SpyFu Vs Semrush 2023: Which One to Choose?

spyfu vs semrush

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Getting your online marketing and SEO right starts with having the right SEO tools.

SpyFu (founded in 2005) and Semrush (founded in 2008) are two of the oldest SEO tools available. They’re also the most powerful digital marketing and SEO tools available to content marketers, business owners, and SEO bloggers.

So there is only one question.

If it comes to SpyFu vs Semrush, which one should you choose?

Here is a side-by-side comparison of SpyFu vs Semrush to help you decide.

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What is SpyFu?

spyfu semrush alternative.

SpyFu is a competitive intelligence tool for digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). As the name implies, it helps you spy on your top competitors to discover their online advertising strategies and organic search performance, enabling you to improve your marketing efforts.

SpyFu enables you to carry out the following:

  • SEO competitive analysis
  • PPC competitor analysis
  • Keyword research
  • Site audit
  • SERP analysis, etc.

Spyfu’s unique selling point is that it helps expose the marketing secret formula of your most successful competitors.

To do that, it has comprehensive data on every domain in the last 17 years. All you need to do is key in the domain, and you’ll have a record of every place it has shown up on Google, from all the keywords it has purchased on Google Ads to every organic rank and every ad variation it has recorded.

That doesn’t erase the fact that SpyFu is also an amazing tool for backlinks building, rank tracking, SERP analysis, and keyword research. It’s also one of the few tools that provide white-label, PPC, and SEO reports, allowing you to track your progress at all times and make necessary changes.

What is Semrush?


Semrush is an all-in-one online marketing tool that offers SEO, content marketing, competitor research, pay-per-click (PPC), and social media marketing services in one platform.

It’s in fact, the most comprehensive marketing toolkit for content marketers, small business owners, and SEO bloggers who are looking to increase the visibility of their website, attract quality leads, and convert them to customers with ease.

Semrush enables you to perform the following:

  • Keyword research
  • Competitive analysis
  • Site audit
  • SERP analysis
  • Backlink analysis
  • Advertising research
  • Social media marketing, etc.

SpyFu vs Semrush: Summary

SpyFu focuses specially on providing detailed competitive analysis reports, while Semrush provides more comprehensive reports on a wider range of SEO features. Semrush provides all the SEO features of Spyfu, along with extra features such as social media tracking and brand monitoring.

Naturally, Semrush costs than SpyFu, with its pricing plans starting at $129 per month against SpyFu’s $39 per month. Both tools offer good value for the set of features they provide.

Now that you have a summary of the two tools, let’s look more in-depth into their features and how they compare.

spyfu vs semrush comparison

Here, we’ll dive deeper to compare the common and unique features of SpyFu and Semrush, helping you choose the tool that better fits your needs.

As discussed in the summary, if you’re looking for a much more affordable SEO tool with a straightforward, easy-to-use interface, SpyFu is your best bet. But if you need access to more data and features and want to track your competitor’s social media activities, Semrush is your only solution.

Common features of SpyFu and Semrush?

SpyFu and Semrush have these tools in common:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Keyword research
  • Backlink analysis
  • PPC campaign analysis

SpyFu avs Semrush: Competitor Analysis

SpyFu and Semrush have excellent competitor research features and functionalities, enabling you to learn from competitors’ mistakes and copy their best strategies.

SpyFu Competitor Analysis

This is SpyFu’s area of strength, as it allows you to conduct detailed PPC and SEO competitive research and uncover the deep marketing secrets of your competitors.

With SpyFu PPC competitor research, you can keep track of every keyword your competitors have ever bought on Google and every ad test they’ve run. The tool’s SEO competitor research allows you to see every keyword your competitors rank on, the content they rank with, and the backlinks they have on that content.

Here are more details on what you can do with the SpyFu competitor analysis tool:

  • Download your competitor’s PPC and SEO keywords and track their clicks and how much they spend on each keyword.
  • Monitor all the domains bidding for your Google Ads.
  • Analyze your competitor’s bidding history and get recommendations for the most profitable keywords you’re not buying yet.
  • Monitor every website in your SEO niche and observe changes in rankings and content over time.
  • Track the influencers whose backlinks will help you rank on specific keywords, etc.

You can do much more with your SpyFu competitor analysis tool. Check out the tool to see them.

Semrush Competitor Analysis

Semrush’s competitor analysis tool allows you to identify organic and paid competitors and gain valuable insights from their SEO and PPC practices. The Semrush Competitive research toolkit is divided into five categories:

  • SEO: Comprises organic research, keyword gap, traffic analytics, and backlink gap.
  • Advertising: Comprises advertising research, display advertising, and PLA research.
  • Content and PR: Comprises brand monitoring, topic research, and post-tracking.
  • Social Media: Comprises the social media tracker.
  • Big Picture: Comprises traffic analytics and market explorer.

