How to use TikTok SEO to grow your audience

How to use TikTok SEO to grow your audience

What do TikTok, Google and others have in common? Both are billion-dollar companies. Both are powerful search engines. Well, both are powerful search engines.

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No one can imagine a world where Google is not the most popular search engine. TikTok catching up.

Keep reading to learn why TikTok is a search engine. You can also create a TikTok SEO strategy to give your brand the visibility it deserves.

Creating a powerful SEO strategy for TikTok

  1. Is TikTok a search engine?
  2. What is TikTok SEO all about?
  3. What should you focus on in your TikTok SEO strategy?
  4. TikTok SEO's own ranking factors.
  5. Stay on top of TikTok SEO with Socialinsider.

1. is TikTok a search tool?

Given TikTok's rapid growth over the past few years, it is safe to assume that its days as a popular search engine are not far off.

Google has acknowledged that TikTok is rapidly rising in the rankings and is becoming a strong competitor, especially to the Gen Z audience.

Their reports showed that 40% young users (aged 18 to 24) prefer TikTok or Instagram over Google Maps for discovering new places, such as a new favorite lunch spot. It's not Google that's saying this. Ordinary users are saying it, too. In June 2022, Claude Lukyamuzi simply tweeted: "I don't Google anymore I TikTok."

His tweet quickly went viral, much to his surprise. It resonated with many TikTok users, who were already using advanced search features to find new brands, places and people.

The love affair between Gen Z and TikTok is no joke. There is more evidence than the above tweet that Gen Z uses TikTok less than Google Why? The most common reasons are dissatisfaction with Google results, preference for visual content and short attention span.

TikTok meets all of these criteria by providing short-form content that is visually appealing, informative and to the point. It is an ideal platform for Gen Z (and other generations).

While TikTok's main goal is not to become the next Google for its users, it is worth noting that the social media platform has many features that make it easy to use as a search engine. One of these features is suggested keywords.


Pro tip: Using this feature to search for TikTok keywords can be a lifesaver when you do TikTok keyword research. TikTok will suggest similar phrases to what you type.

Another is the recently developed comment search function, which appears mainly in TikTok's comments section. Keywords are hyperlinked to a magnifying glass next to them.

By clicking on a linked keyword, users are taken to a page that contains videos about that keyword.


"For creators, brands and companies, we can assume that the new search function gathers context for videos from keywords in comments, hashtags in captions and actual video content (on-screen text and voice). It would make sense for TikTok to optimize videos with related keywords in the future to help hyperlinks appear in comments, in comment section headers and help videos show up in relevant queries. - HubSpot

Where there is a search engine, there must be search engine optimization. TikTok is not Google, so not all SEO rules will apply.

Even if you are an expert on Google rankings, you still need to learn a few things before you can master SEO for TikTok.

2. what does SEO for TikTok consist of?

TikTok is a content optimization practiceto reach their target audience. Social media managers can use traditional (Google) SEO tactics (along with some new tricks) to ensure that their brand's content is ready for growth and gets in front of the right people.

Because TikTok algorithm'a is a master of discovery, just a few changes in your content can make a world of difference and increase your exposure.

3. what should you focus on in your TikTok SEO plan?

TikTok search engine optimization is a relatively new area for many social marketers. This means it's a great time to establish a foothold on the site and get ahead of your competitors by using the right SEO strategies.

What are the most important aspects to consider when doing SEO on TikTok We are glad you asked.

Incorporate keywords

I bet you didn't expect this. Keywords are the heart of any successful SEO strategy, regardless of the search engine. It makes sense that keywords would also be important on TikTok.

Once you've identified the right TikTok keywords that are relevant to your brand, it's time to create content around them.

The key is to create content that is optimized for the TikTok search algorithm and is likely to be searched by your target audience (and hopefully found).

Want to know how to add keywords to TikTok Easy!

Start by including keywords in yours:

  • Captions
  • On-screen text (whether that is closed captions or your own custom text)
  • Voiceover

Pro tip: Experts suggest that the best verbalize your keyword in the first few seconds of their video to get TikTok's attention.

Using the right keywords for your brand will not only help you gain more visibility on TikTok. It will also help you appear more frequently in Google search results.

Since Google began indexing more video content (mostly from Instagram and TikTok), TikTok has seen a 133% increase in visibility, according to Search Engine Journal.

Use hashtags

Keywords are synonymous with hashtags. They are great tools for content discovery, as are many other social media networks.

