Conquering the search engines gives you access to the 3.5 billion searches that are conducted on Google every day. But you should bear in mind that there are actually three different types of searches that are performed: information, transactional and navigational. Understanding the differences between them can help you to improve your search strategy and search performance, and can also assist you in optimizing your content for the different types of intent the user has when searching.
And in light of the frequency with which changes to Google’s algorithms appear to be happening, understanding the different types of search can make a major difference to your results and enable you to make changes to your strategy. Brafton.com also reports that:
A recent version of Google’s Quality Rating guidelines were leaked by one of the third-party testers the search engine uses to determine whether algorithms are filtering results the way it wants. This version put a lot of emphasis on expertise, authority and trustworthiness (EAT).
And, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the three types of search and how you can try to dominate them and take a leading position in your particular niche.
An informational search is, as its name suggests, when people are looking for specific information to match their query. Maybe they want to know how to knit a blanket, bake lemon meringue pie or what the height of Mount Everest is.
After the Hummingbird algorithm was passed, informational searches have become more significant in search engine optimization because of the variances in user intent when it comes to matching search queries. So how does this affect search results?
Why Is Informational Search Important?
Well, this is one way to cast a wider net when it comes to SEO. You may be able to convert informational searchers into paying customers if you feed them the right information and keep them satisfied with a great online experience.
How Do You Get Ahead In Informational Search?
Hubspot says the only way to get ahead in informational search is to dominate all inbound marketing entirely.
One idea is to reserve a domain that includes the informational search query in question. It is ideal if your company name also includes the keyword so there is consistency and synchronicity, but it is possible to park subdomains on your website that include the keywords you want to appear in the search results for as well.
The other important piece of advice to remember is that you have to carve a niche for yourself in terms of the content you generate to meet informational search queries. As Hubspot points out:
Once you know what keywords you’re going to target, you can start to own them through content domination on that topic. If you create more articles, in-depth information, infographics, videos, and images on a topic than anyone else on the planet (and they’re quality), you will dominate the SERPs for that topic.
Understanding Transactional Searches
What are transactional searches? Well, Moz.com defines them as:
Identifying a local business, making a purchase online and completing a task.
Transactional searches don’t necessarily involve a credit card or wire transfer. Signing up for a free trial account at Cook’s Illustrated, creating a Gmail account, or finding the best local Mexican cuisine (in Seattle it’s Carta de Oaxaca) are all transactional queries.
Yes, these are the searchers who have their wallets on the table, or an electronic account to transact from, and are online wanting to shop. But as the excerpt points out, they do not necessarily have to be purchasing – the fact that they are taking action is what is important.
This is important because these are the searchers who are easy to convert. You should not have to do too much to get them to take action.
How Do You Improve Your Performance In Transactional Search Results?
It is not an easy task to dominate your transactional search niche, but you should be creating optimized content first and foremost for your site. And even though the phrase might be transactional, you can still use information to dominate the search for these and related queries.
Understanding Navigational Search
A navigational search is when a user looks for a specific website, through Google, without using the menu bar. This occurs when the users know the name of the company they are seeking out, but not the exact website address.
Why Is Navigational Search Worth Knowing About?
Thanks to search engines, we can find the websites we want and need pretty quickly. For some people it is a matter of habit. Why search through their history or do a quick search in the address bar when all you have to do is go to Google? It’s just easier.
Plus, the statistics also say that navigational users are more likely to be repeat visitors than new ones. The person knows your business name, so has had some history with you. Some of them may be new. Perhaps the person is in need of your product or service and currently using another company. Maybe he or she is not satisfied with the level of service currently being received and would like a second option.
The other big advantage is that navigational users are believed to have greater potential in terms of converting to a sale. Why is this? Well, the person is already perceived to be familiar with your brand in some way. They may know the product or service they want, your business, or both. They are further down the sales funnel and thus more likely to convert.
So How Do You Get Ahead In Navigational Search?
If your company name is unique it should be relatively easy for you to come out at the top for your navigational keyword. That’s why it is a good idea for your URL to include your company name as far as possible. Also, include your navigational keyword in the title of the page you are optimizing for that keyword.