Each Semrush’s competitor analysis tool category has sub-tools that provide an in-depth report to guide your marketing efforts.

SpyFu vs Semrush: Keyword Research

Keyword research is vital to your entire SEO strategy, as it enables you to understand searchers’ intent, create content that meets their needs, and drive relevant organic traffic to your website. SpyFu and Semrush do these things with ease for you.

SpyFu Keyword Research

SpyFu’s extensive keyword research tool gives you access to valuable keywords for your SEO and PPC campaigns. It also gives you key metrics on each keyword, such as the search volume, CPC, etc.

SpyFu divides its keyword research into seven categories:

  • Keyword Overview: Provides the monthly volume, CPC, mobile vs desktop, difficulty, paid clicks, similar keywords, organic ranking history, and the most successful advertisers and their best Ads.
  • Related Keywords: Generates similar, relevant keywords you can filter into your campaigns.
  • Advertiser History: Shows you the Ad history of a keyword and the best ads for it.
  • Ranking History: Shows you the past keyword rankings, helping you avoid the mistakes of previous top competitors.
  • Backlinks: Points you to quality links that will help you rank for a keyword.
  • Bulk Upload: Allows you to upload your branded and long tail keywords, then helps you organize them into relevant groups and adds data to them.
  • SERP Analysis: Runs a deep analysis to find important ranking factors for a keyword and its best-performing content.
  • Google Ads Advisor: Advises you on the best keywords to bid on.

Semrush Keyword Research

Semrush’s keyword research toolkit is one of the best SEO tools you can have in your arsenal. It helps you find the best keywords for your campaigns. The keyword research tool on Semrush is categorized into six:

  • Keyword Overview: Shows relevant keyword data such as search volume, intent, keyword difficulty, CPC, SERP features, etc.
  • Organic Research: Discover your competitors’ most profitable keywords and why they rank well on them.
  • Keyword Magic Tool: Filter out the best keywords for your brand from a pool of more than 24 billion keywords.
  • Keyword Gap: Compare your keyword profile to your competitors and identify SEO gaps and new ranking opportunities.
  • Keyword Manager: Organize your keywords into clusters and lists. A cluster can contain up to 2000 keywords.
  • Organic Traffic Insights: Leverage Semrush’s integration with Google Analytics to uncover “not provided” keywords on your search.

SpyFu vs Semrush: Backlink Analysis

A comprehensive backlink profile will significantly boost your SEO and help you rank better than your competitors on some keywords. SpyFu and Semrush allow you to identify the backlinks driving traffic to your competitors’ websites, enabling you to improve your backlink profile and boost your rankings.

SpyFu Backlink Analysis

SpyFu’s backlink analysis tool lets you discover common links that are already helping your competitors rank on SERPs. It helps you carry out your link-building process in two ways:

  • Backlinks Research: Discover the links your top competitors are getting and filter them by keywords.
  • Backlinks Outreach: Get the emails, phone numbers, and social profiles of people behind the websites your competitors are getting links from.

Semrush Backlink Analysis

Semrush has an extensive backlink analysis tool that helps you build an authoritative backlink profile. With a backlink database of 43 trillion, you will find amazing link-building opportunities for your website. Semrush provides these five different tools for your backlink analysis:

  • Backlink Analytics: Analyze any domain to find all inbound links and the websites they come from.
  • Backlink Audit Tool: Monitor your backlink profile to fish out and eliminate low-quality or toxic links.
  • Backlink Gap: Track competing backlink profiles to identify link-building opportunities.
  • Bulk Backlink Analysis: Analyze the backlink profiles of multiple competitors at once.
  • Link Building Tool: Run backlink outreach campaigns to attract quality backlinks to your website.

SpyFu vs Semrush PPC: Campaign Analysis

Aside from SEO, SpyFu and Semrush have another thing in common – they have tools to aid your Google Ads strategy. These tools enable you to analyze your competitors’ Ad strategy, identify the keywords they spend the most on, and access their best-performing Ads.

