Search Engine Optimization SEO

Types of Search Queries and How to Target Them

No search engine reveals or shares its search volume data accurately and regularly.

But according to the latest statistics posted on HubSpot,

It is estimated Google processes approximately 63,000 search queries every second, translating to 5.6 billion searches per day and approximately 2 trillion global searches per year.

People these days gather information and answer questions using many search engines – Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, and Baidu.

Some people access search engines on their desktops and laptops, while others initiate web searches using smartphones and tablets. Also, every individual enter a variety of search queries in the search engines while initiating a web search. The term “search query” or “search engine query” is often described as a string of characters or a combination of keywords that searchers enter in search engines or search bars to collect relevant and specific information related to a specific topic.

According to Technopedia,

Every time a user puts a string of characters in a search engine and presses ‘Enter’, a search engine query is made. The string of characters (often one or more words) acts as keywords that the search engine uses to algorithmically match results with the query. These results are displayed on the search engine results page (SERP) in order of significance (according to the algorithm).

While initiating web searches, some searchers enter unique search queries, while others enter repeat search queries. You cannot control or change the way searchers form search queries or choose keywords. But you can boost your website’s search visibility only by identifying and targeting various types of search queries in the most appropriate way. Your SEO strategy and SEO checklist must focus extensively on choosing the most relevant keywords by identifying each type of search query accurately.

Identifying, Understanding, and Targeting 4 Broad Types of Search Queries

1) Informational Search Queries

Understanding Informational Search Queries

While doing web searches, searchers enter informational search queries to gather information about a particular topic or subject. The searchers use a variety of informational queries to understand important aspects of the topic. For instance, a searcher can enter an informal search query to understand what digital marketing is as well as compare different types of digital marketing.

But the searcher will create the informational search queries in multiple and different ways. Hence, the search intent will vary across informational search queries. For instance, a searcher can prepare dalogna coffee by gathering relevant instructions by entering a variety of informational queries – how to make dalogna coffee, instructions to prepare dalogna coffee, dalogna coffee recipe, or steps in preparing dalogna coffee. Informational search queries are popularly referred to as know search queries.

Targeting Informational Search Queries

You cannot target informational search queries accurately without creating and distributing a variety of informative content in multiple digital formats. Also, you need to ensure that piece and type of content provides relevant and up-to-date information to searchers. At the same time, you must optimize the content for both search engines and searchers by implementing a slew of white-hat SEO techniques and best practices.

Leading search engines like Google make it easier for you to target this type of search engine queries by launching options like Knowledge Graph. Knowledge Graph delivers relevant information to searchers instantly based on their precise search queries by leveraging the collective intelligence of the internet. According to Google, Knowledge Graph enhances search experience in three distinct ways – finding the right thing, getting the best summary, and making expected discoveries.

You can easily target and handle informational search queries by leveraging Knowledge Graph while creating informational content. However, you can target information search engine queries effectively only by creating and publishing a variety of digital content regularly. For instance, your SEO strategy must target this category of search engine queries by focusing on writing blog posts, creating how-to-videos, preparing step-by-step guides, designing compelling infographics.

The creation and publication of multi-format informative content will help you to target identical and different information search queries. But you can attract and impress searchers only when the content makes your business or brand appear both authoritative and trustworthy. Instead of promoting a product/service, you must focus on creating brand awareness. The content must focus on answering a searcher’s question accurately or solving a searcher’s problem by providing the most relevant information.

2) Transactional Search Queries

Understanding Transactional Search Queries

Transactional search queries are often linked to financial transactions like purchase and sell. But searchers enter transactional search queries to perform a specific action or complete a specific transaction. No searcher enters this category of search queries with the aim to collect information. Instead, they convey the search intent using specific terms like purchase, buy, download, or order. Also, transactional search queries often include a specific product or brand.

For instance, a transactional search query with the intention to purchase a mobile device often includes brands like iPhone or Samsung. Also, the transactional search queries will appear like buy Samsung M12, purchase iPhone 12, or download Jagjit Singh ghazals. Instead of gathering information, searchers enter transactional search queries with the intention to take a specific action or complete a specific transaction without any delay. Transactional search queries are also referred to as do search queries.

