With roughly 1 billion people worldwide using Instagram, it’s SO easy for your content to get lost in the crowd—and we all know that low visibility means poor engagement. That’s why having a solid Instagram SEO strategy is a MUST. By implementing Instagram’s SEO best practices, you can tap into your users’ searches, make your business more discoverable, and increase engagement. Sounds exciting, right? (Please say yes. Otherwise, we wrote this blog for nothing.)
Maybe you’re thinking, “Wait, what’s SEO?” or, “I thought SEO was only for Google….” If that’s you, you’re not alone. And don’t worry—we’ve got you. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It’s basically how discoverable (or searchable) your business is online, and there are a ton of factors that go into good SEO. We’ll have to write a blog on that one next month.
Most people only associate SEO with search engines like Google, but Instagram has its own search functions built directly into the app. And believe us, you want to be discoverable! That’s how you grow your audience and get new leads, and new leads and a growing audience mean more of what we are allll looking for—sales.
So, let’s look at some helpful tips on how to improve your Instagram SEO.
1. Optimize your profile
Want to make Instagram search work for you? Optimizing your profile is a great place to start! Try using keywords in your username and profile! For example—if you own a bakery, you would try to use the word “bakery” in your username and then follow that up with secondary keywords like “brownies,” “cookies,” or “wedding cakes.” Secondary keywords catch users who may not be searching via your primary keyword but may be interested in your product or service.
If you already have an established brand name, there are some limitations when using keywords in your username for brand consistency. So instead, look for an opportunity to use keywords in your profile name.
2. Write descriptive captions with keywords
A couple of years ago, users could only search for content on Instagram using hashtags or profile names. Oh, how the times have changed! Now users can search and discover using keywords, with result pages including posts, Stories, Reels, and accounts you may be interested in—that’s why writing short, descriptive, but straight to the point captions with strategically placed keywords is essential.
Descriptive captions aside, keep in mind that you’re still writing captions for people to read, so overstuffing a long-winded caption full of obviously placed keywords would not be ideal. We guarantee your followers won’t appreciate it either. Keep it authentic!
3. Use the power of the hashtag to your advantage
Before keywords came into the picture, hashtags were the go-to way to search for content—which is why they still play an important role in Instagram SEO and business discoverability. To get the most out of your hashtags, BE STRATEGIC. Try using a blend of business-specific hashtags, local-to-you hashtags, keyword hashtags, branded hashtags, and trending hashtags to increase your discovery chances.
If you’re unsure what hashtags would be best for your business, a quick Google search can help you find a hashtag research tool. (Or we can help!)
4. Use Instagram’s Alt text feature
The Instagram Alt Text feature is a great way to create content that’s more inclusive and accessible to the hearing impaired. It also allows you to add more in-depth descriptions to your posts in the event that your post images fail to load (Hey, glitches happen!).
Another great benefit of using the Alt Text feature is that Instagram can use it to better figure out what your post is about—meaning it can better determine if your post is relevant to a specific search result, giving your post more reach.
If you’re in a pinch, Instagram automatically generates Alt Text for you. However, the automated text will never be as rich as the one you write, so if you’re able, take time to write your Alt Text and sprinkle in some keywords there, too!
5. Be consistent
Lastly, and maybe the simplest of the five tips—be consistent. Consistently implementing your SEO best practices shows the almighty Instagram algorithm you have staying power! It proves just who you are and the value in what you provide to their platform, which in turn makes the algorithm want to allow relevant users to find your profile and content when searching on Instagram.
You’ll reap the benefits of greater discovery and reach in no time at all if you keep a consistent SEO message about your business!
If your goal is to build a strong community of followers on Instagram, having a solid SEO strategy is an absolute necessity. We know that trying to wrap your head around an SEO for your business can be overwhelming, but you can believe us when we say it’s worth it!
Need some help with your Instagram SEO strategy but are unsure of where to start? Our team can help! Drop us a line—we would love to talk to you and help you create a plan that works for your business.