October 31, 2022

5 Ways to Fuel a Strong TikTok SEO Strategy

It’s become commonplace to refer to search engine optimization in terms of Google, almost by default. But not anymore.

TikTok SEO Strategy

Since the growth of e-commerce and social media giants like Amazon and TikTok, online searches for products, entertainment, and information has moved off Google and other traditional search engines.

Over the past few years, TikTok has become one of the fastest-growing social media apps, inspiring competitors like Instagram and Snapchat to introduce copycat features like Reels and Spotlight. The platform reached one billion active users in 2021, with people spread across 154 countries; it’s expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2022.

According to Google’s latest internal data, nearly 40% of Gen Z prefer TikTok and Instagram over Google for video. Google executives have confirmed that TikTok’s format is changing how young people conduct internet searches, and the company is working to keep up with those changes.

It turns out that TikTok isn’t just a threat to Google’s YouTube videos. Another Google executive acknowledged that young users’ preference for social media and videos is impacting Google’s core services like Search and Maps.

In light of these trends and changes, the need for businesses to optimize their TikTok profiles for search engines has become more apparent and immediate.

Let’s see why this is the case and how businesses of all kinds can adapt.

Why It’s Crucial to Promote Your Business on TikTok

In case you’ve been asleep for the past few years, you should know that TikTok is a video-and-music-centric social media platform that allows users to create, share and discover short videos on just about any topic possible.

Promote Your Business on TikTok with YellowHEAD

Up until recently, many business owners didn’t view TikTok as a marketing tool, especially since they thought this platform had only a young audience without much buying power.

Nowadays, it’s become clear that it’s a great tool for leveraging business and bringing in new audiences.

TikTok attracts a wider audience than it originally seemed, and now around 40% of TikTok users in the US are over 40 years old.

TikTok is now a platform that people are directly searching on instead of using Google, especially when people seek a fast answer, recommendation, or information regarding a product or service.

How is that even possible? Doesn’t Google Search rule the world? Well, apparently, not anymore.

It is becoming increasingly common for consumers to be impatient and want answers to their questions quickly. A brand that makes the buyer’s journey from awareness to conversion as quickly as possible will win.

Considering these stats, it’s now clearer than ever that TikTok can be a great channel for funneling traffic to your website and uplifting revenue channels.

For brands to get found by TikTok’s huge user base, they need to optimize their TikTok SEO strategy as much as possible.

In short, TikTok SEO simply means optimizing content so it can be found by more of the platform’s users when using TikTok’s search feature.

SEO for TikTok is one of the best and easiest ways to push marketing efforts. Plus, it’s free. Let’s dive in and learn everything we know about how to optimize your TikTok SEO.

Understanding the TikTok Algorithm

Before we talk about how to leverage TikTok SEO, let’s quickly understand how the TikTok algorithm works.

The TikTok algorithm is a complex system designed to serve users content based on what it believes to be highly interesting to them.

Multiple factors influence how content is served to users and how they can find it among millions of videos. The TikTok algorithm evaluates a few main factors to decide which video to show the user, including:

  • User activity
  • Video subject matter
  • Location
  • Language
  • Audio
  • “Not Interested” feedback

User Activity

The more engagements and views a TikTok video gets, the more likely it will be served to larger audiences. That includes comments, likes, and shares.


TikTok’s search engine categorizes content based on user interests, so the video subject heavily impacts its reach to potential customers. TikTok decides on the subject based on keywords in the caption, sounds, hashtags, content, and more.

Location and Language

Similar to other search engines, the TikTok search engine recognizes the user’s mobile settings, such as their geographical location and language, when deciding if the video will fit their interests.


Using popular and trending sounds or songs helps the search engine better categorize your video.

“Not Interested” feedback

The TikTok search engine aims to serve its users content that is relevant to them. To do so, it uses the user’s previous activity, as well as when they select that they’re “Not Interested” in a given piece of content. This helps determine the relevance of a video to the user.

So, now that we know how TikTok ranks videos, we can now learn how to optimize your TikTok SEO.

5 Ways to Fuel Your TikTok SEO Strategy

TikTok SEO seems to be taking a similar approach to general SEO, focusing on keywords and phrases. This means you should follow a few action items when uploading TikTok content in order to get as many views as possible.

Unlike traditional SEO, there are no tools at the moment that provide insights on keywords or hashtags with high search volume and user intent on TikTok.

Also, the TikTok search engine is always adapting, changing, and learning from user behavior.

It’s hard to optimize TikTok content, but there a few ways to maximize content visibility.

