SpyFu vs Semrush — Ultimate SEO Tool Battle (2023)

SpyFu vs Semrush - DemandSage

Is deciding between SpyFu and Semrush, two popular SEO tools, leaving you scratching your head?

SpyFu and Semrush are both powerful SEO resources that may be utilized to learn about your competition, craft your SEO strategy, and implement it. But if you’re struggling to decide which one to choose for your SEO needs, don’t worry. In this comparison post, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between these tools to compare them to decide which is the best SEO tool among them. 

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SpyFu vs Semrush: Quick Comparison

Here is a quick comparison between SpyFu and Semrush that’ll help you determine which tool is better.

Comparison CriteriaSpyFuSemrush
User InterfaceSpyFu has an easy-to-use interface, giving you a quick overview of your website on the dashboard.Semrush has a unique, well-designed interface and gives you a quick view of your website.
Keyword ResearchSpyFu gives you a complete overview of any keyword along with related search terms, but it doesn’t have a bigger database like Semrush.Semrush gives you the same info on any keyword, but it has better filtering options and a bigger keyword database. 
Backlink AnalysisSpyFu lets you analyze the backlinks of your and your competitor’s domains. You can find the backlinks gap your website has.Semrush has similar features for backlink analysis, but it also has advanced tools like connection-building and monitoring.
Social Media ManagementSpyFu does not have any social media management tools.Semrush offers tools like a social tracker, social analytics, social media poster, influencer analytics, and social inbox.
Free TrialThere is no free trial available on SpyFu.We have an exclusive 14-day free trial on Semrush Pro, and Guru plans.
PricingStarts at $39/monthStarts at $129.95/month

So if budget is not a concern, you should go for Semrush. Otherwise, you can also choose SpyFu to get started. With that said, now let’s explore these things in detail. 

Spyfu vs Semrush: Overview

Despite sounding similar and having many overlapping features, Spyfu and Semrush are slightly different. While SpyFu excels at competitor analysis, Semrush is a comprehensive SEO suite with excellent features for all kinds of applications. 

Semrush is a comprehensive SEO suite ideal for competitor analysis and all other SEO tasks, including link building, on-page SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing. You can simply analyze your competition and gain an edge using Semrush data, no matter what market you’re in. 

SpyFu, on the other hand, offers many of the features offered by Semrush, but its USP lies in the fact that you can use it to “spy” on the keywords used by your competition, whether it’s for PPC or SEO. It allows you to look up any domain and quickly discover the keywords it has been ranking for and the backlinks it has received. It can also provide access to your competitors’ AdWords expenditure, ad variations, and historical ranking, as well as PPC ad data from the past 16 years. 

Spyfu vs Semrush: Pros and Cons

Before we can dive deep into our comparison of SpyFu and Semrush, it will be better to take a quick look at the pros and cons of both. So here we go:

Pros Of Spyfu

  • A huge database of over 80 million domains and five billion results, making it one of the most comprehensive competition research tools.
  • User-friendly interface and intuitive dashboards to aid customers in swiftly accomplishing their objectives.
  • 24×7 email and live chat support. In addition, there is a video tutorial archive and real-time, individual webinar support.

Cons Of Spyfu 

  • Incorrect PPC Reporting. Many users have raised concerns about the reliability of SpyFu’s PPC data, particularly regarding the information provided about the competition.
  • It lacks on-page SEO features.
  • It lacks local SEO features. 

Pros Of Semrush

  • One-stop solution for everything. With Semrush, website owners can quickly see where they stand in the search results, which keywords generate traffic, and how their competitors stack up.
  • Streamlined process of launching PPC campaigns, which includes access to detailed data and using a wide variety of helpful tools.
  • Robust content marketing features. It can use used to optimize the content side of marketing campaigns, the effectiveness of keywords, content, and even the user experience.
  • Detail-oriented reporting tools. Simple to build, customize, and shareable reports. Useful monitoring tools to analyze a brand’s presence and activity across all social media channels, from organic channels to paid promotions.

