Top 5 SpyFu Alternatives to Spy on Your Competitors Like a Pro (in 2021)
SpyFu is, without a doubt, a top-tier SEO and PPC analytics tools. As the name suggests, SpyFu is designed to help you spy on your competitors. You can use it to reveal their target keywords, identify their backlink sources, understand their PPC strategy, and more. Personally, I consider SpyFu to be one of my top … Continued
You can refer to the pricing table below to look for an alternative to SpyFu that fits your budget.
SEO and PPC analytics with focus on competitive research
Starts at $39 per month
All-in-one SEO and PPC analytics
Starts at $99.95 per month
3. Keyword Revealer
Keyword research and competitive research
Starts at $9.97 per month
All-in-one SEO and PPC analytics
Starts at $69 per month
5. SE Ranking
All-in-one SEO and PPC analytics
Starts at $31 per month
Keyword research, competitive research, and content marketing research tool
Starts at $12 per month
What is SpyFu anyway?
SpyFu is a U.S.-based search analytics company with a simple promise:
Search for any competitor, download their keywords.
At least, that was their marketing slogan in the early days.
As of today, SpyFu can do a whole lot more than extract your competitors’ keywords.
Here’s a list of the awesome things SpyFu can do:
Discover your SEO and PPC competitors – SpyFu can list down your organic and paid competitors within seconds. There’s no need to jump through hoops to identify your top competitors, which is the first step of competitive research.
Look at their target keywords – It doesn’t matter if your competitor ranks for hundreds or even thousands of keywords. SpyFu can extract them all faster than you can say “analytics.”
Find shared and unique keywords among the competition – By identifying similar domains, SpyFu can generate a list of shared and common keywords among your competitors. This will help you build a priority target keyword list for your SEO or PPC campaign.
Analyze their backlink profile – To outrank your competitor, you need to match their backlink profile in terms of both quality and quantity. SpyFu can help you with this by naming your competitor’s backlink sources and measuring the clicks they generate.
Assess their top content – With SpyFu, you can effortlessly round up your competitor’s top pages. This will enable you to “borrow” ideas and inspiration you can use to spice up your content strategy.
Would you like to know my favorite part?
SpyFu manages to let you do all this without as much as reading a tutorial.
For the most part, you just need to enter your competitor’s domain.
SpyFu will then do all the heavy lifting and serve the essential competitor data to you on a silver platter.
Sure, having a user-friendly interface isn’t everything.
That’s why I plan to give you an in-depth look at every SpyFu alternative you’ll learn about today.
In addition to a quick tour of each tool, we’ll also discuss their individual pros and cons.
Without further ado, let’s jump into it.
Semrush is one of the most recognizable names in the SEO industry.
It’s built as an all-in-one “online visibility management platform” with all the tools you need to grow your online presence.
I recently did a one-on-one comparison of SEMrush with SpyFu.
If you’re an avid follower of my blog, you probably saw this coming. If you haven’t seen the comparison yet and would like to catch up, click here.
How to use SEMrush
As far as features go, SEMrush can match everything SpyFu brings to the table.
You can perform hardcore keyword research, competitive research, intensive domain analysis, backlink profile analysis – you name it.
The Keyword Magic Tool, for instance, expands any keyword into a long and diverse list of long-tail keyword ideas.
First, enter a keyword in the “Enter keyword” field and click ‘Search.’
Within seconds, SEMrush will show you a list of potential keyword ideas along with important metrics. This includes the keyword search volume, difficulty, average CPC, and so on.
Don’t forget – Keyword Magic Tool is just one of the things SEMrush offers in the keyword research department.
You can also use the Keyword Gap tool to look for potential keyword suggestions.
The Keyword Gap tool groups up similar websites and identifies shared and unique keywords among them. This is crucial if you want to build a “master list” of must-have target keywords for your blog.
Of course, SEMrush also has a bunch of other tools that can be used for domain analysis and competitor research.
Features like the Traffic Analytics tool, for example, will give you a bird’s-eye view of any domain’s traffic.
You can use it on competitors to access useful information, like their top traffic sources, audience demographics, and more.
SEMrush Pros vs SpyFu
Larger keyword database
Bigger tool set for domain analysis, backlink analysis, and keyword research
Powerful content marketing tools
Better for teams
SEMrush Cons vs SpyFu
You need to create an account
Relatively harder to learn and use, especially for solo bloggers
I consider Serpstat as one of the best and most complete SEO analytics platforms on the market.
It is marketed as a “growth hacking tool” for content marketing, SEO, PPC, and everything in between.
