SpyFu vs SEMrush: Which Is The Better SEO and Marketing Tool in 2024?

by Lewis Ogden | Last Updated: February 23, 2024 | Blogging

Sixty percent of marketing professionals focus on search engine optimization (SEO), and there is a good reason for that. More than 3.5 billion searches are completed daily on Google alone.

In total, search engines capture more than 5.6 million searches each day. That is two trillion searches annually. Furthermore, consumers are more likely to buy the products or services you offer when they need them.

When someone searches, they need something, whether it is information or a product. They are looking for something specific. Even if you do not sell something to a site visitor, if you can answer a vital question or help them somehow, they are more likely to come back later because you have positioned yourself as a leader in your industry.

If you want to tap into the power of search engines, you need SEO. Optimizing your site is one of the best things you can do for your business. Merely adding a services page with keywords you want to rank for is not enough.

Sure, you might rank somewhere, but the businesses capturing more than 91 percent of the search leads rank on the first page. The fact is, people do not want to search through dozens of pages of results. Plus, search engines do a great job of suggesting high-quality content.

So, many people do not feel the need to dive into the depths of search results. That means digital marketers have to be knowledgeable and have an arsenal of tools. SEO tools like SEMrush and SpyFu are a great way to see where you stand compared to your competition.

Is It Really Worth Investing In SpyFu or SEMrush?

When a potential customer finds your site through a reputable search engine, it is a quality lead. You have the opportunity to capture the viewer’s attention and position yourself as a leader in your industry.

So, it is evident why businesses want to rank on search engines. But, many companies lack the skills necessary to make their site and content SEO friendly. That means they have to hire someone to do search engine marketing. Or does they?

Tools like SpyFu and SEMrush can help you figure out which keywords to target, how your content ranks compared to your competitors, and what you can do to get better results.

Just ranking for one or two keywords related to your business will help you get more internet leads, but the more keywords you can rank for, the better. The more a potential customer sees your website, the more likely they are to trust your brand.

Instead of being another fish in a sea of businesses offering the same services as you, you position yourself ahead of the competition. Then, visitors begin to view you as an industry leader or field expert. So, when that lead needs information on your field, you are their go-to source.

Even if that customer does not purchase something from you on their first visit, they will likely keep coming back until they need your services. Furthermore, when a customer reaches you after finding you through an internet search, they are usually ready to make a purchase, or they are actively shopping.

It is easier to move them through your sales funnel. You do not have to convince them they need your product or service; you merely have to convince them that you are the best provider. By positioning yourself on the first search results page for several keywords helps because your company appears each time the lead searches.

Furthermore, the internet and user behavior is continually changing. What worked for SEO five years ago may not work today. Programs like SEMrush and SpyFu help digital marketers stay ahead of trends.

So, if you want to get quick, significant results, you need a keyword research tool. You just need to figure out which one is best for you.

Which is Better: SpyFu Vs SEMrush?

There is no doubt that SpyFu and SEMrush are two of the best keyword research tools on the market. They both offer plenty of features to determine which keywords you should target and where you stand in comparison to the competition.

So, you are probably wondering which of the two is the best, right? The truth is when it comes to these two exceptional SEO keyword tools; it is difficult to say which is better. They both have features that are unique and useful. While we can say that you can benefit from using an SEO keyword ranking application, the one appropriate for you depends on several factors.

So, let’s go ahead and get into an in-depth overview of both. That way, you have all of the information you need to decide which keyword tool is right for your organization.

SEMrush: A Valuable Keyword Research Tool


SEMrush is a bit newer than SpyFu, but it is the brainchild of SEO experts and IT professionals who wanted to level the playing field for smaller online businesses.

The great thing about the internet is that you can position yourself amongst significant competitors with a professional website and SEO. However, before applications like SEMrush, most small businesses lacked the results, but that did not necessarily trigger optimal SEO results.

SEMrush creators wanted to give smaller companies a way to be seen by providing tools that make keyword planning less complicated and more effective.


No application is perfect for everyone. SEMrush does offer a full suite of digital marketing and keyword planning tools, but you may notice:

Pricing and Plans

When it comes to pricing, SEMrush is the more costly of the two. Here are the ways you can start using SEMrush.

Key Features

In addition to the capabilities above, SEMrush has a full suite of useful features. Here are some of the most useful SEMrush features.

Position Tracking Tool

The Position Tracking Tool shows you where you stand in comparison to other sites. You can also see how your position has changed over a set period.

Keyword Gap Tool

If you want to position yourself as an industry leader, you need to appear in the top three results for several keywords. The more a potential customer sees your site when they search, the more likely they are to trust your company.

So, this is one of the most powerful tools in the SEMrush suite. It is the perfect way to compare your keyword coverage, and it even allows you to see vital keywords your competitors are ranking for that you overlooked.

Domain Overview Tool

The Domain Overview Tool is a great way to find out where your site is with SEO. It will give you an overall score, but it also breaks down a ton of useful data, including:

It also gives pointers to help you improve onsite SEO.

Organic Research Tool

You can use the Organic Research Tool to gain insight into the keywords you and your competitors are ranking for all on a useful chart. The chart also shows changes in your positioning, as well as a ton of other beneficial data.

Mobile On-Page SEO Checker

There is a feature in the On-Page SEO Checker that allows you to select ‘phone’ as the target device. By doing so, SEMrush shows you what sites are ranking in mobile search results for your target keywords.

The tool also gives you suggestions for improving your content so that you can achieve better results.

Keyword Research and Planning

With SEMrush, you can search for the keywords for which your competitors are ranking. It also shows you historical data for the keywords you rank for on each of the search engines.

