8 Effective Instagram SEO Techniques To Increase Your Reach

8 Effective Instagram SEO Techniques To Increase Your Reach

With more than one billion active monthly users, Instagram serves as an effective eCommerce marketing platform besides being an engaging social media platform. Since users spend a considerable amount of time surfing through content on it, you should invest in Instagram SEO techniques in order to reach more people to engage with your brand. 

Instagram SEO

The eCommerce SEO techniques that you usually use to optimize web pages can also be used for a social media platform like Instagram. The trick isn’t to shoehorn Instagram into your existing SEO strategy but to implement your knowledge about SEO in driving organic to your Instagram account.

Let’s look at the 8 most effective Instagram SEO techniques that could expand your reach.

8 Effective Instagram SEO Techniques

#1 Optimize Your Instagram profile

The first and foremost step in boosting your Instagram reach is to optimize your Instagram profile. Driving traffic to your account is pointless if your profile isn’t optimized for an up to the mark user experience.

Some of the tips for optimizing your profile are:

  • Make your profile public
  • Create a searchable and recognizable @Username
  • Use a colorful and slick brand profile image
  • Register for a business account
  • Mention a trackable link in your bio

A good thing to keep in mind here is to include a link that is brandable and memorable since it’s the only real estate to mention your eCommerce store’s web address. Short names on a relevant new domain extension like .store will do wonders for your online store.

These steps might seem basic, but they’re necessary to implement before moving on to using other Instagram SEO techniques.

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#2 Mention Your Primary Keyword In Your @Username & Display Name

Instagram is a search engine in itself. You need to work within the app to show up for the correct terms in the search bar. Firstly, you need to define your primary keyword.

Let’s take the example of a ‘bakery’. A user who wants to see baked goods on their feed is likely to search for ‘bakery’. Once you identify your primary keyword, you need to make sure that you mention it in your @Username and display name both.

With this keyword in both places, the probability of your account showing up in the search account increases considerably. You should also use your primary keyword as part of your bio and hashtags for posts. 

#3 Mention Your Secondary Keywords In Your Bio

Secondary keywords are the topics and phrases that revolve around your primary keyword. The next step after mentioning your primary keyword is to get the best out of your secondary keywords.

For instance, in the above-mentioned example, the secondary keywords could be ‘wedding cakes’, ‘cupcakes’, ‘cakes’, ‘baking’, ‘baked goods’, etc. It’s important to craft an informative and attractive bio, but along with it, you need to include at least a few important search-optimized keywords.

Secondary keywords play an essential role where people aren’t searching for your primary keyword but might be interested in your products or services.

A user might not be searching for ‘bakery’ but if they’re searching for ‘baking recipes’ and bump into your account because of your secondary keywords, they might still end up following you because of your content. 

#4 Use Hashtags As Keywords 

Instagram is a search engine that uses hashtags as a means to identify and filter content. In fact, you can even follow hashtags as you do with pages or people.

As a good practice, you should use Instagram hashtags as part of your bio as well as your posts. While optimizing your profile is a one-time activity, optimizing posts is an ongoing process and requires special attention.

Most users aren’t going to be looking for you directly. However, they’re likely to bump into your profile through the hashtags that you’ve used on a particular post.

Hashtags are like secondary keywords too, and each Instagram post requires its own hashtag strategyYou can include your own brand name or a catchphrase as part of your hashtags.

You can also use hashtags that are specific to your image or video (anything you can directly relate to on a particular post).  Post-specific hashtags increase your chances of attracting a diverse and wider audience.

It’s always better to use post-specific hashtags rather than inserting the same five hashtags on every post.

#5 Use Secondary Keyword In Captions

An engaging caption not only helps in attracting new followers but also in satisfying existing ones. An unknown fact about this is that the right caption can also help you show up in the search results.

You can optimize your captions in the same way as you did with your name, bio, and hashtags. Using relevant secondary keywords in your caption helps to create a complete picture for Instagram’s algorithm. 

Doing this will enable Instagram to filter your posts and accordingly rank them for search queries.

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#6 Use Instagram Alt Text

Instagram Alt Text, short for Alternative Text, is a new feature that allows users to write alternative captions for their photos. If the photo doesn’t load for any reason whatsoever, users will see the descriptive text instead.

The feature was mainly introduced for screen readers, which allows visually impaired users to access Instagram, but it also plays a major role in Instagram SEO.

If you don’t use alt-text, Instagram will populate the alt-text options for your photos, but you can rather choose to do that yourself and describe your post in the best way possible using relevant keywords.

You can add alt text by following the below-mentioned steps:

  • Start uploading a picture on Instagram
  • Select your desired filter and tap ‘Next’
  • Tap ‘Advanced Settings’ at the bottom
  • Tap ‘Alt Text’
  • Type your alt text in the box and tap ‘Done’

Using Alt Text could help your posts rank better in Instagram’s algorithm and can have your posts pop up as voice search results too. 

#7 Refer To Analytics

If you’re using Instagram SEO techniques for the first time, you need to track your Instagram strategy constantly to understand how it’s impacting your social media goals.

Instagram has its free analytics tool for business accounts that shows the activity of your audience, which posts are most engaging and their reach and impressions.

For more advanced features that give you detailed analytics, you can opt for external social media tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Sprinklr.

Tracking the success of your Instagram SEO strategy could help you refine your content, gain buy-in from leadership, and also improve the overall success of your strategy.

#8 Avoid Common Black Hat SEO Techniques

Similar to Google, even Instagram identifies and punishes users for using black hat SEO techniques, by reducing the reach or visibility of accounts that try to cheat the system.

Instagram has also introduced a ‘shadowban’ for users that break the ruled repeatedly.

Some of the ways to avoid these Black hat SEO techniques on Instagram are:

  • Don’t use bots
  • Don’t steal content
  • Don’t spam with keywords
  • Don’t follow or unfollow too many accounts very fast
  • Don’t buy followers

SEO is a long term strategy and it requires patience to see the results. It’s tempting to fall for ways that give a quick boost in followers or reach, but it could do you more harm than good.

Final Thoughts

Traditionally, SEO was primarily used for website optimization, but if you’ve acquired knowledge about it, you can always use the same for your social media. Utilize the above-mentioned tips to transform your Instagram presence in a way that prioritizes the user and also builds your reach.

Starting an eCommerce store? Build it on a .store domain!

Search your .store domain NOW!


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