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TikTok SEO 101: How to SEO Optimize TikTok Videos in 4 Steps

Tanya Cruz
Written By
Tanya Cruz
Published On
Apr 12, 2023
The TikTok logo

Whenever we want to learn more about anything, all we need to do is “Google it,” right?

Well, things are starting to change. Now, we can just “TikTok it.”

As a short-form video social media platform, TikTok is technically not a search engine—but people all over the world use the platform’s search bar to open up a world of endless interesting content on almost any topic you can possibly think of.

And if you’re into making TikTok videos yourself, you’d naturally want them to appear high up in the search results. That’s where TikTok SEO (search engine optimization) comes dancing into the picture.

Here at The Influence Agency, we’ll show you how to SEO optimize your TikTok videos so everyone can see how amazing your content is—and become a follower of the social media star you were born to be.

What is TikTok SEO?

TikTok SEO is all about optimizing your videos using various strategies so that they rank higher in the search results. In turn, this makes your content easily discoverable, gets you more views, and elevates your standing as a content creator.

From DIY face mask tutorials to style inspiration for the summer, 40% of Gen Z say that this social media platform is actually their “go-to search engine” for discovering content. That’s why optimizing TikTok SEO has become a major priority.

But that’s not the only perk of TikTok SEO; mastering the tricks of this trade can actually land you a nice spot on Google search engine results pages too—and everybody wants a spot there because it’s like the walk of fame for content creators.

Slay The TikTok Game in 4 Steps

Making sure that your videos get the attention they deserve can be challenging. But don’t fret—all it takes is a few strategies to boost your TikTok SEO game. 

The next time you post a video, ensure you’re taking the following factors into account:

1. Use The Right Keywords

Using the right words in your content will open up a ton of doors for you—they don’t call them “keywords” for nothing! 

If your video is about the “top make-up trends in 2023,” place these keywords in the titles, descriptions, captions, and on-screen text (such as lyrics or explanations). It’s an easy way of letting the algorithm know exactly what your videos are all about so it knows to recommend it to people when they’re searching for content.

Doing Keyword Research

If you’re a content creator on TikTok, the odds are that you have a niche. Using the right keywords that correspond to this niche will help you expand your audience reach as you continue to grow your page—and it all starts with doing some research.

  • On TikTok

Let’s say your account is all about DIY projects and you want to make more content that’s focused on what people are already looking for. You can learn more about the popular search terms by typing “DIY” into the search bar. Then, a bunch of suggestions will appear, and you can start building your future content from there.

 TikTok search results for “diy”

To dive even deeper into the rabbit hole of popular searches, simply type in your keyword followed by a single letter.

For example, “DIY a”

TikTok search results for “diy a”

Or “DIY b”

TikTok search results for “diy b”
  • Using Google Ads Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush

When it comes to keyword research, don’t limit yourself to just the TikTok search bar. Tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and more can show you a wide range of related keywords that people are looking for on the internet. While these tools display data for Google SERPs and not TikToo itself, they can still come in handy because they show you which specific topics people online are generally interested in. And since TikTok videos show up on Google SERPs, your chances of being seen will increase if you can give them useful content.

2. Include Relevant Hashtags

Don’t underestimate the power of hashtags when you’re trying to get your content out there. They have the power to bring people who are interested in the same topic together—and who knows, they could land on your videos. 

It’s recommended to use around five relevant hashtags to boost the chances of your video being discovered. For example, if you’re a fashion content creator, you could use #style, #ootd, #fashionista, #styleinspo, and #outfitinspo.

3. Leverage Trending TikTok Audio

TikTok is all about the now. It’s a haven for current trends. And if you want to thrive in its ecosystem, you’re going to have to jump on the bandwagon before it leaves you behind. Did Selena Gomez just release a brand new track that everyone’s lipsyncing to? Or did TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s new dance challenge just go viral on the platform? Whatever audio is trending at the moment, that’s a TikTok SEO opportunity for you to leverage it in order to be seen by more people.

4. Build Authority

Winning the TikTok SEO game also depends on authority at times. It’s the content that’s deemed “reliable” that usually makes its way to the top of search results and the “For You” page.

The Link Strategy

When there are multiple pages that link to your pages, the algorithm sees this as a sign that you’re trustworthy. Ideally, this would help propel your videos to the top.

A Strong Social Media Presence

Another way to establish authority is by having a presence on other popular social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Google considers these as authoritative sites and tends to pull content from them to display on SERPs as well. If you maintain a strong presence on these platforms with similar content, it’s inevitable that this will help lead people to your TikTok videos as well.

An SEO plan displayed on a laptop screen

TikTok… It’s SEO’Clock

Well, would you look at the time—Tik…Tok…It’s SEO’clock.

Ready to get started with search engine optimization for your brand? Or maybe you’re thinking about levelling up your TikTok marketing strategy?

When it comes to TikTok SEO and making brands shine brighter in online spaces, The Influence Agency—a leading digital marketing company in North America—knows how to get it done.

Get started with a quote here! 



  • Tanya Cruz

    Tanya Cruz is the Director of Communications at TIA. She always loved a good story, which is why she chose a career that let her tell them. These days she's telling brand stories through digital, by developing social content that resonates and helps build strong communities online. You can follow her at @thetanyacruz

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  • Tanya Cruz

    Tanya Cruz is the Director of Communications at TIA. She always loved a good story, which is why she chose a career that let her tell them. These days she's telling brand stories through digital, by developing social content that resonates and helps build strong communities online. You can follow her at @thetanyacruz

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