Have you ever discovered a new brand or creator on Instagram? Chances are, you found them through the Discover feed or by entering a specific query in the search bar. This is where Instagram SEO – search engine optimization – comes into play. When properly executed, Instagram SEO helps you serve your content to high-intent users and grow an engaged and relevant audience.
Instagram SEO can feel overwhelming, but we're here to help. We'll empower you with everything you need to know, from ranking factors to best practices for optimizing your content for organic visibility.
What is Instagram SEO?
Instagram SEO is all about increasing your content's discoverability. Through a range of tactics, you can train the Instagram algorithm to accurately categorize your content and serve it to users who are searching for what you offer. Instagram SEO applies to everything from your bio to your post captions and even the hashtags you use. Two elements are crucial to Instagram SEO: what your post is about, and who its intended audience is. By leveraging Instagram SEO, you can enable the algorithm to quickly digest your content and display it to your ideal target audience at scale.
The Instagram algorithm considers three key factors when determining how to display search results:
Relevance to search query: How closely does your content (or profile) match a user’s search query? You can position your content as the most relevant result for potential followers by using the right caption, hashtags, and location tags.
User activity: Who is following your account, and what accounts have interacted with your content in the past? The mo
re mutual connections a user has with your account, the more likely the algorithm is to display your content first.
Popularity signals: High engagement rates are vital for content to rank highly in Instagram’s search results. The engagement metrics to focus on include clicks, likes, shares, and follows.
Why does Instagram SEO matter?
With over 50 billion photos already shared, it's tough to cut through the clutter on Instagram. However, Instagram SEO helps you serve your content to highly relevant users, expanding your reach and getting in front of potential customers who aren’t already following your brand.
Here are five practical tactics you can implement to tap into the power of Instagram SEO today:
Be strategic with hashtag placement: Think of hashtags as SEO keywords and weave a mix of popular and niche hashtags into your Instagram captions. Consider the topic of your post, your niche, and your target audience. Use hashtags strategically in your post captions, the first comment of your posts, and even in your Instagram bio.
Harness SEO keywords in your Instagram captions: Inject searchable phrases into your Instagram captions to help the algorithm quickly digest your content and serve it to the most relevant users on the platform. Use keyword research tools like Google Analytics and Google Trends to identify relevant phrases and keywords.
Make your alt text count: Adding custom alt text to your posts that harnesses relevant SEO keywords can boost the chances of your content ranking highly in Instagram’s organic search results.
Leverage searchable keywords in your Instagram bio: Injecting your Instagram bio with high-performing keywords and even niche hashtags can help the algorithm prioritize your content in user’s search results.
Double down on your niche: Carving out a unique niche for your brand can help the Instagram algorithm understand what you do best and who you serve. Shift towards a targeted approach that hones in on a specific area of expertise.
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