If you're using Instagram to share your brand's story, you should be using it to drive traffic back to your website.
Instagram is a powerful tool for brands looking to build their presence on social media. It has roughly one billion monthly active users and counting. With so many viewers on the platform, it's no wonder that businesses are flocking there in droves.
In fact, according to Hubspot, 90% of users on Instagram follows a business. That means that if you're not already on Instagram, you should start now! But how can you get more followers on Instagram? And how can you increase engagement?
This post will cover the best practices for optimizing your Instagram posts for SEO and discoverability. So that when people search for your brand on the platform or anywhere else online, they'll find your profile easily and engage with your content!
What is Instagram SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process or technique that helps websites rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves optimizing your website's content, design, and even navigation structure to be easily crawled by search engines such as Bing, Google, Yandex, and Yahoo!
In simple terms, SEO is used to improve your ranking in search results so that more people can find you online. This helps drive more traffic to your website and increase sales.
In the case of Instagram, this means creating content (photos and videos) that will help you generate more followers and engagement from existing ones. The more followers you have, the better!
How does Instagram SEO work?
SEO is short for “search engine optimization,” and it refers to the process of improving your search engine rankings. All websites want to get their content noticed by Google, which is why they use SEO to make sure their content ranks highly in Google search results.
The same principle applies to Instagram. If you want to reach more people, you need to make sure they're getting seen by as many people as possible - and that means optimizing your posts for discoverability.
What is Instagram search and explore, and why do you need Instagram SEO?
Instagram Search and Explore is a feature that allows you to discover new accounts to follow by searching for hashtags.
Instagram users can use Instagram Search and Explore to search for hashtags and then explore the most popular posts on Instagram. Searches can be done by entering a hashtag or username, while Explore uses the hashtag or username you're currently using in your post.
If you're not using any type of SEO for your Instagram account, then chances are that people aren't finding your posts in the Search and Explore feature. You want people to find their way to your page to see what you have to offer and learn more about who you are as a brand or person.
What can be optimized?
- Profile: Your profile image, bio description, and website link all significantly impact how many people view your profile and subsequently follow you. You should also add relevant hashtags to every post so that it's easier for people to find your content. In addition, make sure that your account settings are set up correctly so that new users can follow you automatically.
- Posts: Optimize every post by adding relevant hashtags and using good captions and descriptions. These elements help users find your content when searching for specific terms or topics on Instagram.
- Posting Schedule: The most effective way to optimize your Instagram account is by posting regularly. Every day is best, but three times a week will help you get more followers and engagement. Also, consider posting at different times of the day, as this will give you a better chance of being seen by new users who may be checking their feeds around the same time each day.
- Likes: Engaging with other accounts is also crucial for increasing discoverability and improving relationships within the community. Every time someone likes your post, it will appear as an activity on their own feed, increasing visibility for both parties involved!
- Hashtags: Use hashtags in your posts' caption or comment section to increase their discoverability. The more popular the hashtag, the better! If you're unsure what hashtags to use, look at what other accounts in your niche are using. For example, if you belong to a beauty community on Instagram, you could use #instabeauty or #makeupbrushes. These are both trendy hashtags that will increase your visibility!
- Followers: Follow relevant accounts in your industry or niche and engage with them regularly so they can see what you're doing on Instagram and possibly want to follow you in return.
9 Ways to Increase Your Intagram Discoverability
1. Optimize your Instagram bio for keywords
The first step in increasing your discoverability is to optimize your bio. This includes adding relevant keywords and hashtags. For example, if you're a food blogger, add words like "food," "recipes," and "eating." If you're a travel blogger, add words like "travel," "vacation," and "destination." If you're a fashion blogger, add words like "fashion" and "style."
To ensure that these terms are used correctly, search for the keyword in Google AdWords Keyword Planner. This will show you how many people search for it each month and their average cost per click. You can then use this info to determine which keywords to include in your bio and how much emphasis they should be given.
2. Use #Hashtags
Hashtags are a quick way to gain visibility on Instagram. They help you connect your content with people who might be interested in it.
