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1.2.2 Shortlist your keywords

Now you have a long and versatile list of keywords and keyphrases to choose from.

So let′s brush aside all stuff and shortlist your search terms. Again, you can choose between a free but long way to do this, or use Rank Tracker tool you already know to make this task a snap.

Option 1: Sweep away the keyword trash, by hand

Calculating KEI

Here we go with the magic wand of SEOs. That′s the SEO know–how called KEI, or Keyword Efficiency Index. This index shows you how good a keyword is for bringing traffic to your site.n

You need keywords with high KEI.

Here′s what the importance of your keywords depends on:

  • Relevance (R): it is how closely your keyword is related to what you offer to your customers.

We use the three–grade scale to estimate relevance. So now you need to make a separate column for Relevance in your spreadsheet, and put one of the following numbers next to each word or phrase:

  • 1 for Excellent
  • 2 for Good
  • 3 for Poor
  • Search Volume (SV): it is how many queries are made for a keyword per month.

Here′s how you can check Search Volume for each word or phrase in Google AdWords. Let′s say you want to check it for "free ecard":

  • go to Google AdWords Keyword Tool
  • copy and paste the selected keywords
  • select the desired match type on the left (I′ll explain the options in a second)
  • select your region, language and devices you wish to scan the traffic for, wait a little bit and VOILA! you are now armed with the monthly search volumes for your keywords.

As promised, below is the description of the available match types. If you′ve already used Google Keyword Tool or simply know how they differ from each other, just skip this paragraph.

  1. So, broad match type is the default option. For example, for the query "free ecard" you′ll see the number of searches, containing either or both words "free" and "ecard" in any order, possibly along with other relevant terms. This number may also include singular/plural forms queries and synonyms.
  2. Choosing [Exact] match you′ll see how many times per month the keyphrase is searched exactly as it′s entered by a user.
  3. And, finally, the "Phrase" match will reflect the number of queries where words are in the same order as in your keyphrase – even if other words are present in that query. For example, the number of searches for "free ecard", will also include keywords like "free ecard happy birthday" or "free ecard funny".

If you are not an international business or by any reasons are not interested in the numbers of search queries from all over the world, select the necessary country in the Local monthly searches column. Note, that these figures may not be exactly accurate, but reflect general trends.

Now, in your spreadsheet, make a column for Search Volume and enter the number of search values for each phrase.

  • Competition (C): that′s how many websites try to rank for this keyword. Generally, all sites that have the same keyword as you are your online competition. And the fewer websites are optimized for the same keyword, the better KEI this keyword has.

The way to check competition is simple. Enter the keyword in Google and click to search. Now look at the image below to see where you find the Competition value:

Google competition for the free ecard keyword Google competition for the free ecard keyword

In a separate column for Competition in your spreadsheet, enter values for each keyword.

Here′s an example of how your keywords table may look like:

Relevance, Search Volume and Competition Values in Excel worksheet
Relevance, Search Volume and Competition Values in Excel worksheet

So what makes a KEI better? Higher relevance, higher search volume, and smaller competition.

Now, let′s count the magic KEI number for your keywords.

The classical formula for KEI looks like this:

Keyword Efficiency Index formula
Keyword Efficiency Index formula

Sometimes I also use an improved formula for better estimation. It takes into account real relevance of your keywords.

Keyword Efficiency Index with Relevance
Keyword Efficiency Index with Relevance

Now make a column for KEI in your Excel spreadsheet and apply the second formula to calculate KEI for each phrase.

Keyword Efficiency Index in Excel worksheet Keyword Efficiency Index in Excel worksheet

Let′s choose the best keywords

First, sort all keywords in your spreadsheet by KEI. As I already said, the higher KEI, the better your keywords.

You do not need many keywords to optimize your site for, so look at your list and choose top 5 keywords. Mark them as the major ones (say, color them green.) Then, choose the following 30 and mark them as important (you can color them yellow.) Some more 65 or so keywords should be marked as supplemental (e.g. red.)

Now you′ve got a nice list. We′ll target the green–marked keywords in the first turn, make use of the yellow ones as alternative and mind the red ones just in case.

Looks complicated? It definitely does, that′s why I′ll provide you with a quicker and easier way to perform the same check automatically. Stay tuned!

114 comments

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#3740 2013-10-02 07:46:46 Dan Richmond

Hi Hieu.

Actually “Relevance” is a relative factor which defines how closely your keyword is related to the theme of your website and it is for you to determine this metric. That is why the formula Rank Tracker uses to calculate KEI is KEI = Sv/C

Answer
#3739 2013-10-02 00:38:42 Hieu Mai Trung

Hi,

I just bought the PDF version of SEO in Practice ! I have read about KEI.

