Informational Query

What Is An Informational Query?

An informational query is a search where the user wants to get information or an answer to a specific question.

This type of query is characterized by the search intent to learn more about a topic, get facts, data or knowledge.

That means the best content contains answers, explanations, general information, and background knowledge about the topic.

The key is to answer the informational query comprehensively.

Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines break informational queries into two categories:

  1. Know – Specific search terms that have a more complex answer (e.g. how do people predict the weather)
  2. Know Simple – Broad search term that has simple information needs (e.g. weather)

The best informational queries are typically “Know” search terms. That’s because they are usually long-tail queries with clear search intent.

“Know Simple” informational queries are broad and hard to target for SEO.

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Why Are Informational Queries Important?

Informational queries are important because they represent a significant portion of searches online.

Think of it like this:

Informational queries are at the top of the buyer journey.

The user wants to learn more about a topic, product, or service before they start looking for a solution to buy.

This is a great time to reach your target audience!

You can provide the needed information, which positions you as the expert.

This makes selling your product or service easier to them later.

But that’s not all…

Informational queries are low-competition keywords. That means they are also easier to rank for and drive targeted traffic to your website.

Your SEO strategy should contain targeted informational queries that help you reach the right target audience.

What Is An Example Of An Informational Query?

An example of an informational query could be “How to tie a tie?”

informational query example

This query shows that the user is looking for information on how to tie a tie properly. It doesn’t show any commercial intent.

Identifying an informational query is usually as easy as looking at the first word used in the query. These are called keyword modifiers.

For example, a search query like “Why is the moon bright at night?” has the keyword modifier “why”.

Immediately, you can see that this is an informational query.

Here is a list of keyword modifiers that typically indicate a search for information:

    • Who
    • What
    • When
    • Where
    • Why
    • How
    • Guide
    • Tutorial
    • Tips

    • Strategies
    • Ideas
    • History
    • News
    • Update
    • Example
    • Definition
    • Review
    • Comparison

When you are doing keyword research, look at these keyword modifiers to quickly identify an informational query.

How To Target Informational Queries

Here’s how to target informational queries in 6 steps:

1. Find Long-Tail Keywords

Most informational queries are long-tail keywords.

These are the best keyword types to target because they usually have a good amount of search volume but are low-competition.

Use tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to identify long-tail keywords related to your topic. Spend time creating great content targeting each keyword to establish yourself as the expert.

Create Comprehensive Content

Create detailed, well-researched content that answers your user’s questions about the topic. Your goal is to be the one-stop shop on that specific topic.

As I like to say – “People don’t know what they don’t know.”

Users researching new topics are unaware of their own gaps in knowledge. This lack of awareness limits their ability to seek out new information.

Here’s what that means for you:

As a content writer, your job is to create detailed content that covers ALL essential information. This includes information users need but won’t search for because they are unaware these topics exist.

This is how you position yourself as the expert and create content that provides real value to your audience.

Answer Search Intent Quickly

Here’s the truth:

People visit your website because they want an answer to something specific.

The faster you help them find the answer, the more likely they are to read the rest of your content.

Answer the primary search intent of your target keyword in the first 150 words. This will tell the user that you are in the right place and you can help them.

Write For Snippets

Featured snippets are the short snippets of information you see at the top of the Google search results.

featured snippet example

Getting featured snippets is the best way to increase your search visibility and generate more traffic.

Use bullet points, numbered lists and tables for relevant search queries. Answer key questions directly using about 40-50 words.

Use Structured Data

Implement structured data (schema markup) to help search engines better understand your content.

The key structured data for most websites is:

    • Article
    • FAQ
    • How-to
    • Reviews

structured data example

Structured data can give your content more visibility in the SERPs, leading to higher click-through rates.

Optimise Your On-Page SEO

Don’t underestimate the importance of good on page SEO.

Think of it as a way to make it easier for search engines like Google to understand your content.

The easier you make it for Google, the higher you will rank. It’s as simple as that!

Use our complete on page SEO checklist to learn more.

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