As I mentioned in the first article of this series over SEO optimization for Facebook, social media is not currently an SEO ranking factor, however, our social presence can positively influence your organic visibility and indirectly help to improve your organic ranking. In this installment, I will review SEO tips for Instagram.
SEO isn’t typically what comes to mind when you think of Instagram. It would seem that the photo and video sharing platform, doesn’t easily lend itself for increasing your brand organic visibility. However, Instagram is hugely popular and continuously growing, so brands that have avoided the platform may want to reconsider holding out on the social network. In fact, many companies’ Instagram accounts have already begun showing up in top search results. This opens these brands up to increased visibility, reach, and ranking potential, but to make the most of the platform, there are a few things you should be doing.
Instagram by itself is obviously not going to make a completely unknown brand magically appear at the top of SERPs, but if you are going to have a presence on the network, you might as well make sure it is fully optimized to ensure when you do have the chance to rank, that you are prepared. Additionally, ensuring that your posts are optimized to get the right eyes on your content is crucial.
Instagram Profile Optimization
Instagram account profiles are limited, but there are still ways to make the most of what they give you.
- Profile Name – Try to make sure this matches your other social channels. This should be your brand/company name and should be consistent with your company name on Facebook, username on Twitter, and any other social channels or company listings.
- Handle – Try not to use numbers in your handle, as this can come off as spammy. Try to keep this consistent to your handle on Twitter and your username on Facebook, if possible.
- Profile Photo – For your profile photo, use a clear, high-quality image, preferably your logo. Ensure that if there is text, the text is legible.
- Profile Information – Include a short description of your business, including keywords.
- Website – Include a link to your website in your profile and also include a link from your website to your Instagram profile. Unless you are running sponsored posts on Instagram, this is the only link you get.
- Account Linking – Link your Instagram account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. This allows you to share your Instagram photos on Facebook and Twitter, which can help increase the visibility of your Instagram account.
Instagram Post Optimization
- High-Quality Photos – Share only high-quality photos, the better the photos the more likely people will pay attention to them and like or comment. Be creative.
- Caption – Tell a brand story with your captions, captions should be unique, descriptive, and relatively short. Use keywords if possible in the caption, replies, and hashtags.
- Hashtags – Using hashtags is the best way to increase the visibility of your Instagram posts. If you are a local business, you can use locally focused hashtags. See what is trending on Instagram, is there a way for you to authentically participate in this trend? Use holiday hashtags wisely, participate in a sincere and unique way. Also, if there are fun national days that are relevant to your business, if you are a donut shop, participating in National Donut Day is a no brainer. Finally, you can also utilize branded hashtags, this should be a unique hashtag for your brand, try to keep it consistent. For example, Anvil uses #AnvilLive. We recommend limiting your hashtag use in your caption to around three to four hashtags. The below tools can be used to find trending, popular, and/or relevant hashtags for Instagram.
- Location – If you are promoting your brick & mortar store or a specific location on Instagram, be sure to tag that location, this will help to create awareness about your location, but also by geo-tagging your post, it helps to encourage users are also tagging their location when they visit and it allows your posts to show up on place searches on Instagram.
- CTA – Include a Call-to-Action in your Instagram posts. It is difficult to get users to leave Instagram to visit sites, so making your CTAs authentic and persuasive is very important. Ensure that your CTAs are relevant to your post and that you provide guidance on how to accomplish the CTA (i.e. visit the link in our bio).
Instagram is probably the most difficult social channel, that I will cover, to get users from the social network to your site, but those users that you do drive to your website are going to be engaged, informed, and ready to explore what it is you have to offer. It is important when you use Instagram for your business, that you ensure your profile and posts are fully optimized. Remember to engage on Instagram, when users comment on your posts, respond, follow the hashtags your are utilizing and join the conversation, and most of all use Instagram authentically, show off your brand personality.
If you are interested in learning more about SEO in general, SEO for Social, or any of our other digital marketing services, contact Anvil today!
Coming next in this series will be SEO Optimization for Twitter, check out the previous article, SEO Optimization for Facebook.