Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI)

Keyword Research with KEI - Keyword Effectiveness Index - with Wordtracker - the leading keyword research tool

An updated guide to working with Wordtracker's KEI metrics

KEI (keyword effectiveness index) is one of the quickest ways to find keywords that show potential - that is, those keywords which are likely to help your site attract more traffic.

It looks like this:


It's a scaled metric, so you'll never see a KEI of more than 100.

What's a good KEI?

It's important to look at the numbers as relative values inside a niche - what might be a good KEI for one niche may prove not to be so useful inside another niche. So, look at the relationships between the figures in this column rather than reading too much into the numbers.

So how do we use the KEI?

Well, there are two ways we can find helpful figures . We're looking for a high KEI as these are the keywords that show potential.

The first thing to do is to sort the column by KEI just by clicking the column header. We can see the highest ones at the top of the list instantly, so look for the keywords that are relevant to your business. I've taken this screenshot from a 'cookie' list.

sort by KEI

The second way you can narrow down your list according to KEI is with the filter. If you're familiar with the market you're targeting and have a rough idea around search behaviour in that niche, you can use the filters above the results list to exclude keywords with a KEI below a certain figure. You'll probably get more of a feel of what to exclude the more you work with a niche and after a bit of experimentation with your results.

Just pull the handles to get the range you want.

KEI filter

I've set mine here to show only words with a KEI higher than 70.

KEI filtered list

In my curent list, around 1/5 of the keywords achieve this. 70 might not be the best number for you to use, particularly if you're working in a very competitive market, but as part of your keyword research, it's worth looking at keywords with varying KEIs to see where to draw the line between keywords you want to target, and those you feel are too competitive to approach right now.

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