TikTok SEO: The Ultimate Guide

Since its conception, TikTok has gone from being a lip-sync video app to one of the social media giants, rivaling the likes of Instagram and Facebook. Known for its unique algorithm and customized “For You Page” (FYP), it’s becoming something companies can’t ignore.

As of 2023, TikTok has over 1 billion active monthly users. While TikTok isn’t technically a search engine, it still has its own search feature and more and more people are starting to see it that way.

However, showing up in the right places on TikTok is easier said than done. But don’t worry, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about TikTok SEO. We’ll cover why it matters, ranking factors you need to know about, and how to optimize your content to show up in TikTok searches.

What Is TikTok SEO?

Similar to SEO for web pages, TikTok SEO focuses on optimizing your content to show up in search results on the platform. The algorithm takes into account several key aspects, like keyword usage, content quality, and user interactions. These factors all influence your visibility and determine how you rank in the TikTok search results.

However, good TikTok SEO doesn’t just grow your visibility on the platform.

In the past, content from social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook wouldn’t be indexed on search engines like Google.

But nowadays, well-optimized content and profiles can show up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) too.

Google SERP with social media

By implementing SEO best practices for both search engines and TikTok, you can increase the likelihood of your content appearing in online searches across multiple search engines.

In fact, TikTok videos now show up in video searches alongside YouTube videos:

Google video SERP – TikTok videos

While showing up for search queries is great, the ultimate goal of TikTok SEO is to end up on the FYPs of as many TikTok users in your target audience as possible.

The FYP is TikTok’s dynamic homepage that constantly updates to provide users with new content every time they swipe. Content that the algorithm thinks will appeal to them appears on their feed without them even having to search.

Why Should You Care About TikTok SEO?

Oberlo found that, on average, people spend roughly 56 minutes a day on TikTok. That’s around 17.5% more than any other platform.

On top of that, a Google exec, Prabhakar Raghavan, has stated that approximately 40% of the younger generation are turning to the video platform for answers instead of Google.

That means TikTok is becoming the go-to platform for more and more people (especially those between ages 18 and 24). As such, it’s the perfect platform for targeting a younger audience.

Let’s take a look at why you should care about TikTok SEO:

  • Engagement: Good TikTok SEO improves your chances of getting users to engage with your content. This is great for boosting visibility and improving your profile’s standing in the algorithm’s eyes.
  • Audience: By optimizing your profile and content to match your target audience’s search queries, you improve your chances of reaching people who care about what you’re offering. On top of that, optimizing for related keywords improves your chances of reaching a wider audience.
  • Reach: Higher engagement with your videos through liking, commenting, saving, or sharing can increase the likelihood of your content being included on FYPs, resulting in discovery by users who have interests relevant to your brand

What Businesses Should Invest in TikTok SEO?

TikTok is a versatile platform that can be leveraged by a lot of different industries. However, industries that can sell their products and services visually stand to gain the most.

With the right approach, however, any industry can leverage TikTok. For example, even brands that deal with Your Money or Your Life topics (YMYL) can use the platform to address misinformation.

Whatever your industry, TikTok is all about high-quality content that’s relevant and helpful.

Some of the brands who have mastered the art of TikTok are:

Understanding TikTok Search

Before we dive into the ranking factors, we need to understand how users find content on TikTok. The platform’s discovery can be broken up into two parts: active search and content discovery.

Active search is when a user searches for content related to your topic using the search bar. This is where well-optimized “on-page” content stands a better chance of competing with content that’s getting a lot of engagement.

TikTok – Search bar

Content discovery refers to the videos that show up on a user’s FYP. Users aren’t actively looking for a topic but rather using the platform for enjoyment. In these instances, it doesn’t matter how well-optimized for search a video is. The only thing that matters is what the video is about and whether it aligns with a user’s interests.

TikTok – Content discovery

If you want to achieve success on TikTok, you need to optimize your videos for both discovery methods. And the best way to increase your chances of discovery is by creating good quality, engaging content that evokes emotion.

How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?

