SEO and Instagram: How to Maximize Your Impact

SEO and InstragramWe wrote a recent article on how to best optimize images on Instagram for better impact  Optimizing Images on Instagram for Better Impact, and one of our readers asked for more information about the importance of SEO and Instagram and how to maximize your marketing impact there. We love questions.

Marketers know it’s important to rank high on search engines, that’s a no-brainer. Brands rely on being found and discovered through search to build and grow their businesses, also a no-brainer.The big question for both marketers and brands is the value of Instagram. Does it contribute to search engine rankings or is it just eye-candy? Our answer is a resounding YES.  While publishing relevant, high quality content will help you rank high in search results (and more so now than ever before), integrating social media and social discovery tools like Instagram can boost your rankings even more.

How will Instagram help with your search ranking?

People seriously love Instagram. Over 55 Million photos are shared every single day and that number grows by leaps and bounds. To make the most of this popular social platform, you need to be smart with your campaigns and the images you share, but you also need to think of Instagram as a part of your overall search engine optimization

Make Sure To Complete Your Brand Profile On Instagram

Similar to other social media platforms, it’s critical to take full advantage of the profile information section by including an image (perhaps your logo or photo of yourself) as well as a link to your website. Most people will not go to your site directly. More likely they will discover your company through social channels they frequent. Integrating Instagram into your social marketing efforts, especially for visually oriented brands, is a great start. Sharing interesting photos is a great way to attract attention for your brand. The more people that are liking and engaging with your visual content, the more likely they’ll want to know more and ultimately click on the link you provide on your profile page.

Take Advantage of Hashtags

Using hashtags and keywords relevant to your brand is an easy way for people to quickly find your photos and for you to increase engagement with the photos you share. Shelly recently mentioned sitting in on a portion of a presentation at SMX recently that covered the importance of hashtags on Instagram and, in a nutshell, using them is important. We’ll try to cover that in greater detail in a separate post. When it comes to hashtags, the basics are important. They are:

  • Remember your hashtags need to be relevant to your brand and your message.
  • Creating a custom hashtag is also a great way to track, organize and promote contests when using Instagram.
  • Resist the urge to use too many hashtags, which might dilute your brand and message (and maybe even annoy people).
  • Be aware of popular and trending hashtags and keywords and the likes and comments they have generated on Instagram. These directly influence search ranking.

hashtag word on search

Link Your Facebook and Twitter Profiles On Your Instagram Account

Be sure to link your Twitter and Facebook profiles to your Instagram account. By doing so, when you share photos on Instagram, you can also share them concurrently on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. When your accounts are linked, when you share on Twitter, it’ll be posted to your Twitter feed as a link and posted to your Facebook feed as photo with text. This will increase the visibility of your posts and build more engagement with your brand. Be sure and add a hashtag in the title of your image to boost discoverability. The text you add along with your photo will show up automatically on images you share to your Facebook and Twitter feeds from your Instagram profile. Also note that if you’re interested in sharing your Instagram content on Twitter as images instead of a link, there’s a handy IFTTT recipe you can use to make that happen. Check out this post for details: How to Use IFTTT to Send Your Instagram Photos to Twitter.

Tell A Brand Story With Images You Share

Use Instagram to showcase and educate potential customers about what it’s like to actually use and experience your product. Be creative. Consider sharing short videos as well as photos about how your product is made. Share a variety of photos that are not only relevant to your brand, but also interesting to your fans. Mix it up.  A good example of what we’re talking about is Sharpie and how they demonstrate, through their Instagram photos, the different ways to use their product in fun creative ways.

sharpie Instagram example

Embed Your Instagram Videos and Photos on Your Website

Last but not least, adding engagement triggers on your website using videos or photos you upload to your Instagram account can help boost your SEO. Maybe you hosted a contest and wrote a post about the winning photos on your website to add to your brand story. The more likes and shares you get, the better chance your SEO rank will improve. The good news is that the process is not that difficult.

To get an embed code for an Instagram photo or video, you’ll need to visit the post on the web:

  1. Go to http://instagram.com/[username]
  2. Click on the post to expand it
  3. Click “…” in the bottom-right corner and select Embed
  4. Copy the embed code that appears and paste it into your web page’s HTML

Final Thoughts  

Being creative and resourceful is vital to maximize your brand’s impact and search-ability online. Using Instagram is an effective way to help build brand awareness, boost consumer interest and ultimately encourage purchases. Do you use Instagram for your marketing and SEO campaigns? What tactics have you implemented? Did they work? We want to know.

photo credit: SEOPlanter via photopin cc

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