02.08.2015 in Google Adwords, Paid Search by 0

Comparative Review of Spyfu, SEMRush, KeywordSpy and Ispionage

spyfu vs. semrush vs. keywordspy vs. ispionage
With businesses pouring in millions of dollars into paid search and more specifically Google Adwords, Adwords competitor analysis tools are getting more and more importance today.The four major players dominating the market are – Spyfu, SEMRush, KeywordSpy and Ispionage. While all of them are comparable, there is often a debate on which one is the best. It is very unlikely to come out with a clear answer if you compare Spyfu, SEMRush, KeywordSpy and Ispionage, however, in this post I am trying to put together some objective data on few parameters and also provide a short subjective review of the tools based on my experience of using them.

Features Spyfu SEMRush Ispionage KeywordSpy
Keyword Base Nothing Specified 120,000,000+ 88,000,000 127,000,000
Domain Base 64,000,000 46,000,000+ 45,000,000 Nothing Specific
Countries Covered US, UK 27 Countries US, UK, Canada 17 Countries
Export Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
Customer Support Live Chat, Email, Phone US, UK Toll Free Phone, Email, Live Chat(Skype) Email, Phone Email & Live Chat
API Access Yes Yes Limited API Access No
Pricing Monthly Packages $79 – $999 Monthly Packages $69.95 – $549.95 Monthly Packages $69.95(extremely limited) – $299 Monthly Packages $89 – $139
Free Trial Yes Yes No Yes
Website Spyfu Website SEMRush Website Ispionage Website KeywordSpy Website

The above data provides a basic understanding of the features but is definitely not comprehensive to make a decision, especially if it is the first time you are buying a tool like this. I have personally used all these tools and if you would ask me to pick two from the list I would pick SEMRush and KeywordSpy and if you ask for one, it would definitely be SEMRush.

Why I prefer SEMRush and KeywordSpy over the others

The size of the database is not the only thing you should be looking at for buying an Adwords competitor analysis tool.Though SEMRush has one of the largest database there are other factors that you should be considering.

Over the years of using these tools I have noticed the effectiveness of such tools also largely depends on what is done with the data – to be more precise what sort of reports are you able to get from the tool. Also, the user interface of the tool is extremely important as it directly effects your learning curve with the tool and also your day to day productivity while using it.

I like KeywordSpy for the fact that it not just gives data about Paid Search and Organic Search but also provides intelligence on Affiliate networks and a variety of data export options.

My fondness for SEMRush however stems from multiple reasons..

a) It is the only competitor research tool that provides data from 29 databases across 27 countries. With all the other tools if you are looking to get data for any other market but US, you are in for trouble.
b) The interface is super clean and extremely well planned that automatically pushes the users to the next steps.
c) It also provides competitor intelligence on Video ads and Product Listing Ads and have recently launched a Display Intelligence section as well. This is one tool that pretty much serves all your competitive intelligence needs.
d) I have tried running 3 different accounts that I manage personally through these tools and SEMRush returned the most accurate results ( not 100% but very close), followed by Spyfu, KeywordSpy and Ispionage.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experience if you have used any of these tools or if you are looking forward to buy one, I would suggest you get started with SEMRush Free Trial.

15.06.2015 in SEO by 0

Google Asking Feedback on Search Result Quality

Asking customer / user feedback can play a major role in improving any product and that has been proven time and again. And now, Google has started endorsing the  same by asking feedback for it’s search results. Yes ! Search, which has been Google’s primary area of dominance and though there is not much of competition in most of the geographies for them – Google is now actively asking feedback from users on whether they are satisfied with search results or not.

Google Search Asking for Feedback

Small Pop up box asking feedback on search results quality.

This urge for continuous improvement is probably what separates the best from the rest.

12.02.2015 in Other by 0

Marketing Today – My Presentation at SKASC National Conference

Last week I had an invitation from SKASC college in Coimbatore to do a guest lecture at their two-day National Conference on Business Processes. This is a two day even organized by the college where they invite over 40 speakers across India and couple other countries, from different industries to come and deliver lectures on industry trends ad insights to the students. I had very short notice to prepare and wasn’t very sure of the audience profile, so thought it would be better to talk about the overall trends in marketing and its changing context rather that diving into the details of specific digital marketing channels.

I wanted to leave a clear message for the students and help them understand how modern marketing has moved away from being interrupting broadcast nature to a very personalized and contextual mode and the underlying factors enabling this change.

While the presentation doesn’t do justice to itself without the narration, I hope this would give you at least a broad understanding of the message. Feel free to share your thoughts in comments.

14.10.2014 in Digital Marketing by 0

5 Key Takeaways from INBOUND 2014

This post is written by Ankita Katuri, a friend and ex-colleague, who recently attended Inbound 2014 in Boston. Inbound 2014 is one of the most reputed and highly attended conference in the digital marketing space, organized by Hubspot. In this post Ankita shares her 5 key takeaways from the conference.

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Come Together. Get Inspired. Be Remarkable

And we did. We were. And we aim to be.

Inbound 2014, was phenomenal, just as most of us expected it to be.

