Are you looking for ways to reach more people on Instagram? Do you want to get more likes, views, followers, and sales? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an instrumental technique that helps websites climb the search engine rankings ladder quickly to drive organic traffic and conversions. However, not many marketers are aware that SEO techniques are way beyond the search engines like Google and Bing and can be applied to social media platforms as well! If you are leveraging social media platforms to market your business, you can apply SEO techniques to promote your accounts, gain new followers, grow your email list, boost sales, and maximize conversion rates, especially on Instagram. Instagram has evolved into a lucrative marketing platform that works like a mini search engine. Well-optimized pages rank higher, attract more followers, and drive more engagement.
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This article is about what Instagram SEO is and why you should care about it? Plus, we will look at some of the best ways to optimize for Instagram search. So, let’s start with the basics:
What is Instagram SEO, and Why is It Important?
Instagram SEO is the art of optimizing your Instagram account. This helps you to rank higher in search results. So that more and more people can discover your brand and buy your products.
Instagram SEO helps marketers push their brand messaging to the right audience to develop a rapport and influence buying decisions.
Wider audience reach, higher discoverability, and maximum engagement are the three crucial perks of Instagram SEO.
Plus, increased organic traffic and enhanced brand awareness are two other significant factors why Instagram SEO holds so much significance for marketers these days!
The user base of Instagram is massive. So, implementing the best Instagram SEO tactics allows you to reach out to an extensive audience base for making your brand discoverable.
Plus, 83% of people leverage Instagram to discover new products and services, so optimizing your Instagram profile can help you effortlessly attract potential customers.
How to optimize for Instagram SEO?
Now you understand the significance of getting found on Instagram by using the best SEO techniques.
Still, you need to realize that Instagram search optimization isn’t similar to the one you use to rank higher on popular search engines like Google and Bing.
But there’s no need to worry! We’ve compiled the best Instagram optimization tactics that can help improve your brand’s reach and discoverability on the platform:
1. Research the terms your audience searches
The first step to optimizing your Instagram profile for search is to figure out the terms or the keywords that your audiences search on the platform.
It will help you identify the trending keywords in your niche based on which you can craft content that’ll attract quality leads to your Instagram profile.
Besides, researching the popular terms your Instagram audience is searching on the platform will help you determine trends.
It will give you an idea of your target audience’s interests or likings based on which you can refine your SEO campaigns. This is beneficial information, no matter your niche, whether you are trying to do SEO for a dental practice, a large eCommerce brand, or even a SaaS company.
You might also want to do some competitor researching by analyzing their best-performing videos, photos, stories, and reels. It will give you a better idea about the SEO techniques they are using.
If you want to go a step further, you might also want to analyze their Instagram ads as more research goes into optimizing ads for reach.
2. Add the terms to your profile
Whatever keywords you find through audience research, you must use all of these terms throughout your Instagram profile.
It will make your profile aligned with what your audience is looking for, and your page will be more discoverable.
Plus, it will let you attract potential leads who want to buy your products, and you can nurture them to turn into paying customers.
Here are two ways to do this…
a) Use the primary keyword in @Username and the business name
Instagram is a self-contained search engine. So if you want to show up in the search results for relevant terms, you have to use the keywords in your Instagram profile smartly.
You can use your primary keyword in your username and display name.
For example, if you are into the bakery business and find that most of your audience uses the “bakery” term to look for bakery item pages on Instagram.
You can incorporate this word in your @username and business name to increase the chances of your profile being picked by the Instagram algorithm:
b) Add secondary keywords to the bio
Once you have included your primary keywords in your @username and business name, now it’s time to add your secondary keywords in your Instagram bio.
Secondary keywords are the phrases/words that revolve around your primary keyword.
For instance, if your primary keyword is “salon,” you can use secondary keywords like “styling” and “makeup” in your bio:
Adding secondary keywords into your bio increases the chances of grabbing people who might not be looking for your primary keyword but are still interested in your product.
3. Weave them into your captions too
Every part of your Instagram account should be focused on your primary or secondary keywords.
Hence, you must craft compelling and engaging captions for your Instagram posts that are well-optimized and contain some of your keywords.
It helps you attract new followers while nurturing the ones already following you.
For example, look at the descriptive caption from Bertie Gregory. He goes into a lot of detail and includes many keywords like the animal’s name, location, etc.
Using keywords in your Instagram post captions helps you boost your reach and get your profile found through organic searches.
4. Use hashtags
Instagram can’t survive without hashtags as they are an integral part of the social media platform.
However, using the most appropriate hashtags is one of the most prominent Instagram optimization challenges.
While picking the best hashtags for your Instagram posts, you should choose some high-volume ones with millions of followers and a couple of niche hashtags with a modest follower base.
Make sure that each of your Instagram posts has a specific hashtag strategy.
For example, take a look at this post from Palmer’s.
They include a mix of high, low, and medium competition hashtags. There are also a couple of branded hashtags. Another thing you’ll notice is that they add hashtags to the comments. This is a nice way to keep the captions clean.
Using such a mix of hashtags in your posts widens your reach and attracts diverse audiences.
5. Take advantage of alt text
Instagram added a new feature that allows you to add text behind their photos and videos. It’s known as ALT text (or tag), with a limit of 100 characters.
Primarily, this feature was designed to help visually impaired people enjoy Instagram. But it offers SEO benefits too.
ALT text allows you to include more keywords in your Instagram posts without keyword-stuffing your copy.
Adding ALT text to your Instagram posts helps Instagram algorithms better understand what the post contains and its relevance for individual users.
6. Don’t overstuff with keywords
There’s no denying that using relevant keywords throughout your Instagram profile helps you get found in top search results.
But refrain from overstuffing your Instagram posts with keywords as it’s a blackhat SEO technique, and you can get penalized for the same.
Instagram can abandon your page for unsophisticated techniques such as keyword stuffing.
It recently introduced shadowban blocking accounts of users who repeatedly break the rules and cheat the algorithm.
Read More: Fix “Try Again Later” error on Instagram.
7. Pay attention to best-performing posts
If you don’t measure the results of your SEO techniques, what will be the point of implementing them in the first place?
Keeping an eye on your best-performing Instagram posts is crucial.
After you upgrade to a business account, you have access to Instagram insights where you can see the performance of each of your posts by analyzing data such as:
- How many people saw your post?
- Where have they found it?
- What is the number of people who have saved your posts?
- How many mentions has your post got?
By paying attention to insights on your Instagram posts’ performance, you can determine how optimized your content is for search and strategize your future Instagram SEO campaigns.
The Bottom Line on Instagram SEO
There’s a thin line that differentiates between an average Instagram business account and a winning brand, and you can easily cross this line if you leverage all the Instagram SEO tips and tricks described in this article.
Instagram SEO is no rocket science. When implemented correctly, it lets you drive organic traffic, build exposure, and enhance your brand awareness within the target audience irrespective of your Instagram marketing goals!
So, why wait?
Leverage these tips to transform your Instagram presence in a manner that puts your end-users in the forefront while expanding your reach!
Rachel Bowland is the content manager at Social Marketing Writing and Creatiwitt. She likes to write about marketing and design.