Are you trying to increase Instagram engagement on your account to optimize it for Search Engines? Getting a good number of Instagram views on your business account may seem a daunting task, especially when there are millions of businesses competing for the same audience niche as you. As you are already aware, besides likes and shares, Instagram measures client engagement using view count on content. While views on photos are easier to register, for an Instagram video view to be treated as an addition to your engagement metrics, the audience needs to spend at least 3 seconds viewing your video or Story content.
Instagram’s algorithm also tends to push content with higher engagement metrics on its user feeds. If a user has engaged with your content once, your future posts are more likely to be visible to them as long as the Instagram algorithm assigns it a high relevancy quotient. This means how your account fares in Instagram’s search depends on how user views have affected the algorithms for your recent posts. However, with a few tried and tested tips, you can make your Instagram business account rise up on SERP.
That takes care of the Internal Instagram Search metrics. Now the moot question:
Can You Make Your Instagram Business Account Appear on Search Engines Outside of the Social Network?
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
Yes, you can. To bring your posts more visibility, you need to concentrate on optimizing your photos as well as videos for searches outside the platform. As you already know, Instagram has its own built-in search engine that mirrors giants like Google. Hence, the techniques of optimizing webpages with SEO content, too, you would think, should work to your advantage as long as you employ them strategically. After all, optimizing your business profile on Instagram for Search engines will:
- bring you the desired increase in views on the social media platform;
- enable you to build your brand awareness in a manner that is most conducive to generating leads and sales.
If you are thinking in this vein, you are not far off the mark. However, there is one major catch: Instagram profiles rarely show up on major search engines like Google. This is because the profile setting is, by default, set to one that does not allow indexing. Most search engines hence bypass IG profiles while generating search results.
Does that mean it is challenging to get yourself discovered on regular search engines? No. All you need to do is allow your profile to be indexed by turning it public. After that, as you have already realized, you have to make it SEO-READY.
So how can you go about giving your account the much-needed makeover? To be able to predict your content’s engagement rate before you publish it is the key here. Keywords and tags enable you to put up SEO-friendly content.
Here is how you can drive up Instagram engagement and grow your business account’s visibility on Search Engines:
1. Ensure Your Instagram Business Profile is Search-Ready
The first place to fix and fine-tune is your profile. It would be best to have SEO-profile to guarantee your viewer a seamless user experience on the first visit. Here is a checklist for creating the most search engine friendly Insta profile:
- Ensure you are using a business account and not a personal account. You can easily convert one to the other on Instagram.
- Make the settings of your profile public. As already discussed, this is most crucial.
- Do not leave your profile image empty. Choose something that you want viewers to associate with your brand on sight anywhere.
- Ensure your username is searchable. Create posts using @username and #username to make them trend. Allow others to tag you similarly as well.
- Make your company name searchable.
- Provide a working and trackable URL link in your bio. You can change it as the need arises/ as frequently as you wish to/ as per your marketing strategy.
- Keep your bio short but keyword-optimized.
2. Identify Keywords for Your Business
To ensure you are showing up on relevant search results, you must identify what keywords work for your business best:
- Primary Keywords:
Consider what type of search do you want your business to show up most on? A cake shop, for instance, would like to be highly visible on any search relating to bakery goods or bakery locations. Bakery, cake shop, cakes are the primary keywords for the said business. The location of the shop could also be a critical factor here.
- Secondary Keywords:
In addition to the main keyword, consider what other allied searches you would want your business to show up on. Simply put, any topic or item related to your primary keywords should be on your secondary keyword list. To continue with the same example, the cake shop would likely want to show up on searches for wedding cakes/ birthday cakes/ cakes to order/ gourmet cakes/ cupcakes, or any other similar search. Any other phrase or topic that matches the visitor’s intent without making your business less relevant can also be a part of your secondary keyword list. The flavors of cake offered, unique recipes, other baked goods, seating, and ambiance are among many other factors that can make it to the list. If the cake shop operates from a cloud kitchen and delivers to several places, even its location(s) may feature in this list.
Once you identify the keywords, use them in your posts and bio. Ensure your primary keyword(s) are definitely upon your bio, at least. Play around with the other keywords while adding hashtags in your posts. It is a good idea to use your username, business name, and keywords as a regular part of your hashtags. This will help you climb up the search positions and gain you more visibility on search engines.
3. Always Use Relevant Hashtags
If you wish to work Instagram’s algorithms to your favor, you must remember that every hashtag you use is a keyword that people can potentially use to search with. For most business accounts, maximum non-follower user engagement comes through accidental discovery. Instagrammers are likely to find your post because of a hashtag they are interested in. Hence, it would help if you optimized your hashtags. While creating any content:
- Use your username, business name, and primary keywords as mandatory hashtags on every post.
- Use a variety of post-specific secondary hashtags. Do not use the same ones for every post if they are not bringing you the required audience traction. Be flexible with what you use and analyze how your hashtags are performing before you design future content.
- Use keywords from your caption as part of your secondary hashtags. For instance, if the cake shop posts a photo of a well-decorated cake on Mother’s Day with a caption wishing its customers a sweet Mother’s Day, then #mothersdaycake, #cakeart, and #celebratewithcakes would be some examples of relevant post-specific hashtags.
4. Optimize Your Captions
Captions are not just for adding to your hashtag strategy – they are meant to convey information and connect with the viewer. Engagingly word your captions. At the same time, keep your caption focused. Instagram algorithms will push up your visibility if you have an excellent verbal-visual combination in your content, even if the platform is primarily visual-oriented. A good caption for your Instagram business account will:
- Ensure that the viewer spends time reading what you wrote. This makes it easier for 3 seconds to pass on videos’ views even when the video itself may not have the same engaging capability.
- Employ the advanced setting “alt text” feature for ensuring the content is experienced seamlessly by differently able Instagrammers with equal ease. This will pull up your visibility for voice searches as well.
- Stick to being post-specific, relevant to the business or community while humanizing your brand.
- Integrate trending topics and keywords to generate maximum audience interest.
- Be keyword rich without overdoing it.
- Act as a call-to-action from discoverable search results.
5. Use Analyzing Tools
Keep your social media goals concrete and attempt to implement your strategy using micro-goals. Track your progress continually to ensure you are achieving your time-bound targets of visibility. Instagram has several inbuilt features that help you track your performance metrics. Keep track of your account’s insights to analyze what is working for you and what needs to change further. Remember that IG Stories, IG Reels, and your IG Feed have their performance trackers. Study what is driving engagement and brand awareness most organically for your Instagram business account.
If the data recovered from the inbuilt analytics tools are not sufficient for tracking your progress, consider using other apps and tools for the same.
Above all, be patient and think strategically. Building one’s brand presence and making one’s account easily discoverable requires focus and a dedicated marketing plan.
Now that you have your tips up your sleeves think creative. Remember, with a well-executed plan, and you can optimize your Instagram business account and place it up on Search Engines in no time!