SEMrush vs SpyFu

Confused about which to choose?

This SEMrush vs SpyFu comparison will give you clarity.

You’ll agree with me that when it comes to running an online business – traffic and SEO is an important asset for the growth of your business.

And you need an SEO tool to complement your campaign.

SEMrush and SpyFu are one of the best SEO tools to take your organic traffic to the next level.

They’re both one of the oldest SEO tools in the industry as far back as a decade.

But the question here is – which is the best to opt for?

Is it SEMrush or SpyFu?

In this blog post, we’ll be going into details over the features of both tools and pricing plans. Absolutely, in the end, you’ll be able to choose the perfect tool for your business.

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Let’s get started!

What’s SEMrush and SpyFu?

SEMrush and SpyFu are both SEO tools that allow you to carry out in-depth keyword research, backlink analysis, site audit, competition analysis, and much other SEO analysis.

SEMrush was founded in 2008 by Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov as a browser extension before transitioning to a full Saas company.

SEMrush can be regarded as an all-in-one SEO tool that allows you to carry out as much as possible SEO analysis.

As for SpyFu, it was founded in 2005 as a search analytics company previously known as GoogSpy.

In the beginning, SpyFu focuses on PPC showing users the keywords websites are buying on Google ads.

Although SpyFu has been in existence longer than SEMrush, it isn’t as famous as SEMrush and Ahrefs. However, it’s also on the list of best SEO tools to consider by top marketing experts.

SEO tools help you monitor the growth of your website and also give you optimization tips for your business website.

As expected, both tools are premium SEO solution tools coming at a premium price.

For SEMrush, their pricing plan starts from $100 per month subscription.

That said, let’s look into their various features.

SEMrush vs SpyFu – Features

To begin with, features are important in this comparison.

What are the features offered by SEMrush and SpyFu? Are they comprehensive enough? What are the missing features?

At this point, we would be taking a look at the features offered by both tools alongside choosing the winner in this section.

Before diving in, it’s wise to note that some of the features are not named the same way but perform the same or similar functions. For example, backlink research and backlink analysis.

With that in mind, below is a list of features offered by both tools.

SEMrush Features

Here are the essential features of SEMrush:

  • Keyword research tool
  • Domain vs Domain comparison check
  • Position tracking
  • Site Audit
  • Social media tracker
  • Backlink audit
  • Brand monitoring
  • Onpage SEO checker
  • Content analyzer
  • PPC keyword tool
  • Ad Builder
  • Analytics report
  • Listing management
  • Ads budget analyzer
  • AdWords competitor analyzer
  • Listing Management

SpyFu Features

  • Keyword research
  • SEO competitor analysis
  • Competitor backlinks
  • Domain comparison
  • Rank tracker
  • Keyword grouping tool
  • SERP checker
  • AdWords competitors
  • AdWords templates
  • Ad history

Both SpyFu and SEMrush have similar key features, which is interesting. However, SEMrush offers a more robust and analytical tool that earns it the name “all-in-one solution”.

On the other hand, SpyFu offers more of a competitor research tool.

As its name implies, SpyFu was built with competitor research in mind. Plus, SpyFu did not start out as an SEO tool; it started out as an AdWords tool.

Besides, SEMrush offers a social media tracker which is missing in SpyFu.

SEMrush allows you to track the performance of your competitor’s social media campaign giving a detailed report of their hashtag, special offers, and top-performing posts.

Have you ever seen the same company post something similar on their social media page or wall at the same time?

Is this just a coincidence or there’s a copycat between the two brands?

That’s the work of a social media tracker!

You can constantly monitor your competitor’s top-performing posts and replicate them.


Another feature where SEMrush beats SpyFu is their listing management tool that allows you to fill in your business details and automatically list you on business directories connected to SemRush.

Through the use of the SEMrush listing management tool, you can get your business listed on Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, Amazon Alexa, and TripAdvisor.

Absolutely SpyFu also has an edge over SEMrush.

SpyFu offers the ad history feature that allows you to dig into the past ads your competitors bought alongside other metrics.

The ad history makes it easy to copy your competitor’s successful ads campaigns by taking advantage of the ad history tool.

