Mastering TikTok SEO: The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Your Video Visibility in 2024
Last update: 18 January 2024 at 02:54 pm
With a more than 1.5 billion user base, TikTok is, by far, the most popular social media platform. No wonder why every other business owner is interested in leveraging it to meet explosive growth. But, using TikTok for brand discoverability, profit, and growth isn’t as simple as it might appear. Having a strong TikTok SEO strategy is important.
Yes, you read it right, SEO, aka search engine optimisation!
For more than 40% of Gen Z, TikTok is similar to search engines. Although not technically a “search engine,” TikTok does have its own search bar, which is why TikTok SEO is an important part of this platform.
By choosing to optimise your TikTok videos, you can increase their chances of being visible in the search results. In fact, proper optimisation can allow the video to appear both on TikTok and Google’s search results.
But how do you master the art of TikTok optimisation? Of course, by reading this blog post!
We know you might have a lot of queries and concerns, such as how do I optimise my TikTok videos? How does TikTok algorithm work? Is adding efforts in TikTok SEO worth it? And more!
Stick around as we navigate you through effective strategies and best-kept secrets of optimisation!
1- Understanding TikTok’s Algorithm
TikTok Algorithm Explained…♬ original sound – Devin | Content Marketer
1.1- Overview of TikTok’s algorithm and how it determines video visibility
TikTok algorithm is a highly complex system created for serving users content on the homepage of the application – The FYP or For You Page.
TikTok’s algorithm recommends content by ranking the videos. This ranking is done based on various factors, including interests you convey as a new user and making adjustments to things you express as not liking or being interested in.
The algorithm takes note of videos you have engaged with in the past, hashtags and accounts you follow, language preference, type of content you produce and even your location.
This means your FYP page isn’t populated completely with content from people you follow, but with video content, TikTok’s algorithm thinks might appeal to you. These videos can be from creators you hardly know.
1.2- Key factors influencing TikTok’s algorithm, such as user interactions and engagement metrics
There are various factors that impact how TikTok’s algorithm brings a flow of content to its users. The main factor is –
- The user activity – The higher the engagement rate a video has, the larger the audience group it will be served to. This engagement rate is based on indicators like Likes, Shares, Comments, Account followers, Completions and Re-watches.
- The subject matter of the video – Since TikTok has an excellent ability to categorise content as per user interest, subject matters plays a critical role in enhancing the reach. The subject matter of a video is determined based on Hashtags, Effects, Sounds, Caption keywords and Content or Video Transcripts.
- Language and location – When deciding what video a user may be interested in, the app utilises the device’s setting to identify language and location.
- Audio – A video with a trendy song or sound has a higher chance of being visible to a large group of audience, too. Hence, using trending audio is key to landing on the target audience’s FYP.
- “Not Interested” feedback – Similar to search engines, even TikTok is determined to provide its users with high-interest videos. Hence, it checks previous activities of the user to identify users hidden by them, videos marked “not interested,” and videos skipped.
Since all of these factors are measured individually by the recommendation system of TikTok, every FYP page is completely unique.
1.3- Recent updates and changes to TikTok’s algorithm
Similar to search engines, TikTok ensures to make changes in its algorithms regularly. And most of these updates are in the interest of the users.
TikTok aims to enhance its search results for better user satisfaction. Hence, we are able to notice new and improved features in the search bar.
Also, the creator’s TikTok has launched two crucial updates – the keyword insights tool and the secret “Go Viral,” button.
2- Conducting Keyword Research for TikTok
2.1- Importance of keyword research for TikTok SEO
As mentioned earlier, TikTok isn’t technically a search engine. But keywords are still an integral part of the platform, especially from a TikTok SEO perspective.
Understanding the terms users search for to find content that is similar to what you produce can allow you to optimise your video accordingly. Relevant keywords can allow your video content to show up on the top of search results that appear on the For You Pages.
