Get more Instagram followers – 5 tips for Instagram SEO

Have you always wondered how to generate new followers for your Instagram profile without paying for it? The most natural way to get followers is the so-called Instagram SEO. We’ll tell you 11 simple tips with which you will expand your Instagram community with new followers – completely free of charge.

Instagram is a photo and video search engine with its algorithm, like internet search engines. However, it is no longer as easy as it used to be to make your own Instagram content accessible to a broader audience.

Just as websites are optimized for search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) to appear in the SERPs at the highest possible position, the Instagram profile can also be made more visible. This type of optimization belongs to the ‘Instagram SEO’ category and does not require in-depth IT know-how to implement it.

Still, generating Instagram followers the organic way (the followers you get without paid support – we’ll call them organic followers for this article) is hard work and won’t be entirely effortless.

It will likely cost you more effort than running a paid ad. And if it’s no effort, then at least time. But remember that organic followers tend to be much more active and loyal.

Your Instagram strategy as the foundation

Before you scroll to the Instagram SEO tips that will help you generate more followers, you should answer the following three questions. They will help you build your personal and long-term Instagram strategy.

1. For what purpose do I want to gain new followers?

There can be countless reasons for this, e.g., B:

I’m an e-shop, and I want to communicate products via Instagram.

I am a blogger and would like to have more paid collaborations.

I’m an influencer, and I want to have more influence.

I bet a friend that I would have 500 followers before he did.

2. Which target group do I want to address on Instagram?

Which target group do you want to reach with your Instagram account? It doesn’t matter whether you have a private or business profile. Everyone should clearly define their target audience.

3. Why should Instagram users follow you? 

What – ideally unique – content do you offer your target group? Why should they trust you and invest their time in your content?

Some examples:

I want to inform my Instagram followers about the new summer collection in my e-shop. #ecommerce

I blog about the best coffees in my city. #blog

I want to inspire my audience with my fitness routine. #fitness

I am from the artist scene and would like to present my work (painting, theatre, dance,…). #art

These examples can be further specified to define the target group more clearly.

How can I get more Instagram followers?

1# The @username should contain the essential keyword

The Instagram username is the name that appears after the @ sign. For example, our agency’s account has the username @evisions_de & @evisions_advertising.

Your username serves as your number one keyword, which people will use to search for you in the first place. It’s your domain. For example, if I search for profiles focusing on online marketing, the first result is @onlinemarketingde.

#2 Your Instagram name helps potential followers find you

Your Instagram name and username are different, even though they serve a similar function when searching on Instagram. The term can be likened to a web page’s top-level (H1) heading.

For example, our Instagram name is “Online Marketing Agency | B2B,” and our username is “evisions_de.” In this way, we cover the industry, namely online marketing, and the company name (eVisions) in the search.

Additionally, when users type your name or business into Google, they may see a link to your Instagram profile in search results. The search results will primarily show your Instagram name and your @username in brackets.

#3 Quality posts are the be-all and end-all

And especially on Instagram. A shared photo is the first (and often the last) thing users see. The image has to be so captivating that they read the caption and then end up on your profile. If they like what they discover on your profile, you are just one click away from getting another Instagram follower.

Your feed should illustrate what content people can expect from you in the future. This can be tips on recipes, travel destinations, clothing stores, … and much more. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it should follow a common thread.

#4 Add alt text to your Instagram images

If you have even a little SEO experience, you’ve encountered the term alt text.

A search engine (or robot) cannot “read” images and therefore needs alt attributes (keywords) to determine their content.

In addition to its SEO function, alt text has an informative role. If you have a weak internet connection, the images cannot be loaded. As a result, the alt texts will be displayed.

Also, they serve people with visual impairments, as unique readers can read them.

Alt text helps the Instagram algorithm understand what’s in the photo. That way, your post can be shown to users interested in that type of content—all without hashtags.

With an alt text, your post can become even more meaningful and easier to “crack” for the Instagram algorithm. This means your post will reach more people organically.

Alt text can also make your photo appear on Google. Just as the robot crawls alt text in images on web pages, it can also crawl alt text in Instagram posts. So if someone types “blueberry cheesecake recipe” into a Google search, Instagram posts with that alt text can also be suggested to them under the Google images.

#5 Don’t underestimate the “Insights.”

Although Instagram does not offer extensive analysis of posts or profiles, the “Insights” are sufficient for our purposes.

You will only receive the analysis data (on Instagram, you can find them under the name “Insights”) if you have a business Instagram profile. With a personal Instagram profile, the insights are not visible.

In Instagram Insights, you get data on each post (e.g., how much reach it had, how many people came to your profile, how many people clicked through to your website, etc.).

So you can compare the posts with each other and draw analytical conclusions. You will also find relevant information about your target group and age, location, gender, and activity when your followers are most online.

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