Instagram is home to more than one billion audiences, and in the ocean of this massive audience, how would you stand out? This is a question that is triggering a lot of influencers, bloggers, and social media managers.
Instagram SEO is the answer to this question. I am talking about search engine optimization, commonly abbreviated as SEO. It has been taking the internet by storm where businesses are trying hard to achieve higher yet organic results.
Not only for search engines like Google & Internet Explorer, but SEO has also become important for social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. In this guide, I will make you walk through the essentials that you need to understand about IG SEO. So let’s get into the details without any further ado.
What Is Instagram SEO?
Instagram SEO means optimizing your content to get discovered in the search results. This way, your profile or content will appear on the list when someone searches for a relevant keyword or hashtag.
Initially, searching was limited to hashtags or user accounts, but another cool feature was revealed in 2020. It was the announcement from Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, who said that people can now search via interests, which means you can use different keywords to search for your query.
Picture Credit: Neil Patel
This means you can now use general terms and search for your query with keywords. Instagram SEO on the back will dish up all the results containing your searched keyword. Look at the example below; I searched for the term “digital marketing” on the Instagram search box, and this is what the top results looked like. IG SEO yielded all the accounts and posts with digital marketing.
Following Instagram SEO best practices, which we will discuss later, you can improve your chances of becoming highly visible for the keywords that relate to your business. It will eventually increase your likes, views, followers, and shares by getting noticed by the audience.
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Understanding How Instagram SEO Works
Keeping in mind how SEO works for Google, now is the time to understand its key elements for Instagram. A strong Instagram marketing strategy and SEO is one of those elements that could help you increase your reach on the platform. So, you must brush up on your Instagram SEO to make your business more search-friendly.
As I said above, the process of SEO is all about tailoring your content, so it can appear in as many searches as possible. Now, let’s understand how SEO for Instagram works.
Basically, the visual platform SEO allows you to optimize profiles and content to improve visibility on the platform. Once you have optimized the content and profile as per your niche, the Instagram algorithm comes into action.
It checks the content and profile for relevant hashtags and keywords to rank them in feed and search options. Here, it is important for the influencer/ blogger/ social media manager to add popular and niche-specific hashtags in their captions to make them more search friendly.
A powerful Instagram marketing strategy and SEO needs to have all the key ranking factors to develop a robust platform presence. These factors include relevance to the search query, user activity, and popularity of content.
By taking these factors into consideration, the Instagram algorithm checks whether the username, bio, caption, hashtag, and location match the query of the user or not. So if you search for the term “painting,” some of the top account suggestions will have “painting” in the username, profile name, or bio.
Moreover, it will also consider individual activity like accounts, posts, and hashtags with which the user has interacted previously. In the end, it will consider the popularity of the content as well based on its likes, shares, follows, and saves to decide which ones to rank first.
Related Article: 25+ Awesome Instagram Tools for Rapid Growth in 2022
How to Use Instagram SEO for Boosted Visibility
Instagram is a diverse platform where people from different ethnicities and cultures come together and share their content. Using Instagram SEO correctly can help you push your profile higher in the search results; this infographic above explains the process.
You can optimize your profile and content by using the right keywords and publishing the post at the right time. Using location tags will also become weighty to look at your content promotion. This way, you can build an authoritative niche and become a known Instagram influencer.
What Makes Instagram SEO Different?
The Instagram algorithm works quite differently from popular search engine algorithms like Google. While searching for your query on search engines, you don’t need to add hashtags, but this visual platform SEO highly emphasizes them. These hashtags play a vital role in search and discoverability on Instagram. Audiences use these words to search for their query, and any account containing that certain word appears in the search results.
Profiles and accounts with more likes, shares, and followers secure higher ranks in search results. Instagram has other ranking factors, but hashtags are still central to its SEO and algorithm. A separate search option is also available on the bar, where you can look for hashtags.
Also, note that the keywords/hashtags in your username and bio are perceived more heavily than the keywords in your captions. To get noticed by the SEO for the platform, your post should garner tons of likes and shares to rank more prominently in the relevant searches to show up on the explore page for the audience.
10 Instagram SEO Ranking Factors
SEO of Instagram is a bit of science that eventually unfolds when you start to post the content across the platform. There is no rule of thumb to rank on the platform. But, with the help of certain ranking factors, you can make your presence remarkable and visible on Instagram. Below, I have jotted down some Instagram ranking factors that can help you boost your profile’s visibility across the platform.
Use the Right Search Text
Before creating a professional account, figure out your end goal from the platform. Research extensively to create your niche and draft a collection of your keywords. Here, you must know about your audience and what they generally search on Instagram. Learn about their choice and then decide the terms over which you would like to rank on the search engine.
Instagram SEO would benefit you only when you correctly use the search terms. For example, if you deal with makeup hacks, you would have to go with all those relevant words that could land a makeup enthusiast on your profile. You can use Instagram tools to find keywords and hashtags and add them in bio, caption, username, and descriptions.
Monitor Your Audience Activity
This factor includes the hashtags and accounts the user has recently followed and interacted with and which posts they have viewed in the past. At this point, you need to understand what your audience is looking for. Once you find what your audience wants to see from your side, focus solely on it.
Here are the search results when I search “Maldives” from my main Instagram account. It dishes up all those results in which the Maldives is found. This could be a blogger’s profile or a company’s page as well that has used the word the Maldives somewhere. So, understand the target audience, engage with them, and use target keywords rightly for Instagram SEO.
