With the recent changes in SEO, the dependencies in SEO tools have become a must.
I’ve written about how I use SEMrush for competitor research but if that’s not your cup of tea, I’ve got your back covered.
In this SpyFu review, we will discuss how it fares as a competitor keyword research & sales lead generation tool including the good, the bad and the ugly.
What is SpyFu?
SpyFu is an SEO and marketing software that helps you with keyword research (organic & PPC), link generation and influencer marketing for link building.
In a nutshell, SpyFu is a SEO tool for spying on your competition and tracking their SEO and PPC campaigns.
Other features include domain analysis, SEO overview, PPC overview, keywords reports, SERP analysis, and if that was not enough, SpyFu provides 12 years of historial data.
The tool has been around for a long time and has garnered a reputation in the industry.
But is SpyFu the tool you need to spy on your competitors?
Let’s find out.
SpyFu Review 2020: Features Overview
SpyFu has some really great features, especially for SEO and PPC research. They also provide tools for tracking and can also generate great SEO reports for you.
Let’s discuss all SpyFu features and how they can help you.
SpyFu Domain Overview
As you log in to your SpyFu account, you’ll land on the overview page where you can enter any URL and get a domain overview of the website.
Here’s what’s included in the domain overview:
First off, the monthly domain overview shows the organic search traffic along with the keywords. It also shows the clicks from Google. The beautiful graph depicts both organic and paid clicks.
The overview also shows paid keyword along with traffic.
What I really found interesting was that it also shows the ranking history which gives an idea of how the domain has ranked over the years. This feature is something I haven’t come across on any other SEO tool yet.
Also, the overview shows the active users on that website. I don’t know how accurate this is but it still gives an idea of the traffic a website gets.
Lastly, the overview also shows the SEO keywords and how many of them made it to the first page or fell off from the first page. Another nifty little feature I loved about SpyFu.
On scrolling down the page, you’ll see detailed reports of the domain analysis.
First, you can find the organic and PPC competitors of the website. You can click and view all the competitors for that domain.
You can also take a look at the shared keywords in the form off a Venn diagram which I find very awesome.
Next up, you can see the top ranking keywords.
SpyFu also shows the organic ranking history of that domain. The history is shown in the form of a graph which feels very cluttered.
Lastly, you can see the backlinks of the website.
That’s all about the domain overview. Let’s see what else SpyFu has to offer.
SEO Research With SpyFu
The SEO research tool gives a detailed SEO analysis of a domain. The SEO research has the following tools.
On a side note, check out how SEMrush helps you in effective organic competitor research
1. SEO Overview
SEO Overview gives an overview of a domain’s organic rankings, keywords, competitors. The overview shows the number of organic keywords and the estimated monthly clicks.
What I really loved was it shows the number of keywords ranking in the top 50.
The competitors’ report shows the top organic competitors of the website as a graph. You can also see the complete list of these competitors below along with the number of common keywords, monthly clicks, and other information.
Kombat Feature To Track Top Competitors
The Kombat tool shows the top shared organic competitors of the website. This information is portrayed as a Venn diagram which is very interesting.
The diagram shows the total keywords in the universe, core keywords (common to all), weakness keywords, and exclusive keywords.
You can also see the complete list of keywords in the universe by scrolling down.
SpyFu’s Keyword Grouper Tool
Keyword grouping simply shows the groups of keywords. You can select any group and SpyFu will show all the keywords in that group.
This makes keyword research very easy as it brings all common keywords under one roof.
SEO Keywords Report
This tool lists all the organic keywords the website is ranking for. It shows the rank, keyword difficulty, monthly searches, and more.
You can also sort the list by most valuable keywords, newly ranked keywords, page one keywords, and a lot more.
Check Ranking History
The organic ranking history shows the ranking history of the top 10 keywords of the website. You can see the ranking history for different time periods.
Get Backlinks Data
Here, you can see all the backlinks of a website. It also shows the backlink types to give you an idea of the backlink distribution.
Lastly, you can get an SEO report with all the details of a website. You can use these reports to land new clients.
PPC Research With SpyFu
The PPC Research dashboard is very similar to the SEO Research dashboard and gives details about a website’s PPC performance.
Here are the tools available in SpyFu’s PPC Research tool:
Similar to SEO overview, the PPC overview shows the monthly overview of a website’s PPC performance. Here is the monthly PPC of Elementor to get an idea of how much they invest on PPC and for what keywords are they running AdWords campaigns.
This shows the top ad competitors of the domain. You can see the complete list of these competitors along with monthly ad budget.
Check out the screenshot below to find the PPC competitors of Elementor and what ads they are running.
Kombat feature of SpyFu gives you the list of shared paid keywords of the website. It also shows a Venn diagram but the difference here is that it allows you to enter three domains to check whether they have any overlapping keywords.
Like the organic keyword grouper tool, SpyFu has a similar feature for PPC research that combines the paid keywords into groups making it easy for you find similar keywords.
This lists all the paid keywords of a website along with the monthly paid clicks and monthly ad budget.
Ad History is a golden-mine for you if you’re running ads. This feature lets you find the ad history of any domain along with their cost/click, clicks/month, and coverage.
This can help you to see how your competitors are changing their ads and what is working in the industry for paid ads.
AdWords advisor gives top AdWords recommendations. For each recommendation, it also shows the monthly impressions, cost/click, cost/month, and potential clicks you can get for the ad.
