Instagram SEO – 9 Tips to Boost Your Reach in 2023

Instagram SEO best practices: boost your reach with these 9 tips in Instagram searches
  1. What is Instagram SEO?
  2. Search engine optimization vs. Instagram search engine optimization
  3. Why is SEO important for Instagram?
  4. 9 tips for better Instagram SEO strategy
  5. Conclusion

Our Instagram SEO tips are here to free you from worry!

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the ever-evolving world of social media? Do the constant algorithm changes leave you feeling disoriented?

Among these quick shifts, maintaining consistency is more than important.

If you’re seeking ways to enhance your reach in Instagram search results, it’s time to look into Instagram SEO.

Just like optimizing for Google or any other search engine, there are specific strategies you can employ to boost your rankings and increase visibility on the Explore page.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the process to optimize your Instagram profile and content to improve the search engine visibility of your Instagram profile.

By implementing these tips, you’ll pave the way to expanding your Instagram audience and reaching a broader base of followers.

Check out our article about how social media has changed marketing.

What is Instagram SEO?

Instagram SEO involves optimizing your profile and content to boost your visibility.

It’s about using specific techniques, like incorporating relevant keywords and hashtags, to improve your chances of appearing in the explore page and search results.

By implementing SEO strategies on your account, you can reach a wider audience and attract more followers on Instagram.

When it comes to Instagram SEO, there are two types you should know:

  • on-page,
  • and off-page

On-page SEO refers to the optimizations you can make directly on your own account. This includes using keywords in your bio, captions, and leveraging relevant hashtags.

Off-page SEO, on the other hand, involves actions outside of your account, like building links from other websites.

Both on-page and off-page SEO play a vital role in growing your Instagram following.

In this article, we will focus on on-page SEO tactics that you can easily apply to optimize your Instagram account and content.

Check out our article about the best content marketing tools available on the market.

What’s the difference between Instagram SEO vs Search Engine SEO?

Before we jump into the strategies to improve your Instagram SEO, let’s clarify the difference between search engine SEO and Instagram SEO.

Search engine optimization:

Also known as SEO, involves optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results.

This includes using target keywords on your website and in your content, as well as acquiring links from other websites.

Here’s something to keep in mind: regular search engines like Google search all types of websites, including social media platforms. This means that when people search for topics related to what you post, Google might also scan your social media pages and display results from there.

Instagram SEO:

It focuses on optimizing your profile and content for a higher Instagram SEO ranking.

To improve your Instagram SEO, you can use specific keywords in your bio and captions and include relevant hashtags. Just like with regular SEO, the key is to use the right keywords that boost Instagram SEO.

Users can search for words, phrases, profiles, and hashtags in the Instagram search bar.

The ability to search by interest expands your opportunities as an Instagram user, letting you explore topics of interest without relying solely on specific hashtags.

You can search for topics or by interest, just like you would on Google.

To begin, locate the magnifying glass icon on either the desktop interface or mobile app of Instagram. This Instagram search box is where you can enter your topic of interest for searching.

Now, let’s see how it works:

suggested content feeds

Now let’s dive into the exciting part. You can start exploring and clicking around to discover more ideas on Instagram explore page.

By clicking on various content and profiles, you can go down a “rabbit hole” of exploration, just like Instagram and its creators hope you will.

As we mentioned earlier, Google treats Instagram and other social media sites like any other website.

This means that when people type your brand in the search bar on Google, your social media pages are likely to appear in the search results. It’s important to ensure that your username closely reflects your brand name to maintain consistency and visibility.

Let’s take an example of searching for “hairpalace” on Instagram using Google.

In order to get Instagram search results at the top, we had to include the word “Instagram” in the search.

However, this demonstrates the significance of having your main keyword in your username and bio. It showcases that aligning your username and bio with your primary keyword besides secondary keywords increases visibility and attracts relevant audiences.

Google SERP's: SEO for Instagram

When creating content that you want to optimize for Instagram’s search features, it’s important to consider how Google analyzes that content as well.

This is crucial for driving more traffic to your content, whether users are doing internal searches on Instagram or searches on Google.

Why should you care about Instagram SEO?

Now that you have some knowledge about Instagram SEO, you might wonder why it’s worth your effort.

Isn’t it enough to simply post great content and hope the relevant audience sees it?

The truth is, relying solely on great content is not sufficient to guarantee visibility.

In reality, most of your content is likely only seen by your most loyal followers.

If you want more people to discover and engage with your content, it’s important to know what makes Instagram SEO better.

By Instagram optimization for search engines, you enhance your visibility and reach a wider audience.

Instagram is a competitive platform, and to succeed, you need to find ways to stand out from the crowd.

Optimizing your account for search engines is one of the most effective strategies to achieve this.

It allows you to improve your chances of getting noticed, attracting new followers, and ultimately increasing your overall success on Instagram.

The importance of Instagram SEO

It is important because it helps you expand your reach and increase your follower count.

By optimizing your Instagram account and content for search engines, you will appear more in relevant searches.

