Your Instagram content isn’t bad. You just need to understand how to reach a larger audience.
You’re a business owner who wants to use Instagram to generate leads. You thought to yourself, I’ll make unique content that will grab an audience’s attention. But now, you’ve put all these hours into making valuable content and to no avail. Time is money, so to feel like you have wasted time creating all this great content for it to go nowhere is crushing.
Why does this happen? What makes some Instagram accounts shine bright like diamonds while others wallow in the shadows? The answer lies in understanding Instagram’s algorithm.
There are a lot of strategies that generate success on Instagram, and implementing SEO strategies is one of the best ways! But what is SEO, and how can it help your Instagram account thrive?
Here is a list of what you can expect to learn from this post:
- Defining SEO
- Defining Algorithms
- Defining Instagram SEO
- Identifying Keywords for Your Niche
- Creating an Instagram Name with SEO Keywords
- Placing SEO Keywords in your Bios
- Using SEO Keywords as Hashtags
- Using SEO Keywords in Captions
- Utilizing Keywords in Alt Text
- Following Accounts that Rank High with Your Keywords
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy used to enhance the competitive advantage of a business. It achieves this by using a set of practices to improve a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs). The main goal of SEO is to increase organic (non-paid) traffic to a website by optimizing a variety of elements on the site and aligning them with the search engine algorithm.
What is a Search Engine Algorithm?
Simply put, a search engine algorithm is a set of rules used by a search engine to determine the ranking of a web page in search SERPs. When you search Instagram SEO in Google, our aim is that we have done a good enough job to optimize this website so that it comes up in the top results on Google.
Instagram SEO aims to use proper keywords to maximize audience reach via the search box. Instagram’s search box allows users to search for accounts, content, audio, hashtags, and places.
The platform has over 2.35 billion users, and of these users, 81% use it to research new products and services. These numbers indicate a large potential audience, but they’re also a sign of a highly competitive market.
You want to stand out in this competitive digital landscape. That’s why using Instagram SEO is key to your success.
Now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for the 7 tips for Instagram SEO!
Tip 1: Identifying Keywords for your Niche
A keyword is a word you want to use consistently across your Instagram that correlates to your niche. When choosing this word, you want to ensure it’s highly ranked. Something that your target audience would likely search for. An example of this could be as simple as the keyword “barber” for a barber shop page.
Using Secondary Keywords in Instagram SEO
You also want to use other secondary keywords throughout your accounts. For a barber, that could be terms such as “fades”, “beard”, or “hair”. While these keywords aren’t as popular as “barber,” they’re still something users would likely look up when searching for a barber.
You’ll need to conduct a fair amount of research to identify strong keywords. There are professionals and software that are extremely helpful with this. It’s essential to put a lot of effort into this process to ensure the success of your business account. The rest of the tips will be ineffective by not using the proper keywords.
Tip 2: Creating an Instagram Name with SEO Keywords
Now that you have your keywords, it’s time to use them in your Instagram name. That’s right, your name! Your Instagram name is the first feature to which you will add your keywords.
If you were to type in “barber” in your search box, the first couple of searches would be result pages categorized by different keywords, like “barber”, “barber shop”, and “barber styles”. But then, something magical happens. The searches start displaying barber shop accounts with the keyword “barber” in their name. By using their keyword in their name, they stand out from a barber who only uses their real name and then uses ‘barber’ in their bio.
Tip 3: Placing SEO Keywords in Instagram Bios
Your bio is another place where you’ll use your keywords. Here, you will utilize your secondary keywords to make your profile more reachable for users and the algorithm.
A barber will use their keywords to describe popular services they provide in their bio and make it intriguing. For example, they decide to use “fades master”. This lets users know that this barber offers this service. As a bonus, it also lets users know they are experienced at doing so. And let’s be honest, when it comes to hair, we all want a master stylist.
Using Locations for Instagram SEO
Adding a location is another tip to enhance your bio searchability. This is especially important if you sell a product or service not provided online. Doing this allows users to find local businesses that have what they’re searching for.
Since a barber’s primary source of income comes from the services they provide in person, putting location in their bio is necessary. This is not to say they can’t sell items online, but as we know, they can’t provide a virtual haircut…yet.
Tip 4: Using SEO Keywords as hashtags
In March 2022, Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, made an announcement that shocked the platform’s users: hashtags will no longer result in greater distribution for an account. This means the idea that you can solely put hashtags on your post and expect it to succeed is less likely. However, this doesn’t mean they should be rendered useless. According to Mosseri, hashtags still allow the algorithm to identify what the post is about and place it on the hashtag page. So, it can still be helpful for users to place some hashtags in their captions, to identify what sort of content they’re releasing.
Users should also refrain from placing hashtags in the comment section and use them right in their captions. But we’ll touch on that more in the next tip.
Pro Tip: Instagram’s Creators account suggests using 3-5 hashtags as a sweet spot.
So when our barber friend goes to share his post, he will use about 3-5 of his keywords (#barber, #barbershop, #fades, #beard) in his caption as hashtags for that extra little boost. But remember, he wants to rely on more than this SEO strategy.
Tip 5: Use SEO Keywords in Caption
Now, you’re probably thinking, that besides your hashtags, your captions don’t contribute to optimizing your reach. However, this is a common misbelief you can use to benefit. Most of your competitors don’t use keywords in their captions because they’re unaware of the power they can have.
Using keywords in your caption captures your followers’ attention and allows the algorithm to identify what you’re offering in your content. It then places you in proper searches and specific For You pages according to these keywords.
Circling back to tip #4, you want to ensure when using hashtags that they are placed right in your caption. Mosseri helps us again by stating that “you should place your well-targeted hashtags in the post caption rather than the comment section“. This is because by placing them in your captions, you publish your post first, and then you have to go to it and put the hashtags. This waiting process buries your post in the hashtag feed. So, let’s not argue with the professional; use hashtags in captions rather than in the comment section.
Tip 6: Using Keywords in Alt Text
Bear with me because we’re almost there, but our next tip is to use keywords in your alt text. You might think, “I’m not a web developer; how can I use alt text to my advantage?” Well, alt text is actually simple to add. It allows you to add a text description to your post to make it accessible to those who are visually impaired. The topic of accessibility in design can have its own blog post. But for now, let’s discuss how we’ll use it for Instagram SEO.
Alt text allows your content to be more searchable. By adding a description in the alt text, the algorithm has another source to identify what your content contains. It then more suitably places you on the For You pages. In addition, if your content fails to load the alt text still provides this post description. How awesome is that?
Tip 7: Following Accounts that Rank High with your Keywords
The last tip to share today is relatively straightforward: follow high-ranking accounts with your keywords. Even if a user does not follow you, when you have a mutual connection with an account that uses the exact keywords you will pop up when they search these keywords. The stipulation is it only works if this account follows you back. But, if a barber shop owner goes to follow an account in the same niche, they will likely follow them back.
Now you have 7 practical tips for optimizing your searchability on Instagram. While implementing even one of these tips will help your reachability on Instagram, we recommend you use them simultaneously for the best results. So, finally, after toiling away in obscurity, you can bring your content into the light, catching the attention it truly deserves.
Topsite specializes in helping businesses rank first on search engines with their keywords. Find out how to rank first with your keywords by visiting the Topsite SEO page today!
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