Hey, it’s Matt here from Style Factory, the go-to site for digital marketing and ecommerce advice.
In this Semrush vs SpyFu comparison, I’m going to look at two of the best-known SEO tools on the market.
Both give you a huge amount of data on keywords, backlinks, domain authority and technical SEO. However, there are some key differences and pros and cons to be aware of.
So in this comparison I’m going to share 5 key reasons to use Semrush instead of SpyFu, and 4 key ways in which SpyFu might be the better choice.
Let’s dive in, starting with the reasons to choose Semrush.
One — Semrush has a much bigger database.
Semrush’s database is MUCH bigger than SpyFu’s.
It provides information on over 24.6 billion keywords — that’s 3 times more you’ll find in SpyFu’s database.
Additionally, Semrush contains data on over 808 million domains, while SpyFu gives you data on 122 million.
And finally, Semrush pulls its Google data from over 121 different countries.
By contrast, SpyFu only provides Google data from two countries — the US and the UK.
Two — Semrush gives you search intent data.
Semrush gives you much more context about WHY users perform particular searches than SpyFu, thanks to its excellent ‘search intent’ feature.
As part of the data surfaced by Semrush for a particular keyword, you’ll see an ‘intent’ box highlighting the context in which a particular search is made. This lets you know whether a search phrase is informational, commercial, navigational or transactional
This data can be invaluable when working out which keywords are most likely to generate revenue, and SpyFu doesn’t currently provide it.
Three — Semrush gives you more options for keyword gap analysis.
Website owners perform ‘keyword gap analysis’ to identify which keywords competing websites rank for, but they don’t.
While SpyFu does let you perform basic keyword gap analysis, Semrush’s approach to closing the keyword gap is MUCH more comprehensive.
Its keyword gap tool provides a very large amount of data, including:
- Shared keywords: keywords both you and your competitors rank for
- Missing keywords: keywords you don’t rank for that all your competitors do
- Weak keywords: keywords that you rank lower for than your competitors
- Strong keywords: keywords that you rank higher for than your competitors
- Untapped keywords: keywords you don’t rank for that some of your competitors do.
So, if you’re performing keyword gap analysis in a very competitive niche, Semrush gives you more ways to close the keyword gap than SpyFu.
Four — Semrush provides you with excellent content marketing tools.
In addition to some of its core keyword, SEO and competitor analysis tools, Semrush users on its ‘Guru’ plan or higher can avail of sophisticated content marketing tools that help you research, develop, write and schedule new content for your website.
Semrush’s topic research tool helps you generate content ideas based on keyword and location, and its ‘SEO content template’ generator provides detailed suggestions regarding the best keywords, backlink building strategies and on-page SEO techniques to apply.
A particularly useful piece of Semrush’s content marketing toolkit is its ‘SEO writing assistant’ tool.
This reviews your content and gives you detailed advice on how to improve it from an SEO perspective. It gives you a readability score for your text; a rating for your content’s ‘tone of voice’; and an ‘originality score’ that warns you if your content appears to have been scraped from other sites.
There aren’t really any comparable features available in SpyFu.
Five — Semrush comes with a free trial.
Although SpyFu does give you access to some free tools and resources, unfortunately there isn’t a proper free trial available for the platform. Trying it out fully always involves paying for at least one month’s subscription.
By contrast, Semrush gives you access to all its key features and data as part of a free trial. Normally speaking this lasts just 7 days, but if you know how, you can get your hands on an extended 30-day trial, which gives you a substantial amount of time to try the platform out.
We’ve put a link to one of these extended trials in the video description, but please note that it may be available for a limited time only.
OK, so that’s five key reasons to use Semrush instead of SpyFu. But where does SpyFu win?
I’ll come to that in just a moment, but before I do, I want to invite you to like this video, hit the subscribe button and click the notifications bell. This helps us out and gives you easy access to all our SEO content going forward.
Right, let’s take a look now at the reasons to use SpyFu over Semrush.
One — SpyFu is easier to use.
Because it is a more basic tool, SpyFu’s interface is simpler and consequently easier to use than the Semrush equivalent.
SpyFu also presents its data in a very clear manner. There is good use of headings and white space, and the user is never overwhelmed by too much visual information.
All of this results in SpyFu having a fairly gentle learning curve.
By contrast, Semrush’s interface is considerably busier than SpyFu’s.
While this is understandable due to Semrush’s much bigger feature set, it’s fair to say that SEO beginners may find themselves a little overwhelmed by Semrush at first.
Two — SpyFu is much cheaper than Semrush.
Pricing for SpyFu’s cheapest offering, the ‘Basic’ plan, costs just $16 per month if you pay annually for your plan.
By contrast, Semrush’s entry level ‘Pro’ plan costs $99.95 per month — meaning that you can start an SEO project with SpyFu for a fraction of the cost of using Semrush.
It’s also much cheaper to work as a team with SpyFu. Its ‘Teams’ plan gives you 5 user accounts for $149 per month.
By contrast, there’s no teams plan available from Semrush. Only one seat is provided on all plans, and you have to pay between $45 and $100 per month for every additional user account.
Three — SpyFu’s keyword rank tracking limits are more generous.
SpyFu is significantly more generous than Semrush when it comes to the number of keywords you can track.
Its entry level ‘Basic’ plan lets you track 5,000 keywords, with these limits rising to 15,000 and 40,000 keywords on its ‘Professional’ and ‘Teams’ plan respectively.
In Semrush, the limits for tracked keywords are set at 500, 1,500 and 5,000 keywords across its three pricing plans.
Four — SpyFu gives you more historical data
Both SpyFu and Semrush let you analyze your competitors’ Google Ads campaigns to gain insights into the online advertising strategies of your competitors.
But while SpyFu’s Google Ads data history goes all the way back to 2006, Semrush’s only goes back as far as 2012.
And, when it comes to historical data on organic search results, Semrush only gives you access to this on its more expensive plans. By contrast, SpyFu provides it on its entry level one.
OK, so that’s our take on the key differences between SpyFu and Semrush! I hope you found the comparison useful.
To sum things up, Semrush is a much more powerful tool than SpyFu, providing you with a lot more professional SEO features and insights than its competitor. If budget isn’t a concern, it’s definitely the better choice here.
However, SpyFu covers a lot of the basics well, and offers a good amount of bang for the buck. Its main advantage over Semrush is that it’s considerably cheaper, particularly if you’re working on a project that involves multiple users.
And finally, if you have any questions about either Semrush or SpyFu, do drop them in the comments section. We read them all and will do our best to help.
Don’t miss out on our free SEO toolkit
For a limited time only we’re offering our readers some excellent free SEO tools and resources. Sign up now to immediately receive:
- our downloadable cheatsheet containing the 20 key steps to ranking highly in search results
- extended free trials and discounts for leading SEO tools
- our downloadable cheatsheet on how to grow organic traffic to a blog
- 2 in-depth guides to SEO
- ongoing free tips and advice on SEO and growing your business