Cons Of Semrush

  • Steep learning curve. It may take some time for newbie users to find their way around the tool.
  • Single-user login. It allows only one user to log in at a time.

#1. User Interface

SpyFu Dashboard

SpyFu’s user interface is easy to navigate, and its dashboard provides a holistic overview of everything going on with your site.  It tells you about the keywords you’re ranking for, the share of organic vs. paid traffic, keywords for which you made it to the first page, and keywords for which you slipped from the first page.

Spyfu vs Semrush - Spyfu

It also provides a way to export this information quickly. The other features of the tool are organized into numerous tabs in the main navigation bar. There’s also a search bar users can utilize to look up a phrase, domain, or URL. 

Semrush Dashboard

Semrush also has one of the most polished and well-designed user interfaces in the SEO software space. The dashboard is well-organized and provides a quick view of everything that you should know about your site. Other features of the tool are organized in a left-hand-side menu.

Semrush Dashboard

Like SpyFu, there’s a search box that users can use to search for particular keywords or domains quickly. Much information is presented in visually appealing graphs and charts, making things easier to understand.

Our Verdict

SEMrush and SpyFu both have well-designed and user-friendly interfaces, but Semrush stands out with a more user-friendly design and more visual nature of displaying information. 

#2. Keyword Research

SpyFu’s robust keyword research tool provides data on monthly search volume, number of clicks, cost per click, ranking difficulty, and more to help you find the best keywords for both organic and PPC search campaigns. It also allows keyword gap analysis for both types of search campaigns and historical data regarding the rankings of your competitors.  

So far, so good. But one thing that’s slightly concerning about SpyFu’s keyword research is the size of its database. In some places, they claim to have a large keyword database consisting of “billions of keywords”, while in others, they claim to have “millions and millions of keywords.” They don’t reveal specifically how many millions or billions of keywords are in the database, which plays a major role in the accuracy of keyword research data. 

Keyword Overview In Semrush

Semrush also provides all the data about your keywords, but it doesn’t stop there. It also provides semantically related keywords and contextual keyword suggestions that can be included in your content to improve your ranking potential. You can narrow your results by difficulty, number of words, if you need a broad phrase or an exact match, and many other criteria. This is much better than SpyFu, whose filtering capabilities are limited. 

Semrush Keyword

Semrush is also much more precise about the size of its keyword database and claims to have 21.1 billion keywords in its database. This lends credibility to the accuracy of its keyword research data. 

Our Verdict

While both Spyfu and Semrush are reliable keyword research tools, Semrush has a larger database size, and it also has better filtering options than SpyFu. This makes Semrush a better choice for keyword research. 

#3. SEO Features

When we speak of SEO, there are two things: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. There’s also a third thing called Local SEO, which is a different kind of SEO than the traditional one that’s most popular. Let’s see how SpyFu and Semrush fare in these two areas. 

Off-Page SEO Features

Backlink checker in SpyFu

Off-Page SEO refers mainly to link building, content syndication, PR management, and other techniques that are leveraged off-site (i.e., on other websites) to increase the authority of your domain. Both Semrush and SpyFu include the following features to assist with it:

Spyfu Backlinks
  • Backlink Profile Analysis: This functionality you to study your backlinks as well as the backlinks of your competitors. You may learn more about the worth of your backlinks, anchor text, referring domains, and more.
  • Rank Tracking: The tool can be used to track your search rankings for all the keywords of your choice. This can help you track how your rankings are improving or worsening.
  • Backlink Gap Analysis: This allows you to see the websites linking to your competitors but not to you so you can reach out to them and seek backlinks. 

Backlink Checker In Semrush

However, Semrush also offers a number of other unique tools that are not in SpyFu to assist you with your off-page SEO. They include:

Semrush Backlinks
  • Connection-Building Tools: Semrush’s connection Building Tool is an excellent resource for discovering high-quality connection opportunities and organizing backlink outreach activities. You can access over 20 million websites, outreach templates, email tracking functionality, and more to run your link-building outreach campaign.
  • Monitoring Tools: Third, Semrush provides a feature called Business Monitoring, which allows you to monitor your company’s online reputation, collect statistics on how frequently your brand is discussed online, and uncover undiscovered PR opportunities. When used for reputation management, it allows individuals to respond quickly to any remarks posted about them online.

