SpyFu vs Semrush 2024: Which is Better for Competitor Research?

SpyFu vs Semrush
SpyFu vs Semrush

SpyFu specializes in competitor research, offering historical data whereas Semrush goes beyond competitor analysis, offering over 50 tools. Here's the detailed comparison of SpyFu and Semrush along with their pricing options (and a tutorial on how to use them).

Selecting the ideal SEO tool can feel daunting, especially when faced with two popular options like SpyFu and Semrush.

Both are powerful tools, but each offers a unique set of features and benefits.

This post is your ultimate guide to comparing these two giants. We’ll delve into:

  • Key features of both SpyFu and Semrush
  • Pricing plans and value for money
  • Pros and cons of each platform and more

Are you ready? Let’s jump into the details.

SpyFu vs Semrush: The Detailed Comparison

spyfu vs semrush

SpyFu is an affordable SEO tool for competitor analysis, and its pricing plans start at just $33 per month. In contrast, Semrush is a complete SEO toolkit that offers 55+ tools under one roof, and their pricing plans start at $129.95 per month.

What is Semrush?

Semrush is an all-in-one SEO toolkit that you can use for extensive competitor research. No matter your industry, you can use Semrush data to quickly analyze your competitors and use that data to your advantage.

Here are some of the figures of Semrush:

  • Used by over 10 million users
  • Has over 25.3 billion keywords
  • Access to 142 geodatabases
  • Over 808 million domains
  • 543M desktop keywords along with 774M desktop domains
  • 80.1M mobile keywords along with 32.1M mobile domains

By looking at the above stats, we can safely say that Semrush is one of the BIGGEST SEO toolkits for all kinds of bloggers for competitor research.

Try Semrush for FREE (14 days)

What is SpyFu?

SpyFu is the most comprehensive SEO tool that you can use to “spy” on your competitor’s keywords. You can use SpyFu to search for any domain and see every place they’ve shown up on search engines like Google.

SpyFu can help you spy on your competitors by giving you access to;

  • every keyword your competitors have bought on Adwords
  • every organic rank they rank for
  • every ad variation your competitors used in the last 12 years to get more organic traffic and sales to their websites

In a nutshell, SpyFu exposes all the keyword data of your competitors so you can easily find highly profitable and low-hanging keywords to increase your website search rankings.

Click here to try SpyFu

Features Comparison

Let’s now talk about some of the incredible offered both in SpyFu and Semrush. Let’s first start with the feature list of SpyFu.

SpyFu Features List

Here’s the list of all the features that you get with SpyFu.

  • Unlimited Domain Search Results
  • Unlimited Keyword Search Results
  • Unlimited Backlinks Searches
  • Unlimited Competitors Results
  • Top Lists (Top PPC Spenders, etc.)
  • Export Advanced Sales Leads Info
  • Filter Sales Leads
  • Add Your Own Keywords
  • Track Ad Placement & SEO Rankings
  • 10 Years of Historical Data
  • Custom SEO & PPC Reports
  • Custom Branded Reports (only available for “Professional” and “Team” accounts)
  • API Access (only available for “Professional” and “Team” accounts)

Here’s what the SpyFu dashboard looks like;

spyfu interface

As you can see from the above image, it shows you monthly domain over for any of the domain you enter and gives you access to things like;

  • Organic search results
  • Paid search keywords
  • Your keyword rankings
  • Google ad recommendations and more

You can also easily find out how many the first-page keywords your competitors are ranking for along with estimated monthly views they are getting from various keywords from search results.

Semrush Features List

Here’s the list of all the incredible features that you get with Semrush.

  • Keyword Research
  • Display Advertising
  • Domain vs. Domain
  • Social Media Tool
  • Domain Analytics
  • Site Audit
  • Position Tracking
  • Backlink Audit Tool
  • Product Listing Ads
  • Brand Monitoring
  • Advertising Research
  • Organic Traffic Insights

Here’s what the Semrush dashboard looks like;

SpyFu vs Semrush 2024: Which is Better for Competitor Research?

