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How SEO tactics got me a million TikTok views over the weekend

Okay, so I work three days a week as a writer/editior for Wishu (yes, this newsletter that you’re reading). Last week I worked Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The last blog I wrote for our newsletter on Thursday afternoon was on the importance of SEO for TikTok strategy success in 2023. That evening I posted a TikTok following my own, well-researched, advice and my video, only four days later, has been viewed 1,000,000 times. That’s my most viewed TikTok to date!

@saintceciliamusic

Replying to @Lex and Suki why is there so much shame around femininity? #harrystyles #vintageaesthetic #genderstudies

♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

The video is about my opinions on gender expressions regarding masculinity in the media from the 1950s to the present day. It looks at the dichotomy between the legalisation of queer culture and the push back by straight men to dissociate themselves from said form of liberal queer gender expression. I am a musician with a cinematic aesthetic so I also mentioned a desire for more songs about queer love, specifically sapphic love, and posted a spin off video two days later sharing one of my own songs that works as a tonic for this issue. (@saintceciliamusic on TikTok if you’re curious!)

Four days later, post the success of my TikTok SEO approach, I thought I’d revisit the topic to further break down how creators and influencers are making the most of SEO to harness views and engagement. 

Google executive Prabhakar Raghavan said in July that his company’s research found roughly 40% of young people turn to TikTok or Instagram instead of Google Maps or Search when looking for a place to eat, according to the Times report.

Creators also told Insider that they believe TikTok has started favouring videos that are more SEO friendly, based on their discussions with other TikTokers who were struggling to maintain their engagement rates and get their videos in front of more users.

If you even look at the comment section, you’ll notice more observations on the contents of the search bar SEO info (which TikTok presents in a blue colour as a means of differentiation). This means more users are paying attention to the SEO associated with the videos they like. 

Let’s look at the key ways to implement SEO into your TikTok to further harness engagement. 

  1. Hashtags
    Less is more and the more specific the better. My video was about queer gender expression and queer baiting so my hashtags were as follows;
    Harrystyles
    Queermusic
    Lgbtq
    Genderexpression
    Toxicmasculinity
    As you can see, all these hashtags exist within the same universe – queer expression – but are specific to the topics covered in the video. 
  2. Always turn on your captions
    This allows TikTok to read the topic of the video more accurately and therefore push it out to the best possible audience. It also means your video won’t simply be judged on the visual. 
  3. Change your handle and bio
    Before posting my video I changed my handle from @itsrosacecilia to @saintceciliamusic.  I also added keywords like music, jazz, laughs and songwriting into my bio so that those who search for those things are more likely to find me. 
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