 Hashtags for every keyword inserted.
- Deep: up to 1500 Hashtags for every keyword, but also 3x time required than a Normal search.

If you want better results, you should use the Deep search mode.
The last step, this is simple, click on the purple "Search" button.
When you press the search button, the software will switch to the "Keywords" Panel.

Here you can view, update and delete all the keywords you searched with complete analytics.

In this case, you will see the status of the research:
The software will research one keyword at the time.

The speed depends on the search mode and the speed plan chosen.

Now the easy part:

You wait :D

When all the keywords researches are completed, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Hashtag Set Creation

The purpose of this step is to extract only the best 30 hashtags from the thousands found.

If you've followed me this far, you'll now have 10 researched keywords.

In my case, that means 13864 hashtags founded.

Clearly, you can't use all of them in your next Instagram post.

So how do you choose only the best 30 hashtags from the thousands of ones?

Are you going to manually check them one by one and decide if they are good?

Luckily for you, the Hashtag Research Tool has now a feature that does this tedious work automatically in seconds ;)

It's called the Extractor.

Click on "Extractor" in the menu of the software to access its panel.

If this is the first time using it, this is what you will see:
The Extractor introduces the concept of Hashtag Sets.

Keywords and rules compose a Hashtag Set so you can control how to extract the best hashtags.

To create a new one, click on the gold button "New Set" on the top-left angle of the software.

Let's see what you need to insert to create your first Hashtag Set.

- Set Name: Insert the name of your set.
This option does not affect extraction. It's only for you to help you remember it across several sets.
I'll name mine: "Fashion".

- Keywords: Select which keyword you want to add to this set.
Here you will see all the keywords you already analyzed. They are the same as you find in the Keywords tab.
I have only researched the keywords I need so that I will select all 10 of them.

- Hashtags: Select how many hashtags will be present in your hashtag set.
You can choose from 5 to 30 hashtags. Click on the circle in the gold slider and drag right or left to your desired number.
As for guideline number 3, I will choose 30.

- Avg Likes: Insert the average likes your posts receive on your Instagram account.
The software uses this for calibration. It will automatically adapt the rules of extraction based on your value.
I will insert 250.

- Method: Select the method used to extract your hashtag set.
There are three different methods to choose from plus the ability to create your custom ones. They have adaptable rules and are discussed in details in Chapter 4 of the Tiny Hashtags Strategy.
I will select the first method: RiseDecoded Algorithm.

This is what you will see when everything is inserted:
When you are ready, click the gold button "Save" in the top-right angle of the software.

Now the software does its magic, extracting the best 30 hashtags from the thousands of ones by the rules defined before. All automatically.

And in a few seconds you will be redirected to the successful extraction panel.
You can scroll down to see all the useful sections, but for now, the one that you need to look is the "Extracted Hashtags".

They are the 30 chosen ones.

But do you notice something weird?

Some hashtags are definitely not the best for my account.

I would say they are not related at all.

Is the extractor broken? Is this a scam?

Don't worry. It's completely normal.

The software can choose the best hashtags statistically by their numeric values, but can't think like a human to pick the best ones related for your account ;)

That's the last small and easy work you will need to do in the final step.

Step 3: Polishing Phase

The goal of this step is to refine the research blacklisting the wrong hashtags.

You can spot bad hashtags in two ways:

- by their name
- using the Hashtag Previews feature

In the first case, you simply look at the hashtags extracted, and you will immediately see that there is something wrong.

For example, the software extracted the hashtags #styleboys and #baggedtruck.
In the second case, you just hover your mouse over the hashtag you want to inspect.

A tooltip will show up, so you can see useful analytics and what type of content is posted on the top posts section of that hashtags.

If the content is different from the one you are posting on your account, it's a bad hashtag.
So how do you remove bad hashtags?

Really simple.

The software has a Blacklist feature.

Click on the X before the hashtag's name to blacklist it.

This will ensure that specific hashtag will not appear again in the future in that specific set.

You can manage your blacklist to see which hashtags are in or to remove from the blacklist by clicking on the cog icon on the right.

