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TikTok SEO: Optimising Your Videos for TikTok and Google


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TikTok SEO: Optimising Your TikTok Videos to Rank Higher in Search, on TikTok and Google

Welcome back to another episode of the SEO Sydney Podcast, this week covering the platform of the hour: TikTok, and how we can optimise our TikTok SEO!

Creating content that engages in the modern age has never been a finer line to tread. From user-generated content, on-demand product services, and an evolution in the nature of attention-grabbing dynamics across blogs, videos and media more broadly – the digital world we live in is one that capitalises on mental real-estate. Brands that are able to capitalise on the cognition of its users hold the key to the attention economy, as an era defined by those who’re able to capture the eyes of their audience the most, and the longest.

TikTok, as the latest in a lineage of platforms that have come to characterise the mood of current day culture and organisation, has only made this phenomenon a more difficult beast to accurately understand. Being the locus for all areas of communication – whether that be social, political, structural or otherwise – the nature of the platform has made the process of creation easier than ever, as the cycle of production and consumption becomes increasingly blurred.

The raw bulk of content that exists on TikTok has made cutting through the noise a tall order for its creators. But we at SEO Sydney believe we have the means to order the chaos in a concise, principled way.  Here are our SEO guidelines to help your videos rank better on both Google and the platform itself!

So, What is TikTok SEO?

To explain it simply, TikTok SEO is the act of optimising your content, descriptions, and profile so that it’s easily discoverable through search functions on both TikTok and Google.


By implementing an effective SEO strategy you can easily define your content for the algorithm while simultaneously making your content easily findable through search. This can significantly increase the amount of received traffic to your video, giving it that boost it needs!

Why TikTok is Important for Your Business

The social media landscape is in a constant state of change, and part of keeping an online presence is to adapt to these changes. Short-form content is being viewed by millions of people and is an essential marketing tool for businesses big and small. If you aren’t capitalising on the sudden burst of attention short-form content is receiving then you are going to fall behind.


In fact, according to data from Google, close to 40% of Generation Z choose to search on TikTok and Instagram over Google when looking for a place to eat.

Creating content doesn’t need to be difficult, and by following our TikTok SEO strategy, you will be able to see immediate results. Before we dive into the full strategy, let’s cover some TikTok SEO basics:


How the TikTok Algorithm Works:

When someone creates a fresh account on TikTok, the app will begin serving them content based on gathered demographic data about the user. This may include language, location, age, and device information.

As the user begins to scroll through content, TikTok begins gathering data about how long they watched a video, whether they shared or liked it, or even what series of videos they watched before eventually deciding to close the app. 

Slowly, a user persona can be created with all their interests, demographics, and various other information. With this data, TikTok can perfectly curate a constant stream of content for its users.

As marketers, we need to make sure our content is easily found by users through search functions as well as easily identified by the algorithm so it can serve our videos to the correct audience.


TikTok Ranking Signals

There is a wide variety of ranking signals that TikTok uses to determine who to serve a video to at what time and during what situation. They can be broken down into 3 main categories:


User Interactions

Almost any action taken by a user is measured and weighed by TikTok to determine a video’s authority within the FYP algorithm. This could be as simple as leaving a like, favourite, or comment, and sometimes more complex signals such as watching a video to its completion or clicking on a TikTok video share link.

Some mistakes that brands can make are sticking to traditional values of commercial branding by producing overly polished, staged content or releasing content that lacks human and personable elements. Instead, brands should focus on creating fun, genuine content that will resonate with users.

Device and Account Information and Settings

TikTok will look at various settings such as your language preference and country of origin to serve content that’s most relevant to you. These ranking factors are mostly unable to be influenced.


How TikTok SEO is different to Google SEO

The ranking signals

Google and TikTok rank content with completely different signals, for instance, Google will rank a website based on its relevance, authority, and experience, while TikTok will serve a video based on its user interaction, content, and the user’s account and device information.

The big difference in ranking signals means there’s quite a different approach in SEO strategy between the two search engines.


Optimising for video

TikTok is a video-sharing platform, so TikTok SEO involves the optimising of visual-based content, rather than the more traditional forms of text-based content found on Google. With video-based content, you also need to focus on visual elements, audio, and other elements, not just text-based optimisations.


Using Hashtags as well as Keywords

One of the major differences in TikTok is the method of discovery through the hashtag system. On TikTok, videos are categorised and sorted with hashtags and are used to help users find specific content. In order to keep up effective SEO on TikTok, creators need to be keeping up to date with trending and upcoming hashtags.


Our Recommendations for TikTok SEO:

Understand your audience and your niche

Before you even begin making videos, you need to first establish and then understand your content niche. To do this, you must research the types of videos your audience is watching and interacting with, with this information you can then begin to know the types of videos your audience enjoys watching. It’s then very easy to construct your video formula and structure referencing your target audience’s interests.


Conduct research on trending audio, hashtags, and keywords (within your niche!)

The next step is to begin researching and staying up to date with any trending or upcoming audio, hashtags, or keywords that are generating attention within your chosen niche. For instance, you can search a prominent keyword in your niche and begin analysing the most popular videos posted in the last 30 days. Actively performing these examinations, will not only provide you with deep insight into the competition but improve your strategy and approach to TikTok SEO.


Create content with these in mind

Now that you have completed your research, it’s time to begin implementing what you’ve learned into your videos. Create videos that you know your target audience will love and interact with, use the hashtags you’ve found, use trending audio, use any keywords you found, and use a call-to-action.


Track video statistics and adjust your strategy as required

The hardest part is now over, congratulations! But now you need to track and measure the fruits of your labour. TikTok offers an analytics page on your account so you can easily track the performance of your video. By default you won’t be able to access the analytics tab unless you have switched your account to a business account, you can do this by going to your settings and privacy, tapping manage account, and then hitting the switch to a business account option. 

SEO is an ongoing process, which means you will need to adapt and iterate your niche-specific strategy throughout the entire process. For instance, if your watch completion is low consider shortening your videos, or if your interactions are a bit lower than usual consider including a graphic that encourages the viewer to leave a like.


SEO Sydney – Key Takeaways

If you’re not already taking advantage of the platform to better reach your users, it’s high time to hop on. It’s clear that TikTok has resonated with users of all demographics in a way that other platforms could never have – and its culture is evolving day by day.

For other insights and a chance for a consultation, reach out to SEO Sydney today!


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