How to Get More Followers on Instagram For Free? SEO For Instagram

It’s no secret that Facebook always thought of Google as a great example of growth-related ideas. What is interesting is that in the last period it’s the noticeable similarity between Instagram and Google in one particular segment that we want to explain in this article.

Those of you who are familiar with SEO know that the order of results that Google gives in search are not random. Google has lots of metrics taken into consideration when deciding who gets on the first page. They continuously optimize their algorithm in order to present the most relevant results every time press that search button. However, you can optimize your website according to SEO best practices and get higher rankings on Google. Read more about SEO in our Google SEO Guide.
The exciting thing that we want to talk about today is that you can do Instagram SEO optimization as well.

Say Hello to SEO For Instagram!

Many clients ask us how to grow Instagram followers organically. We'll go over some SEO Instagram tips that we used for our clients, which you can use to improve your account’s rank on Instagram. And not just on Instagram, but on Google too! Now, when people search on Google, they’ll be able to find your Instagram account. In fact, that’s only one part of the story. Enough small talk. Let’s go over how you can grow Instagram followers organically.

Instagram Username

Many people don’t know the true meaning of the username that they have on Instagram. The username is actually marked as an important keyword in your profile. Meaning, they are searchable. For example, this is what are some of the results when searching “graphic design” on Instagram.

Some of the results when searching "graphic design" on Instagram

It’s not so hard to notice it. Those accounts that contain the words “graphic” and “design” appear at the very top of the search results. For your interest, what you write after the “@” is your Instagram username. For example @vrootok. Our tip for you is to include your industry / location / passion and specialty in your username. Try to guess what people search on Instagram when trying to find an account like yours. If it’s not possible for you to change your Instagram username, that’s actually fine. It’s ok for you to want to grow your brand around your first and last name, or the name of your business. That’s totally fine too. Why? Because there is another way to rank for keywords that are of your interest.

Instagram Name

Get back to that screenshot that we just showed you above and look at it closely. You know where we’re leading you. What can be noticed is that the Instagram name is also considered as a keyword. To be precise, when talking about the Instagram name I’m referring to the words that are bolded in your profile bio.

One of the top results for digital marketer on Instagram

In the screenshot above, I’ve searched on Instagram for “digital marketer”. Even though the query wasn’t included in this account username, those keywords can be found in it’s Instagram Name. So, be sure to write something that your target audience would search for, and they will find you.

Optimization of Your Photos

Since we’re dealing with a visual platform, the first thing that your growth depends on is the photos in your account. Your photos should be of great quality and easy to see. You can still be creative, but be sure that the main object easily detectable. Is it a flower, a book or a landscape? And not only because of humans, but also AI.

Here’s why
Instagram has a technology that can check your photo and analyze the objects on it. This technology is called “Image Recognition”. Use this technology to grow your Instagram account organically. Do this by showing your photos to the audience that already loves the kind of content you provide, but they just haven’t discovered your account yet. Isn’t that awesome? One way of looking at this is that Instagram is trying to help you get in touch with an audience that will be interested in your content.

SEO Hashtags

Another element that’s part of Instagram search engine optimization is to use hashtags as keywords. Keep in mind that your target audience may be searching for a hashtag in order to find you. Instagram can see the hashtags you’re using and show your posts to people that like the same things as you.
Remember: use hashtags wisely. You can go as high as 30 hashtags per post.
All in all, you should use:
- Location hashtags (If important to your post)
- Hashtags that your target audience or community use
- Hashtags that best describe what is on your photo

Check out your “Top Posts”

Your top posts are examples of content that your audience loves. Since top posts resulted with the most comments, likes, or engagement, why not create similar content? Consequently, it will boost your Instagram profile and your audience will be far more satisfied and engaged!

Tag Key Accounts on Your Photos

Search for the most popular accounts in your field and tag them in your photos. It gives you a chance to be featured on their profiles. The maximum number of account-tags that can be included in a photo is 20, so play this wisely. Do your research and tag them only on those posts that you think they’ll like. In essence, try to tag those accounts that you wish to be featured on.

One of the best Instagram SEO tips says the following: Look for accounts that exist with the purpose of featuring people that belong to specific industries. As an example, there are Instagram pages that only feature women travel bloggers. For your research, you can just insert keywords in the Instagram search bar. It may take a bit of time to discover them, depending on your industry or niche. However, it will be worth your time.

The SEO people reading this already have backlink flashbacks. The first SEO strategy that comes to mind is guest posting. Guest posting is writing a great piece of content for some website or blog that is thematically related to your field. If your article is featured on a website with a higher Domain Authority, you can have great SEO benefits. But that’s a topic for another time.


Side Note
Don’t expect to be featured in any of those accounts right away. But, don’t despair. It can very well be the case that they saved your posts, only to be re-shared soon. At the very least, you’ve done your job trying to get noticed. Keep doing your thing.

Use SEO for Instagram in order to grow the number of followers organically

Tag Key Accounts in Your Stories

Another way to grow Instagram followers is to tag key accounts in your Instagram Stories. Instagram has once again made it super simple to re-share Stories. If you’re using some new product on the market and you want to tag the business. The business will receive a notification that they’ve been mentioned by you and they might re-share your Story. Most likely they’ll re-share it on their Story, so those that will see it can click on the Story and visit your account.

To Summarise

- Pay attention to your Instagram username
- Pay attention to your Instagram name
- Be sure to keep your photos clean
- Pick your hashtags wisely
- Let your Top Posts lead you in your content creation
- Make sure to include key accounts in your photos via tags

Since this kind of Instagram marketing is pretty new, we really hope that you’ve found this article useful. Take your time and implement these SEO tips, one step at a time. If you think that we’ve missed something, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this read, feel free to check out our previous article on The Ultimate Tools for Spying Your Competitors on Social Media. Also, don’t forget to Subscribe to Our Newsletter!