TikTok SEO Guide: 5 Steps To Optimize Your Content For Maximum Reach

Who could have guessed that a catchy jingle and a fifteen-second skit could revolutionize brand visibility in today’s digital marketing space? With an astounding 2 billion downloads, TikTok has transformed from a fun, spirited app into a substantial player in brand marketing and monetization.

In this ever-scrolling world, optimizing content on this platform is more important than ever for maximum reach. But how do you ensure your content stands out in viral videos? The answer is simple — TikTok SEO.

Understanding TikTok SEO

TikTok attracts diverse users from different age groups, locations, and interests, allowing brands to tap into new markets and reach potential customers. It is becoming more and more popular for search, with 40% of Gen Z using TikTok for search instead of going to Google Maps or Search.

Unlike paid promotion using TikTok, TikTok SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is optimizing your TikTok account, videos, and content. It involves understanding how to make the TikTok search engine work in your favor so that your videos can be served to the right audience.

TikTok SEO can help increase the visibility of your content on the platform, boost engagement, and attract a wider audience.

Thanks to its dynamic, visual, and short-form content, the platform boasts higher engagement rates than other platforms. This allows brands to showcase their personality and values in a more relatable and authentic manner.

Videos on TikTok can be informal, raw, and fun, enabling your brand to humanize itself and create a solid emotional connection with your target audience.TikTok’s algorithm uses various factors to show content to users on the ‘For You’ page or via search results.

Users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app, which increases the likelihood of discovering and engaging with your brand. By optimizing for these factors, you can improve your chances of ranking higher on the platform.

What are TikTok ranking factors?

The TikTok algorithm is a recommendation system that determines which videos will appear on a user’s For You page (FYP), which is unique and highly personalized. The algorithm is designed to serve users content on the app’s homepage based on their interests, and it adjusts for things they indicate they’re not interested in.

Understanding how the TikTok search engine works is critical to making the platform work for your brand or content, especially if you plan to monetize TikTok. The algorithm prioritizes a few key elements, including

User interaction

The TikTok search results pay close attention to how users interact with the content on the platform. The more a user interacts with your content, the higher the chance your future content will appear on their For You page. This is why it’s beneficial to create content that encourages interaction.

The algorithm takes the following aspects into account:

  • Likes and dislikes: The videos users like or dislike help the algorithm present similar or dissimilar content based on preferences.
  • Shares: When users share videos, they indicate an increased level of interest in that content, so the algorithm prioritizes such videos for related users.
  • Comments: Engaging with content via comments can reveal user interests, making it easier for the algorithm to serve relevant content.
  • Rewatches: If users repeatedly watch a video, it suggests strong appeal, encouraging the algorithm to serve similar content.
  • Video completion: Watching a video to the end increases the likelihood that the algorithm will show users similar content.

Video details

Details of the videos you post also play a significant role in how the TikTok algorithm ranks your content. TikTok uses these details to understand what your content is about and who might be interested in it. Important factors include:

  • Video category: The algorithm associates videos with various thematic categories, making it easier to surface relevant content to users with similar interests.
  • Video tags: Hashtags (#) attached to videos help the algorithm identify the video’s subject matter and connect it to user interests.
  • Captions: Video captions containing keywords can guide the algorithm in identifying and serving related content.
  • Time and location: Posting time can affect video visibility, while location information might be used to show localized content.

Device and account settings

Finally, TikTok’s search results consider the user’s device and account settings. The algorithm uses this information to personalize the user’s For You feed.

  • Language preference: The language setting on users’ devices and accounts determines the linguistic content that the algorithm presents.
  • Device type: Different devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, etc.) may influence how the algorithm serves content.
  • Device settings: Screen size, resolution, and other settings can also factor into the content-displaying process.
  • Location: With permission, a user’s location can inform the algorithm about regional preferences and trends.
  • Account activity: The amount and frequency of interaction with the TikTok app help the algorithm gauge user engagement and adapt content accordingly.

What are Google ranking factors?

While TikTok has its own unique ranking factors, it’s also essential to understand Google’s ranking factors. As the largest search engine in the world, optimizing for Google can also significantly impact your brand’s online presence and visibility.


When people use search engines to find information, they type in specific words or phrases, also known as search queries. These search queries are important because they show what the user wants.

People can phrase their questions differently, depending on what they want to know.


How closely the content on a webpage matches the intent behind a user’s search query is one of the important factors that Google uses to determine the order of search results.

It’s Google’s way of ensuring that the results it delivers to users are as beneficial and pertinent to their search as possible.

So, let’s say you’re craving some great pasta, and you hit up Google with “best Italian restaurants in New York.” It might show you a list of top-notch Italian eateries in New York, some cool reviews from food bloggers who’ve tried and tested these places, or even direct you to the websites of these restaurants.


The more valuable and helpful your content is to users, the more likely it will rank well. Indeed, there’s a saying in SEO: “Content is king.”

