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Instagram has become the third-most used social media platform with over 2 million monthly active users, behind Facebook and YouTube. Since there is no sight of Instagram’s growth declining, it is only becoming more difficult for brands and creators to stand out with their content.
But don’t worry, there is something you can do to improve this situation. Introducing Instagram SEO, your new best friend in helping increase your content’s and profiles reach.
If you are already somewhat familiar with SEO, then this will be a breeze. Don’t know what SEO is? No worries, read this guide below to become more familiar with the term and how it works.
What Is Instagram SEO?
Although SEO can be implemented in really any social media content, it differs per platform. This is due to the fact that each network’s algorithm differs, with its own set of rules.
Instagram SEO is a process of optimizing your content and profile so your content is ranked higher among search results, and so you can better reach your ideal audience. There are a few different tactics that you can add to your content, profile, and planning, that will help you seamlessly incorporate these actions into your strategy.
When users go to search a question, topic, or issue, the “top” content that appears is more likely to receive interactions, engagement, etc.
Instagram SEO Techniques for 2023
If you’re looking to boost your content’s visibility in 2023, and reach more of your ideal clients, listen up. Here are six Instagram SEO strategies that you can implement into your strategy immediately, to start seeing results.
Optimize your Instagram profile
Your Instagram profile is like your website on Google. To achieve your goals, you first need to optimize your account to offer the best experience for users that land on it.
- Add a keyword in your name/username
Adding a keyword that reflects your niche/industry will help categorize your profile and help users find your account when they search for that keyword. For example, if I search “women’s clothing” here are what the results look like:
As you can see, Instagram shows you the top content for your search. It even has a For You page, Accounts, Audio, Tags, Places, and Reels sections. This means that you have a few different places where your content can show up, which is why SEO is extremely useful.
- Add secondary keywords in bio
When it comes to your bio, you can also sprinkle in primary and secondary keywords, that support what your business does. For example, if I took the same example as above, some possibilities could be “vintage”, “affordable”, “online”, “worldwide shipping”…
If you have an in-person store, adding your location is also essential, so you can find more local customers/clients.
- Include a link in your bio
If you have an online website or store, linking this site in your Instagram bio will help drive traffic. Since you are limited to only one link in your bio, using a link page tool can be very useful to add all your links on one page.
At Metricool we have our own link-in-bio tool, allowing you to add as many links as you want to one page, customize the background, change the themes and colors, add images, etc. Then with this one link, you can add it to your profile and never worry about being limited to one link again. Learn more about Metricool’s SmartLinks and start using them today!
Use keywords and hashtags in your content
When it comes to utilizing SEO tactics in your content, there are a few different ways you can set up your content for success. One of these is adding keywords into your caption. Based on the content you are posting, what keywords are users searching about this topic? What solutions are you providing to users?
Also, yes, hashtags can be considered keywords too! Use 3-5 captions that include primary/secondary keywords.
But, how can you find Instagram keywords? Thankfully there are many keyword tools such as Keyword.io, Semrush, Answer the Public, and Google Trends, that allow you to search for keywords and view their monthly searches, related keywords, trend, and competition.
The first two tools have options to search for Instagram specifically, however the latter two can be used as general market research, and still applied to your Instagram SEO strategies.
Take advantage of Alt text
Just as you can add alt text to images for Google, you can do the same with your Instagram posts. This allows the content to be accessible to a larger amount of people, including those visually impaired folk. Also, by adding this context, the network can better sort your content.
You can do this by clicking on the three dots in a post, clicking Edit, and then Edit Alt Text at the bottom right corner. This will allow you to add Alt text for each image in the post.
Remove the watermark from Reels
Before I go into this… creating Reels in general is a great way to find new audiences. In fact, according to our 2023 Instagram Study, we found that Reels are the format type that generate the highest reach compared to all other content types.
So, not only should you include Reels in your content strategy, but your videos will be more prioritized if the content is “original” meaning it hasn’t been taken from TikTok, CapCut, etc. If you do end up taking this content from an external site, that is totally fine, just make sure to remove the watermark.
Turn on auto-captioning in videos
Speaking of videos, if you post talking videos, adding subtitles is another great way to reach a larger number of users, and allow people to still understand your video in case they can’t listen in the moment. Instagram makes this super easy, with the auto-caption option.
When you go to upload a video, you can turn on auto-captions by clicking on Advanced settings in the final editing page, and then turn on Show captions. To add captions to a video you have already posted, click on the three dots of the post, and then on Manage captions. Here you can toggle on captions, and select the language.
Post at the right time
Since Instagram feeds are constantly updating with new content, it can be easy to miss content. However, if you’re posting when your audience is more active, this increases the chances of your content receiving more interactions and engagement. Plus, when a post on Instagram is well-received by an audience, it will be prioritized on the platform.
Want to find your best time to post? There are two ways to find out. Inside your Instagram profile, you can click on the three-lined icon at the top right corner, and click into Insights, and then Total followers. Here you can see your followers most active times in their hours or days.
With Metricool, you can also view your best times to post directly in the calendar. You will see darker and lighter hues, darker representing better times to post, and lighter representing worse times to post. You can even toggle on an exact percentage, to see which percentage of your users are online at these hours, based on the previous week.
Access this feature, as well as in-depth analytics for your Instagram account, so you can continue to measure your tactics and improve your overall strategy. This also goes in hand with evaluating your SEO tactics, because inside Metricool you can view top-performing posts, to see what has done best in the given period.
The best part is that you can use these features in Metricool for completely free! Create your account and watch your accounts grow.