1. Hashtags

Like Instagram SEO, hashtags power your ability to optimize content for TikTok.

Use popular and trending hashtags related to your offer to boost visibility. Using popular hashtags on TikTok makes content more visible to the right audiences. And ever since Google started indexing user TikToks, it’s a smart idea to use hashtags around primary keywords.

To discover which hashtags are trending for different industries, go to the TikTok creator center.

From there, you can see a list of top creators using these hashtags, which can help you find some great options for collaborations within the platform.

In any case, test hashtags until you find the ones that fit your brand best and attract the most high-quality users.

2. Keywords

As with any other aspect of SEO, keywords are essential for TikTok’s SEO algorithm. It’s important to use the entire 500-character caption limit by including potential TikTok keywords your targeted audience may look for. Keep in mind that long-tail keywords can boost your videos.

In addition, it seems that the text within the video has become crucial for it to rank higher in searches – it’s even more critical than the number of views, likes, or shares.

To find the best TikTok keywords for any given video, you can try different techniques but always start with:

  • In-app search: keyword research within the app is the best way to see what kind of videos populate for those keyword targets, as well as variations. Additionally, start typing the primary keyword in the search bar and look for auto-completes to better understand the industry interests.
  • Keyword research tools: usually, users use the same search terms as they would on Google. That’s why a 3rd-party SEO tool can generate keyword research that gives a great sense of what’s trending around your topic.
  • Google search: similar to a website’s SEO techniques, you can get insights from Google’s search engine in two main ways:
    • Check for search auto-completes
    • Look for related searches at the bottom of the search engine results page

3. Use Text Overlay

Creators often add text to their videos, and TikTok’s search engine reads the on-screen text. The algorithm then gives users content based on the keywords mentioned.

For this reason, it is recommended to add keywords to the video itself in the first few seconds. There are many examples where a search query ends with the first result of a video that mentions that same query as in-video text.

4. Create Relevant Content

Just like “regular” SEO, content relevance is key to better rankings. While optimizing TikTok content, it’s good to do a few things:

  • Make sure your video deals with a trending topic
  • Read the audience comments to ensure the video is giving the expected information
  • TikTok videos should be as engaging as possible. Start with a question and end it with an answer
  • Use popular backgrounds and sounds in the video

5. Website Redirects

When used wisely, TikTok can drive traffic with just one link. With TikTok, you can drive and facilitate the demand for search both on the platform itself and your website. On-site content is a great way to merge TikTok with a website’s strategy. You can grow your website’s authority and get analytics on how the two interact by directing people from TikTok alone to a website.

With that being said, you need to consider some actions for a reasonable redirection to your website. For example, add a strong CTA (call to action) to your text and your general TikTok profile description.

Besides that, ensure your TikTok content is well-optimized for current trends to capture the user’s attention.

And finally, mention your website content within videos. Add an excellent offer for something valuable and earn some visits that will boost your website traffic and conversions.

Sharp increase in organic traffic due to a viral post on TikTok:

TikTok for SEO - Organic traffic peak through a TikTok post

The Easiest Way to Grow on TikTok

The tips mentioned in this article are only a part of a solid TikTok growth strategy. Most businesses are extremely busy already, so adding in TikTok to the mix can be a challenge.

Fortunately, yellowHEAD has all the tools and know-how to improve your TikTok SEO, grow your brand presence, and prompt through hyper-engaging ads. We also handle user generated content and influencer marketing and manage the campaigns through the right PPC methods.


TikTok is here to stay, and every business should adopt this tool to generate new audiences. For content creators and brand marketers, it means that learning SEO for TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and all relevant platforms, is vital for bringing the right content in front of new users.

The current reality is that social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter, are rapidly losing ground to TikTok. Therefore search marketers should start thinking about how to make full use of social platforms for marketing.

Now more than ever, TikTok is becoming a traffic driver, with links to shopping pages, Amazon storefronts, and more. Utilizing TikTok SEO can be a great way to increase visibility and gain new audiences.


How do keywords work on TikTok?

The TikTok search engine reads video text and serves the user with content that relates to the keyword they searched for. That’s why adding keywords in all text fields is essential.

What words are forbidden to mention on TikTok?

There are some things you can’t mention on TikTok, such as cigarettes, death, swear words, weapons, and more

What is a TikTok marketing strategy?

TikTok marketing involves using a TikTok profile to promote products, brands, and services. They usually use a mix of organic content, influencer marketing, and TikTok ads.


Contact yellowHEAD to learn how we help brands promote themselves on TikTok!

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