And along came TikTok, a revolutionary platform that is reshaping the way we engage with content — 15 to 60 seconds at a time. With its explosive rise to popularity, the app has not only become a hub of creativity and entertainment but also a fertile ground for businesses and content creators seeking to expand their reach.
With over 1 billion monthly active users spending more time on TikTok than even Instagram and YouTube, the concept of going viral has taken on a new dimension. However, capturing users’ attention requires more than just catchy dance moves; it demands a strategic approach, which is precisely where TikTok SEO comes into play.
How exactly do top creators ensure their videos land on the coveted “For You” page? More importantly, can your brand replicate this success? Absolutely. Here’s how to create a TikTok SEO strategy that will harness the power of this game-changing app.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Invest in TikTok?
- 2 TikTok SEO’s Key Ranking Factors
- 3 Crafting a Winning TikTok SEO Strategy
- 4 Maximize Your Content’s Reach and Impact
Why Invest in TikTok?
TikTok may seem like just a bunch of random videos; from crazy to mundane, but there’s more than meets the eye. Behind the scenes is a highly-intuitive algorithm that uses machine learning to show content based on users’ preferences. This is what makes it more than just another video-sharing app — crack the code to this algorithm with good content and effective TikTok SEO and you will see better engagement regardless of your follower count.
But it’s not just about the algorithm. The line between organic and sponsored content blurs on TikTok, thanks to influencers and diverse sponsorship avenues. This enables brands to take advantage of trends by seamlessly infusing brand promotions into current topics.
The statistics also present a strong case for investing resources in TikTok. As one of the world’s most downloaded apps, its users spend an astonishing average of 89 minutes on the platform every day. Particularly significant for businesses is the fact that users demonstrate a willingness to make purchases on the platform, as evidenced by the $6.3 billion in lifetime consumer spending on TikTok in 2022. If these figures don’t motivate you to embrace TikTok marketing for your brand, we don’t know what will!
With that in mind, let’s get into one of the best ways to improve your brand’s visibility on the app: SEO.
TikTok SEO’s Key Ranking Factors
Like with all search engines, ranking on TikTok isn’t propelled by chance. Its algorithm uses a series of factors to determine how content is showcased and engaged with.
The below factors, which are outlined in TikTok’s guidelines, are what you need to consider when creating your TikTok SEO strategy.
1. Video Engagement
TikTok is not just about passive scrolling; it’s about actively engaging. The app’s algorithm takes notice when users enthusiastically respond to content through likes, shares, comments, and other interactions.
This engagement is the heartbeat of TikTok’s community-driven ecosystem, so much so that it does not consider a user’s follower base as a ranking factor. The more engaging your content, regardless of whether you have five followers or five million, the more the algorithm surfaces it to broader audiences. If you’re not already allocating a big part of your budget to your video content marketing, this is your cue!
2. The Discover Tab
TikTok’s very own search engine, the Discover tab allows users to explore fresh and captivating content beyond their immediate connections. Using TikTok SEO to gain a favorable rank on this tab can make your content a prominent landmark that expands your reach exponentially. In fact, nearly 40% of Gen Z users prefer TikTok over Google Search and Maps for discovery purposes.
3. Video Content
Authenticity is the currency that drives engagement on this app. The videos that get the most views are those that resonate—whether through humor, inspiration, or education. And unlike other social apps, audio isn’t just a backdrop on TikTok. The algorithm favors videos that use trending audio clips or mention TikTok SEO keywords.
4. Cookies and Personalization
The more users interact on the app, the more personalized their content recommendations become. Not only does TikTok learn users’ interests and tailor their feed to match, but it also collects data from other websites that they visit.
5. Physical Location
Geographical location, while not a dominant factor, does exert a subtle influence on content visibility. TikTok’s algorithm takes the location of users into account to a certain extent when determining content relevance.
It’s important to note, however, that location is not a primary driver of content reach or engagement. While the algorithm may slightly tailor content recommendations based on geographic context, the broader dynamics of content performance, such as likes, shares, and comments, remain the primary drivers of its visibility and reach.
6. Native Content
Last but not least, TikTok’s algorithm is finely attuned to the unique features and preferences of its platform. When you create content within the app itself, you optimize your content for TikTok’s specific format, style, and user behaviors, which ultimately contributes to better algorithmic recognition and reach. Companies that use TikTok’s creative tools saw 14 times more engagement in 2021 than those that didn’t.
