Traffic is no longer just a want, but a must-have asset that any business that wishes to boom should seek. And there’s no doubt that the amount of traffic you get is directly proportional to the quality of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
If you want to grow your SEO and PPC, both SEMrush and Spyfu will serve you quite well. Either software is an excellent tool when it comes to figuring out keyword research and popular search queries to maximize clicks, organic traffic, conversions, and audit performance.
So, in the SEMrush vs SpyFu battle, which choice is better for your business and your position tracking? Let’s delve into both their features, pros, and cons to find out more!
To put it simply, if you have a certain competitor in mind and you’re looking for a budget-friendly choice, the right choice for you would be SpyFu. It specializes in the field of competitor analysis and keyword tracking, providing both features with quality at the most affordable price level.
On the other hand, if you lead a relatively bigger organization or a company, then SEMrush is the superior software. It has a lot more to offer in terms of reports and auditing different channels of traffic.
Defining Each Software
SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO toolkit that does extensive research to let you know where you stand against the competition. It suits pretty much any industry or niche of any size and can be used professionally.
SpyFu, on the other hand, is a comprehensive SEO tool that you can use to “spy” on your competitors’ keywords. This way, you can copy the strategies they adopt, see where they’ve shown up on search engines like Google, and follow their lead to get there.
SpyFu vs SEMrush: Which Software Suits Whom
If you’re a beginner or an individual worker that wants to drive more traffic to your website, I’d recommend SpyFu. It’s a lot simpler and does an incredible job when it comes to helping you kickstart your SEO, PPC, and keyword research journey.
However, if you’ve already got some experience in the realm of SEO and want to extract maximum value from the tool in various areas like social media, content, keyword research, brand monitoring, PPC, and SEO, then SEMrush is the ultimate choice for you.
SEMrush vs SpyFu: Unique Features
Remember the 3-way comparison? That’s the “Kombat” feature. It allows you to draw a comparison, using a Venn diagram, between your domain and two of your competitors. The Keyword Universe section shows the keywords that appear in any of those domains, while the Core Niche section shows you the ones that are targeted by all the three simultaneously.
There’s also a Buy Recommendations section that reveals the keywords that your domain isn’t targeting while the other two competing domains are. In other words, it shows you the valuable keywords that you’re missing out on.
You can also use Kombat to check organic competitor intelligence. But instead of providing those in a Core Niche section, SpyFu displays those keywords that competitors rank for in a list called Core Starting Keywords.
And instead of Buy Recommendations, it displays a “Weakness” section that shows the keywords that both competitors rank for, but not the primary one.
SEMrush comes with a lot more unique features than SpyFu, which allow you incredible SEO and give you a very detailed experience. These include:
1. SEO Content Template, Content Check, and Writing Assistant
These features are designed to help you create content that’s most likely to rank organically using your chosen keyword(s).
All you have to do is enter the keyword into the SEO Content Template, and SEMrush will provide you with information about the competitors ranking for that term as well as what you can do to match and outperform them.
There’s even a Real-time Content Check that you can find next to the SEO Recommendations tab. There, you can paste your text and have it assessed according to SEMrush criteria. You can also use this functionality while writing on Google Docs or WordPress by installing the SEO Writing Assistant plugin. SEMrush can be used to discover blogging topics.
2. CPC Map
SEMrush has a CPC (Cost-per-click) map that displays data about a niche’s average CPC in any region or country. Not only that, but you can also check the most popular keywords for each niche in each area.
3. Market Explorer
This tool helps you understand the wide competitive landscape as well as learn about audience interests and demographics. By entering a domain and running this report, you get to see the overall market traffic and check the share of the major players -including direct, referral, social, paid and search.
4. Brand Monitoring
Following your brand’s mentions has become a very important aspect when it comes to SEO, figuring out traffic, and maximizing your rankings. It’s a way to reach user-generated content and influencer marketing campaigns.
Brand Monitoring shows the overall brand sentiment, dividing it between positive, negative, and neutral. By identifying the Authority Score of the websites you’ve been mentioned on, you can either prioritize the strong ones or block others to cut down the noise.
