TikTok is the new Google – How you can optimise your TikTok SEO

Caitlyn Howitt
31st May 2023
< 1 minute read

TikTok is rapidly overtaking Google as a search engine and for younger generations it already has, with over 40% of Generation Z using it as their preferred search engine.

They don’t want to read a blog or watch a 10-minute YouTube video, they want instant, relevant, and entertaining information that is more authentic and less salesy. So, if you haven’t already invested your time in TikTok for your business, here is your sign. And if you have, here is how you can optimise your TikTok SEO to help your brand appear on your target audience’s feed and rank higher in their searches.


Optimising your TikTok SEO

Captions and Text

Filling your captions with relevant key words is a great way to rank higher on TikTok search. As of last year, your captions can now be up to 2,000 characters and we recommend you make the most of them.

If you’re all out of ideas or aren’t sure where to find the most relevant keywords, simply type your brands’ niche into TikTok search (e.g. marketing) and see what other people are saying. For example, ‘marketing tips’, ‘marketing portfolio’ or ‘marketing agency’ and use these phrases in your captions and hashtags. Then, when people search for those, your posts and account will come up. Similarly, use these phrases and key words in your on-screen text, not only will this help you rank higher, but it will also help to grab the attention of the viewer.



If your video has spoken audio, saying the name of your niche (e.g. skincare) within the first few seconds is a great way to catch the viewers’ attention on the explore page. The reason younger generations are using TikTok as a search engine is because it provides them with relevant information faster. So, saying the words of your niche to start your video will grab their attention before they move onto the next video.

Closed Captions

It is also good practice to add closed captions. Again, this will help your video rank higher if keywords are spoken but is also makes your video more accessible to a wider audience.


If you’re promoting local content, adding your location to the video is a great way to push your videos to local audiences (eg. Best restaurant in the North East). This should land you on TikTok’s Nearby feed.


92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth advertising above all other forms of advertising, which is one of the reasons why TikTok is becoming a popular search engine. So, even if you follow all of the SEO tips above, if your content isn’t organic and authentic, it probably won’t grab the viewers’ attention. Ideas of authentic content include customer testimonials, tutorials, and any sort of content that reflects your brand values and who you are.


Now you’ve incorporated all these SEO best practices in your content, it’s time to be consistent. The more you post using these keywords, the more TikTok learns who you are and what you do. It will then push your content to the correct audiences.


To wrap up

With Google admitting to TikTok ‘eating up its search market’, now is definitely the time for your brand to invest time in improving TikTok SEO.

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