Instagram SEO Simply Explained.

Easy to apply tips for using Instagram search to your advantage.
Sem Buit
August 11, 2017 - 4 min. read

Instagram’s SEO is arguably one of the most underrated ways to become visible on this increasingly popular network. Here are some simple tips to give your posts a major boost in Instagram search.

Essentially, there are two key elements:

  1. Account handle
  2.  Account name

The account handle
This is the @ name that you register with, and the most important as it reflects what your account is about. Although you can change your name at any time, it is recommended that you choose one name and stick with it.

Consider: does the account handle reflect what or who I am trying to represent?

Say you are an account posting about boats and yachts, then you need to make sure to include a boat or similarly maritime name in the handle – don’t call your account something like forestry247.

This may seem incredibly obvious, but there are so many people who use names that do not reflect what their account is about or what it is meant to represent.

The reason why this is so important is that Instagram is able to recognize and categorize content: nature, luxury, humor (e.g. memes), houses…you name it.

Instagram is also able to recognize which type of content is being posted on accounts. If your name does not match the content being posted, why would people want to follow it? They wouldn’t.

Instead of leaving this decision to the user, Instagram will simply not show your account on the Explore feed as often because your account will have a lower viewer-retention rate.

Read more about managing your brand on social media.

Finding the perfect username
For accounts with a clear offering or theme, follow this step-by-step guide to determine your perfect username.

  1. Write down 20 keywords that come to your mind regarding your theme.
  2. Make combinations of all 20 keywords and try them out as the username.

This way you are capturing the largest possible audience as these words represent your theme. When people think of your theme and your content, they will connect with these words. This will greatly up your chances of being seen by your target audience.

Let’s try it out:

For demonstration purposes, we created this account: @wealth_billionaire

Instagram search

As you can see, the username is “wealth” and “billionaire”. Again, your username handle should relate to what you are going to post. Don’t give Instagram a reason to reduce your reach after posting your very first picture.

Consider: is the name easy to write/pronounce/understand?

This is the user experience side of Instagram search. If you have a name that is easy to pronounce and remember more people will search for your account.

If you were given the choice to search for @luxuryworld or @l_ux.urry_wor1d, which one would you be more likely to search for? Obviously the first, which means it will rank higher in Instagram search.

Here it’s important to put yourself in the average users’ shoes and ask yourself, “What would increase my likelihood of searching for an account on Instagram?” A memorable and easily-spelled name is a large part of increasing viewer-retention.

The account name
That’s the name under your profile picture, and it’s the second key element in winning at Instagram search.

It allows you to further position your account in a certain niche and increase visibility for users. Here it is important to describe your account or what you do in the shortest way possible. When people search for words in the search bar, Instagram will pick up what is written in your Name section.

Again, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. What would they search for if they are looking for your account?

Consider: what do I want to tell my followers and how can I do this in the shortest way possible?

You don’t have a lot of space so get straight to the point.

A simple first step is to search for the most popular hashtags in your niche. In this instance, it turned out to be luxury, rich and millionaire.

So, in our name section, we added “Luxury💎Rich💸  Millionaire💰”. Note that we added emojis as people search for these as well.

Instagram search

Together these six key words and emojis enable our Instagram account to be found by the largest possible target audience.

Take a look at the numbers:

#luxury: used 45,100,000 times
#rich: 6,000,000 times
#millionaire: 4,200,000 times
#billionaire: 2,800,000 times
#wealth: 4,000,000 times
#💎426,000 times
# 💸 110,000 times
#💰 105,000 times

These all add up to maximum visibility on Instagram

Apply this formula to rise to the top of Instagram search
By applying these simple tips, anyone can maximize their Instagram SEO. And surprisingly few do. Here is your chance to get your business front and center on Instagram.

P.S. For more ways to increase your Instagram engagement, check out these 21 bonus tips.

Contributed by Sem Buit and originally published on the Growth Hacking Secrets Facebook group. Sem runs a Digital Marketing Agency called Avenik.