Search Engine Optimization, commonly abbreviated to SEO, is defined as a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. The best way to think of it is, how far down the google page do you have to scroll to find your post? Posts that are closer to the top of the Google search results are the posts that get the most traffic. There are many tools to use to increase your SEO. However, before getting started with SEO, it is important to identify what type of searches your business needs to rank higher for. People use search engines for three types questions:


Informational searches are defined as searches with the intent of finding information. This is fairly straight forward and is what most people think of when talking about Google searches. An example would be someone asking what the most popular ice cream flavor is?

These type of internet searches are important for search engine optimization strategy because this is where a brand builds reputation and recognition. There is also a possibility for purchase through traffic resulting for these types of informational searches.

Informational Search


Navigational searches are defined as searches made with the goal of going directly to a specific website.  Searches like this use google search results as a phone-book. The user is looking up the name of a business to find website. For example, someone looking for Cold Stone’s website would google the term “Cold Stone” instead of typing in the web URL,

In terms of SEO, these types of internet searches result in high quality traffic. A high percentage of the clicks a website gets from these searches leads to purchases. However, there is little opportunity to gain additional traffic from navigational searches not for your site.

Navigational Search


Transactional searches are defined as searches that allow the user to complete a transaction, financial or otherwise. The best way to think about these types of internet searches would be to see them as the user trying to accomplish an action. This could be identifying a restaurant, making a purchase, or creating an account. An example would be a user searching for, “ice cream shop near me”.

In respect to SEO these are the best types of google searches to rank highly for. Searches like this are made by people looking to make an action. If you are Cold Stone, you really want to rank high for the searches for ice cream shops because those people are hungry and looking for ice cream right now.

Transactional Search

Search engine optimization is necessary for all three types of internet searches. This is how you reach people in every section of the buying process. Missing one of these types of searches can cause issues. If a customer does a navigational search for you, and your business isn’t on the front page, they may not find you.  An easy way to check how your website ranks for specific searches is to search in incognito. This eliminates any bias that exists from your previous google searches and gives you an active view of your current google search SEO. Search for terms you think customers would be searching and see where you place in the results.  Once you have identified where you want your website to do better, you can begin implementing SEO tools.

The Art of SEO, Third Edition by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jessie C. Stricchiola

By Madeline Springer