To keep the platform relevant and engaging, TikTok is constantly recommending new videos to users.

The type of video content shown depends entirely on individual interests. Essentially, the algorithm determines the videos you see based on how you engage with the content you watch.

If your content lands on a For You Page, it means that TikTok has determined you’re producing relevant content that the specific user would want to engage with.

TikTok has been relatively quiet about exactly how content is ranked. However, the social platform has stated that there are several confirmed ranking factors the algorithm takes into account.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll break TikTok’s algorithm into three parts. When ranking content, it focuses on:

  1. Understanding what the video is about.
  2. Assessing video quality (based on engagement, i.e., user behavior).
  3. Determining what each user wants to see.

TikTok Ranking Factors

To know how to optimize your content, you need to understand how content is ranked. Let’s dive into each ranking factor and how it works.

Video Information

TikTok considers what each video is about in order to understand what it contains. With this information, the algorithm can determine how to rank content in active search and who to serve it to in content discovery.

This video information is determined by looking at:

  • Video visual: This includes things like creative formats, filters, CapCut templates, and photo carousels.
  • Audio of the video: The actual words spoken during the video as well as any additional audio (e.g., a cat meowing).
  • The textual elements used in the video: These can be in the form of subtitles, emojis, or video titles.
  • Captions and hashtags: Relevant keywords used in captions and hashtags help to identify what the content is about.
  • The use of TikTok sounds: In TikTok, the audio often has meaning attached to it. This can be through a specific audio clip or trending songs.

Video Quality (Engagement)

The TikTok algorithm places a lot of weight on the type of engagement users have with content. The video quality is determined by interactions from multiple users.

It’s also similar to YouTube’s algorithm in the sense that it also takes into account how much of a video a user actually watches. The longer someone sticks around, the more likely it is that they’re genuinely interested in the content.

As well as the above, TikTok also takes into account the following Interactions:

  • Video comments
  • Likes and shares
  • Follows gained from the video
  • Videos flagged as not interested by users

Individual User Interactions

What sets TikTok apart from search engines and other social media giants is its unique algorithm that tailors a user’s FYP.

Whether or not your videos show up in content discovery will depend on individual user interactions. These are:

  • Videos they like and share
  • Accounts they follow
  • Comments they post
  • Videos they save
  • Creators they hide
  • Videos they flag as “Not Interested”
  • The amount of time they spend watching a video
  • Engagement with the accounts they follow (i.e. do they scroll past the account’s videos or regularly watch them)

It’s also worth noting that to try and optimize a user’s viewing experience, TikTok’s search engine also excludes content that it thinks would not interest them.

These are things like:

  • Content they’ve already watched
  • Duplicate content
  • Spam
  • Content they’ve marked as “Not Interested”
  • Upsetting or harmful content

On top of this, the platform also takes into account the individual user’s device and account settings.

These are broken down into:

  • Device type: Whether it’s a tablet, desktop, or mobile phone and which model it is
  • Country setting: Users are more likely to see content from people in their country
  • Language preferences: Users will mainly see content in their preferred language

Which Ranking Factors Matter Most?

So, should you focus more on optimizing your video for SEO or try to push engagement?

On TikTok, engagement is given more weight than video information. Social media platforms are constantly competing for attention, meaning they have to keep their audience engaged. And the best way to do this is by showing them content they enjoy.

Typically, the videos that are going to get the most engagement are the ones that offer something valuable. So while engagement carries more weight, you can’t expect high engagement without high-quality content that’s worth watching.

TikTok SEO Tips

By creating well-optimized TikTok content, you can improve your visibility both on the platform and on search engines like Google. It’s like the TikTok equivalent of On-Page SEO.

But to do that, you have to cover your bases. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Get to Know Your Audience Better

If you don’t know your audience well, you won’t know how to appeal to them. So you’d better learn what they like.

Look at the content they’re engaging with, the hashtags they’re using, and what they’re saying in comments and messages.

This is an easy way to identify what your audience enjoys and should give you some ideas to create content that your audience is likely to engage with.

