Over the past few years, TikTok has risen through the ranks to claim a seat among the top five global social media platforms (i.e., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, with the addition of TikTok). Today, the video-sharing giant boasts over 800 million monthly users worldwide, and marketers are itching to engage with such a substantial user base. Keep reading to learn about the growing importance of TikTok SEO and best practices for ranking on the platform.
What is TikTok SEO?
TikTok SEO is the practice of optimizing content on the popular video-sharing platform to increase visibility in search engine results. It’s an important concept for businesses and creators looking to get maximum exposure for their posts, as 37% of users discover new products and services on TikTok. So it’s no wonder videos mentioning “TikTok SEO” have collected over 1.2 billion views on the platform.
Benefits of TikTok SEO
TikTok SEO offers a variety of benefits for businesses and creators alike. The most obvious is visibility—by optimizing content around popular keywords, posts have a better chance of appearing at the top of search engine results. This can significantly increase the number of potential viewers, as more people will be exposed to the content.
Additionally, optimizing TikTok content around popular keywords ensures that posts reach the right audience—people likely to be interested in what the post offers.
How TikTok is Becoming a Search Engine
It’s no secret that Gen Z loves TikTok. In fact, according to a Google Senior VP, approximately 40% of Gen Z use TikTok and Instagram as search engines. Realizing this potential, TikTok is now leaning further into its search engine functionality. This can be seen in its recent testing of a feature that highlights keywords in comments and links them to search results. This feature makes it easier for users to find relevant content and provides an opportunity for creators to optimize their posts around popular keywords.
Further, TikTok offers more personalized results and videos that quickly summarize information. This further proves that TikTok is becoming the go-to search engine for Gen Z.
While search engines like Google previously refrained from showing posts from social platforms, today, SERPs are actively indexing social media posts and TikTok videos.
TikTok SEO Strategy
The TikTok algorithm considers the following factors when ranking content: user interactions, video information, and device and account settings.
The kinds of interactions the algorithm tracks include likes, comments, shares, viewing time, and videos added to users’ favorites or videos that users have hidden.
Video information is where creators and businesses have the most control over the performance of their TikTok content. This entails optimizing posts with relevant keywords in titles, captions, thumbnails, and hashtags related to the content and trending audio. Effectively leveraging keywords and hashtags improves discoverability to boost engagements and reach. In addition, since increasing its character limit from 300 to 2,200 in descriptions, there is more space and flexibility to optimize TikTok content for improved searchability. However, avoid keyword stuffing, which will entail a negative ranking factor.
Currently, TikTok does not offer tools to determine which words or phrases users search for on the app. However, you can use the platform’s search bar to type in keywords and analyze the presence or lack thereof for each. Then, select the keywords that align with your content to improve your chances of landing in TikTok search.
Compared to user interactions and video information, device and account settings carry less weight in TikTok rankings. Nonetheless, TikTok’s algorithm factors in device type, language preference, and country setting when recommending videos to users. For instance, the algorithm is more inclined to show users TikTok videos from their respective countries.
Know Your Audience to Boost TikTok SEO
In addition to leveraging the previous SEO techniques, another way to improve your ranking in TikTok search is by understanding your target audience. The platform’s Audience Insights tool provides valuable data like demographics, interests, behaviors, and hashtags your audience gravitates toward. Utilizing these insights to know your audience and what kind of content they’re attracted to serves to better inform your marketing strategy and rank higher in TikTok search.
TikTok SEO is essential for businesses and creators looking to increase visibility and reach a wider audience. With the recent trend of Gen Z using TikTok and Instagram as search engines, TikTok is leaning further into its search engine functionality, providing more personalized results and videos that quickly summarize information. As TikTok continues to grow, businesses and creators need to understand the importance of TikTok SEO and how to incorporate it into their posts.
Ready to take your TikTok SEO to the next level? Contact Overdrive Interactive to speak with one of our marketing experts on how we can enhance your SEO strategies.