Key points in this chapter:
- Informational queries are important to website owners because they are the most common type of search engine query. Satisfying informational searches is crucial for a site's long-term search engine visibility.
- Many web search sessions begin with an informational query and end with a transaction.
- All websites should contain informational pages. They provide specific content of user interest.
- Some types of informational pages include category pages, channel pages, FAQs or customer service pages, and pages that contain topical lists of resources (such as Links, Resources, and Tips sections).
- Field studies and exploratory usability tests often reveal searchers' informational goals above and beyond what can be inferred from web analytics data and keyword research tools.
- Longer keyword phrases (more than three words) tend to be informational queries; shorter ones tend to be navigational queries.
- If question words (how, what, where, why, who, when) are part of a keyword phrase, then the keyword phrase is an informational query.
- The plural form of a word can be a strong indication that searchers desire to view a list of products. Many category and channel pages should be optimized for the plural form of a targeted keyword.
- The appearance of Wikipedia and other how-to listings in search results is a strong indication that the query words show informational intent by the users.
- The description or snippet is more important than the URL structure for informational searches. Keep the meta-tag description longer (around 200 to 250 characters) for pages that typically satisfy searchers informational intent.
- Do not use the same meta-tag description on every page of a site. Tailor meta-tag descriptions to reflect actual page content.