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3 Types of Search Queries and Their Value to Your Firm

The Thinker ponders how to categorize search engine queries
Photo credit: Flickr

Google processes 40,000 search queries every second, worldwide. That’s 3.5 billion searches every day. 1.2 trillion every year.

The sheer number of these queries is staggering. But each and every one of them is an individual Google search. Some are well articulated, like “name of actor who played ron weasley in harry potter.” Others are poorly made, like “song trumpet da na na na.” Yet, somehow, search engine marketers have waded through the volumes of queries to break them all down into three very general categories that are slightly more manageable. Understanding these categories can help you organize your law firm’s marketing efforts, leading to less wasted time and money.

Queries That Navigate the Web

Many people use search engines simply to get around online. A good example of a navigational query would be if someone got online looking for the law firm Smith & Jones. Not knowing the firm’s URL, they went to Google, queried “Smith & Jones,” and then went right to the firm’s webpage from the results.

The important aspect of navigational queries is that there is no intention of going to a different website. The person using Google is only on the search engine to find one particular site. Nevertheless, it’s important, in this case, for Smith & Jones to rank well for the search: If they’re buried on page five, someone looking for their site might get frustrated, and the firm might lose them as a client.

Queries Surrounding a Transaction

A more common type of search is one that surrounds a transaction. The transaction can be a purchase, but can also be a non-monetary transaction, as well, like registering for an account on a site. An example of a transactional query would be a Google search for “Pittsburgh divorce attorney.”

The core element of a transactional search engine query is that the searcher has something to do, and is online to do it. A solid ranking for these kinds of queries is important, because it puts your law firm’s site front and center when someone is looking for a firm like yours.

Queries Looking for Information

The last general category of web searches is an informational search. These are similar to transactional searches, but instead of looking to do something online, the searcher is merely interested in getting more information about something. An example of an informational search would be “what is a class e felony in Michigan.”

The key difference between transactional and informational queries is that, in informational queries, the searcher is not actively trying to do something. Yet. The person who enters that query about felony classes in Michigan will see this. If your law firm were at the top of that results page, it would likely be clicked on, bringing someone looking for information on felony crimes to your site. Many queries start out as informational queries, but turn into transactional queries in the long run, if the information that the searcher finds persuades them to take action. If this change happens while on your website, the next thing you could be hearing in the phone ringing.

Legal Blog Writing by Myers Freelance

Success in each of these three categories leads to more clientele for your law firm. However, you need to build and maintain a presence at the top of search engine results pages before this can happen. Hosting a legal blog on your law firm’s site is one of the best ways of building that online presence. Myers Freelance is the answer. Our top-notch writers all have legal degrees and experience to fill your firm’s site with the content it needs. Contact us to get a professionally-written legal blog started for your site, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to keep posted on our blog updates, ideas, and writing tips.