2.2- Tools and strategies for identifying relevant keywords for your content
Keyword research is an important part of the traditional search engine optimisation procedure. Hence, it makes sense why conducting keyword research before starting with TikTok SEO-optimisation is crucial.
And thankfully, there are different and proven ways of researching relevant keywords.
Start by looking up keywords on TikTok that are appropriate to your content ideas. And don’t forget to also check keywords that your potential audience might be searching for.
You’ll see that TikTok automatically creates certain ideas depending on the terms you are typing when you do a search. This might provide you with further insight into the precise terms customers look for.
While not all the phrases appearing may be relevant to your content, you will still gain some inspiration.
You can even type the entire phrase relevant to your niche to gain a list of long-tailed keywords, which might be more specific to your content.
Ensure that you phrase the topic and related keywords in different ways by using tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc.
Once done with keyword research, create a list of the keywords that you want each post to rank for and use them for fuelling your video and content optimisation.
2.3- Optimising video titles, captions, and hashtags with targeted keywords
Since all the details packed in a video can impact its ranking on TikTok, ensure that you properly use the required details.
This means choosing relevant hashtags, captions, music and sound effects. Always add keywords that describe your video in the descriptions and titles. If possible, create videos that cover trending topics to enhance their visibility among larger demographics.
3- Creating Engaging and Shareable Content
3.1- Importance of high-quality, engaging content for TikTok SEO
Always aim to produce high-quality and original video content so it gets onto the FYPs. Anything copied and uploaded from sources like webcasts, TV, movies, etc., without creative edits, can be deemed as unoriginal by the algorithm.
Steer clear from using super short clips, gif-based videos or static images as such videos are deemed as low-quality by the algorithm.
Avoid using QR codes in your video, as that could lead to harmful sites or applications.
If possible, stick with TikTok’s mission of joy and creativity by creating content that adds value to the users.
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3.2- Understanding TikTok’s content preferences and Trends
Compared to other social media sites, TikTok manages to offer immersive and relevant experiences to users. In fact, it drives a better engagement rate because of the platform’s content preference delivery method and short video formats, which eventually produce continuous engagement cycles. This is one of the reasons why Tik Tok is the popular social media platform for information density.
The experience of a TikTok user is generally at its peak while using the platform. This clearly suggests that users are more fully immersed and lean in when using Tik Tok than other platforms.
3.3- Strategies for creating captivating videos that encourage sharing and engagement
Since the TikTok algorithm is continuously evolving, it is best to align your strategies accordingly.
Listed below are a few strategies to effectively make videos captivating, engaging and share-worthy –
- Immediately introduce factors that entertain the people in your video (within the first 3 seconds). This is because people tend to have short attention spans.
- Remember to pick themes that resonate with your industry niche and target audience. Once that is done, ensure to consistently add keywords to your video content and caption.
- TikTok algorithm favours videos that feature trending sounds. So, ensure to jump on the trend wagon while it is still at the start line.
- Use new TikTok features and try them immediately to gain more visibility.
- Be social and engage with content creators in your niche industry. Reply to comments, and initiate conversations to boost brand engagement.
- Make your video more inclusive by making it accessible to a wide audience.
- Maintain a time of posting. Try posting when most people are online. The best time to post will depend upon your audience’s scrolling bait and location.
4- Leveraging Hashtags for Discoverability
4.1- Exploring the significance of hashtags on TikTok
Using hashtags has various benefits. Listed below are reasons why using hashtags on TikTok makes sense –
- Your video content receives an immediate boost when you use TikTok hashtags. Rather than showing your video only to your followers, you are making it viewable by users who may already be looking for things you share. And if you add trending hashtags, your video can also get pulled away on discovery pages, allowing millions to view them.
- By using hashtags, you generate a community space for followers who wish to see your content.
