I recently saw an ad for a new keyword tool called WordButler. Rarely do I ever click on ads, but I’m always on the prowl for tools that are missing from the other tools we use.
So I signed up for a seven day free trial for WordButler and gave it a test run.
How WordButler Works
I have to say that I really like the simplicity of the WordButler interface. There are some drawbacks to this which I’ll explain later, but those can be overcome without overly complicating the functionality of WordButler.
When you open up the program you’re given three basic options: Build a keyword list, get keyword suggestions or estimate keyword traffic.
Suggest Keyword Ideas
The “Suggest Keyword Ideas” allows you to do a broad search for keyword much like the Wordtracker Related Keywords feature. That’s where I usually begin my keyword research process so I started there.
Click the link, type in your keyword in the box that pops up…
and wait a few seconds for the result (it’s pretty fast!):
You can check the keywords which you want to estimate traffic or save for later.
Build a Keyword List
Once you have all your keyword ideas together you can build yourself a keyword list. Whatever screen you happen to be on at the time, there is a “New Project” drop down. Click that and select “I want to Build a Keyword List.”
Enter your keyword in the popup box like before and let the list be built.
This is the most powerful part of the program. You’ll want to note that adding singular versions of words will only give you the singular result. WordButler doesn’t account for plurals or stemmed variations. If you want alternate variations you’ll have to run those searches separately.
Up top you can create or add your negative keyword list. Just type or paste the words in the box either individually or separated by commas and your negative list will build, removing the keywords from the list below.
You can then go and individually delete words, or select on any phrase and add it (minus the actual core term) to the negative list.
When you’re all done, you can export it into a spreadsheet for later viewing.
Estimate Keyword Traffic
This is really nothing more than an import function. Take any list of keywords you have, pop them in and hit OK.
You’re immediately brought to the Estimate traffic screen which is available from each of the two research options noted above.
What I didn’t like about WordButler
As I said before, I really liked the interface to WordButler. There is a lot of potential here, but they’ve got quite a bit of work to do.
The first problem I came across was when looking for keyword suggestions. About 3/4 of the suggested results were travel related keywords (cheap travel, car rentals, direct flights, etc.) I wasn’t sure how these pertained to “school supplies” so I tried a different search. Both “baby bedding” and “motorcycle batteries” produced the same list of travel terms as well. Obviously this is a bug that needs to be fixed.
Poor quality results
Most of the words that actually were related to my search weren’t much use. Words like “accessories,” “supplies,” “materials,” and “store” don’t really provide me much of anything valuable. On the other hand a Related Keyword search on WordTracker gave me many more ready to use terms such as “classroom supplies,” “educational supplies,” “teacher supplies,” etc.
I honestly wouldn’t have much use for this section. It doesn’t provide me anything that Quintura or L3xicon doesn’t, and both of those are free.
Lack of results
Moving on to building a keyword list, the first problem I came across is that it produced no results for “school supplies”. I tried multiple times and got nothing.
If you want to delete keywords from your list you’ll either have to do them one at a time or hold the control key down and click all the words you want to delete. A better option here would be check boxes. It would also be helpful to have a deleted keyword list so you can review what’s been deleted and re-add keywords that may have been deleted on accident.
Another problem is that whenever you delete a keyword you jump back to the top of the list. With each delete you have to scroll to find your place. Very annoying. The same happens when you add words to your negative list.
Negative keyword list
You have to be very careful with the negative keyword list. I found two issues which can cause major frustration. If you add a keyword you have the option to remove it, but removing it doesn’t refresh the list below. That makes removing the keyword somewhat frivolous since it has no effect. The even bigger issue is if you type in a keyword list and accidentally add an additional comma and space after the last negative word (i.e. “free, uk, “). That last space will remove your entire list. And since you can’t just remove that space from your negative list, you’ll have to start your search all over again, including any edits that you’ve done.
I liked the fact that you could click on a keyword and add it to your negative list, but the application of that didn’t always make sense. Say I clicked on “baby bedding and papa smurf”, the words “and papa smurf” would be added to the negative list. This means that I’m not removing any phrase with “papa smurf” unless the word “and” is with it. This feature needs some tweaking to allow individual words to be added when you want to add a negative.
For the most part, adding keywords to the negative list worked, but I found in one case I added “india” to the negative list and the phrase with “in india” wasn’t removed.
When you’re viewing the estimator there is no way to remove keywords. You can go back to your keyword list but it would be a nice addition to be able to remove the keywords from that screen. Right now you have to navigate back and hunt for any keywords you decided to remove.
I’m not sure what the traffic estimator is based on. That’s a hard number to quantify and I would much rather see daily or monthly search volume figures.
Save and export
I have three major issues with the save and export feature. First, I’m not given the option to name the file. That’s a pretty basic necessity. The other two issues are with the export file itself. The data was not aligned properly which meant I had to go in and move things around to get it to line up.
You can see that the data is misaligned starting on line nine and then again on line 30. Look even closer and you can see that some of the data is in date format, rather than the raw number.
It would also be nice to export without saving first. But in this case, you can just copy your keywords and paste them into a spreadsheet or import them into Wordtracker.
How WordButler compares to Wordtracker
The two programs are vastly different so I won’t even attempt to do a direct comparison. but I will compare some various results.
In my search for “baby bedding” WordButler estimated that the keyword will generate between 2300 and 2800 clicks a day. On the other hand, Wordtracker only estimates that keyword received 568 searches in a 24 hour period. This is a pretty big discrepancy between the two. In order to get 2300 clicks a day the traffic volume would have to be between 5-20,000 a day. I just don’t see that keyword getting that many searches.
Another example, “baby boy bedding” shows 7 searches per day in Wordtracker but 44-50 clicks per day (Google) according to WordButler. I think it’s clear that WordButler is over-estimating.
I wanted to see how different the databases were so I typed in a very niche keyword, “brass casting.” Wordtracker produced a total of 10 results while WordButler gave me over 100. That’s quite impressive. On the flip side of that, when I ran the traffic estimator only four of the keywords showed any traffic estimates, again compared to Wordtracker’s 10.
On this issue, I think WordButler has the advantage. It is obviously providing keywords that Wordtracker isn’t finding and even if search volume is low, these keywords can be very important for niche industries.
I found it funny that WordButler fetches results from the “Google secret database”. I’d ask where this secret database is, but I guess that’s the point… it’s secret.
I actually liked WordButer a lot and think it’s got a lot of potential. Unfortunately it’s got of bugs to fix. I’m not sure it would ever be a replacement for Wordtracker, my keyword tool of choice, but it can be a nice addition to fill in the gaps that wordtracker leaves.
For right now, though, I’m not ready to shell out another $147 per year. Fix the issues and knock $50 off the price tag and then we’ll talk.
Update: I just received an email from WordButler stating that they have fixed the bugs I’ve mentioned here are are working to implement some of our other suggestions.