SEMrush vs SpyFu: SEO Tools To Blow Your Competitors Away

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Computer with analytics on screenSEO marketing tools vary widely in their capabilities. Some are highly specialized in one or two areas, while others try to cover all the SEO bases. The latter is the case with two enormously popular SEO tools, SpyFu and SEMrush.

Both SEMrush and SpyFu offer a suite of SEO features, from keyword research and tracking to backlink tools. They also both specialize in diving deep into what your competitors are doing, but which one comes out on top?

Visit SEMrush’s WebsiteVisit SpyFu’s Website

Keyword Research

SpyFu has a powerful keyword research tool that gives you insight into how each keyword you enter is ranking and stats about search volume, daily clicks and more. SEMrush, however, provides this data and much more.

SEMrush has one of the best keyword research tools you’ll find. It gives you hundreds of suggestions, advanced filtering, including by broad, phrase or exact match, difficulty, words it begins or ends with, difficulty and many more filters. SpyFu’s related keyword results and filtering options are sparse compared to SEMrush.

When it comes to search volume accuracy, both companies have dedicated a lot of time and resources to make these reports as accurate as possible. We did not find a noticeable difference in the volume reports.Semrush logo

Winner: SEMrush

SEMrush Keyword Research

SEMrush Keyword Research screenshot

SpyFu Keyword Research

SpyFu Keyword Research screenshot

Backlink Analysis

SEMrush’s backlink analysis tools far outshine what you get with SpyFu. SpyFu essentially is a keyword search tool for potential backlinks. You can find backlinks that already help other sites rank and common backlinks your competitors get.

SEMrush’s backlink checker, on the other hand, gives you in-depth analysis into your current backlinks. It shows you which links are pointing to your website. You can check these incoming links for a URL, domain, or root domain, view the URLs and titles of linking and target web pages and compare inbound links’ weight on competitors’ domains.

SEMrush also indicates how authoritative a referring domain is and its location. They give you handy charts that place each backlink type into categories based on percentages (follow vs nofollow, source country, links that are text, image or form, etc.).Semrush logo
SEMrush also lists backlinks that you’ve lost.

Winner: SEMrush

SEMrush Backlink Analysis

SEMrush's backlink analysis screenshot

SpyFu Backlink Analysis

SpyFu Backlink Analysis screenshot

Competitor Analytics

SEMrush and SpyFu blow other SEO tools out of the water with their competitor analytics. This area is SpyFu’s top selling point, but SEMrush gives them a run for the money.

Both allow you to “spy” on your competitors SEO and PPC strategies and practices. You can see how all of their keywords are ranking, including their most profitable keywords and ads for paid and organic searches.

You can also get a thorough picture of which keywords your competitors are bidding on and how much traffic they’re generating. Some differences between SEMrush and SpyFu include:

  • SpyFu gives you unlimited search results with its two higher plans; SEMrush has caps with each pricing tier (but they’re generous).
  • SpyFu’s higher plans let you dig into your competitors’ data going back 10 years. SEMrush goes back to 2012.
  • SEMrush does a better job of analyzing your competitors’ social media and PR campaigns.SEMrush & SpyFu logos

Winner: SEMrushSpyFu (Tie)

SEMrush Competitor Analytics

SEMrush Competitor Analytics screenshot

SpyFu Competitor Analytics

SpyFu Competitor Analytics screenshot

Keyword Tracking

Both SEMrush and SpyFu have robust keyword tracking capabilities and come out about even overall. They allow you to track paid and SEO keyword rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo. However, some key differences could be the deciding factor for your site’s needs.

  • While SEMrush lets you check keyword rank changes over any set period (up to a year looking back), SpyFu’s higher pricing plans go even further back (up to 10 years).
  • SEMrush tracks keywords daily; SpyFu tracks them weekly.

SEMrush & SpyFu logos

Winner: SEMrush & SpyFu (Tie)

SEMrush Keyword Tracking

SEMrush Keyword Tracking screenshot

SpyFu Keyword Tracking

SpyFu Keyword Tracking screenshot

User Friendliness

SpyFu isn’t the ideal tool for beginners. You get a lot of raw data that can be difficult to decipher if you’re not an SEO guru, and the UI can be confusing. SEMrush is simply easier to use for both beginners and pros.