As you can see from the above image, Semrush shows you all the organic results when you enter any domain name. Here’s what it includes;

  • Top organic keywords
  • Organic positions
  • Number of backlinks
  • Paid search results if any
  • Organic search results
  • Related competitors list (along with their keywords)

Read – Ultimate Comparison of Semrush vs Ahrefs.

All in all, Semrush and SpyFu offer many useful features ranging from keyword research to tracking positions to backlink analysis and so on, but here’s more. They are both excellent competitor research tools.

Competitor Analysis Showdown

Both SpyFu and Semrush are excellent tools for competitor analysis. So let’s dive into the details of how you can use both these tools for doing competitor research.

Using SpyFu for Competitor Analysis

Here’s how you can use SpyFu to perform competitive analysis.

Step 1: Go to SpyFu (you can also enter your email and password to try it for free) and enter any of your competitors domain name.

Here’s what it looks like;

spyfu competitors

As you can see from the above image, it will generate a list of all the closely related top organic competitors for the entered domain name. In our case, for Backlinko.com, SpyFu is showing up results like;

  • Ahrefs
  • KWFinder
  • Robbie Richards
  • Moz and so on

The above data is completely relevant because all of the sites are related to SEO, link building and so on.

Step 2: Find the overlapping keywords data

When you scroll down a bit, SpyFu shows you a ton of useful keyword data which overlaps with your competitors. Here’s how it looks like;

spyfu keywords

As you can see above, it’s showing a list of;

  • Common keywords
  • Number of keywords
  • Monthly clicks
  • Monthly value of clicks

Step 3: Using keyword universe to find your competitors’ common keywords

SpyFu also shows you a list of all the keywords which are relevant to your competitors when you click on the “common keywords” feature. Here’s how it looks like;

keyword universe

As you can see from the above, SpyFu is showing us;

  • Keyword
  • Search volume for that keyword
  • CPC for that keyword
  • Difficulty for that keyword

The above information is more than enough for you to easily find the RIGHT keywords with proper search volume, high CPC and less difficult in increasing your overall search rankings and also sales.

Step 4: Finding the organic ranking history of your competitors

SpyFu also shows us the ranking history of any of your competitors. Here’s how it looks like;

spyfu organic

You can see that, SpyFu is showing up “traffic spikes” so you can easily find out your competitors organic ranking history. It also shows the top keywords where you can also find their positions, timeline and so on.

You can also find out the data from last 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and so on to carefully scrutinize your competitors organic ranking history in detail.

Step 5: Finding your competitors backlink sources

The best part about SpyFu competitor research tool is that it helps you easily find out a list of all the backlink sources of your competitors.

In our case, here’s a list of some of the backlink sources that Backlinko generated so far;

spyfu clicks

The above data shows us the following things;

  • Domain Monthly Organic Clicks: The domain’s monthly organic clicks helps you see how much traffic they got this past month to all of its pages from unpaid search results. They estimate these clicks using the domain’s rank and the organic click-through rate for the keywords it ranks on.
  • Page Monthly Organic Clicks: The page’s monthly organic clicks are counted only for the specific URL shown here as the backlink. They estimate these clicks using the click-through rate for the domain or page’s organic rank on a keyword, multiplied by the keyword search volume.
  • Domain Strength: They rate domains to show how strong they are in a niche so that you can gauge how important a link from that site would be. A domain with a high score here (closer to 100) consistently ranks on top searches.
  • Ranked Keywords: This “ranked keywords” metric shows the number of keywords that the specific page ranks for on its own. It helps you easily determine the SEO power of a potential link you’re considering.
  • Outbound Links: This is the number of different pages that this specific page links to.

So there you go! That’s how you can perform competitor analysis to find a list of all the keywords, top contents, and backlink sources of your competitor’s websites.

Using Semrush for Competitor Analysis

Let’s now talk about how you can use Semrush to perform a detailed analysis of your competitor’s sites.

Step 1: Go to Semrush dashboard (here’s the 14 days free trial) and enter any domain URL of your competitor. Here’s what it looks like;

bp domain overview

As you can see above, Semrush shows you;

  • Organic search
  • Paid search results
  • Total backlinks (along with referring domains)
  • Organic keywords
  • Paid keywords and so on

Step 2: Finding top performing keywords of your competitors with Semrush

One of the main reasons we’ve been using Semrush for a long time is the ability to find highly profitable yet low-competitive keywords. When you scroll down on Domain Overview results, Semrush shows you the top organic keywords.