Using the research and planning tools in SEMrush, you can create a content strategy that works for you. These tools are beneficial because they show you where your competition is falling short.

You can use that information to improve your position by filling in the gaps with your content.

Find any areas where top results display limited or dated content. Then be sure that you are exceeding the quality of the content on that subject to see results fast.

Knowing where the competition needs improvement gives you a fair playing field. It makes search engine marketing more transparent while providing you with powerful tools to help you along the way. Charts and graphs display historical data for your site and competitor sites. So, you know if your methods are effective.

Analytics and Reporting

SEMrush gives you access to fantastic analytics tools and reports. You can see how much other sites are paying to get the results they are achieving, which provides you with a good idea of how much you will need to invest to achieve the same results.

You can run reports on:

In addition to reporting on other sites, SEMrush includes onsite analytics and tools for improving SEO, which SpyFu does not have.

Onsite SEO is essential because algorithms prefer the sites that perform the best. Suppose you share excellent content but lack high-quality photos, headings that include target words, image descriptions, and links to high-quality resources. In that case, your content is not going to display in search results.

Even experienced professionals who know what to do to make their sites more search engine friendly, the tasks are often so simple they are easy to forget. If you have multiple people working on your site, it can be challenging to get everyone on the same page.

With onsite SEO analytics, you can ensure that your team is not missing anything that could improve your position. It is not a replacement for knowledge, but it is a valuable tool for verifying that you are doing all you can to improve your rankings.

Social Media Posting and Analytics

SEMrush offers unique social media post analytics to Guru and Business Plan customers. These social network marketing tools make SEMrush perfect for digital marketing consultants and professionals using several platforms to extend their company reach.

SpyFu: The Original Keyword Research Tool


SpyFu has been around longer than SEMrush, and it is still a valuable tool with pricing that is a bit more affordable. However, it does lack some of the onsite analytics and site tracking features.

SpyFu excels in researching your competition, and there are alternative options for tracking your site traffic, rankings, and other details on Google through Google Analytics. Bing and other search engines have similar tools, as well.

You do not need the information about your site that SEMrush provides. However, it is nice to have this information in one location. It makes keyword planning a bit more streamlined.

Nevertheless, if you want to get started using a keyword research application, SpyFu has plenty to offer. The company has also been a Google partner for more than nine years, and the program integrates well with Google. Using SpyFu, you can rest assured that the information the most recent search engine algorithms.

The SpyFu team has more than a decade of experience researching SEO and creating tools to help businesses of all sizes capture internet leads.


Like any application, SpyFu has limitations that might not make it the best fit for some digital marketing professionals. A few of the most notable cons are:

Plans and Pricing

If you are a new business owner, independent contractor, or budget-conscious digital marketing agent, SpyFu offers plans to fit your budget. Here are the SpyFu plans that are available.


Just like SEMrush, SpyFu has a ton of features that help digital marketers learn how to achieve better search engine results. You may not use some of the features, while others are immensely helpful. So, here are the features you will likely use most often.

Smart Keyword Recommendations

You no longer have to guess about which keywords you should target. The Smart Keyword Recommendations from SpyFu gives you suggestions, and it eliminates low-quality keywords saving you valuable time.

Domain Search Tool

Imagine being able to enter the domain name for any site and receiving a report showing all of the places the site appears, as well as the keywords the site ranks for and the position of each.

By paying attention to the words other sites are ranking for, you can develop an online marketing plan that aligns with your long-term SEO goals. For digital marketing professionals, that is a gamechanger. It means that instead of taking a stab in the dark when it comes to the content you are sharing, you can develop a strategy that wins you valuable leads quickly.

Keyword Monitoring Tool

If you want to know how well your efforts are paying off and where you stand for paid or organic keywords over a period, SpyFu gives you that information. You can also see this historical data for your competition. That gives you insight into why other sites have had success or fallen short.

You can develop a more effective digital marketing strategy based on the information you learn from keyword monitoring. Then you can use it to track your success.

Keyword Research Tools

There are plenty of keyword research tools to help you create an effective content marketing strategy. You can even check to see where your competition ranks highest and what keywords they rank for on each of the major search engines.

Some of the other keyword research and planning tools available in SpyFu include historical ranking data, paid keyword ranking data, and AdWords keyword information.

AdWords Analytics

Creating effective AdWords campaigns is a science. If you master it, you have a significant advantage over other businesses using Google ads to promote products and services.

When you and a competitor both schedule an AdWords campaign for the same keyword and you bid the same amount for the ad space, Google will run the ad that its search engines determine is the highest quality.

Not only can effective AdWords campaigns help your ads get displayed, but they can also save you money. The higher quality your ads are, the more likely Google is to run them.

If you need help with your AdWords campaigns, SpyFu can help with that. As a Google Partner, SpyFu knows the ins and outs of creating ads that Google search engines prefer. That means you can get better results for less.

Final Thoughts

Despite all of the features and tools SpyFu and SEMrush offer, one of these two keyword research tools gives customers a bit more functionality. SEMrush contains some features that make it a clear choice for businesses that are serious about online marketing.

For new business owners or individuals looking for an inexpensive way to promote their site or blog, SpyFu packages start at just $33. It is also a powerful tool for AdWords planning. SpyFu does not offer the free 7-day trial that SEMrush offers, though, which is an excellent reason to check SEMrush first.

SEMrush is probably the best choice if you do a lot of social media marketing because it includes posting capabilities and analytics. SEMrush is also the best choice if you need help with onsite SEO.

When you sign up to try the SEMrush, you can select the Pro or Guru Plan. I suggest trying the Guru plan so you can test the full range of features.

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