Now that you understand what keyword research is and why it’s important, the next thing you need to know is the various types of keywords you can target with your content. This will help you gain better control over the keyword research process and make it easier to create a content publishing strategy that works best for your website.
There are three primary types of keywords that cover the entire range of search queries that are performed on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. And each of these keyword types is based on a concept called user search intent.
User search intent refers to the purpose of an online search (i.e., the objective the searcher is trying to accomplish). For example, a person looking to buy a new pair of shoes has a different search intent than someone who wants to know how to clean their dirty shoes. The first person would want ecommerce options for making a purchase online while the second person would need instructional information that teaches how to perform a task.
That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of keywords and their user search intents so you know which categories of content you should be targeting on your website. Knowing the exact type of keywords you want to focus on during the keyword research process will help streamline the work. It will also stop you from aimlessly picking keywords to write articles about with no real plan in place for long-term content publishing success.
The following sections will explain everything you need to know about the three primary types of keywords based on user search intent.
Informational keywords are used to meet the search intent of people who are looking for an answer to a specific question or to get general information about a topic. These types of SEO keywords typically start with “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, “how”, “are”, “can”, “do”, and “does”.
An informational keyword doesn’t have commercial search intent, so these types of terms are not often the best choice for making direct sales through a web page. Informational keywords are at the top of the sales funnel where people are beginning to research a particular topic by gathering more details.
However, these types of keywords in SEO are still valuable for brand awareness and lead generation because you can answer questions about your industry, individual niche, products, or services, and provide informational content that educates your target market on topics that can bring them deeper into your sales funnel.
Examples of informational keywords include:
- What is off-page SEO?
- How do keywords work?
- Does pizza have high calories?
- When is the next presidential election?
- Why are whales so big?
Transactional keywords are used to meet the search intent of a person who is ready to purchase something. These terms have the strongest commercial value and are commonly known as buyer keywords. Types of SEO keywords in this category typically include modifiers like “best”, “top”, “cheap”, “review”, “buy”, “purchase”, and “for sale”.
The person searching for transactional keywords is often at the bottom of the sales funnel which makes these keywords a good choice for direct sales on a website because the user search intent is so strong for purchasing a product or service.
Examples of transactional keywords include:
- Best SEO company
- Top keyword research tool
- Baby jogger city mini reviews
- Buy stocks online
- Rookie baseball cards for sale
Navigational keywords are used to meet the search intent of people who know what they want but are not exactly sure how to find it online. Common examples include when a searcher is looking for a particular website, brand, product, or service. The person knows it exists but needs Google, Yahoo, or Bing to help them find the root domain, contact information, specific product or service page, etc.
Navigational keywords fit in every part of the sales funnel (top, middle, and bottom). When a user types a navigational keyword into a search engine, it means that person is likely familiar with the company and wants to find something specific from that business. Therefore, the user search intent could be either informational or transactional. That’s why it’s important for every brand to have optimized content for navigational keywords that include their company’s name, individual products, and services.
Examples of navigational keywords include:
- Petco customer service
- SEO Chatter website
- JBL extreme 3
- Dave’s auto body repair
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