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Option 2: One click to choose the best keywords

Yes, the time comes to see how keyword software makes the final decision swiftly and gracefully. So I′m anxious to say, it′s already there. Rank Tracker is done with keyword research — and with the choice as well

Let′s have a look. On the right of the keyword tool′s window, find the combo box with workspaces and choose Keyword Research View. Now you can see a column with KEI. In this column, the tool has put a color marker for each word, ranging from green to red.

Keyword Efficiency Index in Rank Tracker Keyword Efficiency Index in Rank Tracker

So, What′s KEI and Why Do We Need It?

As I already told you, KEI, or keyword efficiency index is an SEO know–how. It shows you how good a keyword is for bringing traffic to your site. Or, putting it simple, how much positive effect keywords have on your paychecks.

You need keywords with high KEI. The greener the marker is in Rank Tracker, the better the keyword. So just sort keywords by KEI (click the header of the column), and separate the best keywords from non–worthy ones. And, you can just remove the keywords with bad KEI.

In the beginning choose keywords with 'green' KEI In the beginning choose keywords with "green" KEI

But WAIT! There′s more…

Potential traffic

Rank Tracker does not only let you estimate KEIs in a click of mouse, but also calculates how much visits this or that keyword may bring to your website i.e. how profitable a ranking for a particular keyword will be. Go check the Expected visits tab and make your choices!

Potential traffic Potential traffic

Eventually you′ll be left with 100–130 keywords. First, pay attention to the top 5 ones. You′ll use them a lot to optimize your website. The next 30 will be a good alternative, say, to create variations. Then, the remaining terms are good enough and should be there just in case.

DO IT NOW! Calculate KEI for your keywords, sort them out and choose 5 best keywords, 30 alternative ones, and leave 65 more to create more variations.

Let′s sum it up. You will hardly realize it at the moment, but now you have a list of premium quality keywords that are worth a fortune. As a next step, we′ll check where your site ranks for these words. To put it simple, let′s find our starting point.


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#1821 2011-01-25 10:00:24 tobersund simanjuntak

thank you. ..

#1806 2011-01-22 01:46:07 Alessandro Brunelli

I don't see why "free ecard" should be used since it has so much more competition than searches (I see the same for all other keywords). Probably I misunderstood the concept for "Competition": is it the number of websites using that keywords? (I understand the mathematics and the KEI ratio, though; must have faith in the software for now. Must go back an re-read the two previous pages)

#1783 2011-01-05 10:06:09 Eric Moschos


I have a question regarding the stats "of Searches" in the Rank Tracker. Is it last months figures or is it last year? We have a product which varies some during the year that's why we need to know how this has been calculated.

Best Regards,

#1769 2010-12-24 12:52:19 Miranda Matthews

Hi Dan,
I have the prof version of all four tools. I'm a little confused exactly how to choose the best keywords. I understand separately what KEI, competition, and # of searches concepts are, but am VERY confused which statistic to use. I understand that my niche markets are VERY competitive, so I really need help determining the proper kw to optimize my site. What # is considered to be low competition? How do we determine what is considered low and high for all three factors?
If I understood these basic #'s I am sure I can grasp this much better!

#1792 2011-01-11 13:57:05 Ivo Ignatov

Hi, Miranda

I am Ivo

These 4 tools are great, but you must think more deeply about the keywords.

You can see for free how to do that on my website here:

Have a nice day :)

#1768 2010-12-23 23:59:22 chanel Tan

The Rank checker is simply superb!
I am using it and i see so much keywords i didnt know.

#1763 2010-12-22 22:46:08 rod seeber

do i need to have excel on my computer (currently i don't have it) to be able to use rank checker ?

#1746 2010-12-15 14:48:12 RANSON LASELL

I have over 300 of 400 keywords that gets NO DATA with the KEI results. What should I do about that

#1713 2010-11-26 14:41:51 Brian Johnson


Does it make sense to use this process to develop good PPC campaigns? I have used Google's tools and done word combination's by hand for years. My agency's specialty is local search and local lead conversion. We spend hours setting up local modifier combination and misspellings. Rank Tracker seems to be worth the money for that alone. However, do you think this software and process is also good for developing quality granular PPC ad groups?

#1660 2010-11-10 12:19:50 Thomas Graf

Thanks Dan. I received a message from your colleagues in the meantime that there was a technical problem with Google some days ago which is solved now.

#1661 2010-11-10 12:23:10 Thomas Graf

I would still be interested in the logic behind your advise to build keyword combinations such as "Wedding Australia".

If your main keyword is "wedding" and if "Australia" has a high KEI - why should "wedding auctralia" also have a high KEI and therefore be used to optimize a webpage?

I can build beautiful combinations of my main keyword with other high-KEI-keywords, but the combination doesn't help at all if no one searches for it.

Do you see it differently?

Thanks you and best wishes

#1663 2010-11-10 12:48:02 Dan Richmond

Well the point was that the main keyword is "wedding", but since it has insane competition you would want to narrow it down to "wedding Australia", because Australia is where you do business and it's your market. At the same time "wedding Australia" turned out to be a high search volume keyword, that is why it is a high-KEI one. Not just any combination will work but the one that specifies a general competitive keyword the way that reflects the actual people's needs.

#1664 2010-11-10 17:54:38 Thomas Graf

Thanks Dan. But still your approach confuses me.

You say that we should choose keywords with high KEI because here the search / competition ratio is good.

But that doesn't work: If for instance your website is in the education sector, according to your logic you would simply take UNIVERSITY as keyword and use it again and again. It has a super KEI.

This is how I understand your logic ("use page ranker and take the first 5 key words"). But your website will not get among the top-100 even though you used a keyword with high KEI.

Instead it may make sense to use other keywords with LOWER KEI but more specifically related to your content. But this other factor "specific relatedness" is something that no one can tell you. You have to be creative and combine keywords so that they are specifically related to your site - then check their KEI and take those with the highest - and hope that it works. But the KEI itself doesn't seem to help me at all.

So the logic - simply take the top KEI keywords - doesn't seem to make sense. Could you explain more what you mean, please?


#1671 2010-11-15 09:40:58 Dan Richmond

I do not really insist on taking ONLY the high KEI keywords. What I wrote in the previous chapters is "localize your keywords" and "make sure they are specific to what you sell". Surely specific and localized keywords have lower KEI than the general ones. Simply the "free ecard" example already contains specific keywords and at the same time they have high KEI. If I insisted on taking ONLY the highest KEI keywords then I would suggest to optimize the free ecard website for "sex" and "cars" in this chapter :) The idea is to generate a list of relevant, specific, narrowed-down keywords, and then check their KEI, choosing the highest-KEI ones for your site.

#1672 2010-11-15 10:37:00 Thomas Graf

Makes sense. Thank you for clarifying!

#1647 2010-10-29 10:19:33 Thomas Graf

Hi everybody,

unfortunately I still have not received an answer. I tried it again today - it is even worse.

I have a list of keywords and I click on "Update KEI" - after I have marked keywords. But then I only get the message that the KEI for these keywords has been updated.

But I don't see any KEI... :):):)

Please help.

#1659 2010-11-10 12:15:53 Dan Richmond

You should switch your workspace (top right) to "Keyword research view", please try that.

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