- TikTok trends are like a tornado. They come and go in a blink of an eye. Consider using hashtags that resonate with your brand to stay ahead on the “what’s trending,” ladder. Using trendy hashtags will show your target audience that you are in the know and are willing to get involved in the fun.
4.2- Best practices for using hashtags effectively
Since hashtags are crucial on TikTok, using them effectively is important to enhance your brand’s chances of growing the audience and reaching new viewers.
But remember, not all hashtags are created equally. Also, focusing on high-volume hashtags or using generic keywords won’t necessarily assist in making your content get discovered.
When using basic hashtags –
- Steer clear from anything too broad and generic. These hashtags don’t necessarily offer much context and may not be useful in reaching the right audience.
- Ensure your hashtags are in line with the challenge, content or campaign. They should be directly related.
- Employ both long and short-tailed keywords that resonate with your niche.
- Keep hashtags simple, easy to spell and memorable. Anything complex or obscure may backfire.
4.3- Strategies for finding trending and niche-specific hashtags
Finding the right hashtags for your TikTok video should not be challenging if you adhere to these tips and tricks –
- Go for hashtags that are a perfect balance between broad and specific. It is never a good idea to go for something that is too specific or too broad.
- You can use TikTok to discover new and trending hashtags. Go to the Discover tab to check what is trending. You can even check out the videos tagged to trending or new hashtags to determine what type of video is trending so you can take some inspiration.
- You can also check what your industry leaders are up to. If hashtags are working for them, chances are that those hashtags will work for your brand, too.
- You can also find related hashtags by searching your chosen hashtag in the search bar. You may come across a number of views each suggested hashtags have. This can come in handy in helping you decide which hashtag to use.
- Lastly, record every hashtag you have used and monitor the views you earned through it. Since every hashtag works differently, testing all relevant hashtags is key to determining the best.
5- Optimising Your TikTok Profile
5.1- Importance of optimising your TikTok profile for SEO
TikTok SEO is a content optimisation technique for the TikTok search engine. TikTok SEO optimisation involves incorporating keywords into video tags, titles and descriptions. The goal behind optimisation is to increase the views and engagement rate through organic searches.
Keep in mind optimisations can also be based on the combination of various factors, including language preference, hashtags, user interactions and sound.
As mentioned earlier, TikTok is eating Google’s search market, given Gen Z uses TikTok as a search engine. By choosing to optimise your content for the TikTok search engine, you can boost its chances of being visible in all the right places.
5.2- Tips for crafting an engaging bio and profile description
Don’t limit TikTok SEO optimisation to content description, title tags, etc.; ensure that you optimise your bios, too. Here are some tips –
- Use a bio to tell people what your brand is about. But that doesn’t mean you should draft an entire paragraph. Boil down the words to exactly what you want people to know. Keep the bio simple, compelling and engaging while getting the brand’s purpose out efficiently.
- Emojis can further emphasise the personality of your brand. It can also help you demonstrate your services and products without taking up too much space. For instance, as a nail tech, add the nail-painting emoji.
- Don’t forget to add a CTA in the bio. It can be a link to your website, another social media channel like YouTube, Instagram or a link to an eCommerce site.
- Since TikTok bio has a limited character limit, ensure you use your words wisely to communicate. Ensure only important aspects of your business are added in the bio.
5.3- Utilising profile features and settings to enhance visibility
There are many features and settings available on the platform to enhance TikTok content visibility. However, there are also tools that can help you view when your audience is most active. This detail can come in handy in scheduling your next post for maximum visibility and engagement.
For instance, TikTok analytics (access it through the three dots icon at the top right on the profile screen) can provide you with a graphical representation of when your followers are most active throughout the day.
You can also employ tools like Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature if you have a TikTok Business account. This tool will provide you suggestions of the best time to post as per specific audience group.
6- Analysing TikTok Insights and Metrics
6.1- Overview of TikTok’s Analytics and Insights
TikTok analytics and insights are features that offer data to assist you in comprehending how your TikTok content is performing. Analytics and insights give in-depth detail on video views, follower count and more.
