Best SEO Software 2020

Ahrefs vs. SpyFu: Compare SEO Software

Is Ahrefs or SpyFu the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best SEO software tool to help your website generate more search traffic.

If you're an online marketer or website owner, you should be using SEO software to define your marketing strategy and grow your website. However, there's dozens of search software solutions to choose from, which makes it tough to know which is the best for you.

This guide will help you choose between Ahrefs and SpyFu, two of the most popular SEO solutions on the market. Below, we highlight the difference between the products, including a close look into their most valuable features & pricing, to make it simpler for you to decide which tool is best for you.

Comparison Summary

Ahrefs and SpyFu are two of the best SEO software tools. Both can be used for keyword research, keyword rank tracking, content marketing, and competitor analysis.

At the same time, each tool has its unique strengths. Ahrefs is stronger for backlink analysis, content marketing, and website SEO audits. SpyFu is better for keyword research and competitor analysis. In terms of pricing, SpyFu is roughly 50% cheaper.

When comparing these solutions, we recommend focusing on the specific solutions offered by each vendor, as well as the subscription price. Here's a quick test to determine which solution is best for you:

You'll prefer Ahrefs if:

  • Building backlinks to your website is a top priority
  • You manage content marketing
  • You can afford the $100 per month plan
Try Ahrefs for $7
You'll prefer SpyFu if:

  • Keyword research and competitor analysis are your top priorities
  • You manage paid Google Ads campaigns
  • Saving $60 per month is important to you
Try SpyFu for Free


Table of Contents

Ahrefs & SpyFu Price Comparison

Ahrefs and SpyFu are both priced as monthly subscriptions. In general, SpyFu is about 50% cheaper – its entry plan costs $39 per month, compared to $99 for Ahrefs' cheapest plan. Both solutions also offer a 15-20% discount for the upfront purchase of an annual plan.

Ahrefs Pricing Details

Ahrefs pricing starts at $99 per month. Each additional user is $30 per month. The company offers two months free if you pay annually.

  • Lite: $99 per month for 1 user
  • Standard: $179 per month for 1 user
  • Advanced: $399 per month for 3 users
  • Agency: $999 per month for 5 users

SpyFu Pricing Details

SpyFu offers three plans that cost between $39 and $299 per month (free 30-day trial).

  • Basic Plan: $39 per month. Ideal for individuals who do not need API access.
  • Professional Plan: $78 per month. Ideal for companies that want to track 15,000 keywords or have API access.
  • Team Plan: $299 per month. Ideal for teams who need 5 user accounts.

Ahrefs & SpyFu Feature Comparison

Ahrefs and SpyFu share many of the same features. They are both designed to help online marketers and website owners generate more website traffic.

However, as you'll learn below, each platform does offer some features not found in the other solution. In addition, Ahrefs and SpyFu have different strengths – Ahrefs is best for content marketers and backlink builders, while SpyFu is better for search marketers and web traffic analysts.

For a full analysis of their features, read our Ahrefs and SpyFu reviews.

FeatureAhrefsSpyFu
Competitor AnalysisLimitedYes
Keyword ResearchYesYes
Keyword Rank TrackingYesYes
Traffic AnalyticsYesYes
Content MarketingYesLimited
Backlink AnalysisYesLimited
Website SEO AuditsYesNo

Ahrefs's Top Features

Ahrefs is a well-rounded platform that comes with over 30 different tools. In terms of SEO and content marketing, there's very little that it cannot do. The three top features that Ahrefs does best are:

  • Backlink Analysis
  • Content Marketing
  • Keyword Research

Backlink Analysis

Ahrefs includes a number of features that help you monitor your own backlink profile, and learn from the backlink profiles of your competitors.

As you can see below, Ahrefs main dashboard includes a significant amount of information about your backlink profile. This includes an Ahrefs Rank that gives you an overall score for your backlink profile. Other metrics that you can monitor include:

  • Backlink count
  • Referring domains count
  • Referring pages count
  • Referring IP count
  • Backlinks by type (dofollow, nofollow, gov, edu, etc)
Ahrefs backlink profile report

Ahrefs also comes with specialized reports to help you build your backlink profile. For example, it includes a broken backlinks report that helps you identify websites that backlink to broken pages on your website. Fixing the broken pages identified in this report, shown below, is a highly effective way to maintain the strength of your backlink profile.