Winner -> SEMrush

SEMrush has many more tools and features than SpyFu. Where SEMrush can be regarded as an all-in-one solution, SpyFu is a specialist tool in PPC ads.

SEMrush vs SpyFu – Keyword Research

When it comes to SEO, we cannot omit keyword research.

Just as backlink research is important, keyword research is one of the most important optimization factors.

What keywords are you targeting?

Are they long-tail keywords or short-tail keywords?

Is the keyword very competitive or less competitive?

These are the questions that come to mind whenever keywords are the subject.

Semrush keyword research


As expected, both SEMrush and SpyFu offer a keyword research tool that allows you to carry out in-depth research on your target keywords.

However, SEMrush has much more advanced keyword research features.

SEMrush offers more in-depth keyword research that includes advanced filtering options.

Unlike SpyFu, SEMrush allows you to carry-out local keyword research based on your target country. Instead of carrying out keyword research on global audiences.

You can further filter the result based on the country in order to get an accurate reading.

By default, your keyword research is set to the USA and requires you to change it to the country of your choice in order to filter the result.

The country filter includes nearly all the countries including third world countries.

As a matter of fact, this is missing on SpyFu. Plus, SEMrush allows you to see the historical analysis of keywords; going back in dates to see their search volume and other metrics history.

Moreover, SEMrush shows an overview of related keywords.

Both SEMrush and SpyFu display the CPC, search volume, keyword difficulty, and keyword ads.

SpyFu Keyword Research

Unlike SpyFu, SEMrush has a beautiful and intuitive user interface for their keyword research.

Their keyword research interface is colorful and easy to understand, but SpyFu has a simple interface.

Result: SEMrush is the obvious winner when it comes to keyword research. SEMrush provides more detailed research with advanced filters for country, device, and date.

SEMrush vs SpyFu – Site Auditing

Site Auditing and website tracking is an important SEO tool that shouldn’t be missing.

The site auditing tool helps you to know the SEO health status of your website or blog.

At least, you should always perform a monthly SEO audit to see how your website is faring. You get to monitor your site speed, backlinks, broken links, anchor texts, rank position, and many other metrics.

Site Audit also checks the on-page SEO and off-page SEO of your website and competitors’ own for effective growth.

SEMrush offers a site Auditing tool that allows you to audit a website and spot opportunities for improvement.

SEMrush auditing tool highlights the errors and mistakes affecting the search appearance of a website.

With the project feature, SEMrush allows you to run a continuous SEO audit that’s done monthly to track your SEO tactics and improvement.

Notably, via the technical site auditing, you can track the broken links and bugs on your website that are affecting your search appearance.

The site audit is as comprehensive as giving comments on the mixed https contents, redirects, and website speed.

On the other hand, SpyFu does not include an SEO auditing tool.

However, you can perform some manual audits by looking into the backlink analysis and keyword research.

Absolutely, SEMrush wins here too.

Winner -> SEMrush

SEMrush vs SpyFu – Backlink Analysis

Backlink analysis is one of the most important features of an SEO tool.

A good SEO tool must come along with a backlink analyzer.

Let’s start by taking an in-depth look at the SEMrush backlink analyzer tool.

SEMrush backlink analyzer has a beautiful and interesting interface similar to their keyword research interface.

With their filters and features spread out at the top of the header.

SemRush Backlinks Research

First of all, the SEMrush backlink analyzer shows the total number of backlinks, referring domains, and various referring IPs.

The referring domains are the number of domains linking to the site. Each domain is counted as one irrespective of the number of times they link out to the site.

The same holds for referring IPs.

Their backlink analyzer splits the backlinks into different backlink types; text, image, forms, and frames. Simple to understand, the text links are links coming from an anchor text, the image links are images, form links are coming from Web Forms, and finally frame links are links put in an Html frame structure (not common).

As expected, SEMrush splits the links using different attributes; follow, nofollow, sponsored, and UGC (user-generated content).

Interestingly, SEMrush takes record of the first time it noticed a link and the last time.

This record gives you an estimate of the date you got a link and when you lost the link.

