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May 2024

TikTok SEO: Hack the Algorithm & Get Discovered

Dominating Gen Z, TikTik is no longer just an entertainment channel but the fastest-growing social search platform. 

With a staggering 74% of Gen Z using TikTok as their go-to search engine in 2024, brands can no longer afford to ignore it. 

The Future of Search? Why TikTok is a Major Player

TikTok is revolutionising the buyer journey, shifting away from a traditional linear path to a dynamic loop of videos that seamlessly intertwine consumer engagement and purchasing decisions. Rooted in entertainment, TikTok offers a more enjoyable and accessible platform for brand discovery.

Users are seeking the same content they would typically search for on Google, yet they're spending significantly more time within the app due to its entertaining nature. Brands seamlessly integrate into the enjoyable videos users watch on TikTok, facilitating effortless discovery.

TikTok’s ‘For You’ Page 

The ‘For You’ page (FYP) is the primary source of almost all video views on TikTok. Mastering its functionality is crucial for achieving success in social SEO.

When users click into a profile or search for a video using the ‘For You’ page search bar, it presents recommended searches tailored to the user's interests, based on their video consumption patterns.

Optimisation Tips For TikTok Search

Although they share some similarities, Google and TikTok’s SEO strategies have some major differences. 

Both highlight the significance of creating informative and helpful content that caters to the target audience’s search intent, seamlessly integrating relevant keywords into the content and maintaining a consistent standard of quality content in line with platform guidelines and best practices. 

Yet, a notable contrast lies in the fact that previous brand success does not heavily impact rankings on social platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, unlike Google, where brand authority significantly influences rankings.

With relatively low barriers to entry in social media algorithms, brands might achieve success more rapidly in social SEO compared to traditional Google Search. Although social algorithms differ and don’t adhere to a universal formula, marketers can still influence their content's optimisation through factors, such as:

  • Hashtags: Hashtag optimisation plays a pivotal role, particularly for direct-to-consumer brands aiming to boost their online presence, as it provides an avenue to integrate essential keywords indicative of purchase intent.

    Testing various types and lengths of hashtags proves to be an effective strategy for determining which ones resonate most with each individual brand. 

  • Keywords: Like hashtags, incorporating keywords into your content is crucial, including video descriptions, verbal mentions, captions and voiceovers. Given that video descriptions are considerably shorter than blog posts, maintaining clarity and conciseness is vital. 

  • Content: Using popular sounds, filters and challenges can help your TikTok videos get on user’s FYP sooner. TikTok shows you what’s trending so you can join in and boost your chances of getting noticed. 

  • Engagement: The way content is filmed and edited plays an important role in influencing engagement on TikTok. To boost engagement, it is a good idea to incorporate effective CTAs to encourage viewers to leave comments or share the video.

  • Thumbnails:  The thumbnail is the first thing users see when scrolling through search results. A compelling thumbnail can capture attention and attract clicks, increasing visibility and engagement. 

How To Measure SEO Performance on TikTok 

Personalised KPIs, keyword ranking, audience demographics and engagement rates are important key metrics to help assess visibility, audience interaction and content effectiveness.

  • Define your key performance metrics: KPIs are unique to each brand, so select those that align most closely with your brand’s goals and monitor them closely.

  • Use the TikTok search bar to determine keyword ranking: Using the TikTok search bar allows businesses to measure keyword ranking by observing where their content appears in search results relative to specific keywords or search terms. 

  • Analyse your audience to ensure you’re reaching your target consumers: This tab provides information about your audience, such as whether they’re following you or are discovering your account for the first time. You can also see audience demographic information like gender, age range and location. 

  • Analyse engagement rate with the ‘Performance’ tab: This tab provides data on user interaction with a video and helps you figure out what kinds of videos keep your audience’s attention.

SEO Tools For TikTok

Keyword Research

The Predictive Search feature allows users to uncover popular long-tail phrases containing their target keyword. Accessing this feature is straightforward: you just input a few words and await the predictive search results.

TikTok’s Keyword Insights tool, located in the TikTok Creative Center’s, is your key to crafting viral content. Just type in a keyword and gather insights, including:

  • See how hot a topic is and if it's trending up or down.

  • Discover what kind of content resonates best for that keyword.

  • Find the perfect hashtags to reach your target audience.

  • Identify hot new ideas that can fuel your content strategy.

  • Get insights into the demographics most interested in your chosen topic.

TikTok Creative Center 

The best optimisation tool for TikTok is TikTok itself. The TikTok Creative Center stands as the number one place for discovering trends, conducting keyword research, and staying informed on the latest creative best practices. Within the top navigation bar, the trends dropdown showcases the most popular hashtags, songs, creators, and videos in real-time.

Once you enter the trends section of the Creative Center, you can explore by hashtags, songs, creators, or videos, with the option to filter by industry and time frame. This tool proves invaluable for optimising trends and hashtags, offering insights into their popularity. The TikTok Creative Center reveals metrics such as the number of posts associated with each hashtag, their views, and the trend's interest over time.

Measurement and Reporting Tool

While measurement might not be as comprehensive as on Google, TikTok Analytics within Business Suite offers valuable insights for creators and businesses.

  • Dive deep into performance: Track video views and likes to shares, comments, and follower growth.

  • Know your audience: Learn your audience's age, gender, location, and interests to tailor content that resonates.

  • Empower your strategy: Fine-tune your content strategy and foster deeper audience engagement on the ever-evolving platform of TikTok.

If you're looking to maximise your presence on TikTok and stay ahead of the curve, we'd be happy to help! Give us a call or drop a message in the Get In Touch box!

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