TikTok SEO Strategy: How to Optimize your TikTok Content for Search Results

In this guide, you will learn how to use TikTok SEO strategy for your business and how to rank your content for TikTok search results.

Have you ever wondered what determines which videos are placed at the top of TikTok search results pages? It's TikTok SEO - and now that more and more users are using TikTok as a search engine, optimizing your videos for search results is more important than ever.

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What is TikTok SEO?

TikTok SEO Strategy: How to Optimize your TikTok Content for Search Results

Simply put, TikTok SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is about optimizing content so that it is easily found by TikTok users when they use the platform's search function. Like traditional SEO, TikTok SEO involves using relevant, high-volume keywords that users are likely to search for. The difference between TikTok SEO and traditional SEO is that TikTok SEO is a relatively new concept that is just beginning to emerge as a way for brands and creators to leverage the unique behaviors of the platform's audience. Not much is known about TikTok SEO at this point, but we've picked out the best SEO strategies that will help you better optimize your content to rank in TikTok search results.

Does TikTok Use SEO?

TikTok promotes itself as an entertainment platform, not a search engine, but that doesn't stop consumers from using it as such. According to Google's internal data, nearly 40 percent of Generation Z users prefer to use TikTok and Instagram over Google search. In fact, the SVP of Google himself, Prabhakar Raghavan, said that "new internet users don't have the expectations and mindset that [Google] has grown accustomed to." Google confirmed that TikTok is nibbling away at its search business, especially among young people who value authenticity and community-validated content.

The main reason for TikTok's entry into the search business is its ability to provide users with valuable and engaging content, socially validated by a community of like-minded individuals and creators. As a platform primarily focused on authenticity, TikTok inherently works like word-of-mouth (except on a global scale), which means it amplifies the already high 92% of consumers who trust word-of-mouth before any other form of advertising. Whether it's finding customer reviews of the latest Dyson hair dryer or the best places to go out in New York City, users are turning to TikTok for information based on real-world experiences rather than paid advertisements or sponsorships from big companies.


SEO for Landing Page

Why SEO is Important for Business

How to Optimize your TikTok Content for Search Results?

Here's a simple 5-step formula to optimize your video content for TikTok SEO:

1. Knowing your audience and their search intent
2. Choose the right keywords for your video
3. Embed the keywords in your video
4. Define your hashtag strategy
5. Use the previous videos to refine your SEO strategy

1. Knowing your audience and their search intent

Before you create your content, ask yourself who you're trying to reach and what that audience might be looking for on TikTok. Are you a hair product brand looking to attract consumers looking for the best shampoos for their hair type? Or are you a new SaaS company targeting small business owners looking for tools to improve their productivity? Understanding your audience and where your brand fits into their lives is the first step to understanding the search intent of your ideal audience. Search intent reflects the information the user is looking for during their search process, which helps determine the type of content they will find relevant.

2. Choose the right keywords for your video

Understanding your target audience and their search intent facilitates the next step in the process: selecting the right keywords to use in your video. There are 3 key elements to consider when selecting keywords for TikTok SEO:

Search volume = the number of people searching for your keyword.
Relevance = the relevance of your content to the keyword searched for.
Keyword difficulty = how difficult your content is to rank for that keyword (the higher the keyword difficulty, the more competitive the ranking).

As a general rule, you should choose a keyword that has the following characteristics:

High search volume = this is a keyword that people actually search for.
High relevance = this keyword is closely related to your content.
Low keyword difficulty = this keyword is not already too saturated with related content.

That said, there is no single, foolproof formula for selecting the right keyword. In some cases, the three priorities of volume, relevance, and difficulty may contradict each other. If you're aiming for high search volume, the difficulty of the keyword will be high, as other brands and creators will likely have already created an abundance of content to address that topic. Similarly, low keyword difficulty can coincide with low relevance; just because a keyword is easy to rank for doesn't necessarily mean it's relevant to your content.

The only good answer to the question of which SEO strategy is best for TikTok is "it depends." Here are a few different strategy models for specific circumstances, depending on the brand's stage of growth and the purpose of the optimization:

To reach a niche community as a small brand, you'll want to choose a keyword with:

- Low to medium search volume
- High relevance
- Low keyword difficulty

To create content based on a gap in existing content in terms of relevance or quality, you'll want to choose a keyword with:

- High search volume
- High relevance
- Low keyword difficulty

To increase exposure and awareness with a top-of-funnel audience, you'll want to choose a keyword with:

- High search volume
- Medium relevance
- Low keyword difficulty 

The key to choosing the right keyword is to balance the three aspects of volume, relevance, and difficulty while keeping in mind the final objective of your optimization. Avoid favoring one aspect over the others and make sure that the keyword you choose is always related to the search intent of your audience.