Plus, SEMrush displays the anchor text of your backlink if it’s a text link. Nothing is displayed if it’s an image link.

The referring domain feature lets you track the TLD distribution of the backlinks. The TLD distribution includes .com, .edu, .gov,, and many other TLDs.

Plus, you can compare your competitor’s backlinks against yours thanks to the comparison feature of the SEMrush backlink analyzer.

SEMrush backlink analysis is comprehensive. But lets take a look at the SpyFu backlink research tool.

As expected, SpyFu isn’t without a backlink research tool.

I’ll get into details of the features of the backlink research interface of SpyFu.

SpyFu Backlink Research

First of all, it’s no surprise that the SpyFu backlink research interface is simple and not interesting just like their keyword research interface.

However, I’m not concerned about its beauty if it does its job.

Similar to SEMrush, SpyFu backlink research splits the backlinks into different types; blogs, affiliate links, directories, forums, .gov, .edu, and news.

The split is quite different from the SEMrush backlink types section.

The backlink analyzer shows the number of domain monthly organic clicks, the page monthly organic clicks, domain strength, ranked keywords, and outbound links.

All the above metrics are all figures.

The domain monthly organic clicks are similar to the total number of organic traffic the referring domain receives every month.

Likewise, the page monthly organic clicks are the total number of organic traffic the particular page carrying the backlink receives.

That’s all SpyFu has to offer in their backlink research.

Conspicuously missing are referring domains and IPs, anchor texts, TLD distribution, and link attributes ( Follow, Nofollow, sponsored links, and UGC).

Winner -> SEMrush

Ultimately, with the detailed backlink research result, SEMrush bags the medal in backlink research.

SEMrush vs SpyFu – Competition Analytics

When it comes to digging into your competitor’s SEO tactics, both SEMrush and SpyFu do a good job.

For in-depth competitor analytics and research, the tool has to be able to dig into what your Competitors are doing underground concerning their SEO.

Here’s what I mean:

A good competitor analytics report includes a report of the backlinks your competitors are acquiring, the source, and how they got the link.

How they got the link wouldn’t be included in any tool, but you can track it by viewing the page linking to your website.

Most SEO tools include the link of the page linking to your competitors’ sites alongside their anchor texts for easy tracking.

You can deduce more information by taking note of how it was gotten.

Was it gotten via guest posts, editorial link insertion, expert roundup posts, sponsored posts or link exchanges; track it down so that you can replicate it.

Not just that.

A competitor analytics report should include the keywords your competitors are ranking for alongside the volume, worth, and similar data.

Let’s dive into what SpyFu has to offer in its competitor analytics tool.

SpyFu Competitor's Analytics

As its name implies, SpyFu was built as an SEO tool for spying on your competitors.

All tools and features are designed to spy on your competitor’s SEO tactics.

For SpyFu, it allows you to insert a competitor’s domain name and generate the list of their target keywords, backlinks, and ranking position.

The tool allows you to measure the sites that are gaining on your keywords, their organic traffic, and the worth of traffic using their CPC.

Likewise, SEMrush isn’t lacking in competitor analytics tools.

SemRush allows you to analyze your competitor’s website traffic. The traffic analyzer also allows you to monitor their regional presence.

SEMrush Competitors analyzer allows you to organize market research and also discover the latest trends in your space.

Market research lets you know the interest and demographics of your audience.

Ultimately, SEMrush allows you to monitor the sources of the backlinks of your competitors alongside their anchor texts.

Finally, deciding who carries the medal in competitor analytics is difficult. They’re both different tools with a different focus but they both did well here.

Therefore, this is a tie.

Winner -> Tie

As earlier said, SEMrush and SpyFu both excel in competitor analysis.

SEMrush vs SpyFu – PPC, and AdWords

AdWords and PPC are the same as paid traffic coming from Search engines.

On most SERP pages, you’ll find paid results appear at the top or bottom of the page displayed in the same manner of organic results.

Although this has little to do with SEO some years back, it has now been regarded as a part of SEO.

Unlike before, AdWords and PPC require some optimizations to rank at the top of the SERP result despite being a paid result.