On TikTok, the analytics are divided into three crucial categories – overview, content and followers.
Keep in mind it takes up to seven days from the day your account becomes a business member for TikTok to populate your analytics.
You need to have at least 100 followers to obtain information on activity, gender and territory distribution.
Since TikTok provides content analytics of only seven days, you will require exporting the data to a spreadsheet to maintain long-term tracking. This can be done using in-app features.
Since TikTok SEO is quite new, there are no tools available to calculate the reach of the account except for calculating the total manually on the videos at a given time.
6.2- Key metrics to track for evaluating your video’s performance
You must track some metrics on TikTok to increase brand awareness, reach your marketing objectives and create an engaged following base.
Here are a few metrics worth tracking –
- Post reach percentage gives an insight into how many unique TikTokers have viewed your post during a given period. If you wish to boost your reach, tracking these metrics should be a priority.
- The follower growth rate will assist you in determining if the brand is gaining the attention you wish it to receive.
- TikTok engagement rate will let you know how well your content is performing and how the audience is receiving them.
- Comment per post is an excellent metric to track, given it shows that a person has taken time to view the entire video before leaving a comment.
- Tracking hashtags will help you identify how your chosen hashtags are performing. Should you continue to use them or search for new ones?
6.3- Using data to refine your TikTok SEO strategies
As an entrepreneur or marketer, the day’s post-tracking relevant metrics could be your chance to discover new opportunities to reach new customers and expand your brand.
Always use the metrics to determine your audience’s needs. Are they seeking something from the content you post, perhaps tips, ideas or suggestions? Do you find a source for all their problems? If yes, ensure the posts you make hereon are aligned with the audience’s needs.
Also, ensure that you use this opportunity to showcase brand authenticity and not shove products at the user’s face.
Did you come across keywords that were performing well and others weren’t? It is time to conduct keyword research again. Keep in mind it is never a “done and dusted,” scenario with TikTok SEO. You will always have to evolve based on the details you obtained after tracking and monitoring your campaigns.
Learning from previous mistakes and successes is key to improving your future approach.
7- Collaborations and Influencer Marketing
7.1- Harnessing the power of collaborations for increased visibility
Reaching potential customers in this saturated marketplace is more difficult than ever. Hence, businesses are looking for ways to make advertising and marketing more influential. What is better than introducing influencers to the process?
TikTok influencers can help your brand get heard. It is always best to get a known person to guide you when approaching a new customer base.
Your chosen influencer is bound to have an adequate follower count. If his or her content matches your industry niche, carefully planning the TikTok SEO strategy can assist in boosting visibility and brand expansion.
7.2- Identifying relevant influencers and creators to collaborate with
TikTok has a diverse demographic. You will come across people aged between 10 to 50. But almost 60% of TikTok users are Gen Z.
Thankfully, TikTok is pretty solid at catering videos as per the user’s preference.
Choosing the right influencer means getting involved with users who actually care for your offerings. Ensure your chosen influencer is not just ready to use your products on camera but off camera, too. Also, the influencer you choose must fit with the age group of users you wish to target.
Hence before you go ahead and find an influencer, understand what you are selling and to whom. You can also check the posts shared by the influencers to determine if their posts relate to issues your brand care about.
7.3- Best practices for successful influencer partnerships on TikTok
To make the most out of your influencer partnership on TikTok, ensure –
- You maintain authenticity within the campaign. The idea is to make the users feel close to your brand and become influenced by your offerings. Look for ways to enhance the trust factor, given trust drives sales. Hence, when looking for an influencer, find one that has gained the trust and credibility of his or her followers.
- To create a significant impact, allow the influencer to have something to say about the product they are promoting for you or make a product for them in your company. This will allow users to feel like the influencer really adores the product he or she is promoting and is not just interested in making money.
