The success of your business relies on effective digital marketing campaigns. Creating content is only part of attracting future customers. Implementing effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) considers the ranking factors of search engines.
A key element of SEO content is understanding how to use keyword research and applying the proper keywords across your digital media.
One of the most common elements of SEO content is defining the difference between keywords so you can write to your target audience and perform well in organic searches.
Understanding the differences between transactional and informational keywords is crucial to your marketing strategy’s creation and success.
There are many keyword types to consider, but to understand the core concept of SEO and apply these principles to your content, transactional and informational keywords are the most important to define.
9 Most Important Types of Keywords
Keywords reveal the intent of users. Search engines are ultimately designed to provide the most relevant answer to users.
Broad Match Keywords
Broad match keywords encompass general terms or phrases, such as “digital marketing,” which do not explicitly articulate the user’s search intent. These search queries usually produce broad results that help to ascertain and define the searcher’s interest.
However, these keywords can be an excellent starting point for individuals beginning their search journey. Since the user intent is vague, a website optimized for broad match keywords can cater to diverse queries, boosting website traffic.
Transactional keywords are often called commercial intent keywords and represent a deeper level of search intent. Take, for instance, the keyword phrase “local digital advertising campaigns.” This phrase demonstrates a strong intent towards a specific action, potentially leading to a purchase.
SEO strategies often focus on these transactional keywords as they target prospects at the bottom of the sales funnel (BoFu), creating a rich pool of potential customers ready for conversion.
Informational keywords signify the intent to gather detailed information about a specific subject. An example of this would be “What is a keyword magic tool,” where the intent is clearly to learn more about the said tool.
Sites optimized for these kinds of keywords position themselves as rich knowledge bases, attracting users in the information-seeking stage of their journey and subsequently boosting the site’s authority and credibility.
Geo-targeted keywords include a geographical location, such as a city, state, or region. These can be instrumental for businesses that appeal to local audiences or those wanting to personalize their user experience. By optimizing for geo-targeted keywords, businesses can tap into location-specific searches and drive traffic from a highly relevant user base.
Branded keywords are search terms that incorporate a specific brand name. For example, “Valve+Meter keyword research tools” is a keyword that shows the searcher’s familiarity with the brand. Optimizing for branded keywords enhances brand visibility and targets users who are aware of and interested in your brand, increasing the chances of customer retention and conversion.
Commercial Informational Keywords
Combining both informational and commercial intent, these phrases may contain product names, brands, categories, features, and modifiers.
Users in the consideration phase of the buyer’s journey may deploy phrases like “compare best SEO companies for keyword research.” By optimizing for these keywords, you position your site as a valuable resource for users looking to make informed purchasing decisions.
Long-tail keywords often represent a fusion of various keyword types, such as informational and geo-targeted keywords. These phrases are usually specific and less competitive, catering to niche search queries.
By integrating long-tail keywords into your SEO strategy, you can tap into highly targeted traffic, often resulting in better conversion rates due to the specific nature of these queries.
Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords (LSI)
LSI keywords are those semantically related to a primary keyword. For instance, an article about “keyword research” may incorporate a list and definition of 9 types of keywords.
Search engines use LSI to discern and comprehend the relationships between words and concepts within the content. Utilizing LSI keywords in your content enhances its depth, relevance, and visibility, thus boosting your overall SEO strategy.
Like branded keywords, navigational keywords refer to a specific website or domain. Navigational search queries are search terms users enter into a search engine to find a specific website or webpage.
Typically, users have a clear destination when using navigational queries, such as a brand name, product name, or a specific page within a website.
Navigational queries significantly drive traffic to your website, especially if your brand has a strong online presence. When users search for your brand or products directly, they are more likely to convert into customers as they already have a specific intent.
Optimizing your website for navigational queries ensures that your site ranks higher in search results and provides a seamless user experience, fostering brand loyalty and repeat visits.
Why Keywords Matter in SEO
Search Engine Optimization encompasses techniques and best practices to improve your brand’s online visibility. Design, web development, creative, and content strategy consider SEO when planning new websites and implementing changes to existing pages.
An overwhelming number of purchases begin with a Google search. Across all demographics and industries, more than 75% of people consult search engines before purchasing. While attracting and engaging users should always be top of mind, search engines like Google and Bing are the tools people use to ask questions and seek solutions to their problems.
The best SEO strategies consider two transactions within your marketing efforts. The first transaction occurs when your content is highly positioned within Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). The second transaction is when a person clicks through search results and visits your website.
