Comparative Review of Spyfu vs SEMRush vs KeywordSpy vs Ispionage

With businesses pouring in millions of dollars into paid search and more specifically into Google Ads, Adwords competitor analysis tools are getting more and more important today. The four major players dominating the market are – Spyfu, SEMRush, KeywordSpy and Ispionage. As they are mostly comparable, a detailed review of Spyfu vs SEMRush or KeywordSpy vs Ispionage can help you make the right decision.

When you look at a SEMRush review or compare Spyfu vs SEMRush vs KeywordSpy vs Ispionage it is important you keep in mind the scope of your usage. Some of these tools have now transformed into a suite of tools covering most digital marketing activities than restricting themselves only to SEO or search marketing intelligence.

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 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
Export Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
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+
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 Spyfu and if you ask me to pick one between Spyfu vs SEMRush, 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 databases 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 affects 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 particularly 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 the 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 has 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 buying one, I would suggest you get started with SEMRush Free Trial.

Some Updates on Spyfu vs SEMRush

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, a 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 have been introduced.

Spyfu vs. SEMRush

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. You can also read our 5000+ words extensive SEMRush Review & Guide or take a free trial.

SEO Content Template

This is a very interesting feature that is still in Beta but projected 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.

These 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.

A detailed comparison of SEMRUSH vs. Spyfu – which is a better SEO Tool.

Brand Monitoring

  • Monitor your brand reputation
  • Discover New opportunities
  • Track Backlinks

Video Advertising Competitor Research

  • Uncover your competitor’s 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 competitor’s social media presence
  • Visualize data

PLA Competitive 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

Keyword Groupie

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 also 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 reports

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.

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Check out the About SRC Page for more details about Saptarshi Roy Chaudhury.

2 Comments to “Comparative Review of Spyfu vs SEMRush vs KeywordSpy vs Ispionage”

  1. David says:

    Thanks, just what I was looking for. Question – you note that “With all the other tools if you are looking to get data for any other market but US, you are in for trouble.” = what are your thoughts on Keyword Spy for the UK? Comparable coverage to the US?

    Thanks again,


    • I personally don’t think UK is so much challenging compared to the other smaller markets. UK is covered by Keywordspy, SEMRush and several other tools, it gets difficult when it comes down to the smaller countries, particularly the non-English ones. In terms of coverage, none of these guys really disclose their country specific database size but talks about the overall database size and I would think based on the niche you are searching for your experience could be different for each of these tools. As I mentioned, I have a clear bias of SEMRush, specifically because it not just does a kick ass job in keywords competitive research but also works as a Swiss army knife with all the various features around video ads, PLA research, Backlinks and other SEO research etc.

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