Informational Keywords: What They Are and Why They Matter

Christy Walters


April 13, 2023 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

square blue block with a lowercase I inside on top of a sign to represent informational keywords

What is the purpose of content marketing? Many business owners may tell you it’s to attract new leads or entice people to purchase from your brand. Both of those things can be true, but they’re not the only reasons to engage in content marketing. Building brand awareness and developing thought leadership in your industry can be just as important. Both of these things happen when you focus on developing content around informational keywords. 

Today, we’re looking at what informational keywords are and how creating content pieces around their topics can attract more future clients and customers to your website or online channels:

What Are Informational Keywords?

Informational keywords are the words or phrases searchers use when they’re running a query to learn more about a topic. People use them when they’re looking up general information or when searching for an answer to a specific question. Most informational keywords have a high search volume but bring in a low conversion rate for your website. This is because people using informational keywords aren’t looking to compare products or buy services. They’re simply looking for answers.

Related: Search Intent: An Introduction for B2B Marketers

Where Do Informational Keywords Fit Within Search Intent?

Search intent is the reason someone conducts a search online. Four common types of search intent match different areas of the marketing funnel. Informational search intent and informational keywords live at the top of the marketing funnel. They may be a searcher’s first interaction with your brand before they even know your company name.

Informational keywords introduce searchers to a topic and then make them familiar with the company, product, or service providing that knowledge. When you know which type of search intent to cover with each piece of content, you can create more targeted pieces that help reach leads and current audience members at every stage of the marketing funnel.

Related: How To Target Search Intent in the Marketing Funnel

Why Are Informational Keywords Important?

square blue block with a lowercase I inside on top of a sign to represent informational keywords

Image via Unsplash by @theasophie

Informational keywords are less likely to show user intent to purchase or take action compared to commercial and transactional keywords. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time to incorporate them into your content marketing. Informational keywords are most helpful for building brand awareness and educating your audience about your industry or company. Most companies that win at content marketing use informational keywords to create high-quality and highly-relevant content pieces for their audiences.

The more informational content your brand creates, the better chance you have of gaining thought leadership or becoming an authority in your niche. Other benefits of using informational keywords to shape your content include increasing search visibility and providing linkable content to boost your backlink profile.

Related: FAQ: What Is Authority Content?

Types of Informational Keywords

There are multiple types of informational keywords you can use to develop content or create keyphrases that target specific audience searches online. They include:

Broad Match Keywords

Broad match keywords are general phrases that don’t tell you the search intent of the query alone. For example, the term “record Player” would be a broad match keyword. The searcher could be looking for information about what a record player is, or they could be looking for different models of record players to compare features. In some cases, this keyword could indicate someone is ready to buy a record player or that they’re looking for a music store called “Record Player.”

With broad match keywords, you simply can’t tell just by looking at them what the searcher wants to find. But, we’ve included these as a type of informational keyword because when Google doesn’t know the search intent for a specific keyword, it may recommend different types of content for these terms. For example, when you search for “record player” on Google, you first see paid ads that target transactional search intent:

screenshot of Google shopping ads for record players

But as you scroll the page, you also find buying guides for commercial intent:

screenshot of buying guide for record players from New York magazine

Navigational intent to a specific music video with the same name:

screenshot of YouTube video search result for Dash The Great x AJR - Record Player - (Official Music Video)

And informational intent to learn more about the term:

screenshot for wikipedia listing for phonograph

When you target informational intent for broad match keywords, you have a better chance of your content appearing on these search engine results pages (SERPs).

Informational Modifiers

Informational modifiers are words you can add to broad match keywords to ensure informational intent. To use our example from above, you could add modifiers to the term “record player” to make sure you get specifically informational content. Using a phrase like “record player news” may bring up news articles about record players. The term “record player tutorial” may show informational content about how to use, clean, or repair a record player. Some common informational modifiers include:

  • Guide
  • Learn
  • Tips
  • Tutorial
  • News
  • Ideas
  • Examples
  • How to
  • Resources
  • Help
  • Directory
  • Website
  • Information

Commercial Informational Keywords

Commercial informational keywords are those that attract both informational and commercial search intent. The line between commercial and informational intent is often blurrier than the line between other types of search intent. When people look for commercial intent to compare products and services, they are, technically, also looking for information. While these people are often further down the marketing funnel than those with purely informational intent, the goal of knowledge collection is still the same. Some common commercial informational keywords that could indicate either type of intent include:

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • Benefits
  • Vs.
  • Best
  • Most
  • Least
  • Compare
  • Alternative

Targeting commercial informational keywords helps you appeal to two types of search intent and multiple funnel stages to attract more audience members with one piece of content.

