Sort your way to high-performing keywords

Wordtracker's Customer Support team demonstrates how to sort your way to higher traffic with the Keyword Tool.

Hello, it's Wordtracker Support here and we'd like to share with you the answers to some of the common queries we get through to Wordtracker Customer Support.

We often get asked how to sort a lengthy keyword list and it’s pretty straightforward. So let’s get started!

Keyword results

keyword results

As you can see in the image above the keyword lists you see in the Wordtracker interface have 5 headers:

  • Keyword
  • Volume
  • Comp (competition)
  • IAAT
  • KEI

To see what these mean, click on the i symbol by the header.

Each header can be clicked to sort the information below by ascending or descending order.

Let's get started

Start by generating a fresh list, enter your seed term and click ‘Search'.

The seed word is your starting point so enter a word that broadly defines your niche. For this example we're using the seed term jewelry.

Tip: You can get a feel for the entire niche by entering more than one search term in the box, separated by commas.


At this point you might want to think about using the Negative Search options to exclude terms you don't want. You can see more in our article on identifying the most relevant (and popular) keywords within your niche.

After clicking 'search' a keyword list is generated which is automatically sorted by Searches (volume) in descending order. So you’ll see the keywords with the highest number of searches at the top by default.

jewelry results

Start clicking the other keyword headers to sort by Competition, IAAT, or KEI.

Clicking a header once sorts in descending order, clicking a second time will reverse this order.

Sorting by Searches

Sorting by searches (volume) shows you the most popular searches within your niche. It may be tempting to go for the keyword with the highest search volume but it’s important to keep in mind that if you’re up against a lot of Competition it’s going to take more work to rank well for that keyword.

Sorting by Competition

Sorting by Competition helps you locate keywords that you may be able to rank well for with a relatively small amount of work. Generally speaking you’re looking for keywords with some Competition, as this can be an indication of market activity. The lower the Competition the easier it will be to rank well for those keywords and receive more traffic as a result.


Sorting by KEI

Sorting by KEI effectively automates the 2 steps above as this metric is designed to reveal keywords with higher search volume and lower competition. As a general rule of thumb a higher KEI figure indicates that the keyword has potential. Sort by KEI in descending order to see those with most potential.

There isn't really an absolute number for a good or bad KEI. It's best to view the KEIs as relative figures, particularly inside a niche. You might find that a KEI of 30 is the best you see in one niche, while you may see a much higher KEI in another niche.


But don't stop there - the tool has a secondary sort function which orders by search volume in descending order. So with your list still sorted by KEI use the pagination on the bottom right to review your list and flick through the pages to keywords until you get to a KEI below 100. You'll see the searches are filtered firstly by KEI and secondly by search volume also in descending order. Explore this part of your list for keywords with lower Competition and higher search volume and the potential to bring your site more traffic.

secondary sort

Filtering keywords

Another good way to sort through a large results list is by using filters. Once you have a list of keywords, it’s easy to be a bit overwhelmed by everything you see, so filters are a great way to cut through.

Choose to filter keyword results by Volume, Competition, IAAT, KEI and Questions, or narrow your niche by Including or Excluding certain terms.

Just click on the Filter type to add, and click on the X to remove. Select the range by dragging the left and right handles and your results list will update immediately.

You can use multiple filters on your lists like this:


Click on the Questions filter to show only those terms which are questions - super useful to find out what people are asking about in your niche.

Tip: Don't forget to remove the filters when you run a new search!

Experiment with these techniques to dig out keywords which you can use to attract higher levels of traffic to your website.

We hope this helps those of you getting started with the tool and keyword research. If you have any questions about the tool please do let us know by emailing

Happy searching!

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  • Generate thousands of relevant keywords to improve your organic and PPC search campaigns.
  • Optimize your website content by using the most popular keywords for your product and services.
  • Research online markets, find niche opportunities and exploit them before your competitors.

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