This means that you can increase your chances of getting your content to more people and, more importantly, to the right people if you use them correctly.

Use both searchable hashtags and relevant keywords in your captions. Keywords often double as hashtags.

The key to finding the right balance between niche and general hashtags is the same as with keywords.

High volume, popular hashtags may sound wildly attractive, but they are highly competitive and ranking for them will take a lot of time and effort. There is also the risk of getting lost among the sea of content.

Niche hashtags, on the other hand, are less "crowded" and allow you to speak to a specific group of people.

And don't worry, TikTok has a niche for every topic.

Need more help?

Socialinsider's analytics data for TikTok can help you identify the best hashtags (for your brand or for your competitors) and rank them by number or engagement.

Depending on the case, this data can help you figure out if you're on the right track with your hashtag selection or get inspired by your competitors' most engaging hashtags:


Adding popular songs to your videos is a less popular tactic, but it works well on TikTok. Music trends are an integral part of the TikTok experience.

Why? Because it's engaging, inspiring and captivating. It makes it easier for your content to reach a wider audience.

According to our recent TikTok benchmark study, popular songs have a significant impact on the viewership of your videos. Original sounds tend to lower viewership rates.


How can you determine which sounds are the most popular now.

To quickly see what's hot, click the plus button when creating a new video. Then click "Add Sound" to add a sound. You can choose from the "TikTok Viral" playlist or browse the sounds listed in the "New" section.

Alternatively, you can use the search bar at the top of the screen to type "viral sound" and go to the "Sounds" tab.

These are the key ingredients of a successful TikTok SEO campaign. What else can you do to make your TikTok SEO strategy as successful as possible?

Let's explore two more important tactics:

Get to know your audience

TikTok is a user-centered social platform. It boasts a complex algorithm that promotes personalization and discovery. Everything is up to the user.

Why it matters. Because you can learn from TikTok and make your content user-centric.

This means knowing your target audience. What do they like? What are they looking for?

To reduce the guesswork, a great option is TikTok's native analytics feature. You can find it inside the app. To get more insights about your followers, you can use a social media analytics tool such as Socialinsider.

Alternatively, you can search for your desired keywords, examine the results you get for each and see if there are any gaps you can fill. If you feel confident that you can create content that matches the search intent of your audience, go ahead.

Do your keyword research

TikTok is the newest kid on the block in SEO. There aren't many tools available that can help you learn TikTok SEO best practices. However, all is not lost.

Traditional SEO tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush or Google Ads Keyword Planner can still be used to get an idea of what people are searching for in your industry or niche.

Once you have a small list, you can expand it by jumping back on TikTok and using its magical search engines.

As we mentioned, when you start typing in keywords and phrases, the platform will suggest more keywords that you could add to your list.

By the end of this process, you should have a solid list of keywords and hashtags to implement in your TikTok SEO strategy.


TikTok SEO ranking factors.

The important thing to remember when doing SEO for TikTok is that each app has its own ranking factors. These factors feed into the algorithm. These include:

  • User interactions - This simply includes anything the user does to interact with the shared content, such as viewing all the way through or skipping, liking, hiding or adding to favorites.
  • Video info - includes many of the elements we discussed above, such as hashtags, keywords, sound effects and music.
  • Account details - here we have geographic location, mobile device type and OS, as well as interest categories (which users select when creating an account).

At the end of the day, combining Google SEO tactics with TikTok SEO tactics is the way to go.

No one knows for sure exactly how much each metric weighs in the grand scheme of TikTok SEO ranking, but one thing is certain: they are all important and should be understood and implemented strategically to get the best results.

5. be on top of TikTok SEO with Socialinsider

We will repeat it louder to those who are behind us: Every successful social media strategy starts with accurate, fresh data.

TikTok search engine optimization is still relatively new, as is the role of TikTok. However, this does not mean that social media managers are incapable of developing a strategy to position themselves on this platform.

There are many tools you can use to track all your TikTok analytics data, such as Socialinsider. You can see all your TikTok analytics data at once on your site: key metrics, post information, followers, engagement and more.


If you are already active on TikTok for a brand or small business, our data can provide valuable insights into how your content is performing and where it can improve.

If you're just starting out with TikTok, the data can help you spy on the competition and give direction to your TikTok marketing strategy.

So, with all this in mind, which SEO tactics TikTok you will you take care of first?

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