The Search Intent in Search Queries

It is very apparent that the world we live in drastically different world than the world our parents lived it. Heck, it’s different from the world we lived in 15 years ago. We live in an age of instant information. All those debates we had years ago with friends that lasted hours because no one had the ability to fact check. In order to put the debate to rest it might take a trip to the library, which could end up taking a day or two. With the advancements of the internet and search engines those several hour debates are now 30 second debates. This has set off a new wave of jobs within the marketing department called Internet Marketing.

This is one small example of how our ability to access data has changed our daily lives. The capability we now have so search the internet has created a new aspect to a Marketers job description. Content Marketing has become a huge focus for businesses. Everyone is putting their product or service out on the web and it is the job of the marketing team to pull a consumer to their website rather than their competitor’s website.

Optimizing your website so that a search engine ranks your webpage/subpages high on the 1st page of the results page is vital. One of the things a company can do to ensure their webpage is effective is to understand how consumers ask questions via search queries on the web. Yoast (widely considered as the most comprehensive SEO software for WordPress) has stated that that “it is crucial to ensure the content you’re writing fits both the terms people are searching, as well as the search intent of your audience.” Internet Marketing has condensed the various types of search queries into a handful of categories. Three of them being: Navigational, Informational, and Transactional.

Navigational Queries

It is common practice to type in the name of an Airport in order to figure out what the exact address is. When a search of that nature is executed the consumer would expect the address to pull up along with a map to view exactly where it is located – this is called a navigational query. A company will want the location to pull up rather than the ticket prices at that airport because this would just be clutter and an irritant to the consumer that is trying to find the location.

Navigational queries are not just to find physical locations, they are also used to go directly to a website when the consumer doesn’t know the URL. Searching the word Nike will pop up a link to the Nike website which sells shoes, socks, shorts, shirts, and athletic gear. That general search is trying to navigate to the unknown URL (Doubtful that anyone would forget what the URL to Nike is).


Informational Queries

With the vast amounts of information in the world being digitized has made it possible for people to become more self-sufficient/independent in many cases. Informational queries is the action taken when trying to learn something for yourself. This type of search is very broad range (to the extent that some navigational queries could identify as informational queries). Typically type of search is trying to produce a recipe, the various car dealerships in an area, or a synopsis of your favorite television show to name a few.

In many cases this is just a browsing mindset rather than the mindset to make an immediate purchase. This is usually the phase that an individual is pricing out a product or service and trying to find the best deal. It is more than likely that a purchase will be made in the near future so those who optimize their website appropriately will give the desired information in way that will make it enticing to come back to make the purchase.

There is a large amount of competition confronting an internet marketer so it is vital the appropriate keyword research is being done and studied to know what words to use and on what pages to use them. If a competitor wins the keyword battle in the results of a search query at the informational level then the odds are higher that the consumer is going to make the final purchase with that competitor.


Transactional Queries

If it wasn’t already obviously clear as to what transactional queries are about I will simplify it – this section is about questions consumers ask when they are ready to make a purchase. As stated in the book The Art of SEO less than 10% of all search queries are Transactional. When a consumer falls into this category a company wants to do all that they can to make it so the consumer is driven to their website. The convincing part of the process has been done through the navigational and informational queries so the consumer is ready to hand their money over. It would be a shame that a company missed the purchase due to the lack of Search Engine Optimization resulting in the page not being found for consumers to make the purchase.

When someone has made it to a website it needs to be clear on how to complete the transaction and what the results of that transaction will mean. If the checkout process is clunky, visually unappealing, and done through several different pages it won’t matter how optimized the rest of the website is. Those mistakes are a quick way to lose the trust of the customer. Keep this process as short as possible.


Conclusion on Search Queries

The best way to pull people to a website is by answering the questions they are asking. This is one of the important reasons to have an F&Q page, high density of keywords, and putting those keywords in the correct pages. To do this effectively it takes a lot of testing and revisions. Don’t build a website and once it goes live just leave it. SEMrush (global company that focuses on SEO Optimization) has several additional insights on how to further optimize your website to make it effective for your business.