TikTok, popularly known as Duoyin in China, has a user base of more than 1.5 billion. If you wish to leverage this massive user base to achieve explosive growth, you should know how to do TikTok SEO.


In this article, I will explain how the TikTok algorithm works and you’ll get insider access to all the best-kept optimization secrets. 


You will know the exact steps you need to take to rapidly increase the number of followers and views on your TikTok account.


What is TikTok SEO?


TikTok SEO involves optimizing your content for the “For You” feed to help you reach and grab your target audience's attention.


These optimizations are based on a combination of factors, such as user interactions, sounds, hashtags, and language preferences.  


Just like you optimize your website for Google SEO, you can optimize your TikTok videos based on the factors that the TikTok recommendation engine uses to recommend videos to the users.


TikTok vs. Google 


Google has already made the statement that "Tiktok is eating its search market share." Compared to Google, Gen Z people (aged between 18-29) use TikTok more as a search engine. This is because of the time it saves. 


For instance, many women users might go to TikTok to find reviews of the best eye creams for dark circles or other beauty products. This gives brands the perfect opportunity to create relevant content targeting these search queries.


@drsomjiskinMy top picks for eye cream 💦✨ make sure you watch + save this!♬ Peace - Official Sound Studio

Statistics also show that about 40% of young people use TikTok or Instagram instead of Google when they’re looking for a place to have lunch.


@highspeeddining Water Grill: Downtown Los Angeles - Let’s do lunch #losangeles #watergrill #docueatery #highspeeddining ♬ original sound - Joel Haas - High Speed Dining

The younger generation doesn't have the patience to read a blog or watch a 10-minute video to find an answer to their query.


They're looking for instant answers. That's where TikTok wins.


Because the length of a TikTok video is 60 seconds, people find it easier and quicker to consume information and get a solution for their problems.


Additionally, the most significant benefit for a business using TikTok is that you can walk the customer through the buyer's journey - awareness to conversion - at a much faster pace.


If you can perform Tik Tok SEO perfectly, you can swiftly improve your brand awareness, traffic, and conversion. Since the platform is a community of like-minded individuals and creators, trustworthiness and credibility are high. 


People prefer using TikTok as a search engine and map to find the best restaurants, fashion advice, travel advice, services, products, and more.


Just look at this example,

how to get a free domain


If someone searches for "how to get a free domain name" on TikTok, he can use this video to gain insights within 60 seconds. 


Moreover, 85.1k people have watched this video, so the credibility and trustworthiness of this creator are high.


Does SEO Work on TikTok?


Yes! TikTok SEO works if you follow the TikTok video ranking algorithm closely.


TikTok has already started to add different search engine features to its interface. Like how Google uses auto-fill, TikTok now uses auto-fill in the search bar and comment section to improve the user search experience.


Here is an example of auto-fill on TikTok, which is similar to how the Google search bar works.

tiktok auto fill


Hence, if you sell cosmetics, you can begin creating videos on the different eyeshadow tutorials suggested by the TikTok auto-fill algorithm.


Similarly, you can search auto-fill keywords and phrases related to your industry to create relevant videos for your target audience's “For You” feed.


Moreover, in September 2022, TikTok announced that it expanded its post description from 300 characters to 2,200 characters


Opening up the character limit means you can add more keywords to post descriptions. More keywords will result in increased visibility within search through TikTok SEO.


TikTok has an AI-powered algorithm that crawls through your content and identifies the keywords you have included in video, audio, and context. Based on that, it improves your video ranking.


The TikTok algorithm serves its users with content they're interested in. It analyzes multiple factors, like the posts they interact with and the accounts they follow. 


Therefore, optimizing your content according to the TikTok ranking algorithm will amplify the reach of your videos resulting in improved branding.


TikTok SEO Ranking Factors


To thrive on TikTok, it's important to understand the various ranking factors that the platform uses to evaluate and promote content. These factors collectively determine how and when your videos show up in users' feeds.

Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate TikTok SEO

One of the most critical ranking factors on TikTok is engagement. This includes likes, comments, shares, and watch time. The more engagement your video receives, the higher its chances of being promoted by the algorithm.