If you need tech support, both SEMrush and SpyFu offer live chat, phone and email ticket support Monday through Friday. SEMrush’s hours are 10am-6pm EST. SpyFu’s are 7am-8pm.Semrush logo

Winner: SEMrush

Pricing

 SEMrush ProSEMrush GuruSEMrush BusinessSpyFu BasicSpyFu ProfessionalSpyFu Team
Price Per Month$99.95$199.95$399.95$39$78$299
Annual Price$999.95$1,999.40$3,999.40$396$696$2,388
Tracked Keywords5001,5005,0005,00015,00040,000

SpyFu is one of the most affordable SEO tools on the market, so they have a clear advantage in this category over SEMrush.

If you’re a small business or startup, SpyFu could be a wise, budget-friendly choice — provided you don’t need the well-rounded suite of SEO features you’ll get with SEMrush and the learning curve you’ll need to master SpyFu.

SEMrush offers an Enterprise level plan, but you must contact them for pricing. They also provide custom plans. For example, you can pay a la carte if you just want to add another session (simultaneous login) or user.

Free Trial/Money-Back Guarantee

Neither product offers a free trial. SpyFu, however, comes out ahead with a 30-day money-back guarantee, while SEMrush only offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.SpyFu logo

Winner: SpyFu

List Of Features

It’s difficult to compare the specific features of different SEO tools, but we want to give you a summary for each company.

SEMrush

  • 5+ years historical data
  • Site audit
  • On-page SEO checker
  • Position tracking
  • Social media tracker
  • Backlink audit
  • Marketing calendar
  • Brand monitoring
  • Post tracking
  • Content audit
  • PPC keyword tool
  • Organic research
  • Keyword research
  • Keyword magic tool
  • Organic traffic insights
  • Ad builder
  • Advertising research
  • Display advertising
  • Backlinks
  • SEO content template
  • Keyword difficulty
  • Gap analysis
  • Traffic analytics
  • Lead generation tool
  • Topic research
  • My reports
  • API access

SpyFu

  • 10+ years historical data
  • Unlimited searches
  • Unlimited data exports
  • Unlimited backlink results
  • 3-way domain comparisons
  • Advanced contact information
  • SEO performance analysis
  • AdWords advisor reports
  • Keyword cost-per-click
  • Request keywords
  • Customizable branded reports
  • Keyword rank tracking
  • Estimated advertising spend
  • Exclusive keywords
  • SERP analysis
  • Search filters
  • Ranking graphs
  • API access

Overall Winner

SEMrush wins our competition for its comprehensive suite of SEO tools. No other software comes close to SEMrush’s detailed ability to cover all of your SEO and PPC needs. SEMrush is also much easier to use and understand all the data than SpyFu.

However, if you’re mainly looking for competitive analytics and in-depth PPC/advertising data, you can’t beat SpyFu’s pricing. This could be a significant deciding factor for small businesses or startups.

Both SEMrush and SpyFu are industry leaders, and you can’t go wrong with either tool. Mainly, your choice comes down to your site’s specific goals and how competitive your market is. We are customers of SEMRush and use most of their features in our SEO marketing.Semrush logo

Winner: SEMrush

Want To Improve Your Google AdWords?

Staying ahead of your competition is vital online. Check out the brief video below for some tips on how to improve your Google AdWords quality score.

Is There A Better SEO Tool?

SEMRush and SpyFu are only two players in a highly competitive niche. Are they really the best? Be sure to check out our Best SEO Tools article, where we review a dozen of the top SEO applications on the market. We give you a breakdown of each tool’s features, pros and cons, pricing and more. And if you’re in a highly competitive market, you may want to use several SEO tools to maximize your site’s success.

Have you had any success using an SEO tool?

About The Author:

Sally has coupled her passion for writing with her (slight) obsession for the latest high tech gadgets. While she’s not daydreaming about the beach, she’s taking advantage of all the activities her hometown has to offer in the Blue Ridge foothills.

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Freddie
I found this article as I’m trying to determine wether or not I should use SEM-Rush or SpyFu. Reading through this article I was pretty much sold on SEM-Rush, until I got towards the end of the article and arrived at Pricing. Having already researched the difference in pricing between the two, I noticed you didn’t mention SpyFu pricing, which is substantialy cheaper. Though I noticed you went to great lengths to mention SEM-Rush pricing. Considering price was one of the first things I look at, I was quite surprised to note that you didn’t mention SpyFu pricing, preferring to focus on the 30 day trial period instead. Unfortunately this leads me to believe that this must be a paid article. Thanks for wasting my time.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Freddie, we mention pricing for SpyFu in the article here (it’s the “winner” for that category between the two and is located in the table). I’m afraid you may have accidentally overlooked this section as we mention how affordable SpyFu is compared to SEMrush. SpyFu is budget-friendly and includes a money back guarantee, so it definitely is better than SEMrush in terms of cost.