Our Verdict

Both tools offer excellent off-page SEO tools that can help a user’s entire SEO strategy. However, Semrush provides some additional and unique features too that are missing from SpyFu, such as connection-building tools and monitoring tools. This makes it better than SpyFu. 

On-Page SEO Features

Unlike off-page SEO, which requires most work to be done off the site on other websites, on-page SEO consists of things done on your site to boost the search rankings. Some of these features include:

Semrush On Page SEO
  • Site audit:  This feature looks for technical issues such as broken links, missing meta descriptions, duplicate content, and more on your site to give you a comprehensive report regarding what can be done to improve the SEO of your site. It also provides suggestions about how to deal with issues included in the report.
  • On-page SEO checker: This tool is similar to site audit, but it looks at individual pages and provides recommendations for optimizing those pages on the website by doing whatever is missing, such as inserting or changing meta tags, making the text more readable, optimizing images, and including internal links.

Now the thing is, these features are completely missing from SpyFu, given its focus on competitor analysis. These are included only in Semrush, and they’re so crucial that sometimes they can be all the difference between your ranking on the first or second page of SERPs. 

On-page SEO checker of Semrush

Our Verdict

Semrush offers multiple on-page SEO tools, while SpyFu offers none. Therefore, Semrush is the clear winner here. 

Local SEO Features

Semrush offers a variety of local SEO solutions, including local keyword tracking, listing management, and citation building. 

  • The local keyword tracking function allows customers to track where they stand in local search results and how they compare to the competition. 
  • The local citation-building tool facilitates the creation of high-authority local citations to improve local search rankings, 
  • Local listing management feature assists businesses in managing their online presence on Google My Business and many other directories.

SpyFu’s local SEO capabilities, on the other hand, are quite limited. There are no specific local SEO capabilities, to be precise, and whatever functionality you have is actually an extension of their keyword research, rank tracking, and competitor analysis tools. They explain that these features can be used well enough for local SEO, but it’s worth noting that they have not been made while keeping local SEO in mind, unlike Semrush. Moreover, some tools, like local listing management, are completely missing.

Our Verdict

Semrush is a better fit for local SEO as it includes many tools and features dedicated specifically to the purpose, while SpyFu doesn’t offer any such tools or data. 

#4. PPC Analyzer

Spyfu has more than 13 years of data on paid search campaigns of all popular websites. So the first strength of its PPC analysis capabilities is, of course, the sheer amount of data it has collected for the same. With data comprising 80 million domains and 5 billion search results, it’s capable of finding the finest keywords for PPC ad campaigns for any industry. Its keyword grouping feature also makes it easier for the user to organize keywords based on various categories. 

Semrush is also quite reliable regarding PPC ad campaign data, and it also has multiple tools to help analyze PPC ad campaigns and keywords. Those tools include:

  • Keyword Gap Tool: This tool can not only be used to analyze the keyword gap for SEO but also for PPC ads of your competitors, 
  • PPC Keyword Tool: A dedicated keyword research tool for PPC ads. It can be used to conduct PPC-specific keyword research using parameters such as CPC, search volume, competition, etc. You can also organize your keywords into various lists. 
  • Keyword Magic Tool: This tool allows you to find your PPC keywords in a few clicks using the huge database of 24 billion keywords that Semrush has built over time.
  • PLA Advertising Tool: This one allows you to monitor the performance of other Google shopping advertisers and explores the most successful ads of your competitors.

Our Verdict

Both SpyFu and Semrush have robust PPC Analyzing tools to help you analyze and run your PPC ad campaigns successfully. However, Semrush has more tools for the same, so it’s slightly better than SpyFu.  

#5. Reporting And Analytics

A Sample SpyFu Report

SpyFu and Semrush both offer powerful reporting and analysis features for your website. SpyFu’s reporting functionality is built on top of 2 metrics mainly: SEO analytics and PPC analytics.

