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types of search queries

Each and every day, over 3 billion searches are entered into Google search engine bars from all across the world. For the most part, believe it or not, each one of these billions of search queries can be separated into three categories of searches – navigational, informational and transactional.

If you’re like most business owners or organization leaders, odds are that you have given very little thought to these search queries. With much of the search engine marketing world focused on keywords and topics, very little attention is paid to search queries and how they affect your website’s overall SEO performance.

Behind the 3 Types of Search Queries

Before we can begin to discuss how the type of search query plays a role in our website’s SEO, it is important to know more about the three types of search queries.

1. Navigational Search Queries

A navigational search query is one where the user has a very specific idea in mind of what they are looking for and where they intend to find their information. When a user enters a navigational search query, they are typically well beyond the “discovery phase” of their search and is already well aware of the brand or company they want to do business with.

navigational search query

The search query of ‘Nike’ shows very clear intent that a user is trying to find Nike’s main website and branded webpages, making it a navigational search.

With navigational searches being so specific and brand-driven, there is little reason to target a navigational query unless you own the site that a user is looking for. However, you will want to ensure that your brand is ranking on top of navigational queries for your business.

While there is little you can do to improve your brand’s navigational search rankings, you can increase the number of searches for your brand by extending your online presence. Social shares, user engagement and other brand signal building practices can help spread company’s brand awareness on the web and work to get more potential customers familiar with your name.

2. Informational Search Queries

When a user enters an informational search query into a search bar, they are looking for information on a topic or an answer to a specific question. Of the three types of search queries, these informational entries have the broadest scope.

informational search query

Rather than looking for a specific product or service, the user is looking for more information on a topic that may guide them while making a future decision.

Unlike a navigational search, these users are more than likely looking for a wider source of information rather than just one specific site. While these users may not be ready to commit to a purchase, they are looking for reliable and trustworthy information.

Capturing informational search queries is all about creating a knowledge base around your website. Creating informative blog posts, how-to videos and other types of high-quality SEO content that aims to help address a specific need a user has.

3. Transactional Search Queries

The third and final type of search query is the transactional search query. Occurring when a user has intent to make a purchase, the transactional search query may include everything from exact brand and product names to more generic terms concerning the product or service.

transactional search query

This user is looking for an exact product, indicating that they are ready or very close to making a final decision and purchase.

Generally, users who enter in a transactional search query are at the bottom of the sales funnel and ready to commit to a purchase, leaving it to be the most highly coveted of search query types. This is where your long tail keywords will come in handy. By providing more specific focus on a certain product or service, you can help drive these ‘converting’ searches to your site.

Ultimately, your site’s primary pages should be what drives the majority of transactional search queries to your website. Correctly optimizing your site’s primary pages to include long-tail keywords and quality informational content about your specific product or service will help keep your webpage’s on top of the various transactional search queries surrounding your business.

Incorporating Search Queries into Your SEO Strategy

Now that we have a basic understanding of the different types of search queries that are out there, we can effectively create an SEO strategy that works to capture attention from each of these queries. While it is seemingly impossible to create a one-page-fits all solution to rank for each of these types of queries, you can create a variety of pages intended to create an all-encompassing SEO strategy.

Be Available for Navigational Search Queries

In most all cases, your website’s home and about pages are what will drive navigational search queries to your business. On these pages, it’s important to create and utilize branded keywords that are specifically used to describe your business’s offerings and products. As we mentioned earlier, targeting navigational search queries isn’t the easiest, so instead you should focus on creating a buzz around your brand across the web through your social media profiles, backlink profiles and other brand awareness building techniques.

Answer Informational Search Queries

Used correctly, your website’s supplementary content webpages will help drive informational search queries to your site. While many business owners may not view these types of queries as an asset due to their lack of actual sales, these pages are vital towards leading users further down your company’s sales funnel. Furthermore, these types of informative posts will help establish your brand’s “E-A-T” rating that Google uses to rank sites and determine a website’s quality.

Provide the Product/Service for Transactional Queries

The final type of search query is a transactional search query. While these search queries are by far the most effective in converting visitors into customers, they are without a doubt the most competitive type of query on the web. Creating high-quality primary content pages that describe the value of your business’s good and services is the first step towards driving transactional search queries toward your site. Secondly, it is important to realize that your site’s brand awareness and E-A-T rating will play a big role in how your site is ranked in transactional search queries. An effective SEO strategy that focuses on providing high quality, informative content to web users and create a buzz about your company through brand signals will ultimately drive your performance in transactional search query results.

Be Well-Rounded

If you’re looking to capture rankings in all three types of search queries, a well-rounded internet marketing strategy and SEO campaign is a must. Give your business 360° digital marketing strategy by working with the expert Eyeflow Internet Marketing. Since 2001, the Eyeflow team has helped hundreds of clients develop a customized digital marketing campaign that works to capture the attention of their target audience and extend their brand’s presence on the web. Let us help you climb to the top of Google search engine rankings, contact the Eyeflow team today and discover how we will push your website to its full potential.

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Cory is the Director of Content Development at Eyeflow. He graduated with a degree in Multimedia from Point Park University, where he held focus in print writing and online content. When not at work, Cory spends his time conquering Pittsburgh's hills on his bike, tackling DIY projects and crafting creative recipes.

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