TikTok is the newest SEO game-changer. Businesses need to embrace TikTok SEO if they wish to improve website traffic.

If you know nothing about TikTok, worry not, for we are about to change that. This article will explain all there is to know about TikTok’s SEO strategy.

Let’s Dive In – What is TikTok?

TikTok is a powerful video-sharing app focused on 15-second videos covering any subject.

It is fast turning into a search platform, but the difference between TikTok and Search Engines (mainly the Big G) is that it is a social media platform centred around video.

TikTok videos average between 21 to 34 seconds, unlike Youtube videos, around 11 minutes.

In 2020, TikTok’s app usage time averaged a total of 38.6 minutes each day per user. Just 1.2 minutes shy of FaceBook’s average all-time high per user of 39.8 minutes each day.

Its primary target audience are Gen Z and millennials.

Can We Call TikTok a Search Engine?

No, and neither does TikTok describe itself as one.

But TikTok is growing exponentially to the point of going head-to-head with YouTube and swiftly overtaking Google because of this.

Questions are emerging concerning TikTok’s ability to evolve into a search engine that can not only take over YouTube but Google search as well since it has started showing signs of leaning toward features found within search engines.

This is how TikTok has gotten people thinking:

  • First, with a search feature,
  • Then with paid ad campaigns which are found on its search results page
  • And now, with suggested search terms when viewing a video’s comments section.

Something smells fishy? We smell it too.

The long-standing tradition of Search Engines (Google) has always been to provide long-form keyword-heavy content to improve rankings.

As technology evolves, users are more interested in getting quick and short answers as we now live in a generation riddled with impatient unsatisfied users with short-concentration spans. Hence, Google’s search results method is no longer viable.

It begs the question, does SEO’s search engine optimisation efforts of Google’s SERPs ruin SEO?

The bottom line is that Google will adapt its algorithms to suit user needs through how the user behaves.

The issue with TikTok

There is a problem with TikTok, as argued by many, whether to regard it as a trusted source of content or not. Studies have shown Google is trusted more than TikTok, especially by Americans.

TikTok was found lacking due to its lack of privacy and handling of its user data; hence, it was the most distrusted tech giant. As a result, governments are raising questions about privacy concerns. India banned the TikTok platform back in June 2020.

Trust is very crucial in TikTok survival as a search engine.

In this regard, TikTok has made great strides by incorporating a reviews and recommendations function, which goes a long way in establishing trust since the content on TikTok comes directly from creators.

What does TikTok Search Engine Mean to Digital Marketing?

TikTok has grown to the point that users SEARCH ON it for quick results in regard to product recommendations/information.

It has ceased as a search driver (convincing users to buy a product or service). Instead, it is now a facilitator as well.

Its videos appear in search results, and it has stolen rankings and visibility from Instagram and YouTube. There is no better tool than word of mouth to drive a marketing strategy, and since TikTok’s content comes directly from more and more credible creators, this human touch is driving more trust in the platform.

The time is now for marketers to vigorously incorporate TikTok in their marketing strategies because TikTok is fast becoming a threat to other social media sites.

It is clear that TikTok has also evolved into a two-way traffic driver as it receives and drives traffic. This has been made possible through links to shopping sites such as Amazon storefronts. Hence, this is the platform for marketers to gather!

How does TikTok’s Algorithm Work?

So, TikTok is comprised of two feeds of continuous video:

  • People you follow
  • A ‘For-You’ page.

The For-You page is personalised content and recommendations based on the user actions. TikTok learns about you over time as your interests. they know (and learn over time) your interests.

Each ‘For You’ page is tailored to each platform’s one billion active users (as of September 2021). It is all the user’s likes, watches, and shares down to the location.

Neither follower count nor the account’s previous high-performing videos affect the algorithm of a posted video. Instead, TikTok is constantly displaying new videos each minute of the day.

The video rankings are based on popular hashtags, trending songs, filters, or edits. TikTok knows just how to put the right content in front of its users, be it educative content, insights or entertainment.