Learning about your audience helps you create better content. You’ll also be able to craft better titles and descriptions for your videos, making them easier to find in TikTok and Google searches.

Engage with Your Audience

One of the biggest TikTok SEO tips we could provide is to make use of engagement. TikTok works hard to try and create communities, which means your work doesn’t stop when you upload your videos.

Social media is a two-way street. It’s not about just putting content out there and leaving things alone. You have to engage.

Here are some of the ways you can do this:

  • Encourage users to comment on your post, and then connect with your audience by replying to comments they leave on your videos. You can even reply using TikTok’s reply to comments with a video feature.
  • Commenting and liking other creator’s content.
  • Liking and saving relevant posts to shift the videos in your FYP to start showing videos that are relevant in your niche. This is a great opportunity to see what kind of content is popular with your target audience.
  • Try live streaming with the “Go Live” function. This is a great way to engage with your audience in real-time. Showing some behind-the-scenes activities helps users connect with you more — and engage with you more, too.
  • Create polls or quizzes, and ask your audience questions.

You could also use comments and questions you get as inspiration for your videos. Sometimes the best place to find popular topics is by asking your audience directly. If they give you something to work with, fantastic!

Essentially, the more you engage with people, the more likely they are to engage with you. And the more engagement you get, the better your visibility will be.

You can get to know your audience better by using TikTok’s insights.

TikTok – Business Insights

Find TikTok Sub-Communities

It’s important to find communities you can engage with on any social media platform — but it’s even more important when it comes to TikTok. According to Hootsuite, around 70% of TikTok users say that they feel part of a community on the platform.

There are various sub-communities within the platform. For example, the reading community has #BookTok, which has exploded on TikTok and into the shelves of bookstores. But you can also find #CarTok, #FarmTok, and many more.

TikTok – Booktok

One of the best ways to find these communities is by actually engaging with the platform, but you can also do so through keyword research.

2. Perform Keyword Research Specifically for TikTok

Keyword research is a core part of any SEO strategy – and TikTok SEO is no different.

TikTok’s user base is massive, and there’s fierce competition for audience attention. So, it’s important that people can find your content easily.

Keyword research helps you find popular topics to create content around and uncovers valuable keywords you can incorporate in your titles and captions. As a result, you can boost your discoverability, engagement, and growth on TikTok.

So, how do you find the right keywords to target? We’ll guide you through a few methods below.

Keyword Research in TikTok

You can discover relevant keywords and hashtags for your niche by searching for them on TikTok’s search bar:

TikTok – Search – Marketing a

If you want to find more related keywords, you can try the “alphabet soup” method.

This method starts with searching for your focus keyphrase, and then working your way through the alphabet. So, if you searched for “marketing”, you’d search for “marketing a” and see what keywords you can get from it:

TikTok – Search – Marketing a

By doing this, you can find more topics that you could create content for such as “marketing automation”.

You can also look for more long-tail search terms by adding an “a” before the term. For example:

TikTok – Search – A marketing

Here’s a quick list of some other prompts you could try:

  • How (keyword)
  • How to (keyword)
  • How do (keyword)
  • Why do (keyword)
  • What (keyword)
  • Do (keyword)
  • Does a (keyword)
  • Best (keyword) for
  • Best for (keyword)
  • Top (keyword)
  • Top 10 (keyword)
  • Best (keyword)
  • (Keyword) or
  • (Keyword) vs
  • (Keyword) review

Another way to conduct keyword research within TikTok is by using hashtags. You can use the same search bar we used above to search for hashtags. For example, we’re going to search for “#laptopreviews”:

TikTok – Search – #laptopreviews

As you can see, there’s some good content for this hashtag, such as “Best Laptop for X Group” lists — and it’s a topic getting a ton of views. We’ve also stumbled onto a dedicated sub-community on TikTok known as #techtok.

This method is a great way to find content ideas within your niche, and see what’s popular with your target audience—even if it’s not what you expected.

