TikTok SEO: Proven Strategies To Rank Higher

Some time back in 2021, NBC news published an article stating that TikTok had surpassed Google in terms of popularity.

That was a sign this social media behemoth was set to take the scene by storm in the next few years.

Now in 2023, TikTok is the 6th most popular social media platform with over 1 billion monthly users.

If you’re an online marketer, you’ll most probably appreciate what a goldmine of traffic this platform can be, if you leverage it well.

What is TikTok SEO?

TikTok presents an excellent opportunity for businesses to reach their target audiences.

However, like any other social media platform, TikTok also requires optimization to rank higher and increase visibility.

On one hand, TikTok SEO requires a strategic approach that combines keyword research, engagement tactics, and consistent posting habits.

Where on the other hand, TikTok video SEO is about optimizing your video’s content and metadata in such a way that they appear at the top of search results when users look for specific keywords.

This involves optimizing your description, captions, hashtags, and even audio tracks used in your videos.

By implementing these proven strategies into your TikTok marketing plan, you can increase your chances of ranking higher in search results and reaching a wider audience on this rapidly growing social media platform.

How to Optimize TikTok for SEO

The Best TikTok video’s

Generally, the TikTok algorithm seems to favor entertainment-styled videos.

These tend to be videos of people doing trending dances mindlessly or pranksters pulling infantile pranks just to get more views.

For some strange reason, the most trivial and nonsensical videos seem to be the type of content that’s generously splashed across your TikTok feed.

More and more people are starting to suspect if dumbing down Western society is the TikTok platform’s insidious agenda.

Whatever your stand on the issue may be, one truth remains… Getting your marketing videos to stand out on TikTok will be an uphill struggle.

Not only is the audience there for light entertainment, but they have the attention span of a housefly that just sipped some Red Bull.

Many TikTok users report being unable to focus on anything for long periods after using TikTok often.

So not only are you trying to make your marketing videos stand out on a platform that gives more reach to puerile content, but you have an audience with a short attention span that scrolls mindlessly.

To rank your videos well, you’ll need to be proactive about it rather than leaving it to chance.

You have your work cut out when it comes to getting reach with TikTok.

Why Rank on TikTok?

rankingDespite the fact that TikTok seems to be mostly entertainment-oriented, the fact that it has surpassed Google in popularity a year or two ago highlights one fact…

People are using it as a search engine too… This is a key point to note.

So, you’re not competing with the millions of lighthearted videos suggested by TikTok.

You’re competing with other marketers in your niche and trying to outrank them in the search results on TikTok.

How do Keywords work on TikTok?

The first step will be to have a seed keyword… This is where a TikTok SEO tool free comes in handy.

Let’s assume you’re in the email marketing niche… “Listbuilding’ could be one seed keyword that you may have.

Enter this term in the TikTok search field and take note of the other keyword suggestions it provides in the search bar.

This is like the autocomplete feature in Ubersuggest.

The keywords that TikTok suggests are usually highly relevant and you’ll want to make videos for those too.

The search results will also show other keywords people are searching for too. These are all important keywords. Note them down for your future videos.

One of the best ways to rank will be to make videos targeting keywords that people are currently searching for.

Optimize your TikTok bio

tiktok bioYour TikTok bio is one of the most crucial elements for optimizing your profile and gaining more visibility on the app.

Firstly, it should be easy to read and understand so that new followers can quickly understand who you are and what type of content you create.

Secondly, using relevant keywords in your bio can help improve your visibility on TikTok search results.

For example, if your niche is gardening, your bio may state, ‘Daily Gardening Tips for Beginners!’

While simple, the bio has the seed keyword in it and mentions how there will be new tips for the viewers every single day. That’s enough reason for many of them to follow you.

Using your keyword in your profile will also tell TikTok what your channel is about. So make sure it’s optimized.

Optimize your TikTok video’s

When you create your video, ideally, you’ll want to say your keyword in the first sentence. This will let the TikTok algorithm detect and understand what your video is about.

Your video thumbnail should also have the keyword. In regards to thumbnails, unlike YouTube, you do not need highly attractive thumbnails.

A simple white box with a few words (including your keyword) will do. TikTok viewers can easily read and know what your video will be about.

Use the keywords in your captions, video description and have a hashtag or two with the keyword in it.

Most Viewed TikTok video’s

Since TikTok videos are usually short and people scroll by fast, you’ll need to start your video off with a hook to reel the viewer in.

People decide on whether to watch a video or scroll down in microseconds… So you must grab their attention within the first few seconds.

If your niche is listbuilding, a hook like, “This listbuilding technique got me 276 subscribers in 1 day!”

Now, the viewer not only understands what the video is about, but they’re curious about the technique because there’s a benefit in the hook.

This will prompt them to click on your video to watch it.

This once again highlights the importance of good keyword research and copywriting – skills that you definitely want to focus on.

Optimal TikTok posting

tiktok postingIdeally, you’ll want to post 2-4 videos a day spaced out at intervals.

Most of the people on TikTok tend to be addicted to it and use their phones several times a day.

When they keep seeing your videos, you’ll become more familiar and increase your chances of getting watched.

Remember how Andrew Tate became the most infamous man on TikTok?

He had his affiliates constantly posting clips of him all over TikTok.

