With its 2 billion monthly active users, Instagram has established itself as the fourth most popular social media platform around. Recently, it has climbed its way up to becoming the fifth most visited website worldwide, offering creators and businesses the potential to expand their reach and connect with a larger audience.
However, challenges also arise, and the most significant ones among them are related to discoverability and reaching a wider audience. Therefore, crafting your content with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Instagram is crucial to your success on the platform.
If you’re interested, keep reading because this blog post will take you on a crash course on how to improve your SEO skills and optimise your Instagram content without wasting time, ensuring you get results starting tomorrow.
The Importance of SEO for Instagram
Picture Instagram as an ocean of content and you as a smallest island in the middle, with limited chance of being seen. It can feel like the end of the world, especially when you’ve poured your heart, soul, time, and talent into creating valuable content. Thankfully, there is a beacon of hope, the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Instagram acts as the lighthouse that guides users towards you, making you reality visible.
Тhanks to Instagram SEO, you can now be:
- Discovered. Instagram search is the ultimate directory within the Explore page. Just like searching on Google, it’s a powerful tool for discovering new content and connecting with the Instagram community. In fact, it is so powerful that in 2023 according to Google, 40% of gen Z prefer using it over Google. Instagram users can search for specific accounts, hashtags, or locations. Therefore, if you are using Explorer, you might want to use Instagram SEO to increase your chances of appearing in Explorer searches.
- Recommended. By optimising your account, you have the opportunity to be featured in Instagram’s recommended content. This is the place where users stumble upon content from accounts they don’t follow, but which align with their interests. It includes accounts that are similar to the ones they already follow and posts that resemble the ones they have liked or saved.
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How Instagram SEO Works
Instagram SEO is a set of strategies and techniques to amp up your content, ultimately boosting its visibility and securing higher rankings in the platform’s search results and reccomendations.
Instagram does not use a traditional SEO system – think of it more as the cool cousin of traditional SEO for websites, working its magic to enhance discoverability and reach a broader audience.
SEO for Instagram has a few key elements, however, it’s crucial to keep in mind that algorithms and best practices are constantly evolving. Hence, staying updated with the latest trends and changes is essential for effective SEO!
That is why, it’s best to keep in mind the following:
- Identify your keywords. Determine which keywords you want to prioritise and rank for.
- Username. Opt for a username that aligns with your brand or identity.
- Name and Bio. Create a snappy profile name and bio that describe your brand or purpose, while incorporating relevant keywords.
- Captions. Craft captivating and keyword-packed captions and descriptions that engage your audience while providing valuable information.
- Hashtags. Boost the discoverability of your content by using trending and relevant hashtags in your captions and comments.
- Alt Text. Use descriptive alt text for your images to provide context and improve accessibility.
- Geotagging. Attract local users and enhance discoverability for location-based searches by adding location tags to your posts.
- High-Quality Visual Content. Share eye-catching and top-notch photos and videos that truly captivate your audience.
- Engagement. Get involved with your audience by responding to comments, starting discussions, and showing love to other relevant posts through likes and comments.
- Consistency. Maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and encourage regular interaction.
- User-generated Content (UGC). Encourage your followers to create and share content related to your brand. UGC can boost engagement and expand your reach.
Now, let’s take a look at those key elements and transform them into actionable and valuable tips just for you.
Improve SEO Ranking: 5 Tips of How Increase Your Chances Of Being Discovered and Recommended
As you master your account and its content, always keep in mind the ultimate goal: to maximise the ranking of your profile and individual posts for the keywords that hold significance to you.
1. Identify Your Keywords
Before you even think about making a single change to your Instagram profile or content, it is absolutely crucial to have a clear answer to this question: which keywords do you want to rank for? The answer will serve as the foundation for your optimization strategy. You can do it by:
- using traditional keyword research tools such as Semrush or WordStream
- using hashtags research tools as Keyword.Io, or
- typing terms related to your business in the search field on Instagram
When searching you need to differentiate between broad keywords (head terms) and specific keywords (long-tail keywords) because they serve different goals:
- Head terms. Let’s suppose you have a furniture business. The term “chairs” is a popular keyword, but it may not necessarily indicate strong commercial intent. It could be that people are searching for information, or DIY projects related to chairs rather than looking to make a purchase.