When you put time and effort into creating Instagram posts, you want to ensure maximum engagement and return on investment (ROI) for each of them.

Improving your Instagram SEO brings two key benefits:

1.) Reach a larger audience

By ranking higher in search engines, relevant users will come across your Instagram content when they search for specific keywords or hashtags. This means your posts will be seen by a broader audience, increasing your chances of gaining exposure and attracting new followers.

2.) Grow your following

When you reach a larger audience, it naturally increases the likelihood of growing your follower count. As more people discover your content, some of them will choose to follow you. Over time, this can lead to significant growth in your followers, building a strong and engaged community.

While there are additional benefits to Instagram optimization, these two advantages stand out as the most significant. If your goal is to reach a wider audience and grow your follower base, it’s crucial to prioritize optimizing your account and content for search engines.

9 Tips to better your Instagram search engine optimization

Let’s explore some key practices to boost your reach.

1.) Optimize for search by interest

The initial step to a strong Instagram SEO strategy is to understand what your target audience is interested in.

What are they searching for on Instagram?

Optimizing your profile with relevant keywords in your bio is essential. Your bio is one of the first things people see when they visit your profile, so it’s crucial to make a positive impression.

The images below demonstrate two ways users can search by interest. The first image displays the top accounts associated with the keyword, while the second image showcases the top posts related to that keyword.

Seo for Instagram: results for search term "music"
keyword search result of instagram users

When crafting your bio, make sure to incorporate relevant keywords that accurately describe your profession and identity. For instance, if you’re a music artist, you can include keywords like “music” or “songwriting tips.”

By including relevant keywords in your bio, you enhance your chances of ranking higher in search engines and attracting more followers.

Moreover, using appropriate Instagram hashtags is essential for targeting a broader audience interested in your products or services.

For example, if you use the hashtag #music, you’re more likely to appear in search results when someone searches for that term.

Including relevant hashtags in your posts is an effective method to improve visibility on the platform and gain more followers.

Additionally, you can utilize the same keywords in your captions. Likewise in your bio, write descriptive captions as it is crawled by popular search engine algorithms.

For example, as a singer, you might use secondary keywords such as “singing tips” or “how to improve your voice.”

If you want to set a specific location for people on Instagram, explore location tags as Instagram SEO tactics.

Alt text is important for Instagram optimization

Alt text, also known as alternative text, is an important element of Instagram SEO.

Instagram alt text is a description or text attribute that can be added to an image on Instagram.

It serves as a textual representation of the image for users who are visually impaired or have images disabled.

To set an Instagram alt text:

  1. Create your post
  2. Go to “Advanced settings” before sharing
go to advanced settings and tap write alt text on Instagram
  1. Write a concise description in the caption to serve as alt text.
  2. Share your post

2.) Consistency is key for the Instagram algorithm

When it comes to Instagram SEO, consistency is key. It’s crucial to maintain a regular posting schedule and ensure that you post consistently.

Inconsistency in your posting can lead to a loss of followers. People may unfollow you if they notice that you’re not posting on a regular basis. It will also lead to your account not appearing in search results.

Additionally, it’s important to maintain a consistent theme or focus in your posts. All of your posts should be related to a specific topic or niche.

For instance, if you’re a music artist, your posts should revolve around music.

The image below illustrates a beautifully curated profile that stays true to the brand and maintains consistency in relevant content.

Instagram videos and stories for relevant content of a music artist

Posting about a variety of topics can make it challenging for people to grasp the essence of your Instagram account.

That’s why it’s important to narrow down your focus and concentrate on a specific niche. By maintaining a consistent theme throughout your posts, you can make it easier for people to understand what your account is all about.

Consistency will improve your visibility and attract followers to your Instagram profile.

3.) Reflect your brand on all your Instagram posts

Creating content for your Instagram account requires being true to your brand.

It’s crucial that all your posts reflect your brand’s values and message, not just on Instagram but across other platforms as well. Consistency is key.

Visually, your posts should align with your brand’s identity. Here are some examples:

  • If your brand is known for its vibrant colors, make sure all your posts are colorful.
  • If your brand leans towards minimalism, keep your posts minimalistic.
  • Use a set of consistent brand colors in all your images.
  • If you have a favorite filter, apply it consistently for a cohesive look.

Your posts should also match your brand’s voice. Consider these examples:

  • If your brand has a formal tone, maintain that formality in your posts.
  • If your brand is more casual, let your posts reflect that casualness.
  • Ensure consistency in your captions across all posts.
  • Use the same hashtags consistently throughout your account.

Aligning your content with your brand is crucial.

When you stay on brand, you’ll attract followers who resonate with your brand’s identity. By representing your services or products through visuals, you build trust with your audience.

People are drawn to brands that embody the essence of what they offer.

Being on brand also improves your search rankings. When your branding is consistent, it becomes easier for people to find you when searching for relevant keywords.

If you’re unsure how to maintain your brand’s consistency, take a look at your competitors. Observe how they create content and try to adopt a similar style.

Being on brand is an effective way to enhance your visibility and attract more followers.

