The term Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is strongly associated with websites, but the principles of optimising content to improve rankings and discoverability can be applied to Instagram.
Instagram SEO means optimising content so that the Instagram algorithm will label the post as high quality and relevant. The algorithm is responsible for choosing content for ads, the discovery page and now, under the new keyword search feature. So instead of customers having to search for either account, tags or places, users can now search for a specific word (i.e ‘marketing insights’). Therefore, it’s important that you incorporate keywords as part of your Instagram SEO strategy.
So what are keywords? Keywords are the terms users are searching for when seeking your business (e.g. services or blogs). For example, a potential user who wants to book a hair appointment may use the term “hairdresser in Perth”. Keywords are similar to ‘speaking the language’ of your customer, so avoid using complicated industry jargon – it is like speaking French to an English consumer! Choosing the right keywords for your business is essential! Businesses can research keywords by:
- Researching high-ranking competition
- Using an analytic tool (e.g. Google Keyword Planner)
- Using online keyword tools such as Answer The Public or Google Trends.
- Contacting your local marketing agency to perform an in-depth keyword search.
Once you have determined your keywords, you can incorporate them into your Instagram to improve your chances of reaching customers.
When possible, include your main business keyword in your username (i.e. Instagram handle) and your name shown on your profile. Avoid adding keywords to your username if it will make it too long and therefore, reduce the searchability of your handle. For example, a beauty therapist may include the phrase “beauty” in their handle and name.
Instagram captions should be written in a manner that will not only engage users but also assist with reaching new users. Once again, adding secondary keywords to your caption helps you rank for specific topics. For example, we will use the keyword ‘SEO’ when creating the accompanying Instagram post for the blog.
How to use Hashtags on Instagram
Since users can search for specific hashtags, they make a great tool to assist with improving visibility. Think of hashtags like keywords, with the right hashtags allows you to reach your audience. Just make sure that your hashtags are relevant, so spend the time choosing the right hashtags. When choosing hashtags, have a peek at what hashtags competitors are using. For more information on the Instagram hashtag practices, check out our blog on “how to use hashtags on social media”.
Really stuck on hashtags? You can use an online hashtag generator.
Image Alt Text Instagram
Image Alt Text improves accessibility by providing descriptions of images for the visually impaired. Image Alt Text also provides an opportunity to improve Instagram SEO by including keywords within the description. Watch our marketing insight: How to add Image Alt Text to Instagram Posts.
Instagram Tagging and Mentions
Tags and mentions funnel users into your account for improved discoverability. One way to encourage Instagram tagging and mentioning is to run a competition on Instagram. For example, you could offer a prize to users who mention three friends in the comment.
Bonus Tip: Avoid black hat SEO techniques which are the SEO practices that go against Instagram guidelines. Bad Instagram SEO techniques include:
- Stolen or duplicate content
- Following too many accounts at once
- Using bots or buying followers
We hope you’ve “discovered” some Instagram SEO tips that will help you get discovered. Check out our other Marketing Tips for more tips and tricks, or contact Bloom Digital for further advice including discussing your SEO strategy.
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