These days, more and more consumers are turning to Instagram instead of Google to search for a brand or business, and your Instagram profile is quickly becoming your new home page.
And just like the goal of your website is to convert visitors into customers, the goal of your Instagram profile should be to convert visitors into followers.
Here’s how you can optimize your Instagram profile to make it convert better for you:
Why Your Instagram Profile is the New Home Page
Just like you spent a lot of time working on the website for your business, it’s important that you treat your Instagram profile the same way.
When creating your website, you likely wrote and rewrote the copy, agonized over which photos represented your brand the best, built out multiple pages, and spent time optimizing your website for the best conversions.
But did you spend the same amount of time or effort on your Instagram profile?
These days, Instagram is becoming even more important for businesses, and it’s time to start optimizing your Instagram for more sales, followers, and awareness.
Instagram has become a modern, millennial search engine, where the search results are beautiful photos and your follower count acts as a seal of approval.
I’m currently planning a trip to Greece, so what better place to research than by searching Instagram?
A quick Instagram search will help you figure out what cities I want to visit (by creeping their hashtag or location), and then I can choose my hotels based on photos from their actual guests, instead of professional, highly edited photos. I can even click on the location “story” to see live stories from guests who are staying there right now!
For many, searching for a business on Instagram instead of Google feels more authentic. Through Instagram you’re able to see what products look like in real life, instead of just through marketing photos on your website.
You can quickly look at tagged photos or locations to see how other people are using products, or what a space looks like through the eyes of its customers.
This is why it’s important to have a consistent Instagram aesthetic and complete Instagram profile. While your current followers may never go back to look at your profile (unless you tell them to), your future followers will see it, and it’s your one chance to convince them why they should follow you.
Ready to optimize your Instagram profile to convert more visitors into followers? Here’s how I like to think about it:
Your Instagram Bio = Above the Fold Copy
When someone lands on your website, you want them to instantly understand who you are and what your business does, without your visitors having to scroll down. This is called “above the fold” copy, and the same thing goes for your Instagram bio.
You have a limited space to make an impression, and it’s important that you can instantly convey to your visitors what your business actually is.
Tip for writing good Instagram bios: instead of making your bio all about you, try to focus on your target customer and how your Instagram profile will help or inspire them.
Looking at the podcast’s Instagram, I can already tell that if I want to get inspired about how to be a boss and grow my business, I’ll want to take a listen.
If you’re offering services instead of a product, make sure that you’re using your Instagram bio to give your visitors everything they need to know not only about you, but how to contact you too!
My hairstylist Julia, @hairbyjulias, has a fantastic Instagram bio. The “name” field is the only part of your bio that is searchable on Instagram, and Julia has optimized hers for Instagram search results by putting “Vancouver Hairstylist” as her name.
She then introduces her real name, and instantly lets you know that she’s accepting new clients, and what salon she works at. By adding in her specialties and education, which include extensions and balayage color, she is marketing herself not only as an expert but attracting the right kind of clients at the same time.
Finally, she tells you in her bio how you can contact her for an appointment, helping her get new clients from Instagram, no follow required!
The Link in Your Bio = Call to Action Button
What is the main call-to-action on your website?
If you’re an online store, you likely have a “SHOP” button (or multiple) to help people shop your site. If you’re a tech company, your CTA is probably to sign up as a new user, and if you’re a freelance photographer you’ll want to point people to your portfolio or contact info.
Just like your website, your Instagram profile should have a call-to-action too!
Not sure what your CTA should be? Think about the goals of your Instagram account and what actions you want your followers to take. Do you want them to shop your feed, or do you want them to subscribe to your mailing list?
Treat the link in your bio just like you would treat the main call-to-action on your website.
Also, it’s important to tell your followers what the link in your bio is. Treat the last line in your Instagram bio like the text on your call-to-action button and tell your followers what they are going to get when they click your link.
For example, I usually link to my recent blog posts on my Instagram profile @taylor.loren, but instead of just throwing a random blog link there, I always change my bio to describe what the link is. Otherwise, visitors to my profile might be really confused at the website they land on.
This is a great way to drive traffic to specific blog posts or product pages, instead of sending your followers to your main website, only to get lost and not be able to find the specific item in your Instagram post they were looking for! Here’s what it looks like when MeUndies does it:
Instagram Stories Highlights = Your Website Pages
Instagram Stories Highlights are a powerful and creative way for businesses to tell their story, get more followers, and make more sales.
Think of each highlight like the “category” pages of your website. In addition to your home page, you likely have an “about” page, and then multiple other pages depending on your business.
If you’re an online clothing store, you probably have a different page for tops, bottoms, dresses, accessories, and so on. You can use these same “pages” on your website as inspiration for what categories you want to create with your Instagram Stories Highlights!
For example, the store Show Me Your Mumu has created individual highlights for each of their collections, so you can quickly find what you’re looking for without leaving Instagram:
Or if you’re offering a service, like a hairstylist, you would have different portfolio pages to showcase your work with cuts, color, extensions, or styling.
Think of each highlight as a marketing video for the work that you do – what do you want people to instantly know that you offer, even if they don’t follow you?
Another fantastic way to use Instagram Stories Highlights to convert visitors into followers is to create an “about” highlight. Take the live/work space Norn, for example.
Their Instagram bio may be a bit vague, but the brevity of it entices you to click on their only highlight, called “What is Norn?”
Now, in just a few seconds, you’re able to understand so much more about the business than you could ever cram into an Instagram bio. You know who they are, what they do, why they do it, and if you watch the full highlight you have all the details about where their locations are.
Instagram Aesthetic = Your Brand
Like I mentioned, your Instagram aesthetic is your first chance to make a good impression on your potential followers (and customers).
Just like your website, your Instagram profile should reflect your brand. How do you want your business to make people feel? Do you have a dominant brand color? Could people recognize your business by just looking at your photos?
The Dry Bar’s Instagram profile is one of my favorites, because it is so aligned with not only their website, but their entire brand. They use their bright yellow color not just as a brand color online, but also in their products, in their packaging, and in their stores.
So it makes sense that when you look at their Instagram profile, they’ve sprinkled their signature yellow throughout their feed:
While there are a lot of businesses that brand their profiles well, you don’t have to go to an extreme to achieve a nice Instagram aesthetic.
All that really matters it that you choose one aesthetic, whether that’s bright and white, dark and rustic, or super colorful, and then… stick to it! Looking for some inspiration? Check out these 20 Awesome Instagram Themes + How To Get Them
Your goal is to create consistency, and a great way to do that is by using the same filters or editing process on every single photo.
Instagram’s archive feature is also a great way to hide any posts that no longer fit with your aesthetic, or photos that you really wanted to post, but don’t want around forever. You can hide and un-hide photos for as long as you want without losing the comments, likes, or analytics.
Need some help creating a great Instagram aesthetic? Watch our free course, How to Create Your Instagram Aesthetic, and learn everything you need to know in 30 minutes!