Investigation of the effects of Zr-doping in silver niobate (AgNbO3) had been carried out to improve the photocatalytic performance of AgNbO3. The X-ray diffraction patterns of the AgNbO3 and Zr-doped AgNbO3 showed that the materials are pure and have no overall change in phase upon Zr-doping. The Fourier transform infrared spectra showed an intense wide band due to bonding between Nb and O which is observed within the specified range of AgNbO3. Field emission scanning electron microscopy analysis showed that the particle size decreases with increasing Zr-doping. Tauc plots derived from the UV–Vis absorption spectra showed that Zr-doping has a limited effect on band gap narrowing. Furthermore, the photoluminescence data was indicative of lowered charge recombination rate in the Zr-doped AgNbO3 compared to AgNbO3. The photocatalytic performance of Zr-doped AgNbO3 was also studied for the degradation of RhB and MB dyes under visible light.