The optimization techniques required to rank your Google ads higher on Google is an added feature to most of the SEO tools.

Modern SEO tools now include keyword research with estimated CPC for Google ads into their software in order to make it easier for SEO specialists to get a high ROI on Google ads.

SEMrush and SpyFu offer one of the best PPC and AdWords optimization tools in the industry.

SpyFu PPC Keyword Research

To start with, SpyFu has a specialization in this field.

From establishment, SpyFu was built to show the keywords that websites are buying on Google as well as the keywords that websites are showing up for within the search result.

As a matter of fact, SpyFu excels wonderfully in PPC and AdWords.

However, SEMrush isn’t lacking in this feature as an all-in-one SEO solution.

But the PPC and AdWords optimization functions on SEMrush are not up to par with what SpyFu offers.

SemRush Advertising Research

SEMrush helps you get the best of your Google ads campaign by providing estimated traffic for a keyword and the cost per click.

The advertising research lets you see the paid search results and see how your campaign is faring among other paid ads by your competitors.

As expected, SEMrush lets you target and narrow down your advertising research monitoring by selecting the geographics of your target country and audience.

On the advertising research for PPC, SEMrush shows the keyword difficulty alongside their search volume and positions of paid ads on the search result.

SEMrush vs SpyFu – Rank Tracking

Rank tracking is an essential part of SEO.

How many times do you search Google using your target keyword just to see the position your blog is ranking?

I bet you can relate to that 🙂

It happens a lot of times when you’re still new with blogging or when you’re eager to rank for that keyword.

But here’s the good news. SEO tools also offer this as a service. SEMrush does.

SEMrush offers a rank tracking tool that allows you to automatically monitor the changes in the rankings of your blog for a particular keyword.

For SEMrush, it’s done as a project:

You’ve to insert the keyword you’re trying to rank for alongside your domain name. SEMrush does the tracking and you get to see the increase and decrease in the rankings.

You can always visit SEMrush weekly to see the changes in your blog rankings.

Aside from that, SEMrush sends a monthly report of the performance of your website alongside the SEO audits being done monthly, after setting it up.

SemRush SEO Overview and Rank Tracker

No ill wishes here, SpyFu isn’t behind at this feature.

SpyFu allows you to track both SEO keyword rankings and PPC keyword rankings.

Sounds interesting, right?

SpyFu rank tracker allows you to set up a project by inputting your target keyword alongside your domain. The rank tracker then sends you a weekly update of your rankings.

Interestingly, SpyFu lets you track your rankings on both Google and Bing; which is a plus for you.

Winner -> Tie

SEMrush vs SpyFu – Pricing Plans

Budget matters a lot when it comes to selecting a product. Apart from the features, the two SEO tools offer, we’ve to analyze the pricing plans and see which is a better option.

Let’s start with the SEMrush Pricing Plan.

SEMrush Pricing Plan

SEMrush pricing

Basically, SEMrush offers four pricing plans;

  • Pro
  • Guru
  • Business
  • Enterprise plan

But before then, SEMrush offers a 7-days free trial to get familiar with the tool.

And asides the free trial, SEMrush offers a kind of free plan which is not stated on their pricing plan.

But, you can make use of some limited SEMrush tools beyond the free trial days.

However, there’s a daily limit to the number of analyses and tools you can use. I’m not certain with the number of research or analysis you can carry-out (because it isn’t stated on their website).

But it isn’t more than 10.

I’ve tested and used the trial plan for a longer period than I thought.

At first, I thought my use of the software ends after the 7-day free trial. But even after the 7 days, I was still able to perform some keyword research and backlink research.

But after carrying out any of the research multiple times ( around 7 times), I got pushed out and restricted from carrying out further research, and then a pop-up to sign up for a paid plan appears on the screen.

Most importantly, you have a longer period to check out the tool when you subscribe to your mail.

But, the features and tools are limited to the trial plan.

Let’s get into the details of the paid plan. Note, for all the plans, SEMrush offers a 16% discount when billed annually instead of monthly.

Pro Plan

The Pro plan costs $99 per month when billed monthly and $83 per month when billed annually.

