Future of Social Media In Danger ⚡, 

Here’s Why!

Future of Social Media In Danger, Here’s Why!

I’ve been telling creators and businesses to build an exit plan before it’s too late. The way social media algorithms are evolving. There will be only a content engine.

No Influencer, No Creator, No Social Media business. What we would have left is an AI-controlled content engine.

That engine never gives a creator or business enough time to build that connection. Or brand messaging. We all are going to be affected by this. Me too.

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July 04, 2023 - 8 min read

Instagram SEO: Why is it changed in 2023?

Hi, The change to Instagram is constant, social media marketers are sick of constant these changes. I track them every week and the recent change is Instagram SEO.


SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a term we usually associate with Google or other search engines. But have you ever considered its relevance in the realm of Instagram? Yes, that's right - Instagram SEO is real and can give your brand the competitive edge it needs. 


This guide draws from the insights of my research & experience with Instagram SEO. My understanding of Instagram SEO will provide a new angle for businesses and aspiring social media managers. So, let's dive into the state of Instagram SEO.


Instagram SEO vs Search Engine SEO


The fundamental aspect to recognize here is the stark contrast between Instagram SEO and traditional search engine SEO. Why is this so?


It primarily comes down to user intent. Instagram users gravitate towards the platform for its visually appealing content, making the imagery or visual content the prime focus of Instagram SEO efforts. While on search engines, text reigns supreme, on Instagram, it's the images that speak louder than words. 


Then comes the frequency of algorithmic changes. Search engine algorithms, especially Google's, are notorious for their frequent updates. You can always find me talking about the recent SEO changes in the newsletter. Instagram, however, isn't as predictable. The platform doesn't inform its users about algorithmic changes as often as its search engine platforms like BIng & Google do. 


Another critical difference lies in search behavior. The way users look up topics and the phrases they type in Instagram's search bar differ vastly from how they search on Google or other search engines. You can’t expect a user to type a 30 word text on Instagram, most searches are short.


Navigating the New Normal: Profile Names and Instagram SEO


One of the most common Instagram SEO practices recently witnessed a significant shift. For years, many of us have added keywords to our Instagram profile names to increase visibility. And discovery of your profile was enhanced with this Instagram SEO tactic. 


Instagram Profile SEO example of keyword social media

Source: Instagram search


This approach had been working effectively until Instagram rolled out its verified badges this year. Now, to acquire these badges, users must only use their legal names. However, for those who aren't particularly interested in obtaining these badges, the practice of adding keywords to profile names remains beneficial for discoverability. 


But the decision stands between a verification badge that brings more features and credibility to your profile, through it people notice you more. And a keyword after your name that helps people find you faster than your competitors. 


Instagram Alt Text: An Ethical Consideration


Instagram Alt text isn't an arena for keyword stuffing. It's a feature that caters to users with screen readers, giving them a better understanding of the content embedded in images. Misusing this feature by cramming it with irrelevant keywords is not only unethical but also counterproductive. Always remember, Alt text should contain relevant, descriptive sentences that truly represent the content of your images. 


I recommend you to read this free resource from Alexa Heinrich called Accessible-social, built to educate marketers about the importance of Alt text on social media. From that, the decision is yours to flood alt text for Instagram SEO purposes or keep it clean & relevant.


The Hashtags Strategy in Instagram Search


While the correlation between hashtags and Instagram SEO isn't direct, dismissing hashtags as unimportant for SEO would be a grave mistake. Keywords-focused hashtags can aid in attracting a more targeted follower base who are truly interested in your offerings. These dedicated followers are more likely to search for relevant hashtags, making it a valuable strategy to increase your visibility.


Rethink keyword hashtags as you were a person looking for a targeted solution. You don’t care about the size of the hashtag, recent posts or design. What you care about is the right solution for X problem. That is why I would suggest using keyword-oriented hashtags.


