How to Optimize Your Instagram for Search Engines

Instagram app on a phone

How to Optimize Your Instagram for Search Engines

Most business owners and marketers know that if you want to get noticed on the web and in today’s social networking world, you need to have multiple social media pages. These act as additional pathways for your website to gain website traffic and potential leads. Over the years, Instagram has become one of the most powerful visual sharing platforms for marketers. However, Instagram is known to be difficult to index and display in search results on the web. This is partly due to the fact that the platform blocks search engines from indexing images posted on the social media site. The good thing though is that only images are blocked and not profiles, which means you can still optimize your profile to be indexed in search results. To get additional traffic to your Instagram account from search results, use these tips to optimize your account.

Set Profile To Public

This step is an obvious one as you want to have your account seen by as many people as possible, but that doesn’t mean the settings could have been changed over time. Periodically, especially if you work with multiple people, doublecheck that your privacy settings are set to public. To access this function, go to your profile, click on the hamburger menu, click settings, account privacy and then toggle the “private account” section to “off.”

Set Up Social  Profile Schema for Instagram

By using schema markup coding, you can tell Google and other search engines which social media profiles belong to you. If you implement this markup coding, if your brand gets a card in the Knowledge Graph then the social media icons, linking to your profile, will appear in the graph.

Include Your Most Important Keyword In Your Instagram Name

When it comes to generating a title tag for your Instagram page, the platform automatically does it by using your profile information. The format on search results usually looks like this Name (@username) • Instagram photos and videos. If you are looking to get your most important keyword to show in the title tag of your account on search results, your best bet is to include your primary target keyword under your profile name. One thing to keep in mind is to not keyword stuff but make subtle changes. For instance, if you are a small grocery store you can change your name from “Miniford’s” to “Miniford’s Groceries”

Have A Well Structured & Keyword-Rich Bio

In addition to incorporating a keyword in your name on Instagram, you should also make sure your bio has a good amount of keywords. Since your Instagram bio is limited to 150 characters, similar to meta descriptions for website pages, you will need to figure out the top keywords you want to get the most traffic from. Unlike with the name update mentioned above, when incorporating keywords in your bio keyword stuffing is acceptable especially if you are using hashtag keywords. Just like with hashtags, marketers can also add @ usernames in the bio of an account if you are partners or you work with other businesses.

When crafting your Instagram bio you will want to make sure that you showcase who you are and what your business is about. Do this by adding in some non-hashtag words to help give search engines an explanatory piece to work with. As mentioned before your bio is similar to a meta description of a page so you do not want a bio just full of keywords but a little explanation of your business as well. To help drive traffic to your website, make sure you enter your business’s URL into the website field of the Instagram bio.

Link Directly To Your Posts

Out of all the tips mentioned above, this one is probably the most important one of all. Since the Instagram web app is mostly Javascript, this means that links to your individual posts from your Instagram profile don’t count as “real” links in the eyes of Google. This is the main reason that Instagram posts are not indexed in search engine results. If you are thinking you can promote an individual post by just sharing your profile page, you will come to realize it won’t work. If you are promoted specific products in their own posts on Instagram and want to promote those posts across the web, and on search results, then you will need to share the individual post link directly from your other channel.

To access the link to that specific post, using the web app, click on the post you want to promote and find the ellipses on the bottom right corner of the post. A menu will pop up with a “copy link” option that will give you the link to that specific post in which you can share on other channels across the web.

Steven Kunevich
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