This is the Blacklist panel:
When you blacklist one hashtag, the Extractor will immediately pick a new hashtag, always based on the rules defined.

So now that you know how to identify bad hashtags and blacklist them, it's time to do it for real.

Click on the X of all the hashtags you think are bad for your account.

Disclaimer: if it's the first time you are doing it, they can be quite a few. In the future, you will find always less wrong ones.

When every hashtag is related to your account, you are done.


You completed your first extensive hashtag research.

The final step is to click on the copy icon to copy your 30 carefully selected hashtags on your next Instagram post.

To conclude my example, here are the best 30 hashtags researched for my fashion niche Instagram account:

#looknahcardoso #bagtobag #outfitplanner #outfitfamily #styledbycolin #fashionrunwayshow #outfitinspirationoftheday #styleconnaisseur #outfitmujer #stylehubdaily #lookfiesta #fashiongirlsteen #styleisnortheast #fashionfaceoff #shoppingproblems #mysorejewels #dresscamp #fashionnylons #jewels_gems #dressesup #fashionismylife #fashionforlife #fashionclass #fashiontime #looksestilosos #fashionscout #fashionsv #fashionstyles2me #fashionstudents #fashionposts

What's Next?

Be sure to update your Hashtag Sets every 24-48 hours for best results.

You now have one hashtag set precisely researched using the software.

What about the posts you will publish tomorrow? What about in one month?

Using the same hashtags over and over is a big no for Instagram these days.

So do you need to do new hashtag research for every post you will publish?

The answer is "it depends".

If your future post is in a completely different niche than the one you researched (for example you researched hashtags for fashion and the next post is about food), then yes, you need to do a new search again.

You will research new keywords, create a new hashtag set, and remove the bad hashtags.

But if your future post is always related to the same niche, in this case, another fashion post, you can save time and only update it.

What is this, and how can I do it?

Updating your set means updating the data of the keywords that compose your hashtag set.

When you do it, you will get fresh realtime data from Instagram.

This is really important, as Instagram is constantly changing every second.

What works today probably won't tomorrow.

I suggest you for this reason, and to have better results to update your Hashtag Sets every 24-48 hours.

How can you do it?

In the software, go to the Extractor and click on the Hashtag Set you want to update.

Then scroll down until you see the "Keywords Update Panel" section.
Here you can see the keywords present in the Hashtag Set, if they are researched using the deep search (if there is the spiral icon), and the last time they were updated.

To start the process of updating, click on the gold button "Update Set".

A new popup will appear:
Here you can select which keyword to update.

Click one time on the checkbox of your chosen keyword to update it using the Normal Search mode.

Click two time to use the Deep Search mode. A spiral icon will appear on it.

You can also view how much time the software will take to update your keywords.

When you are ready, click on the gold button "Update".

This will take to the updating panel of your Hashtag Set.

You can view the status of the updating, and if you scroll down, the other keywords in the queue.
When all the keywords are updated, you will return to the successful extraction panel.

Now you simply repeat step 3 to remove the bad hashtags and you are done.

At this point, you have the basic theory of hashtags, and you know to use the software to create and maintain updated your Hashtag Sets!

That's all you need to know to get results.

And if you don't get results the first time you use your new researched hashtags on your account, don't worry.

Again, it's completely normal.

It can take up to ten days to see real results. But when you see them, you can't go back to using random hashtags ;)

As you can see, using a lot of keywords in your Hashtag Sets and with the Deep search mode can easily take a long time using the free plan.

If you can wait, that's even better! You can use the software for free forever.

But if you can't, or you need to research a lot of keywords every day, then a Premium Speed Plan for a small monthly price is your solution. No hidden fees and you can cancel anytime.

You can speed up your searches up to 1.30 minutes for one keyword.
That's the end of this guide.

I know it can seem a long process to do, but after you've done it a few times, you will complete new hashtag research in less than 2 minutes (keywords research time apart)

So what do you think about it?

If you are stuck on some point, or if you have any problem, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

I read every single one, and I'm here to help!
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