SEO Tips & Tutorial

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3 Things You Need to Know About How Your Potential Customers Search the Web

One of the most important aspects of having a strong SEO strategy is to understand how your potential customers search the web. When you can understand what your target market wants, you can effectively reach and engage with these users.

The goal is to ensure that your customers find value in your brand and services. Therefore, it is essential that digital marketers prioritize creating for users and not just for search engines. There are three types of search queries that people like to make:

  1. “Go” Navigation Queries
  2. “Know” Informational Queries
  3. “Do” Transactional Queries

The primary goal of search engine is to answer questions and provide relevant results. When visitors types in a query into a search box, once they reach your brand’s site, will they find what they are looking for? It is essential for digital marketers to understand what their audience is looking for and ensure that your site provides it to them in multiple ways.

Let’s go in depth about what these three types of search queries are and how you can create website content that focuses on them.

#1 – Navigational Queries

A navigational query focuses on finding a certain website or webpage. This type of query is according to Google is a “GO” query. With this type of search query, users want to go to a particular place on the Internet such as the Disney website or homepage of the NBA. A user could enter “Facebook” into the Google search bar to find Facebook site instead of entering the URL into the navigation bar.

How can you create content for navigational queries?

The only way to target navigational queries is if you are the owner of the specific brand or website that the user is looking for. With navigational queries, the user has a specific site in mind and if your site isn’t what they are looking for then you will not be relevant.

Action Step: Ensure that you own your brand’s navigational query. Your site should appear in both the top organic spot and top sponsored spot when searching for your brand name or company.

#2 – Informational Search Queries

Informational queries include a topic for which there could be thousands of relevant results. Information queries are “Know” queries in which a user is looking for information about a broad topic such as “cars” or “exercise”. With this search query, users are not looking for a specific site, product or service. Users simply want to learn more about how to do something or have a question answered.

How can you create content for informational queries?

One of the most effective ways to target informational queries is to create high quality content that provides value to user through relevant information. Wikipedia is excellent at providing relevant information on many topics which why it ranks first for about half of all informational queries. Here are some types of content that you can create to target informational queries that can increase traffic to your website:

  • Write a blog post full of relevant advice and tips that would be relevant to prospective customers-if you are a plumber, you could write a blog post on how to choose the best plumbing system for a home
  • Create a how-to video that connects to your products and services (create a video on how to make jewelry if you sell beads)
  • Write a how to guide that breaks down the step by step process for your business
  • Create an infographic that provides a visual illustration of a concept

Action Step: It is important to get creative with informational content. The goal is for your site to gain a reputation as a great source of information, not to force users to buy your products. Informational content is a great way to build awareness of your brand. If you can answer a searcher’s question, you’ll be top of mind when they are considering purchasing the type of products or services that you provide.

#3 – Transactional Search Queries

With transactional queries, the user seeks to make a purchase and are also known as “Do” queries. Transactional queries include brand and product names (iphone 6S) or non branded (ice cream maker) and  include terms such as buy, purchase, or order. With this type of query, the user is thinking about making a purchase or will be making a purchase in the near future. Local searches such as “Toronto vegan restaurants” are also transactional queries.

How can you create content for informational queries?

With transactional search queries, it is recommended that you follow through with two essential aspects:

  • Organic Content which includes product pages and SEO strategies
  • Pay per click  (PPC) or AdWords to target search terms for your product  

These two work together well for transactional search queries because:

  • If a user is looking for a specific type of product or service that they want to purchase, a sponsored ad will be just as effective a piece of content that shows up in organic search to connect them to what they are looking for.
  • If you are looking for your brand to be seen on the top half of search engine results pages, you should consider PPC/Adwords. AdWords are a cost effective means to increase traffic, drive sales, and generate leads.
  • Google offers a variety of ads for products and services where you can include images and videos of your product or service. Options for organic results are less flexible and with less options available.

There are more informational queries than transactional so therefore for your best bet for increasing traffic is to create high value SEO content.