Ahrefs broken backlinks report

Using SpyFu, you are able to identify backlinks that link to your website. However, there is significantly less information for each backlink. Also, SpyFu does not offer advanced reports such as the broken backlinks report shared above.

Content Marketing

Ahrefs is an excellent tool to support your content marketing efforts. You can use the platform to research the best performing content for any topic, and identify the content that works best for your competitors.

Ahrefs' content explorer tool allows you to discover and analyze top performing content in almost any niche. You enter a topic and the tool returns the Internet's top pages, along with a significant amount of corresponding information. This is an efficient way to get inspiration when writing about any topic.

Ahrefs keyword explorer

In addition, you can use Ahrefs database to identify your competitors' strongest pages in terms of traffic and backlinks. This is a surefire way to find topics that you should write about, but have not. You can leverage this strategy to capture more traffic, and focus on content that will strengthen your backlink profile and domain authority.

Keyword Research

The Ahrefs platform comes with several tools for keywords research. The two most valuable are the keywords explorer and the content gap analysis tool.

The keyword explorer allows you to upload a list of keywords. The tool returns several critical data points for each keyword including search volume, keyword difficulty, estimated cost-per-click, and the parent topic.

Ahrefs keyword explorer

In addition, you can use Ahrefs to identify target keywords by comparing your website to your competitors. The content gap analysis tool finds keywords that perform strongly for your competitors, but not your website. Once you identify these keywords, you can begin targeting them with new content or paid search campaigns.

SpyFu's Top Features

SpyFu is a leader in competitor analysis and keyword research. If you're a search marketer, or interested in learning more about your competitors' online marketing tactics, then it's an ideal solution. SpyFu's top three features are:

  • Competitor Analysis
  • Keyword Research
  • Traffic Analytics

Competitor Analysis

SpyFu's name comes from the platform's ability to spy on your competitors. It has several tools that allow you to better understand your competitors' online marketing tactics.

For example, SpyFu includes a report that quickly identifies the websites you compete with most often in organic search. The platform also includes an analogous report for paid search. Each report includes information such as the amount of overlap you have with your competitors, the number of keywords you have in common, and the website traffic for each site.

SpyFu Top Organic Competitors

In addition to identifying your competitors and providing high level information about their websites, you can use SpyFu to see the actual search ads that they've used in Google Ads. The report conveniently orders the keywords by the number of clicks per month the competitor receives.

SpyFu PPC Ad History

These are just two of the reports you can use in SpyFu to learn about your competitors. In the traffic analytics section below, we outline even more information that you can access for any website using the SpyFu platform.

Keyword Research

SpyFu also excels in keyword research. It includes a tool similar to Ahrefs' keywords explorer that you can use to get search information for any keyword.

SpyFu Keyword Research Dashboard

In addition, SpyFu has a keyword overview report with additional keyword information. This includes:

  • Estimated keyword clicks
  • The distribution of searches on mobile vs. desktop
  • Similar keywords
  • Commonly searched questions that include this keyword
SpyFu Keyword Research Dashboard

Traffic Analytics

SpyFu can also be used to analyze the traffic of any website. It's domain overview provides rich information including:

  • The number of organic and paid keywords that drive traffic
  • Estimated monthly organic and paid clicks
  • The ranking history of organic and paid keywords
  • Top organic and paid competitors
  • Top pages in terms of organic search traffic
SpyFu Traffic Analytics Dashboard

It's important to note that SpyFu's traffic analytics information is limited to the search channel. If you need a tool to analyze a website's traffic across all marketing channels, we recommend considering SEMrush or SimilarWeb.

Bottom Line

Ahrefs and SpyFu are both extremely popular, high quality software tools used by tens of thousands of marketers. Both can be used to sharpen your online marketing campaigns and generate more website traffic.

The key differences between the two solutions are their feature strengths and price points:

  • Ahrefs is built for content marketers and backlink builders, and starts at $99 per month.
  • SpyFu is built for search marketers and traffic analysts, and starts at $39 per month.

Visit Ahrefs or SpyFu to start a trial with either tool today.

Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit, a technology research firm that provides advice, information, and tools to help businesses thrive. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed Internet companies, and launching new businesses.

Get the latest from SoftwarePundit

We'll share our latest software reviews, technology tips, and deals.

*