Over the last few years, there’s been a hot debate amongst the social and SEO industries on whether TikTok is a credible ‘search engine’ or not.

At Rise at Seven, we’re firmly of the belief that consumer behaviour has changed, and in turn, consumers are increasingly using social platforms to search. TikTok is at the very core of this, and the data backs it up. In fact, 40% of Gen Z admitted to using TikTok to search ahead of Google.

The SEO industry's main issue with viewing TikTok as a search engine has been due to the limited reporting and analytics provided through the platform.

However, TikTok has now put an end to all debates and is taking its stance as a search engine very seriously with updated reporting features.

TikTok is now reporting on traffic sources to your content, breaking it down by For You Page traffic and Search, providing further insights on key metrics including:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • CTR
  • Average position

This enables brands and content creators to see a breakdown of how people are viewing their content, highlighting opportunities to implement strategic SEO tactics to ensure your content ranks and continues to generate views over time.

Content on TikTok is no longer a one-hit-wonder. We predict in the next evolution of TikTok insights, you'll be able to see what specific keywords are driving your volume.

Examples where Search outperforms FYP

There are two ways to be discovered on TikTok:

1. The For You Page (which usually involves other creators talking about you or your brand, OR a viral moment)

2. Via Search

The latter (search) is widely ignored by so many marketers despite the opportunity being HUGE. Mostly because social teams don't know how to optimise content for search and SEOs don't know how to track it (yet).

Check out the below example where we achieved 61K views, 95.9% of which came from ranking via search (organic). This shows that our target audience is actively searching for content relating to key search terms on TikTok. They’re actively in the market to consume and are hungry to take action.

95.9% of our video traffic came from search. The video ranks for informational keyword and achieved 27K organic views as a result.

Looking at another example below, 96.9% of our video traffic came from search. The video ranks for informational keyword and achieved 61K organic views as a result.

In 2024, every digital brand is fighting for attention, and search is an easier answer. It makes sense to appear when your customers are actively looking/searching for what you do/sell!

Early mover brands are already jumping on this - we are working with numerous global brands right now on social search discovery and social SEO across travel, beauty, finance and retail.