Why Your Focus Must Be On TikTok 

TikTok is the happening place social media site.

General TikTok Statistics

The TikTok app had 693 million downloads in 2019 and 850 million in 2020. But let’s look at some more stats: 

  • There have been over 3 billion TikTok downloads.
  • It was the most downloaded non-game app in Q1 2021, and it received 383 million installs between January and June 2021, with 88% positive reviews. 
  • By the end of Q4 2021, TikTok had 1.2 billion monthly active users, headed on an upward trajectory and expected to reach 1.8 billion monthly active users by the end of 2022. 
  • It saw a 142% increase year-on-year in 2021, generating $4.6 billion.

Overview of TikTok Users

The platform now has over 138 million active users in the United States. The majority of its global users are female at 56.0%, and the males follow closely at 44.0%. It is believed that by the end of this year, TikTok will have 750 million monthly users worldwide, and by 2025 it will hit the 1 billion users mark. However, Gen Z’s dominate TikTok. 

Studies show that:

● 419.7 million users aged 18 to 24 (43.3% of TikTok’s ad audience) 

● 312.0 million users aged 25 to 34 (32.2% of TikTok’s ad audience) 

● 133.5 million users aged 35 to 44 (13.8% of TikTok’s ad audience) 

● 67.4 million users aged 45 to 54 (6.9% of TikTok’s ad audience) 

● 41.7 million users aged 55 and above (4.3% of TikTok’s ad audience) 

Millennials are close behind, but as they say, old habits die hard. Older adults still prefer other social media platforms over TikTok. 

Engagement Statistics

  • 90% of users access TikTok daily, with the typical user spending 52 minutes there daily.
  • Users spend an average of 10.85 minutes on each session.
  • If you’re marketing in the US, you should know that people in the US use TikTok on average for 33 minutes every day.
  • The average American TikTok user launches the app eight times each day.
  • It was calculated that 68 billion hours were spent on TikTok alone in 2019.

It’s worth noting that likes and views have no bearing on the TikTok search ranking factor. This is because TikTok does not provide instant results, but keywords and hashtags can generate millions of views by ranking in search. As a result, SEO seeks to optimise TikTok content in order for your content to get more views from your intended audience or from people who want to watch your content.

Add Your Search Keywords in the Text on Your Video Text can be added to a video once you have created it.

TikTok uses this text to personalise user interests using your content based on any keywords mentioned.

The incorporation of relevant keywords must happen within the first 1-5 seconds of the video, the time it takes to grab the user’s attention.

When you compare videos on TikTok for a particular search term, you will notice that likes and views do not play any influential part as much as in-video text.

Sometimes the most like video can be sitting further down the results page. Hence, your focus should always be on facilitating search demand.

In-depth keyword research is required to find the keywords your user niche uses.


  1. Keywords in Captions 

Always take advantage of the 500-character caption limit by including keywords your customers search for.

Keywords are always similar on most search platforms, including Google and YouTube.

Remember to keep the captions natural by placing keywords in sentences. 

  1. Using Hashtags to Rank

Hashtags help group together information with a specific message or content and are an integral part of TikTok SEO.

Instagram SEO discovered the power of optimisation held by hashtags, and it is this same power that TikTok has harnessed to optimise your content for its search engine.

TikTok users subscribe to specific hashtags based on their intent. In order for you to successfully optimise your content, you must use 3-6 keyword hashtags. Explore both the high and low-volume keywords as well as broad and specific hashtags strategically. 

  1. Text in Description 

TikTok also allows you to put a description for your video and this, in turn, goes a long way in optimising your video content.

Description text helps both the users and TikTok (and even Google!) to understand what your content is about. Always include your target keyword and use Discover to see which keywords other creators use.

  1. Redirect your TikTok Audience to Your Website 

Once you have accumulated a sizeable audience, you must redirect it to your website! Include your website link on your profile, making it visible to the audience.

Customers gain confidence through a company’s website. Furthermore, you augment your authority by creating a website funnel for your audience.