Here’s what it looks like;

organic keywords

As you can see from the above image, it’s showing us;

  • Top organic keywords (along with the keyword, position, search volume, CPC value, traffic percentage and so on)
  • Main organic competitors (along with competition level, common keywords, search engine keywords and so on)

You can also click on View full report button to get a full list of all the keywords your competitors are ranking for.

Step 3: Finding all of your competitor’s backlinks along with their sources

Semrush is well known for giving you access to a ton of data of your competitors backlink sources. Here’s the backlink data of Neil Patel’s blog;

backlinks bp

As you can see above, you’ll find a ton of useful backlink data including;

  • Total backlinks
  • Referring domains and IPs
  • Authority score of the site
  • Indexed pages and
  • Competitors of your competitors and so on

When you click on the total backlinks, Semrush will show you all the backlinks data along with their sources so you can easily find out which websites are linking to your competitors. With that data, you can easily figure out where you need to look if you really want to take your website backlink profile to the next level.

Step 4: Finding traffic estimation of your competitors websites

Did you know that you can easily use Semrush competitor research tool to estimate the traffic of your competitors sites? Yes, it’s possible. Have a look at the following image;

SpyFu vs Semrush 2024: Which is Better for Competitor Research?

As you can see above, Semrush traffic analytics report is showing us;

  • Traffic overview along with the traffic sources
  • Estimated monthly visits
  • Unique visitors
  • Average visit duration
  • Bounce rate

Although there are many sites to check website traffic but Semrush gives you really accurate information about finding traffic of any sites.

Step 5: Finding paid search results of your competitors

Another incredible feature that you get with Semrush competitor research is, you can easily find paid ads along with their search positions of your competitors.

Have a look at it;

paid keywords

As you can see above, Semrush is showing;

  • Paid search positions along with the keywords
  • Paid search volume
  • CPC of the paid keywords along with the traffic
  • And overall results for the paid keywords of your competitors

Competitive Research Aspects of Semrush

Semrush also provides a competitive research toolkit that helps to create a quality content strategy which offers you a ton of useful features including;

  • Keyword gap
  • Backlink gap
  • Brand monitoring
  • Track your competitors articles

Let’s talk about their features in brief so you’ll understand how they can be helpful for your business.

Keyword gap

You can compare your website with your competitors to easily identify your competitors’ target keywords and use some of them to grow your organic traffic and rankings.

It’s also known as domain vs domain comparison wherein you can compare your site with 5 other sites and Semrush Keyword Gap displays domains’ keywords by common, unique, and all search queries, as well as by search terms that are unique to the first entered domain.

keyword gap

You can also use filters to sort data by specific keywords, Position, Volume, CPC, Competition, or the number of search results.

Backlink gap

Backlink gap is one of the incredible features of Semrush competitor research toolkit which helps you easily find and evaluate the websites linking to your competitors but not to you.

That way, you can easily find a ton of backlink sources where you can get a list of domains to target in your link building campaigns.

Here’s how it basically works. Go to Backlink gap and enter your domain and your competitor’s domains. Semrush starts analysing all these websites’ backlink profiles and discovers backlink opportunities which you can use to generate NEW and high-quality links for your sites.

backlink gap

Track your competitor’s articles

Did you know that you can track the performance of your and your competitors’ articles across the main social networks like Facebook, Twitter and so on?

Not only that, Semrush’s “Post Tracking” feature allows you to keep an eye on the rankings and backlinks of your and your competitors’ articles.

That way you can easily find out your own strengths and weaknesses while comparing with your competitors’ sites and use the best strategies which are working well.

Pros And Cons

Here’s a list of all the pros and cons of both SEO tools.