First off, kudos to Inbound for accomplishing the remarkable feat of drastic growth from when it first started out in 2010 with an attendance of just 1300 to over 10,000 attendees this year, that arrived from over 50 countries around the world! This exponential growth points ever so clearly at the rising inbound movement among organizations and marketing agencies around the world.

hubspot-inbound-conference

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02.09.2014 in Digital Marketing, Social Media by 0

Personal Branding in Social Media for Photographers

Though not a photographer, it feels great to be invited to a photographer’s event and that too at my hometown in Kolkata :)

The last weekend Kolkata experienced a first of its kind event in Social Media for Photographers – a two day event, organized by a very young and passionate group of photographers. The event saw an ensemble of some of the most well known photographers in India and though not a photographer, I was invited to speak at the event to give a talk on Personal Branding for Photographers in Social media. There were a couple other sessions related to branding and digital marketing by two of my good friends Suprit Patra and Aji Issac Mathew. It was indeed a good experience to share the platform with this guys as well as some of the eminent photographers like Hari Menon, Soumya Shankar Ghosal, Neelutpal Das.

The presentation on personal branding though oriented towards photographers, contains certain basic principles that are applicable for anyone and everyone looking to focus on personal branding. Of course without the live narration the content might not be as appealing as it is meant to be, but I am sure you will find some interesting stuff to pick up from this.

A big “Thank You” to Anirban and his team for organizing such a fantastic event. I am sure the momentum will continue and we will see a lot more of this initiatives happening in Kolkata.

25.07.2014 in SEO by 0

Google Screws Up with President of India

I couldn’t believe my eyes ! I saw this first on Facebook but thought it would be another of those Photoshopped pranks but then thought to check it out myself and whoa!! Google shows some unknown District Panchayat president, Riti Pathak’s name and details when you search for “President of India”. The entity search is completely screwed up..

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 10.41.25 PM

By the time I completed the posts and redid the search that result is gone.. in fact it does not show any entity search results at all but shows the official site of Indian Govt. Not sure what triggered such a ridiculous results for the short while but it would be interesting to know how that happened.

27.05.2014 in Social Media by 0

+ Post Ads : Another Master Stroke By Google Marketers Should be Excited About

Google Plus Post AdsWith zillions of content being posted on various social channels it is a serious pain for the users to separate signals from noise. On the other side of the table, marketers are striving hard to ensure that there content doesn’t get lost in all the noise and is visible to their target audience. Adding to these woe, social platforms like Facebook are limiting organic reach of your content, forcing marketers to adopt paid channels to ensure enhanced visibility of their content.

Google has been going out of their way to promote Google Plus though the platform never gained as much traction as they would have liked it to. However, things could now change with the + Post Ads.  To put it simply Google now gives you an option to use your Google Plus posts as advertisements on their Display Ad Network. The best part however, is that +Post Ads are not displayed in Google Plus stream but on relevant websites in Google’s Display Network, which basically means with + Post Ads, your content is no longer limited to the Google Plus audience but would have a much broader reach encompassing millions of sites in Google’s Display Network.

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26.05.2014 in Digital Marketing by 0

Why Copying your Competitor’s Website is a Bad Idea

Competitor analysis is an integral part of any marketing campaign and coming from a Search Marketing background I can vouch for how effective it could be to analyse your competitor’s campaigns using tools like SEMRush, Spyfu etc. It is also quite common while creating a new website to review your competitor websites and understand their strengths and weaknesses, so that you can carefully utilise / avoid those in your design. However, it is often a problem when your client is head over heels for some web site design he has seen on the web and wants you to copy it. From a designer’s perspective, while it might not be so much of a problem ( though it substantially limits and undermines their creativity), from a marketing perspective this could often be more detrimental to your business than you would think of.

Linkedin has recently invited me to publish on their platform and my first article on Linkedin talks in depth on Why Copying your Competitor’s Website is a Bad Idea . Do leave your thoughts in the comments section.

23.05.2014 in Social Media by 0

My Love for Buffer – Scheduling Social Posts Makes Life Easy

Buffer Social Sharing AppThis post is all about my new found love for Buffer ( https://bufferapp.com/ ). As a digital marketing professional it is essential for me to be active on the social platforms. While I do make sure to follow the right type of people across my social channels so that my time line is mostly filled with high quality content of my interest, I have always been a little too lazy to share content on all the social platforms – I mostly share on Facebook or Twitter but then all my followers on Google Plus and Linkedin gets completely ignored. And then there are some days when I am actually too busy to share content on any of my social profiles. Now with Buffer this is a thing of the past.

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16.05.2014 in Social Media by 0

The Messy Affair of Google Plus and Google Places

Google Places, erstwhile known as Google Local has always been a vital service both for users as well as marketers, Google Plus on the other hand has never gained the amount of traction that Google wanted it to have in spite of desperate attempts to force users across almost all popular Google properties to join Google Plus. While the web is abuzz with Vic Gundotra leaving Google and Google Plus being a walking dead, in the last couple of years attempt one thing that Google has successfully done is to mess up the Google Plus and Google Places inter relation, leaving marketers in a “don’t know what to do” state.

When Google Plus was introduced there was no talks of integrating with Places, thus many marketers went on to create their own pages in Google Plus. Later Google wanted Places to be integrated with Google Plus and as a result, for all the existing Places listing a corresponding Google Plus page was created – IRRESPECTIVE OF THE FACT WHETHER THE BUSINESS HAD A GOOGLE PLUS PAGE OR NOT.

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