So, how can you use these ranking factors to boost your TikTok SEO?
Crafting a Winning TikTok SEO Strategy
This is what you need to do to elevate your TikTok presence and increase visibility and engagement using SEO on the app.
1. Understand Your Viewers
This is where you should start, seeing as engagement is the most important ranking factor on the app. There’s no better way to create content that resonates deeply and stands out amidst the sea of videos than to comprehend your target audience’s preferences, behaviors, and interests.
Conduct thorough audience research to gain insights into who they are, what they enjoy, and what engages them. This knowledge will guide your content decisions, ensuring relevance and appeal.
2. Do Your Keyword Research
Once you identify your audience’s favorite content, the next step is to find relevant and trending keywords that align with your topics.
There are a few ways to conduct effective TikTok SEO keyword research on the app:
- Use the search bar: TikTok’s search bar is the best place to explore topics related to your content. Type in keywords or phrases that are relevant to your niche to see the auto-suggestions that pop up as you type. These will give you insight into popular search queries. In the example below, the search term “TikTok dances” brought up a series of other keywords.
- Explore hashtags: Hashtags are a powerful way to identify trending topics. Search for the ones that are relevant to your content and see how many views they have to gain an idea of their popularity. It’s best to use hashtags that are currently trending or have a high number of views for your TikTok SEO.
- Analyze popular content: Search for content similar to what you plan to create, paying close attention to the captions and descriptions of these videos. The recurring keywords that creators are using to describe their content can provide you with inspiration for your own keywords. Similarly, browse through trending sounds that are relevant to your niche. These audio clips often come with associated hashtags and can help you discover relevant keywords.
- Observe competitors: Study the content of your competitors or creators in your niche. What keywords are they using in their captions, descriptions, and hashtags? While you shouldn’t copy their exact keywords, this can give you ideas for keywords that might work for your TikTok SEO.
- Leverage TikTok analytics: If you have a TikTok Pro account, you can access analytics about your content’s performance to find out which keywords and hashtags are driving views and engagement for your videos.
Remember that TikTok is a dynamic platform where trends quickly change. Regularly update your keyword strategy to stay relevant and capitalize on emerging trends.
It might sound obvious, but building your content around trending audio clips and hashtags can significantly boost your TikTok SEO efforts. Joining these trends makes it more likely for users who are actively participating in these challenges or exploring related content to come across your videos.
Don’t forget to infuse your own creativity and unique style into your videos. Stand out from the crowd and make your videos more memorable by putting your personal spin on the trend and using interactive content.
4. Infuse the Keywords Into Your Content
Once you have your content ready, it’s time to strategically incorporate those carefully-chosen keywords.
There are numerous places to include TikTok SEO keywords:
- Within video titles and captions
- On on-screen text such as explanations or subtitles
- Your video’s audio or dialogue
- Among the hashtags that accompany your caption
- TikTok’s expanded video description field
- Your username, bio, and profile description
Remember, the goal is to integrate keywords in a way that feels seamless and enhances the overall quality of your videos. Avoid overloading your content with keywords, as this can make it seem unnatural and less engaging.
5. Embed TikTok Videos in Other Content
Finally, cross-promotion across channels is a great way of increasing your videos’ engagement, which boosts your TikTok SEO efforts.
Extend the reach of your TikTok SEO strategy beyond the platform by embedding your TikTok videos in external content such as blogs or websites. This additional exposure introduces your content to fresh eyes and attracts new followers, extends your content’s lifespan, and enhances your online presence in different contexts.
Simply copy the HTML embed code of your video and paste it into the HTML editor of your blog or website, making sure to encourage your audience to engage with the content and follow your TikTok account.
Maximize Your Content’s Reach and Impact
There you have it. Incorporate these strategies into your TikTok SEO game plan and you’re sure to start seeing results almost immediately. Remember, understanding your audience and crafting engaging content are the cornerstones of any successful marketing endeavor.
Want to unlock the full potential of TikTok for your business? Reach out to Coalition Technologies today to learn how to supercharge your visibility and elevate your brand through an effective TikTok SEO strategy.