Transactional Search Query

A transactional search query is a special type of search query for a search engine. It can be assumed that a User with such a search query has a direct purchase interest. A transactional search query can include product names, verbs such as “purchase, order, or order” as well as product categories. As a rule, such a query is a combination of several words, in other words, Longtail combinations that make up a phrase. Transactional search queries are highly likely to result in a purchase and should not be neglected when optimizing a website.

General information[edit]

A transactional search query is a request whereby the user intends to complete a transaction, purchase, or order. This can be the purchase of a product on the Internet or a certain action such as a newsletter registration or ordering a catalog.

Transactional search queries can include exact brand or product names (such as “iPhone 5”), general terms (such as “coffee machine”), words such as “buy” or “order,” as well as participles such as “looking for.” Because this type of query is for a specific topic, transactional search queries are always Vertical Searches.[1] They concern specific areas such as shopping, image search, or even finding the way to a restaurant.

In addition to transactional search queries, informal and navigational search queries should be mentioned.[2] This simply refers to a general information search (which is a horizontal search) or, for example, directions to a restaurant (which is also vertical).

Users usually search for something specific, which they enter into the search field in their language. With transactional search queries, it can be assumed that the searching user intends to make a purchase in the near future. In other words, the user is already at the end of the Conversion Funnel and you just have to guide them. A little linguistic background knowledge won’t hurt to get effective Matching with semantic search engine optimization and orientation towards user requirements.

If a user enters terms such as “purchase” or “order” in conjunction with specific product names in the search box, appropriate websites should be displayed. However, this is only the case if these websites also contain transaction terms. Many local search queries (such as “wine retailer New York” or “shoe online shop”) can also be viewed as a transactional search query. Frequent examples of local search queries are searches for restaurants, hotels or flights. Both transactional search queries and navigational search requests can significantly increase the ROI values ​​of a website and a business.

SEO: specific use of transaction search queries[edit]

To catch transactional search queries, it is recommended to provide certain content for them. This can be done on product and category pages, in blogs, landing pages, but also with certain meta markup of the source code. The markup seems to be particularly important for higher-level elements such as URLs, Title-Tags, or headings.

Branding elements such as “online shop XY” in the title can be just as important as product names in URLs and headings. Meta descriptions and Meta Keywords can also be used. In doing so, different terms should be combined with certain verbs to cover entire phrases that users may be looking for. It is important to pay attention to a balanced ratio of keywords to avoid Keyword Stuffing.

For transactional search queries, paid ads are also often used because they promise high ROI values. Ads using Google AdWords or Yahoo Bing Network can represent well-scalable and cost-efficient ways to increase sales. Rich Snippets or landing pages can also be attractive to raise Conversions and Click-Through-Rate in the organic search results.

If a local business wants to capture search queries with purchase intentions within a certain region, local search engine optimization should be done. This includes profiles on Places or entries in local business directories. It is important to signal to users that they will be able to find exactly what they had entered into the search bar. At the same time, you send signals to the search engines. If the content is correct and helpful, users will get an answer to their search query on your website.


  1. Google's Universal Search and the Rise of Vertical Search. Accessed on 03/29/2014
  2. The 3 Types of Search Queries & How You Should Target Them. Accessed on 03/29/2014

Web Links[edit]