Mar 11

keyword effectiveness index KEI, take with caution.

All success in Search Engine Marketing begins with Keywords says Robin Nobles, Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops. The analysis of the keyword effectiveness index is the reason of this post.

keyword effectiveness index

keyword effectiveness index

Sumantra Roy (1stSearchRankinginvented the equation used to calculate KEI. The keyword effectiveness index (KEI) compares the number of searches for a keyword with the number of search results that include that particular keyword in order to determine which keywords are most “effective” for your SEO activity. In other words the KEI tell us which keywords have less competitiveness but at the same time a good traffic (visits).

You can easily discover your keyword effectiveness index for your Keywords just using Google Keyword Tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) to acquire Monthly Global Searches (Searches) and Google’s search engine to determine the number of Competition Pages (CompetitionPages).

The most common formula may be written as follow:


or if you prefer:

KEI=(Monthly Searches/30)²/CompetitionResults

< 0.001 = Poor keyword

0.001-0.010 = Good Keyword

0.010-0.100+ = Excellent Keyword

This index comes with many weakness points for Web Marketing Practitioners.

Here they are.

Google Keyword Tool reliabilty

As Rand Fishkin has recently pointed out http://www.seomoz.org/blog/be-careful-using-adwords-for-keyword-research, GKT is not reliable. I invite you to read it carefully but, resuming his post, Fishkin makes evidence that if you don’t place the most significant keywords in GKT, Google will never suggest all the most significant keywords. That said, if the list of keywords you place will not include significant keywords, Google will never suggest the most significant ones.

You can partially correct this problem integrating different tools to have a significant and complete list of keywords to be analyzed. You can use:

I also would suggest to use Google Trends


Google Trends can help you to determine among different keywords which are the most trendy.


Even if you use different tools, they will never suggest you “localized keywords”. If your business is in Verona (the city of Romeo and Juliet) you should always consider that the chance to convert for a determined localized keyword is greater than any other keyword, not localized. If I need a flag is more probable that I would buy where I live if I find a good producer in my city instead of searching far away.

So when it’s time to determine which keywords you want to promote for your website, always think to the local Market, it’s so important as the Global one. Internet is a global market but people still prefer to buy at home if they have a chance to.

Websites are different

seo keywords

seo keywords

Rank first for “flags” with a new website is different than ranking first with a 10 y.o. website. The websites have different values so that it would be important to consider the value of the website before determing the keywords of my Campaign – Promotion. Nowadays the value of a website is the Google index (Page Rank).

The competition results are a neutral index but it’s quite different compete with thousand of websites or with ten websites with PR 8. We should try to integrate this value to the common formula both for the website we promote both for the competitors we have for each keyword.

Improve your SEO approach on the keyword effectiveness index

Start listening

Try to speak with the customer care if the website you are going to promote and rank has one. Nobody knows better the company than the customer care operators. They know the problems, they know what the customers want and this is the Key for determine a valuable list of keywords to use for your analysis.

Be creative

There are many different approaches to an improved version of the Keyword Effectiveness Index. I would suggest some:

  • The re-visited KEI version fo Web Site Advantage
    It considers the Page Rank of the website into the formula.
  • The re-visited KEI version of Ivano De Biasi
    It’s in Italian but you can still understand it. The formula includes the index “relevance”, how important is the keywords for the website.
  • Your own KEI
    You can build your own index. This is a suggestion you can work on. The “PRCoptrs” might be the average Page Rank of the 10 websites in the first 10 positions for the analyzed keyword.

KEI=YourPR*(Monthly Searches/30)²/CompetitionResults*PRComptrs


You are the only limit to your keywords

There are no difficult keywords and easy keywords. There are prepared web marketers and unprepared ones. If you are prepared, you can rank well for each keyword you might wish. Obviously keyword effectiveness index can help you in improving your SEO techniques.

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  1. KD

    Nice balanced article Alessandro.

    I helped me together with http://keeyword.com/keyword-effectiveness-index-kei-2/ to understand what KEI is.

  2. Keyword Search Tool

    Very helpful and informative – enjoyed the read!

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