Your complete guide on how to find informational search terms with commercial value

By Matthew Hutchinson
23rd February 2024

If your website is consistently producing new content, new blogs and posts about your products or services but they’re just not driving traffic or feeding into the rest of the site, then it might be time to test out a new strategy.

Leveraging commercial opportunities from informational search terms is a strategy that is often overlooked in favour of targeting more competitive, product-focused keywords as there is a misconception within the SEO industry that there aren’t commercial opportunities for informational search terms. This is completely incorrect.

What are informational search terms?

Before we get into spotting which informational search terms have commercial value, you need to know what they are.

There are four different types of search intent, and each one correlates with specific types of search terms; transactional, commercial, informational and navigational.

Informational search terms specifically tend to be associated with customers who are still at the top of the sales funnel as opposed to something like transactional terms where users are looking to carry out specific actions.

At first glance they don’t have obvious commercial potential, but I’m here to tell you that they are an untapped resource in SEO and a potential goldmine for not only building your rankings, but also increasing brand awareness, authority and trust.

Why should I target informational search terms?

So, it is generally accepted that with informational search terms, users will have a specific query that they are looking for an answer to – in other words they are already primed to convert once they have found the answer or solution.

Creating content that answers these questions gives you not only the opportunity to rank higher on the SERPs, but also offers the opportunity to feature in some of the SERP features such as ‘People also asked’, video content or featured snippets. This will in turn give your site more visibility on the results page in addition to the basic rankings.

Beyond an increased conversion rate, targeting informational search terms can be a fantastic way to expand your audience and introduce new users to your site and drive increased traffic. This will help to build authority within your niche and increase trust in your brand.

Finally, since this is an under-utilised strategy, informational search terms tend to be far less competitive than product-focused or transactional keywords. Therefore, a strategy around informational keywords can not only increase brand awareness and feed into the trust in E-E-A-T signals, but it will also have drastically reduced competition, giving you a much higher chance of ranking for terms that are extremely relevant.

How do I do it?

There are three steps to ranking for informational search terms:

Step 1: Plan your topic clusters

Break down your offering into Topic Clusters. This means exactly what it sounds like, separate your products/services into groups of similar items. For example, if you are a travel brand you might separate your Topic Clusters into “Adventure holidays”, “By the beach” and “City breaks”.

Doing this is a great jumping off point to find relevant informational search terms for each cluster and then group them together too.

Step 2: Use your tools to find frequently searched questions

Once you have your topics, there are a few different tools you can use to find specific questions and long-tail keywords that people are actively searching for. At Wolfenden, we like to use SEMRush or Ahrefs as a first port of call to find these questions and long-tail keywords.

There are also free-to-use tools that are a fantastic starting point such as Answer the Public or Also Asked if you don’t have access to SEMRush or Ahrefs.

Once you have them, you can bulk research for long-tail keywords you want to target based on these insights.

Informational search terms will predominantly be phrased as questions and are usually either looking to solve a specific problem or to research, however there are a few different types you can test out and have commercial value in their own ways.

Broad match keywords will give you a good chance at placing on SERPs as given the vague nature of the searches, Google will often show results across all search intents (informational, commercial, navigational and transactional).

Commercial and informational search intents have much more of a cross over than you might expect as consumers compare products & services and make final decisions regarding their purchase. There are some modifiers that you might see that indicate commercial informational keywords:

  • Pros / cons
  • Vs.
  • Advantages / disadvantages
  • Compare
  • Best / worst
  • Alternative

Advice keywords may not immediately result in transactions, but they are often unpopular for SEO strategies and so are much easier to rank for. This is a fantastic method to build out your brand authority and presence.

  • Tips
  • Hacks
  • Solutions
  • Help

Inspirational keywords may initially seem quite similar to advice, but there is often a stronger focus on images with these searches: people want to see before and afters, completed projects and creative works.

  • Inspo / Inspiration
  • Example
  • Idea
  • Results
  • Before and after

Media keywords can be a great way of sending consumers to your other platforms, whether that’s infographics, videos or podcasts. Not every consumer wants to find the results in a blog post or long-form written content, so optimising to ensure that you’re getting your alternative media types in front of those consumers is important.

  • Video
  • Podcast
  • Picture
  • Diagram
  • Image

Instructional keywords are beyond important to target for a lot of different products. Customers may need to view a guide after purchasing and can be the difference between a loyal customer and a lost one.

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

Question keywords are the simplest of the informational search terms, and especially with the rise in voice searches through Siri, Alexa and Google, more and more queries are being phrased as full questions.

  • How
  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why
  • Can
Step 3: Filter your results to make them manageable.

You can know use the keywords you’ve identified and find specific questions relating to them. But if this results in a list that’s far too long for you to feasibly work through, you can crucially filter by informational terms specifically.

This filter does the heavy lifting for you, but remember that even after all this, not all the queries these tools find will necessarily be relevant to your brand. You need to be careful to only choose terms that are actually relevant to you and that you’re likely to rank for.

Using our travel brand example, we’ve found that terms like “What to wear on a city break” or “what to pack for a city break” are great examples of searches that would potentially have commercial value.

Step 4: Stay organised & start tracking.

Unless you’re staying organised with your work and pulling your research together, you’re wasting your time. We always like to group the informational search terms by category so that it’s easy to quickly see which keywords and search terms you want to start bringing into your strategy.

These are then placed within our rank tracking software, allowing us to better discover our current positions for these terms and track movements over time. Whilst also helping us understand the differing types of content that ranks for the query.

All this hard work can then be integrated into wider SEO strategies or campaigns, for example if you have a content hub then this research should be fed into that, and if you don’t have a content hub yet then this will be a great starting point to build one.

So, if you’re looking to increase you traffic and drive more conversions, it might be time to test out targeting informational search terms. If you’d like to chat with us about testing out a new SEO strategy, then get in contact today.


As our Senior SEO Account Manager, Matt is an expert at finding unusual strategies to help brands grow and take advantage of the data points that others might have dismissed.

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