How to Boost Your Visibility and Engagement on TikTok
With over 1 billion monthly active users and growing fast, TikTok offers a huge opportunity for marketers and brands to reach new audiences and grow their online presence.
But how do you get noticed on TikTok? How do you make sure your videos show up on the For You page (FYP), which is the main source of personalized recommendations for users? How do you optimize your TikTok content and profile for the TikTok algorithm and search engine? That’s where TikTok SEO comes in.
TikTok SEO is the process of improving your TikTok content and profile to match the preferences of the TikTok algorithm and search engine. By doing so, you can increase your chances of being seen by more users, getting more engagement and growing your followers.
In this guide, you will learn how to:
- Understand how the TikTok algorithm works
- Optimize your TikTok profile
- Optimize your TikTok videos
- Use hashtags effectively
- Leverage trends and challenges
- Collaborate with other creators
- Analyze your performance
How the TikTok Algorithm Works
The TikTok algorithm is a sophisticated system that decides what videos to show to users on their For You page (FYP), which is the main way users discover new content on the app. The algorithm also influences what videos appear on other parts of the app, such as Discover, Following and Search.
The algorithm uses different factors to rank videos, such as:
- Video engagement: This includes likes, comments, shares, views, watch time and profile visits.
- Video attributes: This includes captions, hashtags, sounds/music and stickers/effects.
- User preferences: This includes user behavior, interests and location.
The algorithm also takes into account freshness (how new a video is), diversity (how unique a video is from others) and relevance (how well a video matches a user’s query or intent).
The algorithm is always learning from user reactions and changing accordingly. Therefore, it is important to experiment with different kinds of content and see what resonates with your audience.
Optimize Your TikTok Profile
Your TikTok profile is your online persona on the app. It shows who you are, what you do and why people should follow you. A well-optimized profile can help you get more followers and boost your authority. To optimize your profile:
- Pick a catchy username that matches your niche or brand name.
- Use a high-quality profile picture that displays your face or logo clearly.
- Write a captivating bio that explains what you offer or what makes you different. You can also include keywords related to your niche or industry.
- Add relevant links to your website or other social media platforms where people can learn more about you or contact you.
- Verify your account if possible by applying for verification through settings > manage account > verification code.
Optimize Your TikTok Videos
Your TikTok videos are the heart of your content strategy on the app. They should be engaging, creative and relevant to your target audience. A well-optimized video can help you rank higher on the FYP and get more views. To optimize your videos:
- Pick an eye-catching thumbnail that grabs attention and curiosity.
- Write a captivating caption that tells what your video is about or asks a question. You can also include keywords related to your niche or topic.
- Use hashtags smartly to categorize your video and reach more people who are interested in similar content. You can use up to three hashtags per video but avoid using too many generic ones like #fyp or #foryoupage.
Use Hashtags Effectively
Hashtags are one of the most important parts of TikTok SEO. They help you categorize your content and reach more people who are interested in similar topics. They also help you appear on relevant searches and trends.
To use hashtags effectively:
- Research popular and relevant hashtags for your niche or industry. You can use tools like TikTok Analytics, TikTok Hashtag Generator or TikRank to find them.
- Use a mix of broad and specific hashtags to target different audiences and intents. For example, if you are a fitness coach, you can use #fitness, #workout and #fitnesstips as broad hashtags, and #absworkout, #hiittraining and #fitnesscoach as specific hashtags.
- Use branded hashtags to create awareness and loyalty for your brand or product. You can also encourage your followers to use them when they create user-generated content (UGC) related to your brand.
- Use trending hashtags to join viral conversations and challenges. You can find them on the Discover page or by following popular creators in your niche. However, make sure that your content is relevant and adds value to the trend.
Leverage Trends and Challenges
TikTok is a platform where users can create and share short videos based on various themes, sounds or actions. These are called trends and challenges, and they can be a powerful way to increase your visibility, engagement and followers on TikTok. Some tips to grow your brand through trends and challenges:
- Keep an eye on what’s trending on TikTok by visiting the Discover page often or following popular creators in your niche. This will help you stay on top of the latest viral phenomena and find opportunities to join them.
- Pick trends and challenges that align with your niche, style and audience. Don’t just jump on any bandwagon without thinking if it fits your brand or message. You want to be relevant and authentic to your target market.
- Add your own flair or personality to make your videos unique and memorable. You can also create original trends or challenges that showcase your expertise or value proposition. This will help you stand out from the crowd and attract more attention.
- Use appropriate hashtags to join the conversation and boost your chances of being featured on the For You Page (FYP). This is where most users discover new content and creators on TikTok.
Collaborate with Other Creators
Another effective way to grow your brand on TikTok is to collaborate with other creators who have similar niches, audiences or goals as you. This can help you reach new markets, create valuable partnerships and cross-promote each other’s content. Here are some steps to follow for successful collaborations:
- Find potential collaborators who share your vision and values. You can use tools like Tokfluence, Influentify or Collabstr to find them. Alternatively, you can browse through hashtags, categories or recommendations on TikTok itself.
- Contact them via DM or email and propose an idea for a collaboration. Be clear about what you want to achieve, what you can offer and what you expect from them. Make sure you have a mutual benefit for both parties.
- Plan ahead how you will execute the collaboration, such as what type of video you will make, what sound or hashtag you will use, and when you will post it. Coordinate with each other and agree on the details beforehand.
- Support each other’s content by tagging each other’s profiles, sharing each other’s videos and encouraging your followers to check out each other’s accounts.
Analyze Your Performance
Analyzing your performance is essential for improving your TikTok SEO strategy and achieving better results.
To analyze your performance:
- Switch to a pro account if you haven’t already by going to settings > manage account > switch to pro account. This will give you access to TikTok Analytics, which provides insights into your profile overview, content insights and follower insights.
- Track key metrics such as views, likes, comments, shares, watch time, profile visits, followers gained/lost and audience demographics/interests. You can also use third-party tools like Pentos, Conviva Social Insights or VidIQ to get more detailed analytics.
- Identify what works well and what doesn’t work well for your content strategy. Look for patterns such as which types of videos get more engagement, which hashtags drive more traffic, which times/days perform better etc.
- Experiment with different variables such as captions, sounds/music, stickers/effects etc., and see how they affect your performance metrics. Use A/B testing methods such as posting two similar videos with different variables at the same time/day and comparing their results after a period of time.
Darren is SEO Growth Lead at Velocity Growth. He is experienced in developing bespoke SEO roadmaps and implementing long term SEO strategies to build organic visibility, traffic and conversions for clients across a diverse range of industries.