Instagram has at least one billion active users, ranking third after Facebook and YouTube. The app is the second most downloaded apps in Apple Store. If your social media marketing strategy hasn’t incorporated Instagram, your competitors are having a field day!
Instagram is big on visuals. Whether you’re dealing with food items or clothing, posting on Instagram will increase your online visibility. You have to be more creative for you to penetrate this digital marketing platform.
So, how do you rank on Instagram amidst the competition? If you’re running an Instagram SEO campaign, you’re in luck. Here are 10 of our best tips and tricks to take your Instagram campaign a notch higher.
What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
It is crucial to define search engine optimization before delving into Instagram SEO. In its simplest definition, search engine optimization refers to the process of increasing the visibility of webpages and content for users. SEO is the spice you need for Google to notice your content and rank it among the top results when a user searches for the keywords you have used.
With the increase in online searches, you can’t afford to ignore SEO. Your product won’t get users’ attention if you’re not on Google’s first page. If you desire high-intent traffic, SEO is indispensable.
Instagram SEO plays the same role. It helps you rank amidst the millions of posts having similar products with what you’re offering. Here are some of the Instagram SEO tips to use for your campaign;
1. Optimize Your Profile
Optimizing your Instagram profile should be the first step when thinking about Instagram SEO. Your profile name and bio are searchable. It would help treat your profile description as your resume, which determines if you get users’ attention.
Consider using the right keywords on your Instagram bio for people to find you. Once you know how to go about keyword research, it will be easier to appeal to the right audience. You might also want to have a username that represents your brand.
Instagram often provides search results based on the user’s browsing history, people one follows, and the videos or photos you like. However, keywords play a significant part in search results! The platform sorts through the accounts to find the most relevant results, usually based on the keyword used.
If you’re are yet to optimize your Instagram, tap the ‘Edit Profile’ button to modify your profile. You can even include hashtags on your bio to increase your chances of ranking. You’ll be surprised at the change in traffic once you have edited your profile.
2. Your Hashtags Should be Part of the Keywords
Now that you have an optimized IG profile, you need to work on optimizing all your posts. Users won’t always be searching for your products directly. At times people use hashtags, which makes it necessary to use hashtags on each of your posts.
Instagram hashtags should be your secondary keywords. Use targeted and relevant hashtags on your Instagram stories and posts. Consequently, you’ll get new audiences, translating into more followers, engagements, and customers.
Besides increasing your discoverability, Instagram hashtags will help sourcing for user-generated content, engaging with your audience, and running campaigns. The hashtag strategy for your Instagram SEO doesn’t have to be overly complex. Your visibility will move a notch higher with hyper-relevant hashtags on stories, comments, and post captions.
Given that millions of brands are using generic hashtags to be creative. Research each of your chosen hashtag to know the number of times it appears, the likes, and accompanying content. Create better content and use the winning hashtag!
While at it, work with fewer hashtags. In fact, Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags. Using hashtags haphazardly can impede their initial intention.
3. Create Thrilling Content for Your Instagram SEO
Content is undeniably the king in digital marketing. One of the main reasons you need an SEO specialist is content creation. An expert knows how to go about creating content that will generate you leads.
If you can’t have appealing content, any other SEO strategy you use might be watered down. Your content should be relevant and useful to users. A thorough keyword and buyer persona research will guide your content strategy.
Once you understand the needs of your target audience, it will be possible to create valuable content. Your content should have the end-user in mind, not the search engines. Include engaging visuals that won’t distract the user.
Ensure that your content is credible by utilizing original research. You might also need to cite other credible sources to show your expertise in content creation. However, you have to be overly creative in your Instagram posts as users tend to pay more attention to visual content.
4. Your Instagram Feed Should Be Visual
Did you know that the brain needs a tenth of a second to comprehend an image instead of the 60 seconds required to understand 200 words? You can’t afford to ignore images and videos given their impact on people. Visual content is what differentiates Instagram from most other social media marketing sites.
Online users are gravitating towards more authentic expressions. The use of visuals is one way you can get customers to pay more attention to your brand.
How you use images on Instagram can make all the difference. You might want to have brighter photos while reducing their highlights. Your feed should not be too distracting; instead, it should have an aura of calmness.
You need to be consistent in your posting for users to engage with you regularly. Photo editing apps like Adobe Lightroom can help achieve Instagram-worthy photos. However, it would be best to work with a digital marketing agency with years of social media marketing experience for the best images.
Instead of shopping for photos online, use actual photos to appear more credible. You can have professional photos of your products, store, or team. Potential customers will relate better with the real-time photos.
5. Create Descriptive Captions
Descriptive and relevant captions will increase your visibility on the Instagram Explore page. Instagram uses the Explore page, which keeps learning what you prefer based on your behavior on the site. As such, Explore pages differ from one person to another.