4.) Use descriptive captions

Your social media captions provide another opportunity to incorporate relevant keywords. When you include keywords in your captions, the Instagram algorithm increases the chances of appearing in search results when people search for those specific terms.

To maximize the effectiveness of your captions, it’s important to be thorough and include as many keywords as possible.

However, you should avoid excessively cramming your captions with keywords.

Overstuffing your captions with keywords makes them challenging to read, and it may discourage people from engaging with your content.

It’s essential to strike a balance between incorporating keywords and maintaining a readable and natural flow in your captions.

5.) Embrace your authenticity

Beyond all the tips and tricks, search engines are striving to become more human-like.

In turn, the more human you can be, the better it is for your social media SEO.

Some of the best practices for optimizing your presence on social media platforms involve authenticity, naturalness, and consistent engagement.

Remember to maintain the “social” aspect of social media and treat others with kindness. Poor etiquette on these platforms can lead to being hidden or pushed down in the algorithm.

People are more inclined to follow an account that feels personal and relatable.

When you can demonstrate that there’s a genuine person behind your account, you increase your chances of attracting followers.

6.) Don’t be afraid to use tools to master Instagram SEO

There are several tools available to assist you in enhancing your Instagram SEO. These tools can help you discover primary and secondary keywords, track your progress, and measure your success.

To take your SEO to the next level, you might consider exploring various Instagram analytics tools and other programs that provide insights into the effectiveness of your Instagram strategy.

Instagram SEO tool examples to begin with:

  • Iconosquare: A robust scheduling tool that offers real-time analytics to help you understand how your content performs. It also provides competitor and industry data to guide your posting strategy.
  • Hashtags for Likes: A helpful tool that allows you to conduct research and discover the most effective hashtags for your content. With this tool, you can find relevant hashtags that align with your posts and optimize your reach on Instagram.
  • Plann: A versatile tool that integrates design tools like Canva, enabling you to create, schedule, and monitor your Instagram posts in one place. With Plann, you can easily manage your content and track the performance of your Instagram strategy to ensure its effectiveness.

Using tools to track your progress is a great way to maximize the potential of Instagram for your business.

7.) Leverage user activity

Engaging with your followers and encouraging user interaction is a powerful way to establish relationships and boost your brand’s growth.

By leveraging user interaction, you increase your chances of attracting followers and expanding your business.

One effective approach is to organize giveaways, which encourage participation and generate buzz around your brand.

Giveaways create an opportunity for meaningful engagement with your followers and stimulate conversations about your brand.

Another valuable method is to create polls, enabling you to gather feedback from your audience and gain insights into their preferences. Polls foster interaction and provide valuable information about your followers’ interests and opinions.

Check out our guide on how to make a Facebook poll.

By actively embracing user interaction, you can foster connections with your followers, obtain valuable feedback, and gain a deeper understanding of your audience.

8.) Track your progress with a measurement strategy

When working on improving your Instagram SEO, it’s essential to have a well-defined social media measurement strategy.

Tracking your progress and measuring success are crucial aspects of this strategy. The specific metrics you focus on may vary depending on the goals of your Instagram page.

Engagement is one key metric to track, which includes likes, comments, and shares. It indicates how actively your audience interacts with your content.

Reach is another important metric to consider. It represents the number of people who see your content and indicates the potential size of your audience.

Monitoring traffic is also valuable. It involves tracking the number of people who visit your website through Instagram, giving insights into the effectiveness of your Instagram in driving website visits.

Tracking conversions is another significant aspect. Conversions measure the number of people who take desired actions, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.

By consistently tracking your progress, you can identify what strategies are effective and what areas need improvement. This allows you to refine your approach and continue growing your business on Instagram.

To gain deeper insights into your Instagram analytics, consider using tools such as:

These tools provide comprehensive data and analysis to better understand your Instagram performance.

9.) Basics are still important

While Instagram is known for its visual nature, it’s essential not to overlook the basics of maintaining a strong online presence.

First and foremost, make sure your copy is free from spelling and typographical errors. Mistakes can create a messy and unprofessional impression, so take the time to proofread your content.

Remember that Instagram is primarily a visual platform.

Ensure that your images are not only visually appealing but also relevant to your business. Your profile gallery should give users a clear understanding of what your business is all about just by glancing at it.

Keep a close eye on the links in your profile and make sure they are up to date.

It’s crucial to avoid situations where someone clicks on your profile link only to encounter an error message. Regularly check and update your links to provide a smooth browsing experience for your visitors.

While SEO is important, it’s equally crucial to address any issues that might drive people away from your profile.

Errors, low-quality images, and broken links can undermine your credibility and render your efforts ineffective.

Note: You may notice that some of these tactics overlap with regular SEO strategies. That’s because they do! The same principles that are effective for SEO also apply to Instagram SEO.

Use these Instagram SEO tips and become an #InstaPro

While SEO is commonly associated with website optimization, its principles can be applied to social media platforms like Instagram as well.

By implementing the tips and strategies discussed, you can elevate your Instagram presence by prioritizing the user experience and expanding your reach in the Instagram search engine.

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