Instagram Search

How to get found by more people in Instagram search

Do you feel as though your follower numbers on Instagram never budge? That, try as you might, you just can’t move the dial?

Then the tips in this blog will really help you.

Because today I’m going to talk about Instagram search and how you can use it to get found by more of your ideal customers.

What is Instagram search?

Instagram search is one of the most important tools on the site, as it allows users to quickly find and connect with the kind of content they like the most.

It’s different from the Explore feed – which shows you content Instagram thinks you’ll like – because the results in search are directly linked to the words people type into the search box.

When you understand how search works, you can optimise your profile and content to give yourself a better chance of showing up.

Here are the three key areas you need to look at…

1) Your bio

When it comes to attracting the right followers to your account, your bio is really important. 

But did you know there are only two searchable elements to your bio? 

The first is your ‘account @name’ – this is the name that appears at the top of your profile and when you comment on posts. 

The second is your ‘profile name’ – the title that appears in bold on your bio.

However, if your name field and account name are the same, you’re limiting your chances of getting found in search.

So, here’s what you need to do.

If your @name is your business name, change your bio name to include your own name and a brief description of what you do. 

For example: @GreenLandscapes / Dave | Diaries of a Landscaper sharing our recent garden transformations.

Or if your @name is your own name, change your bio name to include your business name and – if there’s space – a few words to describe what you do. Include a location if that’s relevant. E.g. Landscape gardening in Leeds.

Fixing these simple details will help you to show up in more search results.

2) Hashtags

Hashtags are the number one way people search for and find what they’re looking for on Instagram, so it’s really important you use them.

The platform recently put an end to the age-old debate about whether you should post hashtags in the caption or comments.

The verdict was that, if you want your hashtags to show up in search, you should put your hashtags in the caption.

Follow these top tips to get the best out of your hashtags:

  • Don’t just use the same set for every post, mix them up
  • You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. Some people swear by using 30, others think using less works best. Experiment to see what works well for you
  • Include hashtags that relate to your niche or industry, e.g. #BuildersOfInstagram #Onsitesnaps #HomeImprovements
  • Include hashtags that include your location e.g. #LeedsBusiness #BuildersinLeeds
  • Create a hashtag that’s unique to your business #nameofbusiness – encourage followers to use your hashtag when they mention you online.
  • Avoid hashtags with more than 1m and fewer than 1k uses
  • Follow hashtags relevant to your business. When you follow hashtags, those posts appear in your feed. This is a great way to get inspiration for future posts and keep an eye on your competitors (without following them!) 
  • Follow hashtags your ideal customers will use. This means your ideal customer posts will show in your newsfeed, and you can’t start engaging with them to build that repour.

3) Captions

Instagram also scans the words in the captions you write to see whether they match what people are searching for. These are called keywords – which is just another term for Instagram search words.

By including more keywords in your captions, you can increase your chances of showing up on a searcher’s results page.

Your Instagram search words will be similar to your hashtags, but the important thing to remember is that they should flow naturally and not be crammed awkwardly into your caption copy.

The easiest way to do this is to create content that’s relevant and interesting to your audience. When you talk about the things they want to know about, you’ll include keywords without even thinking about it.

If you’d like help with any of the information above, I’d love to help you. Drop me a line at