An Unbeatable TikTok SEO Strategy to Boost Your Business

TikTok Logo with SEO title
TikTok SEO Strategy Image

The Challenge: Small Business, Big Dreams, but No In-House Marketing Team

We’ve all been there. You’re a small business owner with big dreams. You’ve got a killer product, exceptional service, and a heartfelt story. What you don’t have is an in-house marketing team.

The idea of ‘doing digital marketing’ feels more like venturing into a dark forest with no map. And yet, it’s a forest you must navigate to survive and thrive in today’s competitive business landscape.

You’ve probably heard that social media is a must. And when it comes to social platforms that can make a big impact quickly, TikTok is the name that’s on everyone’s lips. But how do you harness its power?

TikTok SEO Strategy for Small Businesses

TikTok Logo with an SEO Logo

Unveiling the Power of TikTok for Small Businesses

Enter TikTok: the social media powerhouse that’s more than just viral dances and catchy tunes, it’s now transitioning to more long-form content, perfect for small businesses. With over 1.2 billion monthly active users worldwide, TikTok offers a vast, untapped audience hungry for fresh content.

This platform provides an unprecedented opportunity for brand visibility, customer engagement, and yes, even sales conversions. Moreover, its algorithm is known to be more democratic, giving even small accounts a fighting chance to be seen by a massive audience. The bottom line? It’s a goldmine for small businesses like yours.

TikTok SEO Facts: Did you know that 40% of young people primarily use TikTok and Instagram for search? That’s right, TikTok’s search results are now becoming the go-to destination for young people to find information. And it’s no wonder since they offer a wealth of content on just about every topic imaginable. With this opportunity, you cannot afford not to have the right TikTok SEO strategy.

TikTok Logo on a Phone Screen with a Heart and a Mask

SEO: Your Secret Weapon for TikTok Videos Visibility

Now you might be thinking, “That’s great, but how does TikTok SEO work?” or “Does TikTok SEO Matter? If you’re thinking this, you’re not alone. Many people associate SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with Google search rankings or website traffic.

However, what you might not realize is that SEO also plays a vital role in optimizing your TikTok channel, thanks to the prominence of the TikTok search engine.

By incorporating a solid TikTok SEO strategy that includes using relevant keywords in your profile, utilizing trending hashtags, and engaging with your audience effectively, you can significantly boost your TikTok channel’s visibility.

Just like Google, TikTok has its own algorithm, and understanding how to optimize for it is crucial in order to improve your channel’s visibility on the platform.

The Objective of this Blog

The objective of this blog is simple but impactful: to help you, the small business owner, understand and implement SEO strategies that will help you create content that will show up in TikTok search results helping you grow your TikTok channel.

We’ll guide you through TikTok keyword research, profile optimization, and even some advanced tactics that most people don’t talk about.

Key Takeaway

Even if you’re not a marketing expert with a team of SEO gurus at your disposal, you can still leverage the benefits of SEO to give your TikTok channel the attention it deserves. The data supports it, and we’ll show you how.

Note: If you are building an affiliate marketing business, check out this guide to mastering TikTok for affiliate marketers.

SEO on a computer keyboard

What is SEO and How Can It Help Your TikTok Channel?

What is SEO (search engine optimization)?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In the simplest terms, it’s the practice of enhancing your digital content so that search engines like Google (now TikTok) will show it as a top result for searches of specific keywords.

SEO isn’t just about pleasing search engines, though. It’s about connecting with your target audience by appearing where they’re already looking. Sounds simple, right?

However, the strategies involved can get quite intricate, involving elements like keywords, meta descriptions, backlinks, and more.

Traditional Use of SEO: Websites and Blogs

Traditionally, SEO has been a weapon wielded by website owners and bloggers to climb the Google rankings. They would strategically place both high-volume keywords and low-volume keywords throughout their site, build credible backlinks, and create quality content that Google’s algorithm would consider worthy of a high rank.

