Keyword Tools for Blogs and Websites: Wordtracker and SEMrush

Worktracker key word toolIf you’re a long-time blogger, as I am, you will be familiar with Wordtrackerthat enabled you to search Google keywords from right within your WordPress dashboard. The developer did away the free tool a couple of years ago. I’m glad to report that it’s back in both a free and paid version. (Thanks to Traffic Generation Cafe for these tips).

First, I’ll tell you about Wordtracker and then a tool I wasn’t familiar with, SEMrush, that does many of the same things as Wordtracker.

Free Wordtracker

While a free version is back, it’s not accessible in your dashboard. There is also a Chrome extension called Wordtracker Scout that enables you to see a snapshot of a post with the key words as Google might find them.

According to a Wordtracker post, these are the features of the free version:

  • The first level of access returns 50 global results
  • The same types of search as in the full tool – ‘keywords in any order’, ‘exact keyword inside a search term’, and ‘exact keyword only’.
  • The second level of results is provided when you verify your email. That will give you up to 100 search results – 100 downloadable results for use whenever you wish. Once you’ve verified, you can also carry out your keyword searches for more specific territories.

Here is a screen shot of the information you can get for the keyword blogging in the free version including the KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Indicator) .

Wordtracker keyword tool

Wordtracker Scout

Wordtracker Scout, available as a Chrome extension, draws on Keyword Data from Wordtracker’s huge database of search terms. It enables you to get a snapshot of your post that analyzes a page for its keywords. That’s a way to test if you’re using key words effectively.

Using the Chrome extension, here is a screen shot of one of my recent posts. My keywords were Facebook boost so I guess I got that one right.

Wordtracker Scout Chrome extension

Wordtracker Scout

SEMrush Keyword Tool

I’m only beginning to experiment with the SEMrush keyword tool. But at first glance, it seems to return a more robust level of information than Wordtracker.

SEMrush tracks Google and Bing SERPs for the top 95+ million organic keywords, collecting data on both a domain level as well as landing page rankings for all of the keywords it tracks. The tool tracks and can deliver a wide array of different metrics which I won’t go into here. You can learn more at SEM Features.

Here is only a partial screen shot of the SEMrush tool for the keyword loan.

SEMrush keyword tool

Are you using either of these tools? How do you research the keywords you use? Let me know in the comments box. Thanks.

Leave a Reply


  1. Jeannette- I am not familiar with you the keyword checker that you suggested. I use SEO SpyGlass. I use the free version. Here is the link if you want to check it out. I also use BacklinkWatch to check backlinks of your my site or competitor’s site. But one thing which I don’t like about BacklinkWatch is its pop-ups which are annoying but you just click to close them. I also use Keyword Spy. I like to see that keywords my competitors are using as well as seeing where mine place.

    • Arleen — I’m not familiar with SEO SpyGlass or BacklinkWatch so thanks for mentioning them. I will check them out.

  2. Jeannette, you must be omniscient. I was literally sitting here thinking that I need to learn more about keywords, their metrics and their use. Thanks also to Arleen for sharing her keyword tools. I know I must be getting more tech savvy about the blogging world because when I start explaining to my husband something about some technical aspect of my blog, his eyes glaze over. He would much rather hear about the cute things the dog did today.

    • Suzanne — glad that you found the post helpful. I’m glad it stimulated a conversation about keyword tools. So much to learn – so little time!

  3. Am sure both tools are helpful, Jeannette.

    Get a lot of visitors from Google to my blog and it’s ranked high on Alexa – about 150,000. Am happy with that.

    My Swedish website is highly ranked on Alexa. But what I want to find is keyword tool in Swedish for it.

    Unfortunately SEMrush doesn’t cover Sweden. Tried submitting a Swedish URL anyway – but it said “nothing” in all the boxes. Even the URL for my blog didn’t work even though it’s on a server in the US.

    • Catarina — first, it’s great that your blog is ranked so highly. SEMrush does have country limitations, unfortunately.

  4. These are great tools, so I’m bookmarking this post so I can explore them later. I currently use Google’s AdWords tool when writing posts.

