The Informational Query: What It Is and How to Target It

Have you ever fired up Google with burning questions like, "How to make the perfect pancake?" or "What's the capital of Iceland?" If so, you've entered the realm of informational queries.

Learn more about the informational query and how to target and optimize for them as you read the rest of this article. 

What is an Informational Query?

Informational queries are searches for facts, data, or knowledge. The goal of the searcher is to get fresh insights and gather more info on a topic that piques their interest.

Google's Search Quality Raters Guidelines call this type of search as the "Know" intent — basically because you’re searching for it because you just have to know something and not hunting for a specific website or trying to buy anything. 

How does Google know you're on an info hunt? It often boils down to the words you use. Certain phrases and keyword combinations give it away. For example, if you type "How does photosynthesis work?" or "Tell me about the Eiffel Tower," the search engine gets the memo that you're in info mode.

But even when your search doesn't have nifty words like "when," "why," or "how" in it, search engines can still figure out what you're after.

For instance, you could just type "photosynthesis" into the search bar, and Google will get it. It knows you're on a quest for info, so it'll show you basic facts and handy guides about photosynthesis.

Other types of search queries include navigational search queries and transactional search queries.

Get the informational search intent right, target transactional search queries, and optimize for a navigational query with the help of SEOLeverage’s in-house SEO pros so you can rank for traffic that brings you leads and sales.

How Should You Target Informational Search Queries?

Google knows informational queries are not exactly a gold mine for monetization, unlike the navigational search query or transactional keywords, which is why they've been using the Knowledge Graph to tackle these queries head-on.

But if you want to hit the bullseye with informational searches, you have to create high-quality content that's not just fluff but genuinely helps out with what people are looking for. 

Here are some formats to help you hit the jackpot for informational search queries.

Craft a Blog Post

Whip up a blog post filled with relevant and helpful information for your potential customers. For instance, if you're a copywriting wizard, think about dropping knowledge on creating a killer video sales letter.

Get Camera-Ready

How about making a snazzy how-to video of something that ties back to your business? If you’re selling scrapbook supplies, you can show the world different scrapbooking tips and tricks in video format.

Write an Epic Guide 

Dive into the deep end with a detailed, step-by-step guide. Think about digital marketing gurus and their hefty beginner's guide to digital marketing.

Go for Visual Content 

Design an infographic or explainer video that paints a picture of a complex idea. For example, if you’re selling a SaaS product, you can illustrate how it works with a handy infographic or video.

There are tons of ways to dish out info-packed content, so let your creative juices flow. Your goal is to become the go-to source of wisdom, not to shove your products down a searcher's throat. If you can tackle a searcher's question, they'll remember you as the helpful brand when they're ready to dive into what you're offering.

How Can You Optimize for Informational Search Queries?

Search engine optimization isn't just about cramming keywords into your content anymore. It's about getting into the minds of your users.

Imagine you're the one searching. What's your goal? What are you looking for? That's what you need to answer.

But remember: the search engines are the judges of intent, and they'll dish out search results based on their interpretation. Your mission is to craft content that's top-notch, user-friendly, and spot-on for those search queries, whether they're transactional searches, navigational queries, or informational ones. Your choice of format should sync with your topic and what tickles your audience's fancy. 

And when it comes to optimizing for those golden informational search queries, here are some tips.

Keep Things Simple

You don’t need to use fancy jargon or overwhelming walls of text. Sprinkle in some juicy facts and figures, but don't drown your readers in data. 

Make it easy for people to understand and navigate your content. After all, you're here to inform, not to show off your vocabulary. Toss in links to credible sources for added authority.

Headings Matter

Think of headings as pick-up lines for your content. Load them with the right keywords, give a sneak peek of what's to come, and talk the user's language.

Use Long-Tail Keywords

And speaking of keywords, use three-word (or more) keywords to rank in low-volume but relevant and low-difficulty searches.

Hook Them Early

You want to grab the reader's attention and keep it. Valuable info is key, but it has to be interesting. Tell a captivating story so you can keep them hooked until the very end.

Go Easy on the Sales Pitch

Hold back on the product or service plugs. Remember, readers are looking for answers at this point, not looking to buy anything.

Always remember your mission in answering an informational search query: to inform, educate, answer questions, and provide solutions. That's your roadmap for optimizing your content.

And if you want to boost your organic traffic by targeting the right keywords and optimizing for the right search queries, let SEOLeverage guide you. Schedule a consultation today.