SpyFu Pros:

  • Cost effective (the #1 reason to consider SpyFu over most of the other SEO tools is that, their basic plan starts at just $33 per month and gives you access to a ton of unlimited data)
  • Historical data on organic and paid search strategies
  • Unlimited reports on some plans
  • Great competitor research tool (you can literally see what your competitors are doing)
  • The interface is so simple and easy to navigate (even if you’re a beginner, you’ll find it extremely easy to find everything you need under one roof)
  • Keyword research is pretty good as well, as it shows you a list of highly profitable keywords and traffic-generating keyword ideas of your competitors at a glance
  • Unlimited downloads are another reason why most people go with SpyFu, which means you can get as many keywords as possible. They don’t charge by the row or anything, so you can grab as many keywords from as many competitors as you would like
  • There are really extensive amounts of competitor data where this tool scrapes millions of keyword listings to give you an in-depth look at your competitor’s keywords, backlink sources, ad copies, and so on
  • Offers a domain comparison tool that helps you identify how your website ranks to similar websites is helpful to easily understand where you are strong and where you can improve to get better search rankings

SpyFu Cons:

  • Competitor research is not as comprehensive as we would like (because Semrush offers almost every tool you need, from competitor keyword analysis to site audits to finding and estimating your competitors traffic, ads, and so on)
  • Limited features compared to Semrush
  • No free trials are offered in SpyFu

Semrush Pros:

  • It can be your ONLY tool that can be used for almost every SEO task
  • Offers the largest keyword and backlink database
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Powerful reporting and analytics
  • Semrush can be integrated with Google Analytics
  • Offers a 14-day Semrush free trial on Pro and Guru plans
  • You can choose the country right before adding the URL of the domain one wants to analyze (you can pick from over 190 countries)
  • You can analyze paid traffic along with paid keywords of any domain
  • One of the greatest benefits of using Semrush is for site audits where you can find the health of your website along with your competitors. It also helps you easily fix your site issues.
  • Domain comparison is another incredible tool that helps you compare your domain with several other of your competitor websites to easily find overlapping keywords

Semrush Cons:

  • Semrush pricing is pretty high compared to SpyFu pricing plans
  • There’s a learning curve, as the tool offers too many features

Pricing Comparison

SpyFu pricing plans start at $33 per month where you get unlimited search results, unlimited data exports etc whereas Semrush pricing plans start at $129.95 per month where you can do everything from keyword research to competitor analysis to site audits.

Let’s now briefly talk about both SpyFu and Semrush pricing plans.

SpyFu pricing: SpyFu offer 3 types of pricing options with monthly and annual billing options which are listed below.

  1. Basic
  2. Professional
  3. Team

Here’s the breakdown of SpyFu pricing plans:

1. Basic plan: Basic plan is great for starters and costs you really less where the annual plan costs you $33 per month and gives you access to the following features

  • Unlimited search results where you can see all the data
  • Unlimited data exports
  • Unlimited domain overview PDF’s
  • 250 sales leads & domain contacts
  • 5k weekly tracked keyword rankings
  • 10k top lists results

2. Professional: This is great for bloggers, affiliate marketers and SEOs where the annual plan costs you $58 per month and gives you access to the following features

  • Unlimited search results where you can see see all the data
  • Unlimited data exports
  • Unlimited domain overview PDF’s
  • 500 sales leads & domain contacts
  • 15k weekly tracked keyword rankings
  • 50k top lists results
  • 10k API rows returned
  • Custom branded reporting

3. Team: This is great for teams and agencies where the annual plan costs you $199 per month and gives you access to the following features

  • Unlimited search results where you can see all the data
  • Unlimited data exports
  • Unlimited domain overview PDF’s
  • 2000 sales leads & domain contacts
  • 40k weekly tracked keyword rankings
  • 75k top lists results
  • 10k API rows returned
  • Custom branded reporting
  • 5 user logins

Click here to try SpyFu to increase your SEO

What’s the money back guarantee of SpyFu? What if I’m not happy with SpyFu?

SpyFu offers you a 30 days money back guarantee which means, if you’re not happy with SpyFu you can cancel your account anytime Via Email, Live Chat or Phone within 30 days and they will refund your money, no questions asked!

Semrush pricing: Semrush also offers 3 types of pricing options with monthly and annual billing options which are listed below. You can claim Semrush Savings on all plans:

  1. Pro starts at $129.95 monthly
  2. Guru starts at $249.95 monthly
  3. Business starts at $499.95 monthly

Here’s the breakdown of Semrush pricing plans:

1. Semrush Pro: Semrush Pro is the starter plan from Semrush which costs you $129.95 monthly where you can get the following things.

