Search engine optimization is unarguably one of the best ways of driving traffic to the website. While most business owners go hell for leather to fine-tune the on-page and off-page elements of the website, the importance of social media tends to be by and large ignored simply because entrepreneurs are unaware that SEO does not necessarily have to be restricted to just search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
SEO efforts should also be focused on social media platforms because not only can it help in boosting brand awareness but also elevating engagement rates, increasing the follower base, and advancing revenues. As Instagram users know, it acts as a search engine helping people to find the content they are looking for, implementing SEO can reap rich dividends.
Even though SEO for Instagram is relatively easy, it still merits knowing what mistakes you should avoid that will help your account to operate most efficiently in driving brand awareness, customer engagement, and website traffic.
The Instagram Account Is Not a Cohesive Presentation
When you create an Instagram account, you will soon realize that it is very important for the account to be cohesive. This means that your posts cannot be random but instead need to be logical and relevant in terms of creating a visual impact on the followers. Apart from consistency in the way the images and videos are presented, there should be uniformity in the way you use captions and hashtags so that they become recognizable properties of your Instagram account with which people will relate your brand.
However, it is also true that you cannot achieve consistency overnight. You should ideally experiment with various types of themes, color schemes, posting frequency, timing of the posts, relevance of the tags, the language of the captions and other elements that your followers will interact with so that you can arrive at an optimal combination that you can stick with and build the consistency expected by your followers.
Not Using Relevant Hashtags
Identifying and using the hashtags that are the most relevant to your posts on Instagram is the secret of gaining eyeballs and follower engagement on Instagram. This is because hashtags represent the only way that someone can search for specific content unlike in search engines where you can feed in a query in the text box or use a voice command to look for content.
While on the face of it, using hashtags should be a simple thing; marketers often make the mistake of using hashtags that are not relevant and as a result, fail to get the desired viewership and engagements from their posts. Essentially, when an irrelevant hashtag is used, followers get to see content that is not as per their expectations and thus become frustrated. The lack of relevance also causes the brand to suffer damage in the long-term because pointing to irrelevant content dilutes your brand messaging, according to a social marketing consultant at socialmarketway.com.
Brand managers and content managers need to research the hashtags intensively for the relevance and popularity before using them on their posts. Remember using the most popular hashtags may not get your posts the visibility you want simply because your content may end up being buried in the avalanche of results. The optimum number of hashtags to use on Instagram is nine. Finding out what hashtags your competition is using successfully can pay rich dividends. Branded hashtags are undoubtedly the best; however, you will need to promote it until it becomes popular with your followers.
Not Changing the Location Tags
If you are a local business, the location tag can be very important for driving footfalls to the store, however, since the number of locations is limited, there is no need to change the location tags. The same strategy, however, will misfire badly for businesses that have a large footprint and may even be servicing customers on a global scale. Large businesses need to keep on changing their location tags to remain relevant to audiences of multiple places.
Not Making the Username Searchable
Social marketers may not realize it but one of the most important keywords is the Instagram username. This makes it necessary for it to be short, crisp, distinctive, and readable so that the target audience can readily understand the meaning of the username and the relevance to their content search intent.
Writing the username in a language that most of your potential target audience understands is important, therefore, it becomes imperative that it does not contain any random characters or symbols. Structure the username is a way that makes it easy for users to search for it online.
Not Using Alt Text
While the concept of Alt text was originally thought of as a device to assist people with visual impairments to enjoy the content on social media, it is now used more like an optimization tool. To locate the tool on Instagram, you should scroll down on the page with the caption when publishing new content to the button for ‘Advanced Settings’. After clicking it, go to the page bottom till the provision for writing Alt text can be seen.
Tap it and go on to compose the crisp description of the image so that even people who may not be able to see the image can visualize it accurately. Adding the Alt text will ensure that the next time a follower is looking for the same type of content, they will see it in their search results.
A natural corollary of this is Instagram marketers should ensure that the images they are posting are of very high quality because not only does it have extra appeal to followers but also the Instagram algorithm can detect the photo content more accurately and suggest it to users looking for similar content.
Marketing on Instagram and optimizing it for best visibility is not exactly rocket science, however, many marketers tend to muff it because they do not understand the basic principles of optimizing it. By thinking intently on your objectives and about how you can appeal to your target audience, you will be able to get most of the stuff right. However, it is important not to make mistakes than can scuttle your efforts.