    • Jeri — I love the Google keyword tool but it has gone away. It has been replaced by Keyword Planner. As I understand it, Google will only give you exact matches for the words you enter: “With Keyword Tool, we showed you broad match statistics by default with the ability to get data for other match types, like phrase and exact match. But with Keyword Planner, you’ll get historical statistics only for exact match.” To me,that reads that you will no longer see long-tail words which to me was at the heart of the keyword tool. It does no good to enter a broad term like “social media,” for example. So that means experimenting yourself with different versions of your key words. More bother, in my view

      • Dan — well, when you’re traveling around the world, probably the Keyword tool is the last thing you’re thinking about!

  5. Jeannette,
    Thanks for sharing these (and reminding me to visit Ana’s blog). I just tried to sign up for the free version of WordTracker and I’m seeing the two plans and a free trial. (Maybe I’ll have to delete my cookie for their site and try again.) I’ll have to get back to this. I have a Google AdWords account. So, i’ll probably stick to their new version of their tool but still I’d like to sign up. Lots of times, these free plans end up going away but you’re grandfathered in if you sign up early.

    • Sherryl — I just looked and only see the paid version, too. But the link in my post goes to a Wordtracker blog post that clearly states there is a free version and I took the free features directly from their post. I will check with them next week and find out what’s up. Stay tuned.

  6. Thanks for these tools – could come in useful. I’ve used the Google AdWords tool in the past. One time I could especially use these is when teaching a client about selecting a domain.

    • Leora — that’s a great idea for picking a domain name. To see how often the words in the domain are searched. I didn’t know anything about that when I selected the name for my blog. I’m happy with it but I might have chosen something different if I did a search first. Live and learn!

  7. Really appreciate the shout, Jeannette; glad you are enjoying the tools – SEMRush is still my favorite!

    Gave you a shout in my latest Marketing Skinny. 🙂

    • Ana — my pleasure. I was glad to learn about these tools and go into some more detail for my readers Thanks for your shout for me!

  8. Hi Jeannette,

    It’s good to read that people are using our free tools and finding them useful – I just wanted to clarify that the place to sign up for the free tool is – if you go through the main Wordtracker site then you’ll find yourself in the free trial sign up process – which gives you full access to the tools – I won’t go into a big pitch here, though!

    We’ve also recently updated Scout to make the view of the keywords you see a bit more flexible – and there’s more to come further down the line. It’s in the Chrome store – easy to find by searching!

    Thanks for mentioning us – and if you (or any of your readers) have any questions about our tools, just drop us a line.

    All the best,


    • Thanks, Mal, for stopping by and giving me the correct URL for the free Wordtracker tool. I’ve changed the link in the post. I went to the free site and clicked on show “Related keywords tool.” A window popped up, “Find key words related to…” However, I wasn’t able to type in a word and when I clicked on that phrase a message popped up that I had inadvertently stumbled on a feature that is only available in the paid version. Something you might want to take a look at. In any case, I’m glad the free tool is back. Any plans to enable bloggers to access the tool within our dashboards as in the old free version?

      • Hi Jeannette,

        Thanks for changing the link – it’ll be much clearer for your other readers 🙂

        The Related keywords section is disabled in the free tool, but we wanted to give people an idea of what’s available in the full tool if you sign up for the trial.

        I know lots of people miss the SEO Blogger tool – but Firefox changed the way that data is handled for plug ins, and we don’t currently have the resources to update it – which is a shame, but we do have some new features on the boil for our main tool – there’ll be more news about this in the coming weeks.

        Do let us know if you have any other questions or comments – we’re always more than happy to hear from people using our tools – or even those who just want to know more!

        All the best,


  9. Thank you for these tips and links, I haven’t been paying any attention to keywords. It was on the list of things to get to, but this is the prompt I need to get it done. 🙂

    • Debra — if you start using keywords that you want to be known for, it will definitely help the search engines find you.

  10. These sound terrific Jeannette. I never even know about the wordtracker in wordpress! Geez. Thanks for pointing out some benefits you see with each of them. I’ll check them out shortly.

    • Pat — Wordtracker in the WP dashboard was such a great tool. I used it all the time and was very sorry when it went away. However, with the Google keyword tool gone, I think Wordtracker and SEMrush will fill the gap. BTW, if you try to use the new Google Keyword Planner, you need to insert your website URL before you can insert a keyword. Then Google takes a look at your website and based on your business will return the keywords IT thinks you should have. Sigh.

    • Becc — You don’t need to be obsessive about keywords, but it will definitely help your search results if you pick a handful of keywords that become identified with your blog.