Instagram SEO Explained – How to Optimize An Instagram Account for Search Engines

Instagram SEO Explained – How to Optimize An Instagram Account for Search Engines Parker2010

Instagram SEO Explained – How to Optimize An Instagram Account for Search Engines

To most people and even businesses, an Instagram account is about promoting programs and services, rarely part of their SEO campaigns. But the truth is a powerful Instagram SEO strategy can and will increase the rich on the social network.

The purpose is to make the business easy to find, not to mention establishing connections and contacts. Develop a good strategy, and Instagram can become an excellent place to build a community as well.

Whether you think about alt text, hashtags, or the right pictures, Instagram is all about strategy.

The bad news is that Instagram accounts are well known for being difficult to index by search engines. However, if you search for famous people’s Instagram accounts, they pop up, so it can be done.

The reasons behind this issue are fairly simple to understand…

First, most Instagram users are not interested in search engine optimization over the network. Second, profiles can be indexed, but images will not.

So, what do you need to know to make as much as possible out of your Instagram account?

The concept of SEO on Instagram

The purpose of SEO is self-explanatory, and you need to apply it to Instagram. You need to adjust everything you post with the idea to make it discoverable in as many places as you can. It is not all about search results only, but also about suggested posts, feed, and content.

Now, the idea is fairly simple… The more people discover your profile, pictures, and videos, the higher chance you have at gaining more followers and business.

All the details associated with a post are thoroughly analyzed by Instagram in order to determine what it is about. At the same time, the algorithm will also determine who the post is suitable for.

It is an automatic process, but there are small things you can do to direct the algorithm into your direction.

What makes SEO so important on Instagram

Instagram has more than two billion users every month, which is a pretty good reason to actually work on the SEO profile of your account.

Take a look at the explore page on Instagram or perhaps the search function, and you will have access to anything on the network, simple as that.

To help you get an idea about how it works, imagine your favorite search engine. You use the search bar to find something in particular. The same rule applies to Instagram.

You can search for a particular location or maybe hashtags of Interest. Optimizing your content will make it easy to discover through the explore or search functions of the network.

If you are an active Instagram user, you might have noticed that Instagram also suggests posts on your feed. They come from accounts you are not following, but they have similar parameters to the ones you liked before.

Optimizing your SEO account can make it easy to discover in relevant searches or, even better, the explore function. It is one of the most effective ways to give your content more visibility and, of course, to grow your business.

Key parameters in Instagram’s SEO algorithm

So, it is obvious by now that Instagram relies on an automatic algorithm. Figuring out how it works will give you the opportunity to optimize the content accordingly. Unlike many expectations, a hashtag is not always enough to ensure your content goes first.

The relevance to the search query is probably more important. A suggested post or a recommendation will be based on everything an account does, from hashtags and places to audio content, accounts, and most popular posts. You will also notice separate tags in the search function.

Then, the user activity is not to be overlooked either.

A user’s previous activity on the app will determine which accounts are more relevant. It sounds difficult to think about it. What would your ideal customer look for? This is how you have to see things. You need to identify the target audience’s preferences and potential searches first.

Finally, if you are in a competitive niche, it will feel like a popularity contest. At this stage, accounts with more followers and likes will obviously show up on top.

Now, your Instagram SEO strategy revolves around these protocols. The best thing you can do is identify the target customer and optimize your content for the algorithm to identify it accordingly.

With these things in mind, here are a few techniques to improve your visibility and Instagram SEO strategy.

You need a public profile

By default, Instagram profiles are public. If you have never messed about with the settings, yours should still be public. You want it public and visible, or it will not show up in suggested posts or even search engines.

But then, it pays off double checking. Go to your settings and privacy, then find the setting for private accounts. Make sure it is not toggled on.

Take advantage of Google’s social profile schema

This does not apply to all businesses. In fact, many small businesses will not be listed like this, but it is worth double checking.

This schema markup basically allows you to tell Google about your official social media profiles.

Search for a large company in Google to get an idea, such as Apple or perhaps Google. You will notice more data on the right side, such as the SEO, founders, and profiles, among others. This is known as a knowledge graph card.

Then, search for your business on Google. If details are clearly displayed on the right side, like for a large company, you can use this schema markup to display your social media profiles.

Add keywords to your Instagram name

There is a title tag on every Instagram page. It is generated by an automatic algorithm, and it depends on the info you put into your profile.

How about adding your top keyword into the profile name, then? You will get more visibility, especially in the Instagram title tags.

Now, avoid stuffing a million keywords in there because it does not work like that. Instead, stick to the most representative one for your business.

For instance, avoid using the brand name as Keith’s. Instead, go for Keith’s Gifts.

For such small updates, go to your Instagram profile, and you will find a button to edit the profile. Go add a keyword in the name field then.

Go for a keyword rich bio

As you already have to edit your profile, you might as well stuff some nicely placed keywords in the bio as well. The bio is part of the optimization. You only have 150 characters, but it is more than enough to add a proper description.

Keyword stuffing is not necessarily banned by Instagram, so you can use hashtags with your representative keywords. They are clickable, so people can see more posts under the respective hashtags.

Got more accounts? You can also include them there, start each account with @, of course.

Bios in Instagram are crawled and assessed by search engines. This is the main piece of text on your page, so most of the optimization takes place here.

It does pay off, making the bio look more than just a keyword stuffing algorithm. Basically, you should include more than just hashtags. This way, search engines will get a bit of extra variety. Keep it clear, so potential visitors know exactly what they are about to find there. Use the combination of tag blender to find relevant tags for your Instagram images and Google Keyword Planner for keywords to include in the bio.

Got a website? Include it in the URL of your profile as well. The setting is in the same place. It has a nofollow tag from Instagram, but people interested can still look it up.

Every image is a title tag

Every image has a description, such as a meta description. Now, given the limited space, it is more of a title tag. Besides, each post has a page, and this tag is included there.

Again, the name field is extremely important for search engines, but it also shows up in these results, even if the actual account name is not there.

Failing to pay attention to these tags will cause a bit of confusion, as well as messy results. Throw in a few emojis, and the results are even worse.

It does not mean that you need to keep the caption short to fit within a title tag. But then, start with the main keywords and make sure the most important things are included.

The caption is also meant to be enriched with keywords, but hashtags are also popular on Instagram.

Link to Instagram posts

Most Instagram posts are not necessarily included in SERPs for some simple reasons. Google and other search engines do not count Instagram links as real because of too much JavaScript.

Using Instagram’s promotion tools to promote an account is doable but not the best idea for a specific post. To make your posts more visible, they need to be linked to other channels or social networks.

Copy the link of a certain post if you want to link to it, and add as many backlinks as possible. Focus on other sources, and eventually, search engines may actually pay attention to it.

Follow the competition

While not perfectly moral, find your direct competition and follow some of the active users, usually the ones liking pictures or commenting on them. Comment on their pictures or like them, and some of them will get back to you.

It is not the most ethical thing to do, but everyone does it, and it works. In fact, it is estimated that more than 30% of these interactions will lead to extra followers.


Instagram SEO does not raise a lot of attention straight away. In fact, it is often overlooked by marketers, as most people tend to focus on other channels. But with over a billion active monthly users, the network is definitely worth some attention.

The bad news is that Instagram makes SEO a bit difficult and challenging. However, it is not impossible. Whether you focus on your Instagram popularity or you want to make your Instagram profile more visible over other channels, there are certain techniques to help in the process.

Just like any other SEO strategy, getting on top of the competition takes time, work, and patience.​

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