Understanding how to create content that focuses on your audience’s search intent is vital. Just as vital is to build strategies that appear in native SERP. Organic SEO, or native SERP, refers to any of the unpaid results on a search.
Most commonly, SEO targets the top 3 positions of the search results. Many businesses pay to appear in SERP ads, but more than 70% of the overall click-through rate (CTR) occurs from native results. Most notably, over 92% of users do not go past the first page of search results.
In short, your business can grow when new users can find your products and services. Nearly every purchase begins with a query on a search engine. Search engines will not display your website to users if you do not use or choose the wrong keywords. Executing keyword research and applying the proper techniques across your content helps earn search visibility.
Basic Keyword Strategies for SEO
Valve+Meter considers every element of search engine algorithms within an overall marketing strategy. These strategies include capturing every native position available, including SEO for Google’s local map pack, images, video, featured snippets, and techniques that apply to other platforms like social networks.
If you implement SEO on your website and other digital media, you will likely begin optimizing your content to include keywords.
Understanding the differences between transactional and informational keywords is crucial to keyword research. One of the worst practices in SEO is using the wrong types of keywords for your target audience. You should choose the type of keyword phrases that align with the search intent of your target audience.
If your content is a detailed explanation of the different types of keywords, seek out the best information. Your primary or focus keyword should always align with the intent of the content.
More importantly, all of your LSI keywords should include informational intent keywords. Often, a blog post is designed to be helpful content. Title tags, headers, and URL structure should reflect this to earn organic traffic.
Just as important as choosing the right keyword is avoiding the wrong keyword. In the case of a particular product or service page, your keyword research is more likely to focus on transactional keywords.
If the page’s purpose is to provoke immediate action, find commercial keywords that appeal to search engines and users. Replacing an informational keyword with a transactional keyword on a product or service page helps to optimize the content.
The ultimate goal of every webpage is to increase website conversions. You work toward this goal when you align keywords with the search types.
Informational Keywords and Searches
Properly optimizing your content marketing for informational content can have incredible benefits. Informational searches are often the first step toward a purchase.
If you’re answering a question within your content that is commonly searched on Google, your page filled with people-focused informational content is more likely to earn a higher ranking in SERP. Informational keywords often earn the featured snippet, and people also ask about positions within SERP.
From the users’ perspective, choosing your target keywords can create credibility and authority when you answer the How, What, Why, and When queries; people engage with your website and may be more likely to convert to buyers in the future.
A blog article or landing page that uses question-based keywords and provides answers is more likely to rank higher than when you write content that blends transactional keywords with your information. This type of content marketing also creates valuable opportunities to re-market and re-target. You can use this content in networking, social media, and even newsletter materials.
Characteristics Of Informational Search Queries
Informational search queries typically seek answers to questions or solutions to problems. They are not focused on a specific brand or product and often contain phrases like “how-to,” “guide,” “tutorial,” or “what is.”
These queries are usually longer and more specific than other query types.
Importance Of Informational Search Queries For SEO
Informational queries are critical for SEO for several reasons. First, they make up a significant portion of the overall search volume. Second, they represent an opportunity to build brand awareness and authority by providing valuable information. Lastly, by ranking well for informational queries, you can drive organic traffic to your website and increase the chances of conversion.
Consider commercial informational phrases if you include a call to action in this type of content. Viewers who use search queries like these are likely closer to the middle and bottom of the funnel.
If you have content that compares products or services, commercial informational keywords can signal search engines. This type of content is a hybrid and likely considers an informational and transactional keyword on the same page.
Using commercial informational keywords in the title and headers is best when considering ranking factors.
Landing pages are a common example of commercial informational content. Generally, the content of these pages is to provide answers to pain points and demonstrate that your brand has the best solution.
You may compare products with competitors or outdated services. The use of commercial informational phrases is a passive appeal to both users and Google, and this page is designed to convert Search users who are interested in purchasing options.
Transactional Keywords and Searches
When your page is designed for conversion, appeal to your target audience with clear and concise commercial keywords.
Transactional searches use Buy, Purchase, Cheap, and Best keywords. These terms do not need to be reserved for advertising campaigns because many users seek to purchase using an organic search. As previously noted, over 70% of website conversions are native results.
Keywords reveal the transactional intent of users, so your website, including product and service pages, needs to be rich in transactional keywords. Implementing transactional keywords, rather than informational keywords, is crucial to making sure that your content meets the needs of your audience.
Find transactional keywords that support your brand names and product categories to increase your rankings within search results.
