Many web searching sessions start with a information driven keyword. These searches exist at the very top of the conversion funnel and takes place when the visitor is in the ‘information gathering’ phase of the buying cycle.
Typically the visitor is looking for facts and information about a particular product or service. By providing the right kind of content to the visitor at this time a website can not only increase share of mind but also expose its value proposition to a visitor early on in the buying cycle increasing the chance that the visitor will be loyal and ultimately result in a conversion.
The searching session itself can vary in length depending on how in depth the visitor wants to be.
In the below example Google has determined that the visitor behind this query has a information driven goal that is centred around the question ‘When was William Shakespeare born’. The result set is focused on sites that offer Shakespeare related facts. Google has even gone as far as to bring the answer to the question onto the SERP itself!
The intent of a search is not always so obvious. Often a visitor will reach a site using a single term such as ‘shakespeare’ and attempt to find the answer to ‘When was Shakespeare born’. If you are seeing lots of instances in analytics of keywords with unknown intent there is not a huge amount you can do apart from asking real people what they expect the intent to be and building a model based on the data they provide.
To find examples of information driven intent on your own site focus on the long-tail. Key-phrases with more 3 words are a great indicator of information driven intent. You can use this data to help to asses the effectiveness of your information and sales pages!