SEMrush vs SpyFu: List of Features
- 10+ years historical data
- Unlimited searches and data exports
- Unlimited backlink results
- Comparisons between 3 domains simultaneously
- Advanced contact information
- SEO performance analysis
- AdWords reports and tips
- Keyword cost-per-click
- Request keywords
- Customizable branded reports
- Keyword rank tracking with exclusive options
- Estimated advertising expenses
- SERP analysis
- Search filters
- Ranking graphs
- API access
- 5+ years historical data
- Content and site auditing
- On-page SEO checking
- Position tracking
- Backlink analysis and auditing
- Social media and post tracking
- Marketing calendar
- Brand monitoring
- PPC keyword tool
- Organic and keyword research
- Keyword difficulty and magic tool
- Organic traffic insights
- Ad builder and advertising research
- Display advertising
- SEO content template
- Kap analysis
- Traffic analytics
- Lead generation tool
- Topic research
- Extensive reports
- API access
SEMrush vs SpyFu: Comparison
1. Keyword Research and Analysis
SpyFu comes with a very effective keyword research tool that provides you with incredible insight into how each keyword ranks and related stats about its search volume online, how many clicks it drives, and more.
The best thing about it is that it breaks down the lump sum data into finer details that give you a better sense of direction and understanding of the various aspects you’re checking and comparing.
In the Overview tab, you’re presented with general data about a certain website’s SEO outlook, focusing both on the organic keywords and the corresponding click value. It even displays your site’s top rivals and their respective organic keywords.
SpyFu even goes the extra mile and allows you to make a 3-way comparison (more on this later), making your mission a breeze. What this focuses on is comparing keywords and how they affect rankings and, consequently, showing you exactly what keywords you need to rank on search engines.
Dropping numbers and words, SpyFu displays the comparisons in Venn diagrams that give you the perfect visualization of data. This display makes it so much easier to read, interpret, and consequently, assess the performance of different keywords.
Besides the Overview tab, SpyFu gives you a Keyword Research and SEO Research tab. The first one is used to look up the keywords driving traffic to a certain website, while the latter shows you the keywords relevant to a website’s SEO; the sets of words that affect the site’s ranking.
And if you’re a data enthusiast like me, you’ll love the fact that SpyFu allows you to check past records and view previous keywords and how they changed or affected the website’s SEO over time.
Sounds great, huh? It’s even better with SEMrush. It includes all these options, provides you with hundreds of suggestions, and avant-garde filtering. This includes broad searching, by phrase, or exact matches along with difficulty, words it starts or ends with, and many more filters.
It’s a whole ecosystem in itself, which is why it could be a little harder to figure out and get started. To deal with keywords, it comes with a Keyword Analytics tab and an Organic Research tab under Domain Analytics. These show you the exact keywords that a website is ranking for.
Though the list could be long and confusing, SEMrush comes with a filtering tool that allows you to nitpick the parameters that you want your keywords to match to. It even allows you to track how different keywords affected the site’s overall rankings through the Position Changes tab, including keywords that may have been lost or dropped.
The Keyword Analytics tab includes all the keywords that you can capitalize on if you’re not sure exactly which ones to choose. For every word you type, you’re provided with related suggestions that rank well, enabling you to establish both primary and secondary keywords.
But the most impressive part is the Keywords Magic Tool by SEMrush. It comes with many filters and strong metrics, allowing you to determine the exact keywords that would make your site’s organic traffic skyrocket.
The features available on SpyFu like the keyword results and filtering options seem quite sparse in comparison to what SEMrush has to offer. However, it’s worth mentioning that in terms of volume accuracy, both tools provide you with extremely accurate reports.
2. Backlink Analysis
When it comes to backlink analysis, SEMrush outshines SpyFu. SpyFu is basically a keyword research tool that looks up potential backlinks, where you can find backlinks that are already proving useful for other sites to rank.
It gives you an assessment of not only your link but also your competitors’ overall link framework. This can help you build an entire report of their SEO structure.
SpyFu allows you to see a solid list of the external links from any site as well as a list of inbound links that link to the said website from other domains. It even breaks them down to the type of inbound links that lead to the website in question.
With SpyFu, you’ll get insight into social statistics, the overall strength of each link, and traffic estimates. And when you want to sort through the mess, you can easily use the filtering tool.
SEMrush’s backlink analysis involves way more than just that. SEMrush provides you with detailed analysis into your own current backlinks, showing you which ones point to your website.
It enables you to check incoming links for a URL, domain, or root domain. You can also check the URLs and titles of target web pages or linking ones and compare inbound links’ weight on the domains of competitors. And if you’ve lost any backlinks, it lists them for you.