- Use this opportunity to create a custom hashtag. If the hashtag becomes trending while the campaign is on, you can gain instant brand recognition and a sales boost.
8- Promoting Your TikTok Videos
8.1- Cross-promotion strategies to drive traffic to your TikTok content from other social media sites
Did you ever come across content on your Facebook or Instagram feed with a TikTok logo? Well, that is what cross-promotion is.
Cross-promotion is identifying TikTok videos that have higher engagement levels and sharing them on other social media channels where you have a higher count of followers.
When your followers come across such videos, they will consider searching for you on TikTok, thereby watching more of what you have.
When cross-promoting, always use a video that has higher engagement levels, given it will have similar engagement on other platforms, too.
Ensure you cross-promote the video at a prime time and use the right keywords and hashtags to write descriptions and tags. And don’t forget to add a link to your TikTok page.
8.2- Collaborating with communities and participating in challenges
Community challenges are organic and usually stem from viral questions or trends that have been talked about on Tik Tok. The best part, these challenges aren’t limited to certain brands or products.
Through trending community challenges, you can spend time engaging with our niche audience. But TikTok’s native search may not be as impactful in finding challenges.
Keep in mind even though community challenges are organic, they can feature brand shout-outs, product usage, etc. Use this chance to highlight your product in the right place and time.
Keeping Up with TikTok SEO Updates
9.1- The evolving nature of TikTok’s algorithm and SEO practices
You might know by now that TikTok is indeed the best and most profitable social media platform to market your business digitally. It is also an excellent platform to stay up-to-date on trends.
On TikTok, there is always something new – whether it is the sound, fun features, filters, etc. And this naturally draws traffic.
But the thing is TikTok trends are ever-evolving. Hence, you must stay ahead and look for ways to deal with these changing trends and algorithms by updating your TikTok SEO practices.
9.2- Staying informed through official announcements and industry resources
If you visit the official website of TikTok Business Centre, you can access the latest news and trends in the industry by clicking on the What’s New section.
Most of the articles and blogs posted provide an in-depth idea of how TikTok is revolutionising the future of advertising and marketing on social media.
What’s more? You can also find official announcements and industry resources that can come in handy in helping you stay up-to-date with evolving TikTok trends, algorithms and more!
9.3- Continuous testing and optimisation to adapt to algorithm changes
No matter how many campaigns your roll out on TikTok to promote your brand, remember to track them in the best way possible.
Successful SEO campaigns thrive on constant testing and optimisation.
If you notice new algorithms being launched, spend time adapting to those changes. The idea is to never drop the visibility just because of mere changes in the algorithms.
Our final thoughts,
As a business, you must take advantage of video platforms that are crowded with prospective customers. Videos and graphics, in comparison to digital written content, have a higher impact. Your focus on TikTok, alongside YouTube, can help you with brand visibility and growth.
Delivering consistently top-notch video browsing experiences to your target audience can help you improve the value of your brand. By creating high-quality, optimised TikTok videos, you can quickly move prospective customers through the sales funnel.
So, wait no more and use the tips suggested above to create TikTok SEO-optimised videos to tackle the concerns your ideal audience has, thereby further fortifying your brand and attracting more customers.
But perhaps if you find TikTok SEO a highly technical procedure, don’t shy away from outsourcing your requirements to experts. Use Sortlist to find your business a reliable TikTok SEO partner – one that suits your budget and takes care of everything, including tracking and measuring performance.
Yes, keywords do matter on TikTok. While TikTok primarily relies on user interactions and engagement, including relevant keywords in your captions, bio, and video descriptions can enhance the discoverability of your content. Use popular and niche-specific keywords to attract the right audience.
Finding good keywords for TikTok involves researching popular trends, sounds, and hashtags within your niche. Explore the Discover page, analyse content from influencers in your industry, and use TikTok’s search function to identify relevant keywords. Pay attention to what your target audience is searching for and incorporate those terms in your content.