What are the 3 main types of search queries?

 However, you should also ensure that you are also able to use search queries to your advantage, especially if you're looking to increase web traffic to your company website, sales page, or blogs. 

What are search queries? 

Do not make the mistake of believing that search queries and keywords are one on the same - though they may be similar. Keywords refer to a word/group of words that are associated with a particular topic. 

Search queries are the combination of words, phrases, or questions that users enter into search engines when searching for something. 

What are the 3 main types of search queries?

While thousands upon thousands of searches are sent out every day on sites such as Google and Yahoo, they can often be broken down into distinctive categories. 

As such, there are three main types of search queries: 

  1. Navigational Search Queries. 
  2. Informational Search Queries. 
  3. Transactional Search Queries.

Being aware of these different query types means that you're able to make changes to your digital marketing strategies that guarantee a better ROI, improved brand awareness, and even an increase in sales. 

With that in mind, here's everything you need to know about the three main types of search queries (and how you can use them to your advantage). 


man sitting the MacBook retina with site Google on screen

1. Navigational Search Queries 

Navigational search queries are queries where the user is looking for a particular website, page, or brand. They're often entered directly into the search bar, as the user knows exactly what they are looking for. For example, a navigational search query could be something as simple as "Facebook", "Nike" or another brand name without any other qualifying information. 

As a result, this is a search query that can be hard to use to your advantage, as it requires the user to already have a familiarity with your brand. However, there are some steps you can take to increase the amount of traffic you receive through navigational search queries. For example, you could: 

    • Work on increasing your brand recognition as a whole, this way people will search for you right away as opposed to seeking out your competitors. This is best achieved through consistent marketing, especially on social media platforms, alongside maintaining a positive reputation. 
    • Ensure your brand appears first on searches with your brand's name, and not one of your competitors. For example, you may want to buy certain keywords or phrases, or work on your SEO strategy to increase visibility. 
    • Set up a simple domain name that features your company name clearly. If this isn't available, try to find one that is as close as possible, or perhaps feature the location of your business in the domain name.

2. Informational Search Queries 

As the name suggests, informational search queries are queries where the user is trying to find out certain information. For example, the search that brought you to this page was likely an informational query.  A recent study found this is the most common form of a search query, as 80% of searches are informational, with both navigational and transactional queries accounting for 10% of searches each. 

Due to their popularity, this is one of the easiest search queries that you can use to your advantage. For example, you could: 

    • Focus on generating content that is SEO optimised, as this will improve where your website falls in search engine rankings - meaning your webpage will appear closer to the top of search results when an informational query is made. This is particularly important when you consider the fact that "more than 67% of all clicks go on the top five listings". Ranking any lower than this means that your website is simply not all that visible, which will make it harder to send traffic your way.  
    • Run a blog in conjunction with your website that answers key questions your customers may be having. This will increase the likelihood of them coming across your brand. You could post an array of useful and relevant content on this blog, such as how-to guides or infographics. 
    • Ensure that your content is authoritative and trustworthy, as this will encourage search engines such as Google to rank your website higher than your competitors. One way in which you could achieve this goal is through link-building (though you must use reputable sites). 

3. Transactional Search Queries 

Transactional search queries are searches that are made with a transaction in mind, for example, a customer may be looking to buy a certain product. For example, a typical transactional search could look something like:  "red shoes", or "buy red shoes online". 

Transactional search queries are often rather straightforward in nature, and there are various ways in which you can use this kind of query to your advantage. For example, you could:

    • Ensure your sales or product description pages rank highly on all search engines. This can once again be achieved through SEO-friendly content and keyword usage. 
    • Launch a PPC advertising campaign, using platforms such as Google Ads to ensure your ads get maximum online visibility. This will increase the chances of a user clicking your ad and buying a product from your company. 


By learning more about the three main types of search queries, you should be able to make impactful changes to both your website and digital marketing plan that will leverage better results.

However, at SOAP Media, we're always on hand to help when it comes to improving your company's online presence, boosting web traffic, and ensuring that the advertisements you send out are impactful. So, whether you'd like some support with your next social media campaign, or are considering re-designing your website, please do not hesitate to get in touch!