Optimizing for Informational Queries
Here are some general guidelines for optimizing your website to accommodate informational queries:
- For pages that you know will be important for searchers' informational queries, spend the extra time to write longer (200–250 characters) meta-tag descriptions.
- Do not use the same meta-tag descriptions across an entire site. Write unique meta-tag content for each web page, especially pages that are likely to appear at the top of web search results for informational queries. Category pages, how-to pages, and annotated links/resources pages are types of information pages.
- Since search engines do not always use a meta-tag description as the search listing's description, make sure that other page content (headings, paragraphs, bulleted lists, and so on) contains important keywords. The double exposure of keywords in meta-tag descriptions and keywords in the main content area gets the best long-term results.
- The plural form of a word can be a strong indication that searchers desire to view a list of products and/or services. Many category and channel pages should be optimized for the plural form of a targeted keyword.
- Do not ignore other types of optimization strategies for informational queries. Images and videos are also desirable responses to informational queries. Graphic images and videos should be optimized as well as the text-based pages that contain them. Local search listings can provide quick information as well, such as hours of operation, location, and telephone number(s).
Even if searchers do not initially click your informational search listing, they do notice when your site keeps appearing over and over again for topically related keyword phrases. After seeing your site appear for a wide variety of keyword phrases, user confidence in your brand tends to increase. Remember, though, user confidence can plummet with one click if the scent of information is not validated quickly. Users remember the sites that did not deliver, and they will not click future listings.