Another great place to find keywords is by using TikTok’s “Others searched for” feature. Similarly to Google’s “People Also Ask”, this feature suggests similar topics it thinks might be relevant for the user based on their search query.

For the search query “organic sweaters”, this is what the “Others searched for” section suggests, “organic cotton knit sweaters”, “custom sweaters”, and “vintage sweaters”.

TikTok – Search – Others searched for

Keyword Research in a Tool

While conducting your keyword research in TikTok has benefits, it can be rather time-consuming. Semrush can help us speed up the process. It’s a great way to find keywords you could target on both TikTok and the SERPs. Plus, it’s an awesome place to find inspiration for content creation.

In Semrush, head over to the “Keyword Magic Tool”:

Semrush – Keyword Magic Tool

Enter your keyword, for example, we’re going to search for “laptop reviews”:

Keyword Magic Tool – Search – Laptop reviews

Then, hit “Search” and take a look at the results:

Keyword Magic Tool – Laptop reviews – Results

Looking at the results, you can see that there are over 40K keywords related to this topic, with over 150K searches happening per month (known as search volume). There’s no doubt that this is a popular topic, but the competition (known as keyword difficulty/KD%) is very high for a lot of the topics.

We need to look for keywords we actually stand a chance at ranking for. This will also help us narrow down the 40K keywords.

To find the right keywords, we’re going to head over to the “KD%” filter and adjust it to find keywords that are easier to rank for. That way, we can work on building up our visibility before we start tackling higher competition keywords.

Keyword Magic Tool – KD filter

So let’s narrow this list down to keywords that are “Very Easy” and “Easy” to rank for. To do this, we’re going to use the custom box at the bottom, setting the lowest range to 0 and the highest to 29. Then hit “Apply”:

KD filter – Set custom range

Now we’ve narrowed it down to 444 keywords. That’s much more manageable.

Laptop reviews – Results with KD filter

But it’s still a lot, so let’s cut things down a little more. Now we’re going to adjust the search volume to make sure we’re only left with keywords that people are interested in.

To do this, we’re going to select “volume”. For this topic, we can see that the highest volume within the KD range is 1,000. We’re going to select the range most applicable to our topic, which is “101-1000”.

Keyword Magic Tool – Volume filter

Now we’re left with only 69 keywords.

Laptop reviews – Results with volume and KD filter

So let’s see if “best gaming laptop under 2000” has any weight in TikTok’s search results.

We’re going to head back to TikTok and search for the topic:

TikTok – Search – Best gaming laptop under 2000

Let’s take a look at the results:

TikTok – Best gaming laptop under 2000

As we can see, the top 3 results have between 16.7K and 32.7K views—so it’s safe to say this topic is pretty popular.

You’ll need to repeat this process to find more topics to create content for. Head back to the Keyword Magic tool, look for more topics that sound interesting within your narrowed-down list, and cross-reference them on TikTok.

Keyword Research in TikTok’s Keyword Insights Tool

Another way to find keywords is by using TikTok’s Keyword Insight Tool. It’s designed for TikTok ads, but it’s a pretty nifty way to find keyword ideas.

This tool pulls data on keywords that it’s extracted from audio, text overlay, and ad text from the top-performing TikTok ads.

While these keyword insights are targeted toward advertisers, they also offer a wealth of information if you’re looking to grow organically.

With TikTok Keyword Insights, we can identify keywords that are popular with our target audience, add relevant ones to our keyword list, and work them into our videos to bump up the chances of getting our video seen.

Let’s head over the TikTok’s Keyword Insights tool:

TikTok – Keyword Insights tool

As you can see, there are some filters you can play with.

  • Region: The “Region” filter allows you to filter your target country.
  • Industry: The “Industry” filter allows you to filter by industry/niche.
  • Objective: The “Objective” filter allows you to decide what kind of outcome you want to get from that keyword. This includes things like video views, reach, and lead generation.
  • Keyword type: This is sort of like search intent. Keyword type is used to identify why the user is searching for the keyword. This includes things like pain points, selling points, and products.
  • Last 7 days: This is how far back you want to go. This filter can go back 7, 30, or 120 days. Because TikTok’s keywords are heavily impacted by trends, this filter is an important one if you want to find the most relevant keywords.