SpyFu PPC Campaign Analysis

SpyFu enables you to carry out PPC campaign analysis with seven amazing tools:

  • PPC Overview: Find any domain’s paid keywords and ad spend history. Examine keywords’ best performances and weaknesses, and dive deeper into the domain’s ad copy and keyword groups.
  • Competitors: Identify your Google Ads competitors, monitor changes in their ad spending over time, and protect your keywords from them.
  • Kombat: Compare your domain with your competitors’ to see keywords you bought and didn’t and why your competitors’ ads appear while yours don’t.
  • PPC Keywords: Find every keyword your competitors have ever bought, their estimated monthly ad budget, and how long they’ve been advertising on a keyword.
  • Ad History: Find a domain’s ad history over the past 17 years.
  • Google Ads Advisor: Get recommendations on the best keywords to bid on.
  • Google Ads Template: Get templates and customize them to fit your products or services.

Semrush PPC Campaign Analysis

Semrush’s PPC campaign analysis tool helps you study your competitors, conduct keyword research, and create compelling ad copy. It does this with three paid marketing tools:

  • Keyword Magic Tool: Discover billions of related terms and phrases, spot niche topics, and find question keywords to build your PPC keyword list.
  • Advertising Research: Study your competitors’ ad strategies, see the keywords they’re bidding on, and view ad copy examples from industry leaders.
  • PLA Advertising: Know how other Google Shopping Advertisers perform, the search queries that trigger their PLAs to appear, and their website positioning.

While Semrush has more detailed tools for PPC advertising, SpyFu has more tools that do more, like the Google Ads advisor and template.

Semrush Additional Features

Semrush has all the features you can access in SpyFu, plus additional features to improve your SEO and digital marketing efforts.

Here are some of the additional features:

Site Audit

Semrush site audit tool allows you to assess your site to know if any issues are stopping you from ranking. It points out slow-loading content, SSL problems, duplicate content, crawl errors, broken inbound links, core web vital scores, overuse of keywords, and many more.

The Semrush auditing tool also shows the overall health of your site and points out issues you need to address to improve it while also giving you a tip on how to do so.

With information about the health of your site and what is slowing down your search ranking, you can achieve a lot with your SEO. However, unfortunately, this is a feature you can’t access on SpyFu as it doesn’t have a tool for it.

Social Media Toolkit

Social media functionality is another feature that Semrush possesses that SpyFu doesn’t. You can make and schedule social media posts with the Social Media Poster, and use the Social Tracker to track your competitors’ social media activities. The Social and Influencer Analytics Tools are also available on Semrush to help you analyze your social activities and choose the perfect influencers to partner with. The Social Inbox tool allows you to monitor incoming messages, comments, and mentions and reply to them from a single, easy-to-use interface.

Content Marketing Toolkit

Semrush’s Content Marketing Toolkit presents four distinct tools that let you execute a data-driven content strategy based on your audience’s needs. The Topic Research tool gives you great content ideas by helping you find popular topics, headlines, and questions online from your target audience. The SEO Content Template and SEO Writing Assistant enable you to create optimized content easily, while the Marketing Calendar helps you manage your content marketing activities.

SpyFu vs Semrush: Pricing plans

Now let’s compare the pricing plans of SpyFu and Semrush to determine which is best for you:

SpyFu pricing plans

spyfu pricing plan

SpyFu has three pricing plans:

Basic: The Basic plan costs $39 monthly and $16 if you pay annually. It allows you to access 10,000-row search results, 10,000-row data exports, 100 domain overview PDFs, 6 months of historical data, 250 sales leads and domain contacts, and 5,000 weekly tracked keyword rankings.

Professional: The Professional plan costs $39 for the first month, $79 per month after that, or $36 per month if you pay annually. It gives you access to unlimited search results, data reports, and domain overview PDFs. It also gives you 10 years of historical data access, 500 sales leads, and domain contacts, and 15,000 weekly tracked keyword rankings. Additionally, you’ll get API access and custom-branded reporting.

Team: The Team plan costs $299 per month, or $149 per month if you choose the annual plan. It comes with all the features of the Professional plan plus extended limits. For example, it gives you access to 2000 sales leads and domain contacts, 40,000 weekly tracked keyword rankings, and five user logins.

Semrush Pricing Plans

semrush pricing plan

Semrush has three pricing plans:

Pro: The Pro plan costs $129.95 monthly. It’s most suitable for small teams and newbies in SEO, as it only gives you access to 500 keywords and 10,000 results per report. It allows you to add 5 projects for tracking. The good thing about the Semrush Pro plan is that you can access all basic SEO features, such as keyword research, competitor analysis, website audits, social media tools, etc.

Guru: The Semrush Guru plan costs $249.95 monthly. It’s suitable for agencies and mid-size businesses, allowing you to track 15 projects, 1,500 keywords, and get 30,000 search results per report. The Guru Plan gives you access to all the features in the Pro Plan plus historical data, multi-location and device tracking, content marketing toolkit, Looker studio integration, etc.