Now you can also understand how your audience interacts with your brand by utilising your website funnel.

Also, ensure that your website SEO is up-to-date in terms of on-page SEO

  1. Use TikTok SEO Analytics to Understand Your Audience 

Get to know your audience more by using TikTok analytics. It will show your content hits and misses, which content gets the most traction, and you can then focus on that content in the future.

Analytics will also tell you the amount and type of traffic to your profile, making it easy to anticipate your audience’s needs. 

TikTok is the best place for your content to be because your content is guaranteed to perform well.

So, first things first, before creating your content, take a look at what is trending. Look at the types of videos going viral, trending challenges, and top trending hashtags. If the hashtags do not fit your video content, no worries; learn how best you can use them to your advantage.

Discover what works for you and give your content that human touch while showing your followers that you are attuned to the trends.

Trends give your content a solid chance to go viral because TikTok’s algorithm favours trending content.

Remember that any TikTok trend is fair game to individuals and businesses. Anyone who creates the best video using the trend wins the algorithm for that day.

TikTok, for example, revealed that the biggest trends in 2021 would be Whipped Coffee and easy skincare routine and this year, it collaborated with Barnes and Noble to launch the #BookTokChallenge to honouring children returning to school.

This is a way to get creators to post up content with the hashtag, which will, in turn, create a reading culture, and in this way, people also get to discover new books. 

The hashtag currently has over 100 million views and is still going strong!

Always keep an eye on what TikTok is promoting so you can jump on that bandwagon.


To have a successful business in this day and age, start taking TikTok SEO seriously. TikTok is the new destination, and many people are using this platform, making it an alternative to search engines. Therefore, you must implement TikTok SEO in the same way that you use Google SEO. You do this by: 

● Creating engaging content 

● Using hashtags effectively 

● Redirecting your TikTok audiences to your website 

● Collaborating with popular TikTok creators 

● Taking advantage of TikTok’s ad capabilities 

● Using TikTok’s marketing analytics 

If you are dead serious about owning a successful business, then you can’t possibly afford to overlook TikTok. You need to be a part of this billion-dollar platform which is projected to reach 1.8 billion monthly users. It has since successfully gained 3 billion downloads and $4.6 billion in revenue in 2022 alone. You can choose from a variety of TikTok content subgenres which you can pivot towards, such as 

  • Trend-Following
  • Humorous 
  • Educational 
  • Localised 
  • Influencer-collaborative/sponsoring 

Using TikTok SEO means that your TikTok content will appear in Google’s SERP, giving you access to a new audience. 


Here is how we generate TikTok keywords that are effective for SEO: 

● Choose long-tail keywords with less than 100k searches to begin focusing your efforts on 

● Update previous posts with new keyword selections 

● Select high-volume keywords that are your final targets 

● Use a combination of both long-tail and high-volume keywords on your posts 

Can TikTok Help Website SEO? 

Yes, TikTok can help you with SEO for your website. It serves as a facilitator for search queries and demands, which, in turn, get directed to your website. In addition, you can use on-site content to integrate TikTok into your website strategy.

However, by simply directing people to your website from TikTok, you would have put in place a system to begin growing your website’s authority – as well as obtaining insights on how the two interact.

Can You See Search Volumes on TikTok?

Not yet.

However, similarities have been witnessed in how people use YouTube and TikTok.

Therefore, as a result, the keywords people use on both platforms are likely the same.

To get keyword data for YouTube, you can readily access it on Keywordtool.io.

Alternatively, you can use TikTok to track trending searches on Google for your products or services.


  • Alicia, the digital marketing dynamo herself, is our digital marketing Manager at Monumental. We are yet to find something our Indonesian-Belgian princess can't do. Prior to discovering Monumental, Alicia finished an honours degree in Sociology at the University of Kent and began building her marketing network in the Middle East. Having graced us with her stunning social channel aesthetics and unrivalled powers of Influencer marketing and SEO for several years now, it's no wonder she's giving us that side-eye.