You can use a keyword search tool such as KWFinder to help you find the right keywords for your content.

3. Embed the keywords in your video

There are 5 ways to incorporate keywords in your TikTok videos:

- In-video text
- Speech
- Captions
- Hashtags
- Automated closed captions

And if possible, all 5 options should be used.

By maximizing the different ways your target keyword appears in your video, you ensure that your content is optimized to rank high in search results for that keyword. The more you mention your keyword (within reason), the more likely the platform is to register your video as a relevant piece of content related to your keyword.

It's important to note that you should make sure your keyword is mentioned in the first three seconds of your video and appears on the cover slide. This not only lets TikTok know what your video is about but also makes it easy for your video to be recognized by people searching for information to answer their queries.

4. Define your hashtag strategy

When it comes to creating a hashtag strategy for TikTok SEO, it's not just about "the more the merrier." A good hashtag strategy aims for both breadth and depth by incorporating a combination of long-tail keywords and high-volume keywords.

Long tail keywords are longer, more specific, high intent keywords that users are more likely to use later in their search process. These searchers are no longer browsing casually and entering keywords with a specific action in mind, whether it's making a purchase, visiting a location, or answering a question. 

In contrast, high-volume keywords are typically shorter, more general keywords that are searched for by a large number of users. Ranking for high-volume keywords has the advantage of exposing your content to a large audience, but search intent will be lower and conversion rates are not likely to be as high as those for long-tail keywords.

In addition, indexing is also a good way to use your hashtags and increase discoverability for certain content series. For example, if you're planning to create a multi-part series on tips for content creators, you can use the hashtag #[account name]contentcreatortips to group together several videos that cover the same topic.

5. Use the previous videos to refine your SEO strategy

The last step isn't necessarily related to a specific video but is more of a general tip to always use previous videos as a learning tool to refine your TikTok SEO strategy for future videos. This can take the form of reusing hashtags on successful videos, creating part 2s of a certain topic that resonated with your target audience, or even reviewing comments from earlier videos to better understand what your audience is looking for. Another learning opportunity is to A/B testing similar hashtags or sets of hashtags to determine which ones actually drive traffic to your content.


Why Use Long Tail Keywords for SEO

How to Improve Ecommerce SEO

How to Use TikTok SEO Strategy for your Business

1. Redirect your TikTok audience to your website

It would be a waste if you built a good audience on TikTok without redirecting them to your website.

Your TikTok user account should not only include a short introduction about your business. Be sure to include your website in your profile to make it visible to your audience.

A company's website offers certainty to customers. Also, when you create a website funnel for your audience, you build authority. Utilize your website funnel to gain insight into how your audience interacts with your brand.

2. Cross-promote your video content

It's crucial to cross-promote your video content in your TikTok SEO strategy. Don't waste your follower count on other social media networks.

If you have followers on Twitter or Facebook, post your TikTok content on those networks. Prompt your followers to view your TikTok video and encourage them to engage.

If you want to increase your traffic and followers on TikTok, cross-promotion is the way to go.

3. Use TikTok SEO statistics to understand your audience

As with any social media platform, analytics serves as a template for your business. TikTok analytics takes the guesswork out of it.

It provides detailed information about your audience and their behavior. It shows which TikTok content gets the most interaction and how many clicks and visits your profile gets.

4. Optimize and create engaging video content

Be creative with your content, but make sure it is also optimized for search engines.

Your video content should not be longer than 60 seconds. So be sure you already have a good TikTok content strategy in place.

Pay attention to the title and description of your videos. You can use long-tail keywords in your description to make it informative. Long tail keywords optimize your video content.

It is also important to note that your TikTok videos should also be engaging. Open-ended questions invite your audience to engage with your content.

Browse your profile and listen to what your audience is saying. Develop customer loyalty by answering comments with relevant information.

The majority of TikTok users are looking for entertainment. If you want your business to be talked about on the platform by trending. Use popular hashtags or trending background music for your video content.

TikTok SEO Strategy: How to Optimize your TikTok Content for Search Results

The Future of TikTok SEO

Despite its newness, the future of TikTok SEO is bright. The "TikTok SEO" hashtag on TikTok already has more than 26 million views, as creators and brand social media managers begin to realize the importance of optimizing their content for search. Based on a report from Cloudflare, TikTok ended Google's 15-year reign as the world's most visited web domain in 2021. If TikTok's rise to the top is indicative of one thing, it's that the way users search for and consume information has fundamentally changed. Consumers are no longer looking for information from the largest or most established sources; they're looking for visually appealing, socially validated and authentically trustworthy information - and with TikTok SEO, brands can certainly capitalize on this shift.

Whether you're just starting to introduce your brand on TikTok or looking to take your brand's TikTok content to the next level, you can check out these TikTok content creators to help you grow your brand's TikTok account.

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