So let’s say we want to search for “laptop”. We’re going to filter for:

  • Searches in the United States,
  • Within the “Tech & Electronics” industry,
  • With a “Traffic” objective,
  • And a “Products” keyword type over the last 7 days.

Then, we’re going to hit “Search”:

Keyword Insights Tool – Search

There’s only one result, but it has a ton of useful information.

Keyword Insights Tool – Search results

We’ll have to scroll to the right to see all of the results:

Popularity: The number of ad creatives that are using this keyword. For this result, it’s 24. The “Popularity” metric is the way you measure how difficult the keyword is. The higher the popularity, the more difficult it would be to rank for.

Popularity Change: The number of ad creatives that have started using this keyword over the last 7 days.

Click-through rate (CTR): This tells me what percentage of people who saw the ad clicked through.

Impressions: This tells the number of times the ad has been displayed on screen.

6s View Rate: This tells what percentage of people have watched at least 6 seconds of the video.

Likes: The number of people who liked videos with this keyword.

Shares: How many people shared videos with this keyword.

Comments: The number of people who commented on videos with this keyword.

If we want some real-world examples of how the keyword is being used, we can click on the “Details” button in the “Actions” section:

Keyword Insights Tool – Actions

Clicking on this takes us to the following page:

Keyword Insights Tool – Actions – Details

From here, we can see:

  • Keyword phrase: Keywords used in the caption and hashtags
  • Most used as: Where the keyword was used in the video itself (text overlays, voiceovers, etc.)
  • CTR: The CTR percentage for that specific ad
  • Related videos: Similar content to the specific video

We can also use this tool to explore related keywords and hashtags. All we have to do is scroll down to the bottom:

Keyword Insights Tool – Related keywords & hashtags

These keywords and hashtags are the ones that are currently being used most frequently in TikTok content. If we select “Breakout”, we’ll see a list of related keywords that are rapidly growing in popularity:

Breakout – Related keywords & hashtags

How to Use SEO Keywords in TikTok Videos

Now that we’ve covered how to do keyword research, let’s dive into how to implement these keywords.

Great places to include your main keyword are:

  • As native TikTok text throughout your video
  • In your audio (Say your main keyword at least once, preferably near the start of the video)
  • In your video caption
  • As a hashtag (#laptopreviews)
  • In your thumbnail text
  • Rename your original sounds with the keyword

3. Optimize your Profile

Now that you have your keywords, you may want to jump right into creating content. But before you do that, we recommend making sure your profile is optimized.

While it might not be the first thing on your mind, optimizing your TikTok profile should be a priority. Your profile is a direct reflection of your brand, so you need to make sure it’s communicating the right message.

Here are a few reasons why you should optimize your profile:

  • A more appealing profile is more engaging for users.
  • It provides extra opportunities to incorporate your keywords.

Plus, it’s not that difficult to do. Let’s start with the profile picture.

Profile Picture

Your profile photo is a huge part of your social media identity. It’s often the first thing a user sees, so you must make it count.

If you’re a company or a brand, you should upload a clear photo of your logo or something that people associate with your brand:

TikTok – Company profile picture

If you’re a solo creator, you should try to use something that shows your face clearly so that people can easily identify you:

TikTok – Creator profile picture

Your profile picture should be 200×200 pixels, in a 1:1 format. We suggest using bright colors and making your profile picture easy to identify at a glance.


Your bio is the perfect opportunity to sell yourself a little bit. But it’s limited to 80 characters, so you’ve got to keep things short and sweet.

TikTok – Bio

Here we can see that Yoast has quickly and clearly communicated what it does (your go-to resource for everything SEO). They’ve also used two keywords as hashtags to stand out and make them easier to find through searches (#SEO and #SEOForEveryone).

This is also a great place to link to your other social media accounts. And if you’ve got a business account, you can add a no-follow link back to your website. In this instance, Yoast has linked back to their site.

