SpyFu vs Semrush 2023: Which is Better for Competitor Research

SpyFu vs Semrush
SpyFu vs Semrush

Here's the detailed comparison of SpyFu vs Semrush SEO tools for competitor research. You'll find everything along with their pricing options (and a tutorial on how to use them).

Are you confused between choosing the right SEO tools among SpyFu vs Semrush?

Both SpyFu and Semrush are great SEO tools used for competitor research. If you’re someone who’s looking for a detailed comparison of both the tools, this post is a treat for you.

We’ll talk about SpyFu and Semrush features, pricing, pros and cons and how you can use these tools for competitor research. Are you ready? Let’s jump into the details.

SpyFu vs Semrush: The Detailed Comparison

spyfu vs semrush

SpyFu is great for competitor analysis and their pricing plans start at just $33 per month whereas Semrush is a completely SEO toolkit that can be used for everything from keyword research to competitor analysis to site audits and their pricing plans start at $129.95 per month

Before diving into these SEO tools comparison, let’s first talk about the two amazing SEO tools so you can understand what they really are.

What is Semrush?

Semrush is an all in one SEO toolkit which you can use for extensive competitor research. No matter what industry you are in, you can use Semrush data to easily analyse 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 2 billion keywords
  • Access to 142 geodatabases
  • Over 824 million domains
  • 543M desktop keywords along with 787M desktop domains
  • 80M mobile keywords along with 32M mobile domains

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

Click here to try Semrush for FREE (14 days)

Read: What is Semrush?

What is SpyFu?

SpyFu is the most comprehensive SEO tool which you can use to “spy” on your competitors 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
  • Unlimited Keyword Group Results
  • Unlimited Domain Comparisons (Kombat)
  • Unlimited Exports for all search 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)
  • Multiple User Accounts (only available with “Team” account)

Here’s how the SpyFu dashboard looks like;

spyfu domain

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 the things like;

  • Organic search results
  • Paid search keywords
  • Competitors
  • Top paid competitors and so on

You can also easily find out how many the first page keywords your competitors are ranking for along with estimate 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
  • Backlinks
  • SEO Ideas
  • Keyword Magic
  • Position Tracking
  • Video Advertising Research
  • PDF-reports
  • Content Tool
  • Organic Research
  • Backlink Audit Tool
  • Product Listing Ads
  • Brand Monitoring
  • SEO Content Template
  • Advertising Research
  • Organic Traffic Insights
  • Keyword Difficulty

Here’s how the Semrush dashboard looks like;

semrush overview

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: Moz vs Semrush: Comparison Of Two Of Best SEO Tools (2023 Edition)

All in all, both Semrush and SpyFu offers a ton of useful features ranging from keyword research to tracking positions to backlink analysis and so on but here’s more. They both are great competitor research tools. Let’s talk about it now.

For Competitor Analysis

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 how 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 to increase 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

Read: How to Do Keyword Research Like A Pro [Even If You Know Nothing About SEO]

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, backlink sources of your competitors websites.

Using Semrush for competitor analysis

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

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

overview neil

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 top organic keywords.

Here’s how it looks like;

neil organic traffic

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.

Read: Top 10 Semrush Alternatives for All Your SEO Needs In 2023
Read: Top 10 SpyFu Alternatives Shared with Pros and Cons

Step 3: Finding all of your competitors 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;

neil patel links

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;

neil patel traffic

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;

Neil Patel paid ads

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 competitive research toolkit 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.

Semrush 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.

Semrush backlink gap

Brand monitoring

Brand monitoring feature allows you to track every online source that mentions you or your competitors within their website, articles and so on. Here’s how it looks like;

brand monitoring

As you can see above, when someone else mentions your brand name (such as website name), Semrush brand monitoring tool will display you that information. You can repeat the same process by tracking your competitors’ online reputation.

Read: Semrush Benefits: 10 Reasons I LOVE Using Semrush for Organic Traffic Research [A Detailed Guide + Screenshots]

Track your competitors articles

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

Not only that, Semrush “Post Tracking” feature allows you to keep an eye on the rankings and backlinks of you 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 the SEO tools.

SpyFu Pros And Cons:

SpyFu has its own pros and cons, here are some of the pros and cons of using SpyFu SEO tool.

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)
  • 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 at 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 is 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
  • Really extensive amounts of competitor data where this tool scrapes millions of keywords listings to give you an in-depth look at your competitor’s keywords, backlink sources, ad copies and so on
  • Comparison tool of 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 research to site audits to finding and estimate your competitors traffic, ads and so on)
  • Some keywords that we found with SpyFu are completely unrelated which means, sometimes you might want to do manual research get the best data
  • The keyword metrics and backlinks data is sometimes inaccurate (which actually happens a lot with most SEO tools, so not a NEW thing)

Semrush Pros And Cons:

Just like any other SEO tool, Semrush also has its own pros and cons, here are some of the pros and cons of using Semrush.

Semrush Pros:

  • Perform everything from keyword research to backlink analysis to site audits on one roof
  • 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 analysis of paid traffic along with paid keywords
  • Reporting through the API is extremely simple and the operational charts are so easy to understand and use
  • SEO is a great tool for site audits and keyword research. 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 also has a HUGE database which regularly gets updated databases of 20 billion keywords sourced from more than 190 regions spanning from the US to Europe, the Middle East, China, India, Australia and so on

Read: Semrush vs Ahrefs: Which Is the Best SEO Tool for 2023?

Semrush Cons:

  • Semrush pricing is pretty high compared to SpyFu pricing plans
  • Keyword volume estimation is not that accurate (we don’t know whether it has anything to do with Semrush databases)

Semrush vs SpyFu 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.

  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 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!

Read: SpyFu Review: Is it the best tool for competitor analysis?


Here are few important questions you might want to know to get better understanding about both the tools.

Why should I use Semrush over SpyFu?

Semrush is the all in one SEO toolkit which beats SpyFu in most of the 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?

f 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.

If you’re a blogger and or an SEO expert, Semrush Guru plan suits you where you can also historical data and get extensive reports which costs you $249.95 per month

If you’re running an agency or working along with several other people, Semrush business account is definitely for you which costs you $499.95 per month where you can also add 9 additional users to access the same account.

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.

SpyFu professional plan is great for bloggers and SEOs who want to get even more extensive data of 15k weekly tracked keyword rankings and 50k top lists results where you’ll also get custom branding reporting that costs you $58 per month.

SpyFu Team is great for agencies and in-house SEO companies where you can give access to several people where you can also allow up to 5 users to login to your account which costs you $129 per month.

SEO Tools Worth Trying:


So far we discussed almost everything about both SpyFu and Semrush in detail, so you might have already come to a conclusion of which one works best for your website and budget needs.

If you’re low on budget but looking for a comprehensive SEO tool for competitor research, SpyFu is definitely a great choice for you whereas Semrush is great for all kinds of bloggers, SEOs and marketers and gives you a ton of SEO tools under one roof.

If you can spend few extra bucks, Semrush pro is definitely a great choice over SpyFu. So what are your thoughts on the comparison of SpyFu and Semrush for 2023? 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


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.