How to Use SEO for Instagram Visibility

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In the world of social media, approachability is directly proportional to the visibility quotient. The outreach to consumers or subscribers on any platform is a result of how efficient your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is. 

Simply put, SEO is nothing but a matrix of index searches driven by complex algorithms to reflect the most relevant and most viewed content.

Popular social media network Instagram boasts over 1 billion active users across the globe. Instagram creates a social networking experience that is visually immersive and engages people of all ages. 

Like Google, Instagram has an SEO functionality to find relevant content within the platform. To scale your reach on Instagram, it only makes sense to come up with an SEO strategy for your Instagram account.

Here are 9 ways to optimize the visibility of your Instagram profile:

1. Purpose driven profile name

The profile name is the cornerstone for users to find other users who are following similar profiles or have searched for similar content in the past. Your profile name can be different from the username linked to your Instagram Account.

Username is a handle for a brand, individual, or organization. But the profile name is the source for lookup on Instagram. The search feature is primarily driven by the profile name and username, followed by hashtags.

For Example, John Doe, a health & fitness coach might add the keywords “Fitness Coach” along with the name “John Doe Fitness Coach” to garner better visibility to any search prompted by relevant keywords.

2. Focus on bio

Your profile name and username sure make users visit your profile on Instagram, but it is your bio – who you are, what you do – that makes users follow you. 

Although short and crisp with a limit of 150 characters, the bio creates enough impact to stop users from scrolling away and makes them view your posts, like them, and perhaps even follow your account.  

3. Cash on hashtags

Hashtag (#) is synonymous with keywords on social media. It works as coordinates for relatable searches made on Instagram. 

Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. A set of keywords as hashtags increase your Instagram SEO score, which in turn attracts target audience coming through direct searches.

There are a variety of hashtags on Instagram including area specific (#Paris), cause specific (#SaveTheTiger), brand specific (#NikeAirJordans), or event specific (#SuperBowl2019). Using the right Hashtag improves the SEO score of your profile which translates into organic growth.

Tagging your post with a set of highly correlated and focused hashtags will drive traffic and users to your profile. For example, John Doe may use a set of hashtags such as #Fitness, #Workout, #Weightloss, #Muscle, #Lean, #Diet, etc.

4. Ask to be Tagged

Social media has the power to connect people and businesses and make the world of over seven billion a small place. Instagram yields the same power where other people can tag you in their posts and help boost your profile.

For example, John Doe can ask his clients to tag him in their body transformation posts and testimonial posts. Likewise, restaurants can ask customers to tag them on their Instagram posts and stories that they put up about the restaurant.

Instagram business profiles benefit tremendously from tagging because it helps with customer engagement, successful promotions, and feedback.

5. Promotional posts & contests

Instagram is a great tool to accelerate user engagement. As a professional and a business, you can run promotional posts and contests to encourage your existing followers and their network to like your post, follow your profile, tag your profile in their post in exchange for discounts, complimentary goodies, and gifts. 

Such promotional posts have a high reach and increase the relevance of your profile. This, in turn, saves your budget on Instagram ad spends and increases loyalty among consumers. However, such posts can be exponentially accelerated with paid promotions for more focused efforts on marketing.

6. Optimizing Alt text

Instagram has a cool feature to describe your post using keywords in an option called “Write Alt Text” which falls under the option of “Advanced Settings”. 

The Alt Text feature reads your description out loud, and is a great tool to help the visually impaired use Instagram. It also helps the embedded algorithm better understand your post and improves its discovery on the platform.

7. Do not rake in fake 

Sometimes it may take a while to get noticed on Instagram, but with every post, you improve your SEO and visibility. Many users do fall into the trap of using black hat SEO practices to induce their profile with fake likes at the risk of losing their account. 

Instagram’s algorithm is very agile to weed out fake likes and block such accounts which are run by bots to generate fake likes and following. It is not recommended to avail of such services as they prove detrimental in the long run and end up hurting the profile’s authenticity.

You can create a branded link for your Instagram account so that you have a sophisticated link to share your account or posts on other channels.

With new domain extensions such as .tech, .site, .online, .store, and .space, you can get a brandable domain name and use it to create a redirect for your Instagram account.

For example, if you sell art on your website, you can buy the domain name and redirect it to your Instagram account.

9. Trial & feedback

After carefully following all of the above steps, it is upon you to maintain ownership of your account with trial and feedback, and also identify the posts and keywords that bring in good engagement. 

At times it may not be the keywords or hashtags but the content that has not appealed to the audience. It’s great to identify and evaluate what works and what doesn’t and create content accordingly.


Instagram is a great platform to connect with people and businesses. Its vibrant user interface and cool features make Instagram the fastest growing social media platform in the world.

With its increasing popularity and the potential returns from the platform, it is recommended that you use the aforementioned methods to optimize your Instagram account and make the most of it.

Besides, you can successfully execute most of these methods without having to spend any money – it’s a win win!

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