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Instagram SEO: Benefits and How it Works

By: Viral Nation | 4 mins read |
With over a billion Instagram users worldwide and many brands using the platform to promote their own products, it can be hard to make your content stand out without a proper SEO strategy. This article should help get you started. But first, what exactly is Instagram SEO, and why is it so important for brands to have a proper strategy? SEO is the process of optimizing pages so that they can be easier to find when using search engines. When someone searches for a keyword or hashtag, you want your account to appear at the top of their list. A strong SEO strategy that optimizes your account and content can help you reach a larger audience and grow your following - more eyes on your brand! The good news is that about half of Instagram users use the "Explore" function to find new accounts and posts every month. So, you have plenty of chances to meet new target markets and showcase your brand and products. Now, let’s dive into the benefits of implementing Instagram SEO and understanding exactly how it works on this social media platform.

Benefits of Implementing Instagram SEO

Implementing SEO on your Instagram page requires effort and a clear strategy, but it’s so worth it. Here are some of the primary benefits that might convince you to finally build out that SEO strategy.

Improves brand awareness

SEO on Instagram is great for enhancing brand awareness and setting yourself apart from your competitors. You want to create recognition, but also be memorable and differentiated from the rest of brands in your industry. The higher people's awareness of your brand is, the more likely your brand will be the first choice when a user searches for related products. Algorithms are designed to determine which brands are most relevant to the user searching, so those brands that are recognizable and popular among users will be pushed forward when searched. Continue to deliver high quality content and value through your posts, and stay consistent with them so people (and the algorithm) recognize your brand immediately. This will help keep your brand top of mind!

Builds a community

Building a community with your audience is so important to your brand’s success. A strong SEO strategy will help the algorithm push your post to a user searching for it. If they resonate with your brand or previous posts, their interest in exploring your brand deeper will automatically increase. Imagine if this happens to hundreds or thousands of people ⁠— you would see an engaged community of followers who care about the message you are bringing. This sense of community ultimately increases brand loyalty and organic traffic to your website. People are more likely to recommend a product or brand they love if they resonate with the values and feel as if they belong. Once you have a strong community, you are able to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.  Tip: Choosing relevant keywords and hashtags on posts will influence Instagram’s search algorithm to push your content forward when a user searches for it.

Enhances collaboration

Instagram SEO not only helps you to become more visible to your target market, but to other brands as well. They may approach your brand to collaborate on certain projects after seeing your previous posts. If you believe these brands align with yours in terms of vision and values, a collaboration is a great way to increase your exposure even more. Brand collaboration can expand your market because the other brands' followers will see your posts, too. Not only will you have access to a brand new audience, but you can learn creative strategies from these collaborators to improve your product and marketing approaches. See what your audience responds well to and what they don’t to improve future posts!

Converts engagement to sales

There are a couple ways to convert engagement to sales. For example, creating Instagram stories with product links that users have easy access to is a great way to encourage purchasing your products. Providing relevant content and convenience to your target audience will go a long way. Make your Instagram page shoppable with many links and relevant hashtags or keywords so when a user is looking for a certain product, they come across your page first. If you want to convert the engagement on your actual posts into sales, CTA or call-to-action functions will be helpful. Manual links and captions are the simplest CTA that you can utilize to lead people into buying your products.

Understanding how SEO works on Instagram 

You can implement Instagram SEO effectively if you know how the platform's search function operates. Here is how Instagram recommends search results to its users so you can build your strategy around it.

Textual element

Instagram will connect search results with what users have typed in their search bar. The platform typically matches the search terms with relevant textual elements like captions, hashtags, usernames, bios and even locations. Typically, users will click on posts placed on top of the results. Make sure you use relevant hashtags and keywords to increase the chances of your profile ranking first!

Users' past activities

Instagram keeps track of users' previous activities. When someone types a particular term that they might have already looked for in the past, Instagram immediately recommends accounts and hashtags they had accessed before. Try to stay top of mind with users by continuing to post regularly, with high quality content.


The Instagram algorithm recommends popular posts to users using relevant search bar terms. This platform decides on popularity using cues like follower counts, clicks, likes and shares. Therefore, you need to craft interesting posts to build these organic engagements. This is where community management comes in! Respond to comments and direct messages to engage with your followers and show them you care about what they have to say. Instagram SEO is something that you should always pay attention to if you want to build brand awareness on the platform. The opportunities to reach out to more audiences are endless, and if you are consistent enough, you might have the opportunity for great collaborations with other brands and converting engagement into quality leads!