Instagram SEO (1/2): How To Rank Higher on Search

Instagram SEO

There are more than one billion Instagram users these days. So, how do you stand out from the crowd and become famous on this platform? Instagram SEO is the best place to start. Getting your content featured in search results pages allows you to increase your organic reach.

Understanding how Instagram SEO works is essential for people who are running their business on Instagram to engage with more followers. Jump into this guide to know more!

What is Instagram SEO?

Instagram SEO means optimizing your content on Instagram to be shown in search results. When someone searches for a relevant keyword or hashtag in the search box and your content is shown near the top of the list. It seems like you are successful in optimizing your SEO.

Instagram SEO Ranking Factors

There is no exact formula to let your account appear at the top of the search rankings. You need a customized strategy to win Instagram SEO.

Luckily, Instagram is open about how it ranks your content on Search. Here is how Instagram determines what to show in front of its users when they search on Instagram.

Search text

It’s no doubt that what people type in the Instagram search bar is the most important signal to search. Based on the search terms, Instagram considers and finds relevant usernames, bios, captions, hashtags, and locations.

As a brand on Instagram, you need to understand what search terms people type out when looking for content like yours. Google Analytics will help give you insights into what terms people use to search for your business.

User activity

This signal includes hashtags and accounts that a user has followed and interacted with, and which posts they’ve seen in the past. Accounts and hashtags that users engage with will rank higher than those they don’t.

Look at this example when we search “travel” from our Instagram account, where we follow and interact with many travel bloggers and brands:

travel search results main Instagram account

And another example that we search for the same search term “travel” from an account where we follow far fewer accounts and don’t focus on travel topics:

travel search results secondary Instagram account

So, as you see, the top for recommendation accounts are completely different. Because this account has no history of following and engaging with content about traveling. Then, Instagram has to depend on other signals to power the results.

As a brand on Instagram, you should again research. Knowing what hashtags are likely used by your target audience is essential to engage them.

Some users use Instagram Search to find content from a brand they’ve engaged with before, even if they don’t (yet) follow that brand.

Popularity signals

Content that is famous on this platform or has many followers is more likely to rank higher in the search results. Instagram determines the popularity of a brand using signals like the number of clicks, likes, shares and follows for an account, hashtag, or place.

As a brand on Instagram, posting at the right time to reach more people is the most effective way. This way can help your brand engage more and give your content a search boost while keeping it relevant and fresh.

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