When you’re looking for ways to boost your Instagram account, one thing you might not be considering is SEO. It’s easy to think that SEO (search engine optimization) is reserved for Google and other search engines. However, that’s not the case at all! In fact, you can pretty much implement SEO efforts on all your social media channels.
The app currently has over 2 billion active monthly users. And while that sounds like a lot, reaching your target audience can be tricky if you don’t know your way around Instagram SEO. But fret not! This guide is all you need to make your brand or business more search-friendly and build your community.
What Is SEO On Instagram?
Instagram SEO is basically what regular SEO is all about—optimizing your content so that your profile, images, or videos will rank higher in the Instagram search results. Though it may not be as exciting as optimizing your Instagram Stories or going live every now and then, it’s still well worth putting some effort into.
If you want to be discovered by users using keywords related to your business in their search, then Instagram SEO is a must! The better your discoverability, the more views, likes, and followers you get.
How Does Instagram SEO Work?
Every piece of content on Instagram is processed by the app’s algorithm, which compiles data it can use to determine what a post is about and, indirectly, who would find it interesting.
While the algorithm does all of its work automatically, you can do a few things to help steer it in a more optimized direction that will elevate your brand or business.
What Are The Key Factors of Instagram SEO?
Some of the key factors you should consider if you want to rank higher on the Explore page are the following:
- Search Query: The most important signal to find your Instagram account is when they utilize the search field to enter a word associated with your brand or business. The algorithm will try to find relevant top posts, accounts, audio, tags, and locations based on what you’ve searched for.
- User Activity: Instagram’s algorithm will prioritize a post in the search results if it believes the user will be more interested in it than another. This is usually based on the searcher’s previous activity on the app.
- Popularity: Sometimes, it all boils down to a popularity contest, especially when there is a high volume of relevant search results for a particular search keyword. Ranking in the search results can also be influenced by an account’s or post’s number of likes, clicks, shares, and followers.
When it comes to your Instagram SEO plan, the best thing you can do to increase your ranking is to help the algorithm correctly identify your content so that Instagram will know to include your post in the results the next time someone performs a search.
How Do I Increase Discoverability Through Instagram SEO?
Want to see your Instagram visibility soar? Then it’s time for you to understand how you can use SEO to your advantage!
Here are five strategies to increase your discoverability:
Identify What Your Keywords Are
What keywords are you trying to rank for? Before you change anything about your Instagram profile, content, or any of the campaigns you’re currently running, you must first have a concrete answer to this question.
If you have no idea what keywords will work for your brand or business, use keyword research tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs.
Just remember that your potential followers search differently on Instagram than on Google. So instead of keyword research tools, you might want to look into hashtag research tools. For example, check out Keyword.io’s Instagram hashtag tool or Ingramer’s hashtag generator tool.
Optimize Your Profile
The first impression of everyone who comes across your brand is formed by what they see on your profile. So it’s crucial to make one that draws users in and keeps them on your Instagram account.
Use your keywords naturally to gain more visitors and convert them into potential followers with an engaging profile.
- Username: While it’s not required, having your main keyword in your username would be better. The advantage of doing this, however, is that your account will more likely appear in relevant searches.
- Bio: The best place to put keywords that can help your rank higher is in your bio. That’s why it’s important to give clear information about your brand or business so that viewers can get to know you more easily. Don’t forget to add your contact details and your website URL here to increase organic traffic.
- Profile Picture: This is your identifier, so select an image relevant to your business. If you have a brand logo, go for it!
When your profile contains all the relevant information visitors need to get to know you, you can quickly gain more potential followers and paying customers!
Alt Text Is Your Best Friend
Did you know that Instagram lets you provide detailed alternative text for your photos and videos? While it’s mainly used for accessibility, you can leverage this feature for SEO.
Instagram currently generates alt text automatically so users of screen readers can hear descriptions of the content. In addition, it generates an automatic description of photos using object recognition technology, with varying degrees of success.
However, you can manually add alt text when writing a post. This can help you include useful extra information and keywords.
Use Hashtags As Your Keywords
In Google, keywords are crucial for website optimization. For Instagram, on the other hand, hashtags are the name of the game. Hashtags help people find what they’re looking for.
The app displays the posts tagged with a particular hashtag when you enter it in the search field. Similarly, if you include specific hashtags in your posts, your material will show up when your target audience searches for the same word. If your content proves to be appealing enough for them, they might even follow you to get more updates!
The right hashtags will attract the right audience. Once you figure out the hashtags that work for you, you’ll be able to create a community that will actually support your business.
One thing to keep in mind is that even though Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags, don’t overdo it! Five or six hashtags will usually do the trick.
Track and Analyze
An essential part of marketing research is tracking and analyzing your performance. If you truly want to keep gaining more followers, understanding your current standing is a crucial step you shouldn’t miss. Regularly audit your account and make the necessary adjustments to stay ahead of the competition.
Business accounts on Instagram have a built-in analysis tool that you can use to gauge how well your account is performing. Every content’s performance report is displayed in the metric.
Get a full report on the number of reach and impressions and see what draws audiences to your account, such as hashtags, profiles, or content from the feed.
Instagram SEO: The Secret To More Followers!
Instagram SEO is easy to overlook, but it’s a low-cost, high-impact strategy that will definitely do wonders for your reach and discoverability. Consequently, this will lead to increased traffic to your profile or website, driving even more conversions.