By doing so, they would attract more visitors to their website, thereby increasing opportunities for sales, advertising, or whatever their end game may be.

Read our article on our favorite on-page SEO tool in our Surfer SEO Review. Surfer SEO can make a big difference in your on-page SEO efforts and help your content rank.

TikTok Logo and the World Algorithm in front of a blue eye

TikTok Algorithm and the Role of SEO

You may be wondering, “How does this apply to TikTok?” Great question! Unlike traditional search engines, TikTok has its own algorithm that decides which videos appear on a user’s “For You” page, which is the first thing users see when they open the app.

Factors like user engagement (shares, likes, comments), video information (details, hashtags, high-resolution), and the relevance of the video to the user all play a role.

TikTok SEO Involves:

  1. Keywords in Profile and Captions: Just as you’d include keywords in a blog post to rank in Google, including relevant keywords in your TikTok profile and video captions can make your content more discoverable.

  2. Hashtags: These serve a similar function to keywords and can make your videos more easily searchable.

  3. Engagement: Just like high-engagement sites rank better in Google, TikTok also considers user interaction when ranking videos.

TikTok SEO Facts: An eye-opening study by Hootsuite discovered that businesses utilizing SEO strategies on TikTok saw an average increase of 20% in views and 15% in engagement. That’s right—these aren’t just ‘vanity metrics,’ but indicators of real, profitable interaction with a larger audience.

SEO isn’t just for Google or your website anymore. If you’re looking to grow your TikTok channel, understanding and applying a strong TikTok SEO strategy is an essential step you can’t afford to skip.

Step-by-Step Guide: SEO Tips for Growing Your TikTok Channel

When it comes to TikTok, SEO may not be the first thing on your mind, but it should be. Although the exact TikTok SEO ranking factors are not known, here’s a step-by-step guide to using some traditional SEO strategies that will help propel your TikTok channel into the limelight and get you on the coveted “For You” pages.

Keyword Research for TikTok

What to Do: Before you create your TikTok content, you need to identify keywords that your target audience is likely to use.

How to Do It: You can use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, and SEMrush, to research keywords or simply type in search queries popular in your industry into the TikTok search bar.

This will give you an idea of popular keywords and related keywords that are being searched on TikTok. Create a list of these keywords to use in your video captions, descriptions, and profile.

The TikTok Search Bar being used to search Long-Tail Keywords about SEO Optimization

TikTok SEO Tips: Don’t forget the power of long-tail keywords. These keywords are often less competitive and are more focused on an exact search inquiry.

Optimizing Profile & Bio

What to Do: Your TikTok profile is the first thing people see when they click on your username. Make it count. A study by the social media analytics company Simply Measured found that profiles with a clear and concise bio were 21% more likely to be followed than profiles with no bio.

How to Do It: Incorporate keywords in your bio, add a website link if applicable, and have a clear call-to-action (CTA) like “Follow for more tips!”

TikTok SEO Tips: If you need help with good calls to action (CTA), check out this guide that includes 200 High Converting Hooks and CTAs.

TikTok Hashtag Strategy

Hashtag Strategy

What to Do: Hashtags aren’t just trendy; they’re also functional. They help your content get discovered by a larger audience. When it comes to TikTok, hashtags can make the difference between your content going viral and getting in front of a lot of people or not being seen at all.

How to Do It: Use trending hashtags for broader reach and niche hashtags for targeted visibility. The key is to mix and match for maximum impact. According to a study done by Buffer, using 4-6 relevant hashtags per video is ideal.

TikTok SEO Tips: Some TikTok influencers swear by a hashtag strategy called the 3×3. This involves using the following three hashtags:

Hashtag #1 – What is your video about?

Hashtag #2 – What is the problem?

Hashtag #3 – Who is the video designed for?

Creating SEO-Friendly Content

What to Do: The videos you create should be aligned with the keywords and hashtags you’ve identified.

