Working with KEI

Working with affiliate sites, I am continually confronted with the problem of “What should I do next?” As a small business person, the answer is you do whatever will make the most money the fastest. Pick the low hanging fruit first.

Assuming that you have a content site already, and you are adding more content regularly, submitting content for syndication, adding quality links regularly and consistently over time. So you have say, 250 products, ranging from very competitive to almost no competition. How do you decide where to focus your SEO and prioritize your efforts?

The low hanging fruit here are the product related keywords that have a relatively high search volume, and a low level of competition.

One measure of the competitiveness is the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) which measures the search volume and the number of sites competing for that phrase.

The formula for KEI is p^2/C

Where p= Popularity – Wordtracker searches
C = Competitiveness, measured by the search volume (number of results returned in a search on Google with the search phrase in quotes)

Open an Excel spreadsheet and put your keyword phrases down column A, column B will be the Wordtracker searches, and insert this formula in column C

=((A2*2)/A2) *1000

and use FILL DOWN to populate column C.

Start filling in your data down the list. Quickly you will see some keywords have loads of competition, while others are open season.

Sort your data by column C, the KEI, and you have a prioritized list of keywords to target and can develop your plan of attack. Higher KEI is better.

The high KEI phrases can be targeted immediately for fast results, the medium level KEI keywords, can be started now for a longer campaign, and the low KEI phrases, either not targeted, or a long range plan developed for them.

Problems and issues

Determining the competitiveness of keywords is a complex issue and in this post I am looking at just one method — a more technical discussion with links to other methods is at Search Engine Watch Forum.

A few problems are that KEI is a mathematical ranking system that says nothing about the quality of competition.

A modification to the formula, proposed by Dan Theis has taken the original KEI formula and tweaked it:

s = matches for “allintitle”
p = popularity (search count)
KEI = p^2/s = p / s * p

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