Instagram is filled to the digital brim with engaging content, recipes, brand content, and ads. How does Instagram recognize user interests amongst the clutter and serve content to users across Feed, Stories, Reels, and Explore?

Here’s a breakdown of how Instagram Ranks Search Results.

Search is based on accounts you follow, like, posts you’ve viewed, and relevant activity that helps the system optimize and show content that is more relevant to you, whether it’s a fashion blogger at Fashion Week or ideas for dinner next week. When a user taps on Search, the user sees their most recent searches and then based on their search keywords, they are served accounts, audio, hashtags, and locations that match the text of your Search. Instagram Search combines your search text with your activity on the platform and the popularity of your search results to allow the system to match up to historical user data with trending platform activity resulting in the best search results for each user.

What can you do to show up in more searches?

  • Use a handle and profile name that matches what a user would be looking for while searching
  • Make sure to use those relevant keywords and location-specific data in your bio
  • Make sure to use relevant keywords and hashtags in captions
  • Make sure you do not go against Instagram’s Recommendation or Community guidelines with your account, posts, or hashtags. Accounts that post spam or sensitive topics and violate guidelines will appear lower in search results or even be removed from the platform.

What is Instagram doing to improve Search results?

  • Instagram will be expanding the keywords that may be used for Search
  • Available Search keywords will be vetted first in English with other languages added at a later date
  • Instagram will be broadening search results to assist with better topic exploration. This change should help users discover more within the topic in feed (related photos and videos beyond your specific keyword text entry).

As Search expands on Instagram, we are excited to see the impact for agencies. Use your SEO terms on Instagram, grow holistic learnings, and scale successes across digital channels, adding another avenue of exploration for the end-user.

POV By Gellena Lukats, Director, Paid Social and Mary Sutter, Director, Social Media