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Types of keywords: commercial, informational, navigational, transactional

SEMrush Blog
Types of keywords: commercial, informational, navigational, transactional

The keyword selection process may appear difficult, confusing and time consuming without proper knowledge of how to approach the process professionally. So we are going to talk here about how to do keyword research and several important stages you shouldn’t miss in the keyword search process. One of the stages is generating as many keywords ideas as possible. First of all, you might need to determine the type of keywords that are the most suitable to your business, enhancing the chances that your site can be found. Think of the words which describe the service or product you are going to market and search requests your potential customers are likely going to type when they want to find this kind of product or service. Some seo keywords ideas you can brainstorm yourself and some of them you can find by studying your competitors. For this purpose, use the SEMrush SEO keyword tool software. Beforehand, search Google for a site which offers the same kind of service or product you going to promote. Paste this site address in the search line and click the Overview button. You will instantly see lots of information related to the website keywords. Find a table called Keywords in the Organic Search and save this table to your computer – this is how you can get many actionable keyword ideas in no time. 

If you have compiled a list of keywords that covers all the basic directions of your site’s business, you can use SEMrush’s keyword research tool to find the best word combination for each keyword in terms of search volume and competition level. Paste the keyword in the search line; put what you think users might type when they search for your product or service, and select the Keyword Research section. There you will find two tables: Phrase match report and Related keywords report. Depending on your goals you can download both tables, or just one, with exact match keywords.

When you are done with the keyword search stage, it is time to filter the results. Here you will need to incorporate some critical thinking and proper knowledge of what types of keywords may be relevant.

Commercial - these are the types of keywords we are primarily interested in. This is a broad category of various keywords which has a great deal of probability of bringing to the site real customers. Whether to refer a given keyword to the commercial depends on the site niche. For one, if a site is selling tour packages, the keyword “travel guide” will be worthless. But for a site offering free travel information making money through the ads, it may be worth pursuing. One tip that will help you determine if the keyword is commercial or not: type it in Google and see what type of sites show up in the search results and whether you would like your site to be among them, also see whether there are paid ads for this keyword. If so, it means other companies are benefiting from this keyword, therefore you can use it too.

Transactional – other type of keywords which are great for use by commercial sites. In comparison to commercial keywords, transactional keywords show more targeted people who have the intention to buy a product or service. It happens when a person has already searched for information, has made a decision and is determined to now make purchase. Such keywords feature word terms such as “buy,” “subscribe,” “for sale.” As a rule, such keyword are more specific as well; they may describe the product or service more precisely: “neon blue unisex watch.”

Informational – there are plenty of keywords which have really great search volume, but if you use them for your site promotion they won’t bring you conversions. Why? Because with these words people are searching for information, for example to support their idea of purchasing a certain product they have already decided to buy, read reviews or compare prices. You can distinguish this type of keyword by “question words” as they usually contain: “where,” “how,” and so on. You need to get rid of such keywords as they are not commercial and probably won’t bring you revenue.

Navigational – another type of keywords you should be aware of. When Internet users type in a company or brand name, it means they are performing a navigational search. They already know this company or product and just want to find the correct Internet address to get to the site. Such keywords are usually helpful when the brand of the site is well-known and popular. However, there are cases when sites try to be ranked for their competitors’ brand names, but this doesn’t usually work well.

Having finished this stage by crossing out navigational and informational keywords, you may receive a list of keywords that you may consider to use for your promotion campaign. Use this advice to make your seo keyword research more optimized and efficient.

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Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

nice post i personally like to just mix high intent keywords with informational keywords instead of transactional keywords and navigation keywords it all depends what you prefer. I just feel if someone is doing a search for some type of information and you also gave them some high intent keywords that are also called buyer keywords. The percentage is high on conversions.
Azimur Rahman

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Can anyone explain about selecting process of "commercial keywords" more broadly?
LaNita Williams

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I love how this article gives very actionable and important first steps in doing SEO research.

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great article about keywords , i am beginner to SEO but i find it most beneficial for me
Harris Brown

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Commercial keywords are the best if you have a service or product business. Great article.

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I agree with these kinds of keywords but i would like to add some other type of keywords which is beneficial like long tail keywords, Geo-targeting keywords, Generic keywords, which is might be helpfull.

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