For 40% of Gen Z, their go-to search engine isn’t a search engine at all — it’s TikTok.
The takeaway? A strong TikTok SEO strategy is necessary for creators and brands who want to increase discoverability on the platform.
We’re breaking down how to adopt an SEO strategy on TikTok, boost your reach, and get your content discovered by the right people.
What is SEO on TikTok?
TikTok SEO means optimizing your content for search results so it’s easily discoverable by users on the platform.
The TikTok algorithm currently serves users content it knows they're interested in — based on multiple factors like the posts they interact with, the accounts they follow, and more.
With an SEO strategy, you can create content that works for the algorithm and is likely to be searched by your target audience. Win-win.
Why is TikTok SEO Important?
TikTok labels itself as an entertainment platform, not a search engine — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t used as such.
The platform now has search engine features — like suggested keywords in its search bar and comment sections — making it more competitive with Google.
So, as more users turn to TikTok to search for content, brands and creators need to develop a strong TikTok SEO strategy.
Because when you understand how to optimize your content, it can finally get the visibility it deserves.
4 Tactics to Optimize Your TikTok Content
Knowing how to optimize your content for TikTok can make all the difference in your discoverability.
Here are four ways to craft your TikTok SEO strategy:
Incorporate Keywords Into Your Captions and Videos
Include Up to Five Relevant Hashtags
Use Trending TikTok Audio
Be Consistent With Your Niche
Tactic #1: Incorporate Keywords Into Your Captions and Videos
Words matter, and TikTok SEO is no exception.
The first step in optimizing your TikTok content is to use relevant and descriptive keywords that your audience actually searches for.
And there are three places you should incorporate them:
Captions (now 2,000 characters as of September 2022)
Automated closed captions
Not sure where to find keywords? An easy hack is to use the TikTok search bar’s predictive text.
Simply type in your base keyword and see what other keywords TikTok suggests:
So, if you’re a skincare creator or brand, you might want to leverage the keyword “skincare routine” or “skincare must haves” verbally, on-screen, and in your post description.
Just say the (key)word, and the algorithm will reward you. ✨
TIP: Verbalize your keyword in the first few seconds of your video to catch the attention of TikTok’s algorithm.
Tactic #2: Include Up to Five Relevant Hashtags
Using the right TikTok hashtags can put you in front of your target audience — giving you access to tons of engagement and new followers.
Our suggestion? Use a mix of broad and niche hashtags.
It’s the best of both worlds — broad (or trending) hashtags have the potential to reach a massive audience, while niche hashtags can attract people who are already interested in content like yours.
And while TikTok doesn’t set a strict limit on the number of hashtags you can use, it’s best to stick with a handful of strong hashtags, like 3-5, to keep your caption front and center.
So, which hashtags will we find you with?
Tactic #3: Use Trending TikTok Audio
88% of TikTokers say audio is "essential" to their overall experience on the app — and it’s also essential for TikTok SEO.
Luckily, Later’s team of social media experts update our weekly TikTok trends blog to help you keep up with all things audio on the app.
And if you want to jump on a trend that’s a little more niche, a quick trick is to open up TikTok and type “trending sounds” in the search bar.
Filter videos to “this week” and boom, you’ve just unlocked content from creators sharing the top trending sounds and how you can use them.
Pssst, bookmark this blog for later: The Top TikTok Trends to Try This Week
Tactic #4: Be Consistent With Your Niche
A simple, yet important tactic to drive home is consistency.
Why? Because the more you adhere to your TikTok SEO best practices, the more the algorithm will learn who you are and what you offer, and will then serve your content to relevant users.
Take for example knitwear creator Lauryn Marchand who posts weekly “knitspo” on her TikTok:
With a feed dedicated to DIY clothing, it’s clear what niche Lauren belongs to.
Now, whenever users search for knitwear or related keywords, Lauren's content is more likely to pop up because she’s been consistently posting — giving them tons of videos to engage with.
Moral of the story? Stay true to you (and your niche).
The #TikTokSEO hashtag already has over 205M views on TikTok as creators and brands begin to realize the importance of optimizing their content for search.
So, if you haven't already, it's time to start experimenting! We'll see you on the FYP.