Not only that, but SEMrush is also able to tell you how authoritative a referring domain is as well as its location through IP addresses. It does so with handy charts that place every type of backlink into categories, depending on the percentages (follow or nofollow, text links, source country, images, etc.).
3. Competitor Analytics
Both SEMrush and SpyFu simply dwarf other SEO tools in terms of competitor analysis. I wouldn’t say one of them is better than the other, rather that each one of them excels in a different way.
Generally, SEMrush and SpyFu give you a lot of info regarding the PPC and SEO strategies of your competitors, allowing you to see how their keywords are ranking, including the keywords that make the most profits and ads for organic and paid searches.
This gives you a clear background regarding which keywords your competitors are bidding on and the amount of traffic they bring them.
SpyFu gives you unlimited search results if you opt for one of its two higher plans. This beats the caps that SEMrush puts on its results for each pricing tier, even if the number of searches with each is generous.
It shows you very helpful insights about the organic growth of your selected keywords against other sites, competitors bidding your PPC Adwords, the overall performance of competitions’ ads, backlinks that boost rankings, marketing domains, and their corresponding impact.
It actually goes as far as giving you notifications whenever your competition changes strategies in order to keep you up to date, and your optimization up to par.
Moreover, the more advanced plans allow you to dig through your competitors’ data going back 10 years, which definitely beats what SEMrush has to offer.
Although SEMrush only goes back to 2012, it does a better job when it comes to analyzing the social media and PR campaigns of your competitors than SpyFu does.
Not only does it go into the specifics of where your competition is succeeding, but it also shows you where they’re failing. So it draws a specific path that you should adhere to, showing you where you shouldn’t drift off or stray.
So, SEMrush basically gives you an analysis of your competition’s strengths and weaknesses, in order to allow you to follow the lead when it comes to the effective strategies and avoid the ones that may hinder your traffic’s growth.
SEMrush gives you the ability to take a look at other websites that share the same position as you do in relation to main competitors, information about new opportunities, data about your competitor’s organic and paid search campaigns, and comparisons of comparative power.
The dashboard allows you to audit your website and gives you an overall score, ratings for crawlability, HTTPS, internal links, and international SEO. This data is split between urgent errors, general notice, and warnings.
4. Tracking Periods and Frequencies
When it comes to the tracking of keywords, both SpyFu and SEMrush are incredibly capable and effective. They enable you to track paid and SEO keyword rankings and search volume on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. However, there are some differences that you should bear in mind.
SEMrush gives you the freedom to check keyword rank changes over any given period of your choice (up to a year in retrograde), but SpyFu’s more advanced plans go all the way to up to 10 years.
Moreover, SEMrush tracks keywords on a daily basis, but SpyFu tracks them weekly. That’s why SpyFu suits less competitive environments, like small businesses and startups. But if you run a company or an agency, you should opt for the more active SEMrush.
5. User Friendliness
The ease of use is where the difference between SpyFu and SEMrush truly shows. Although I’d recommend SpyFu for blooming SEO, its UI can be a little confusing and may not be ideal for actual beginners. This is because you get a lot of raw data that can be a little hard to decipher with no experience.
SEMrush isn’t hard to figure out, on the contrary, I think it’s super easy for both pros and beginners, giving both absolute ease of use. It also has a live chat, phone, and email ticket support, just like SpyFu. The difference is, you’re less likely to need any of those with SEMrush.
It’s clear as day to see the difference in pricing between both tools, with SpyFu pricing being incredibly more affordable than SEMrush. In fact, SpyFu’s intermediate plan is still more affordable than SEMrush’s starting plan.
For the Basic SpyFu plan, you get a $39/month fee, or $33/month if you make annual payments. The Professional plan costs $79/month (the first month is for $38), and you can opt for a $58/month for an annual plan.
Finally, the Team’s monthly plan costs $299, while the annual one costs $199/month. Evidently, getting an annual bill instead of paying per month can make major cuts in expenses.
The thing is, the upgrades of SpyFu between each plan and the next aren’t huge as you get most of the features with the Basic SpyFu plan. This includes unlimited data export, domain search results, keyword search results, competitor results, domain comparisons, and more.
For SEMrush’s Pro plan, you pay $99.95/month or $83.28/month if billed annually, but you get no historical data or product listing ads. The SEMrush Guru plan costs $199.95/month or $166.62/month if billed annually, and only lacks product listing ads.
