For long, marketers have focused on keywords in their SEO efforts. But keywords only represent a part of the equation. SEO starts with a search query, the phrases or words someone uses in Google to look for what they need.
Google processes almost 40,000 search queries each second – a staggering 3.5 billion searches per day. Did you know that as a business, you can increase your traffic and conversion by targeting search queries apart for keywords?
How does Targeting the Right Search Queries Help?
So unless your website, content and other elements are optimized for search queries, you are going to lose out on potential leads and customers. Targeting search queries also help you provide value to the user and increase your authority.
How to Target Different Types of Search Queries?
1. Navigational Search Queries
A navigational search is done with the intent to find a specific service or website. You may enter “Instagram” on Google to get to the Instagram site without typing the URL. The user is using the search to navigate to his chosen website.
How to Target
The searcher has a clear idea of the website or service he is looking for in case of navigational search. You can’t hope to rank for navigational queries unless you own the website the user is looking for.
Google calls these type of searches as “go query” and only presents seven results for the convenience of the searcher.
Some of the navigational searches may have a different intent. For example, if a person searches “Twitter,” he might be looking for tweets made by people.
You should be the owner of your brand’s navigational query. It also pays to buy relevant keywords which enable you to feature in the top of both the sponsored and organic results. You can also increase your click-through rates and conversion in the process!
2. Informational Search Queries
Informational search queries are performed with the intent to find information. For example, a person may search “how to make coffee.” Information queries can cover a broad topic and generate thousands of relevant results.
The searcher is not looking for any specific website or have purchasing intent on their mind. 50% to 80% search queries fall in this category.
How to Target
The only way to target informational search queries is by using high-quality SEO content. The searcher is looking for information, so don’t be shy to provide it in details. You can also develop content based on Google Knowledge Graph or the questions that pop up in the SERPs.
You can unleash your creativity and approach informational content from different perspectives. The goal is not to push your products or service, but to become a trustworthy and authoritative source of information.
You can develop brand awareness in the process and win the favor the searchers who are more likely to go for your products once you resolve their queries!
You can provide helpful and relevant information by
- Creating blog posts– Write detailed blog posts full of tips that answer the questions of your potential customers. If you are in SEO, you can write a blog post about how to rank websites for local searches.
- Write in-depth guides and tutorials- Help your customers fix a problem or provide them with a walkthrough of your service using step-by-step guides. If you are selling VR headsets, you can write a step-by-step process to prevent overheating.
- Make how-to videos– One minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words! Also, 55% people pay close attention to videos than any other form of content. So throw in a video here and there to increase traffic!
- Create an infographic– Delight your users by visualizing the statistics and processes.
3. Transactional Search Queries
Transactional search queries come with high purchase intent. The searcher is looking to make a purchase or complete a transaction and may use the words “order,” “buy” or purchase in the query.
The searcher may also google a specific product like “Nike Air Force” or just type something like “Nike sneakers.” Many local searches are transactional in nature, like “dentists near me.”
It’s highly profitable to target transactional queries as they are at the last stages of the conversion funnel.
How to Target
You can target transactional queries by creating an optimized product page with product description, images, and other elements. Another way is to optimize your pages for local search and create a profile on Google My Business.
Using PPC to target the queries also make sense as-
- You can get a good ROI on paid search by targeting the queries. People make no difference between organic results and sponsored results in the case of transactional queries.
- Sponsored results fill most of the SERP for transactional queries. Investing in PPC increases your chances of featuring above others!
- You can include pictures and other details for sponsored ads and listings. Organic results don’t give you any such opportunity.
- People are 2 times more likely to click on sponsored results than organic results in the case of transactional queries. Surely, you don’t want to lose out on traffic which comes with purchasing intent.
The Transformation of Google Search Query Results Over the Years
The search queries were first categorized by Andrei Broder in a 2002 peer-reviewed paper. SEO specialists have long used the model to comprehend the intent of the searcher and create landing pages and content accordingly.
Recently, Google added another category called Know Simple, after the popularity of intelligent voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. Know Simple queries have a short and clear answer and don’t need you to visit any links. It’s one of the other things after Google Rankbrain, the third most important signal for Google today, among 200 other ranking factors.
Currently, SEO professionals are trying to make out how to optimize their content for such virtual assistants and rank in the future.
Targeting search queries increase your traffic and conversions making an impact on your bottom line. Your SEO strategy should consider targeting the queries along with investing in Adwords for optimal results.