Over the years, Google has increasingly emphasized the importance of high-quality, original, and informative content. The content should demonstrate knowledge and authority in the subject matter to build trust with the audience.


Usability is about how user-friendly a website is, which Google analyzes through numerous factors such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, intuitive navigation, and SSL certificates (HTTPS). Additionally, the cost of SSL certificates is a factor that can influence the overall assessment of a website’s usability.

A user-friendly website is not only beneficial for the user, but it also leads to improved engagement metrics (like lower bounce rates and longer dwell time), which Google uses as a ranking signal.

If you want to ensure high usability we recommend using a usability testing platform. It will help you analyse user interactions with your website and discover areas that might need optimization for better user engagement. 

How to optimize your TikTok content for maximum reach?

Now that we have a better understanding of what TikTok and Google are looking for, let’s discuss ways to optimize your TikTok SEO strategy for maximum reach on the platform.

1. Understand your crowd first

Knowing your audience is at the heart of any successful marketing strategy, and TikTok is no exception. With its largely youthful demographic and quick, bite-sized content style, devising a successful TikTok SEO strategy requires a clear understanding of who you’re trying to reach.

Understanding your audience allows you to tailor your content to meet the needs, interests, and behaviors of your target market on TikTok. It can also help you optimize your content using relevant keywords, hashtags, and trends your followers are interested in, thus increasing your visibility on the platform.

By understanding who exactly your audience is and what they want, you can position yourself to deliver the right message at the right time and place — key elements in securing your spot at the top of your audience’s For You page.

Here are a few strategies to better understand your target audience on TikTok:

  • Use TikTok analytics: This platform offers a range of analytic tools that can reveal crucial information about your followers. You can gather data on their age, gender, location, active hours, and content preferences.
  • Engage with your followers: This can give you valuable insights. Start conversations, ask questions in your videos, or run polls. Pay attention to the comments and feedback you receive.
  • Observe trends: Watch what’s trending among your target demographic. Popular songs, hashtags, and challenges often reflect the audience’s preferences.
  • Competitive analysis: Look at successful competitors in your industry. Study their followers and observe what types of content receive the most engagement.

2. Do your keyword research

Keywords are the backbone of any strong TikTok SEO strategy. Look out for terms and phrases they commonly use within your content frame.

Start by identifying your niche. The more specific you are, the more targeted your audience will be – this increases the chances of engagement.

TikTok is driven by trends. Pay attention to what’s trending within your niche, whether it’s a popular song, a specific type of video, or a hashtag challenge.

TikTok’s ‘Search’ feature is a great place to find keyword ideas. You can see what’s trending and choose keywords relevant to your niche.

Trending keywords can be an effective way to reach a wider audience on TikTok. When you use a trending keyword in your video or description, you improve its visibility, attracting more viewers.

On the other hand, niche-specific keywords help in attracting a more targeted audience. These keywords may not reach as many people, but they’re more likely to reach the right people – those who are interested in your specific content and are more likely to engage.

Keyhole’s keyword tracking feature can be a powerful tool for your TikTok keyword research. It allows you to track specific keywords, providing on their usage, performance, and reach.

With Keyhole, you can:

  • Track trending keywords and see their performance over time.
  • Monitor niche-specific keywords to understand their impact.
  • Gain insights into the usage of certain keywords in different demographics.
  • Get access to that keyword’s engagement metrics, top posts, influencers.
  • Do sentiment analysis and see how your target audience perceive it.

3. Add keywords to your content

While TikTok might not be the first platform that comes to mind when thinking about SEO, it’s essential to remember that it’s also a search engine. Users can search for specific content, hashtags, or users. This is where keywords come into play.

When a user inputs a search term, TikTok’s algorithm sifts through millions of videos to find the most relevant ones based on several factors, including keywords.

Keywords in your video description, captions, hashtags, and even in your spoken content can help your videos surface in relevant searches, increasing your reach and engagement.

Once you’ve identified your keywords, the next step is to incorporate them naturally into your content. Here’s how:

  • Use keywords in captions: Your captions are an excellent place to include keywords. But remember to keep it natural and relevant to the video.
  • Include keywords in hashtags: Hashtags are a powerful tool on TikTok. Including keyword-rich hashtags can help boost your video’s visibility.
  • Speak your keywords: TikTok’s algorithm can pick up spoken words in videos. If it’s natural, try saying your keywords in your video.
  • Stay relevant: Always make sure your keywords are relevant to your content. Irrelevant keyword use can harm your engagement and reach.

4. Leverage TikTok features for greater reach

TikTok, the hugely popular social media platform, has several unique features that you can leverage to enhance your account’s visibility and reach a wider audience. These include:


Hashtags serve as a categorization tool on TikTok, helping users discover new content that resonates with their interests. By using relevant and popular hashtags in your posts, you can significantly increase your content’s visibility.


