Want to boost the visibility of your business on Instagram? Then Instagram SEO is the way forward. The chances are that you’re hearing Instagram SEO for the first time and wondering what it is about.
You may think that SEO only applies when you want to rank your blog posts on Google or videos on YouTube.
No, it applies on Instagram, and businesses that use this visual platform to generate leads invest time in it. Want to learn how it works? Then you have to stick around because I’ll cover that in this guide.
What is Instagram SEO?
Instagram Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your content on Instagram to boost your chances of ranking for competitive topics, phrases, and hashtags.
It is about ethically doing what you can to get the algorithm to push your business profile and content to top search results for target users to engage with them.
What are the benefits of Instagram SEO for businesses?
There are over one billion active Instagram users worldwide. This vast audience performs searches every day on this platform, and positioning your business where they can easily see it means the following:
- A wider audience will find your content organically.
- Potential customers can easily find the products and services you offer
- You generate quality leads that convert to sales.
- You save the money you could have spent on Instagram ads which aren’t cheap if you plan to reach a wider audience
- More engagement with your content improves your page trust
Steps to increase the visibility of your business on Instagram
SEO Your Instagram Business Account
Search results on Instagram depend on several factors, including the accounts you follow. The algorithm will likely suggest your account to users who follow accounts in the same niche as yours.
This happens primarily when a user performs a search with a keyword related to your business. That’s why you need to optimize your business account.
How do you go about it?
Incorporate a key target keyword to your business in your name or username. This will increase your chances of showing up on relevant search results.
Take a look at the screenshot below to see how a search I performed with the keyword “event planning” shows profiles with such a keyword in their name or username.
Since many businesses on Instagram may be targeting a particular keyword to include in their name or username, the official name you want may be unavailable.
However, you must find a way to play around with a keyword to ensure part of it forms your username or name.
Your bio is next. Add target keywords you want to rank for in your bio and use related keywords when describing your business.
For example, if your target keyword is photography, your related or secondary keywords can be portraits, photoshoots, weddings, etc.
Post Quality Content Always
Your target audience wants to engage with quality and helpful content. A high level of engagement suggests to the algorithm that users find such content useful and, therefore, should receive a boost.
And before you know it, your post on Instagram has gone viral.
Ensure the images you post are of high quality.
Ensure Your Captions Are Keywords Optimized
Writing captions that are keyword optimized will boost your chances of showing up on the explore page of target users.
Users search for content using location tags and hashtags on the explore page. The algorithm recommends content based on interest and interaction.
Let’s assume you are a graphic designer and want to post a sample of the graphics you designed for a client. Your caption could be, “Our graphic designs are top-notch, just delivered to another client who is happy”.
If you lack an idea of how to write an optimized caption, Jasper AI copywriting tool has templates for Instagram captions. Users interested in graphic design are likely to see your post on their explore page when they perform searches. That’s where optimized captioning benefits you.
Use Target Keywords As Hashtags
Hashtags help users discover content that interests them on Instagram. When you search for content using a hashtag, you see the number of posts with such a hashtag or even hashtags related to it.
Take a look at the screenshot below.
The case is the same when you tag your posts with hashtags. It will show up when users search using the hashtag, although it may not be in the top results.
Use your target keywords as hashtags to boost the chances of your content getting to the top of search results.
You can add up to 30 hashtags to a single post. Leverage it to attract the right audience but be sure not to abuse it. Don’t spam and use hashtags only when they add value to your post.
Leveraging Bookings Through Instagram
Instagram isn’t only about showcasing what you offer but can also be a conduit for potential customers to make bookings. With the integration of booking systems like the one offered by SimplyBook.me, businesses can enable Facebook & Instagram bookings directly from their profiles, making it easier for interested individuals to take the next step without having to leave the platform. This functionality not only enhances user experience but can also contribute to increased business visibility on Instagram as satisfied customers share their experiences.
Write Alternative Text For Images
Blind and visually impaired users can’t see your images. The screen reader describes your picture to them using the Alt text. Although Instagram auto-generates Alt text for your images, edit and rewrite it to make it detailed and linked specifically to your target keywords and phrases. Instagram SEO isn’t much different to usual SEO practices.
The idea is to use your relevant keywords in your Alt text for the algorithm to understand what the image is about and serve it to this category of users. To add Alt text to your pictures, follow these steps:
- Go to Advanced settings.
- Tap on “Write Alt text”.
- Write your Alt text and Save
When other businesses in the same niche tag your account in their stories or posts, users who engage with such posts can check out your profile. When other accounts tag you frequently, it sends a positive signal to the algorithm that others find your account helpful.
That is a boost to your account. Getting tagged on Instagram by relevant accounts requires you to build relationships and offer something in return.
For instance, you can ask people in your niche to tag you, and in return, you repost some of their photos. That’s a win-win.
Shun Black Hat SEO Techniques
Engaging in black hat techniques like content theft, keyword stuffing, bots, etc., can get your account into trouble. Avoid buying followers; Instead, get ethically built Instagram accounts from reputable companies like Socialtradia.
The consequence of black hat Instagram SEO can be the algorithm demoting your account, and all your SEO efforts will be in vain.
I know how frustrating it can be if you don’t see positive results. However, remember that Instagram SEO is a long-term strategy, and the gains don’t come instantly.
Analyze Your Instagram SEO Performance
Analyzing performance is one way to boost your business’s visibility on Instagram. You won’t know if your Instagram SEO efforts are yielding positive results unless you analyze.
Instagram has an in-built analytics feature that doesn’t give detailed insight into the performance of your content.
You can only pull data from a specific date, and the data can get lost or replaced once the window closes.
Social media analytics tools like Social Status can be an option for someone who wants to dive into details for marketing purposes.
They allow you to analyze the performance of every content you post on Instagram. That way, you know where to up your game.
Over to you
I can’t overemphasize the benefits of Instagram SEO. It is the way to go if you plan to establish your brand on Instagram. I have shown you simple Instagram SEO hacks and how you can use them to your advantage. It is up to you to begin to implement them.
Guest Author Bio – Chuks Chukwuemeka
Chuks Chukwuemeka is a Freelance SEO Content Writer & Strategist who helps SaaS brands grow their online presence organically. He’s the founder of depreneurdigest.com, a marketing blog, and loves learning new things about SEO. Connect with him on LinkedIn.