It’s surprising how many marketers completely ignore SEO techniques that aren’t directly related to Google, Bing and other search engines.

After all, SEO is applicable to social media platforms too, especially if you want to promote your account, gain new followers, boost engagement rates and enhance sales.

A case in point is Instagram, which works like a small search engine and ranks well-optimised pages higher.

But despite Instagram’s potential, several marketers make common mistakes when optimising their profiles, which include the following:

A non-cohesive page

Consistent posts and a cohesive page is critical for Instagram success. This means taking the time to think about each caption, including relevant hashtags and nailing visual concepts.

Although there is no ideal posting frequency and no perfect time to distribute content, you should be publishing on Instagram as often as you can to meet business goals.

Not using hashtags the right way

Think of hashtags as search queries, as they’re one of the biggest and best ways to attract cold audiences to view your profile. Unfortunately, marketers make two crucial mistakes in their approach to hashtags:

  • Irrelevant hashtags – Using hashtags that have nothing to do with the business or the post. Users will soon leave your profile if you mislead them.
  • No hashtags – If you don’t use any hashtags, you’ll struggle to attract users to your profile via search.

The same location tag

If your enterprise only has a single location, such as a coffee shop, you won’t have many location tags to choose from except your own business listing.

However, if you’re an online business or provide worldwide shipping, be sure to switch up your location tag. This will attract audiences from different cities and countries around the world.

A username that can’t be searched

Just like a website URL, your Instagram username should be short, readable and distinctive. Audiences must be able to understand what your username implies, which means writing in the language of your target market and avoiding irrelevant symbols.

Best practice SEO applies here – make your username sound like a search query that your typical target customer would be making.

Not including Alt Text

The ability to add Alt Text to images was initially for visually impaired people to enjoy Instagram content. But now marketers are using it for optimisation and to reach new audiences.

Head over to Advanced Settings and under Accessibility you’ll find the Write Alt Text option. Create a description of what your image is about and whenever someone performs that search query, they should see your content in the results.

No keywords in your bio or captions

Even though you should be including both primary and secondary keywords in your Instagram bio, be careful not to overwhelm users with too much text. Also, keep it readable.

The same goes for your image captions. Try to scatter keywords randomly throughout the text and set them next to your username as title tags. This should improve the overall strength of your Instagram SEO footprint.