Duets on TikTok allow you to create side-by-side videos with another user without needing to be in the same place. This feature can be a powerful tool to engage with your audience or collaborate with other TikTokers, thus increasing your outreach.


TikTok challenges often go viral and draw significant user engagement. Participating in popular challenges or even creating your own can provide a great opportunity to boost your visibility on the platform.

Trending sounds

Keeping up with trending sounds and using them in your videos can also help to boost your visibility. Songs often go viral on TikTok and can cause the associated videos to receive more views and engagement.

While these features can enhance your visibility, it’s important to track their performance to optimize their usage effectively. This is where tools like Keyhole come in handy.

Keyhole can track real-time performance metrics of hashtags and trends on TikTok, providing you with insights into reach, engagement, and post count associated with each hashtag.

This information can help refine your content strategy, aligning it with the trends that resonate most with your audience.

5. Monitor and adjust your strategy

Maintaining a successful presence on TikTok isn’t about setting a strategy and forgetting about it.

Social media platforms, particularly TikTok, are characterized by rapidly changing trends and user behaviors. This swift pace demands a flexible approach where continuous monitoring and regular adjustments to your strategy become essential.

Importantly, being adaptive to these changes helps ensure that your content resonates with your audience and aligns with TikTok SEO ranking factors.

A constant monitoring and adjustment approach ensures your content is always relevant, gains maximum engagement, and reaches the right audience segments.

Using TikTok real-time analytics

TikTok Pro accounts offer real-time analytics that gives in-depth insights into your account performance and audience demographics. These tools can be accessed via the “Creator Tools” section on your profile.

Here’s how you can utilize it to track your progress:

  • Overview tab: Use the Overview tab to track your video views, profile visits, and follower count. This tab gives you a weekly or monthly analysis that helps you understand which of your videos have performed best and at what times.
  • Content tab: The content tab provides data on individual videos posted over the last seven days. Use this to analyze trends and patterns in the video performance and to understand what content works best with your audience.
  • Followers tab: This tab gives demographic information about your followers, including gender, top territories, follower activity, and what your followers watch and listen to. Use this data better to target your content to your audience’s interests.

When and how to adjust your strategy based on insights

The optimal time to adjust your TikTok strategy is when your analytics reflect a disconnection between your content and your audience.

Are your videos not gaining enough views, or is your profile receiving fewer visits? If so, it might be time for adjustment.

Here’s how:

  • Content adjustments: Are certain types of videos receiving more views and shares? Adjust to create more of this type of content. Perhaps your audience enjoys humorous content or prefers educational videos. Response is key.
  • Posting time adjustments: Analytics might show higher engagement at specific times during the day. Adjust your posting schedule to these peak times to gain maximum visibility.
  • Followers’ interests orientation: If your followers’ data show they are interested in specific types of content that you haven’t explored yet, consider adjusting your strategy to incorporate these topics. This might bring about higher engagement rates.

Providing in-depth analytics and real-time tracking of hashtags, keywords, and URLs, Keyhole equips you with rich insights about audience engagement and campaign performance. This helps you unearth trends and tweak your strategy in a data-driven manner.

Never forget, the world of social media is dynamic. What works today might not work tomorrow, thus the need for constant monitoring and adjustments. Remember to always keep your fingers on the pulse of your audience’s preferences and needs.

Wrapping up

TikTok, with its trend-focused algorithm and engaged users, offers a vast opportunity for brands to authentically connect with consumers. Success here requires strategy, creativity, and consistency.

Use these insights to experiment with content and engage with trends aligned with your brand. Monitor what works and doesn’t. Consistency and performance tracking are key to refining your strategy for success.

With Keyhole’s advanced analytics, you can take the guesswork out of your TikTok strategy. Track hashtags, keywords, and @mentions, and generate influencer reports seamlessly. This tool provides real-time social media analytics, making it easier to measure your social media impact and growth.

So why not give your TikTok SEO strategy a boost? Start your FREE 14-day trial with Keyhole today. No credit card required. With the right tools and approach, your brand has immense potential to excel on this dynamic platform!

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you do SEO on TikTok?

Yes, you can do SEO on TikTok. It involves optimizing your video content for TikTok's search engine and algorithm. This process includes researching and identifying popular keywords related to your content and incorporating them into your captions and videos.

2. What are TikTok SEO terms?

TikTok SEO refers to the practice of optimizing your videos on TikTok to rank higher in search. This includes using relevant keywords in your video descriptions, the text you write on the screen, and even what you say in your videos, as TikTok reads auto-captions.

3. Do keywords matter on TikTok?

Yes, keywords matter on TikTok. Incorporating relevant and popular keywords into your captions, video content, and descriptions can help improve your content's visibility and reach on the platform.

4. How do I optimize my TikTok video?

To optimize your TikTok video, start with keyword research and incorporate those keywords into your captions and videos. Also, optimizing your content for the "For You" page, which is TikTok’s version of a news feed, can help increase your reach.

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