Business: The Business plan costs $499.95 monthly. It’s suitable for large agencies and enterprises. You can add 40 projects and 4,000 keywords for tracking and get 50,000 search results per report. The Business plan gives you access to all features in the Guru plan plus extended limits, API access, PLA analytics, free migration from third-party tools, etc.

While the SpyFu monthly pricing plans are more affordable than Semrush’s, you’ll also get discounts if you pay annually.

SpyFu is the best option to get more features with a lower budget. However, if you do a cost-benefit analysis, you’ll find that Semrush offers you more value for what it costs.

SpyFu vs Semrush: Free trial

SpyFu doesn’t offer a free trial on any of its pricing plans. However, there’s a way you can try out their premium tools for free for 30 days. SpyFu offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all three pricing plans.

You’re allowed to use the tool for 29 days, and on the 30th day, or before then, if you feel the tool isn’t worth it or just want your money back, you can request it back.

You’ll be refunded 100% without questions or demand for explanations.

Semrush, on the other hand, offers a 7-day free trial on two pricing plans: Pro and Guru.

SpyFu vs Semrush: Pros and Cons

SpyFu and Semrush are two powerful online marketing and SEO tools you’d surely enjoy using.

However, despite their wide range of features, they have different strengths and weaknesses.

SpyFu pros and cons


  • At $39 to $299 per month, SpyFu is much more affordable than Semrush, which costs between $129.95 and $499.95 per month.
  • Has a better, easier-to-use interface.
  • Provides extensive data for competitive analysis.


  • Has less data and features than Semrush.
  • No social media analytics or brand monitoring tool.

Semrush pros and cons


  • Provides more comprehensive features than SpyFu
  • Provides more data and reports
  • Includes social media analytics and brand monitoring tools


  • More expensive than SpyFu
  • Has a more complex interface

Who should use which tool and why?

The choice between SpyFu and Semrush depends on your business needs, goals, and resources.

SpyFu is an excellent choice for marketers, and businesses focused primarily on competitive analysis and PPC advertising. It gives you the insights you need to win over your SEO and PPC marketing competitors. And the most interesting part is it comes at a far cheaper price than Semrush.

Semrush, on the other hand, is a comprehensive toolkit suitable for small business owners, SEO bloggers, agencies, and large enterprises looking for a one-stop solution to their digital marketing needs. If you’re looking for the best tool that can cater to all your marketing needs, then you need no other reason to try Semrush.

SpyFu vs Semrush – Which one to choose

SpyFu and Semrush are two amazing digital marketing tools with many SEO and PPC functionalities. Both tools are powerful and can offer you incredible opportunities to enhance your website’s visibility, attract quality leads, and convert them into customers.

However, both tools have their strengths and weaknesses, and the one you choose will depend on your specific needs. If cost isn’t an issue, you’d most definitely choose Semrush. However, if you need a simple, easy-to-use tool, you might prefer SpyFu.

I advise you to try out both tools first and decide from your experience using them. Now that you have the information on SpyFu vs Semrush head-to-head comparison, you’ll make the right choice.

FAQ: Spyfu vs Semrush

Spyfu is best known for its SEO and PPC competitor analysis capabilities. It can also be used for keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink analysis, rank tracking, and other SEO and PPC functionalities.

Semrush is arguably the best SEO tool available. It offers a wide range of features, such as keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink analysis, website audit, rank tracking, etc., making it easy for you to win with SEO.

SpyFu collects its data from Google. It claims to have information on the first 100 organic results of every keyword on Google, plus the domains and pages for each result. It also claims to have information on every ad on Google, plus the advertiser, ad copy, and landing page for each one.

You can use the free SpyFu version to test how the tool work and the results you can get. However, the tool has limited functionality and won’t give you much, unless you subscribe to the premium tool.

Another way you can use SpyFu for free is by leveraging its 30-day money-back guarantee program, which allows you to get a refund if you use SpyFu and aren’t satisfied with the tool within the first 30 days.

While both are powerful SEO tools, Semrush is a much better tool than SpyFu. SpyFu is more affordable than Semrush, but Semrush has more comprehensive features, data, and reports.

Let’s look at it this way – your preferred option will depend on your specific needs and budget.

If you’re working with a lean budget and looking for a straightforward competitive analysis tool, SpyFu is your best bet. On the other hand, if you need more data and reports and want to know how your competitors promote their brands on social media, Semrush is the better choice.

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