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Instagram Tips For Small Businesses: How To Search Optimize Your Instagram Business Account

SEO is everywhere in the online world, including on Instagram. While we hear a lot of tips for search optimizing our websites, we don't always hear tips for optimizing our Instagram account. This leads to the question, how can you search optimize your Instagram account and your Instagram posts for searches?


Well, there are a few different ways. Below you’ll find more details about these elements and tips for making the most of them. (And the good news? They’re simple to implement and won’t take up all your time.)


Let's get started by taking a look at each of these Instagram search optimization elements in detail. 👇


Tips for Using Instagram Keywords

For a long time, all you could do with Instagram search was look for an account name or hashtag. But, just over a year ago, they introduced the ability to type in a search term (like you would on Google). This changed the Instagram game because keywords suddenly became important on this platform.


Using the right keywords can help you reach your ideal audience to grow your brand awareness.


So, how do you find these keywords, and where should you use them? Let’s take a look.


How to Find Instagram Keywords

You can find keywords on Instagram by typing in the search bar. Add a topic or word central to your brand and see what comes up. The words that appear are the ones you’ll want to keep in mind and support with your content.

How to find keywords: 1 go to explore, 2 type your search term in the search bar, and 3 search through the results.

On top of doing keyword research within the Instagram app, consider doing keyword research for Google (after all, social media posts can appear on Google results pages).


Keep a bank of keywords related to your brand to refer to while working on posts, and refresh this every few months.


Where can you use keywords on Instagram?

Use them anywhere you can add text, including in:

Places you can optimize your bio: your name, category, about, and location.
  • Your Instagram Name

According to Later, your name is the best place to add keywords. This lets your audience know who you are and what you do. An excellent way to add keywords here is to add your name and title (i.e., what people would be looking for to find you).


A good rule of thumb to follow when adding your name: make sure it includes your name (or brand name) and what you do.

  • Your Instagram Bio

You get up to 150 characters in your Instagram bio to describe who you are and what you do. So you want to make sure you’re using this space to highlight what you want your business to be known for with the keywords people would search to find your product or service.

  • Your Instagram Post Captions

Your captions are a chance to capture people searching for other keywords relating to your business. Refer to your keyword bank when writing captions for your posts.

  • Your Posts Alt Text

Your alt text not only makes your content accessible to more people but it also offers a chance to include more keywords.

How to add alt text: from the new post menu go to "advanced settings." Then scroll down to "alt text."

Tips for Using Hashtags

Although there has been debate in recent years, hashtags are still relevant. They help let Instagram know what you’re posting about. And this helps your post jive with the Instagram algorithm to get in front of the right people.


But don’t just opt to use trending hashtags or popular hashtags. Take the time to do hashtag research relevant to your brand, services, and products, and incorporate a healthy mix of popular and less popular hashtags.


How many Instagram hashtags should you use?

While the official head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, says not to use too many hashtags, many Instagram leaders and veterans encourage using all 30. Why? Because research, like this hashtag report put together by Later, shows that posts using all 30 hashtag spaces received higher levels of engagement.


Taking the extra couple of minutes to add a few more hashtags increases your chances of being found on the Instagram platform. After all, 30 opportunities for your post to be found by people create much higher odds of increased brand awareness and engagement than just 3 or 4 opportunities.


How do you find hashtags?

Just like with researching keywords, you can find hashtags by going to the search bar of the Instagram explore page.


Here you can start typing a hashtag related to your brand and see what comes up. But don’t just use the first results. Just like when selecting keywords for search engines like Google, these have much more competition for getting seen by searchers.


Instead, use a healthy mix of very popular, medium popular, and less popular hashtags.

How to find hashtags: go to explore, type in your search, and sort through the results.

You can also find hashtags by looking at what your competitors or influencers in your industry are using.


And, of course, many content management platforms (like Later and Hootsuite) offer hashtag tools to help you find hashtags.


Just like with keywords, keep a list of all the hashtags you want to use. This way, you can refer to it while you’re creating posts.


Should you use Instagram hashtags in the comments or captions of posts?

This debate seems to be one as old as hashtags themselves. Where do they perform better? Do they need to be taking over your caption space? Are they useless in the comments?


The general consensus is that it doesn’t matter. Whether in the comments or in the post’s caption, the hashtags become a part of the overall post. They will still signal to the algorithm what your post is about and help you be discovered by new people.


Tips for Writing A Strong Instagram Bio

Your bio is your chance to make a strong first impression on Instagram users who visit your profile. It’s a chance to win over new followers and brand fans and even to direct people to your website or shop.


How do you make the most of this small space with a huge impact on your social media goals?


Get specific with why you’re on social media, and make sure your bio reflects that.


Are you there to grow an audience or brand awareness? Keep them scrolling on your profile and encourage them to follow you. Are you looking to drive traffic to your website or online shop? Make your products enticing and give them a good reason to click on your shop or website link.


Regardless of your goals, there are a few things you can do to optimize your bio to make a wowing impression:

  • Break up the text with line breaks and emojis

  • Clearly tell people who your business serves

  • Tell people what kind of content you share and what they can expect from your page

  • Include your location

  • Add contact details

  • Shorten your website URL

  • Add a call to action to the last line of your bio


Use Location Tagging 📍

Location tagging is another valuable tool being found on the Instagram platform. People can look up locations like hashtags and keywords — so why not always use this search-optimizing element when posting?


You can tag your location on every post and reel, and you can even add them to your stories and your bio.


Overall, optimizing your Instagram account for search can help you get discovered. 🔎


But, if Instagram is draining you or you simply do not have the time for it (because running a business is a full-time job, and so is running all your social media accounts), take a look at my social media services for support.





Social Media Services for Designers & Creative Business Owners  If you have difficulty showing up consistently, knowing what to post, or are feeling burnt out from keeping up with trends while running your business, let's work together.  I can help you do this with the following: Social Media Posts, Social Media Audit, Social Media Plan, and Social Media Plan & Implementation. Learn more about how I can support your social media presence.

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