What is a Good KEI? Using Keyword Effectiveness Index the Right Way

Whenever the subject of KEI, or Keyword Effectiveness Index, comes up on Internet Marketing forums, there is one question that invariably asked – „What is a Good KEI?“

I would say, after of course the ubiquitous „What is KEI?“ and „What is formula for KEI?“ it is the most asked question surrounding the topic of Keyword Effectiveness Index.

To really answer this question completely, we need to first take a look at the components. The simplest KEI formula is Popularity Squared divided by Competition. The two variables in this formula are Popularity and Competition. Just like any mathematical equation, the final answer will vary widely depending on the values that are plugged in for each variable. So, let’s take a look at the individual components.

Popularity can be determined in a few ways. For instance, WordTracker returns search numbers as a daily value – for instance, if they return a popularity score of 458, that means the term receives 458 searches per day. The Google AdWords External Keyword Tool, on the other hand, returns data on the amount of searches per month. So, using the example of 458, then the Google tool returning a popularity value of 458 would mean there were 458 searches per month. Which of these variables gets plugged into your formula makes a huge difference in the outcome of the KEI score.

Likewise for Competition. Some people believe the best measure of Competition is the search the keyword phrase in quotes. Other people believe it is to search for the keyword phrase in the title of webpages. These two searches will yield different results, many times separated by thousands. Obviously plugging in those two different variables will, again, yield drastically different KEI scores for a term.

That is the main reason why, in my opinion, it is best to use KEI as a way to quickly sift through the effectiveness of a giant list of keyword data that you, yourself, have accumulated, and to only use that score to compare the terms to others in that same list, or other terms in lists of data that you know are pulling from the same sources.

In other words, use KEI as a comparative measure, but don’t toss away an otherwise promising keyword simply because it doesn’t have a KEI that measures up to some arbitrary number you’ve heard on an internet marketing forum somewhere.

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