Hello and welcome back to the Bean Media blog, where we like to give you little sneak peaks bean-hind the scenes of digital marketing on our little slice of the internet. We like to cover guides, how-to’s, tips and tricks, and more topics like podcast SEO and social media marketing. Today, we’re going to take another step in that direction and outline some basics on Instagram SEO.

With its blend of vivid imagery, captivating stories, and a dynamic user base, Instagram has transformed from a simple photo-sharing app to a powerful marketing platform. But here’s the twist: succeeding on Instagram isn’t just about posting eye-catching photos or videos. It’s also about mastering Instagram SEO.

Instagram SEO is an important factor in you and your brand being discovered and interacted with on the social media platform. After all, you can’t reach your target audience if they can’t find you! 

Introduction to Instagram SEO

At Bean Media Productions, we’ve mastered the art and science of Instagram SEO, leveraging our expertise to transform your Instagram presence from hidden gems to front-page features.

Instagram Marketing is your bridge to individuals already seeking out content that aligns with what your business offers. It’s a powerful tool for cultivating a dedicated audience of potential customers who are primed for conversion.

Why prioritize Instagram SEO? 

The realm of social media is here to stay. With Instagram boasting a user base of over 2 billion monthly active users, there’s a vast ocean of potential connections for your business to make.

Instagram SEO taps into a unique blend of ranking factors tailored to the platform’s dynamic nature. Instagram itself has clarified that there isn’t a single, universal algorithm. Instead, the platform utilizes a personalized set of classifiers and processes, fine-tuned to each user’s behavior. This means your brand’s content strategy needs to be equally nuanced and adaptive.

  • Feed and Stories: Prioritize recent posts from friends, family, and accounts you interact with the most.
  • Explore: Focuses on content discovery, recommending posts from accounts you don’t follow based on your past interactions.
  • Reels: Dedicated to entertaining content, often from creators you haven’t discovered yet.
  • Search: Serves relevant content based on specific search terms entered by the user

Navigating the Instagram Algorithm

Understanding Instagram vs. Google SEO

The primary difference between Instagram and Google SEO lies in the ranking factors. The essence of mastering Instagram SEO lies in aligning your content strategy with the platform’s personalized user experience. This means crafting content that resonates on a personal level, using targeted hashtags for discoverability, and fostering genuine engagement to signal your content’s value and relevance. This emphasizes the importance of creating content that resonates and engages your audience on a personal level.

Key Instagram SEO Ranking Factors

What gets your content seen on Instagram? High engagement rates, the relevance of your hashtags, the quality of your posts, and how well your profile is optimized for keywords. These factors ensure that your content doesn’t just reach a wider audience but also engages them effectively.

Yes, you read right – even in the world of Instagram marketing, the keyword reigns as an extremely important ranking factor you need to consider. Think about it like this, when you search for a business using a term, for example, agency, on Instagram – the results that are returned almost always either have the keyword or a variation of it in their handle, bio, captions, and name.


5 Essential Instagram SEO Strategies

Strategy 1: Optimize Your Profile and Bio

Your Instagram profile is your brand’s homepage. By weaving in relevant keywords and business-specific details into your bio, you’re not just telling your story; you’re also making your page searchable. Think of your bio as a concise elevator pitch that also happens to be SEO-friendly.

Strategy 2: Mastering Hashtags

Hashtags are the signposts that guide users to your content. By researching and selecting the right mix of popular and niche hashtags, you’re essentially placing your content on multiple pathways, increasing its chances of being discovered by a diverse audience. But you don’t want to go too crazy on it and overload your posts with hashtags, or you run the risk of devaluing your content. In fact, 3 to 5 keywords that describe your business and post is a perfectly reasonable number.

A fascinating look into more than 75 million Instagram posts revealed an intriguing insight: hashtags might not directly boost the views of a post. But, here’s the kicker – they play a crucial role in helping Instagram’s algorithms get a better grasp of what your content is about, making it easier for people to discover. Instagram itself shared a nugget of wisdom for its creator community, noting that sprinkling your captions with relevant hashtags is like adding a pinch of spice to your post – it gives it flavor and context, making it all the more appealing

Strategy 3: Creating Engaging Content and Adding IG Alt Text

The heart of Instagram lies in its content. High-quality, visually appealing posts that tell a story or connect on an emotional level are more likely to be engaged with. This engagement is a key signal to Instagram’s algorithm that your content is worth pushing to a wider audience.

A key to ensuring your visual content can be understood by Instagram and people using screen readers, is by adding alt text to your photos and videos. Alt text is a good spot to naturally incorporate keywords as you describe what the content is, making your content more discoverable to everyone. 

Adding Alt Text to IG Posts

Now, you might be wondering how exactly do you go about adding alt text to your posts? It’s a pretty simple process – select “advanced settings” after writing your caption, navigate to “Accessibility”, and then click “write alt text”, and finally – “done”.

Strategy 4: Boost Engagement Through Community Interaction

Engagement is a two-way street. By actively interacting with your followers through comments, direct messages, and stories, you’re building a community. This not only boosts your current posts’ engagement rates but also fosters a loyal following that’s more likely to engage with your future content.

Strategy 5: The Power of Consistency and Timing

Consistency and timing can significantly influence your content’s visibility. By adhering to a regular posting schedule and understanding the best times to post for your specific audience, you’re increasing the likelihood of your content being seen and engaged with.

These dates and times are generally speaking the best to post, but check your own analytics and post according to those.

  • Top five best times: 9:01 am, 7:59 pm, 9:00 am, 8:00 pm, and 7:59 pm
  • Top five best hours: 9:00 am, 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 3:00 pm
  • Worst five hours: 2:00 am, 3:00 am, 4:00 am, 11:00 pm, and 5:00 am
  • Top three best days: Wednesdays, Fridays, and Tuesdays
  • Top three worst days: Sundays, Saturdays, and Thursdays
a digital marketing company holds a meeting with their laptops, phones and notebooks on a wooden table, discussing their Instagram SEO strategy

Leveraging Instagram for Discovery: Keywords vs. Hashtags

Hashtags used to be the main way users found new content. But one recent study from Hootsuite found keyword-rich captions got 30% more reach and twice as many likes as hashtags. That isn’t to say that hashtags are effectively sunset, they’re still an important factor to giving your posts context. Including hashtags is still best practice, but like we said above, try and keep it to 3-5. 

Stay Ahead in the Digital Marketing Game

Embracing Instagram SEO strategies is about more than just expanding your reach; it’s about connecting with your audience in a meaningful way. By optimizing your profile, incorporating keywords and mastering hashtags, creating engaging content, fostering community interaction, and posting consistently, you’re setting the stage for sustained growth and engagement.

Bean Media Productions is a full-service digital marketing team located in Buffalo, NY! But don’t let that fool you, we have clients all around the globe. As a high-end digital marketing agency, we give each of our clients the individual attention and service they deserve. We have a proven track record of success in growing business with search ads, SEO, website development and design, conversion rate optimization, video production, and so, so much more.

Grow with Bean Media Productions!

Stay up to date with our blog, where we’ll regularly send out some basic digital marketing advice, updates on what’s what in our slice of the internet, and more! You can also find our socials on Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube to get a more detailed picture of who we are and how we do things. If you’re ready to launch your digital presence into the stratosphere, give us a call or fill out a contact form.  Let’s make your brand not just seen, but remembered. We can’t wait to discuss how we can grow your business!