7 mistakes to avoid when optimizing your Instagram account for SEO

Obviously, you are working to get your website to the top of the search engine rankings. But not many entrepreneurs and marketers know that optimization techniques are useful beyond Google, Bing and other search engines.

SEO is also applicable to social platforms, where it can help promote an account, get new followers, increase the engagement rate and increase sales. Instagram is perfect for optimization because it works as a small search engine, so SEO is valid there.

Instagram occupies well-optimized pages, which attracts more active followers, determines engagement and improves the page's trust score. In turn, all this leads to an even higher ranking.

While SEO for Instagram pages may seem easy to do, many marketers and business owners make several common mistakes when optimizing a profile. Below, we will talk in detail about these missteps and learn how to avoid them in future campaigns.

1. Your Instagram page is not cohesive

One of the unwritten rules of Instagram management is the creation of a cohesive feed. Posts you upload to the platform should be logical in terms of visual concept, calendar, legends and hashtags.

But consistency is not something that can be achieved overnight. You have to take time and think about each legend, the relevance of the labels, the whole style of the layout of the grid and the frequency of posting. To streamline this process and schedule your posts and stories on Instagram, you can use them Combin planner, a tool for planning Instagram content.

With this app, you can create optimized captions, create different hashtag groups, and edit your current Instagram campaign – days and weeks before it's actually published.

Here's a brief guide on how to create a cohesive feed with Instagram content programming:

(Embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx0gTwaZQ9E (/ embed)

To meet your business goals, publish as often as you can and maintain a consistent posting frequency. There is no ideal posting opportunity and no perfect time to distribute content, but you can find yours while testing different approaches.

2. Don't use the relevant hashtags

A common challenge to optimizing Instagram is to use hashtags that are appropriate for your post and business. On social media it works as search queries.

It seems pretty easy to choose related hashtags, but in reality, brands and marketers make these two crucial steps:

These include irrelevant hashtags
As the name suggests, these hashtags do not match your business or a specific post. If you've ever noticed the small number of impressions your post has received from hashtags, you already know what it means: Your content is not what people expect to see when they search for a specific tag.

If you use hashtags to optimize Instagram (and you should), do some research before placing them under your posts. You can do this with Combined growth. With this tool, you will find hashtags that reflect your current publication or the entire business and discover the labels used by your competitors.

Instagram hashtag tips might fill an article by itself, but let us share a little hack with you here: Check out what hashtags your competitors or similar content accounts choose. Don't use popular labels – those with over 100,000 posts. Otherwise, your content will disappear in a changing stream.

To demonstrate how the tip works, let's imagine you own a coffee shop and want to upload a photo with a latte in it. You want to be updated and use a popular hashtag, # metgala2019, for example. However, the results of this approach leave much to be desired – only a few people visit your profile and even fewer follow you.

What lesson should we take from this, you ask? Find hashtags that are relevant to your business.

If you want to get the most out of the strategy, here's another hack for you to use: don't leave out the hashtags of branding. They play the role of your domain on Instagram. When your business is big enough, people will look for it through its unique hashtag.

I don't use hashtags at all
This is another extreme. Hashtags organize the flow of content on social media, so they are a vital parameter for optimizing your Instagram page. To avoid this wrong step, include them and increase your Instagram profile presence.

Hashtags help others search your page and content on social media. And you also have to keep in mind: Don't use the same group of hashtags under each post, because Instagram views actions as spam.

3. Do not change location labels

Trademarks that run their businesses online or offer worldwide transportation make this mistake. When your work is related to a particular area – such as the café in the example above – you probably don't have many location tags to choose from, because you will attract an irrelevant audience. However, some creative locations will attract people's attention.

In all other cases, if your business goes beyond a specific location and you are interested in attracting audiences from different cities or countries, you should change your location tags every time.

4. Your username cannot be searched

Your Instagram username is a major keyword that should be short, legible and distinctive. Help your audience understand what the username implies and don't include irrelevant symbols in it. You should enter your username in the language your target audience is most likely to search for.

Think of good old SEO rules and make your username sound like a search query done by your typical target customer.

5. Don't use Alt Text on Instagram

Another Instagram feature you can apply for SEO is Alt Text. This feature was originally designed to allow visually impaired people to enjoy Instagram content. However, marketers are now using it for optimization.

To find this tool, scroll down the page with a caption as you post your new content. At the bottom of the page, you'll see Advanced settings. Press it and point to the bottom of the page until you see Write Alt text. Tap this button and create a description of your images, such as "long brown hair".

Next time, when someone searches for long, dyed brown hair on Instagram, they'll get your content in results.

Along with this step, be sure to optimize your photos on Instagram. The content you publish needs to be clear and high quality, so that the Instagram algorithm can identify what your image looks like.

6. Do not include keywords in bio

This is an additional and necessary part of your SEO SEO strategy. Your Instagram bio is the right place to put relevant keywords – both primary and secondary. But don't overdo it with too many keywords and don't read it.

Your bio profile helps your potential customers and followers find you on Instagram. If you optimize it correctly, your page will appear among the top search results.

7. Do not include keywords in your captions

In addition to the username and username, enter keywords in the captions. But again, don't flood your posts with them. You can randomly place keywords throughout the text, and set them next to your username as title tags.

For example, your username is Mary Lewis Jeans Store, and your new post starts with Cyber ​​Monday Jeans Sale – up to 70% OFF! The last part about selling is your title tag. This is exactly how it will look in search engine results – a username and then title tags.

Bottom line

Instagram SEO is not rocket science. All you need to master is to avoid these mistakes and apply your SEO experience to social media marketing.

Regardless of your goals for Instagram marketing, you should remember that SEO is just as significant on social media as it is on websites. Optimization influences the overall ranking of Instagram pages and its visibility on the flows of other users. And combine the solutions are ready to help you reach these goals.

About the author

Combin is developing Instagram content marketing and planning solutions for businesses and casual users. The total number of users of their Instagram management tools is 60,000 worldwide. The company's products are Combin Growth – an Instagram marketing tool loaded with powerful functions for audience targeting, analysis, management and engagement; and Combin Scheduler – a tool designed for convenient Instagram story posting and planning. Learn more at combin.com

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