The following is about Instagram SEO for beginners that I’ve learned in the past few months. Hey, we all have to start somewhere! Read along to learn some strategies to take your Instagram content further.
What is SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. When I first heard about SEO, the conversation was already around getting your website to the top page on Google. But we’re not talking about Google here because we’re working on the Instagram platform. We want our profiles to be found when users are searching through the Instagram search bar.
If you’re not on Instagram, but are still interested in SEO, then read this post about simple SEO tips to make your website found.
Instagram’s alt text is text description that identifies the content of an image. It allows screen readers to describe your photos to blind or visually impaired users. Alt text a text description that appears instead of an image when the image doesn’t load due to poor internet connectivity or the user cannot see the image and needs a screen reader to access the platform.
Alt text is important for web accessibility – literally making the web more accessible for visually impaired people. Screen readers will be able to read the alt text of an image for them. You should describe what is in the image or what the image is all about. A picture is worth a thousand words, rights?
By adding alt text that is relevant to your Instagram post, it helps the algorithm understand what the image is about. When adding alt text, it increases the chances of your post showing up in the “Explore” section of your target users’ accounts or when user’s are searching for relevant keywords.
How to Add Alt Text to Instagram Photos
- Launch the Instagram app on your phone and follow the usual steps to select and edit a photo.
- Click the “Advanced Settings” option near the bottom of the screen.
- Tap “Write Alt Text” under the Accessibility section on the next page.
- Write the alt text and hit the checkmark or “Done” button at the top-right corner.
- Tap the back arrow on the next page. Then press Share!
For example: if you’re searching for the Grand Tetons on Instagram, you can see that the “search” icon appears next to your search keywords. Clicking on the “grand teton mountains” brings you tons of photos of the Grand Tetons.
Hashtags have always been a game with Instagram. Sometimes they get banned, which makes it more difficult for your posts to be found. It’s up to you to do the research on the hashtags you are using on your posts.
Banned Hashtags: hashtags that Instagram users have reported because the posts using them go against Instagram’s guidelines.
Once you’ve picked out the right hashtags for your content, be sure that you’re testing these hashtags out! Different hashtags work for different types of engagement and different audiences. Utilizing a mixture of them all is the best strategy to grow your audience and reach organically. You have more of a chance to stand out. You also have a chance to be featured in the Most Popular section of a less competitive hashtag! And remember, users can follow hashtags 😉
Tag People & Brands
Have a favorite spot where you buy your entire wardrobe or housewares? Tag them! You only have exposure to gain and there is absolutely no downside. You’ll show up on their feed within their tagged category. A super easy but effective way to get more exposure to your account!
Don’t forget to tag them in your Stories, too! They won’t see your content unless you tag them. And that’s the point of Instagram – to be social!
Optimize Your Profile
My strategy is to add keywords of what I blog about in my Instagram bio. I’m striving to improve it, but this is where it sits today! Here’s some tips to optimize your profile:
- Make your profile public: If people can’t see the feed, then they may not want to ask to follow!
- Register for a Business Account: If you ever think you’ll be running ads on Instagram, be sure to run your account like a Business! It will make it easier in the long run if you ever plan to monetize with Brands and other Businesses.
- Create a Strong Brand: Is your name easily recognizable? Is your handle easily recognizable? Is your logo clear and does it match your name and handle? All of these contribute to your brand.
Make sure you show up! I was having the hardest time with growth until I improved my consistency. My account has grown so much while I’ve been testing out different strategies to grow my engagement and following. My profile is “perfect” and I don’t intend it to be. I’m into trying new things whenever I can! That’s why it’s been so difficult narrowing down a niche.
I have a vision of where I want my blog to be within the next six months and I’m going to use that vision to guide my Instagram SEO. What are your strategies to improve your Instagram SEO? Do you have any tried and true methods? Share in the comments below!