When you use a hashtag in your postings, they show up in the search results for that hashtag and make it easier for people to find you. You can also see who else is posting about that topic by clicking on the hashtag itself.
For example, if you post photos of yourself holding up a sign that says “#seo” or “#socialmedia,” people can find your posts by searching those hashtags.
Hashtags are also important because they help you discover new content related to yours - especially if you use them strategically. For example, if I want to find more content about SEO, I would search for #seo or #digitalmarketing on Instagram.
3. Diversify Your Content
Instagram is a visual platform, so it's not a surprise that most people consume content through images and videos. But there are still considerable opportunities to create interesting text-based content that will help you stand out from the crowd.
- Write short captions that tell your story or give context to your picture.
- Share quotes or inspirational messages in your bio.
- Use hashtags to engage with others who share your interests or follow similar accounts.
4. Geotag Your Posts
Geotagging is a process where you add location information to a post. For example, if you post a picture of yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower, you can add a geolocation tag so that people who search for pictures from Paris will see yours pop up in their feed.
In addition to increasing your discoverability, geotagging also helps you gain followers in specific locations. For example, if you live in San Francisco but frequently travel to New York City, it's essential to geotag your posts with both cities as they allow users interested to see what's happening in those cities at any given time.
5. Create high-quality images with rich metadata
This is one of the biggest keys to increasing discoverability on any platform, but it's particularly important for Instagram because of its visual nature. Ensure that your photos are high quality and include all relevant information about the photo in their metadata so that people know what they're seeing when they see it!
For example, if you post an image of yourself wearing an article of clothing from [company name], include this in the caption so that people who see it can click through directly from the image itself. You want them clicking through because then they'll be able to learn more about what products you offer or how they can get them!
6. Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the best ways to increase your discoverability on Instagram. Why? Because it's authentic, engaging, and relevant for your audience.
Here are some ways you can leverage user-generated content:
- Encourage customer submissions with hashtag campaigns or photo contests.
- Ask your customers to tag their posts with your brand so you can repost them.
- Look for influencers who are already talking about your brand and reach out to them to ask if they'd like to share their experience in exchange for free products or services.
- Set up a landing page where people can submit photos of themselves wearing your clothes or using your products for free prizes such as gift cards or swag.
7. Create a consistent brand identity
Instagram is all about curation - users want to see beautiful visuals that reflect their own tastes and interests, and that's why brands like Starbucks do so well on the platform.
So make sure your feed has a cohesive look and feel by posting photos across different categories (such as food, fashion, and travel) with the same style of filter, lighting, and background color scheme each time. This will help your followers connect better with your brand than if you post random photos from different events or locations without rhyme or reason.
8. Add links to external websites
Adding links to external websites is another way to increase your discoverability on Instagram. For example, if you post about how much you love coffee shops, link back to one of yours by using hashtags such as #coffee or #coffeeshop (more on hashtags below).
This will help promote your website without being too pushy or spammy because people will see it as an organic mention rather than an advertisement. And if they click through, they'll be able to find all sorts of interesting content related to what they were reading about in your post!
9. Comment, like, and follow others.
Instagram is a community of people with shared interests and passions. Commenting on others' posts helps you connect with them and your followers and encourages them to comment back on your content.
Here are some tips for commenting:
- Comment on photos relevant to your business or brand, especially those from accounts with a similar audience size as yours.
- If you see a relevant post but not from an account you know, leave a comment anyway! You never know who will see it.
- Be genuine in your comments, and don’t try too hard to be funny or witty — simply say something meaningful about the post you’re engaging with.
- Don’t forget to follow people back when they follow you first! It’s easy to forget this point, but if you want people to engage with your page, it’s important to show that engagement goes both ways.
The increased number of profiles on Instagram provides plenty of opportunities for surfacing great images. And with this growth in content discovery comes the critical need to find ways of surfacing your own content.
Specifically, you need to make it easier for Instagrammers to discover your business and follow your profile on their devices. Luckily, these simple steps can help to increase your reach on the platform. Hopefully, these ideas will help you build a better social presence with greater chances of discovery.