Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) – How to Analyze Your Competition

The previous post showed you how to research the best keywords to optimize the web content for your site.

The list below analyzes how competitive my keywords are when I do further research for the keyword “T-Shirts” in WordTracker.

No. Keyword KEI Count 24Hrs Competing
1 “japanese t-shirt” 2.884 145 23 7290
2 “rolling stones t-shirts” 2.263 102 16 4597
3 “funny t-shirts” 1.138 622 99 339914
4 “blank t-shirts” 0.687 147 23 31447
5 “custom t-shirts” 0.596 375 60 236011
6 “christian t-shirts” 0.395 185 29 86677
7 “wholesale t-shirts” 0.311 139 22 62111
8 “vintage t-shirts” 0.201 123 20 75319
9 “t-shirt designs” 0.167 180 29 194300
10 “white t-shirts” 0.131 111 18 94000
11 “cool t-shirts” 0.100 102 16 103571
12 “t-shirt design” 0.078 146 23 273077
13 “t-shirts” 0.070 1146 182 18860941
14 “t-shirt” 0.041 805 128 15841709
15 “white t-shirt” 0.023 126 20 679095

Note: These figures were generated from the free trial Msn gets 9.0000% of all search engine traffic (approx. 52 million a day).

Let me explain what these figures mean:


Why are the keywords put in quotes?

This is called exact matching. Exact match searching means that a search engine searches for only those sites which use the keyword exactly as typed in by the visitor. So if someone types “custom t-shirts” it only returns web sites that contain that specific phrase. Exact match searching gives a truer representation of your competition.

Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI)

The KEI compares the Count result (number of times a keyword has appeared in the data) with the number of competing web pages to pinpoint exactly which keywords are most effective for marketing campaign.

The keywords near the top of the list above have a higher KEI. The higher the KEI, the more popular your keywords are, and the less competition they have. This means you have a better chance of getting higher rankings in the search engines for that keyword phrase.


This is the number of times a particular keyword has appeared in the WordTracker database. It indicates the number of searches
generated for that keyword phrase.

24 hours

This is the predicted daily traffic for each keyword in this search engine only. This may not apply to your site because there are a number of other factors that determine how closely your site matches what people are looking for ie optimized title tags, well written web copy.


This is the number of competing web pages produced for that term. The lower the number of competing sites the easier it will be to reach the top of the search engines for that keyword.

Here is the formula WT uses to estimate daily search volume for any keyword.

What is the optimum number of competing web pages?

This will vary for different search engines. Generally speaking, if a keyword has just 50 competing web pages, you have a better
chance of getting to the top than if a keyword has 50000 pages. Getting high rankings for that keyword will also depend how well you optimized your web site’s design.

Generally you will find the most success with competition under 1000 pages.


Looking at the keyword list above “japanese t-shirt” has the highest KEI index because it has the lowest number of competing sites. Since I am not selling these types of t-shirts I would choose “custom t-shirts” as it still has a high KEI index even though is has high competition.


If you wanted to attract visitors that enter “japanese t-shirt” in the search engines, write an article that incorporates those keywords then place it on your web site. The search engines will spider the content which ultimately will give you a little extra traffic and possibly boost your sales.


  1. looking good

  2. I was on Twitter looking for shirts when I found a link to this blog, glad I stopped by!!!

  3. Found your blog in the yahoo apparel directory, very nice job, thanks.

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