Differences Between Transactional and Informational Keywords
The difference between transactional and informational keywords lies in the user’s intent. Transactional keywords are used by people who are ready to make a purchase or take a specific action. In contrast, informational keywords are used by people looking for answers to specific questions or wanting to learn more about a topic.
Transactional keywords have a high commercial intent, which means that people who use these keywords are more likely to convert into customers. These keywords are often action-oriented and indicate the user is ready to transact. For example, if someone searches for “buy iPhone 12,” they are likely ready to purchase an iPhone 12.
On the other hand, informational keywords have a low commercial intent. People who use these keywords are looking for information and may not be ready to purchase. These keywords are often knowledge-oriented and indicate that the user seeks information on a specific topic.
For example, if someone searches for “how to cook spaghetti,” they are likely looking for a recipe or cooking tips rather than ready to buy a product.
Transactional keywords are important for businesses that want to convert website visitors into customers. By optimizing your website for these keywords, you can attract visitors who are already interested in your product or service and increase your chances of making a sale. It’s important to create product or service pages that make purchasing easy for visitors.
Informational keywords are important for businesses that want to establish their authority in their industry. By creating high-quality, informative content that answers common questions and provides value to the reader, you can attract visitors to your website who are interested in your industry. Over time, these visitors may become loyal customers who trust your brand and value your expertise.
It’s important to understand the difference between these two types of keywords and to use them strategically in your SEO efforts.
Balancing transactional and informational keywords can attract visitors at different stages of the buying cycle and increase your chances of making a sale. Remember to create content that provides value to the reader, regardless of whether it’s transactional or informational in nature.
Understanding Search Queries
As the world becomes increasingly digital, search queries have become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether searching for information on a topic, looking for a specific product, or trying to find directions to a new restaurant, search queries help us find what we need online.
What Are Search Queries?
To find information, a search query is a question or phrase a user types into a search engine, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The search engine then uses an algorithm to provide a list of results that are relevant to the query.
How Do Search Queries Work?
Search queries use an algorithm that analyzes the words in the query and matches them to relevant web pages. The search engine then displays a list of results based on the relevance of each web page to the query.
The Importance Of Search Queries
Search queries are important because they help users find the information they need online. They are also important for businesses because they can help drive traffic to their website and increase visibility in search results.
Factors That Affect Search Queries
Several factors can affect search queries, including the user’s location, search history, and device type. Search engines also use algorithms to personalize search results based on a user’s past behavior and preferences.
How To Optimize For Search Queries
To optimize for search queries, it’s important to understand what types of queries your target audience is searching for and to create relevant content. This can be done through keyword research and by creating high-quality content that addresses the user’s needs.
The Future Of Search Queries
As technology evolves, search queries will likely become more personalized and tailored to individual users. Search engines may also use more advanced algorithms to provide more relevant search results.
Common Misconceptions About Search Queries
One common misconception about search queries is that they are only important for businesses with an online presence. However, even brick-and-mortar businesses can benefit from optimizing search queries by providing accurate and up-to-date information online.
Best Practices For Optimizing Search Queries
To optimize for search queries, it’s important to follow some best practices, including:
- Conducting keyword research to identify relevant search queries
- Creating high-quality, informative content that addresses the user’s needs
- Using keywords naturally and not overstuffing content
- Using descriptive and relevant titles and meta descriptions
- Providing accurate and up-to-date information online
Using Transactional and Informational Keywords in Your Content
To effectively use transactional and informational keywords in your content, you must understand your target audience and their needs. Use informational keywords to create high-quality content that answers common questions and provides value to your readers. Use transactional keywords to create product or service pages that make purchasing easy for visitors.
When creating content, it’s important to use a conversational tone that engages the reader. Keep personal pronouns simple, but don’t sacrifice specificity or context. Use active voice and keep it brief. Incorporate rhetorical questions, analogies, and metaphors to make your content more engaging.
How Valve+Meter Approaches Content Optimization
Valve+Meter is a full-service marketing firm that delivers quality leads to our clients through SEO, PPC, email marketing, web development, and more.
On-page optimization is one of the most effective ways to improve SEO. By analyzing the purpose of each page, you can apply the proper keywords to match the search intent of your target audience.
Most websites benefit from all three keyword phrases, but delineating transactional and informational keywords is the first step to building a clear and effective SEO content strategy.
Contact our team if you want to learn more about how Valve+Meter Performance Marketing helps clients increase search visibility through content and technical SEO, including inbound link strategy and website audits. We provide free marketing assessments with a unique approach to data-driven marketing.