Not only did he build a huge audience in record time, but he became one of the most Googled people in 2022.

Andrew himself did NOT have a TikTok account… That’s what is truly amazing.

If you wish to stand above the noise on TikTok, you need to post more. 1 video a day is ok… but you need at least 2-3 to really gain traction.

Boosting your TikTok SEO

Embedding your TikTok videos on your site and building backlinks to your videos may help.

While there’s no sure way to know if they have a positive impact on your rankings (unless you test them out), it doesn’t hurt to do what you can to give your videos a little push.

There are services on Fiverr where people offer to build backlinks to your TikTok videos. You may wish to try a couple out and see how they work for you.

Make Entertaining TikTok video’s

Videos that are engaging and fun while providing value will tend to have the highest watch time.

Make sure your content is congruent… and the videos are of high-quality.

If your niche is affiliate marketing, all your videos should revolve around this topic.

Do not suddenly post videos of yourself dancing or give tips on raising tropical fish just because you have 2 goldfish at home.

Keep your videos focused and niche-specific.

This will encourage viewers who watch one of your videos to click on your profile and watch whatever other videos you have.

The higher your video’s watch time, the more you’ll be favored by the algorithm. This will mean a better ranking in the TikTok search results.

TikTok analytics

tiktok analyticsLooking at your analytics every now and they will reveal which videos are getting the most engagement and traction.

Now you’ll have data to reverse engineer what’s working and make similar videos. Give the audience what they want.

The more videos you have which are similar, the more views you’ll get… and your follower count will increase too.

TikTok trends

When you do a keyword search on TikTok, study the first 5-10 videos that show up.

These are your competitors. Take notes on what they’re doing.

By modelling what works, you’ll boost your chances of ranking well and will avoid wasting time.

Collaborate with TikTok influencers

Collaborating with other popular TikTokkers in your niche will expose all parties to a wider audience.

You get exposure to their followers, and vice-versa. It’s inevitable to have more people following you when you get more exposure.

The more followers and views you get, the better you appear to the TikTok algorithm.

Your popularity is like social proof.

Generally, the more popular TikTok creators have an easier time ranking their videos because they have a ‘reputation’ on the platform. So, you’ll want to work on developing a rep too.

Grow your TikTok following

influencer marketingThere’s a common problem that thousands of newbies face on TikTok… or any social media platform for that matter… They lack exposure, so they struggle to build a following.

However, the platform doesn’t give them much exposure because they lack a following. It’s a tricky catch-22 situation.

Creating video after video only to see 20 views or less can be disheartening.

Will you keep making videos in the hope that a couple of them will take off and get you traction? Or will you resort to grey hat tactics and ‘assist’ yourself?

You can bet your last dollar that many of the most popular influencers on TikTok, Instagram, etc. are secretly buying views, likes and followers.

While most platforms frown upon these practices, one cannot deny they work, when employed with control and distraction.

A quick Google search for ‘buy TikTok views’ will give you several search results for companies offering these services.

TikTok View Services

Three services that we found while writing this article:

  1. UseViral.com
  2. SocialBoosting.com
  3. SocialWick.com

While this article doesn’t suggest that you use these services, it’ll be remiss of us not to mention how to use them… if you so decide to.

Here is a quick list of tips to bear in mind…

  • Make sure the views are coming from real human accounts. You want to avoid bot traffic.
  • Buy small packages. Do NOT suddenly buy 400,000 views for your video if it’s a new channel.
  • Buy views for 1 video at a time. Do NOT purchase views more than once a week. The goal is to take things slowly. Paying $4 for 1,000 views is sufficient in the beginning to give your videos an edge.
  • Make sure the views are drip-fed. This basically means that the views gradually come in throughout the day/s. This will appear more natural to the TikTok algorithm.
  • The service should offer tracking too. You’ll want to see where the views are coming from and so on.
  • There should be a money-back guarantee. The better services offer a refund policy so there’s no financial risk for you if they can’t deliver what they promise.

What’s most important to remember is that less is more when you’re starting out.

Do NOT be too enthusiastic and buy too many views all at once.

A 1000-2000 views per video will seem more natural and will also be easier on your wallet.

Remember, buying views is a not a crutch for poor quality videos and an unoptimized bio and description.

Only when all the other tips mentioned aboce are in place will you want to cautiously and gingerly test buying views (if you choose to).

Making the Most of TikTok SEO

In conclusion, TikTok is an incredibly powerful platform that can help content creators reach a massive audience.

By leveraging the right SEO strategies, it’s possible to rank higher and get your content in front of more people.

At the end of the day, winning on TikTok is about persistence and consistency.

The more videos you make, the higher your chances of building an audience.

Your analytics will also have better feedback when you have a solid body of work to draw conclusions from… So focus on creating the best content you can on a consistent basis.

Do proficient keyword research and optimize your bio and descriptions.

If you can do that, it’s just a matter of time before your videos rank well and you build a solid, engaged audience on TikTok.

On a final note, make sure you have a link in your profile that takes them to a landing page where they can join your list or buy your products.

Use a tool like Linktree to create a page where you have different links pointing to different web properties you own.

It’s imperative that you never build your house on rented land. Siphon TikTok’s traffic to your own web assets and build an email list.

That’s the one asset you’ll truly own.

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