How to Do It: Incorporate your primary keyword naturally into the video caption and description. Make sure it aligns with the video content.

TikTok SEO Tips: TikTok influencers say that your target keyword should be displayed prominently in text on your video, used in your video caption, and in the video description to maximize TikTok SEO.

TikTok influencer displaying her target keyword (3x3 Hashtag Strategy) prominently in her video.

In the above image, this TikTok influencer displays her target keyword prominently on her video.

TikTok influencer using her target keyword (How to Grow on TikTok) prominently in her video
Target keyword featured as a hashtag in the video description.

In the above images, this TikTok influencer displays her target keyword (How to Grow on TikTok) on her video, and again in the hashtags.

Engagement & User Interaction

What to Do: Engagement is the bread and butter of social media algorithms, and TikTok is no different. TikTok’s algorithm likes videos that have a lot of likes, comments, shares and saves. The more engagement your videos get, the higher they will rank.

How to Do It: Make it a habit to respond to comments and messages on your TikTok videos. This boosts user interaction, which in turn improves your video’s standing in TikTok’s algorithm.

TikTok SEO Tips: Some TikTok influencers say that if you don’t ask people to do anything with your content, they won’t. That’s why you see many TikTok influencers reminding people to like, comment, and save their videos. Here is an example of what that looks like.

Analytics Monitoring

What to Do: To keep improving, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t.

How to Do It: TikTok offers built-in analytics (Mobile App Only) for you to monitor key metrics like views, engagement rates, and follower growth. Use these insights to tweak your SEO strategy as needed.

To get to your analytics on the mobile app, go to your profile page and click the three lines in the top right corner. Then click on creator tools, and you will see analytics. Here is a great video to explain how to use TikTok analytics.

TikTok SEO Facts: According to SEMrush, businesses that implemented SEO strategies on TikTok experienced an average increase of 5% in sales. Yes, that’s right. Following these steps doesn’t just boost your visibility; it can have a direct impact on your bottom line.

Key Takeaway:

By meticulously crafting a TikTok SEO strategy and following these steps, you’re not just improving your channel’s visibility. You’re potentially opening doors for more sales and growth for your small business.

Advanced TikTok SEO Tips

By now, you’ve mastered the basics of TikTok SEO. But what if you want to go above and beyond to really turbocharge your TikTok visibility? Here are some advanced strategies for those ready to become TikTok powerhouses.

Video Transcriptions

What to Do: Improve your video’s discoverability by adding a transcript.

How to Do It: You can manually transcribe your TikTok videos or use one of the many free transcription services out there. Once you have the transcript, you can add it to the video description or as a comment under the video.

This helps TikTok’s algorithm understand what your content is about, making it more likely to show up in relevant searches.

External Linking

What to Do: If you’re serious about SEO, then you know the importance of backlinks. You can apply the same principle on TikTok.

How to Do It: Use SEO-rich backlinks in your TikTok bio that lead to your landing pages or product sites. Make sure these links are relevant to your TikTok content to maintain consistency and improve click-through rates.

TikTok SEO Tips: In order to have a clickable link in your bio, you need to have your account set up as a business account and have at least 1000 TikTok subscribers.

Cross-Platform Sharing

What to Do: Boost your TikTok video’s SEO ranking by sharing it across different platforms.

How to Do It: After posting your TikTok video, share it on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using the same keywords and hashtags. The more platforms your video appears on, the higher its authority and SEO ranking.

TikTok SEO Tips: An intriguing study by Oberlo found that businesses incorporating these advanced SEO strategies into their TikTok marketing see an average increase of 10% in brand awareness.

This isn’t just about getting more eyes on your videos; it’s about making sure those eyes belong to people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

TikTok Creative Center Homepage Image

Take Advantage of the TikTok Creative Center

The TikTok Creative Center is a suite of tools and resources designed to help businesses create and manage their TikTok presence. It includes features such as:

  • Trend Discovery: This tool helps businesses find and track the latest trends on TikTok, so they can create content that is relevant to their audience.

