Instagram SEO techniques to improve your brand visibility on Instagram

Instagram has been the most popular social media platform to market your business, and many of them are working hard to get as many followers as they can.


The golden rule here is 

“The more people you manage to reach, the higher your chances of driving sales.”

Yes, that’s right.

And how do we do it? Instagram SEO

Puzzled! Yes like how we optimised our website for the search engines like Google so that it ranks on the top pages of search engines, Getting your business visible on the Instagram platform also require some SEO technique. It is a bit tricky but it is not hard.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a free, social network platform, launched on 6 October 2010, that was mainly conceptualised as an online photo-sharing application between people and later acquired by Facebook in 2012. 

A user can upload and edit photos & short videos through the Instagram mobile app. Instagram features some filter effects that an uploader can apply to the photos to make it look more attractive. Along with photos, users can add some text also know in the social media lingo as captions to their posts and use relevant hashtags and other tags to get it indexed by the Instagram algorithm making them searchable by other users on Instagram.

Every post is visible on your followers’ Instagram feeds and also visible to the public when the posts are tagged with hashtags & geotags.

Users also have the option of making their profile private so that only their followers can view their posts.

Fun Fact

Started in San Francisco by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, wanted to create a platform similar to Foursquare but then made the app exclusive for photo sharing.

Instagram is a mix of “instant camera” and “telegram”

Other than individuals, businesses can also use Instagram for their brand awareness. The photo-sharing app offers companies the opportunity to start a free business account to promote their brand and products. 

Why Optimize for Instagram

You must be thinking why do I need to optimise my Instagram. Why is it so important to work towards being visible on the profile? Don’t I have the best photo uploads to get my audience to like my business.

To answer all your doubts here are some stats that will convince you need Instagram optimization.

  • Instagram has about 1 billion active users – 1 billion users you could potentially reach with the right Instagram SEO tactics.
  • Two-thirds of the total Instagram user base are 34 years or younger. This is crucial with the increasing buying power of this age group. A YPulse analysis even found that the buying power of millennials and Gen-Z combined was close to the $3 trillion mark.
  • People spend approximately 53 minutes per day on Instagram. This accounts for a significant portion of their day, which increases your chances of engaging prospects on the platform.
  • 83% of people are using Instagram to discover new products or services. This means your brand content on Instagram could effectively help you attract prospective customers.

What Makes Instagram SEO Different?

Instagram SEO is not the same as your Google SEO. Here the hashtags play an important role than keywords, although keywords do help in a small way.

Adding hashtags in your profile bio won’t help you with reach and similar goes with the keywords in captions. 

Incorporating keywords into your profile name and Instagram handle improves your discoverability more than adding them to your content.

So if you are new to this, it can get a little confusing.

Tips for Instagram Optimization

  • Optimizing Your Instagram Profile for Search

Instagram search and Google search are a bit similar. Like Google when you enter a name in the Instagram search it shows you relevant Instagram profiles based on your search query.

According to Instagram, the search results depend on several factors including the accounts you follow and are connected to.

Also, the posts you like on Instagram have a major influence to determine relevance. In addition to this, keywords also play a critical role.

  • Writing Descriptive Keyword-Optimized Instagram Captions

The Instagram search is only meant to search for content using relavant hashtags and geotags. The Instagram algorithm provide content recommendations to individual users based on the searches and interactions they did with any content on Instagram.

For eg., If a user searches for travel related posts, then the Instagram explore section with display content that aligns with the type of content you’ve shown interest in and in this case it is travel. That’s the work of your captions.

Using descriptive keyword-optimized instagram captions will help your posts be indexed by the algorithm and show it your target audience who have shown interest in similar posts as yours.

  • Using Relevant Instagram Hashtag as Keywords

Instagram hashtags are like keywords that we use for regular SEO. They help users to find relevant content. When you enter a hashtag, the Instagram algorithm shows you all the posts tagged with that particular hashtags.

So tagging your post with a certain hashtag means that the post will show up when someone searches for that particular hashtag.

Tagging with help you to attract the right audience to your profile. But don’t overdo it. Instagram gives a limit of 30 hashtags to be used. So choose your hashtags smartly.

  • Using Location Tags on Instagram Posts

If you are a brick and mortar business, then using geolocation tags is the game. However, you can also be creative with tagging popular locations that your target audience frequently searches/visits. People are always looking for new locations to visit, so tagging your posts to popular locations may improve your reach by making your post shown in more search results. 

  • Asking Your Insta Audience to Engage with Creative Posts

Ask your followers to share and like your posts. If you have already provided relevant and valuable content they liked, chances are they are going to be happy to like and share your posts.

You can also ask questions, run polls, and reply to your audience’s questions (in Stories), and respond to comments.

Have a mindset of creating a community for your brand, and improve your engagement steadily.

  • Alt Text in Instagram photos

Alt text in Instagram also has the same function as in Alt text in websites.

We can also use the feature to tell Instagram’s algorithm about the context of our posts. Instagram is utilizing AI technologies to better understand the context of each image/video, and alt text can help in this process. 

The idea is to include your target keyword on the image’s alt text, but focus on describing the content and context of the post as best as possible.

  • Use Instagram’s Tools

Instagram has many different tools that can improve your visibility. Its editing tools can help you create a more interesting and attractive photo. Hashtags will help increase the exposure of your brand. Using Instagram stories will improve your visibility, as your brand will consistently show up on the top of followers’ screens. Finally, Instagram’s business tools provide useful analytics and can help you track engagement. All of these tools will help you create better posts that will help improve your brand’s visibility.

  • Encourage Tagging on Instagram posts

Another way to boost discoverability on Instagram is by getting tagged. When people tag your account in their posts or Instagram Stories, others will be able to click through to your profile. So, there’s a good chance you can attract an even bigger audience the more you get tagged.

For example, you could encourage people to tag you in their photos of your products for a chance to be featured in your posts. You could then repost some of their photos to show how much you appreciate them. Even if you want to maintain a consistent feed aesthetic, you could still share their posts to your IG stories.

  • Tracking and Optimizing Profile for Keywords

Instagram Search performs very similarly to Google search, so most of us should understand how it works. However, one thing to note is that we can search for three different things on Instagram Search: accounts, hashtags, and locations.