Keyword Research With SpyFu
The keyword research tool by SpyFu provides a ton of features that will help you squeeze out every single detail for a keyword. It is one of our favorite Moz alternatives
The keyword overview shows the monthly searches for a keyword along with other details such as keyword difficulty, cost per click, number of advertisers for the keyword, and more.
With SpyFu, you can instantly see the exact ads currently running for the keyword.
The keyword research tool also gives you the AdWords buy recommendations. I wouldn’t suggest you to fully go with the tool but this gives you good idea to further narrow down your options on the best keywords to bid.
The related keywords tool will generate a list of all related keywords for the keyword you entered.
The tool also provides an organic ranking history for the keyword showing the top 10 websites ranking for the keyword in the course of time.
The SERP analysis lets view the current pages ranking for the keyword. It shows the ranking difficulty of the keyword along with other metrics such as estimated monthly clicks, domains ranking, domain strength, and more.
Spying Backlinks With SpyFu
The backlinks tool shows you the list of backlinks for the keyword or website you enter. But that’s not the only thing you can do in SpyFu.
The backlinks outreach feature helps you find backlinks so that you can prepare your outreach process. You can import links and contacts and work easily.
What’s even great is that you can get the contact information of anyone behind the website you want to build a backlink on.
List Builder Feature of SpyFu
The List Builder tool by SpyFu provides lists of top domains under different categories such as Domains that spend the most on Adwords, domains with most organic traffic, and so on.
Apart from domain top lists, you can also view keyword top lists that offer lists of keywords based on the number of clicks, CPC, and other metrics.
SpyFu also lets you request for a custom list by filling a form.
Lastly, the List Builder tool by SpyFu has a leads feature that creates a list of leads based on the keywords you enter. This leads list contains the domain name and their contact information. This way, you use these leads for outreach purposes.
SpyFu also lets you track the ranking of your keywords. You can create a project and add keywords to track.
The gives you weekly updates on both your organic and PPC rankings. Not to mention the ability to keep a record of and track your outreach campaigns with SpyFu.
SpyFu Reports Feature Review
If you’re into client SEO, you’d know how important “reporting” is.
SpyFu has got your back covered and is excellent at creating in-depth SEO and PPC reports. The process of creating a report also gives you many options as to what specifically you want to generate.
After choosing the domain you want to create a report for, SpyFu automatically generates competitors of that domain and asks whether you want to use them in the report. You can add your own competitors manually too. This is specifically useful when you want to give your clients a view about how their campaigns are performing in comparison to their competitors.
The reports themselves are very detailed. Here’s an example of an SEO report generated using SpyFu:
SpyFu allows white label reporting feature that helps you send branded SEO & PPC reports to clients.
How accurate is SpyFu?
SpyFu’s founder Mike Roberts answered how accurate SpyFu is by saying that when they show something on SpyFu (like an ad that appeared for “best SEO software for small businesses”) that can back it up with screenshots.
But as far as other details like keyword volume, cost per click (CPC) etc are concerned the data they display comes from Google Keyword Planner. And the accuracy of the tool depends the accuracy of GKP.
Mike further says that they can never be more accurate than 95% which is pretty decent I guess. You can read their official announcement on the accuracy of SpyFu here.
SpyFu Pricing Review: How much does SpyFu cost?
Here’s a brief overview of SpyFu’s cost & pricing plans:
White Label Report
$339/year (or 33/month)
$39 (For the 1st Month, $79/month thereafter)
$699/year (or $58/month)
$2388/year (or $199/month)
SpyFu offers 3 pricing tiers namely, the basic plan, the professional plan and the team plan. The annual SpyFU pricing ranges from $33 per month for the basic plan to $199 per month for the Team plan. All plans offer unlimited access to all SpyFu data.
- All annual pricing plans are paid at the start of the year
- You can also get in touch to order custom pricing plans
Pros & Cons of SpyFu
Here are the pros and cons of SpyFu:
- Offers a great set of tools.
- Data is visualized beautifully in the form of graphs and diagrams.
- Provides in-depth SEO and PPC reports.
- Takes a different approach to show data that’s important.
- Great at competitor research.
- The user interface feels a bit cluttered.
- White-label reports are available only in professional and team plans
Here is a list of SpyFu alternatives and competitors that give the tool a run for it’s money.
- SEMrush: SEMrush is a perfect SpyFu alternative that has all the features SpyFu provides plus some more. Claim your 14 day Free Trial
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a power packed SEO tool that gives SpyFu a tough competition on the SEO front. Ahrefs has a bigger database than SpyFu and hence you can expect better data.
- Other notable SpyFu competitors are SerpStat & Raven Tools.
Final Verdict: Is SpyFu Worth It?
So, it’s time to decide whether SpyFu is really worth it or not.
Here’s my answer:
SpyFu is totally worth it and is a great competitor research tool. But, it’s not just limited to that. You can manage your own website’s SEO and also use it to land clients.
If you’re someone who works with lots of PPC campaigns, or paid ads, SpyFu is definitely worth the investment. But, if you’re a blogger or client SEO agency focusing on SEO part, SEMrush (or Ahrefs) is a much better option.
If you’re looking for an SEO tool with some awesome features but are on a limited budget, I would totally recommend SpyFu.
If you have any questions regarding our SpyFu review or it’s usage, feel free to comment below.