If you want to prompt an action, you’ve also got the option of adding in a CTA.

To add a little extra to your bio, you could also add an Emoji or two — some people use them, some people don’t. But it’s a good way to add some color and break the content up.


Your handle should be short, easy to remember, and memorable. You could make it your name, or a feature you want to stand out for:

TikTok – Handle

Here you can see that Yoast has added its company name, as well as “SEO”. So, if somebody searches for “SEO” and selects the “Accounts” tab, Yoast stands a good chance of showing up.

4. Optimize for TikTok’s Search Bar

TikTok categorizes videos based on video information, more specifically, keywords used in the video text or caption.

During active search, you’ll see a “find related content” search bar at the top of videos. This is designed to help users find similar content.

TikTok – Find related content

Sometimes, the search bar at the top of a video auto-fills with a query related to the content that the algorithm thinks would interest the user.

For example, in a video about how different airlines land, the search bar suggests “how planes land” for the user.

TikTok – Suggested content

To help make content easier to discover for users, some TikTok videos on the FYP have auto-populated search bars at the bottom as well. Whether it appears or not will depend on the type of content you’re watching and whether the algorithm thinks the search bar will be useful.

For example, if we watch a video on our FYP featuring a laptop review, we get a search bar at the bottom saying “want to buy a laptop”.

TikTok – Search suggestions

It’s worth noting that the query in the top bar may differ from the one at the bottom.

For example, if we look up “laptop reviews” and click on one of the videos, the bottom search bar offers us the query “want to buy a laptop” while the search bar at the top suggests “hp elitebook 840 g2 review”. We can select either of these to easily continue our search journey until we find what we’re looking for.

TikTok – Different search suggestions

While the search queries that show up are not always perfectly matched, they do make for an awesome user experience.

So, why should you care? Simple—both of these provide more places where you could potentially show up and reach your audience.

By intentionally and strategically placing your keywords, you won’t only be able to help TikTok categorize your content, but you’ll also increase your chances of showing up in results for queries.

It’s important to note, you have no control over what goes into the search bar. This is entirely determined by TikTok’s algorithm. TikTok reads the content and picks out key topics to improve the visibility of creator videos. The specific search query that shows up is influenced by the user’s decisions.

5. Share Cross-Platform

While sharing TikTok videos on other social media platforms doesn’t directly help with SEO, these platforms can send social signals.

But since social content sometimes appears in the SERPs, it’s worth investing energy into repurposing content for multiple platforms.

The benefits of sharing TikTok videos on other platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn include:

  • Increase brand visibility in the SERPs
  • Generate website traffic
  • Build brand awareness and reputation.

Add your TikTok Videos to your Blog

Posting relevant content regularly is something you can never do enough of in the world of SEO. Don’t forget to add your TikTok videos to your website by embedding them into blog posts that cover a topic that’s relevant to your video. This will extend your video reach and hopefully get your customers to engage with you on TikTok.

And, by making sure to use the relevant keywords, you can merge traditional SEO with TikTok SEO — and grow your visibility on both platforms at the same time.

Optimizing your TikTok Content

TikTok is a fast-paced environment. Tons of videos get published every day, and you must keep up with the latest trends.

But that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice the quality of your content.

Here are some tips for creating great content:

  • Ideally, your videos shouldn’t be shorter than 10 seconds but a good length is between 21 to 34 seconds. This makes it easier for users to watch your content without feeling like it’s going on unnecessarily.
  • Edit your videos with TikTok’s editing features so that the video feels familiar to the viewer.
  • Experiment with different video types to see what works best.
  • TikTok recommends you post as frequently as possible. That means anywhere from 1 to 4 videos published daily.
  • Create content worth sharing.
  • Don’t forget about CTAs.

Be Aware of Trends

TikTok trends are always changing, so you’ll need to pay attention to trending sounds and songs and look at what’s blowing up in your niche.

When you find something you can use, don’t overthink the video — time is of the essence.