Check the Content Popularity
Make sure to conduct research to find the popular content types on Instagram. As the platform is growing rapidly among Gen Z, you can go with the short reels and video content about trending topics.
Instagram considers clicks, likes, shares, and saves important to rank an account. It is important to learn the ideal times to post on Instagram to spark engagement right at that time. Posting right in those active hours would help your content reach far and wide because it would be fresh. Here is an example of the world’s most liked picture on Instagram, “The Egg,” which blows my mind!
Related Article: 12 Effective Ways to Use Instagram for Small Business
Implement Right Hashtags
Instagram SEO is nothing without hashtags. You must experiment with the right hashtags to improve your account’s visibility. You must create optimized content with the right keywords that could help your users find you on the platform. Leveraging the right keywords into your content would help your account get more discovery on Instagram.
You can organize and sort the hashtags by keywords for different posts and purposes. Social Champ also offers a hashtag manager that you can use to find, save, and organize trending hashtags within the content composer. You can use them to boost engagement and create multiple sets of hashtags for Instagram posts. Here is an example of a real-life mermaid post on Instagram with its pin-perfect hashtags.
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Keep Your Content Crisp
Instagram is all about posting great content that could drive higher engagement. Since the competition on the platform is super high, you need to bring unique ideas that could garner the audience’s attention. At this point, reconsider your end goal of using Instagram, think about the audience, and then tailor your content per mutual interest. Here is what Tom Holland’s Instagram post looked like when he was in the limelight after his movie with Zendaya.
This is just an idea to let you know how the audience goes all crazy for the content they love. The continuously growing audience and competition on Instagram prove that this platform will not slow down. And you would definitely not like your content to lag behind. Keep it crisp, short, and visually attractive to steal the audience’s attention. Social Champ also offers a recycle feature where you can repurpose your content, create collections and run a campaign on Instagram.
Add Right Keywords in Bio & Descriptions
Another important factor of Instagram SEO is adding the right keywords in the bio and in your description. Bio is an abbreviation for the term biography that you can add right below your profile on Instagram. It helps the audience understand your quick introduction, so they can have an idea about your interests and content.
While writing your bio and description below your profile, make sure to add the right keywords to make them optimized for Instagram SEO. Besides adding keywords in the description and bio, add them in your captions as well to reach the audience far and wide. This way, whoever around the globe will search for that keyword will eventually find your post too!
Create Reels Using Popular Audio
You can also create reels using the popular audio to rank higher in the Instagram search engine via its SEO. To stay updated, you need to learn which type of content is performing best on this platform and create Instagram Reels per its demand.
This way, adding the right music to the reel and using it in the hashtag would help your account to rank higher by Instagram SEO. While making reel content and using audio, pay attention to the copyright policies of Instagram. Do not use or copy music without copyright, or Instagram will suspend your account. Check out the account of Khaby Lame for reel inspiration as he is definitely the king of short format videos.
Stay Consistent With Your Niche
For Instagram SEO, you must decide your end goals and KPIs first. Read about Instagram analytics before diving into the tiring and time-consuming journey of becoming a popular Instagram influencer/business page.
Once you are done with posting content on Instagram, track and monitor its performance and insights. This way, you will get an idea of your account’s reach and engagement among the audience. Create appealing content that could garner the likes and shares of the audience. Use the right camera and styles to create your posts and stick to your niche to maintain consistency on your profile. This is the example of @thetravelpro, a traveling blogger on Instagram.
Take Advantage of Instagram Alt Text
Automatic Instagram alt text is an alternative text to your photo in case it is not loading on a website. This way, instead of seeing a photo due to page loading speed, people would be able to read those alternative texts. You can replace this text to provide a better description of a photo. Here is how to do it.
- Upload a photo on Instagram.
- Choose a filter, edit the image, tap Next, or click the arrow.
- Tap Advanced settings at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap Write alt text.
- Write your alt text in the box, tap Done, or click the arrow.
Post at the Right Time
It measures your posting at the ideal times and shows your posts to the audience at their active times. At this point, you need to learn some amazing Instagram hacks that could simply boost your presence on Instagram. Here is our guide to those lesser-known Instagram hacks!
Make sure to learn about the best time to post on Instagram, check your audience’s active hours, look for the popularity of your content, and then go with the posting schedule. This will automatically show your content in the higher search results, and your account will gradually get noticed.
Become an Instagram Champ!
By focusing on consistent Instagram SEO about your brand, you can gain the rewards of increased discovery and attain maximum reach in no time. With the help of just a few tweaks and improvements, you can take complete advantage of Instagram searches and posts. This ultimate guide is equipped with tried and tested SEO tips that could help you grow a strong community for your content on Instagram.
So what are you waiting for? Start scheduling your SEO-optimized content right away!
Happy SEO Instagramming!
Learn About Other Network SEO
- Optimize Your Pinterest SEO for Better Reach
- Facebook SEO 2023: How to Optimize Facebook Pages for Max Brand Reach
People Also Ask
1. What Is Instagram SEO 2023 in Easy Words?
2. What Are Some Major Instagram SEO Ranking Factors
- Optimized profile name and bio.
- Image alt text for each post.
- Detailed captions with target keywords.
- Relevant hashtags.
- Analytics monitoring.