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Optimizing SEO with the Four Essential Keyword Types

The Importance of Keyword Intent: Understanding the Four Types

SEO Keyword Search Analysis

The SEO community generally agrees that there are four primary types of keywords that classify intent:

Have you ever delved into the true intentions behind your target keywords?

When you implement a strategy based on keyword intent it can be the game-changer that sets your website apart from your competition.

To develop an intent-focused approach, it’s crucial you conduct keyword research that takes into account the different types of keywords.

So, what exactly are these different types?

So, as we have already mentioned it is generally agreed that there are four primary types of keywords that classify intent.

Here are our 4 Types in Question:-

1. Informational Keywords:

These keywords represent searchers who are seeking answers to specific questions or general information.

2. Navigational Keywords:

When searchers intend to find a specific website or page, they use navigational keywords.

3. Commercial Keywords:

These keywords indicate searchers who are looking to explore brands or services.

4. Transactional Keywords:

Searchers using transactional keywords have the intention to complete an action or make a purchase.


Domain Overview or Organic Research

Assigning intent types to keywords helps determine whether searchers are ready to make a purchase, conduct research, or gather information.

Semrush makes it easy to identify a keyword’s intent value while researching keywords or domains in its database. Simply look for the intent column or filter in any report, just like you would filter for volume or CPC.

Additionally, you can examine a competitor’s keyword portfolio (via Domain Overview or Organic Research) to observe the ratio of keyword intent types they target.

Mastering this AI app will take Any Business to the Next Level.

Breaking Down the Four Types of Keywords

1. Informational Keywords:

Many keywords with high search volumes do not directly lead to website conversions. This is because people are simply looking for information.

These searches are referred to as informational keywords. Examples include “coffee calories,” “national coffee day,” and “difference between cold brew and iced coffee.” These keywords often contain “question words” like “what is” or “how.”

Google’s results pages for informational searches typically display knowledge panels, carousels, or infoboxes to provide quick answers.

While these keywords may not carry strong intent to take immediate action, they are valuable for building brand awareness.

2. Navigational Keywords:

Navigational searches occur when individuals enter a company or brand name into a search engine.

These searches aim to locate the correct website or physical location associated with the company or brand.

Examples of navigational keywords include “YouTube,” “Semrush blog,” and “Where is Angelinos Coffee located?”


Navigational keywords can drive organic traffic when the brand or site is well-known and popular.

3. Commercial Keywords:

Commercial keywords reveal a searcher’s interest in specific products or services. These searches often happen when someone wants to gather more information, compare products, or look for free offers, tests, or discounts.

Commercial keywords can be targeted through comparison articles, listicles, reviews, or how-to articles, depending on the specific keyword.

Examples of commercial keywords include “Free coffee,” “Dunkin iced coffee flavors,” “iPad vs. iPad Air,” and “iPad mini reviews.”.

These keywords indicate an intent to make a purchase or engage in commercial activities, therefore making them valuable opportunities to reach potential customers.

4. Transactional Keywords:

When it comes to keywords with a strong intent to buy or take immediate action, transactional keywords reign supreme.

These keywords are ideal for targeting through paid advertisements and highly optimized purchase pages or landing pages that encourage users to take immediate action on a website.

Examples of transactional keywords include "Buy crypto online," "Sandwich places near me that deliver," and "Pickup truck for sale."

SEO optimization the Four Essential Keywords

Searches using transactional keywords typically occur after a user has already sought out information, made a decision, and is now ready to take a specific action or make a purchase.

These keywords often contain terms like “buy,” “subscribe,” or “for sale,” and the search engine results page (SERP) for transactional keywords commonly features Google Shopping ads.

Transactional keywords are often referred to as buyer keywords because they are typically used by individuals at the bottom of the buying funnel. Consequently, these keywords hold significant value when conducting keyword research and planning an SEO or PPC strategy.

They are often more specific, describing a product or service in greater detail, such as “neon blue unisex watch.”

How Semrush Determines Keyword Intent

Semrush uses several factors to assign an intent type to each keyword. These factors include:

– SERP features observed in keyword search results.

– The presence of words in the keyword that indicate user intention (e.g., buy, address, how).

– Whether the keyword is branded or non-branded.

Please note that a keyword can have multiple intents, and the tool reflects this by listing all applicable intents alongside the keyword.

With Semrush, uncovering keyword intent is a breeze. Simply look for the intent column in any keyword-related report. As of November 2021, the intent value for any keyword in the database is instantly accessible.

The following abbreviations are used to represent different intent types:

– T = Transactional
– C = Commercial
– I = Informational
– N = Navigational

If you would like to start Leveraging Semrush Reports to Find High-Intent Keywords

Here are a couple of quick ways you can use their reports to identify high-intent keywords:

1. Conduct a search in a keyword-related report, and analyze the intent column to identify transactional or commercial keywords that are highly relevant to your business.

2. Utilize the keyword intent analysis tool to gain deeper insights into the intent behind specific keywords and discover opportunities to optimize your content and marketing strategies.

Google SEO To Drive Website Traffic

Check the intent of any keyword or list of target keywords

Go to the Keyword Overview and enter a list of up to 100 target keywords at a time into the input field and hit Analyze.

Analyze Competitor’s Keyword Intent Profile

Take advantage of the Domain Overview, feature

Go to Domain Overview, enter a competitor’s domain name and look for the Organic Search Traffic widget. 

Click on the bold blue number in the widget to access the Organic Research Positions report. This report provides a comprehensive list of your competitor’s keywords, which can be filtered by intent type.

Apply intent type filters to identify which informational keywords generate the most traffic for them, or determine the number of high-ranking transactional keywords they have.

Next, examine their top pages in the Pages tab. This list reveals their highest-performing organic traffic pages and the ratio of keyword intent types each page ranks for.

Are navigational, informational, or transactional keywords driving traffic to their most valuable pages?

Leverage this research as inspiration for your own content strategy.

Discover High-Intent Keywords with the Keyword Magic Tool


Keyword Magic Tool

Enter a seed keyword relevant to your website and apply the Intent filter.

Voila! You now have access to searches related to your primary target query, categorized as transactional, commercial, informational, or navigational.

Transactional and commercial keywords possess the highest intent, making them prime targets for paid advertising or pages where visitors can take direct action, such as making a purchase.

To exclusively view these keywords, apply the relevant Intent filter to your table.

Mastering this AI app will take Any Business to the Next Level.

FAQs for Supercharging you Website
1. What are the four types of keywords?

The four types of keywords used to classify search intent are informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional.

2. How can I identify the type of keyword my target audience uses?

Analyze search data, including search volume and keyword intent, and conduct customer research to understand their needs and behaviors.

3. How do informational keywords differ from navigational keywords?

Informational keywords are used to gather information or knowledge on a specific topic, while navigational keywords are used to find a particular website or webpage.

4. How can I optimize my website for transactional keywords?

Ensure your website facilitates specific actions, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form, by providing a seamless user experience and clear calls to action.

5. How important are commercial keywords for B2B companies?

Commercial keywords play a crucial role in attracting potential customers seeking products or services that align with a B2B company’s business model.

6. How can I use informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional keywords together to improve my SEO?

Utilize a combination of all four types of keywords to enhance your SEO strategy, targeting different stages of the customer journey.

Remember, understanding keyword intent and aligning your content and marketing strategies accordingly can significantly boost your chances of engaging the right audience and driving valuable conversions.


Understanding the various keyword types and discerning their intended purpose plays a crucial role in formulating an effective keyword strategy.

Through comprehensive keyword research spanning the entire purchasing funnel, you can address user inquiries and guide them towards making a purchase.

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