A phone mockup with Sked Social's Instagram bio displayed.

8-Step Guide to a Watertight Instagram Bio Audit in 2024

May 23, 2024
Rachel Ramsay

An Instagram bio is the top half of your Instagram profile, and it’s the first thing people see when they land on your page. Think of it a little like a boutique’s window display on a busy shopping street—it has to be sparkly enough to attract attention, while offering an intriguing hint as to what people can expect inside. So where do you begin when making sure your bio is pulling its weight? Follow this step-by-step guide to conduct a thorough Instagram bio audit.

In this guide we’ll cover:

  • Key elements to consider when you’re crafting your Instagram bio
  • Best practice to follow
  • Common mistakes to avoid

Step 1: Define your Instagram goals

Before you touch anything, it pays to take a step back and consider what you’re hoping your Instagram presence will achieve for your brand. 

If you’re running eCommerce, your aim might be to usher people from your Instagram profile to your online store as quickly as possible. 

If you’re aiming for brand awareness, you might want to encourage people to follow your Instagram account, so your content is seen by more people, more regularly.

If you want them to get in touch with your sales team, it’s probably all about prompting people to message, call, or email you.

Think about what action you’re hoping someone will take when they land on your page—because that should determine every other decision you make. 

Step 2: Choose a bold, clear profile picture

If you’re running an account for a brand, usually your profile picture will be your logo. After all, it’s your most recognizable brand asset.

Select a version that’s best for Instagram—one that can effectively represent your brand in a small, circular format. Think bold and minimal. 

Many brand kits include numerous versions of the logo, from a full-color version (usually found in hero spots like packaging and websites) to a simplified or icon version (perfect for small spaces). 

If you use the full-bells-and-whistles version, the detail will likely get lost when it’s sized down, and people might not even recognize it. 

Opt for the version that stands out and looks clearest when it’s micro-sized.

Step 3: Optimize your name for searchability 

Different to your Instagram handle, your name appears in bold lettering directly beneath your profile picture. 

You’ll get 30 characters to play with—use them wisely! There’s room to say a little bit more than just your brand name, and since Instagram’s search function takes names into account, it pays to make use of this space.

For instance, if you’re running an account for ‘Linens’, an online bedsheet store specializing in linen, you could use the space to say, 

‘Linens | Linen sheet store’, or ‘Linens | Buy linen bedding’, meaning that Instagram users looking to buy linen have a better chance of stumbling upon your page. 

Consider the keywords you could include to enhance your discoverability, then do your best to wrestle them into 30 characters. 

Step 4: Consider whether you want a Threads link

If you sign up to Threads using your Instagram account, Instagram will automatically add a Threads button to your bio. 

That’s all well and good if you actively post to Threads, but if not, it’s cluttering up valuable space on your Instagram profile. Even worse, it might direct people to a page that’s not the best reflection of your brand.

If you want to keep it, go for it. But if not, you can toggle it off. Go to your profile, tap ‘Edit profile’, and find the button that says ‘Show Threads badge’. 

Step 5: Polish your bio description

When writing your Instagram bio description, ask yourself: what action do you most want people to take when they land on your page? 

Write a call to action in your Instagram bio that nudges them to do exactly that, and dangle an incentive.

For instance, if you’re aiming to pull people onto your online store, can you offer a discount? Or nod to an irresistible point of difference?

For instance: Portuguese-made ceramics, delivered to your door. Free shipping for first-time orders. Shop now at the link below👇

If you’re aiming to have people follow you, speak to them directly, and tell them what type of content they can expect to find on your page. 

Let’s get your garden growing strong. Follow for:
🌤️​ Seasonal planting guides
🌸 How-to-care-for videos
🪴 Makeover before & afters

Top tip: Technically, Instagram will let you use more than 150 characters for your bio description. But anything beyond 150 will be collapsed behind a ‘Read more’ button, so won’t be visible at first glance. Do your best to sharpen your key message into 150 characters, so no important information gets left unseen. 

And what about emojis? 

Emojis can be a handy way of adding color and spark to your bio. But keep it to around 3-4 emojis max. Not only can emoji overload start to clutter the look of your profile, but they’re hard for people using screen readers to navigate. 

Step 6: Check your link is leading people to the right place

Even if your primary aim is to have people hit ‘follow’ when they land on your bio, there might still be times it’s handy to ferry your audience to an external link. 

This is where the ‘link in bio’ function comes in. 

Instagram will let you add up to five links in your bio. However, external tools (like SkedLink) provide a slick interface that reflects the look of your Instagram grid. This makes it easy to direct users to external pages that relate to specific Instagram posts—a blog post that expands on one of your Reels, for instance.

The option that's best for you depends on where you’re directing users. 

Regardless, an Instagram bio audit is the perfect time to make sure the links are up-to-date, and directing people to the right place. 

Step 7: Add helpful contact information

Instagram will give you the option to add an email address, a phone number, a physical address, Instagram audio calling, or a WhatsApp business phone number. 

It all comes back to what your priority goals are. Using those goals as your guide, select which contact information—if any—is right for you.

If you’re running a cafe, adding a physical address might be a great way to attract locals or tourists. 

If you’re prompting people to get in touch with your sales team, an email address or phone number could be a handy addition. 

Choose the option that best supports your business goals.

Step 8: Select the right call-to-action buttons

As well as external links, Instagram gives you multiple options for call-to-action buttons: Order Food, Book Now, Reserve, and Learn More. 

These buttons can integrate with common external platforms, like booking and reservation managers, making them easy to slot into your existing processes. 

Pick the ones that make most sense for your business. 

Looking forward: Review your Instagram bio every month

Be sure to regularly audit your Instagram profile—around once per month is good. 

Consider whether there are more current sales or promotions you could incorporate into your bio description, and whether your name best reflects what customers are searching for. 

Most months, you likely won’t change anything—but by checking regularly, you can make sure you’re always ahead of the game. 

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