TikTok is a relatively new platform that is rarely prioritised or part of SEO strategies. However, recent research into young people’s online search behaviour has shown that marketers may need to rethink their approach to implementing SEO on TikTok. For Gen Z, is TikTok the new Search Engine.
Studies conducted by Google show that about 40% of young people today prefer Instagram and TikTok’s search function over Google’s e.g. Google Maps, to find what they are looking for. The studies show that young people prefer visual content and therefore prefer to use platforms such as TikTok, Pinterest or Instagram with a strong focus on visual content in various forms. This can range from suggestions for beauty products to recipes or hotel and restaurant tips.
Google’s vice president Prabhakar Raghavan, has pointed out that few of today’s youth have used physical maps, meaning that map products on various devices do not meet the expectations young people have of a map. There seems to be a gap between the features that tech devices present and the reality that today’s youth want to see represented digitally.
If a person wants to find a recipe for a particular ingredient, for example a salmon dish, they may choose to do a Google search using the keywords salmon + recipe. They will then go through the results that look most appealing, perhaps based on its title or the time it will take to cook. The time taken to go through 2-5 recipes is likely to be between 3-5 minutes.
What TikTok does is to give its users an opportunity to view short video clips summarising the preparation of 3-4 salmon recipes in 1 minute. Video snippets of the ingredients included in the recipe and a short recipe description in the form of recorded audio allow users to quickly get an idea of the level of difficulty and time required without having to read text. TikTok has also launched a function to play the clips at double speed, so that the user can form an opinion even faster.
How do I optimise TikTok for SEO and make my TikTok searchable?
SEO can help TikTok content climb higher in the search results, driving more traffic and making it easier to reach a large number of people. Creating an SEO strategy for TikTok is not complicated or time-consuming, read on to find out Making Science’s top 4 tips for creating an SEO strategy for TikTok.
Keyword analysis – How do I find SEO Keywords for TikTok?
The first step in working with SEO at TikTok is to have a keyword analysis to identify which keywords you should focus on ranking higher for. The analysis can be used to identify words that is important for a company to rank for, both those that you currently rank for but that you want to perform even better on, as well as those that the company should rank for but does not.
An example of how keyword analysis can be used in your social media strategy is for hashtags. It is common for users interested in a certain type of content, product or brand to click through hashtags in order to find more related videos. By including your most important keywords as hashtags and in your video title and description as well, you optimise the content for users and for TikTok as a search engine. The use of hashtags in advertising is still limited on Tiktok, but as long as you publish it organically and then pull it up as a spark ad, the hashtags will follow.
Video Descriptions – important for your TikTok SEO
The maximum number of characters in the video description was recently increased from 300 to 2200 characters, increasing the possibility to include important keywords and a more accurate SEO description. It is important to be aware that it is not the number of words that makes a video or an account rank higher, but the use of the right words and relevance. This is why it is so important to use a keyword analysis to point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing search terms rather than creating a spammy description.
Microblogging – Embed your TikTok videos in other platforms
When it comes to SEO strategies for TikTok, microblogging is another option. It involves writing and optimising a text on an external platform for your important keywords and including a link to a TikTok video. When users later search for content related to your keywords on other platforms, you can gain traffic to your TikTok account. Platforms that can be used for microblogging include Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin or your website where you can embed your TikTok videos in pages or blog content.
Engagement – Reaching a wider audience
Something that the majority of all social media platforms have in common is that engagement is the key to success. One of the ranking factors that TikTok uses is engagement: accounts and videos with high engagement will appear higher in the search results compared to those with lower engagement. Engagement means how users interact with your account as well as how your account interacts with others, your followers as well as other accounts and users. Interact by liking and commenting on content relevant to your brand to potentially improve your TikTok SEO.
One suggestion is to select a variety of suitable creators and brands in your niche and engage with what they post on TikTok. Be inspired by competitors and other creators on the platform to create relevant content that your audience might be interested in!
Making Science is a full-service media agency with extensive experience in SEO optimisation on different platforms. Contact us if you want to know more about how you can create an SEO strategy to improve your TikTok SEO!