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.
|Keyword Base||Nothing Specified||800,000,000+||92,000,000||127,000,000|
|Domain Base||77,000,000||130,000,000+||17,000,000||Nothing Specific|
|Countries Covered||US, UK||117 Countries||US, UK, Canada||32 Countries|
|Language Support||English||English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Polish||English||English|
|Customer Support||Live Chat, Email, Phone||US, Canada, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Toll Free Phone, Email, Live Chat(Skype)||Email, Phone||Email & Live Chat|
|API Access||Yes||Yes||Limited API Access||No|
|Pricing||Monthly Packages $49( very limited) – $299||Monthly Packages $99.95 – $399.95||Monthly Packages $69.95(extremely limited) – $299||Monthly Packages $89 – $139+|
|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 Spyfu and if you ask for one, it would definitely be SEMRush.
Why I prefer SEMRush and Spyfu 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 Spyfu for the fact that it is really focussed on Search and does a really good job at it, whether you are looking for organic or paid search intelligence. The API functionalities are particulalrly effective if you are looking to work on large agency level accounts. Also, it is probably one of the most trusted tools by SEM stalwarts in the industry.
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.
Some Updates on SEMRush & Spyfu
It’s been couple years I wrote this post and things have changed, so I have Updated the post again on 22nd April 2017, with some data elements in the table and more importantly couple of these tools – SEMRush and Spyfu have launched a lot of new features in this years. While a full blown review of SEMRush and Spyfu is in order, here is a quick snapshot of some of the new features that has been introduced.
SEMRush Review – New Features
While SEMRush is known for their SEO and SEM competitive analysis features over the last couple of years they have enhanced the search intelligence features extensively as well as introduced a lot of new features across Social Media, Video Ads, Content and PR , Brand Monitoring. Given below are a list of additional features beyond the core Search Marketing competitive intelligence features.
SEO Content Template
This is a very interesting feature that is still in Beta but proojected to come out of Beta on May 1st 2017. Here you can enter your targeted keyword and the tool will provide you with an SEO template which includes :
- Semantically Related keywords
- Some of the domains from where you should be acquiring backlinks
- Recommended Text Length
- Readability Score for the Current Top 10 competitors.
This recommendations are based on your top 10 organic competitor analysis. This given an excellent background when you start to create your content for the targeted keywords and could be really helpful for SEO.
- Monitor your brand reputation
- Discover New opportunities
- Track Backlinks
Video Advertising Competitor Research
- Uncover your competitors video ad strategies
- Discover top advertisers
- Identify opportunities on how to make money from your videos.
Display Advertising Research
- Identify Top Publishers and Advertisers
- Analyze competitors’ display ads
- Identify New Publishers
- View Display Ads across devices
Social Media Monitoring and Analysis
- Keep track of your social media campaigns
- Research your competitors social media presence
- Visualize data
PLA Compeititve Research
- Identify your Product Listing Ads Competitors
- Get insights into your competitors’ product feeds
- See your competitor’s best performing PLAs
I think with all these features been added, SEMRush is becoming a very comprehensive tool to be used across all digital marketing channels and activities and is creating a clear competitive advantage over other similar tools. If you haven’t tried SEMRush still now, you can take a Free Trial here .
Spyfu Review – New Features
This allows you to easily organize keywords into targeted groups. You can start with a list of keywords, the tool will help delete duplicates, add additional data like competition, cost etc and club them into relevant groups. SEMRush also offers a very similar feature called Keyword Magic Tool.
Spyfu Custom Reports
This is a highly useful report if you are an agency. You can not only generate the SEO results or Adwords recommendation report ( Adwords Advisor Report) but you can customize them to make the reports look branded with your agency. You can -
- Add your logo
- Remove Spyfu branding from the report
- Editing the reports to hide any section that you might not want to show to the client
- Add a consistent theme design across your report
Unfortunately Spyfu doesn’t offer a free trial like SEMRush but they do commit to absolutely hassle free cancellation and the tool is definitely one of the best. You can try Spyfu here.