In the digital age, standing out online is essential for businesses and individuals alike. You've probably heard the term "use keywords" thrown around in discussions about online visibility. But what does it really mean, and how can you leverage it effectively on platforms like Instagram? Let's dive into the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how it applies to Instagram.
Understanding SEO aka Search Engine Optimization
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about enhancing the quality and quantity of website traffic from search engines to a specific website or web page. We often associate SEO with search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, but the concept extends to social media platforms like Instagram as well. Just as people use search engines to find information, products, or services, they also use Instagram to discover content, people, places, and topics of interest.
Instagram's Search Functionality and Using Keywords for SEO on Instagram
On Instagram, SEO operates in a manner similar to traditional search engines. Users can search for profiles, posts, places, and hashtags, making it a powerful tool for discovery.
To make your profile and content more discoverable on Instagram, here's what you can do:
1. Use Keywords in Your Username and Title: Incorporate relevant keywords into your Instagram title or profile name. This helps users find you when they search for those keywords. We use Digital Marketing Agency in our title. Other good examples would be "Hudson Valley Hair Salon", "Handmade Organic Soap", and "Gluten Free Bakery".
Use keywords that describe your business and are relevant to your industry! It's best to choose one primary keyword and use this in your username and/or title, as they are the first location Instagram catalogs for SEO. For example, when you search for the keyword "chocolate," Instagram shows you profiles that have the keyword in their name, username, or both.
2. Use Keywords in Your Bio: Craft a bio that includes essential keywords related to your industry, niche, or expertise. This makes your profile relevant to users searching for specific topics. Use your bio to describe your business with relevant secondary keywords. For example, if your primary keyword is "bakery," then your secondary keywords could be "cupcakes," "birthday cakes," or "cookies" in your bio.
3. Add Location to Your Bio: If your business or content is location-specific, mentioning your location in your bio can attract users looking for services or content in your area.
4. Add Location to Posts and Stories: When posting, include your location when relevant. This increases the chances of your content appearing in location-based searches, showing up in suggested feeds, the explore page for similar locations, and getting in front of PR pages that promote businesses in the area.
5. Use Keywords in Your Captions: Craft informative captions that incorporate keywords related to your post. This not only engages your audience but also improves discoverability, especially on the explore page and as suggested posts. For example, if you regularly engage with food-related posts, your Explore page will likely display content that aligns with the type of content you’ve shown interest in. That’s where your post captions come in.
6. Use Hashtags on All Posts: On Instagram, hashtags function much like keywords do in traditional search engines, serving as the means by which users discover content of interest. When you search for a specific hashtag, Instagram displays all posts associated with that particular hashtag. When you tag your post with a relevant hashtag, it becomes visible when someone searches for that specific hashtag. You can use up to 30 hashtags, it's essential to strike a balance and determine the optimal number through testing and experimentation that works best for you!
7. Always add descriptive alt text: Alt text is important on Instagram for two main reasons: accessibility and SEO. It makes content more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, and it can help posts rank higher on search engine results pages. To add alt text to your posts, simply tap "Advanced Settings" and "Write Alt Text" before sharing. When writing alt text, be specific and descriptive, avoid jargon or acronyms, use relevant keywords, and keep it concise.
8. Encouraging and getting tagged: Getting tagged on Instagram is good for SEO because it helps search engines understand your content and increases your reach and engagement. When someone tags you in a post, Instagram adds the relevant keywords to the post's metadata, which helps search engines index your post and rank it higher in search results. Additionally, getting tagged increases your reach and engagement because their followers can also see the post, which can lead to more people tagging you and visiting your profile.
Optimize for Instagram Search with SEO
In a world where Instagram and other social media platforms play a significant role in content discovery, it's essential to optimize your profile and content for search. By implementing these SEO strategies, you can increase your chances of being found by users interested in your niche or offerings.
So, take a moment to assess your Instagram account's SEO readiness. Are you making the most of keywords, locations, and hashtags? With a well-optimized profile, you can improve your visibility and connect with the audience that matters most to you. Download our Instagram checklist for free to analyze and optimize your Instagram account!