Different Types of Keywords: Informational, Transactional, Navigational and Commercial

There are different types of keywords that users are typing for in the search engines. These can be broadly categorized into:

  1. Informational Keywords
  2. Transactional Keywords
  3. Navigational Keywords
  4. Commercial Keywords
types of keywords

1. Informational keywords

These keywords are used by users which are searching to gain information about the topic.

The informational keywords typically have a large volume but are mainly useful for websites which have a strong content pipeline and a blog on its website so that it can rank for several of the informational keywords and through on-page SEO tactics is able to convert the user into a loyal reader.  

Informational keywords are when the user is searching for a specific information which he/she may or may not have a intent to buy the product or service. In fact, it may just be about gaining knowledge about a specific topic.

For instance, a keyword like ‘period of world war II’ is an information keyword which does not have any buying intent from the user and it is mainly about gaining knowledge about the period of world war II. Similarly, other keywords like features of iPhone 12 could be an informational keyword where the user is trying to figure out the features of the iPhone 12. It is not clear from the keyword whether the user is planning to buy the iPhone 12.

2. Transactional Keywords

Transactional keywords or Buyer Keywords are the ones where the user a clear intention to buy the product or service or buy it in the near term.

In some way, it is the next stage of the informational keyword where the user has already searched for information related to the specific product or service and is now looking at buying it. These type of keywords typically have words like buy, download, subscribe etc as a prefix or suffix in the keyword. In fact, these keyword are able to detail the product or service and are not vague in nature. For instance, ‘Buy navy blue denim jeans’.

Transactional keywords are more appropriate for the e-commerce and affiliate marketing websites to target in general.

3. Navigational Keywords

Navigational keywords are the ones where the user has a clear understanding of where it wants to go and is using the search engine as a bridge to land on the destination.

For instance, if I type name of a particular brand or company along with the product or service, my intent is clear that I am looking for that specific product or service from that particular brand or company.

These are typical cases of a scenario where the brand is popular and already has a set of consumers that are looking for its products or services.

It is not advised to try and rank for keywords that are navigating to your competition as the user may end up having a bad experience by landing on a wrong website (in this case your website!) and may not be very kind to you in return.

4. Commercial Keywords

The commercial keywords are largely used for paid advertising. However, whether a keyword could be termed as a commercial keyword or not will largely depend on the niche of the website.

For example, in case a website is selling salon packages, the keyword ‘men’s grooming’ may not be a keyword that the website will plan to run its paid ad campaigns on.

However, a blog which is providing information related to men’s grooming may like to include this keyword in its paid ads campaign as it has the information on men’s grooming on its platform.

One pro tip for determining if a specific keyword can be commercial keyword for your website. Search for the term in Google and look for the type of results that show up. If these are in the same niche and business as you are operating and you are able to run ads for this keyword, you can label it as a commercial keyword.


Now you have an understanding of the different type of keywords that users type and the kind of websites that can try to rank for each set of keywords. Depending on the business and niche that you are in, you can try to target specific set of keywords to rank organically. But remember, organic SEO is a long-term game and you need to have patience and persistence to expect massive results from your organic SEO strategy. You have to trust your keyword research and build content for the long-term.

1 thought on “Different Types of Keywords: Informational, Transactional, Navigational and Commercial”

  1. Aditya Maheshwari

    Hey, Great article!!!
    Could you please help me with linking back to my post.
    Response will be appreciated.

    Thank you!!!

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