How To Use The New Instagram Alt Tag For Seo

You can now add text behind your Instagram photos and videos

Andrei Rebegea
Jan 17 · 6 min read

A week ago Instagram launched a new feature on photos and videos! The ALT text or tag. How is this going to affect how your content is discovered? In this article, you will learn why this is very important, how to use it and what this tag can do for your business.

On every computer, you can find and ALT key (or an Option key if you are using Apple products). This stands for Alternative and is something that can help you when you are trying to do many things at once.

Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow — William Pollard.

On Instagram, the ALT text is going to show up when your fan has a lousy internet connection and the photo can’t load. When that happens people are going to see your ALT tag and know at least something about your post. This was a very interesting move from Facebook through Instagram. Till now the photos on Instagram had a description but no keyword or keywords that could tell the search engine what that photo is really about. Now that changed because of this new option.

ALT tags are almost everywhere online. Each website has a tag, most photos on Pinterest have a tag, you might not see it, but is very important. This ALT text is not going to be a copy and paste description you use all the time. This must represent exactly what your photo is.

Now you probably ask why should you focus on this tag when posting… Here are some of the reasons:

  • It helps people with a slow internet connection — who would not see anything otherwise. Right now there are phones created for people with visual disabilities and this tag is going to be read aloud for them. This opens new doors to new customers for your business.
  • It gives Instagram more data to work with. IG has a new algorithm that tries to recognize what each photo is. By doing this IG is going to search automatically for new people to show your photo to. In short, IG is doing free targeting on your behalf and this is very important when you try to grow your audience.
  • It improves your SEO rankings. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and represents everything you do to get your website higher in search engines. Till now Instagram SEO was something that was somehow done only through photo description. Now with this feature, your photos are going to start getting rankings on Google Image search.

IG has a new algorithm that tries to recognize what each photo is. By doing this IG is going to search automatically for new people to show your photo to. In short, IG is doing free targeting on your behalf and this is very important when you try to grow your audience.

Adding an ALT tag is very important for your Instagram growth. The platform wants to be one for everyone. This includes also people with visual impediments. If you don’t add a tag text on your post, Instagram is going to add one automatically for you. I bet you probably are more creative and know your stuff better than Instagram does.

Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable — William Pollard

How do you add a new ALT tag to a new IG post?

Is really simple:

  • First, you upload a photo or a video (yes, the videos can have this tag as well)
  • Second, you click on “Advanced settings”
  • Third, you select “Write ALT text”
  • Forth, you use your creativity and choose a good keyword or group of keywords that describe your photo.

In order to make this simpler for you, I combined multiple screenshots of my account to make this process easier for you.

Now let’s focus on older photos… How do you add an ALT tag text there?

Adding a tag on older posts has more steps but is still easy:

  • You select the photo you want to ALT tag it
  • You press the “…” in the upper right of your screen like you would like to edit the description
  • You choose “Edit”
  • On the bottom right of the photo, you click “Add ALT text”
  • You write your tag

As I’ve done before, below is a collage of me adding a tag on an older post on my account:

Now you know how to use the ALT tag. Let’s talk a little bit about how you should create your tags. When you do that you have to have two things in mind. One is the person that has a slow internet connection. The other is AI or algorithm that is going to read your tag and show your photo to people that like similar photos.

Instagram also added a limit of 100 characters to this text in order to help SEO rankings and make people think, not just copy and paste the photo description.

When writing your tag you should describe the image, think of a person who is scrolling and at some point he can’t see your photo but see your tag. How can you entice that person to click on your profile to find out more about you and your business? If you have people in your photo you should also use their names. Don’t be afraid to use keywords. As you can see in the photos, my tags were very keyword rich. On the new photo, I said exactly what the photo is, a marketing quote. On the second I said something that people usually search online “find your why” that truly represents what the article I am promoting is about.

How do you plan to use this new feature in your Instagram Marketing efforts? Write me a comment below and let’s have a conversation!

👉 Please tap or click “👏to help others get inspired and learn how to better use this Instagram new feature.

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Andrei Rebegea

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