Can You Use SEO For Instagram? | Everything You Must Know


Instagram and social media, in general, are becoming a key part of any online business’s marketing strategy.

I often get asked about whether you can optimise your Instagram page for search and how it can positively impact your business.

In this article, we will look at Instagram SEO and the tactics that you can implement to make your business page more visible through Instagrams’ search engine.

What is Instagram SEO?

  1. What is Instagram SEO?
  2. Why is Instagram SEO important?
  3. What is Instagram’s algorithm?
  4. What are the key ranking factors for Instagram?
  5. What tactics can you implement for Instagram SEO?
  6. Use keywords in your name and username
  7. Including keywords in your biography
  8. Create compelling and keyword-rich captions
  9. Relevant hashtags
  10. Use advanced settings when you post
  11. Encourage tagging and sharing
  12. Conclusion

Instagram SEO is where you optimise your Instagram content in order for it to show in front of users when searching for phrases. When a user searches using a query or a hashtag, if your content is well optimised, you can show up as a result.

Instagram is very open about its policy when it comes to optimising content for search. You can find out how Instagram search works and they provide some useful insights and are very open on how the Instagram algorithm works.

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Why is Instagram SEO important?

Instagram SEO is important as it allows you to get in front of people that are searching for content related to your business or niche. Instagram is one of the most widely used social media platforms and has over 1.1 billion users worldwide. With these huge numbers, it means that the majority of your potential customers will be using the app, which makes SEO for your Instagram posts even more important. Instagram is becoming a platform that is increasingly making products and businesses more visible.

What is Instagram’s algorithm?

According to Instagram themselves, they say that the algorithm works in the following way:

  1. Information about the post – What is the actual post content? Is it a video or a photo and how much engagement does the post have?
  2. Information about the poster – How relevant is the poster of the video or photo? Are they relevant to what it is you are interested in?
  3. Your activity – What type of content do you tend to engage with more? What are you generally more interested in?
  4. Your interaction history – Do you engage with the poster regularly? Messages, likes, comments etc?

Based on this information, Instagram’s algorithm calculates how likely someone is to interact with a post, known as a score of interest, which ultimately determines the order in which posts are displayed in their feed.

What are the key ranking factors for Instagram?

Instagrams algorithm takes the above information and uses a score of interest to calculate how likely someone is to interact with a post. This ultimately determines where a post appears on a user’s feed and understanding the way the algorithm works will help make your content appear where you will get the highest level of engagement.

They also consider key interactions that help determine how much a user engages with a piece of content. This includes time spent on a post, how many likes and how likely you are to like and how many profile taps that a piece of content leads to.

What tactics can you implement for Instagram SEO?

Instagram SEO has similarities to the way that you optimise for Google. Some of the key tactics to optimise your profile and content on Instagram include:

Use keywords in your name and username

Including primary keywords in your name and username like you would on your website domain name will improve your chances of showing for those relevant searches.

Including keywords in your biography

Another great way to add coverage for your target keywords is through your biography. Like with your SEO strategy in Google, you should avoid over optimising your biography and stuffing it with keywords. But looking at what your competition is doing and writing a biography that is descriptive will again help the Instagram algorithm understand what it is your page is describing.

Create compelling and keyword-rich captions

Ensure that your post captions are descriptive and again include keywords that describe your service. Creating captions that are compelling and describe accurately what it is that your post is about, will enhance your Instagram SEO strategy.

Relevant hashtags

You should also utilise hashtags that are relevant to what you do as this will increase your chances of appearing on the discover page and will help give you more exposure and engagement with your content.

Use advanced settings when you post

In the advanced settings of Instagram, it provides you with an option to write an alt text on the photo or video. In the advanced settings, this allows you to customise the post data and describe the content of the post. Tap edit alt text to add your custom alt text via the advanced settings.

Encourage tagging and sharing

In order to enhance your Instagram SEO efforts, you should encourage your followers to tag friends and share their Instagram stories. Not only does this help increase your brand awareness but it also helps with the Instagram algorithm and will make your content reach a wider audience.


Instagram is certainly a platform where there are opportunities to optimise your account and show up for relevant keywords that your potential customers are searching for.

Instagram users are now more than ever being taught to engage with and interact with brands that are on the platform. This makes it a massive opportunity for online businesses because the algorithm is designed to help people engage with relevant content which in turn will keep them on the app.

If you are able to understand how the algorithm works and can optimise your profile in the right way, this will ensure that you can start to attract business via the platform. It’s important that you operate as a real business on Instagram and you shouldn’t solely rely on the algorithm to work in your favour.

Be interactive, respond to your potential customers and be as engaging as you can in order to build a business that will stand the test of time on social media.

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