Finally, the Business plan costs $399.95/month or $333.28/month if billed annually, and gives you everything, including unlimited topics to research. If you choose to pay annually instead of per month, you get to save 16%.
However, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t get a SpyFu free trial, only a 30-day money-back guarantee. SEMrush gives you a 7-day free trial, a 7-day money-back guarantee, and even has a 30-day grace period where all your projects remain active and safely stored.
Since both SEMrush and SpyFu serve the same purpose, their alternatives are the same. These include SE Ranking, Serpstat, Moz, and Ahrefs. There are so many more options, but those are the top options.
SE Ranking is an all-included SEO software that provides you with all the SEO tools you need to manage online marketing projects. It’s a great choice for small business owners, SEO pros, and agencies.
It comes with a complete set of tracking, keyword research, competitor analysis, website audit, suggestions for keywords, backlinking monitoring, and much more. Having social media management and White Label makes it great value for the price, especially that it’s a mid-range tool.
Coming with more than 20 tools, Serpstat is a pretty inclusive SEO platform. It analyzes competition and backlinks as well as provides keyword research, site audit, rank tracker, and many more. It’s a pretty good bargain since it comes with mid-range plans.
You can use it to find out the perfect keywords that match your projects, analyze SEO tactics of competition, find the best backlink sources, check your website for SEO errors, find the pages with the highest potential, and even create SEO reports for your clients.
When you subscribe to Moz, you get access to site tracking with Campaigns. You can use these to learn how healthy your site is in terms of SEO and link building.
The tools analyze your competitors’ work, support your keyword research process, and show opportunities for link building outreach.
The sheer amount of data and analyses that you get with Moz makes it worth every penny. And admittedly, it’s quite costly. Not as expensive as SEMrush, however. It also gives you a 30-day free trial, so you can test drive it before you make a decision.
Ahrefs is a group of SEO tools that takes care of almost all aspects of your content marketing. This includes plenty of functions, including:
- Researching your competitor’s organic keywords, backlink tactics, and PPC
- Getting the maximum number of ideas through its keyword research
- Finding the strongest backlinks in your niche
- Exploring and finding the most popular content on any topic as well as finding ideas for your own content
- Tracking your search rankings and comparing them with competitors’
- Sending you emails whenever either you or your brand is mentioned online
- Identifying SEO issues on your website and teaching you how to fix them
However, Ahrefs services aren’t the most affordable. In fact, its price plans are on the more expensive end of the price spectrum.
SEMrush vs SpyFu: Pros and Cons
- Gives you info about your website’s SEO health and issues you need to address
- Position Tracking tools gives you historical data and can target locations and devices
- Draws comparisons between your website and competition
- Allows you to track your brand’s reputation online
- Provides SERP score and graphics to indicate improvements in Google rankings
- Superb competition evaluation with keyword positions traffics values, and more
- Guru and Pro plans give you traffic analytics from mobiles and compare them to desktop
- Fast and responsive operation
- Has a pretty steep learning curve
- Keyword Difficulty tool puts too much focus on total Google results, which could result in making a keyword less difficult than they actually are
- Perfect site’s ad copy tweaking thanks to the historic ads research feature
- Detailed PPC and SEO SERP analysis
- Member discounts on other services (like AuthorityLabs)
- Doesn’t have local data
- UI isn’t the best, especially for beginners
Is SpyFu Accurate?
The keyword data that websites have ranked for or bought is as accurate as it gets. And if you get data about an ad appearing on a certain search query, then it definitely has. The ones you don’t see are the ones that slip through.
An ad could slip through if someone set it to appear only in their local area. So, for example, someone setting their plumbing ad to appear only in Miami, FL. However, SpyFu still works on catching those fringe cases and showing them to you.
As for the clicks and budgets, they’re definitely not accurate as they’re mere estimates whose information they get from Google.
To pick between SpyFu and SEMrush is quite a tough decision. Both of them are super powerful and rank among the top SEO tools within the digital marketing field. Depending on your business, however, one choice might be better.
SEMrush would be great for you if you’re looking for highly detailed information and definitely beats SpyFu’s list view. Plus, it gives you a free trial offer that allows you to experience the software first-hand. If you’re planning to use your tool on a large scale, you should opt for SEMrush.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for more detailed backlink reports in specific, fast ROI, simpler data to process, then SpyFu is the one for you. It’s the ideal choice for small businesses or medium-scale users, especially that the SpyFu pricing level is quite affordable.