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Instagram SEO: 6 Pro Tips to Increase Your Reach

SEO isn’t just reserved for Google. Did you know that Instagram has it’s own search feature?

Making it like a mini-search engine… not ‘like’ actually… it IS a mini-search engine.

We all know that online visibility is key, so mastering the art of optimising your Instagram profile and content can be a game-changer for growing your fitness brand and attracting your ideal client.

Whether you’re just starting out in this fun world of SEO or looking to enhance your current strategy, then we’ve got you covered with 6 expert tips and insights to help you climb the ranks and stand out in the crowded fitness arena.

Let’s do this 👇

What the heck is Instagram SEO?

Instagram SEO (search engine optimisation) is all about how you curate your content so that it shows up when people are searching for specific things in Instagram.

If you want to get seen more, then it’s a no-brainer strategy that you need to start doing…. Yesterday!

Just like when you go to Google and punch in a search term, you do the exact same thing with the search bar on the Instagram Explore Page, allowing you to find new accounts, hashtags to follow, places to go, posts to read and audio to listen to.

How does Instagram SEO work then?

Instagram’s algorithm looks at EVERY.SINGLE.PIECE of content on the platform and it’s looking for what’s called ‘signals’

These signals act as ranking factors for Instagram, telling them who you are and what your content is about so that they can figure out who best to show your content to.

Some of the signals Instagram will look at are:

Search Text

The actual text people put into the search bar, IG does its best to match what you type in here with any relevant keywords, hashtags, accounts, places and content. This is why it’s hella important to ensure your content (including your copy 👀) matches or includes these search terms.

User Engagement

IG will look at accounts that have had the most recent user activity, and what that activity has been. So for example, if you’re like me and you regularly watch a lot of Greyhounds or olympic lifting videos on Instagram (note: NOT greyhounds DOING oly lifting…) then you’re likely to be served accounts that are similar to those topics, more frequently.


Instagram will prioritise content that’s currently popular or increasing in popularity. So you’re served with the most recent and engaging content possible.

So let’s jump in to how YOU can ensure your content is sending the right signals to Instagram and get you under the nose of your ideal audience.

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Why should you bother with Instagram SEO?

More and more people are turning to social media when it comes to searching for more information on a particular topic.

Put it this way, can you honestly tell me that you’ve never used that little search bar in Instagram before?

If you haven’t, then you’re missing out on a world of free knowledge!

And if you have, then surely you know that you probably found some really useful information and insights into whatever you were looking for – so therefore it’s super important that you do the same with your own content so you can get in front of the eyes of your ideal client… right?

6 Pro SEO Tips to Increase Your Instagram Reach

Use Specific Keywords

The basics. We all know that your profile, handle and bio all benefit from having your main keyword in them, but don’t forget your captions.

I’d argue that these are the most important when it comes to getting your content ranked with Instagram.

When you come to write your post caption, just think about popping in a few keywords that you think someone might be searching for. Taking it one step further, use keyword search tools like X and Y to find out which specific keywords carry the most search volume – they’re the ones to focus on.

Don’t Forget Hashtags

They ain’t dead! They also don’t work like they used to, but that’s a different story. Be TACTICAL here. Mosseri himself has already stated that hashtags aren’t a HUGE ranking factor, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t one.

Hashtags typically don’t directly impact post views but they do help IG algo’s understand wtf your content is talking about and therefor help get it in front of your ideal audience.

Top tip: don’t pepper your caption or comments with 30,000 hashtags. Use a select few that are relevant to your content, 3-5 are a great start, and pop them in your caption. Don’t feel like using captions is a dirty thing and put them in your comments… chill… it’s ok to have them in the caption.

Use Alt Text

An easy one to help your post’s performance. Just like point 1, where you need to add keywords to your captions etc. Add them into your image alternative text too.

The key thing here though is to be really descriptive of what the image is. So if your image is of you training someone in the gym.

Don’t just put ‘fitness coach’. That’s not good SEO.

Put something like; ‘Personal trainer coaches female client in the gym’

Get Rid of Watermarks

BIG no-no. Instagram doesn’t give a crap if you’re sharing content from TikTok or anywhere else, so get rid of that shit.

Keep your content free from watermarks, logos and anything else that suggests you’re just regurgitating other content or you’ve stolen from a stock site – it won’t wash with IG.

Be ‘Content Consistent’

Such a simple one really. If you’re consistent with your Instagram SEO then IG will slowly but surely learn that you are the top dog of your industry and niche.

So whenever someone starts searching for ‘online coach’ or ‘personal trainer in Liverpool’… then you’re going to be the no-brainer option for IG to serve to that searcher.

BOOM… more eyeballs on your content from the RIGHT people.

BE the Engagement You Want

Don’t be a ‘post and ghost’. If you start engaging with other accounts and posts within your target niche then this is another signal to Instagram that you are part of that same crowd.

Also… engaging with your target audience will encourage them to comment or message back, therefor boosting your popularity signals.

Are you starting to see how this SEO thing goes now?

It’s not one simple strategy you do or don’t do. It’s a multitude of mini-strategies that on their own don’t bring a massive impact but when you put them all together?

My word you have an Instagram SEO POWERHOUSE.

Free Brand Guidelines Template

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Key takeaways

  • Instagram’s search feature functions as a mini-search engine, so use it to reach new ideal audiences
  • Instagram’s algorithm assesses various signals like search text, user engagement, and popularity to determine content relevance and visibility, highlighting the need to align content with relevant keywords and trends
  • Incorporate relevant keywords into profile, bio, and captions, focusing on high-volume search terms to improve content ranking
  • Selectively use hashtags relevant to content, avoiding overuse, and incorporating them into captions to aid content discovery
  • Describe images accurately with keyword-rich alternative text to enhance post performance and visibility
  • Maintain consistency in posting and engagement to establish authority and relevance within the niche, enhancing visibility to the target audience

what's next?

  • If you’ve taken some value from this blog then please share with your own network, we’d really appreciate it
  • We’ve got more blogs to come on these topics so make sure you keep an eye on our website and socials for the heads up!
  • Did you catch our last blog on ‘How to create brand guidelines?’

keep up to date

Thanks for reading our blog, we hope it’s offered some help in your own fitness website build. If you’ve got any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them on here or drop us an email on [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

We’ve got more blogs for you here > Make sure you check back regularly to keep up to date with all things fitness branding. 

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