Instagram Search Explained: How To Optimize Your Content For Instagram Search

  Instagram Search Explained: How To Optimize Your  Content For Instagram Search  

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri recently spoke about how important Instagram Search is becoming for your Instagram content. We knew that followers & engagement were priorities in who sees your Instagram content, now we can bump search up on the list of things to use in your Instagram social media strategy.


New Instagram Interests Search Discovery Pages

There is a new set of pages called “Interests Search” coming out that are based around search terms that work just like Instagram hashtag pages. 

Think of what you get when you search on Google, and this is similar to the content that will be returned to you on Instagram. Not EXACTLY the same, but in an Instagram kind of way. If your content is about the search term, the Interests Search page can include your content on that page when searched.

Things that Instagram will use for this are the word-based caption content of your posts, hashtags, image recognition and what your account is about.

The Interests Search pages will be denoted under the Instagram search bar with a magnifying glass next to it, so if you see this when searching, this will take you to an Interests Search discovery page.

Here’s a rundown of what Instagram Search will focus on, so you can optimize your content for this:


Instagram Search Term

Username, bio, captions, hashtags, location

Use search terms in your caption, where they’re more important than the comments. They should also be used in your bio, where items like keywords and location are important.  Location-based businesses should include their location in their bio and content.

Think of hashtags as the keywords in search, optimize these for relevancy to your content but also what search terms people might use if they’re interested in your content.

Activities & Interests

What niches are you interested in and what hashtags do your audience follow on Instagram? Put yourself in their shoes and think of what your ideal followers like.

Account Signals: Trust score, fake likes and followers, bots & spam

Being previously banned by Instagram or having your content flagged for accuracy factor into your “Trust Score.” If you're legit, you should have a decent trust score. If you’re being shady, you’re reducing your score. A lower score means less visibility on the app.

Using third-party apps to get fake likes, fake followers and fake comments is the SINGLE WORST Instagram strategy you can ever do. Instagram KNOWS when people are doing this, even if you seem to be getting away with it. Eventually algorithms get updated to take this into account, and your Trust Score is permanently damaged.

This is what so-called “shadow-banning” also stems from. Using any of these tactics gets your visibility in the feed and on hashtag pages reduced. You’re being your own worst enemy when you use these tactics.


So these are the best things you can be doing currently to optimize your content for Instagram Interests Search. Something to remember here is that Instagram always prioritizes new features when they roll them out, so getting on this as fast you can is to your advantage. The Instagram Discovery page has become a difficult nut to crack, why not try something new? 

Here’s a quick rundown of steps you can take, as a to-do list of tactics:

  • Optimize your username to include the biggest and best search term people will use to find content like yours.

  • Make sure your bio includes a few of the most searched for terms for your content. Don’t overdo this, 2-3 terms is a good start.

  • Include plenty of search terms in your caption content. Don’t overdo this either, spamming keywords is likely to have a negative effect.

  • Optimize your hashtags with search terms in mind, and include those hash tags in your post (not the comments)

  • If your business is based out of a physical location, and that’s relevant to the way you do business, include your location in your content. Geotag your photos & videos to include GPS-based location data

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