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What is a Search Query?

A search query is a process of entering a keyword into a search engine. App store users perform search queries when they are looking for apps that shall solve a problem or fulfill a specific need.

When doing App Store Optimization, it is crucial for app owners to understand which types of queries are worth targeting.
In general, there are three different kinds of search queries:

Navigational Search Queries

The purpose of a navigational query is to find a specific brand or app. Users who perform these kinds of searches already know exactly which solution matches their problem. Their intent is obvious and very specific, and they will accept only one app as a result.

Navigational searches usually contain only the brand name of the app that users search for.

Transactional Queries

A transactional search query indicates the user’s will to perform a transaction soon. Many actions can qualify as a transaction in this context:

  • purchasing a physical product
  • ordering food
  • booking a flight, a hotel room, a rental car, or a table in a restaurant
  • subscribing to a premium content plan

The user intent behind a transactional query is specific too. But in contrast to a navigational query, users performing transactional searches are open to any app that fulfills their needs.

Many people use long-tail keywords when performing transactional searches, consisting of one keyword to describe the transaction and another keyword to specify the desired product or service, for example:

  • “buy wardrobe”
  • “food delivery”
  • “rent car”

Queries that contain a geographical keyword have a strong transactional intent too:

  • “restaurants in Paris”
  • “hotel Florida”

Informational Queries

The intent behind an informational search query is to find general information or advice on a specific topic. Users who perform informational searches look for knowledge or for a tool to solve a problem. While transactions can result from these searches, they are not the primary motivation behind them. So the user intent behind informational search queries is less strong than the intents behind transactional or navigational searches.

Typical keywords used in informational queries are “how to”, “wiki”, or just terms that specify a topic:

  • “programming”
  • “coding wiki”
  • “how to build an app”
Synonyms:
Search, Keyword Search
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