The Top Five Ways to Optimize Instagram Accounts for SEO

March 19th, 2020 by Kaitlyn Johnson

Nowadays, it isn’t enough to simply have great content, because to be honest… a ton of people have great content. Businesses have to be smarter and more competitive to get their content in front of the right people. With the ever-growing popularity of social media, accomplishing this has become easier but harder.

On one hand, businesses have more platforms to share their content and reach potential buyers. Gone are the days where a website is stuffed with all of a company’s information and events. On the other hand, businesses have more platforms to manage and keep optimized. Your website has to be in tip top shape for search engines, but so do your social profiles.

Take Instagram for example. According to research done by Hootsuite, one billion people use Instagram every single month, with 500 million people on Instagram every day. More importantly, “200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily.”

That’s 200 million reasons you can’t slack on Instagram.

There is a silver lining though. Optimizing an Instagram account for search engines is very similar to optimizing a website for search engines. Here are five ways to get your bangin’ IG optimized for SEO.

Have Your Top Keyword in Your Handle

You may not be able to change your domain name or business name at this point, but your Instagram handle is just itching to be optimized. If your username doesn’t include your main keyword, you should reevaluate it.

Take Lush, a cosmetic company headquartered in the United Kingdom, for example. While the company’s name is simply Lush, it’s Instagram handle includes a very important keyword.

Screenshot of Lush Cosmetics Instagram landing page

“Cosmetics” is sitting pretty in their Instagram handle. Also notice that their business name isn’t the only part of their profile that has a keyword shining bright… which brings us to tip number two.

Load Your Bio With Keywords… Naturally

Why should your Instagram handle get all the keyword love? Well, it shouldn’t. Your business name and bio are great opportunities to get some more keywords on your profile. However, don’t be sloppy about it.

Loading your bio with keywords should be done in a natural and clever way. After all, your potential buyers are watching.

Gambino’s Bakery does an excellent job of sneaking rich, top tier keywords into their bio.

Screenshot of Gambino's Instagram landing page

Utilize Instagram’s ALT Text Feature

In late 2018, Instagram rolled out the ability to add ALT text to images in an effort to make the platform more enjoyable for visually impaired users. Don’t say Instagram has never done anything for companies, because this feature made business profiles accessible to more potential buyers and created another space to include keywords.

When gearing up to share some great content on Instagram, keep your eyes peeled for the advanced settings option. The Advanced Settings are on the same screen as the caption, tagging, and location options way at the bottom in small print. After you press that, the accessibility section will be at the bottom.

Load Your Captions and Hashtags With Keywords

If it seems like optimizing your Instagram for search engines is all about keywords… then you’ve been paying attention. Congrats!

Other perfect opportunities to get some nice, juicy, top-tier keywords on your profile are in the captions and hashtags. But again… this should be done naturally. Potential buyers don’t love several keywords thrown together.

Example of an ARTËMER Instagram post using keywords

ARTËMER, a nine-year-old jewelry brand, does a great job of integrating keywords with a natural caption. Sitting in this post are two keywords in the caption and a slew of keywords in the hashtags. If writing the perfect caption gives you anxiety, think about them as title tags because they act the exact same way.

Example of an ARTËMER Instagram post ranking

Add Your Instagram to Your Google My Business Profile

This optimization tactic has nothing to do with keywords, but it is highly important. Having your Instagram profile linked on your Google My Business page will allow it to pop up on Google along with other pivotal need-to-knows, like your business address and phone number.

Screenshot of Wal-Mart's Google knowledge panel

While you cannot physically log in to GMB, link the profiles and watch them magically appear, Google will “automatically discover social profiles to include in Google knowledge panels.” To hurry the process along, Google recommends that the change is suggested by a verified representative.

The last and final tip is sometimes easier said than done, but it is the most important: create great content. SEO will drive potential buyers to your social profiles, but great content will make the right buyers stay. If you need help, don’t sweat it! Our team is experienced in all things SEO. Contact us today!


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