Owing to our roles as digital marketers, we always try to optimize our efforts as much as we can. And it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in the game long enough or you’re just getting warmed up, we all know that SEO is one of the cornerstones of digital marketing.
So you might be familiar with optimizing your website for the search engines and why it would benefit your business, but have you ever considered using Instagram for SEO?
Is that even possible? How would you do that? Most importantly, why would you do that? Let us tell you all about it.
Why You Need Search Engine Optimization
You might find yourself asking that question, and it’s actually a pretty valid one. Why do you need to optimize your website, social media, and basically all online content? Truth is, you need it so that your product/service can actually sell. Companies invest a lot of money in SEO to grow their reach and expand on their online presence.
You need tools like optimizing your Instagram posts and profile in order to be able to engage different audiences and increase your organic traffic. An experienced SEO company like SEOlutions will always claim that “different backlinks can catapult your website to new heights.” You want professionals to offer you SEO services so that you can establish your presence online, increase your search engine ranking, and improve your customer base.
Ways to Optimize your Instagram for SEO to Market Your Brand
Make sure your profile is public
Yes, marketing your brand on this particular platform isn’t exactly easy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best to make sure that your Instagram account reaches as many people as possible. The first step you need to take toward that end is making sure your profile is set to public, which means anybody can access it at any given time.
This is a given naturally because you can’t really market your product on a private account. Instagram default settings are usually set for public profiles, but it never hurts to check anyway.
You need to include the most important keyword to your brand in the account name. This has to be the case so you can get your keywords into your Instagram title tags. The title tag is usually generated based on your account information, so you need to make sure it’s done right with the exact details you want people to find your brand through.
That doesn’t mean you should stuff in unnecessary details in your handle, but rather keep it simple and to the point. For instance, “Howard’s Bookshop” is much clearer and better for SEO than “Howard’s.”
The bio counts
There aren’t really many windows for you to include keywords and SEO friendly terms on Instagram. This is why you need to make each one in your bio count. Optimizing your account bio for SEO is crucial for search results.
True, you don’t have much leeway as the maximum word count is 150 characters, but this is a clear case of quality versus quantity. You can do some stuffing in the bio, but it has to be properly done. Make use of hashtags as they’re a powerful tool on pretty much all social media platforms, and insert your relevant keywords after the hashtag sign.
Remember that Instagram has clickable hashtags, which can take users to other similar posts with the same one, so that’s a window you should definitely capitalize on.
You also should include the brand and influencer names in your account bio, because they will be clickable links that will definitely reflect on your SEO quality. Don’t just add account handles and hashtags in your bio. Make sure to add normal words to flesh out the bio and give search engines something different to work with. Pro tip: don’t forget your brand URL in the website field of the bio.
Image captions are your other powerful tool on Instagram, and it’s where you can add plenty of keywords –– tactfully. You should treat your image captions as title tags. So, they basically need to be short and rich with keywords, yet not overstuffed and boring.
This might just be the most important step of all the above. The problem with Instagram web is the fact that its links to your posts don’t really count as real links according to Google search results. That’s why you don’t often find Instagram posts appearing in your search results, because they’re basically not indexed. So, you should do the linking manually for the actual indexing to happen.
It’s pointless to promote your Instagram profile without linking to your actual post. You can do just that by sharing links for each post on your other social media channels, linking back to the original. To do this, you need to copy the actual link of the post and put it on Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
How to use SEO on Instagram for Marketing
People just love Instagram’s photo contests, and they eat them up. If you put in a little cash prize or a reward from your brand, you not only will do wonders for your SEO and brand marketing, but also will attract many new followers on the platform. Naturally it’s going to be a photo contest, preferably related to your brand in some shape or form, and you’ll ask people to join in for a prize at the end of the competition. This drives SEO ranking and boosts your brand marketing.
Whether you like it or not, influencer marketing is an effective and powerful tool to promote your brand, and it does work. You can use bloggers, celebrities, or just well-known people in general to boost your brand’s SEO on Instagram.
The devil’s in the details
That saying could not be truer when it comes to Instagram. Most companies don’t really focus much on this particular platform because they know it’s not the best for Google ranking and its SEO is not easy. But if you do it right and optimize your account for search engines, you can definitely make the most out of Instagram posts and take your brand marketing to a whole new level.