Engagement signals to TikTok that your content is interesting and valuable to users. Therefore, creating engaging content should be a top priority. Consider using interactive elements like questions or calls-to-action (CTA) to drive engagement.

Another aspect of engagement is the completion rate of your videos. TikTok favors content that viewers watch all the way through, so aim to make your videos compelling from start to finish.

Video Information

TikTok's algorithm also evaluates the metadata associated with your videos. This includes captions, hashtags, and sounds. Using relevant and trending hashtags can help your content reach a broader audience.

Hashtags TikTok SEO

Captions not only provide context but also make your videos accessible to a wider audience, including those watching without sound. Ensure your captions are engaging and include keywords related to your content.

The choice of sound or music used in your video can also significantly impact its ranking. Trending sounds are more likely to get picked up by the algorithm, so consider incorporating popular audio elements.


How To Optimize Your Videos With TikTok SEO


Since TikTok is a growing search engine, it's time for you to leverage it. 49% of users said TikTok has helped them make a purchase decision. 


Here are the best four ways to optimize your videos with Tik Tok SEO:

Find What's Trending on TikTok

Before implementing a strategy, you must understand what works best on TikTok's platform.  For that, you need to leverage the content that is trending on TikTok. 


Here are some of the ways to find the trendiest videos on TikTok:




The hashtag is the most apparent optimization area you need to focus on. 


Finding the current trending hashtags and leveraging them will enable you to reach a wider audience. To maximize your results, you can use the trending hashtags and also your long tail and high volume keywords as hashtags.


Using high-volume keywords will expose your content to a larger audience looking for your product or service.


Try to use 3-4 keywords as hashtags that are relevant to your business. If there are any hashtags that are not relevant to your niche, it can ruin your credibility and user experience.


You can use the TikTok Creative Center to discover trending keywords based on different industries.

tik tok creative center


Here you can see the trending hashtags with a report that shows full analytics, including the top creators using the hashtag.


This is a great way to identify potential influencers or creators for collaborations to improve the visibility of your videos further.


TikTok Sounds


Use trending sounds for better reach.  A newly launched song or audio will be trending on TikTok. You can leverage these songs to improve your visibility in the TikTok Search engine.


Adding sounds to your TikTok video is important because 88% of TikTokers say the audio is essential to enhance the overall experience. There are plenty of ways to find a trending song on TikTok. Here are the top 5 easiest ways:


  • Visit sites like TokBoard that share a weekly update of the sounds and songs trending on TikTok.


  • Go to the TikTok Creative Center, click sounds, and see the most popular songs. Select the Breakout section to see the most trending song and more insights about the audiences listening to it.
  • Research your competitors from your TikTok accounts and follow them or like them. Once you do this, your "For you" section on TikTok will be filled with content they post and other similar content. You can use that section to find out which sounds popular in your niche by assessing the likes and comments.
  • Head to the search bar and type in "trending sounds" or "Viral sounds" and click sounds, and you will be presented with the most popular ones.
  • Use the Billboard Hot 100 chart to find the top trending songs used on TikTok. In 2021, more than 175 TikTok trending songs were featured in this list. 






Look for challenges that are trending on TikTok. But remember to check whether they are relevant to your industry.


If you can't find relevant challenges, you can participate in generic challenges that are not industry specific.


Here are a couple of tips to find the trending challenges on TikTok:


  • You can use the TikTok search engine to find the trending challenges by searching #TikTokchallenge or #challenge.
  • You can follow the trending sounds and hashtags to find the trending challenges that are ongoing in your industry.


Following an ongoing trend can maximize creativity, reach more people, increase your credibility, and help you stay ahead of your competitors.

Add Trending Keywords to Videos

Including keywords in your video is one of the best ways to optimize your content for TikTok SEO. Like every search engine, TikTok shows users relevant and useful results based on the keywords.


You should add relevant keywords in the video title. Having keywords in the title is one of the best ways to increase your TikTok video rankings. You can also include your target keyword in the video while editing. 


For example, in the below image, you can see the relevant keyphrase included in the video.

chrome extensions


The video is about the different helpful chrome extensions. So, the creator has included his target keyword - Chrome Extensions - in the text while editing the video.


This enables TikTok's algorithm to crawl through the video and understand the text.