  • Hashtag Insights: This tool provides businesses with data on how their videos are performing on TikTok, including the number of views, likes, and shares they have received.

  • Video Editor: This tool allows businesses to create and edit videos for TikTok, using a variety of features such as filters, effects, and music.

  • Creative Tips Finder: This tool provides businesses with tips on how to create effective TikTok content, such as how to use hashtags, trends, and music.

Here are some specific ways that small business owners can use the TikTok Creative Center to grow their channel:

  • Use the Trend Discovery tool to find and track the latest trends on TikTok. This will help you create content that is relevant to your audience and that is more likely to be seen and shared.

  • Use the Hashtag Insights tool to help you see which hashtags are working well for your niche and which ones you need to use more of.

  • Collaborate with other creators to reach a wider audience.

TikTok's Creative Center showing the insights for the hashtag #SEO

The above image shows the TikTok Creative Center’s Hashtag tool that can help you find trending hashtags for your videos

Key Takeaway:

Mastering these advanced SEO strategies won’t just make you more visible on TikTok; it will catapult you into the realm of TikTok power users. So, roll up your sleeves and start implementing these tips to watch your brand soar on TikTok.

Common Misconceptions About TikTok and SEO

Before we wrap up, let’s debunk some common myths that may have been holding you back from fully embracing SEO for your TikTok channel.

Misconception 1: TikTok doesn’t use SEO

The Truth: While it’s true that TikTok’s primary focus hasn’t always been being a search engine like Google, it now employs algorithms that function in ways similar to SEO.

Keywords, hashtags, and engagement all play a role in how your content gets discovered.

Misconception 2: Hashtags are not essential

The Truth: Contrary to this belief, hashtags are crucial for visibility. They categorize your content, making it more discoverable to a wider yet targeted audience. The hashtags help TikTok put relevant content in front of the right people so neglecting them can be detrimental to your content’s success.

Misconception 3: SEO is too technical for the average person

The Truth: While SEO can be complex, the basics are accessible to everyone. You don’t need to be a tech whiz to implement fundamental SEO strategies on your TikTok account. Having this guide will already put you ahead of many TikTok creators.

Key Takeaway:

Busting these myths is more than a simple clarification; it’s an invitation to explore powerful marketing avenues on TikTok that you might not have considered before.

TikTok SEO FAQ

What is the keyword strategy for TikTok?

Incorporate relevant and trending keywords in your video descriptions, captions, and hashtags. Balance between general, high-traffic keywords and more specific, niche terms.

What are the TikTok ranking factors?

Although the exact ranking factors are not known, TikTok does use several factors to rank videos, including engagement (likes, comments, shares), relevance (how well the video matches user intent), video completion rate, and consistency in posting.


Final Thoughts

In this guide, we’ve walked you through the ins and outs of TikTok SEO—from the basics to advanced tips.

Remember, SEO is not just a Google thing only for web pages. Studies from Hootsuite, SEMrush, and Oberlo have shown that SEO can improve views, engagement, sales, and brand awareness on TikTok. So why not get ahead of the game?

Take the plunge. Start integrating SEO into your TikTok strategy today and unleash the full potential of this platform for your small business. You don’t need an in-house marketing team to make it big; you just need the right strategies.


CreativityNext SEO Solutions

Still feeling overwhelmed? Need more personalized guidance? For more help using SEO to grow your business’s online presence, please contact us here at CreativityNext SEO Solutions.

We are happy to help you grow your TikTok channel and your online presence with the power of SEO.


Meet the author

Hey I'm Wesley

Wesley Cable is an SEO Content Specialist with a passion for helping small businesses expand their digital reach with the help of SEO. He is committed to making SEO services available to everyone so don’t hesitate to contact him with questions on how SEO can help your business. When not helping businesses grow and writing about SEO, Wesley enjoys spending time with his family in CA, listening to music, and wine tasting.

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