Your Guide to Tiktok SEO

Nov 3, 2022 | SEO

TikTok SEO is what determines which videos show up at the top of TikTok search results pages. And with TikTok becoming the most engaged, downloaded, and lucrative channel for marketers and brands to be on right now, you need to become an expert on it.

When used right, the app has the power to be a driving force for demand, making brands go viral overnight and sell out stock. The influential power Tiktok has is next to none.

In this post, we’ve nailed down the key aspects that’ll help you better optimize your content to rank for TikTok’s search results.

Understanding Tiktok’s Algorithm

When you get on Tiktok you may have noticed that there are two different feeds that you can select to scroll through content.

The first is the feed for the accounts that you follow in your account. This section is self-explanatory.

But the second is where most users spend the majority of their time: The “For You” page. It consists of content that Tiktok shows you based on your algorithm, which gets developed by what you have shown interest in the past. Think watch time, interaction (likes, comments, shares), and even location. It does get tricky because each user will have a ‘For You” page tailored specifically for them.

What’s new in Tiktok’s algorithm is that it’s not mainly based on follower count or previous performance. Instead, it is trending sounds, filters, good transitions, and hashtags that determine each video’s success.

How to Rank better on Tiktok

Here are the key aspects of your content that you can optimize to rank on Tiktok:

Caption and Hashtags

The first input of information that Tiktok allows for content is your caption. As a new account, you’ll want to fill in relevant keywords according to your target audience. This is the most obvious area you may already be familiar with from other search engines. It works in the same way: Keyword research that you’ll use for your caption and hashtags for increased visibility on the app.

One of the best ways to conduct your Keyword research will be to use the app’s search bar to have a sense of what’s popular and discover keyword variations. Gauging the kind of language and tone used by competitors, audio choices and transitions will also be beneficial at this point.

Another place to look for popular hashtags is to use the Tiktok Creative Center, which even allows you to break down hashtags according to industries.

Make sure to use 4-7 hashtags that combine both low-volume (under 100k)  or niche keywords as well as more broad and high-volume keywords.


This is the part that is specific to Tiktok that will get most people familiar with SEO caught off-guard.

Trending Songs

Using trending sounds is one of the most important aspects of a video’s success. A study found that 88% percent of Tiktok users find audio essential for the experience which means that “..for brands to resonate on TikTok, they need to build holistically with audio as a primary creative driver”.

One of the easiest ways to find popular sounds is using the Tiktok Creator Centre, which will show you music charts, emerging sounds, and trends. It allows you to see full analytics such as the dating curve of trends. For each sound, you can even research the audience’s location and demographics.

Audio Caption 

Tiktok has AI integrated to scan your audio to identify speech and automatically enable captions for you. But what it also does is identify keywords that will help you rank better than videos without it. This is why you’ll see so many videos using a Siri sounding voice that’s a text-to-speech generator.

Text Overlay

The text you see on the video itself is called an overlay. People who mention appropriate target keywords in their overlay are seeing better results in terms of visibility. And the best part is that you can easily add it during the editing phase, directly in the app.

Using Trends

To be successful on Tiktok you must spend time getting to know the app. You’ll need an understanding of the culture, its user’s sense of humor, and ever-changing trends.

The best way to create high-reach content and increase visibility is by leveraging what’s trending at the time. Look for trending sounds, current memes, ongoing challenges, and hashtags.

On TikTok, trends are everything, and the most popular ones can inspire thousands of spin-off videos resulting in more views and engagement. Understanding trends is the key to getting involved in them or starting your own.

To research trends, you can start by looking at your own “For You” Page. Try searching for hashtags related to your niche, then liking or commenting on the trending videos you see. Your account’s algorithm will adapt to show you more trending videos, so make sure that the content you interact with is directly related to your niche. 

Another way to find trends and challenges is to directly search the hashtags #challenge and #Tiktokchallenge on the app.

Is learning Tiktok SEO Worth it?

If Tiktoks’s popularity has taught the internet something, it is that the video format is here to stay. 

Having a strong digital strategy and understanding of the platform will be pivotal for your success on the app. Combining Tiktok SEO with paid Tiktok campaigns can be extremely beneficial for your brand’s visibility.

Remember that we’re always here to help with your SEO strategy. Contact us today so we can help you start ranking on Tiktok.