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May 9, 2022

Spice Up Your Instagram SEO With These Four Tips

SEO is not just for websites.  There’s actually a fair bit you can do with your brand’s Instagram profile to boost its discoverability and rank higher in the Instagram search results.  Instagram SEO doesn’t cost anything and when it’s done effectively, it can have a significant impact on growing your followers.

A higher Insta profile leads to more views which leads to more likes and more followers.  And the winner is….your bottom-line!

Here are my top four tips for spicing up your Instagram SEO.

1. Smart Instagram keyword research means smarter searches

It’s now possible to search on Instagram using keywords.  This opens up a world of opportunities for boosting your profile and getting your posts to rank higher – but the trick is to be smart about your keyword choices.  Thorough keyword research is important so that you identify the right keywords that you want your profile and it’s important to find keywords that are niche and highly relevant to your business, and with good keyword intent. Keyword intent is primarily what the user is actually for when they use a keyword. Eg. If they use the keyword “SEO” the searcher is likely looking for general information on SEO, compare that to the word “SEO Course” where they are actually looking for a course. Which one is mostly likely to convert?

My insider tip:  Get inspired by typing words related to your own business in the Instagram search bar (use # in front of the keywords and this will give you an indication of how many posts are tagged with this keyword but remember this data doesn’t tell you how many people are searching for this keyword)

2. Optimise your Instagram profile

Your username, name and bio are the big tickets when it comes to ranking.

Keywords should feature in your account name, your username and your bio, but keywords also need to be included in relevant, descriptive captions which really tell (and sell) your brand story.  It goes back to that old adage of SEO that content is king.

First prize is to incorporate your brand name as well as your chosen keyword into your username, but if that’s not possible (and it usually isn’t), you should definitely add it into your name field.  This will boost your chances of ranking higher up when someone searches for your target keyword.

For example, the username for my business is ‘theseoschool’ but my main keyword ‘DIY SEO School’ featured in my name field.

Similarly, you should optimise your bio with other priority keywords that you want to target.

instgram seo screenshot

3. Optimise your individual Instagram posts

Optimising your individual Insta posts will help drive engagement and attract new followers.

There are three ways of doing this:

  • Write captivating, engaging captions that include your targeted high-value keyword
  • Include hashtags that reinforce your main keyword as well as introduce additional keywords

Why captions are so important for optimising an Instagram profile

By putting your high-value targeted keyword in the main body of the caption, you’ll increase the chances of your post being discovered when that particular phrase is used by a searcher.  More often than not, it will result in your post being seen by someone new to your profile.

The more descriptive the caption, the better optimised your post will be for Instagram SEO.

Why hashtags are so important for your Insta profile

You can include up to 30 hashtags per post or story on Instagram.  That means if someone searches for any one of those hashtags, your post will appear on the hashtag results page.  That’s 30 opportunities to be seen from just ONE post or story!

4. Add custom alternative text to your pics

If you don’t manually input descriptive alt text to your photos when you create a post, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to amp up your ranking chances.  Instagram automatically generates alt text so that people with visual impairments can hear the description of the pic using a screen reader, but these are not very reliable and highly unlikely to include your target keywords.   The solution is to add descriptive alt text (including your keyword of course!) to every single one of your Insta photos to make sure you don’t miss out.

How to add alt text to your Instagram posts before posting:

  1. Go to Advanced Settings at the bottom of your screen
  2. Tap on ‘Write Alt Text’
  3. When you’ve finished, hit ‘Done’

How to add alt text to your Instagram posts after posting:

  1. Go to the photo
  2. Tap the three dots in the right hand corner
  3. Tap ‘Edit’
  4. Tap on ‘Edit Alt Text’ and follow the prompts

Some key things to remember when doing SEO for Instagram:

We all know that the SEO landscape is very fluid, keeping us all on our toes as we adapt constantly to keep up with all the changes.  That said, there are some key fundamentals to follow with SEO for Instagram that will boost your chances of expanding your reach, growing your audience and driving conversions.

Be consistent.  As with all SEO strategies, consistency of messaging is key.  This will make it as easy as possible for the algorithm to understand exactly what your business and your offering is about.  The more Instagram knows about you, the greater the likelihood that it will serve up your business when people are browsing for your keywords.

Maintain momentum:  Successful businesses post regularly on Instagram.  Time and effort on an ongoing Insta-strategy that is SEO optimised will reap dividends.

Keep up-to-date with best practices for Insta SEO.  The more you know, the better your chances of getting your profile in front of people who matter.

If you’re new to SEO check out my free SEO Starter Kit, and if you’d like to learn even more about SEO – check out The SEO School.  I developed my online, modular, self-directed course specifically for busy business owners and website managers who want to take charge of their own SEO strategies – and succeed.  Find out more or book your course at The SEO School.

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