The Basics of TikTok SEO

Add SEO to Your TikTok Marketing Strategy

Google has become a victim of its own success—with so much incentive to rank higher, businesses and website owners have resorted to some pretty shady tactics to improve their SEO. The end result is long pages of nonsense, chock-full of keywords but devoid of any real value for the reader. It’s a lose-lose situation—businesses don’t get the conversions they want, and users are left with a poor experience. The TikTok search engine offers users a solution to this problem.

What Is TikTok SEO?

For younger generations, TikTok is quickly becoming the go-to source of information that Google once was. Its platform consists of short, digestible videos that are easy to consume and often entertaining. TikTok distributes these videos through a personalized feed, called the “For You page.” But users have branched out from their For You pages to search for specific information. Where Google fails to deliver information in a timely and convenient manner, a TikTok lookup produces accurate, helpful, no-fluff results in seconds. Instead of scrolling through 3,000 words to get to the bottom of a recipe, you can watch a 60-second video and learn the same information. And instead of reading a blog post about the latest celebrity gossip, you can watch a short video and get your fill of entertainment. So it’s no surprise that 40% of Gen Z prefer TikTok over Google. So how can businesses use this to improve their marketing on TikTok? Let’s take a look at how you can use TikTok SEO to your advantage.

How Do I Search On TikTok?

The TikTok video search engine works the same way as most social media applications—to perform a search, you’ll type keywords into the search bar located at the top of the app. TikTok will then display a feed of videos related to your query. The results are displayed in order of most popular, with the most-liked and viewed videos appearing first.

How to Optimize Your TikTok Videos for SEO

To get started with SEO for TikTok, there are a few basic things you can do to enhance your appearance in search results and increase your engagement.

1. Understand your audience and their search intent.

To speak to your audience, you need to understand them—what they like, what they don’t like, and most importantly, what they’re looking for. The best way to get inside your target audience’s head is to conduct market research. You can use TikTok insights to learn more about your existing followers and see what content resonates with them. You can also look at current trends on the app to get an idea of what kind of content is popular.

2. Conduct keyword research.

Like Google, TikTok keywords match users with the most relevant content. When thinking about what keywords to use, consider what terms your target audience would use to find your content. Once you brainstorm a list of potential keywords, you can use TikTok’s search bar to find other words to target. Then, you can use the “Discover” page to see how much volume a particular hashtag has. This gives you insights into the popularity of the keyword.

3. Create useful and engaging content.

Creating useful and engaging content is social media video marketing 101. Your content should be original, and creative, and offer value to your viewers. It should also be consistent with the overall tone and aesthetic of your brand. Your content should also be visually appealing and easy to consume. Keep your videos short utilizing a video editor for TikTok —between 15 and 60 seconds—and make sure the audio is clear. Your content should also be visually appealing and easy to consume. Keep your videos short—between 15 and 60 seconds—and make sure the audio is clear.

4. Add popular audio to your video.

On TikTok, music and sounds are like hashtags—the algorithm uses them to identify relevant content. You can use trending sound clips to improve your discoverability on the TikTok lookup page. Some users even place a trending sound underneath their video and then mute it so that their video is more likely to be surfaced in the search results.

5. Optimize your posts with keywords.

TikTok keywords are placed in three key areas: your description, video title, and hashtags. TikTok now allows its users to write up to 2,200 characters in their descriptions, meaning you have plenty of space to include keywords, descriptions, and call-to-actions. When writing your description, be sure to clearly describe your content and add keywords in a natural-sounding way. You should also use hashtags to improve your chances of being discovered in search results.

It’s about your audience, not just keywords.

Remember, when you’re creating a TikTok marketing strategy, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind. Instead of trying to game the algorithm, focus on creating content that your target audience will actually want to watch and share. If you can do that, your TikTok strategy will be on its way to success.  
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