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How SEMrush Can Help You Find Transactional Keywords in Any Niche
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How SEMrush Can Help You Find Transactional Keywords in Any Niche


“Transactional” refers to keywords that indicate a searcher’s intent is to buy something or take action on a website soon. 

SEO’s have grouped keywords into four categories of intent (commercial, navigational, informational, transactional) and transactional are the ones with the most likely chance of leading to conversions. This is because the search includes a word that adds a specific urgency or desire to buy or take action on a site. 

Compared to searching an informational keyword like “shoes,” someone searching “where can I buy cheap nikes online” is more likely to make a purchase on the site she goes to shortly after searching. Someone searching “shoes” might just be looking for a stock image, looking up the history of shoes, or anything about the topic of shoes in general. 

It’s easy to identify a transactional intent if the search includes words like “buy” “buy online” “where can I buy,” “subscribe,” etc.   

Here’s an easy 3-step way to find all of these potential searches in your niche.

Step 1. Identify your competitors in search

First, you should need a couple of competing websites that are getting search traffic from searches related to your niche products or services. Once you have a list of domains you can compare their keyword profiles to uncover all of the search terms that lead people to their websites. 

Use the Organic Research Competitors report and enter your domain and receive a list of your top competitors. If your domain is new and doesn’t have a lot of keyword positions yet, you can query a domain that you know is in your niche and analyze the sites that SEMrush calls their competitors. Save this list for the next step. 


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Step 2. Look at all of the combined keywords among your top competitors

Now, take this list of competitors and enter them into the fields on the Keyword Gap tool. Set the keyword type to Organic keywords and then hit the green “GO” to generate a table that has every keyword that your competitors have organic rankings on search results for. 

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If you operate in a popular market with a lot of demand, you will likely see a huge amount of keywords in this file. That’s okay, because the final step is going to be filtering this list down to only find the keywords you’re interested in - the ones with transactional intent. 

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Step 3. Filter for transactional intent

Now, open the advanced filters and add the filters with transactional modifiers one by one. Here are some advanced filters you can use: 

  • Include keyword containing “where can I buy”
  • Include keyword containing “buy online”
  • Include keyword containing “subscribe”
  • Include keyword containing “for sale”

Here’s an example of what info you’d get after a “for sale” filter:


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And after a “buy online” filter:


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Repeat this process for each filter that helps identify transactional intent. If the file is too large you can try combining filters, such as a limit to CPC (include keyword containing “buy” + include CPC less than 5.00). 

If you’re planning an advertising campaign, you should use filters to find affordable CPC keywords and keywords with a lower Com (competitive density of advertisers).

If you’re planning an SEO (organic search) campaign, you should use filters to find transactional keywords with low KD (organic keyword difficulty).

Then, export each list of keywords to a spreadsheet to save your research. Combine your exports to have one master list of transactional terms in your niche. 


After this process, you’ll have a table with all of the transactional searches in your niche. This is going to be a great document to understand the buying value of a market. 

If you are planning any advertising campaigns to break into this market or take valuable traffic from your competitors, this list is a great source of keywords to use in your campaign. 

Next Steps

  • In your master list, evaluate the keywords based on metrics like CPC, Competitive Density, search volume to choose the easiest targets for an advertising campaign.
  • Create a Google Ads advertising campaign with those keywords and make sure your landing pages have the ability for a searcher to buy or take the intended action.
  • Filter your master list for any keywords with a low keyword difficulty (less than 60). These keywords could actually be good targets of an SEO campaign to get transactional traffic without having to pay for ads and clicks. 
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