Jul 12
how to perform instagram seo in 2023

Identify Perfect Hashtags for Your Niche, Based On Their Competition Score and Potential Reach Analysis

Let’s discuss Instagram hashtag SEO! If you’re looking to optimize your hashtag strategy and effectively reach your target audience, our comprehensive blog post is here to equip you with the knowledge and up-to-date strategies needed to master hashtag analysis and conduct impactful hashtag research.

It’s still true – at the core of successful Instagram growth lies the discovery and selection of the right hashtags. This guide is designed by Kate (hello there!) to arm you with an in-depth understanding of hashtag research, IQ Hashtags metrics, and the benefits they offer to ambitious creators and business owners like you! Ready? To begin, begin!


Instagram Hashtag SEO: Is Hashtag Research Still a Thing in 2023?


Yes. According to Adam Mosseri, @creators profile on Instagram and social media trends, you need to focus on both creating high-quality content and hashtag optimization to rank well on Instagram in 2023.

Hashtags still matter more than you might think, but we need to remember that not all hashtags are created equal and not all of them are going to help you gain the discoverability you deserve (and dream of).

In my experience, if you want your posts and Reels to rank high, you also need to focus on high-quality Instagram stories and authentic engagement. And avoid BANNED HASHTAGS, at all cost. Good news? There are smart tools like our IQ Hashtags that will tell you which hashtags are good to go with and which are simply dead, dangerous or have no use at all.

how to choose the right hashtags and keywords on instagram in 2023

Why Instagram SEO and Good Hashtag Research Should Be Your Priority?

Hashtags have always been at the heart of Instagram – but of course,their importance has changed a bit over the past years. In 2023, it’s all about value and entertainment for the user – as that’s what Instagram algorithm updates richly rewards.

But look – hashtags still have a big part to play in this. To reach your potential followers, to make your content searchable, you need to boost your discoverability. You can’t just hope for the best and wait till the right people find you. You need to help them and make friends with the Instagram algorithms at the same time.

In a Nutshell, Hashtags Are Still Very Relevant!


Adapting and evolving – that’s the golden formula to follow when deciding on your hashtag strategy. Think of yourself as an Instagram user.

Imagine what hashtags you would search for and what value you would gain from searching your niche. Consider this using advanced data and automated tools like our IQ Hashtags to provide a statistical analysis evidencing your hashtag strategy.

how to choose the right instagram keywords and hashtags in 2023

Good and Bad Hashtags – How to Identify Them?

Creating easy-to-digest carousels and engaging posts and Reels is one thing – but that won’t be enough on its own anymore. Prioritize hashtag relevancy and ensure your content naturally relates to all of your hashtags, so your audience sticks around. Hashtags with related meanings offer highest relevancy, allowing Instagram to understand your content clearly.

Banned hashtags. Certain hashtags are “restricted” on Instagram, which means either that they are completely banned or temporarily blocked.  What is the strangest, is that Instagram is not transparent about which hashtags are on the list! That’s why the smartest solution is to always scan your hashtags with the tool that has the most up-to-date list of banned hashtags (like our IQ Hashtags). 

how to grow your instagram in 2023 with instagram seo

High-performing hashtags. Finding your niche’s most valuable hashtags can be achieved easily by using IQ Hashtags as well (ha, I guess that doesn’t surprise you anymore – we wanted to meet all your Instagram needs!). 

how to use instagram seo to grow on instagram in 2023

Once you’ve got your best searching parameters established, name it “High Value Hashtags” and, please, please, pretty please: SAVE IT FOR LATER. This will allow you to continuously stay on top of your most valuable hashtags without any additional effort.

What Metrics Should You Focus on the Most?

By leveraging the power of IQ Hashtags Hashtag Search feature, you can easily uncover valuable insights about each hashtags, discovering relevant hashtags that resonate with your target audience. It serves as your Instagram compass, guiding you towards the hashtags that hold the potential to unlock the full potential of your posts and Reels.

Next to each hashtag you can see a few metrics. What do they mean? Which ones are the most important?

Competition Score. If you have a hard time figuring out whether a hashtag is too competitive for you or not, this metric should help you to have a better idea before you pick it. When we are doing hashtag research we want to evaluate how competitive the hashtag is and make strategic decisions based upon this. 

how to use competition score on instagram to leverage instagram seo in 2023

Competition Score is a great measure of how difficult it is to rank high for a given hashtag. Use this information to inform your decisions! Why is Competition Score so powerful? The power of this metric is in the ease of information that you can get rather than having to look through Instagram data manually.

Potential Reach. Hashtag potential reach is the potential audience that a specific hashtag can help your post or Reel connect with. This is a metric that rates the potential of the hashtag, to give you an idea how much potential it holds. Specifically, it gives you an idea of the potential of your hashtag to reach a larger search audience.

how to track potential reach on instagram to grow with instagram seo

Protip: a perfect hashtag has a low competition score and a high potential reach!

When you take the time to learn how to conduct hashtag research, you are much better prepared to create a content strategy that can be used to deliver your posts to your target audience consistently and effortlessly. Ready to start your hashtag research?!

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