Search Engine Workshops - Intensive hands-on search engine marketing training during a 2-, 3-, or 5-day workshop Search Engine Workshops Home PageRegister for onsite search engine marketing workshopsContact us for more information about our onsite search engine marketing workshopsLost? Find it in our site map.

Search Engine Workshops . . . the premiere onsite search engine marketing workshops in the world! Click here to go back to the index of SEO articles.

Topics covered at our search engine marketing workshopsDates for future search engine marketing workshopsRegister for onsite search engine marketing workshopsArticles on search engine marketingTestimonials from our search engine marketing workshop guestsSearch Engine Workshops PartnersCommonly asked questions about search engine marketing and our workshopsLinks to useful sites and search engine marketing informationAbout Search Engine Workshops




Keyword Effectiveness - 
Observing Big Differences In Little Keywords 

John Alexander

There are all kinds of keywords being used by people daily, in their search for information. Most professional search engine marketers learn early in their career, that all keywords are not the same. Some keywords are highly competitive while others are less competitive, which often seems as though fewer people are searching for them. But then there are some keywords that are really hardly being searched for at all. Some of the most ideal phrases are those that relate to a product or service but are being fairly often used by a specific audience of searchers, but at the same time have low competition. 

Let's put it another way. Phrases which have a low number of competing pages, but also are phrases that are actually being used often by searchers, represent a nice "window of opportunity." The reason these keywords are appealing is because you can gain significant advantage (with little or no competition) while only performing mild optimization.

Result: High visibility on major search engines without the stress of competing with millions of pages.

Of course you can go after more competitive phrases once you know how, but the point is that you have to work a little harder if you are competing with 40,000,000 pages as opposed to say 400 pages or maybe just 40 pages. In a minute I'm going to give you 8 tips to help you think more deeply about your keyword research in Wordtracker.

But first, for the purposes of this article, I want to talk about some of the tiny differences in keyword combinations that can make an enormous difference in the end result. This article focuses on the use of Wordtracker and observes a few comparisons between phrases to demonstrate some major advantages in just choosing the best keyword terms.

Rule 1: Wordtracker uses a KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index)

A KEI Value of 100 may represent a good keyword phrase.

A KEI Value of 400 usually represents a much better high use/low competition "window of opportunity."

The higher the KEI value usually represents a much bigger window. The assumption is that the higher the KEI the better. But notice that I use the word "usually." KEI is not perfect, but it is a simple mathematical equation and it does reveal interesting opportunities. The question for most people, is how to tap into these high KEI keyword phrases without spending hours of research. In a minute, we'll talk about the new Wordtracker Academy, but first let's just give you some sets of examples of phrases and how they stack up with similar but slightly different phrases.

BIG differences in little keywords:

1. "Download Free Knitting Patterns" has a KEI value of 419.0
2. "Easy Knitting Patterns Free" has a much greater KEI value of 2140.5


1. "purchase watercolor paintings"   KEI   002.7 (Very weak)
2. "Watercolor prints to Purchase"   KEI   705.0 (Excellent improvement)
3. "watercolor paintings southwest"  KEI 2916.0 (still better yet)


1. "dropship affiliates"                     KEI   256.0 (fair window)
2. "dropshipping affiliates business" KEI   512.0 (much better)
3. "dropship affiliates business"       KEI 1600.0 (better still)


1. "sales ability tests"            KEI   475.4
2. "sales management tests" KEI   680.3
3. "sales competency tests"   KEI 1176.0


1. "no soliciting signs"                KEI 0.325     (very weak)
2. "no soliciting signs custom"    KEI 4230.0   (much better)


These were just a few observations I made recently with Wordtracker in the Members area.

Not a member yet? Then Check Out Wordtracker's Free Keyword Tool Now

Do you ever feel like you are running out of ideas when you are working in Wordtracker? From my point of view, I think that often, the challenge is that we simply do not think laterally enough about our visitors. 

8 Keyword Research Tips to help you think deeper thoughts and explore those true niche areas:

1. Why not start at the top, instead of the middle?

By choosing the popularity link you can start with the busiest keywords. But keep your eye on the IAAT column which gives you a more accurate compete count so the smaller this number is, the easier your job will be. IAAT stands for In Anchor And Title so you know pages that have at least got the keyword phrase in one instance of anchor text and in the Title tag, at least probably have a measure of basic SEO knowledge.

2. Wordtracker's recent new design includes a training area.
Did you know Wordtracker has opened a new training area on their Web site which has tips and articles and resources that you may not have known about? Watch this area continue growing in the future.
Learn Wordtracker through their resources here

3. Magic in 3 minutes - listen to audio tips for free
Have you listened to my series of Wordtracker Magic audio tips? These are short little 3 minute recordings where I teach you how to tap into Wordtracker's hottest windows of opportunity in just minutes. The audio tips are free and you can listen in right on your computer.  

4. Behaviors Vs. Keywords
Have you thought about exploring "search behaviors" instead of just "researching keywords?"  I explain the difference in my e-book Wordtracker Magic. Now you can downlod the e-book for free if you watch this short video. Instructions are given at the end.

5. Opening up the niche
Just when you think you're running low on ideas, don't forget to plug that keyword you're investigating into a tool like and watch for more synonyms you can explore.

6. Reverse approach
If you feel challenged because the keyword you're researching has no potential, try a reverse approach and explore your audience's searching behavior first to see what they want, then create that quality content that they're looking for. Wordtracker is a powerful window on the world.

7. Are you mixed up in a muddle of industry jargon?
Every so often, Wordtracker may reveal unusual letters, short forms that at first appear like a mess. Realize that many searchers do search with short forms or even worse. Often they'll search using their own industry jargon. Why not make the most of it? Use a tool like to reveal the possible meaning of those nonsense phrases. For example, we all assume the term SEO means Search Engine Optimizer, right? Did you know it actually has over 21 different meanings? Try plugging any acronym or short form into acronym finder and see all of the possibilities. It can be an eye opener.

8. Observe Those Big differences in little words
Remember that there really are big differences in little tiny words that make up your keyword phrase. Learn to explore and dig through Wordtracker's awesome database and follow some of these tips and you won't need anyone to tell you about it once you strike those golden search trends. You'll know by the traffic coming to your pages.

Remember that you can work in Wordtracker for a long time and never discover it all or see it all. The reason is because their main database of (350 million plus queries) is being updated every week on a rolling 8 week cycle. In other words, there are always fresh trends waiting to be discovered, if you'll just change your thinking to a little wider scope. 

If you to access the full membership, you can get 
13 months for the price of 12
months through this link.

About John Alexander

John Alexander is the Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops with Robin Nobles. Together, they teach 2-day beginner, 3-day advanced, and 5-day all-inclusive "hands on" search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe. John also teaches online search engine marketing courses through, and he’s a member of Wordtracker’s official question support team. 

Click here to go back to the index of search engine marketing articles

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed
under a Creative Commons License.

Attend A Live, hands-on SEO Mastery Workshop
Attend a hands-on SEO workshop

Search engine marketing is the key to unlocking access to the world.

Unlock extraordinary traffic potential!

Search Engine Workshops
. . . the premiere onsite search engine marketing workshops in the world!

Click here to go back to the index of SEO articles

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service