What is Transactional Search Intent and How to Optimize for it in 2022?

Keyword research alone will only get you so far.

Understanding the intent behind searches is slowly but surely taking a pivotal role when it comes to creating high-converting content.

In this article, I will focus on the transactional search intent and how to optimize for it.

Let’s jump in!

What is search intent?

Search intent (aka user intent or keyword intent) is the reason behind searches.

Back in 2002, Andrei Broder came up with the first taxonomy of web intent.

What are the 3 main types of search queries?

In his paper, Andrei Broder listed these 3 main types of search intent:

Later on, marketers recognized Commercial search intent and added it to this list.

Commercial search intent falls in between informational and transactional search intent and it means to make a purchase in the near future.

Meaning, the user is not ready to buy just yet, but they are on the cusp.

Check out my article on search intent in general for more info.

From this point on, this article will focus on the transactional search intent and how to optimize for it.

What is transactional search intent?


Transactional search intent carries the highest purchasing intent possible.

In other words, the user is ready to make the purchase.

Transactional search intent represents the final step in the buyer’s journey.

What is transactional vs. informational search intent?

During the informational search queries stage, users are aware of problems and are searching for solutions to their problems.

When they feel like they’ve done enough research and they pinpointed the solution to their problem, they’ve reached the transactional stage.

One of the dead giveaways that the user is reaching the transactional stage is the use of long-tail keywords that are becoming more and more specific.

User is using transactional or high-intent keywords like:

  • Schedule appointment
  • Reserve
  • For sale
  • Order & Order online
  • Purchase
  • Pricing
  • Deals
  • Download
  • Discount
  • Best price
  • Cheapest

But not all transactional search queries are that obvious and contain one of these high-intent keywords.

For example, the keyword “steelseries sensei gaming mouse” has none of the transactional keywords, but the search intent behind it is definitely transactional.


It’s a very specific long-tail keyword.

The keyword contains brand – Steelseries, model – Sensei, and type of computer mouse – gaming mouse.

All this points to the conclusion that the searcher knows exactly what they want and is most likely looking for the place where they can buy their new computer mouse.

And Google knows this.


7 out of 10 results in the SERPs lead directly to pages where you can order a Steelseries Sensei gaming mouse.

The other three results are a mouse review page, a video section of Youtube reviews, and a mouse software download page (which is still transactional in nature).

What this tells you is that you can’t simply look at the keyword and play a guessing game.

You risk missing the search intent if you solely rely on that strategy.

To make sure you’re not missing search intent, simply type the keyword into Google and analyze the results.

How to optimize for transactional search intent?


The search intent behind transactional queries is to find the right place to buy the product from.

The user has made up their mind.

They know exactly what product they want.

All you need to do is facilitate this action.

To optimize for transactional search intent, you should:

  • Have clearly designed pages that aren’t too distracting – You don’t want users getting distracted by anything that might make them click off and go to another page.
  • Make your CTA’s (call-to-action) clear and transparent – Don’t force the users to search for CTA’s. CTA’s have to be clearly visible and strategically positioned in places where you’re expecting your content can close the deal. They also need to be transparent as in, the users are clearly informed of what’s going to happen if they click on your CTA.
  • Use simple language – You don’t have to impress anyone. You simply have to convey a message that will enforce users to go through with the purchase.
  • Use A/B testing – Pinpoint the most conversion-friendly versions of your transactional intent-focused pages. Don’t leave anything to chance. Test everything out and keep the winners.
  • Have a compelling and targeted copy – Copywriting is very important when it comes to actually making sales. If you’re a novice in the field of copywriting, A/B testing can help you perfect your copy.
  • Put visual content to work – This doesn’t mean flashy visuals that will be too distracting. Rather, have visual content that will enhance the user experience and drive home important points that would otherwise take too long to describe with words.
  • Be mindful of the length of your transactional search intent oriented content – This is not informational content. Users already know what they want and why they want it. Your content needs to be laser-focused towards accomplishing the only goal which is to sell the product or service.

Types of pages that should be optimized for transactional search intent


Obviously, not all of the pages on your website will be sales-oriented.

In fact, if you’re doing content marketing the right way, only a minority of the pages will be sales-oriented.

These pages should be as optimized for transactional search intent as possible.

Some of the page examples that cater to transactional search intent are:

  • Sales Pages – Add social proof content like testimonials, money-back guarantee, case studies, and FAQ sections. Make your sales pages simple, concise, streamlined, and mobile-friendly.
  • Product Pages – Provide users with content like price and shipping information, customer reviews and ratings, product details, appealing visuals, etc.
  • Sign-up Forms – Make sign-up forms obvious, transparent, simple, and mobile-friendly.
  • Free Consultation Pages – Add testimonials, clear CTA buttons, appealing visuals, scheduling calendars, and keep things nice and simple.
  • Set Appointment Pages – Keep things as simple and streamlined as possible. Add scheduling calendars and clear CTA buttons.
  • Pricing Pages – Use simple language, limit pricing plans to a few options at the most, add FAQ section, testimonials, and clear CTA buttons.

When it comes to optimizing these types of pages, A/B testing is your best friend.

Simply create two versions of the same page and see which one does better.

Rinse and repeat.

It will most likely take many, many iterations of a single page to unearth the true winners.

5 Benefits of optimizing content for transactional search intent

Coins in a jar

Content marketing is not about having an extraordinary number of sales-oriented pages, but the ones you do have must be well optimized.

Optimizing content for transactional search intent is vitally important for any business.

The competition is fierce and if you won’t do it, they will.

Optimizing content for transactional search intent carries benefits like:

  • Increased Lead generation – Lead generation is a lifeline of any business. Marketers point to lead generation as one of their most important goals.
  • Increased Sales – Increase sales through direct purchases or convert leads to sales
  • Aura of Competence – Making sales happen is tough. Creating well-optimized sales pages that convert creates an aura of competence around your organization.
  • Branding and Increased Brand Awareness – Optimizing your transactional content means your products will sell more, your customers will sign-up for your webinars, courses, they will download your ebooks, templates, and other materials. Your reach will increase.
  • Build Relationships and Customer Loyalty – Being successful at getting users into your funnels gives you an opportunity to build relationships with them and, ultimately, create loyal customers.

For more benefits of optimizing content around search intent in general, check out this article here.


Understanding search intent related to your product and niche should be important to any content marketer.

Just because users performing transactional queries are ready to buy, that doesn’t automatically seal the deal.

They still have to find your content valuable and trustworthy.

This is why understanding transactional search intent and optimizing content for it is critically important.

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