Informational and Transactional Keywords

Informational and Transactional Keywords: Know the Difference

Informational and Transactional Keywords

Search to Sold: Understanding the Buying Cycle

Last time I wrote a very basic post about how your site ranks in search engines. This time around we’ll be talking about informational and transactional keywords, as well as the buying cycle. Not only that, we’re also going to talk about how you can increase sales by catching prospects during the informational phase of the buying cycle.

Sounds good, right? Yes, it’s very good. Come on along with me.

Transactional Keywords

For this exercise you’re going to re-assume the role of Bob at  You really want to rank for keywords such as; ‘Buy Blue Widgets’, ‘Blue Widgets for Sale’ and ‘Blue Widgets Free Shipping’. These are all considered transactional keywords, as the query intent is obviously leaning towards a purchasing decision. However, a much larger brand, has these queries on lock-down. It would be too expensive and take far too long to rank for these queries in the short-run.

However you have a friend that, with a little creativity, can help you turn the tables. Your friend’s name is…

Informational Keywords

The first part of the buying cycle is awareness of a need. The next step is researching the best way to fulfill the need, which entails informational keyword queries. This is exactly where you can come in and snag the sale before the prospect ever hits

How you ask? Simple, just answer their questions. But it’s how you answer their question that matters.

Complete the Buying Cycle with Ingenuity

You know that buying widgets can be tricky. You know the prospect needs to buy the right size and the right material, or things will go horribly wrong. It’s time to answer the prospect’s questions.

This is the perfect opportunity to deploy an application which points the prospect to the right widget, which just so happens to reside on All it takes is a short form and the prospect is on your site, with the confidence that they’re going to buy the right widget for the job.

Once the prospect is on your site, you can even sweeten the deal with free shipping on orders over $X. Perhaps you want to nurture your hard-earned lead with a loyalty program? You can do that as well. The possibilities are endless when you enter the buying cycle early.


While it will definitely take some keyword research and some time to rank for informational keywords, it’s usually easier than competing with the big boys. Just like the guerrilla, you have to look for easy wins that don’t take a lot of resources. Answering the prospects questions while they’re in the information gathering phase of the buying cycle is far easier than ranking for a transactional keyword.

Join me next time, when we talk about the benefits of a strong brand.

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