10 Strategies for Increasing Your Reach on Instagram (2/2)

In part two of this guide, we will dive deeper into the power of leveraging SEO on Instagram to reach billions of users and drive brand engagement. The exciting aspect is that you can employ familiar SEO techniques, already used for optimizing web page content, to organically grow your reach on Instagram. Imagine Instagram as a dedicated search engine, equipped with built-in search functions resembling a mini-Google. In this section, we will unveil 10 effective SEO techniques that will empower you to expand your reach by strategically working with the Instagram algorithm. By implementing these strategies, you can maximize your presence on the platform and connect with a wider audience. Get ready to take your Instagram game to the next level!

6. Make use of your image captions

In addition to utilizing hashtags at the end, optimizing your image caption itself presents another valuable opportunity.

While maintaining the authenticity of your content in line with the image, it’s essential to incorporate some of your brand’s secondary keywords. Construct a captivating and engaging caption that appeals to your existing followers, while also ensuring it is rich in relevant keywords to attract new ones.

A well-crafted caption serves a dual purpose. It not only grabs the attention of users but also enhances your visibility in search results. By incorporating secondary keywords into the caption, the algorithm recognizes your content as relevant to the specific interests of your unique audience.

The provided example demonstrates how DIFF eyewear effectively incorporates keywords into their caption, effectively attracting the right users.

instagram seo, diff eyewear social post with their keywords in the caption

Best for: Using your image captions helps Instagram’s algorithm creates a complete picture and tells it that you should be ranking high in their search for those terms.

7. Leverage Instagram alt text

The alt text feature on Instagram serves the purpose of enhancing the experience for visually impaired users, but it also holds potential for SEO benefits.

While Instagram may automatically generate alt text options if you skip this step, it is advisable to take control and provide your own. This ensures that the alt text accurately reflects the content of the photo and contextualizes it within your brand.

To access the alt text options, navigate to the screen just before sharing your photo and click on the “advanced settings” tab located at the bottom. By taking advantage of this feature, you can optimize the alt text to align with your brand and improve the discoverability of your content.

 instagram seo, instagram post settings with a red box around the words “advanced settings”

After that, scroll down to the “Accessibility” section and select the “Write Alt Text” option. You can then create the ideal image description!

instagram seo, instagram post settings with red box around the words “write alt text”

Once you’ve crafted your own alt text, share your photo as normal. The benefits of changing your Instagram alt text are the same as when you use alt text on photos for your website.

What we like: Optimizing your alt text can help your posts rank better in the algorithm, and what’s more, it also adds the possibility of having your results pulled for voice search, too!

8. Use analytics to keep track of everything

If you’re new to using SEO techniques for Instagram growth, it’s important to track the impact of your new strategy on your social media goals.

While Instagram provides in-platform analytics, it has limitations as it only allows data retrieval for a specific timeframe. Once that window closes, the data is replaced and lost. This may not be ideal for marketing purposes.

To overcome this, social media tools offer robust data analytics, automated reports, and more. They enable users to analyze post and campaign performance, allowing you to optimize your content for future success.

Ideal for collecting precise data for your content plan, tracking the effectiveness of your Instagram SEO strategy will help you refine your content, gain support from leadership, and enhance the overall success of your strategy.

9. Avoid these black hat SEO techniques

You might assume that only Google has the capability to detect and penalize users for employing black hat SEO techniques. However, as AI continues to advance and handle complex computations, those days are gone.

Instagram has taken steps to crack down on accounts that attempt to manipulate the system.

Notably, they have implemented a shadowban for users who violate the rules. This ban restricts the visibility of your content when users click on a hashtag you’ve used. Even your followers cannot see the content unless they actively search for your account and visit your profile.

Here are some important rules to follow:

  • Do not plagiarize content.
  • Avoid using bots.
  • Refrain from excessive keyword stuffing.
  • Do not rapidly follow numerous accounts.
  • Avoid purchasing followers.

Pro tip: SEO is a long-term strategy, and it can be frustrating when you don’t see immediate results. While quick fixes may seem tempting, the consequences can be severe if you are caught. If you want to build your Instagram account properly, it’s crucial to avoid these tactics at all costs.

10. Navigate banned hashtags

In the world of technology, there are some peculiar realities. AI-generated art can produce eerie hand images (Google at your own risk), cryptocurrency is linked to environmental decline, and Instagram has its fair share of strangely banned hashtags.

Certain content creators knowingly exploit hashtags to promote inappropriate content. For instance, hashtags like #costumes may gain popularity around Halloween. However, this can easily lead to problematic content, such as indecent exposure and violations of children’s rights.

Moreover, Instagram discourages the use of hashtags associated with other social media platforms, as it goes against their aim of keeping users engaged on their own platforms. If you include hashtags like #snapchat, you risk being flagged by the algorithm for a shadowban or even facing permanent suspension from the Instagram platform.

Pro tip: To determine if a hashtag is banned, you can refer to recently compiled lists or take matters into your own hands by searching for the hashtag you intend to use. If you find that content associated with the hashtag is freely accessible, then it is not banned. However, if you come across the dreaded message “Recent posts from [the hashtag you searched for] are currently hidden,” you know to avoid using that hashtag.


Don’t confine your SEO expertise to website optimization alone. Extend its benefits to your social media presence, specifically on Instagram. These valuable tips will help you prioritize user experience and broaden your reach on Instagram.
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