It’s pretty common knowledge that TikTok has become a heavyweight rival to Instagram, but what if we told you that TikTok also may be the next biggest rival to Google?

Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who runs the platform’s Knowledge & Information organization even admitted that based on their research “something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search – they go to TikTok or Instagram.” (Could this be the reason for Google’s recent Helpful Content Update?!)

One reason users are gravitating towards the video giant for search results is because of their abbreviated, to-the-point answers. Gone are the days of reading the fluff at the top of the recipe – people want the meat.

This opens up a huge opportunity for brands looking to connect with younger audiences. So how can you be taking advantage of this opportunity?


If you’ve been on TikTok over the past couple of months, you may have seen the app leaning into the promotion of certain keywords. One notable update are the new auto-linked keywords. This key feature proves that the app is gearing up to compete with more than just social media apps, and is ready to take on Google.

This feature identifies keywords in the comments of popular videos and links them to search results so that users can immediately click through to answers on some of the latest trending topics of common searches.


Much like when you search for a sound or a hashtag, the most popular relevant videos will be the first to show up. Seeing as the videos that garner the most views are essentially “chosen” by users, this could be viewed as a good thing – the app is promoting what the users are watching.

On the flip side of things, TikTok influencers and accounts with between 1-5K followers may only average about 750 views per video, while the “Mega-Influencers” that have over a million followers will typically average well over 550K views per video – so larger accounts that include key searchable terms will almost always be within the first couple of videos.

This begs the question – how can you optimize your videos for TikTok SEO?


Acknowledge your audience. This one’s a given when releasing content on any platform for your business! You’ll want to take a look at your audience in a couple different ways; consider the size of your actual audience (followers) as well demographics like age, location, interests, and problems of your audience and targets. All of these factors will help you determine the search intent of your audience which will help you decide how to…

Choose the Right Keywords. Whether it’s a phrase or a single word there are 3 components to consider when choosing keywords for SEO:

  • Search Volume
  • Relevance
  • Difficulty

Typically, you’ll want to choose keywords with a higher search volume with a medium-high relevance, and lower difficulty – tools like SEMRush or Moz can help you to identify these words and factors. However, depending on your goal and niche, this combination is subject to change. Now all that’s left is choosing where to…

Place Your Keywords. There are currently 5 ways that TikTok is incorporating keywords into videos, all of which are included in the app’s SEO strategy:

Empty heading

  • Text On Video
  • Audio (Recorded audio OR trending sound!)
  • Copy
  • Closed Captions
  • Hashtags

The more tactics for including keywords into your content, the more likely TikTok’s algorithm will be able to pick up the topic of your video to categorize it accordingly and push to users with similar interests and for your content to rank for the keywords you’re using!

While TikTok is constantly spinning out new updates that alter its algorithm and ranking system, the most important thing to keep in mind is that SEO on TikTok is fairly new. Many businesses are just coming around to using the app, let alone understand how to utilize the latest features to optimize their content – meaning that the competition for ranking is still slim on TikTok.

Ready to level up and start incorporating TikTok strategy into your content? RAD is here to help. Our team stays on top of the latest industry trends to help you strategize how your business can stand out and be seen. Contact us today to get started!