Guide to TikTok SEO

August 7th 2023 by Rachael Schuette

What is TikTok SEO?

TikTok SEO is optimizing your TikTok content with keywords to improve visibility and ranking on the platform and beyond. It’s basically SEO digital marketing, except your search engine is social media; in this case, TikTok. To achieve results, it's important to understand TikTok's algorithm, your niche, and your audience. Then you must formulate a plan of action that best aligns and works with each of these things.

The TikTok SEO algorithm is a complex system that’s always evolving. It takes into account many factors like relevance, consistency, engagement, and video quality. To get on its good side, you need to create a TikTok SEO strategy that not only resonates with your audience but also encourages engagement.

So, how does TikTok SEO work? It involves creating a TikTok SEO strategy that consists of 3 main components:

  • Identifying your target audience
  • Researching relevant keywords
  • Optimizing your content with those keywords
SEO for TikTok also includes staying up-to-date with the latest TikTok trends and best practices because it can improve your ranking tremendously!

Where Can TikToks Rank?

The 2 main places where TikTok video rankings can be found include:

1. Ranking on TikTok

Make sure to concentrate on optimizing your material for the TikTok search page and the TikTok FYP (For You Page) if you want to win over the Tiktok SEO Algorithm.

  • Rank on the TikTok Search Page: include relevant keywords and hashtags in your video title, description, and tags is key.
  • Rank on Tiktok Users’ FYP: the main focus should be creating high-quality content that your target audience can relate to and engage with, while optimizing with keywords.
Keep in mind that the TikTok algorithm loves videos with high engagement rates, so encouraging viewers to like, comment, and share can make a huge difference!

2. Ranking on Google

Getting Your TikTok Videos on Google is a great way to increase brand visibility, especially for enterprise and national brands! TikTok videos can show up in multiple places on Google, but to appear on the search results page, Google has to be able to successfully index the video.

Google indexing TikTok means that the search engine is able to crawl and index content from TikTok. This is why keyword research and an effective TikTok SEO strategy is vital.

Not only must Google be able to crawl and index your videos on TikTok, but your videos’ keywords and intent must align with users’ Google searches that result in the population of TikToks on Google’s SERP. Although keywords are extremely important, there will always be a multitude of additional factors Google will take into account for each video when determining what content should be included in the search results. Of course, this is all extremely new for Google and will more than likely change over the coming months!

How to Do TikTok Keyword Research

As you can see, keyword research is an important part of TikTok SEO, just like research is the most important part of “traditional” search engine optimization. To do TikTok keyword research, you should:

1. Define Your TikTok Audience

Understanding your TikTok target audience can help you identify relevant keywords that will best resonate with them. A good TikTok SEO tip is to research factors such as age, gender, interests, and location.

2. Find Target Keywords on TikTok

Utilize the TikTok search bar to search for trending hashtags on Tiktok as well as useful keywords related to the niche you’re targeting. You can even check out the “others search for” section to analyze what keywords and hashtags are related to your target keyword.

3. Use Traditional SEO Tools

Along with using the keyword research tools on TikTok, you can also use traditional SEO keyword research tools like SEMRush, AHREFS, Google Search Console, Answer the Public, and more! You can even use Google itself, which is especially helpful to see what search terms populate videos on the SERP! This means there’s ranking potential for a TikTok video!

How to Add Keywords on TikTok

TikTok SEO incorporates relevant keywords not only on the post, but on the video itself as well. Listed below are all the places you need to add your keywords to ensure your video is optimized for search, which will help your video go from invisible to visible!

Add Keywords on the Video Itself

The #1 rule — always add text within the TikTok app, not a 3rd party editor.

Then, you can utilize tools and methods to add helpful text like:

  • Manual Closed Caption is one of the most effective ways to add keywords to your video. It allows you to add text to your video by selecting “Text” on the editing screen and typing in the text you want to appear.
  • TikTok’s Text-to-Speech Tool automatically generates captions based on the audio in your video. FYI: It’s a quick and easy option but there’s a chance of it not accurately capturing the keywords you’re targeting.
  • Text Hook on Video is another way to add text to your video. It’s a short piece of content that appears at the beginning of your video, which can be an effective way to grab viewers’ attention while including keywords at the same time.

Add Keywords on the Post

Using keywords on the post is another effective way to do SEO on TikTok. Some other TikTok SEO tips include using:

  • TikTok Captions that best describe your content and has primary keywords.
  • Relevant Hashtags because they allow users to find your content based on specific keywords relevant to your target audience.

TikTok Hashtag Hack

When using hashtags, be sure to include at least 3 hashtags for the who, the what, and the why: Who you’re talking to, what you’re talking about, and why you’re talking about it.

Hashtag Hack Example: A photographer posts a video about picture taking tips. Hashtags could include:

  • Who: #photographersoftiktok #beginnerphotographers #photographytiktok
  • What: #photographytips #lightingtips #posingtips #photographyforbeginners
  • Why: #howtotakebetterpictures #learnphotography #takebetterphotos

How to Check Your TikTok’s Ranking + Performance

Use the TikTok Search Bar for Keyword Ranking

If your videos start ranking for what you want them to rank for, there’s a high chance that your engagement and following will have increased as well!

Use TikTok “Video Analysis” Features

1. Check the “Viewers” Tab for Audience

When using this, it reveals the top level demographics for a specific video including age range, gender, top countries, and top cities.

2. Check the “Performance” Tab for Engagement

This TikTok SEO tool reports how users interacted with a specific video which shows you what content appeals or doesn’t appeal to your audience. It shows data on things like: new followers, average watch time, total play time, likes, shares, views, retention rate, etc.

Another good TikTok SEO tool is the TikTok retention rate. It reveals how long users stay to watch your video before scrolling. This is especially useful after the first 3 seconds, as it will inform you if your videos’ hooks are working or if you need to rethink your strategy!

Why is TikTok SEO Important?

TikTok has gained immense popularity, particularly among Gen Z users, and is now being used as a search engine in its own right.

Thanks to its engaging experience, TikTok overtakes Google in regards to engagement and genuineness. Optimizing your content for organic search on TikTok and other platforms can help increase visibility, reach a larger audience, and even surpass Google as well as other competitors! The popularity of influencers, short-form videos, and TikTok is here to stay, and it’s up to you to ensure your business can keep up instead of becoming a sign of the times. Gen Z and Millenials are the future; it’s time to start acting like it!

So you’re ready to grow, but not sure where to start? Well, you’re in luck! Click Here Digital has been dominating the digital marketing realm for 30 years, and we’re not going to quit now! No matter if you have a small business and are looking for a law firm marketing agency, a car dealership marketing agency, a healthcare agency, or any other type of local business markteting, CHD is here to help. Don’t worry, we can help if you’re an enterprise business or an e-commerce brand too! From social media and SEO Agency to SEM and display, we've got exactly what you need! Give us a call or schedule a consultation to future-proof your biz today!

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