Follow what I understood, the Relevance is good if they made by human. How the Rank Checker software can make the relevance for keywords?

Or the Rank Checker just calculate by formula : KEI = Sv/C

Thank you!

Answer
#3728 2013-08-15 11:27:50 jepara online

Excellent suggestion of including the relevance factor. That always seems to be the linchpin of a word being worth marketing to.

Answer
#3689 2013-05-13 22:17:03 Fatemeh Bahari

how i must estimation and know what is relevence of my keyword? i cant understand how you estimation relevence of your keyword.
for example "buy healthy book" what is relevence of this keyword?
thanks for your answer and your kindness

Answer
#3694 2013-05-18 01:54:18 Dan Richmond

Hello Fatemeh.
“Relevance” is a relative factor, that shows how closely your keyword is related to the theme of your website. So it is for you to decide how closely the keyword fits the niche your website occupies and determine this metric.

Answer
#3627 2013-01-16 20:35:41 Birla Medisoft

I have a doubt regarding relevance(R). The R is assigned manually for a keyword or is there some formula for it. If it is assigned manually, then the result will be varied. Please clarify my doubt.

Answer
#3632 2013-01-28 06:21:44 Dan Richmond

Hello Birla.
Relevance is the factor that you set yourself. It is for you to decide, if you really need this factor (since it is not a compulsory one)and it's value, because it is for you to know if this or another keyword is related to the service or a product you are selling on your site.

Answer
#3040 2012-05-28 06:38:16 Wouter - Simple SEO Agency Amsterdam

Hi Dan I am using the in title competition to check my "real competitors". I like the way you use keyword relevance in your KEI calculation. Is there any change this can be calculated within Rank Tracker itself? By the way I mentioned your method on my site which explains KEI: http://keiseo.com/

Answer
#3047 2012-05-29 04:03:58 Dan Richmond

Actually this very formula is currently used in Rank Tracker to calculate KEI.You can learn more about KEI feature in Rank Tracker here: http://www.link-assistant.com/rank-tracker/analyzing-keywords.html#types-of-data

Answer
#3066 2012-06-01 09:55:26 Wouter - Simple SEO Agency Amsterdam

Hi Dan I cannot find the option to add keyword relevance in the KEI calculation. Is it possible?

Answer
#3140 2012-06-08 06:36:08 Dan Richmond

Actually “Relevance” is a relative factor which defines how closely your keyword is related to the theme of your website and it is for you to determine this metric. That is why this factor is not taken to account calculating KEI in Rank Tracker.

Answer
#3153 2012-06-11 08:06:27 Wouter - Simple SEO Agency Amsterdam

Would be nice if we could manually add this factor into RT.

Answer
#3001 2012-05-02 19:45:07 Jansen Wendlandt

Excellent suggestion of including the relevance factor. That always seems to be the linchpin of a word being worth marketing to.

Answer
#2851 2012-04-07 18:03:25 Cheryl Marko

Hi All...Okay i have a big problem that I hope one of you can help me with. I have no idea how to use excel or even formulas. Can Someone help me with putting this formula into excel and what and how to do this please...sorry newbie here...really need help asap...thanks ...Cheryl

Answer
#2755 2012-02-11 14:26:40 Producer Pack

Hi Dan

I have used the Google keyword tool to generate most of my keywords. Within that tool, it shows the 1. keyword 2. Competition (High,medium & low) 3. Global Monthly sales 4. Local monthly sales.

When i export the keywords from google keyword tracker to my excel sheet, it shows the competition figures as (0.24, 0.40, 0.29 and so on and so on)

My question is, what does those figures mean? are they percentages? or actual competition figures? for example.. 0.24 = 24,000 or 24,000,000 etc

Will i stll have to physically type in every keyword into google one by one to get my competition numbers?
Or has the word tracker been updated since you wrote this book so i wouldnt have to do all of that.. I have over 1000 keywords.

Thanks..
Hope that makes sense, and great book too ;)


Answer
#3044 2012-05-29 03:51:22 Dan Richmond

Those numbers are the competition levels in Google Adword Tool where 0.00 is the lowest competition and 1 is the highest. Please note, that these numbers can not be converted to the competition score you see performing the search in Google since is Google Adwords own metric.

Answer
#2742 2012-02-07 08:02:58 SEO Consultant

Hi Dan,

I hope that the keyword tool is going to be upgraded, so we can see more indicators like domainage, pagerank, dmoz and yahoo listings (like marketsamurai does) when we do keyword research.

All best,
Ewald.

I have bought the Powersuit Enterprise edition and am making money with. A great tool!

Answer
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