You’re also likely asking yourself – can I really employ similar SEO techniques to optimize web pages for a social media app? Thankfully, you can. It’s not a matter of forcing Instagram into your current SEO strategy but using what you already know about SEO to corral organic growth to your Instagram account. You need to think of Instagram as its own search engine in a sense. Instagram has native search functions that act as its own version of Google.
We’re going to show you eight Instagram SEO techniques that will help expand your reach.
Optimize your Instagram profile
The initial step you need to take toward increasing your Instagram SEO reach is to optimize your Instagram profile. Funneling traffic to your Instagram account simply won’t benefit you in the long-run if your brand’s profile isn’t designed for the best possible user experience.
Here are a few tricks to optimize your Instagram profile:
- Make your profile public
- Select a vibrant, on-brand profile image
- Secure a recognizable and searchable @username (such as @andrewroche99)
- Generate an easily searchable business name
- Register for an Instagram business account
- Include a trackable link in your bio
These may seem like no-brainers, but it’s important to develop a sturdy framework before you engage in any other SEO changes. Once you’ve covered the above basics, you can then move onto the more technical optimization steps.
Include your Instagram SEO primary keyword in your display name and @username
As we touched on above, Instagram is a mini, self-contained, search engine. That being said, you need to play within the app to land the coveted top rank search position.
First off, you’ll need to identify your Instagram SEO primary keyword. We’ll use ‘travel’ as our example here. When an Instagram user looks to fill their feed with travel news, they’ll most likely search the keyword ‘travel’. When you have this keyword in both your display name and @username, you’re far more likely to show up in search results for suggested accounts.
Use Instagram SEO secondary keywords in your bio
So you’ve taken care of your Instagram SEO primary keyword, now it’s time to get the most out of your secondary keywords. These keywords are the phrases and topics that link to your core keyword.
If your main keyword is ‘travel’, your secondary terms might be things like ‘vacation’, ‘adventure’, ‘flights’, etc.
Secondary keywords are ideal for luring people who might not be seeking your primary keyword, but could still be interested in your brand. An individual seeking travel tips will likely follow Travel Beyond Limits if they find them in the search because it still matches the user’s intended search.
Treat your hashtags as keywords
Once you’ve successfully optimized your profile, it’s time for you to optimize your posts. This is definitely an ongoing process, which requires special attention. Many users aren’t going to directly look for you. They’ll most likely find your brand via a #hashtag on a specific post.
This is why every one of your Instagram posts should have a unique SEO hashtag strategy. It is essential that you treat every #hashtag as a secondary keyword.
By incorporating an array of post-specific #hashtags, you can increase your chance of attracting a wider, more diverse audience. This provides users with a better chance of finding you than if you used the same five #hashtags on every post – this just becomes redundant and futile. The key is variety and relevance.
Use secondary keywords in your image captions
Remember how I mentioned before that Instagram is it’s own mini search engine? Well, this means that every part – and I mean every part – of your Instagram presence should be focused on keywords. Crafting effective, engaging captions is vital for reeling in new followers while still satisfying current ones.
The correct caption can do far more than simply catch a user’s attention. Furthermore, it can also help you show up in search results. Just how you optimize your bio and #hashtags with secondary keywords, you ought to do the same with your Instagram SEO captions.
Take advantage of Instagram alt text
Instagram’s alt text is a relatively new tool. It allows you to write captions for your images.
The feature is designed to help visually impaired users enjoy their engagement with Instagram. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the alt text feature can also be used to enhance your Instagram SEO game. Instagram automatically generates alt text for your photos if you opt to skip this step, so it’s best if you do it yourself to make sure the caption matches what’s actually in the photo.
The benefits of changing your Instagram alt text are nearly identical to the practice of using alt text on photos for your website. It can help posts rank better in the Instagram algorithm, have your results pulled for voice search, and more.
Track everything with analytics
You should be tracking how your Instagram strategy is impacting your overall social media goals. This is especially true if this is your first using Instagram SEO techniques to grow.
Instagram does provide in-platform analytics. However, it only permits you to gather data from a certain date. Once this window passes, the data is replaced with new data. This may be great for a casual user, but it’s less than ideal for marketing purposes.
Social media tools such as Hootsuite, Sprinklr, and Buffer allow you to circumvent this analytics nightmare. These tools provide analytic tracking services, automated reports, and more. They allow you to analyze the performance of posts and campaigns to optimize your future content.
As with most every content marketing strategy, having tangible data behind your content plan is essential. Tracking the success of your Instagram SEO tactics will help you further develop