Different Types of Transactional Search Queries

While initiating web searchers, searchers enter three distinct types of transactional search queries – specific, generic, and vertical. As the name suggests, users enter a generic transactional search query to get or buy any specific product or brand. For instance, buy a 3D printer or buy a smartphone belongs to this type of transactional search query. But specific or brand-focused transactional search queries are always product-specific or brand-specific.

For instance, buy a Samsung mobile or buy an Aurum3D printer is regarded as specific or focused transactional search queries. On the other hand, search queries pertaining to a specific industry or sector are regarded as vertical transactional queries. For instance, find a coffee shop in Bangalore or visit an ice cream parlor in Bangalore falls under the category of vertical search queries entered with the intention of completing a transaction.

Targeting Transactional Search Queries

While targeting this category of search engine queries, you must remember that transactional search queries can be both generic and specific. That is why; you must approach distinct approaches to target generic and specific transactional search queries effectively. Also, you should not try to leverage the informational content created and published by your business for SEO purposes. The seasoned digital marketers target transactional search engine queries through paid search instead of organic search.

The pay-per-click (PPC) ad models supported by major search engines make it easier for you to target transactional search queries. According to Google Ads, “Picking the right keywords helps you to target the right audience. This, in turn, leads to higher click-through rates.” In addition to designing customized ads, search engines require you to pay only when the searchers click on your ad. That is why; you can customize and scale the paid ad campaigns according to your digital marketing strategy and budget.

However, many digital marketers these days target transactional search queries through product listings and service pages. They optimize the product listing by including the focus keyword in title, description, and image alt tags. Also, the highlight and showcase key attributes of a product – material, size, and color by writing concise but compelling content. Similarly, they highlight the features or price of services by writing compelling content.

While listing a product or creating a service page, you must focus extensively on the selection and placement of call-to-action (CTA). The appeal and placement of CTAs will impact the conversion rate directly. But you must remember that paid ads are more effective than product listing or service pages in increasing conversion rate. You need to combine both approaches to target various types of transactional search queries efficiently.

3) Navigational Search Queries

Understanding Navigational Search Queries

Searchers enter navigational search queries with the intent to access or navigate to a particular website through the search engines. While entering navigational search queries, searchers often ignore the website’s URL. They accelerate navigation by entering the website’s domain name only. For instance, a searcher who wants to navigate to Facebook.com will enter a single-word navigational search query – Facebook.

Similarly, a searcher will enter Gmail only while navigating to Gmail.com through a search engine. The searchers do not enter navigational search queries to find similar websites or compare various options. Instead, they enter this type of search query to access a particular search website. Many searchers enter navigational queries to navigate to a website by submitting the name of a business or brand. This category of search queries is often regarded as go search queries.

Targeting Navigational Search Queries

While entering a navigational search query, the searcher always has a single and clear intent. Hence, navigational search queries are difficult to target and optimize than other types of search queries. You can target or optimize a navigational search query only when the search query entered by the searcher includes your brand name or domain name. Often search engines restrict and reduce the number of SERPS while delivering results for this category of search queries.

While targeting navigational search queries, digital marketers often focus on making the website appear on top of SERPs. Also, they ensure that the searcher gets relevant information about a website, including location, products, service, and brand name. They implement on-page and off-page SEO techniques to boost a website’s search engine ranking organically. Also, many digital marketers run PPC ads to ensure that the searcher finds and visits the website instantly from SERPs.

4) Connectivity Search Queries

While implementing SEO strategies, digital marketers often do not target connectivity search queries. But major search engines support this least-use search query. Digital markets generally use this type of search query commonly to gather important information required to boost a website’s search visibility and search performance.

For instance, many digital marketers enter connectivity search queries to gather a slew of useful information – how many URLs are already indexed by search engines from a specific domain and which external backlinks are pointing to a specific page or post. Hence, connectivity search queries help digital marketers gather the information required to drive and boost various SEO campaigns. While implementing SEO strategies, you need not target this category of search engine queries.

While initiating web searchers, searchers these days enter several types of search queries. In addition to understanding search intent, search queries help you to identify the most relevant keywords for your content writing and SEO projects. That is why; your SEO strategy must focus extensively on differentiating between search queries to boost keyword research. However, your SEO strategy can generate more leads and increase sales conversion only by targeting each type of search engine query efficiently and effectively.

Abhijit Panda

A Fun Loving Techie. Marketer by Profession. Passionate about Everything Digital.

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