What do air fryers, ribbed leggings, and Little Moons mochi ice cream have in common? They’re all TikTok sensations! Thanks to the social media platform, air fryers are now one of the most popular kitchen items around the world, despite most people have never heard of them three years ago. All thanks to TikTok SEO.
You might be thinking “but that’s just GenZ, what about everyone else?” GenZ and Millennials are always early adopters of new ways of using technology and influence other generations to follow suit.
But just because it won’t unseat Google doesn’t mean that TikTok isn’t going to play a major role in search, going forward. In fact, Google has already started to show TikTok short videos on Google’s SERPs.
And that’s not just for searches with ‘TikTok’ mentioned in the query. You can see this in searches for football players, too.
40% of 18-24-year-olds, when looking for a place to go or eat, turn to TikTok over Google. In the fashion or beauty space, we’re now seeing TikTok become the place that refers to the most traffic and demand, with a conversion rate as high as 80%. From our own data, it’s not just restaurants or travel advice – users are heading to TikTok for e-commerce searches and purchases too. “TikTok made me buy it” is real.
Consumers are Becoming Impatient
So, why is this happening? Truth is, consumers are becoming more impatient and want fast results for their queries. The faster you can make the buying journey, all the way from awareness to conversion, the more you will win as a brand. Short-form content is therefore becoming the answer that users want and therefore Google will sooner or later reward short-form content too.
Does That Make TikTok a Search Engine?
Right now, no, it doesn’t call itself a search engine. But TikTok is going toe-to-toe with YouTube and starting to beat Google because of this. TikTok has started showing signs of applying search engine features, raising questions about its ability to not only take over YouTube search but Google search as well.
It started with a search bar, then paid ads within its search results page, and now it’s even showing suggested search terms when viewing a video’s comments section.
The truth is, that users are becoming unsatisfied (and impatient) with Google’s search results. SEOs have historically relied on long-form keyword-heavy content in order to improve rankings, but in reality, users just want the answer quickly and clearly. Some even question whether SEOs actually ruin SEO.
Ultimately, Google is and always will follow the suit of its users, looking at how they behave and changing the algorithm to suit them.
The only problem: many are arguing whether the content presented on TikTok can be trusted. Studies show that Americans trust Google significantly more than TikTok, which was found to be the most distrusted tech giant – mostly due to the way they handle their user data.
How Do You optimize TikTok Content for Search?
Optimizing TikTok content to appear in TikTok search results is different from understanding the algorithm to get views.
Also, views and likes AREN’T a ranking factor for TikTok search, remember that. Many people post content on the platform, and they expect to get quality results instantly. One of the major benefits of TikTok is how keywords and hashtags can work to generate views in the millions by ranking in search.
In this context, SEO would aim to optimize your TikTok content for views, so they can connect you to more people who want to watch your content. Here’s how to do that:
1. Add Your Search Keywords in the Text in your Video
When you create a video, you can add text to the screen. TikTok reads this text and serves the user your content based on any keywords mentioned. We recommend adding keywords into your text on screen, specifically within the first 1-5 seconds of the video.
As you can see here, when searching for “best foundations”, the video that ranks first is a video with “best foundations” as the keyword text added to the screen. Note that “best foundations” isn’t mentioned within the caption, showing how powerful in-video text is on rankings.
When comparing this video to other results on TikTok for the same search term, it’s clear that likes and views aren’t influencing the search results as much as in-video text. Another video further down the results page has 250k views but ranks significantly lower than the video with 54k.
The most-liked video also sits further down the results page. Don’t get caught up too much on views or likes – focus on facilitating search demand. To get a list of top keywords people search for in your niche, in-depth keyword research is needed. Tools like keywordtool.io and Semrush are best for this kind of analysis.
2. Keywords in Captions
Make sure you take advantage of the 500-character caption limit by including keywords your customer will be searching for – we often use the same keywords people are searching for on Google and YouTube on TikTok. Keep your captions natural, placing the keyword in a sentence rather than keyword stuffing.
3. Using Hashtags to Rank
Hashtags are one of the most important parts of TikTok SEO. In a similar way to how Instagram SEO works, hashtags will power your ability to optimize your content for the TikTok search engine. Across TikTok, specific demographics of people subscribe to certain hashtags based on their intent. Use 3-6 keyword hashtags, strategically using both high volume and low volume keywords. Make sure to use both broad and niche hashtags, too.
How to Find Popular TikTok Hashtags for SEO?
Other than the trending hashtags explained above, you should consider both informational and commercial keywords as part of your hashtag strategy. Here is how we generate TikTok keywords that are effective for SEO:
- Choose long-tail keywords with under 100k volume to begin focusing effort on
- Update previous posts with new keyword selections
- Select high-volume keywords that are your final targets
- Use a combination of both long-tail and high-volume keywords on your posts
Can TikTok Help Wesbite SEO?
TikTok is a very effective tool in both driving and facilitating search demand on the platform and directly on your website. There are many ways you can integrate TikTok into your site strategy – specifically on-site content. But pointing people to your website from TikTok alone is an essential way to start growing your website’s authority – as well as getting analytics on how the two interact.
Can We See Search Volumes on TikTok?
Not yet, however, we are seeing a similarity in the way people use YouTube and TikTok. Therefore, the keywords people use are likely the same on both platforms, and keyword data for YouTube is readily available on Keywordtool.io.
Alternatively, you can track trending searches on Google for your products or services off the back of TikTok.
Hopefully, we’ve given you the tools to get started on your TikTok SEO journey. Hope this article helps!