Why is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on Instagram important? It’s simple: your posts will rank higher on the platform’s search function. When someone searches for a relevant keyword or hashtag, you want your account or content to appear at the top of the list. A strong SEO strategy that optimizes your account and content for search engines can help you reach a larger audience and grow your following.
Here are five SEO tactics that you can implement to improve your Instagram account’s visibility among the platform’s more than a billion active users:
1. Optimize your Instagram profile for better search results
Since Instagram uses profiles to decide which posts are relevant to the search, you need to adjust your profile to align better with what your target market wants to find on the social platform. The best way to do this is through your handle and bio.
Choose a handle and profile name that is relevant to your content. If you’re already well known by your brand name, start there and try to include a keyword if there is room. Test it out, type in “travel” on Instagram and see how many brands have incorporated that specific word within their profile name for best search results.
Include your location in your bio and be as specific as possible to be able to reach a target audience your brand requires. You may also want to include contact information so people have a direct way of contacting you without ever having to leave your page.
2. Choose the right hashtags on posts
Although people used to hide hashtags in the comment section of your posts, actually placing hashtags within your captions is effective in influencing Instagram’s search algorithm. However, adding hashtags to your captions alone is not enough — you need to find the right hashtag.
Start by researching hashtags related to your brand that other people often use and include them in your post. Use only three to five hashtags per post. Why would you limit your hashtags if Instagram allows 30 to be posted? Because you aren’t able to tell which hashtags drive traffic to your page. So if you have 3-5 and receive a lot of traffic, you are able to track and measure results much easier. Use a combination of popular and nice-specific hashtags that surround your brand or your campaign post to reach a larger audience when searching.
3. Maintain quality posts
Your audience should never feel disappointed after seeing one of your posts. Every piece of content must be well-crafted and entertaining to keep them wanting more and coming back to your page.
Having said that, you must adhere to Instagram’s post guidelines or the platform may not recommend your posts. Make sure to stay away from offering false or misleading information, using other platforms to purchase likes or comments, and using a clickbait method to attract Instagram users. If your content has any of these, Instagram may delete your post altogether or it will be harder for users to find your content.
4. Utilize alt text
Alt text allows you to describe the image or video you posted textually for people who are visually impaired. It also describes the post to the audience if somehow the image or video fails to load smoothly. Beyond that, if Instagram has a better understanding of what you are posting, it will better understand whether your content is relevant to a user’s specific search.
Although you can certainly put long alt text in each post, it is highly recommended to keep it concise. You should consider adding at least a keyword as well because it will greatly affect search optimization.
5. Implement keywords in captions
Instagram now allows its algorithm to detect keywords used in captions when tailoring search results. This development gives lesser-known brands an opportunity to reach out to new audiences as long as they can create strong captions.
This process starts with deciding which target keywords will suit your post. You can use analytics tools for websites to find keywords or you can use the “Tab” bar to help identify the most popular hashtags for your desired keyword.
Regardless of the difficulty in applying SEO principles on Instagram, there is no denying that the potential return is worth it. A strong SEO strategy that optimizes your account and content for search engines can help you reach a larger audience. Use the tactics mentioned above to increase your chance of success by boosting your Instagram reach.