Instagram SEO

Instagram SEO, use it to get seen

Instagram’s SEO is one of the most under used ways to become visible on this popular platform. Here’s how to give your posts a major boost in Instagram search.

Essentially, there are two key elements:

  1. Account handle
  2. Account name

The account handle

This is the @name that you register with, and the most important as it reflects what your account is about. Although you can change your name at any time, it is recommended that you choose one name and stick with it.

Consider: does the account handle reflect what or who I am trying to represent?

Say you are an account posting about cars, then you need to make sure to include a car or similarly mechanical name in the handle – don’t call your account something like beaches123.

This may seem incredibly obvious, but there are so many people who use names that do not reflect what their account is about or what it is meant to represent.

The reason why this is so important is that Instragram is able to recognise and categorize content: nature, luxury, humour (e.g. memes), houses…you name it.

Instagram is also able to recognize which type of content is being posted on accounts. If your name does not match the content being posted, why would people want to follow it? They wouldn’t.

Instead of leaving this decision to the user, Instagram will simply not show your account on the search feed as often because your account will have a lower viewer-retention rate.

Finding the perfect username

For accounts with a clear offering or theme, follow this step-by-step guide to determine your perfect username.

  1. Write down 20 keywords that come to your mind regarding your theme.
  2. Make combinations of all 20 keywords and try them out as the username.

This way you are capturing the largest possible audience as these words represent your theme. When people think of your theme and your content, they will connect with these words. This will greatly up your chances of being seen by your target audience.

For example lets look at @ajharringtonphotos Instagram account.

As you can see, the username is “AJ – Content Creator, Educator”. This username handle relates to what content this account posts and what this business does. (If your after photo’s for your website or socials I highly recommend you give AJ a call –

Consider: is the name easy to write/pronounce/understand?

This is the user experience side of Instagram search. If you have a name that is easy to pronounce and remember more people will search for your account.

If you were given the choice to search for @ajharringtonphotos or @aj_h@rr1ngt0n_ph0t0s, which one would you be more likely to search for? Obviously the first, which means it will rank higher in Instagram search.

Here it’s important to put yourself in the average users’ shoes and ask yourself, “What would increase my likelihood of searching for an account on Instagram?” A memorable and easily-spelled name is a large part of increasing viewer-retention.

The account name

That’s the name under your profile picture, and it’s the second key element in winning at Instagram search.

It allows you to further position your account in a certain niche and increase visibility for users. Here it is important to describe your account or what you do in the shortest way possible. When people search for words in the search bar, Instagram will pick up what is written in your Name section.

Again, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. What would they search for if they are looking for your account?

Consider: what do I want to tell my followers and how can I do this in the shortest way possible?

You only have 30 characters so get straight to the point.

A simple first step is to search for the most popular hashtags in your niche.

For example, if your business was about fitness you want to use a combination of the following words that best describe your business; fitness, health, nutrition, goals, motivation, best body. These words when hastaged have hundreds of thousands of posts, ensuring your business will be found by the biggest possible audience. If it is right for your business you can also add emoji’s, as this also increases your discoverability.

Apply these tips to rise to the top of Instagram search

By applying these simple tips, anyone can maximise their Instagram SEO. And surprisingly few do. Here is your chance to get your business front and center on Instagram.



I hope you have found this article useful. If you have any questions or comments, don’t forget to leave them in form below and I’ll reply.

If you’d like to work with Social Elucidation for all your digital marketing needs check out my packages here or email me at or call me on 0403 323 833. I’d love to work with you!

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