We all want new Instagram followers, but what actually happens when they visit your profile? Today, we are going to audit and optimise your Instagram profile to attract and retain your ideal followers!

We’re gonna shift how we think about growing our following, and really understanding how people funnel through your profile when they’re deciding to follow you. Or if they already follow you and they’re looking for answers to their questions. Or maybe they’ve already been following you for a long time, they’re a warm lead and they’re deciding if they want to purchase from you? Let’s begin the checklist and look at the different areas to optimise your Instagram profile!

#1. Your bio

 Your bio copy should clearly say what your brand has to offer and it should have keywords around your niche and industry. You want to avoid using generic hashtags here because if people tap them on your profile, they’re gonna completely leave your account. Instead, you wanna opt for branded hashtags. Have you checked out our article on why Instagram hashtags are so important and how you can use them in your business?

In the last line of your bio, make sure to give a very specific call-to-action. What should they do through the link in your bio to take that next step? This could be opting in for your freebie or newsletter, a coupon for your products, highlighting one of your newest product launches, or giving your availability as a service provider. Make sure that the call-to-action that you’re sharing is either in a very specific link in your bio or it’s included in the link tool that you’re using.

#2. Your profile photo

First, you need to decide between a logo or an actual photo. Our suggestion is to opt for a photo when you can because it’s gonna create more of a connection when people are seeing your little Instagram bubble in their direct messages or on their feed. This is great for service providers, coaches, teachers, educators, and personal brands.

But if you have a bigger brand or company with multiple people as part of your team, you may wanna opt for a logo. Whichever one you choose, you wanna make sure that it’s super clear and branded and  you’re using your colours. If you’re choosing a headshot, make sure it’s chest up. You want it to be as close as possible to your face and bright!

#2. Your name

When optimising your name, you wanna think of what is going to be highly searchable for your brand. Yes, you want to include your name or brand name, but you may also want to include keywords related to your industry. For example, if your profile is for a tattoo shop or if you’re a tattoo artist, you would want to have “tattoo” somewhere in your display name. This is because when people search things on Instagram, the profile name is one of the first things that will come up. And if people are looking for your brand, whether it’s a local bakery or fitness goods, they can search that and your account is more likely to show up at the top of the search results.

#4. Your bio’s link

When optimising the link in your bio, you’re gonna wanna make sure not only is it mobile-optimised for people that are joining from the Instagram app, but that it’s as specific as possible. You don’t wanna just link your homepage and have people get lost before they get to where they’re trying to go, be it shopping your offers, inquiring about services, or joining your newsletter.

The three different options for choosing what link sharing tool is going to be best is creating it natively in your own website and adding buttons or photos for people to access. It also could be using a tool like Linktree to share different links that you wanna share, or it can be a shoppable link tool for essentially making your grid shoppable or clickable, which is great for product brands.

#5: Your highlights

Highlights are the first piece of binge-able content that’s on your profile, and it’s a really great way for people to get to know your brands and stories tend to be more behind the scenes moments. Think of the highlights you’re choosing like a navigation bar of your website. There should be one where people can earn more about your services and products. You also wanna have one for your frequently asked questions or a little bit about your brand. You want it to be easy for people to find the information they want, or even binge some of your best stories content!

When picking your covers, you want them to be clear and branded, so whether this is including colours, icons, or photos. You don’t have a lotta characters for your title so make sure that it clearly says what the highlight is about in one word, or even just use emojis. Try to keep your highlights as specific as possible to one topic.

For example, this brand has different highlights for each of their individual products versus having all of them in one highlight. This makes it easy for people to find exactly what they’re looking for and making sure their highlights aren’t too long.

A big highlight tip is making sure that you’re doing a little bit of spring cleaning every month, making sure that your outdated stories are removed and new stories are added. And don’t worry if you’re trying to curate your highlights, there’s an archive option. Tap the three bars in the upper right-hand corner, then go to archive, and you’ll see all of your stories archives. By tapping the map or the calendar icon, you can then see things based on the date or location when you filmed.

#6: Your branding

And the last part of this checklist is your branding. You wanna consider all the visual elements you’re using on Instagram, in your graphics, on your stories, on your highlights, even the emojis you’re using in your captions or your copy. And the most visual part of your Instagram profile is your grid, and this is the preview of all of your feed posts. Your Instagram grid does not need to be perfect, but it should be cohesive, meaning if you’re sticking to colours, a photo editing style, or a certain format like graphics or really professional photos, you wanna stick to that.

This all comes down to first impressions, and by having a cohesive grid, it’s going to ensure that people get a really great feel on who your brand is. And this visual branding also applies to your voice and tone, which comes across in your captions, but also, how you’re talking in videos and voiceovers.

What have you implemented already when it comes to the ways to optimise your Instagram profile? Is it fully ready to convert new visitors into followers?