Leveraging trends that are popular in your niche is a great way to find content ideas for videos that are more likely to gain traction. Trends are also an excellent source of inspiration.

Leverage Trending Hashtags

Hashtags are to social media what keywords are to traditional SEO.

TikTok uses hashtags to categorize content, trends, and challenges. Because of TikTok’s focus on trends, hashtags result in much more rapid, short-term visibility.

But it’s important to know which ones to use to get your content in front of the right audience. This means you shouldn’t just focus on the most popular hashtags, but also look for trending keywords that relate to your niche.

Here are a few ways to come up with relevant hashtags:

Keep in mind that while there’s no limit on hashtags for TikTok posts, it’s recommended to stick to 4 – 6, which includes hashtags on text overlays.

Use Trending Sounds

A key part of any strong TikTok SEO strategy involves the use of trending songs and sounds.

TikTok found that 68% of people were more likely to remember brands that made use of trending sounds.

Some brands have leveraged this to create sounds and songs aimed entirely at starting a trend to try and improve their appearance on TikTok.

You can find trending sounds to use in your videos by searching for “trending” on TikTok, and then tapping on the “Sounds” section:

TikTok – Trending sounds

Craft Engaging Captions

Captions play a huge role in TikTok SEO and can be used strategically to increase your visibility.

When it comes to writing captions, you need to know the terms and phrases your target audience responds to. This is where your earlier keyword research comes into play. Now it’s up to you to use that data to write captions that appeal to your target audience.

Here’s a great example of a caption from Semrush:

Semrush – TikTok caption

Produce High-Quality Content

No matter how well you optimize your content, if your videos aren’t engaging and entertaining, viewers will likely not want to engage with you.

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating videos:

Design Videos that Keep People Watching

One of the best ways to signal to TikTok that your content is worth sharing and showing is by creating content that keeps the viewer engaged.

That’s why a lot of TikTok trends have a reveal of some kind. It plays into our innate desire for resolution, which keeps us engaged with the video.

Adding some text on the video that eludes to a reveal at the end is one of the best ways to hook people. A good example would be something like, “You won’t guess what happened today.”

However, you should avoid using clickbait or manipulative tactics.

Make your Content Visually Appealing

As a visual platform, TikTok demands high-quality images, videos, and audio. Focus on producing videos with a high-quality camera and a mic. You’ll also need to create an eye-catching thumbnail to get more people tapping through to your videos.

By using TikTok’s built-in editing tools, you can find ways to make your content more visually appealing while creating engaging videos. Don’t forget to add filters, text overlays, and effects to make your brand stand out.

Make your Content Interactive

Interacting with your audience is a great way to spark engagement. Posing questions and adding CTAs have been shown to prompt responses from viewers. All this increases the importance of your content in the algorithm’s eyes. CTAs are a great way to promote engagement which increases your video’s visibility.

You can add these features to your caption, in the comments section, or in the video itself.

Add Value

Looking at videos in your niche is a great way to get ideas — but you shouldn’t copy them directly. Like traditional search engines, TikTok rewards originality.

Look at ways to add real value to your videos. As a result, you’ll likely find people engaging with your content because it offers them something more than what they’ve previously seen.

Collaborate with Influencers

Partnering with influencers is a great way to get a headstart in your niche. It won’t affect your SEO directly, but collabs increase visibility and can result in higher levels of engagement.

Since TikTok creators are already showing up in search results for users you’re looking to reach, it’s a powerful opportunity. It’s an excellent way to leverage accounts that have already implemented good TikTok SEO practices.

TikTok – Collaboration

If you’re looking to find influencers in your niche, you should check out the TikTok Creator Marketplace.

Track your Progress with TikTok Analytics

If you want to grow, you have to make sure you’re tracking your progress. By using TikTok Analytics, you can get insight into audience behavior, figure out what content is working for you, and identify areas for improvement.

If you have a TikTok business account, you can track your analytics by hovering over the user icon in the top-right corner of the homepage and clicking “Business Suite”.