  • Results per report: 10,000
  • Reports per day: 3000
  • Projects: 5
  • Keywords to track: 500
  • Pages to crawl: 100,000
  • Social media profiles: 50
  • Scheduled PDF reports: 5

2. Semrush Guru: With Semrush Guru account, you can get access to every feature from Semrush Pro account along with the historical data since 2012 which costs you $249.95 monthly where you’ll get the following features.

  • Results per report: 30,000
  • Reports per day: 5,000
  • Projects: 15
  • Keywords to track: 1500
  • Pages to crawl: 300,000

3. Semrush Business: Semrush Business account is suitable for teams and agencies which costs you $499.95 monthly and gives you access to the following things;

  • Results per report: 50,000
  • Reports per day: 10,000
  • Projects: 40
  • Keywords to track: 6000
  • Pages to crawl: 10,00,000

GET a 14 day FREE trial of a Semrush Pro account (worth $129.95)

What’s the money-back guarantee of Semrush? What if I’m not happy with Semrush?

Semrush offers you a 7 days money back guarantee so you can ask for a full refund if you’re not really satisfied with Semrush features within 7 days after signing up. You can send them a request via [email protected] to cancel your account and ask refund!


Here are a few important questions about Spyfu and Semrush tools.

Why should I use Semrush over SpyFu?

Semrush is the all-in-one SEO toolkit that beats SpyFu in most cases, as Semrush offers you every tool you need to do almost everything from keyword research to competitor analysis to backlink checking, site audits, position tracking, and so on.

Why should I use SpyFu over Semrush?

The #1 reason to use SpyFu over Semrush is the pricing. Semrush pricing plans start at $129.95 per month whereas SpyFu pricing plans start at just $33 per month which is so cool.

What are the Spyfu pricing plans?

SpyFu offers three pricing plans which include Basic, Professional and Team plans. Prices range from $33 per month to $199 per month

What are the Semrush pricing plans?

Semrush offers 3 pricing plans which include Pro, Guru and Business and the prices range from $129.95 per month to $499.95 per month

Which Semrush pricing plan should I go for?

If you’re a beginner and looking for keyword research, site audits and backlink analysis, Semrush Pro (starter plan) is great for you which costs you $129.95 per month. also, it comes with a free trial.

Which is the best SpyFu plan?

SpyFu basic plan is good for beginners and entry-level bloggers where you can get access to 5k weekly tracked keyword rankings and 10k top lists results which cost you $33 per month.


If you’re low on budget but looking for a comprehensive SEO tool for competitor research, go with SpyFu. If you’re looking for only ONE tool for all your SEO needs, go with Semrush.

So what are your thoughts on the comparison of SpyFu and Semrush for 2024? If you’ve any questions, do let us know in the comments below.

About Author
Anil Agarwal is the Founder of Bloggerspassion. He is a full-time blogger and SEO expert who has been helping people build profitable blogs for over a decade Now. He has been featured in Over 100 Publications including Forbes, The HuffPost, HubSpot, Shopify, Semrush, Kinsta, Bluehost, Hostinger and G2.com etc. Know more about Anil Agarwal from here.

Reader Comments (4)

  1. I prefer to use Semrush as it provides more in-depth results than SpyFu. If one needs one SEO tool, then Semrush is sufficient. Thank you for the comparison.

  2. You have given us a diagnostic report of the SpyFu and SEMrus I think SpyFu is the best tool for me according to my budget whereas I have to spend a big amount of money if I wish to use SEMrush.

  3. Tremendous comparison. I have been looking at SEMRush for a short while, how does it compare or hold up to Ahrefs?. In short I am trying to get my hands on the very best SEO tool possible I was a bit unsure between SEMRush, SPyFu and Ahrefs. Just now, for me it is a straight choice of SMErush and Ahrefs…

  4. Great review… I love all the points you made. It made me want to try out spyfu but the only thing that holds me back and kind of leaning toward semrush is that spyfu doesn’t offer mobile raking whereas semrush offers mobile ranking at $199 plan… It’s so important function and worth to pay a bit more not $399


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