Instagram SEO

Instagram isn’t the best platform for everyone, and that’s because not everyone is good at creating visually appealing content. Furthermore, some people’s business might be downright impossible to convert into images, which can make handling an official Instagram account very challenging. 

But if you’re a blogger or marketer or you have a creative business, you should definitely look into what SEO for Instagram is and what the best practices are. It’s a good thing that that’s the topic of today’s article!

Instagram SEO – Why optimize in the first place?

Instagram is a pretty popular social media network, and some stats suggest that there are over 1 billion people using it actively. Most users are younger than 34, which can tell you whether it’s something to try to market your business or not. 

In general, Instagram aficionados spend at least 50 minutes on the platform in a day, which makes your chances of engaging with users better. It’s also estimated that around 80% of all Instagram users are early adopters, so they’re just looking for new things to try — which can be an advantage if you’re in the business of developing fresh products. 

Instagram and SEO – Best practices

First of all, keywords are less important on this platform compared to hashtags, but they still can make a significant difference. Ideally, you should add some hashtags to your bio, but you should also incorporate a number of keywords into it. 

If your main keyword also appears in your handle, that can make you even more discoverable. 

Here are some tips on making the most of your Instagram profile, whether it’s personal or for your business. 

  1. Optimize, optimize, optimize

A big part of a good SEO Instagram is making optimizations. You should be using a relevant keyword in your Instagram name, in your handle, and in your description. The name and the handle are different, as you probably know. 

If you aren’t comfortable using both, you can get a creative handle, one that people remember, and include your keyword, and use your ‘name’ section for a short description of what you do. For example, if you’re a web designer, you could have a handle in the lines of ‘scottfox_webdesign’.  

  1. Alt text

You didn’t have this option before, but these days, you can now write the alt text of all of the photos you post on Instagram. This can make a pretty huge difference in terms of SEO, and it’s been a practice that people have been using for their websites for years and years now. 

Describe your picture as accurately and simply as possible, but don’t be afraid to include your keyword in the alt text, especially if it is relevant. 

When it comes to optimizing your photos, you could be using keywords and hashtags alike. Just don’t overdo it, and more importantly, don’t use too many varied hashtags of different things — the algorithm isn’t going to be able to tell what your content is about if you do that. 

  1. Find the right hashtags

Hashtags can be keywords, so they are obviously important. Tagging your content with hashtags that are relevant to what you’ve posted can attract a bigger audience. 

The problem is that many of them are overused, and they don’t really give the best results. You should devote some time to discovering several that are less frequently used (such as those that have 500-1000 posts) since you have a better chance of acquiring an audience if you use those. 

Think of the times when your followers are most active (based on the activity you’ve had on your past posts) and figure out a posting schedule, too, while using the right hashtags

  1. Contests or giveaways

Social media contests aren’t exactly related to SEO, at least not in the technical sense of the word, but they can undoubtedly help you grow on Instagram. You can ask people to share your content while also having people talk about your services or products. 

In terms of brand awareness, giveaways are extremely popular and effective. You will grow your follower number naturally, so the social media network isn’t going to lock your account because it thinks you might have acquired your followers using bad practices (such as buying them). 

If you want to get some backlinks, you can also ask Instagram users to share your post on their blogs, Facebook accounts, or Twitter. That definitely wouldn’t hurt. 

  1. Tag other accounts on your content

If you’re in the same industry as another well-known brand, or if you just want to show your appreciation for a product or service, you should definitely tag that company’s account on your photos. 

The platform allows you to tag as many as twenty accounts on each photo, but we advise you to avoid overdoing it. It’s surely nice to showcase what you’re using. 

So, if, for example, you take a photo of a cup of coffee, your water bottle, your bag, and whatever else you might be using, you can tag each of those items by their manufacturers’ accounts. This practice will unquestionably make your account more visible. 

Want to learn more about SEO? We offer consultancy online and offline and we have several different plans available. Feel free to get in touch using the button below.


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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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