How to use SEO Instagram strategies to grow your business

18th September, 2021

A recent change to Instagram’s search functionality has completely changed the game for businesses who use Instagrams’ platform to connect, communicate with others and operate their businesses. In November 2020, Instagram changed its search functionality that meant that users could search for general keywords to find all posts with those keywords. This is significant for businesses on Instagram because it now means that SEO strategies can be implemented to utilise the platform to gain more sales, increase brand awareness and just kill it on Instagram.

Instagram’s platform has severely changed over the years, however recently it has been a marketplace for users to connect with young business owners and entrepreneurs. Some have been really successful in drumming up brand awareness and sales, however for some businesses it has been hard to gain a sustainable following. But, with this change to Instagrams algorithm and search functionality, anyone can become a pro.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about Instagram SEO and how you can use it to your advantage and benefit from the growth that Instagram as a platform can provide.

What is Instagram SEO?

SEO is not a new concept at all. Its been around for ages and has developed into quite a powerful marketing strategy that businesses can use to increase their visibility. Usually, SEO is used to increase visibility on a search engine like Google, however, SEO strategies can be implemented into many different platforms and Instagram is one of those. The SEO process includes optimising content, whether that content is written in the form of a blog, a video or an image. This optimisation allows for content to rank higher when users search for a particular keyword. When you’re able to rank higher, it means that you’re improving your chances of being discovered by those users who are searching for keywords related to your business. We’ve actually written an article all about SEO glossary terms, so you can check that out here to learn a little more about SEO.

So, how do you actually use SEO strategies on Instagram? We’ll outline some Instagram SEO best practices that you can follow and be on your way to becoming Insta famous!

Why is Instagram SEO Important?

With most of Australia in lockdown, there has been a surge in social media consumption, meaning more people are spending more time on social media platforms. This provides the perfect opportunity to capitalise on this surge in consumption through SEO strategies. You may not realise it, but a lot of prospects use Instagram as a platform to discover more brands, businesses and offerings. By coupling SEO strategies with Instagrams organic marketing, you get a super cost-efficient and effective marketing strategy. With over 1 billion active users on the platform, it's a no brainer why utilising SEO tools on Instagram is beneficial for any business.

How to Implement Instagram SEO strategies

As mentioned previously, SEO for search engines like Google is slightly different to the type of SEO strategies you would see for social media platforms such as Instagram. Different elements come into play when dealing with a social media platform and so we’ve tweaked the SEO process that you would usually follow, and created some tips for Instagram SEO.

Conducting keyword research to identify all those keywords that are related to your business is a super important first step to take. This is a typical step in normal SEO and usually requires a tool suite to help you out. Some keyword research tools include

  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Google Keyword Planner

Keyword research should focus on identifying the sort of keywords that users will be searching for to find your business. You should also do some research on your competition and find out the keywords that they are ranking highly for. This will give you some insights on the sort of words you will want to rank for as well. While this type of keyword research is helpful, Instagram isn't entirely the same as Google. Having a look into hashtag research will significantly help in creating a good SEO strategy for Instagram.

Putting your keyword research into practice

Now that you’ve done all this research on keywords, it's time to put it into practice. You can use these keywords to not only optimise your posts but also your profile and bio.

Profile and Bio

It has been identified that having an optimised username and bio are both very important in being discovered by users. You should identify the most important keyword from your research and incorporate it into your username. For example, if you're a makeup artist you would want to include a keyword like “MUA” in your username. It is suggested to try to incorporate your business name and a keyword if possible.

It is noted that for some businesses and industries including these keywords into the username may be easy for others it can be quite tricky. Most business pages just use their brand or business name as their username and so that’s where the bio comes in. Your bio can be optimised by adding keywords that didn’t quite make it into the username.

Individual posts

To optimise your individual posts, you should have your Instagram account on public. Being private means that any users who don’t follow you cannot see your posts and therefore optimising them is useless.

Optimising your individual posts isn't as important as optimising your profile and bio, however, it still does help. Before the change to Instagram’s search functionality, the only way that a searcher could find your posts was through hashtags or location tags. Since the change, it has allowed for generic keywords, but using hashtags isn't all a bad idea. Most users discover business pages through hashtags. So having relevant keywords as hashtags is important in discoverability.

By using keywords to optimise your captions, increases the chances of users finding your page and having a look at your offerings.

Taking Advantage of Alt-Text Feature

Instagrams alt-text feature, which was introduced to assist visually impaired users to indulge in the Instagram experience, is also a tool that you can use for SEO. If your making a post and decide to skip these steps Instagram will curate its own alt-text for your post l, so why not do it yourself and benefit from this feature. By utilising the alt-text feature, it allows your posts to rank better in the algorithm but also have your results pulled for voice searches.

Wrap up

While it may be a while for you to see results on your Instagram account, you shouldn’t be discouraged. SEO does take some time and Instagram is no exception. Instagram SEO is cost-free but has a high impact on businesses who are wanting to increase their visibility, traffic and reach on the platform.

Written by

Tianna Chalon