Advice Keywords

Looking for advice online is a type of informational search. People conducting these kinds of searches want answers to questions, but they’re probably not looking for specific products or services to buy—yet. Keywords that indicate when someone’s looking for advice online include:

  • Tips
  • Hacks
  • Solutions
  • Help
  • Advice

Related: E-A-T and E-E-A-T: What To Know About Quality Metrics

Inspirational Keywords

Sometimes, the search for information isn’t about learning something new, but rather seeing something in action. Inspiration keywords provide samples or examples of creative works or tests. For example, someone considering a bathroom remodel in their home may want to see samples of finished remodels to get ideas for the project. Home remodeling companies that share before and after pictures of their flips could target informational intent with keywords and images on a web page. Examples of some inspiration keywords include:

  • List
  • Example
  • Sample
  • Ideas
  • Inspiration
  • Before and After
  • Test
  • Results

Media Keywords

All informational content doesn’t have to come in written form. Many brands use media, like images or videos, to share pieces that target informational search intent. It’s important to optimize different types of media with specific keywords so that your content appears for the right searches. Examples of media keywords include:

  • Infographic
  • Video
  • Photo
  • Podcast
  • Picture
  • Image
  • Diagram
  • Label
  • Packaging
  • Audio
  • Sound
  • Clip
  • Looks like
  • Sounds like

Instructional Keywords

People looking to learn something new often have informational intent when using a search engine. They’re looking for steps or processes to guide them through completing an action or using a product. Common instructional keywords include:

  • Steps
  • Ways
  • Instructions
  • Guide
  • Step by step
  • Tutorial
  • How to

Question Keywords

Questions are some of the most basic informational queries. Especially with the rise in voice search technology, it’s natural and common for people to ask a question when looking for an answer. Informational question keywords and modifiers include:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why
  • How
  • Can
  • Could
  • Should
  • Do
  • Does
  • Which

How Long Are Informational Keywords?

Informational keywords can be as short as one word, though it’s most likely that they’re longer phrases. Most informational key phrases are about four words long. They often start with a question word and include both a broad match keyword and an informational modifier. An example of a typical information key phrase is: “how to use SEO analysis tool.”

What Tools Can You Use To Find Informational Keywords?

Most SEO and keyword research tools now include columns and indicators that show the search intent of a particular keyword or key phrase. SEMrush and Ahrefs, among other popular keyword and SEO programs, indicate the intent with badges or labels within a program search. Though these tools make it easier to find the intent of a keyword, you can also do the work from scratch.

Using free tools like Google Search ConsoleAnalytics, or Keyword Planner, you can review what keywords bring organic search traffic to your website. From there, you can analyze your keyword list, separating the terms by intent. Then you can review the informational keywords to determine if you’re sharing the information your searchers are looking for with your content resources.

What Can You Use Informational Keywords For?

There are many ways you can use informational keywords in your marketing strategies to better reach searchers with this intent. Some of the ways you can use informational keywords for your brand are:

Creating Blog Posts and Articles

The most common way to use informational keywords in your marketing strategy is to use them to shape your content. Blog posts and informational articles are the standards for informational content. Though, other media like infographics, videos, and podcasts are also becoming increasingly popular with brands. To use informational keywords to create a piece of content, it’s important to consider what information your audience wants to know and what they already know. The specific keywords you target may depend on your industry, your audience’s interests or pain points, and the types of products or services you sell.

Check It Out: CopyPress Article Writing Services

Optimizing Media Content

Because informational searches aren’t strictly for written content, you can use keywords to optimize other media to attract more organic traffic. Adding relevant informational keywords to alt text on images, transcripts on videos, or other media content features can help improve their search rankings. It’s important to reach your audience in the ways they search for content.  When you optimize media for informational search, you have a better chance of targeting SERP features like video and image carousels and appearing in specialized media searches.

And speaking of SERP features, using informational keywords in your content can help you target featured snippets. These features appear at the top or sides of a SERP to give searchers quick information about a topic. Informational content is most likely to get pulled for featured snippets that give definitions and actionable steps, or that answer questions.

It’s important to try to target featured snippets with your content where applicable because they appear above organic search results. That means people see the information in a featured snippet first out of any other content on the SERP. It’s important to note that getting your content in the featured snippet may not have any benefits for zero-click searches, which many informational searches are. But getting featured can help with brand awareness and recognition for future searches that result in clicks.

Related: Understanding Featured Snippets

Optimizing Web Pages

Optimizing your web pages and content pages on your site with informational keywords can help them become more visible in searches. You shouldn’t stuff keywords into your content. Rather, you should find ways to incorporate them into your web copy naturally. Adding keywords to specific web sections helps with this. Some areas to consider adding informational keywords include:

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • URLs
  • Headlines

These are all natural features that search engines crawl to better understand your content. When you include informational keywords in these areas, you’re giving the engines more context about the page or content so they can match each one with the right search intent.

Explore All Types of Search Intent Keywords

Though informational keywords may bring you a lot of website traffic and other benefits, don’t let them be the only focus of your content marketing. Creating content for navigational, commercial, and transactional keywords invites the people you attracted with your informational content to keep coming back. By attracting leads at all stages of the marketing funnel, you have a better chance to nurture them from brand awareness to conversion. Building relationships and trust with your leads helps increase the chances that your brand earns loyal customers and even brand ambassadors.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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