Just like SEMrush, Serpstat has everything you’ll ever need to grow your blog through SEO and PPC. I even published an ultimate Serpstat vs SEMrush comparison article before I focused on Keyword Revealer and SpyFu.
How to use Serpstat
As an all-in-one platform, newbies may need an hour or two to get familiar with Serpstat’s interface.
I suggest kicking things off by creating a new project, which requires your domain, a project name, and project group.
Remember, you can create a project that revolves around your competitor’s domain.
Doing so will allow you to keep tabs on the top players in your niche.
Once your new project is created, Serpstat wastes no time.
It automatically pulls in pertinent domain data, namely their organic keyword count, referring domains, and referring pages.
From there, you can also fire up a full-on site audit with one click.
It may take some time for Serpstat to collect enough data. When done, here’s what the audit report should look like:
You can then focus on priority SEO issues that compromise your website’s ranking potential.
These issues range from duplicate content descriptions to HTTP errors. Naturally, you want these issues fixed as soon as possible to maximize your chances of getting high search engine rankings.
Moving on to Serpstat’s competitive research capabilities, you can start by entering your competitor’s domain in the domain analysis tool.
You can find it by expanding the “Website analysis” menu and clicking ‘Overview’ under “Domain analysis.”
After entering your competitor’s domain, Serpstat will generate a comprehensive domain overview report.
This contains vital information like your competitor’s estimated search traffic, visibility score, and organic keywords.
Above the fold, Serpstat’s domain overview report looks basic at best.
But the deeper you go, the more you’ll understand why Serpstat is a worthy rival to SEMrush and SpyFu.
Here are some of the additional data sections worth mentioning:
Keyword position distribution – Get an overview of your competitor’s keyword rankings in search engines.
Visibility – Track your competitor’s visibility score growth over time.
Traffic and keywords trend – Track your competitor’s traffic and organic keywords over time.
Top pages – Spy on your competitor’s top pages in terms of traffic and keyword rankings.
Competitors in organic search – Identify other competitors based on common keywords, topical relevance, and visibility score.
Serpstat Pros vs SpyFu
Better and more proactive domain and competitor tracking
Better backlink analysis features
More SEO and PPC features overall
More advanced keyword filters
Ready-to-use checklist templates for SEO campaigns
SE Ranking is something I should talk about more in this blog.
It is a powerful alternative to SpyFu that can get you quite the bang for your back.
In terms of features, SE Ranking is in the same league as the big boys, like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and SpyFu.
It also features one of the cleanest and user-friendliest interfaces I’ve seen in an analytics platform. I should know since I’ve tried literally dozens of tools over the years.
How to use SE Ranking
Similar to Serpstat, I recommend creating a project in SE Ranking during your first login.
This is the quickest way to make the most out of your SE Ranking account.
Creating a project in SE Ranking is a thorough process.
It involves manually adding keywords to track, specifying the search engines to use, and uploading a list of your competitors.
You can also connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to consolidate your website data in one place.
I know it all looks tedious now.
But once your project is created, you’ll have full, uninterrupted access to various SE Ranking features.
You can proactively track your rankings, identify your top competitors, run a website audit, and more.
I also love the idea that SE Ranking wants to manage your online marketing plan for you.
It starts off with a “to-do” list of essential marketing objectives – perfect for new bloggers who need some online growth.
Now, to do some good old-fashioned competitor research, switch to the ‘Competitive Research’ tab from the top menu.
From there, enter your competitor’s domain and click ‘Analyze’ to get the ball rolling.
SE Ranking will then supply you with truckloads of information on your competitor.
Some of the included metrics are:
Domain and Page Trust – Domain and Page Trust are proprietary metrics used by SE Ranking. They measure the domain-level and page-level SEO performance of your competitor.
Organic traffic and keywords – Organic traffic and keywords are basic inclusions in any competitive analysis session. SE Ranking also includes an estimate of the domain’s total traffic cost in the equivalent of Google Ads prices.
Referring domains and backlinks – SE Ranking lets you check a domain’s total number of referring domains and backlinks. This information is crucial if you’re planning to go head-to-head against a potential competitor.
Below these numbers, SE Ranking also lets you spy on your competitor’s organic keywords, distribution of rankings, and top pages.
You will also find a list of organic competitors detected by SE Ranking. This will help you acquire even more competitor data by analyzing those additional domains.
SE Ranking Pros vs SpyFu
Slightly cheaper than SpyFu
Better backlink analysis features
Better user experience and design
SE Ranking Cons vs SpyFu
You can only track up to 10 websites using the entry-level plan
Backlink analysis only available for a limited number of domains per day