Instagram Hashtag SEO example for marketers

Source: Instagram Hashtags


The Role of Visual Identity in Instagram SEO


Instagram is, first and foremost, a visual platform. The visual identity of your content can make or break your Instagram SEO game. Therefore, it is essential to comprehend what types of images and visual content rank for specific keywords and to tailor your content accordingly.



Instagram Visual Identity value example for SEO purposes is shown in the image


A sound understanding of your industry's visual trends and audience preferences can guide you in this process. I would suggest using my Pinterest design strategy for Instagram SEO, You can read it here. But here is an Instagram design strategy repurposed from my pinterest guide. 


Copy - Go to Instagram or Google keyword planner, search your desired topic. Copy the top ranking keywords. And come back to the Pinterest In-app search box.


Copy - Search the Instagram keyword and analyze the first 10-15 ranking posts. And go to a text comparison tool . 


Action - That tool will give you insights on what keywords that post mentions the most. And from check the average keyword frequency on each post


Write - The action is to write a post or Instagram copy targeting that specific keyword on average X times. By doing that, you will be able to rank on Instagram faster and easier.


a visualised version of my instagram set strategy

source: Jaskaran saini


The Art of Captioning for Instagram SEO


Captions can be powerful tools in your Instagram SEO toolkit, but they need to be wielded with care. Alienating your existing followers by stuffing keywords into your captions, all in a bid to attract new followers, is a recipe for disaster.


Instead, try to incorporate keywords organically into relevant sentences. You could even create an Instagram SEO caption template as a guide to follow every time. I have another post on writing golden Instagram captions.


You can learn how to write better captions from that and integrate keywords within your posts.  This strategy allows you to maintain the natural flow of your captions while still adding value to your SEO efforts.


Building Authority: The Key to Instagram SEO


Much like traditional SEO, Instagram SEO rankings are influenced by the authority your account holds on specific topics. Regularly discussing related topics helps you establish yourself as an industry expert, making your profile more likely to pop up in Instagram search results.


This process might take time, but the payoff is well worth the effort. Building Topical authority on Instagram also helps you to get more relevant clients for your business. As they see your expertise in a topic from miles away. 


An example of authoritative Instagram SEO profile

Source: Instagram profiles


Insights from Pinterest SEO: A Valuable Lesson


Although they cater to different user bases, Instagram and Pinterest share common ground when it comes to SEO. Both are visual platforms where user interaction significantly impacts content ranking. All interactions like Likes, saves, comments have points allocated to them, those points increase your rankings. 


A smart strategy is to include engaging call-to-actions at the end of every post to encourage your followers to interact more with your content.


A Balanced Approach to Instagram SEO


As we learn about different elements of Instagram SEO, one thing is clear: a balanced content strategy that appeals to both the algorithm and your audience is the winning formula. It's a delicate dance between understanding what the algorithm promotes and what your audience resonates with. 


There's no denying that Instagram SEO is still an evolving field. The strategies that work today might not yield the same results tomorrow. Because when I surveyed many Instagram marketers on reddit about “best social media search engine”. Instagram came at the bottom as it is developing and you need to create content & captions highly relevant to a topic. To stand out and rank on Instagram search. 


I have a positive approach toward Instagram SEO and it will see improvements over time. But, by staying informed and adaptable, you'll be able to steer your Instagram strategy in the right direction. Even when there is no improvement in terms of Instagram search. Always have an up-to-date Instagram strategy. 


Instagram marketing changes every week, it's crucial to maintain an open-minded approach, a courage to learn and adapt like all famous social media managers. 


Jaskaran’s Personal Bite:


SEO is a new topic to Instagram and all of the social media platforms. But as all of our social media feeds are getting filled with more content. All of users are looking for content personalized for their problems. Businesses & creators will win this content war by personalizing their content for an Ideal reader. For me, I love this as this is a long time coming.



Tailoring your content for an ideal buyer persona is the key to landing on your customer’s Instagram search page. And I wish you best of luck trying to land on that page. I know you will by following my strategies!