Welcome, welcome, TikTok content creators.
Today we gather here to talk about the best strategies to reach more people with your videos. We’ll talk about Google and TikTok SEO, why you should be on TikTok, and some tips to rank higher on the search engine.
So keep reading for some juicy details on TikTok SEO.
Happy content creation. And make the search engines ever in your favor!
Some TikTok statistics
TikTok is one of the most engaging platforms there are. Statista showed that the average TikTok user is spending 95 minutes per day watching TikTok videos.
Although the app is popular amongst a young audience, people of any age use it, and was, in fact, the number 1 most download app in the first quarter of 2022.
As you can see, against some governments’ efforts, TikTok is an extremely strong platform. And if you have any second thoughts about privacy, here is what you have to know: TikTok’s privacy policies are no different from other social media platforms.
The main issue that concerns US politicians seems to be its Chinese ownership. For more on the topic, head to this article.
What is TikTok SEO?
So as we know, SEO is the practice of optimizing your content to appear on search engines. Typically, when we talk about SEO, we refer to a website with blog articles or an e-commerce site that wants to rank higher in Google results, that is, organic search.
But this too can apply to TikTok videos, since they are also indexed on Google and appear on the search engine results page.
Now, there are two ways to search for TikTok videos. One is, as we were saying, to look for the video from Google itself, as you’ll do with any other piece of content.
But there’s also a more natural way, so to speak, that is inside the app itself. TikTok has, after all, its own search bar and the results you find are optimized content.
Sadly, as it’s still such a new app, there are no tools to help you optimize your SEO on TikTok. Famous SEO software like Ahrefs and SEMrush don’t work with TikTok.
Differences between Google and TikTok
Now, as you could see from the images above, the results I got for the same search differ from Google to TikTok. This can be explained by many factors: for example, my Google search might have been set for one region, and TikTok for another one.
But apart from their own changeable settings, Google and TikTok’s results can vary because they operate on different logics.
When we look at Google SEO or Google ranking factors, we always talk about keywords. Finding the right keywords for your content is essential.
But there are other criteria that Google keeps in mind such as referral links, freshness, relevance and schema markup. TikTok of course also prefers new content to old one, but Google UX Signals can’t be applied to TikTok.
If you wish to focus on an in-depth strategy to optimize your content for Google, please check our post on Google UX Signals.
Social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok are also considered “authoritative” sites by Google, that’s why their content tends to rank in the first results. So you don’t need to bother too much with optimizing for Google but rather TikTok itself.
Moving away from Google to TikTok’s own “search engine”, we find some similarities with Google. Let’s see some useful things to consider:
Learn about your audience
Engaging with your audience is an essential part of any content strategy, no matter the platform. This implies doing intentional research on your audience’s interests and creating content that resonates with them.
For this exact purpose, TikTok has Audience Insights. With Audience Insights you can, amongst other things:
- Discover the top 10 hashtags your audience is interested in.
- Filter your audience by those who have interacted with a hashtag, by category of creators or by engagement.
- Segment your audiences by language, country and even device price!
Once you know what your audience likes, the next step is to:
Create engaging content
TikTok really appreciates you knowing your audience as well as possible and also interacting with them! That’s why they have a unique feature that allows you to respond to a comment with another video.
The video-reply format allows you to truly connect with users and make them feel seen. It turns one-sided communication into two-sided communication.
Similarly, it’s very important you incorporate TikTok Sounds in your videos (and carousels) to get visibility. I mean, TikTok became popular for its trending audio so if you’re not using them, I wonder, what are you doing?
The trending songs and audio effects are fun and allow you to reach a wider audience. Sometimes they are the difference between an easily forgotten video and a video that goes viral.
To know what sounds are popular, you’ll need to be a viewer yourself and spend some time on the For You page. You can also go to Trend Discovery and filter by country. Inside the song, you’ll see the audience’s age range and related interests.
When using sounds, I recommend paying attention to the context they are used in. They are typically part of a bigger trend you can jump in and, that way, don’t have to think about new content ideas.
Another cool feature of TikTok you can use to engage more users is stitching another person’s video or creating a duet. Interacting with other content creators will help you reach a wider audience and create connections.
Find your keywords
As we mentioned before, keywords are a classic point to keep in mind in any SEO strategy. Although TikTok is a platform heavily focused on videos, there’s still some space for written words and with that, using keywords.
Last year, the app increased its description character limit from 300 characters to 2,200 characters.
This update has allowed creators to have more freedom when adding keywords.
To conduct keyword research, you simply need to go to TikTok and enter a query related to your content in the search bar. For example, if you talk about books, write “books” and see all the popular keywords related to the topic:
To get more ideas, write your keyword followed by a single letter and let TikTok show you all the keywords that begin with that letter. Repeat that process until you have your list of relevant keywords.
You can also turn to the Audience Insights tool to make more in-depth research. When you type in a keyword, it will give you a list of related keywords along with a breakdown of their popularity, popularity change, and click-through rate.
Another option is TikTok Keywords, which gives you a list of popular phrases related to the keywords you’ve typed in.
How to use keywords and hashtags
After you have your keywords, use them!
Add them in your titles, descriptions, and any on-screen text (like explanations). You can also add your most relevant keyword to your profile.
Also, say them out loud in your videos!
Yes, being a video platform, the TikTok algorithm takes into account what you say in your videos.
As to hashtags, they are equally important and should be present in your description. Like keywords, it’s good to find a balance between highly popular and very competitive hashtags and way too specific hashtags that nobody will find.
Some accounts use very broad-term hashtags alongside niche or branded hashtags.
This booktoker uses two highly popular hashtags as well as one branded hashtag:
Another useful TikTok SEO strategy is promoting your videos in different places.
This is usually done when you create content through different platforms so you mention on Instagram that you also have a TikTok account. But it can go further than that.
For example, you can create a blog or microblog where you cover similar topics than you do on TikTok and so you embed the TikTok video on your blog post.
TikTok has been doing nothing but thriving since 2020. It gives content creators a truly unique way to reach and connect with their audiences. So this is your time to seize the opportunity and start creating great, rich and optimized TikTok videos that win you a ton of engagement.
I hope this post gave you some clues as to where to start with your TikTok SEO strategy.
Share with us in the comments what has been your experience creating content on TikTok!
Do you have other tips to optimize TikTok SEO?