SEO Glossary / Transactional Query

Transactional Query

What is a Transactional Query?

A transactional query is a search query where the user intends to purchase something specific but hasn't yet decided where to buy it from. These queries indicate a high buying intent (or the intent to execute a transaction).

Examples of Transactional Queries

Most transactional queries include words like “buy,” “purchase,” “order,” “cheap,” or “discount.” For example, if a user searches Google for “buy used golf clubs,” it’s a clear sign that they are looking to purchase golf clubs. Specific brand or product queries such as “Makita angle grinder” or “waterproof smartphone” can also indicate transactional intent, as the user is likely seeking to find where to buy these products.

Why are Transactional Queries Important?

Transactional queries are crucial because searchers using these queries are close to making a purchase or completing a transaction. Ranking for these terms can capture demand right before the purchase, making organic traffic from transactional keywords highly valuable, especially for eCommerce websites.

How to Identify Transactional Queries?

1. Look for Modifier Keywords

Use common modifier keywords in keyword generator tools to find transactional queries. Modifiers include:

  • Buy
  • Purchase
  • Order
  • Cheap
  • Discount

For instance, using a tool like Ranktracker’s Keyword Finder, you can filter for these modifiers to generate transactional keyword ideas.

2. Check the Top-Ranking Results

Search for the term on Google to see what appears on the search engine results page (SERP). If you see product pages, shopping carousels, or eCommerce categories, it’s likely a transactional query.

How to Optimize Your Pages for Transactional Queries?

1. Match the Search Intent

Ensure your content matches the search intent. Check the SERPs to understand what type of content is ranking. For transactional queries, this typically means product pages or eCommerce categories.

2. Use On-Page SEO Best Practices

Given the high competition for transactional queries, you need to excel in on-page SEO. Key practices include:

  • Keywords in the Title: Include the entire transactional query in your title and H1 tags.
  • Compelling Meta Description: Write a meta description that encourages users to visit your page.
  • Detailed Product Descriptions: Provide detailed benefits, technical specifications, and social proof in your product descriptions.
  • Optimized Images: Use high-quality product images with descriptive alt text and titles.

3. Use Product Structured Data

Implement structured data for your product pages. This allows Google to display detailed information about your products, such as price, availability, and review rating, in search results.

For more details, check out Google's Product Structured Data documentation.

4. Use Proper Internal Linking

Transfer “link juice” from high-authority pages on your site to your product pages. This helps boost the ranking of product pages for transactional queries.


How Can I Tell If a Query is Transactional?

Transactional queries often include words like “buy,” “order,” “cheap,” and “discount.” Checking the SERP for product pages or eCommerce listings can also indicate transactional intent.

Are Transactional Queries More Valuable Than Other Types?

Yes, because they indicate a high buying intent, making them particularly valuable for capturing demand right before the purchase, especially for eCommerce sites.

How Can I Optimize My Content for Transactional Queries?

Match the search intent, use on-page SEO best practices, implement product structured data, and use proper internal linking to optimize your content for transactional queries.

Can I Rank for Transactional Queries with Informational Content?

It’s unlikely since users searching for transactional queries are looking to make a purchase. However, you can create informational content that naturally leads into transactional intent, linking to relevant product pages.

For more detailed SEO insights and strategies, visit Ranktracker’s Blog.