Wordtracker's numbers explained

A quick video guide to the numbers in Wordtracker's Keyword tool

We often get asked what the numbers in Wordtracker mean, and this video outlines their meanings and how you can work with them. There's a transcript just below so you can just read through if you like. You can find links to our other videos from our video introduction page


Hi there. You can see from the Wordtracker interface that there are lots of numbers in what we present. In this video, I'm going to tell you what they mean and how you can work with them to find the keywords with the most potential for your campaigns. One very important thing to point out is that the best resources to put all of these numbers into context is common sense and your own market insight.

We'll start by getting a fresh list together, so we'll put in a seed word here, choose our territory here, and hit 'search'. It's that easy.

Here's my list, and I've got 10,000 keywords closely related to my seed word. There are a number of columns, and if you click each header, you can sort the list by that column. The default sort order is 'Volume'. So, what is 'Volume'?

This number tells us how many times that keyword has been searched in the previous month by people searching through our partners' networks (our search data comes from a large search engine advertising network). This gives us an idea of how popularly searched each keyword is. Depending on the market you're researching, you might see some really high or really low figures - and this is often a reflection of the size of the market - mobile phone keywords are liable to have higher search volume generally than solar powered radio keywords, for example.

An important thing to recognize is that the all of the numbers in the tool are best viewed as relative figures. Because no-one can report on every search made in every search engine worldwide, it would be silly to try to say "this is how many people are looking for your widget" - but we can say that free mobile phone has more potential than 'best mobile phone' or used mobile phone. The relationships between the numbers are what's really important.

The next figure along is the Competition figure. This number is scaled from 1 to 100, and represents the number of optimized pages published on the internet for each keyword. The higher this number, the more competing pages there are, and the larger amount of investment you may have to make to rank well for the keyword, depending on the strength of your own site. Low competition figures mean that not many pages have been optimized for that keyword, and, given a reasonable amount of searches, getting traffic for your own pages may be easier. 

IAAT, or 'in anchor and title' is where the competition figure is drawn from. It's basically the raw competition figure (it tells us how many pages have that keyword both in the title tag and in anchor text from an external domain), and it's provided to give you an extra level of detail when you're making your assessment.

You might see hyphens or zeros in these two columns - a hyphen here means that no pages have been found that appear to have been directly optmized for that keyword. A zero tells us that the keyword is found either in the title tag of a page, or in anchor text pointing to it, but not both

KEI is one of Wordtracker's most famous metrics. Its purpose is to indicate those keywords with higher search volume and lower competition. A high number suggests that a keyword has good potential. A lower number indicates that the relationship between search volume and competition probably doesn't make for a keyword that you'll easily get good traffic for.

Again, it's very important to bear in mind that all of the figures you see in Wordtracker (or any keyword tool) should be viewed as relative values - it's not possible to say that a search figure of X or a KEI of Y is 'good' or 'bad', as these levels will vary from market to market.

So now we can see in the 'volume' figure how popular a keyword is with internet searchers (the demand), and how much each keyword has been optimized for (the supply). We can also easily see where there may be gaps in between these using KEI - and of course, those vital elements in your research - your own common sense and market insight.

Let us know if you have any questions by dropping us a line to support@wordtracker.com

Further information

If you have questions about these metrics or any other aspect of Wordtracker, please just drop us a line at support@wordtracker.com

If you'd like to know more about keywords and keyword research visit the Wordtracker Academy. It's packed with free articles and advice.

If you have any other questions, please contact us by sending a message to support@wordtracker.com.

Or you can call us:

    • From the USA and Canada: 011 44 333 200 4555
    • From the UK: 0333 200 4555 (calls are charged at local rates)
    • From any other country: +44 333 200 4555