What is SpyFu?
SpyFu is a keyword research and competitive intelligence tool that is used by digital marketers to improve their performance in online search. More specifically, SpyFu can be used to identify the most profitable search terms in your competitors' paid and organic search campaigns. While other software solutions offer similar functionality, SpyFu is one of the only tools to specialize in this form of competitive analysis, or "spying".
Table of Contents
- Full Review
- SpyFu Pricing & Cost
- SpyFu Key Features
- SpyFu Customer Support
- SpyFu vs. Competitors
- Is SpyFu right for you?
Full Review: SpyFu
SpyFu was founded in 2005 by CEO Michael Roberts. SpyFu began as a webscraping project built by Velocityscape. Today, the company has thousands of customers and a team of 22 employees based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
SpyFu is a software tool used by digital marketers to improve their companies' performance in online search. Within the online search software category, SpyFu stands out as an excellent tool for keyword research and competitive analysis. Customers use SpyFu to identify promising keywords to target with SEO and SEM campaigns, and to better understand their competitors' online marketing tactics.
The main SpyFu competitors are all-in-one SEO solutions like Ahrefs, SEMrush and Serpstat. These all-in-one solutions offer a suite of tools that includes the same features as SpyFu. However, SpyFu's focus on keyword research & competitive analysis means it can offer an exceptional product at a lower price-point. While Ahrefs and SEMrush cost at least $99/month, you can purchase a subscription to SpyFu starting at $39/month.
Overall, SpyFu is a valuable tool for any online marketer responsible for the search channel. If you don't have an all-in-one SEO solution, we recommend testing SpyFu to gain an edge on the competition.
SpyFu Pricing & Cost
SpyFu offers three plans that cost between $39 and $299 per month.
- 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.
SpyFu Key Features
Below, we'll discuss the key features of SpyFu, and how they would benefit your search programs. We'll also share some photos of our demo to give you a sense of the software's design.
- SEO Research
- PPC Research
- Keyword Research
- Backlink Research
- Keyword Rank Tracking
- Competitive Analysis
SpyFu provides rich data on the organic search performance of any website. This means that you can access the same data points below for your own website as well as all of your competitors.
The main SEO dashboard within SpyFu provides a wealth of information on any website. Data provided includes:
- Number of organic keywords
- Monthly organic traffic
- Value of organic traffic
- Keyword gainers and losers
- Inbound links by type
SpyFu's SEO Keywords report allows you to see the top performing organic search keywords for any website. This is a useful tool for better understanding your website performance, as well as your competitors.
For each keyword, SpyFu shares: rank, cost-per-click, keyword difficulty, searches per month and clicks per month. A valuable feature is the ability to sort keywords by different categories:
- Most valuable keywords
- Newly ranked keywords
- Keyword rank gains
- Keyword rank losses
- Page one keywords
- Almost there keywords
SpyFu also provides a Keyword Groups report that combines related keywords into groups. This report provides insight into the topics that any website ranks best for, as well as the hierarchy of those topics.
With SpyFu, you can learn about the backlink profile of any website. While this feature is not as robust as competitors such as Ahrefs, it does provide valuable information.
In the report, you can see the individual backlinks that point to any website. For each backlink, the tool shares how strong the referring domain is along with its monthly traffic. Additionally, SpyFu categorizes the backlinking websites by type. This helps you understand if your site, or a competitor, gets more backlinks from news sites, blogs, forms, .edus or other types of websites.
SpyFu also provides over 13 years of data on paid search activity of all major websites. Similar to organic research, you can leverage SpyFu's PPC research for your own website as well as your competitors.
The interface for researching PPC keywords in SpyFu is nearly identical to the SEO keywords tool. This tool allows you to see the paid keywords for any website, along with some key information:
- Ad timeline
- Monthly cost
- Monthly searches
- Ad position
- Total ads
SpyFu uses its grouping technology to find similar paid search terms and combine them into groups. This makes it easy for you to identify the categories of keywords that your website, or a competitor, is bidding on.
PPC Ad History
With SpyFu, you can see the paid advertisements used by any website. This is a convenient way to spy on the marketing campaigns of your competitors.
The tool shares the ads used with each specific keyword, and the top advertisements that have been used most frequently.
Keyword Rank Tracking
SpyFu has a tool that tracks the position of your website in Google search rankings over time. To use this tool, you have to upload your desired keywords. Like most tools in SpyFu, this keyword tracking tool can be used to monitor the performance of your competitors as well.
While this is a valuable feature, SpyFu keyword rank tracker significantly lags the competition. SpyFu's rank tracker is only updated once per week. This is a major disadvantage to tools like AccuRanker or SEMrush, that refresh their rank tracker data daily.
All of the features outlined above can be used to spy on your competition. In other words, you can use SpyFu's SEO research, PPC research and keyword rank tracking features to understand your competitors' online marketing tactics.
In addition to these features, SpyFu offers a few reports you can use specifically for competitive analysis. These tools help you identify who your competitors are, and the keywords that you have in common.
Top Organic Competitors
The top organic competitors report displays the websites that have the most organic search terms in common with your website. The report has data on the number of SEO keywords for each website, as well as how many keywords overlap.
The SpyFu Organic Kombat report displays a Venn diagram of the top competitive websites. You can select any portion of the Venn diagram to discover keywords that any combination of the websites have in common. This is an extremely useful tool for identifying keyword gaps where your competitors rank in organic search, and you do not.
Top Ad Competitors
SpyFu provides intelligence for paid search that is analogous to the organic search reports outlined above. You can leverage these reports using the same approach to identify your top competitors in paid search.
Once you've identified your top competitors, you can use the Kombat report to identify your competitors best keywords that you are not bidding on. Discovering these competitive keywords to use in paid search is likely the most valuable intelligence that SpyFu provides.
SpyFu Customer Support
SpyFu customer support is available through chat and phone between 4am and 5pm Monday through Fridays. Additionally, you can reach out to their customer support team at any time through this form.
SpyFu vs. Competitors
SpyFu is an SEO software tool that competes primarily with keyword research and competitive analysis solutions. The top SpyFu alternatives worth exploring are:
Is SpyFu right for you?
SpyFu is an excellent keyword research and competitive intelligence tool that is ideal for businesses on a budget looking to improve their performance in online search. The primary benefits of SpyFu are:
- Better understanding the online marketing tactics used by your competitors
- Identifying high-value keywords that you can use in paid and organic search campaigns
While other search tools offer similar functionality, SpyFu is one of the only tools that specializes in this area. As a result, it can offer the benefits above at a much cheaper price-point than alternatives like SEMrush (i.e. $39 vs. $99 per month).
If you want a tool specifically to do competitive keyword analysis, then we highly recommend SpyFu. If you would prefer an all-in-one SEO solution that offers a broader set of functionality (e.g. keyword rank tracking, backlink analysis, site audits), then we suggest testing SEMrush, Ahrefs or Serpstat.
To learn more about SpyFu, try it for free today.