It offers the following features:

  • 10,000 results per the report on domain & keyword analytics while the report per day is limited to 3000 reports
  • 250 keyword metrics update per month
  • Competitive intelligence add-on costs $167 per month at the Pro stage. The add-on includes market explorer, traffic analytics, competitor benchmarking, bulk traffic analysis, and top pages.
  • Supports a maximum of 3 projects at a time.
  • It allows you to track a maximum of 500 keywords with daily updates. The position tracking also supports mobile rankings too.
  • It supports the crawling of 100,000 pages per month with a maximum of 20000 pages per month
  • Allows up to 50 social profiles for monitoring and a max of 10 social profiles for posting.
  • Supports sharing with edit access.
  • Max of 1 user
  • Limited SEO content templates

Guru Plan

The Guru plan costs $199 per month offering unique features to support small businesses and marketing agencies.

Offers all the pro features plus:

  • 30000 results per report and a max of 5000 reports per day.
  • It includes historical data which is missing in the Pro plan
  • It allows you to run a maximum of 15 projects and track 1500 keywords with daily updates.
  • It includes multitargeting, the ability to target track keywords in different locations, and on different devices. This feature is missing on the PRO plan.
  • Supports branded PDF results for agencies and small businesses to impress their client or boss with their company logo inserted.
  • Provides access to all the tools with unlimited keywords to research
  • The Guru plan allows you to track 6 countries at a time
  • Allows you to create a marketing calendar

Business Plan

Best for agencies, e-commerce projects, and businesses with an extensive web presence, the business plan comes at a premium price of $399 per month.

The business plan includes all the features from the Guru Plan plus:

  • White-label reports
  • API access
  • Extended limits and sharing options
  • Google data studio integration

SpyFu Pricing Plan

To start with, SpyFu offers three pricing plans without a free trial. But, you can access some features of SpyFu free without subscribing to any of their pricing plans.

But the research is very limited. And as expected, free access is nothing compared to their premium tool.

The three pricing plans are the Basic plan, Professional, and Team plan.

SpyFu pricing

Basic Plan

The basic plan costs $39 per month and $33 per month when billed annually.

The plan offers basic features that include:

  • Unlimited search results
  • Unlimited data exports
  • Unlimited Domain overview
  • 250 sales leads and domain contacts
  • 5K weekly tracked keyword rankings
  • 10K top lists results

Professional Plan

The professional plan costs $58 per month when billed annually and $78 per month when billed monthly.

The professional plan offers all the basic features plus:

  • Unlimited search results
  • Unlimited data exports
  • Unlimited Domain overview
  • 500 sales leads and domain contacts
  • 15K weekly tracked keyword rankings
  • 50K top lists results
  • Custom branded reporting

Team Plan

Finally, the team plan. The team plan costs $199 per month when billed annually and $299 per month when billed monthly.

The team plan includes all professional plan features alongside:

  • 2000 sales leads and domain contacts
  • 40k weekly tracked keyword rankings
  • 75K top lists results
  • 10K API rows returned
  • Custom branded reporting
  • 5 user login

Winner -> SpyFu

SpyFu offers a cheaper pricing plan for each of their product packages. Their starting price is $39 per month which is way cheaper than the $99 per month on SEMrush.

SEMrush vs SpyFu – Which is the Overall Best?

After reviewing the list of features an SEO tool should have and comparing the performances of both.

It’s clear they both have different areas they excelled in.

Now the choice is yours to make.

If you’re more interested in PPC and AdWords or you’re on a tight budget; then SpyFu might be the perfect fit for you. SpyFu offers a basic SEO feature and solution for online businesses at a way cheaper price starting from $39.

However, if you need something more robust and advanced in features, then SEMrush is the best fit for you.

And has the tools to take your business to the next level. But it comes at a steep price when compared to SpyFu coming at $99.

Absolutely, if you can afford the pricing, then you should by all means add SEMrush to your marketing arsenal.

I hope our post on SEMrush vs SpyFu helped you in making the perfect decision?

It’s now your turn.

Which among the above tools are you starting with?

SEMrush or SpyFu?

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