Your Practical Guide to TikTok SEO (2023)

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Did you know there are over 1 billion monthly active TikTok users worldwide? It was announced by no less than TikTok itself in September 2021, making this platform the sixth most active social media channel.

But here’s the catch: 40% of Gen Z prefer TikTok over traditional search engines. It’s easy to see the youngsters perform a quick search on the app not only for leisure and entertainment. Young consumers also look for pieces of user-generated content (UGC), whether consumer reviews, product recommendations, or practical tips. This is especially true for businesses operating in the travel, hospitality, and e-commerce industries. 

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Enter TikTok search engine optimization (SEO), one of the rising  SEO trends. If you haven’t implemented one as part of your digital marketing strategy, now is the right time to do so. But what is it, and how does it help your business?

This page is a practical guide to TikTok SEO. Keep on reading to learn more about it and how to optimize it for your business.

What Is TikTok SEO and Why Is It Important?

TikTok SEO entails optimizing your TikTok content to improve your videos’ visibility, reach, and engagement on the platform. The process involves using relevant keywords, creating enticing captions, and engaging with your target audiences. With these, you’ll increase your chances of getting discovered, increasing your followers, and growing your TikTok presence.

When optimizing your TikTok SEO, consider factors like engagement rate, view count, and relevancy for boosting your visibility. Ultimately, your strategy all boils down to understanding how the algorithm works and what factors to optimize (learn in the next section).

But before that, let’s understand the importance of TikTok SEO. Here’s how it can help you and your business:

  • Increased Visibility: Of course, you want your videos to show up right under the noses of your target audiences. By optimizing your TikTok content, you’ll increase your chances of appearing in relevant feeds and getting followed.
  • Higher Engagement: More than just viewing your content, you want users to engage with you, whether liking, sharing, stitching, or promoting your videos. TikTok SEO helps you create high-quality videos that resonate with your target audience.
  • Improved Follower Count: You’re looking forward to increasing your followers in time. By increasing visibility and engagement, you’ll attract more followers and boost your TikTok presence.
  • Authority in Your Niche: Strong following in TikTok means establishing authority in your niche. People follow you because you offer something valuable to the table. You’ll become a thought industry leader by consistently creating high-quality TikTok content.
  • Business Opportunities: As your TikTok presence grows, you’ll have the opportunity to grow your business. You’ll increase your brand awareness and customer engagement, which translates to lead generation and sales conversion.

How Does TikTok’s Algorithm Work?

Tiktok’s algorithm works by determining which videos are relevant to users. It analyzes users’ activities on the platform to understand their behaviors and identify their interests and preferences. From there, the algorithm suggests videos users will mostly enjoy and engage with by appearing on their For You pages.

Of course, the TikTok algorithm considers some factors when showing videos to users. Here are four ranking factors you should consider for your TikTok SEO:

  • Video Content Details: These details include specific elements of your video, such as the title, caption, and hashtags. Incorporate relevant keywords and hashtags to improve your video’s visibility.
  • User Interactions: UI is simply the engagement rate of your video, such as likes, shares, comments, and follows. Videos with high engagement rates are more likely to get recommended to relevant users.
  • Discover Tab: This tab is where users browse trending videos and explore new content. Videos appearing on the Discover Tab usually have high engagement rates and relevance to the users. In most cases, they are those that are trending.
  • Device Setting: Your device also impacts your TikTok discoverability. The algorithm also considers your location, language, and time zone based on device settings. Of course, it will show you videos closer to your proximity and having the same language as yours.
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For example, my search for ‘Tax return 2023’ resulted in this video in the top recommendations. As you can see:

  • The video content was informative, answering a relevant question and engaging
  • The video has high engagement
  • As I am based in Canada – the video is also relevant to my location

How To Boost Your TikTok SEO

Now, it’s time to optimize your TikTok SEO campaign. As with other SEO tips for boosting search engine ranking and website traffic, TikTok requires particular strategies. With these in place, you’ll improve your chances of appearing on the For You page, win new followers, and establish yourself as a popular creator in your niche. 

To take your TikTok presence to the next level, here are some practical tips and techniques for you:

1. Identify and understand your target audience.

You must get to know your audience first before you can get their attention. If you manage a personal TikTok account, this part is easy. You can simply check your followers’ accounts and comments on your videos. But if you leverage the TikTok platform for your business, you should perform research to create your buyer persona. From there, you can optimize your TikTok SEO and create content that resonates with them.

2. Perform keyword research and add them to your content.

Keyword integration has always been a crucial part of SEO, which also applies to TikTok. First, you should conduct keyword research to identify the most relevant and popular keywords in your niche. Fret not; you can use free SEO tools for your keyword research. Second, you should incorporate these keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and hashtags. Ultimately, doing so will make it easier for users to discover your content and help improve your visibility.

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3. Strategize your use of hashtags.

Hashtag doesn’t only apply on social media channels, such as Twitter. It’s a powerful tool for improving your TikTok SEO, but you should use them strategically. To leverage its power, focus on using relevant and targeted hashtags. However, avoid using too many irrelevant hashtags that could make your content look spammy. Lastly, you can create branded hashtags and encourage your followers to use them or increase visibility and engagement.

4. Create relevant and valuable video content.

Producing relevant and valuable content is the most crucial step for your TikTok SEO. No matter how relevant your keywords and hashtags are, they won’t matter if your videos suck. So, after understanding your target audiences’ interests, offer them what they want. Make your content pieces as appealing and engaging as possible. You’ll be surprised at how high-quality videos can win and keep customers on your platform!

5. Track your Tik Tok SEO progress.

Finally, your TikTok SEO campaign won’t be complete without tracking your progress and measuring your success. You can use third-party tools like SocialBee or Hootsuite to track your TikTok performance. Start by setting key metrics, such as views, engagement rate, and follower count. Then, see what’s working and what’s not to optimize what works and change what doesn’t. With all these, you can ultimately achieve your goals on the platform!

Final Words

TikTok SEO is now gradually becoming vital to digital marketing, particularly for social media management. As such, consider the five key ranking factors for this strategy. Follow our practical tips for boosting your campaign discussed above. 

By understanding the value of keywords, hashtags, engagement, and more, you can optimize your videos for the platform’s algorithm. That will increase your visibility to followers who can be your potential buyers or supporters. Who knows? With TikTok SEO, you’re well on your way to your overall business success! 

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