TikTok – Business Suite

The first page you’ll land on when you click “Business Suite” is the “Homepage”.

Business Suite – Homepage

On the “Analytics” section, you’ll see a quick view of your profile’s metrics. These are:

  • New Followers
  • New Likes
  • New Profile Visits
  • New Video Views
Business Suite – Homepage – Analytics

You can also choose the time period you want to view. You’ll see info within each widget about how each metric changed during the selected period.

You’ll also find a scheduler that allows you to pre-plan your content for months in advance.


Once you click on “Overview” you’ll see a more in-depth overview of your profile’s metrics.

Business Suite – Overview

These include:

  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Conversions
  • Followers

This section works in the same way the analytics page works when it comes to date ranges. Choose to view metrics for the last 7 days, 28 days, 60 days, or a custom period.

You’ll see info within each widget about how each metric changed during the selected period.

Business Suite – Overview – Engagement widget


If you click “Audience”, you can take a look at the demographics data for the video.

Business Suite – Audience

Understanding who your followers are and the way they interact with your videos is a great way to guide your content strategy and figure out what you should be doing more of.

At the top of the page, you can see:

  • New Followers
  • Total number of followers: This only becomes visible once you reach 100 followers.
  • Reached Audience
  • Engaged Audience

This tab also tracks your follower count over time and analyzes the trend of your account’s follower growth. You can use this data to analyze which content strategies were the most effective for gaining new followers.

Next, you’ll find a breakdown of your followers by gender, age, country/region, and city. This allows you to build a fairly detailed profile of your target audience.

Business Suite – Audience – Breakdown

Analyzing this data helps establish who your target audience is.

Armed with this info, you can focus on creating content that’s tailored to the specific demographic your content is already reaching. This could help to improve user engagement and your content’s visibility.

Below these demographic insights, you’ll find the activity graph. This tells you when your followers are most active on the platform in terms of days of the week and hours of the day. This data can be highly beneficial.

Business Suite – Audience – Activity

For example, let’s say you notice your followers are most active at 1 PM on weekdays. You could schedule your posts for this time so that they appear in your followers’ feeds when they’re most active. This might make it more likely for them to engage with your posts, and it should increase the visibility of your videos among your target audience.


To see the metrics for each of your videos, click the “Video” tab on the menu.

Business Suite – Video

Here, you’ll see more specific information about how your content published in the last seven days is performing. This section will help you discover which posts are performing best while also tracking your reach across TikTok.

First, you’ll see a list of your content with a few metrics like the number of views, likes, and shares.

Business Suite – Video metrics

Clicking on a video allows you to see its performance data. Near the top of the page, you’ll see:

  • The total audience reach for the video
  • The percentage of viewers who watched the whole video
  • The average time users spent watching it
  • How many new followers you gained from the video
Business Suite – Video insights

Scroll down, and you’ll see conversion information. This tells you how many of your viewers engaged with your website link or phone number.

TikTok Analytics also provides you with an “Audience Retention” graph. This shows you the points in the video where most users stopped watching and how many stuck around until the end.

Business Suite – Video – Audience retention

For this video, most viewers stopped watching after two seconds. One possible reason for this could be that the thumbnail and description didn’t accurately reflect the content of the video. If users click on our video based on the thumbnail or description but don’t get what they expect, they’re likely to stop viewing fairly quickly.

To identify the issue, we could edit our thumbnail and description, and then check the retention rate for the video in seven days. If it’s improved, then it could be a sign that this was the problem.

Wrapping Up

Using effective SEO practices to optimize your TikTok content is a real game-changer for both creators and marketers. It helps your content to reach the right audience and improves its visibility. The nature of TikTok’s unique algorithm means engaging and discoverable content is rewarded, which makes it an ideal platform for marketing and personal branding.

If you’re a marketer, you can engage with the platform’s broad user base and creatively connect with your target audience. For individuals, it’s a platform to showcase your talents and establish your personal brand. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities for income generation via brand collaborations, partnerships, and sponsored content.

If you want to join the discussion about TikTik SEO, then feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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