When someone searches for "powerful chrome extensions" on TikTok, this video has a higher chance of ranking at the top of the search results.


You can also help the algorithm understand your video by turning on the captions. Doing so enables TikTok to scan the audio to produce captions on your behalf and understand the content.


Video transcripts and captions are excellent features that tell search engines to crawl the content for better ranking and understanding.

Insert Trending Hashtags

You must leverage trending hashtags to enhance your visibility, reach, and followers. As you have already performed trending hashtag research, you can use your findings in your content. 

TikTok Trending Hashtags

Make sure the hashtags you use are relevant to your posts. Don't use it for the sake of reaching a wider audience. Relevancy matters on TikTok.


When you add irrelevant trending hashtags, the algorithm may show your video to a wider audience, but they may not be interested in your business.

Increase Video Engagement

One of the top TikTok ranking factors is video engagement. Promote your videos so that they receive maximum likes and comments because it shows that people are engaging with your videos.


You should also get as many replays, bookmarks, and follows as possible. 


Also, engagement is measured at the video level rather than at the account level.


Therefore, it does not matter if your profile has a limited number of followers; your videos can rank high if the video engagement is higher. 

Leverage Language 

Language is one of the most underestimated TikTok SEO ranking factors. When people create videos, they often create in their own language (mother tongue).


However, if you are a business looking to capture an international market audience, you should try creating videos in different languages based on your target country's official language. 


This way, you will increase the chances of your video being shown to people in your target country. 

Ensure Your Videos Don't Receive the "Not Interested" Feedback

TikTok's recommendation system always tries to recommend high-interest videos to every user. One of the factors is the "Not Interested" feedback. 

Not Interested Button TikTok

If your videos are marked as "Not Interested," then it is counted negatively by the recommendation system, meaning your content may lose its rankings and will not be shown to users.


To increase your chances of ranking your videos in the user's feed, your videos should be non-promotional and helpful. 


If you understand the user's needs and create highly engaging videos your audience will love to watch, your chances of receiving "Not Interested" feedback decrease.


Measuring Performance on TikTok


Once you understand the ranking factors, the next step is to measure your performance on the platform. Regularly tracking your metrics will help you adjust your strategy and maximize your content's impact.

TikTok Analytics

TikTok Analytics

TikTok provides built-in analytics tools that offer valuable insights into your content's performance. These tools are available to all TikTok Pro accounts, which you can switch to for free in the app's settings.

Key metrics to monitor include video views, follower growth, and engagement rates. These metrics can help you identify which types of content resonate most with your audience.

TikTok Analytics also offers data on your audience's demographics and activity patterns which helps you to understand when your followers are most active and can help you schedule your posts for maximum visibility.

Third-Party Tools

Hootsuite TikTok Tools

While TikTok's native analytics are robust, third-party tools can offer additional insights and features. Platforms like Hootsuite and Sprout Social provide comprehensive analytics that integrate with TikTok.

These tools can help you schedule posts, track performance across multiple social media platforms, and generate detailed reports. Leveraging third-party tools can streamline your workflow and provide a holistic view of your social media strategy.

Using a combination of TikTok's native analytics and third-party tools will give you a comprehensive understanding of your content's performance and areas for improvement.


Types of Content That TikTok Does Not Recommend


There are certain specific types of content that TikTok recommendation systems do not recommend to the users. 


TikTok algorithms might flag your content if it falls under these categories. Therefore, you should follow the TikTok community guidelines when creating your videos.


The types of content that TikTok flags are:


  • Duplicate content
  • Content that's considered spam
  • Minor safety 
  • Dangerous sports and stunts 
  • Overtly sexualized content 
  • Tobacco and alcohol products


Hence, you should not create content that falls into any of the above categories. The best way to promote your content is to produce original content that people will like and share with their friends over TikTok.




You need to capitalize on a video platform flooded with potential leads as a business. TikTok is the best platform to target, along with YouTube.


You can easily enhance your brand value by consistently delivering exceptional video browsing experiences to your target audience.


With TikTok, you can swiftly move your potential customers through the sales funnel by producing high-quality videos.


Start creating TikTok SEO-optimized videos that address your target audience's pain points to improve your branding and get more customers.