Instagram has incorporated machine learning to establish the content to be displayed on the Explore page. Through word embedding, Instagram can connect accounts related to a searched word to feature on the Explore page.
The keywords used by Instagram are derived from username, bio, and account. A large part of them come from your captions. With descriptive captions, Instagram will have your account on the Explore page section, which will increase your discoverability.
The more descriptive you are in your Instagram captions, the more likely it will be to appeal to users searching for the keywords you have used. If you have been using captions without giving them much thought, you’re missing out on great Instagram SEO.
6. Use the Instagram Alt Text
Instagram alt text is one of the latest features that you can use to increase your visibility on Instagram. This feature is used to customize alternative texts for more relevant image description. The alt text was initially used to guide users with visual impairments, but it has evolved to be a significant part of SEO.
Typically, Instagram provides several alt-text options to describe your pictures. Most of these alt texts hardly have words to increase your visibility. It would be best to write the text yourself for an actual description of the image.
The alt text option is on the right part of the screen just before you share a photo. Tap on the ‘advanced settings’ button. You’ll get the ‘write your alt text’ as you scroll down.
Craft the ideal description that will make your image stand out! If you had posted your Instagram photos without the alt text, you could just edit. On the photo, click on the ellipsis button, then tap Edit.
7. Use Instagram Video Captions and Subtitles
The use of video is among the 2020 SEO trends that you need to watch out for. However, there’s an interesting trend that marketers ought to note. A significant percentage of users watching Instagram videos do so without sound.
If you have already embraced videos in your marketing, you’re on the right path. Yet, you need to consider potential customers who watch but don’t listen to the video. Subtitles and captions are one of the best ways to deliver the intended message.
Captioning videos will increase video view times. It also boosts the effectiveness of messaging. Interestingly, a video with captions and no sound can have a higher success rate than one without captions or subtitles.
8. Avoid Black Hat SEO Practices
Black hat SEO tactics might seem harmless at first. Besides, Instagram users wouldn’t even assume the site would note some of these techniques. Just like Google, Instagram can identify and punish users that have been trying to cheat the system.
There’s a shadowban for Instagram users who keep breaking these rules. If you’re new in Instagram SEO, here are some of the tactics you need to avoid;
- Keyword overstuffing
- Buying followers
- Stealing content
- Using bots
- Unrealistic following
SEO can never guarantee you overnight success. Even with the best SEO consulting services, you need to be patient to get results. You should avoid using deceptive tactics to get followers or ranking as it won’t be sustainable.
Once Instagram strikes you for black hat SEO approaches, the impact can even extend to your website. The quick-fixes can be the cause of your online business collapse.
8. Host Giveaways and Special Offers
Everybody loves giveaways! You can have contests on your Instagram page to attract more followers. Host a contest where you ask your followers to comment, like, or tag friends, which will be an effective way to increase your Instagram followers.
The contest can run for a week or a weekend. The longer you host the campaign, the more people it will attract. You can request your followers to post their photos with a hashtag of your brand for a chance to win.
Be transparent when gifting followers who win. Some brands tend to end the contest unceremoniously without honoring their word. You need to build your brand’s credibility by gifting winners as per the terms of the contest.
While at it, ensure that the special offers don’t hurt your financial standing. You can have discounts or special offers for items that you deem dead stock.
9. Utilize Instagram Stories
The number of daily Instagram story users is 500 million. Instagram allows users to have a story for 24 hours. The stories can be a great avenue to boost your Instagram SEO.
Some of the advanced features that make Instagram stories to stand out include;
- Use of emojis
- Tag locations
- Creating polls
- Questions and Answers
- Adding stickers
- Send to button
All these features are valuable in making your business profile more engaging. You can utilize features such as the Question and Answer button to get suggestions and feedback from your followers. Tagging your location is another ideal way of boosting your local SEO.
The videos and images you upload on your Instagram stories can also have an SEO-related description. You can alert followers on your page about your Insta stories. The more viewers you get, the more chances you have of ranking.
Instagram SEO Is an Indispensable Part of Digital Marketing
Instagram campaigns are a great way to get leads that will ultimately lead to conversion. Yet, the growing competition can be a concern. You need to invest heavily in Instagram SEO for you to get substantial following and leads.
With tips such as content creation and image optimization, Instagram can be a source of loyal clients. Given the ever-changing nature of social media marketing, it would be advisable to work with a digital marketing agency. Search engine optimization specialists can work on your Instagram and Facebook SEO, leading to sustainable results.
Are you looking for search engine optimization services? Riserr has more than 11 years of experience in SEO services. Contact us today for these services and more!