Spyfu Report

The reports generated by it include all the relevant data, such as keywords for which you moved up, keywords for which you moved down, how many clicks you received, etc. The reports can also be white-labeled if you’ve got a plan higher than their basic plan.

Traffic Analytics In Semrush

Semrush is also capable of generating detailed reports on what’s going on with your site and SEO campaigns. However, its reports are more detailed in nature and include a larger number of metrics than SpyFu reports. They’re also more visually appealing as they use more graphs and charts to explain the data than SpyFu reports.

Traffic Analytics In Semrush

Some of the data included in Semrush reports include the movement of your site in SERPs, the traffic you received, the traffic share of different sources, the share of organic vs. paid traffic, and so on. White labeling is allowed in Semrush, too, but only in their most high-end plan. 

Semrush can also be integrated with Google Analytics to include GA data in your reports. Finally, the ability to generate custom reports is also provided. 

Our Verdict

Semrush is a better choice than SpyFu regarding reporting and analytics because it is integrated with Google Analytics and provides more detailed insights in a visually appealing manner. 

#6. Other Features

In addition to the regular features explained in the other categories of this comparison, Semrush also has some other features that must be mentioned. They include:

  • Content Gap Analysis: Analyze your competitors’ content strategy to determine what content types work for them but you’re not generating them. 
  • Social Media Management: Link your social media accounts and then manage their posts and engagement from a single tool. 
  • SEO Writing Assistant: A tool to help you write SEO-optimized content easily. 
  • Competitor PR Monitoring: Track the mentions and coverage of your competitors in media and social media.

None of these features or other unique tools are available in SpyFu, so there is little to tell about it on this criteria. 

Our Verdict

Semrush offers more additional features than SpyFu, so it has a clear edge when it comes to features other than core SEO. 

#7. Reliability And Customer Support

When talking about customer support, SpyFu offers it in 3 ways. You can chat with them on weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm; or if chat is not your thing, then you can call them at the phone numbers provided on their official website. Lastly, they also provide you with a contact form on their site through which you can write to them about your issues. 

Semrush provides you with a contact form and also live chat support. They generally get back to you within one business day over email, and chat support is usually instant without long delays and waiting times. You can also reach them by the official contact numbers on their website during weekdays. 

Both Semrush and SpyFu have response times of 24 – 48 hrs, which means that both of them are quick enough to respond to their customers’ queries. 

Our Verdict

The customer support facilities of both SEO suites are at par with each other. Both of them offer their services on weekdays, and both respond to queries in a reasonable time period, so no clear winner here. 

#8. Pricing 

SpyFu and Semrush both have 3 price plans. And even though you don’t get a free trial with SpyFu, it offers you a 30-day money-back guarantee in case its offering does not match your requirements. Here are its plans:

SpyFu Plans

Semrush, on the other hand, offers a slightly better proposition despite being costly. It offers a 14-day free trial instead of any money-back guarantee so you can figure out its offerings and their alignment with your goals at zero risk. Once the trial period is over, you’re charged for one of the following plans depending on your choice:

SpyFu Plans

Semrush Plans

Semrush Pricing Plans

Our Verdict

After analyzing the plans of both SEO suites, we can say that SpyFu provides some of the best features at a low price, whereas Semrush is more expensive. However, given the large number of features it offers, we can say that the price is justified. So again, no clear winner here. Also, Semrush offers a free-trial period, unlike SpyFu, which offers only a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

We also have an exclusive coupon on Semrush that can help you save up to 17% on your purchase.

Related Reads:

Wrapping Up: Spyfu vs Semrush (2023)

In short, we can say that SpyFu is a good SEO suite for anyone who wants to start using an SEO tool but does not have the budget to choose Semrush. It offers enough functionality to guide your SEO and PPC campaigns in the right direction, and it also has enough data to be accurate. But if you can afford it, Semrush is obviously a better choice because it wins over SpyFu comfortably on almost every criterion. 

If you still have any questions regarding either of these tools, feel free to drop them in the comments. We’ll try to respond to them at the earliest. And also, share this post with others who may want to learn about both these tools. 

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