Semalt Explans Why Instagram Needs SEO

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: What is SEO? And what are the benefits?
  2. Another Face of SEO: Instagram SEO
  3. Reasons to use SEO for your Instagram Account
  4. How to use Instagram SEO the right way
  5. Conclusion


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of online fame. Anyone that wants to reach target customers online, sell, and become an authority in their field needs to optimize their platform. This platform can be a blog site, a news feed site, email, an e-commerce website, a YouTube channel, your podcast site, and even your social media. Yes, social media too needs SEO. 

Since the main reason for SEO is to get three things: visibility, traffic, and sales, then you need SEO to be seen, get likes / followers, and sell your product / service. This guide focuses on Instagram because it is one of the leading social media platforms for brands that want to engage with their followers on a visual level. The other famous social media network platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Facebook is regarded as flooded, Twitter is mainly for texts, and YouTube, the next top social medium is for videos. That leaves Instagram as the highlight for this topic. 

Another Face of SEO: Instagram SEO

Everyone, at least a majority of those reading this guide right now knows what Instagram is. It is a social media platform that focuses more on visuals than text. The visual content can be published as a single photo, multiple photos called carousels, short videos (about 1 minute long), stories (similar to Facebook status), live videos, and reels. 

Instagram SEO is focused on getting more eyes to see your account, posts, and activities - in other words, more engagement. With Instagram SEO, the target will be to make sure your profile is well-structured and designed so that when your target audience lands on your page, they are impressed. SEO also involves certain tools and strategies that will get your target audience from where they are to where you are. It's a 2-in-1 job. 

The reason Instagram SEO is more popular than it ever was is because of the new 'search by interest' feature that has been introduced to the app. Before, Instagram users can only search for hashtags and users so that only results with a similar hashtag or username appear on the result page. This made it very limiting for people that want to search for inspiration, an idea, or how something is done. The only way to do this is to search for the most popular hashtags people were using and this isn't so convenient. 
Now, instead of searching for '#seospecialists', you can type in 'people that specialize in SEO' and you'll get a result. With Instagram SEO:
Instagram SEO is very important for every business and brand. With it, you can find any specific post but more than that, it gives you a better opportunity to stand out among your competitors. However, let's spell out why your Instagram needs SEO right now. 

Reasons to use SEO for your Instagram Account

You would advertise your merchandise without having to buy an Ad:

Everyone knows what an Ad does. It promotes a post so that the world would see it and engage with it. It simply uses one of your posts to advertising your brand. Ads can be expensive and they are temporal, that is, they don't last forever. However, optimizing your Instagram does. When you optimize your content for a certain keyword, your posts are 'famous' for that keyword and it would be easily seen with or without Ads. Optimizing all your posts simply means putting your brand in the face of people who are interested in your content.

It gives you a chance to connect with people who are actively searching for your business-related content

A continuation of the previous point, Instagram SEO allows you to advertise and connect with people who are already actively looking for things related to your business. Instead of simply paying for world advertisement, your content will be visible only to those that are actively interested in your topic. It doesn't only increase your ROI but also ensures that your content is visible to all people that need to see it. 

It highlights what part of your content people are more interested in

By doing SEO on your feed, you can analyze what posts are getting more traffic and which aren't. You can also easily audit your site to know what keywords are working for you and which aren't. That way, you can make the needed adjustments that'll increase and maximize your engagement and traffic level. 

It makes it easy for your prospective customers to find you

When your content is optimized, you begin to stand out among the other billion Instagram users that also do what you do. You won't only be streamlined to keywords that are relevant to your niche, but you will also appear on the first page as long as you post frequently and consistently. 

It reduces the overload on Ads

For those that still feel the need to use Ads, optimizing your feed, bio, username, and caption will reduce the work that Ads need to do for your site.

How to use Instagram SEO the right way?

Instagram SEO is just as important as search engine SEO. It also has a way it can be done correctly and wrongly. If you do not intend to do it yourself due to the technicalities and time-investment, you can outsource your Instagram SEO to professionals of the job. Some SEO companies have well-efficient team members that can help you handle your social media and optimize it so that you can get the most engagement and ROI. They'll also make sure that you stand out among the competition with more visibility on your high-quality and valuable content. 

However, if you wish to do it yourself, here are some of the best practices you can adopt to improve your Instagram SEO:
  1. Keywords in the username and bio: The time and age for using just anything amusing as a username are over. If you want to be seen more easily, use your top keyword in your username and other variations in the bio. Treat your username and bio as a content headline and a meta description respectively. The way you add keywords, make it attractive, and enticing, do the same for your username. For instance, instead of '[name] beauty', use [name]'s Organic Beauty Products. 
  2. Keywords in the Captions: As you might have predicted, the captions for every post and content should always carry main keywords (about 1 or 2 keywords is enough). If it is possible, make the main keyword the first word / phrase of the caption. Key captions are short (and if it has to belong - make it creative and thorough), easy to read, and attractive. They serve as the meta keyword for your posts and the way for Instagram to link what posts are similar for the search-by-interest feature.
  3. Don't forget hashtags: Yes, hashtags might seem like it is going away but it still holds a big place in the heart of Instagram. Don't forget to add at least 1 or 3 hashtags that are relevant to your post. Research for the popular long-tail hashtags and add them. Don't spam it and don't use too popular hashtags. 
  4. Be real (show the 'himan' behind your brand): At the end of the day, Instagram will always promote real people - or at least users that don't post like bots. Your target audience is on Instagram (or any other social media for that matter) to engage with the 'human' behind a brand. They like, share, and comment on posts that they can relate to or have a connection with. So at the end of the day, while optimizing your content, adding keywords, links, and so on, remember to be human. Be real and be consistent with your brand. Post like you want to reach out to people and not robots. 


Does Instagram need SEO? 100% Yes, it does. Your Instagram profile page needs to be optimized even more so now that the new search-by-interest feature has been introduced. Why does your Instagram need SEO? There are a lot of reasons Instagram needs SEO but the major ones are so that your posts can be easily seen when searched for so that you can increase the traffic on your account so that you can boost engagement on your posts, and so that you can enhance sales. In essence, anyone that wants to have likes, shares, comments, and reposts on Instagram needs SEO. Whether or not you are a large company, a creative user, business, influencer, or a personal user. 

Interested in SEO? Check out our other articles on the Semalt blog.