- Long-tail keywords. On the flip side, a long-tail keyword such as “comfy ergonomic office chairs” is more precise. While it may not be searched for as frequently, it demonstrates a stronger intent to purchase. Users who search for these keywords are more than likely seeking a specific chair that prioritises comfort.
Now, let’s talk about your goals. If you’re aiming to increase visibility for your B2B software solution, focus on head terms. You may also consider targeting popular keywords like “business management software” to attract a broader audience and boost your profile’s visibility in the market.
However, if your main objective is to drive conversions and reach decision-makers actively searching for a solution, long-tail keywords are the secret sauce. Optimise your content for specific terms like “cloud-based CRM software for enterprise-level businesses” to connect with users who are actively seeking a B2B software solution that caters to their specific needs and requirements.
It is absolutely possible for you to aim for both if that is what you desire. You can increase traffic to your profile and drive conversions by focusing on both head therms and long-tail keywords. However, it’s important to note that not all optimizations carry the same level of significance. That’s why it’s crucial to establish your priorities right from the start!
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2. Optimise Your Profile
Now that you have properly prioritised your keywords, it’s time to integrate them into your profile.
- Username. Your username or handle is searchable, so it’s crucial to include the primary keyword that holds the utmost importance for your business. In the example mentioned earlier, “cloud-based CRM software for businesses” would be an excellent choice to incorporate into your username. If it is possible, incorporate both your brand name and primary keyword in your username.
- Profile Name. You can consider your profile name as your “business name” on Instagram. Underneath your profile picture, you have the opportunity to add those keywords that describe your business. This allows users to quickly understand who you are and what you are proposing.
- Bio. The same applies to the Bio section. This is where you can include other important keywords that didn’t make it into your username or name, but are still relevant to what you want to rank for.
3. Optimise Your Posts
There are three main ways to optimise your posts for Instagram SEO:
- Optimise your captions (post descriptions). In the past, Instagram Explore allowed searches only through hashtags, location tags, usernames, and profile names. But there has been a recent shift. Now, you have the ability to conduct searches using keywords as well. While not as impactful as optimising your profile, incorporating targeted keywords in your captions increases the likelihood of appearing in Explorer and attracting more attention to your content.
- Optimise with hashtags. Hashtags are the oldest form of optimization on Instagram. In addition to using hashtags that are relevant to your specific business and post, try experimenting with location hashtags, popular hashtags, or trending hashtags. If you prefer to hide them, you can push them down in your caption or post them in a comment.
- Optimise with Alt Text. The Instagram alt text feature enables you to add a custom alternative text, offering a more detailed description of your photos. After adding an image and reaching the caption screen, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Advanced Settings.” Next, tap Write Alt Text.
4. Use Geotag
Using geotags offers several benefits for SEO. This nifty feature allows users to link your content to specific coordinates, adding a location to your posts. However, it works only if you decide to make your location public on Instagram. You can create locations, use stickers in Stories, or hashtag locations. Geotagging enhances discoverability, enables location-based targeting, and boosts engagement for businesses with physical locations.
5. Optimise with Irresistible Content and a Well Crafted Strategy
Having a solid Instagram content strategy and producing high-quality content is important for Instagram SEO and overall success on the platform. Here’s where you should be putting your efforts::
- High-Quality Visual Content. High-quality visual content plays a vital role in Instagram SEO. It captures attention, increases engagement, and enhances the overall user experience, leading to improved visibility and reach on the platform.
- Engagement. Engaging with your audience through likes, comments, shares, and interactions signals to the algorithm that your content is valuable. Therefore, make an extra effort to communicate, ask questions, respond to comments, start discussions, and share in Stories to boost visibility and improve Istagram SEO performance.
- Consistency. By posting regularly, maintaining a content calendar and using the correct scheduling tools, you can ensure a steady flow of high-quality content that not only engages your audience, but improves your visibility on the platform.
- User-Generated Content (UGC). Encouraging your followers to create and share content related to your brand is a strategic move. UGC not only boosts engagement but also expands your reach by tapping into the networks of your followers. Additionally, UGC acts as social proof, showcasing real experiences and testimonials from satisfied customers.
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To wrap it up, Instagram SEO can be highly advantageous in increasing your brand’s visibility and reach. So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to optimise your profile, incorporate relevant keywords, engage with your audience, and leverage the power of user-generated content. Take action now and witness how high your Instagram success can soar!