How To Use Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) When Choosing Your Website’s Target Keywords

Keyword Effectiveness Index

Keyword Effectiveness Index or KEI is a measurement of how keywords are doing their jobs. Today, I will show you how to use it when selecting keywords to target your website. Essentially, you want keywords that are discoverable by search engines, so you must choose those with high KEI. 

What is KEI?

The formula for KEI is as follows: total number of web pages / total number of searches for a keyword. Think of it this way: 

  • No of the search result for a keyword / no of searches

To help you understand better, let us take a look at an example. Let us say that 10,000 web pages are targeting the same keyword. The keyword, however, has a search volume of 400 in a month. 

  • The calculation is 10,000 / 400 = 25.

What you want is a lower keyword. The lower it is, the easier it is to rank on search engines. If we change 10,000 to 100,000, the KEI will be 250. It means that 100,000 web pages are competing for the same keyword with 400 search volume in a month. 

Remember: the lower the KEI, the better your ranking is because only a few web pages use the hat keyword. Of course, this is not a guarantee. A guaranteed ranking is a myth

How To Use Keyword Effectiveness Index When Choosing Your Website’s Target Keywords

The first thing to do is use a keyword management system with KEI in its dashboard or metrics. An example of this tool is WordTracker. 

The thing is, WordTracker created its scaling system. What they did was set the KEI from 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest. In their software program, a KEI score will never exceed 100. Also, note that higher KEI is better in their rating system. You want a KEI that is close to 100. 

Once you have an account, use the keyword finder tool of that system to see the keyword performance. From this report, you will see the search volume for a particular keyword, along with its variations. You will also see the KEI score. 

You have the option to narrow down your search. For example, you can tell the system to only show keywords with at least 70 as KEI scores. Of course, you also want to look for keywords with high search volume, so you can add that to your filter. 

The last step is to write an article that uses that keyword. You must use that keyword in the right places and publish a meaningful and high-quality article that people will read. 

One mistake that I often see from bloggers is that they spend so much time on keywords, but they forget the importance of the content. Keywords are great, but the value you give to your readers is much more important than that. 

Where should you put the KEI keyword? 

Once you are ready to write, use the high KEI keyword in the following areas: 

  • Title
  • Meta description 
  • Body
  • Sub-heading

There is no official word from Google regarding the keyword density concerned. They want bloggers to focus on content and not SEO technicalities. 

If your content offers valuable insights, people will naturally read the article. They are also likely to share it with others. Sometimes, it is better to hire a professional content writer than write your own materials.

Other things you need to know about KEI

Here are some points I want to help guide you with keyword selection. 

KEI increases if the keyword becomes popular

If the search volume increases but the web pages with this keyword do not increase, the KEI will increase. You want to use this keyword. Why is that? Take a look at the example below. 

Scenario A: 

  • Search volume – 400 
  • Web Pages – 10,000
  • KEI – 25

Scenario B:

  • Search volume – 800 
  • Web Pages – 10,000
  • KEI – 12.5

As you can see, the search volume for scenario B increased, and yet webmasters are not creating content for it. What’s happening here is that more people are getting interested in the topic, so there is a demand, but there is little supply. 

It is where you come in. You produce that supply, and then you make sure that your content reigns supreme of all the existing content out there. 

KEI decreases if the keyword becomes competitive

Now, we will reverse the situation where interest is not increasing, but more and more people produce content for that particular keyword. Take a look at the example below. 

Scenario A: 

  • Search volume – 400 
  • Web Pages – 10,000
  • KEI – 25

Scenario B:

  • Search volume – 400 
  • Web Pages – 100,000
  • KEI – 125

As you can see, more bloggers are writing about the keyword, but the number of people searching for it is the same. 

So, why would you want to write an article about that? Indeed, you don’t. There just isn’t a demand for that keyword, and yet there is a considerable supply of articles about that keyword. 

What you want is a keyword with low KEI. One thing you can do is use variations of a keyword. For example, use long-tail keywords and check the KEI. You are more likely to find low-KEI keywords this way than using broad-term keywords. 

It is entirely up to you to use several low-KEI keywords in one article. The better approach is to write several articles, allowing you to produce targeted content. Of course, you can always sprinkle some secondary keywords in your article if you want. 


KEI stands for keyword effectiveness index. It is a metric that you use to determine the likelihood of a keyword ranking on search engines. The formula is results/searches. 

In perspective, you want low KEI keywords. A low number indicates interest or search volume, but few websites have articles for that keyword.

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography, and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

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