How to optimize your SEO in Instagram search?

How to optimize your SEO in Instagram search?

It is essential these days to perceive Instagram search as the Google of the social-media world: it is a particularly powerful tool for discovering new brands, publications, hashtags and places on the social network.

And for businesses, it is very important to secure your location in the search engine because this will allow you to gain more visibility on your content, and thus convert viewers into subscribers.

Throughout this article, I will explain how you can now improve your natural referencing (SEO) in Instagram search.

What is SEO on Instagram?

Accessible from the “Explorer” section of your Instagram application, search is the feature allowing you to find all user accounts.

As you would on Google, you can use the search bar to discover new posts & hashtags.

Instagram is even able to categorize search results by “Best Bets”, “Accounts”, “Hashtags” and “Places”, making it easy for you to find the information you want:

Even Instagram TV (IGTV) has its own search functionality: you just have to click on the “IGTV” button at the top of the “Explore” section to access it. .

And if you use search to come up with new ideas, Instagram will offer you a list of accounts as suggestions.

So how does Instagram decide to show this or that account in its search results? How are they ranked and how can you secure the best possible position?

Much like a regular search engine, Instagram analyzes accounts and learns when and how to display them in its results.

According to Instagram , the search results you see are based on a multitude of factors, including who you follow, who you are connected with, and what photos / videos you have liked on the social network.

In other words, the Instagram algorithm works behind the scenes for the search engine to provide you with the most accurate results but also and above all the most relevant to you.

Taking into account your browsing behavior, such as your interactions on publications, accounts with which you interact the most and the people liking & commenting the most on your content, Instagram synthesizes a lot of information in order to predict which would be the right profiles. to make you discover.

So there is no doubt that Instagram search is an extremely powerful tool in helping new users discover your profile.

If you want to grow your subscriber community and start using search to your advantage, you’ll need to think of your Instagram profile as your new website home page.

As you are certainly already working on the natural referencing of your site to be easily found via Google, you must have the same approach regarding your Instagram account.

Throughout this article, I will present you with essential tips and advice to improve your positioning in the Instagram search engine.

1) Optimize your name with keywords

The first step in being discovered on the Instagram search engine by people who don’t know you is to optimize your Instagram account name.

The “Name” field is scanned by Instagram, completely customizable and clearly differentiated from the username with the @.

This means that you can change this name by including the keywords explaining your activity. By entering important terms in the “Name” field, you are more likely to appear in the results for those keywords.

To change the name of your account, go to your profile then click on “Edit profile”. You will then have access to the “Name” field in which you can add the keyword (s) of your choice.

2) Write your biography with the right keywords

This second tip is very important for those wishing to obtain new partnerships with brands, that is to say mainly (future) influencers of all kinds.

Even though it is not possible with the built-in search engine on Instagram to find accounts due to keywords in the bio, that does not mean that it is impossible for anyone to find new ones. accounts this way.

Indeed, there are tools external to Instagram giving the possibility of scanning the biographies of the users in order to create lists of accounts. Observe for example the case below with the term “beauty”:

3) Add a place to all your publications & Stories

When you add a location tag to your posts, you have a better chance of appearing in search results for that location. And it also works for Instagram Stories .

If a user clicks on the “Places” tab in the Instagram search engine, your photo / video could appear in popular or recent posts, depending on the engagement received (likes + comments) on your content.

So that means you’re more likely to get more views, engagement, and potential followers through your posts when you tag a location.

In the same way as for classic publications, each place can have its own Story, accessible by clicking at the top left of the place’s page:

4) Add hashtags in all your publications & Stories

This 4th tip is undoubtedly not a surprise for you, but how essential if you want to promote the discovery of your posts in the Instagram search engine.

When a user searches for a hashtag, the results will appear as a list including the keyword as well as similar phrases.

And in the same way as for places, it will be possible to consult the most popular or recent publications, but also the corresponding Story.

5) Update your profile with your physical address

If your company has a real-world address, for example in the case where you communicate with establishments such as shops, hotels or restaurants, it will be very interesting for you to create your own professional place on Instagram.

This is a great way to focus on your physical stores to gain more subscribers and customers. When you search for a place on Instagram, your business might appear in the “Places” tab, which lets users know how they can meet you in real life.


If your business location doesn’t appear in the search, you’ll need to go to your business Facebook page settings. Here are the different steps to follow .

To ensure that all professional contact information is up to date:

  • go to your Instagram professional profile
  • click on “Edit profile”
  • under “Company Information” you will be able to edit the connected Facebook page, account category and contact information
  • once done, click “Finish” to return to your profile

6) Optimize the titles and descriptions of your IGTV videos

Instagram TV is not showing signs of slowing down, on the contrary. So, if you haven’t taken the plunge yet, it’s definitely time to think about a long social media video strategy.

The search engine evolves over time, and Instagram is constantly making improvements in the way videos are displayed (now vertical & horizontal) and the way people discover new content.

No matter what kind of changes Instagram expects, your video title & description will still be important to the algorithm, so it’s time to optimize everything you post.

If you regularly use the application, including the search engine, your old queries may “pollute” your daily experience.

While this won’t get you new followers, it does give you a better view of Instagram’s actual suggestions of accounts to follow.

Conversely, it also lets you know which search results you most likely appear in.

To clear your Instagram search history, go to your application settings, then click on “Security”. You will then obtain the functionality provided for this purpose:


To go further:


Trainer & social-media consultant, I am the author of the “Community Manager Toolbox” at Editions Dunod. I have trained several thousand employees in the professional use of social networks since 2011.

Join me on Twitter and Instagram .

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