How to Get Discovered on Instagram Search

As a social media nerd, I love a good Instagram statistic. And recently, I came across an important one…


81% of Instagram users regularly use the platform to research products, 

services, and businesses.


Now, this might not seem like anything earth-shattering, but it sheds light on one undeniable fact:


People use the Instagram Search function just like Google — to discover brands they’re interested in learning more about, working with, and buying from. So, if you’re a business owner (big or small), it’s absolutely critical that you’re easily findable on Instagram.


But how does Instagram search work?


Just like a search engine, Instagram scans profiles for information to figure out when and where they should show up in search.


It considers several factors, including the people you follow, who you’re connected to, and what photos and videos you like on the platform.


In other words, the Instagram algorithm is working hard to deliver not only the most accurate results for your search but the most relevant results to you and your interests.


It’s a powerful tool and one that’s specifically designed to get your page in front of your target audience.


So, are there things you can do to make your page more findable? Absolutely — and it all starts with keywords.


Tip #1: Be as descriptive as possible in your handle + name field.


When someone types a keyword or name into the search bar on Instagram, the app looks at usernames and name fields of accounts to determine if an account is relevant to that search.


When you create your name on Instagram, it’s completely customizable, so choose words that make it easier for others to find your profile. By including relevant keywords in this space, your chances of appearing in the top results will be much higher.


Tip #2: Optimize your bio with SEO-rich keywords.


Like your name field, you should optimize your bio with keywords for your brand and business. By including specific information about your industry and location, your account will be more likely to show up high on search while also spelling out what your brand is about clearly and concisely.


Another suggestion from Instagram? Add clickable hashtags to your bio to boost your chances of appearing not just in the search results for your account but also if someone searches for the hashtag, too.


Tip #3: Write detailed captions relevant to your product or service.


Just like you want to include quality content on your website, you’ll also want to write Instagram captions that provide value to your followers.


Include relevant keywords that people might be searching for and make sure the content addresses their needs and answers their questions. Share information about how your product or service will improve their life, and make sure to write in a way that informs, entertains, and prompts people to take action. (Don’t forget that call to action at the end!) The more user engagement you get on your page, the more likely you’ll be rewarded by the Instagram algorithm.


From there, try these three quick-and-easy daily habits to improve search-ability:

  • Include your location in posts. When a user clicks the “Places” tab on the search page, your page may appear at the top, depending on the popularity and timeliness of your post.
  • Use relevant hashtags. A post with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. When a user searches for a hashtag, the results will appear both in the “Top” tab and the “Tags” tab, so you’re twice as likely to be found.
  • Stay engaged. Instagram relies on user activity to predict what kind of profiles they might like to follow. So, if you’re a brand looking for more exposure, take a few minutes each day to follow and engage with complementary brands and influencers.


These small steps can make a BIG difference in how you show up in search. More exposure means more engagement and conversions — and a new audience of loyal customers!


So, why not start today?