Your needs and budget will determine whether Ahrefs or SpyFu is better. While Ahrefs is a comprehensive choice for an SEO tool, its cost can make SpyFu the preferred choice for users focused on competitor research.
Keeping up with your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts is a big task — too big to do alone without the help of an SEO tool like Ahrefs or SpyFu. Looking to learn more about these options? Check out our breakdown of SpyFu vs. Ahrefs below!
Is Ahrefs or SpyFu better?
Whether Ahrefs or SpyFu is better for SEO depends on your particular needs. If your priority is keyword research or backlink analysis, Ahrefs is the way to go. But if you care more about competitor research or just want a less expensive tool, SpyFu is better.
Compare Ahrefs vs. SpyFu
Learn more about Ahrefs vs. SpyFu in the table below:
|4.5 / 5
|4.6 / 5
|Starting at $99 / month
|Starting at $33 / month
|Basic SEO audit
Competitor keyword data
|Keyword rank tracking
|Track up to 10,000 keywords
|Track rank history
Keyword-based backlink recommendations
|Ease of use
Learn more about Ahrefs’ pros and cons below:
There are several upsides to choosing Ahrefs as your SEO tool. Those upsides include:
- Free plan: One of the best things about Ahrefs is that it offers some free tools for things like keyword research and link building, which is obviously very convenient.
- Keyword research: Keyword research is one of Ahrefs’s biggest strengths. It’s perfect for helping you find the ideal keywords to target in your SEO content.
- Backlink analysis: Ahrefs is also extremely useful for analyzing your backlink profile and figuring out which websites link to you.
As nice as the above Ahrefs advantages are, there are also several disadvantages. Those disadvantages include:
- Pricing: Ahrefs may offer some free tools, but its paid plans are wildly expensive, to the point that many businesses can’t afford them at all. If that’s the case, you might want to consider something like Ubersuggest vs. Ahrefs (depending on your needs).
- Lots of downtime: Compared to other tools, Ahrefs has a lot of downtime — that is, time during which the platform is down. This can be understandably frustrating for businesses.
- Customer support: Ahrefs isn’t known for its customer support. Many users say their customer service team is unhelpful and slow to respond.
Learn more about SpyFu’s pros and cons below:
SpyFu comes with its own set of benefits, including the following:
- Free plan: Like Ahrefs, SpyFu does offer a free plan. And in this case, it’s an actual plan rather than some individual free tools like with Ahrefs.
- Competitive analysis: SpyFu’s number one strength is its ability to gather intelligence about your competitors’ SEO. That makes it one of the biggest benefits of using the tool.
- User-friendliness: Overall, SpyFu is very easy to use, setting it apart from many of its competitor tools that can be tricky to navigate.
Although the benefits listed above are definitely good to have, there are also some downsides to using SpyFu. Those downsides include:
- Inaccurate data: SpyFu users have been known to complain about data accuracy in the tool. Obviously, receiving inaccurate data from your SEO tool is a big problem.
- Lack of search engine distinction: Some users have said that SpyFu fails to distinguish between traffic earned from Google vs. other search engines, making it hard to know where your traffic comes from.
- Non-user-friendly graphs: Even though user-friendliness is a strong point for SpyFu overall, its graphs are the exception, with many people finding them hard to navigate and use.
Compare Ahrefs vs. SpyFu in-depth
Now that we’ve seen some of the biggest pros and cons of each tool, which is better: Ahrefs or SpyFu? See how they stack up in relation to five key components of a good SEO tool below:
Ease of use
Reports vary on how easy it is to use Ahrefs. Some users find the interface a little overwhelming, but others say it’s perfect. Ultimately, it’s hard to draw a solid conclusion about it — it just depends on your individual perception.
On the other hand, SpyFu is generally recognized as being very user-friendly across the board (with the sole exception of its graphs). That means that SpyFu wins in this category by a small margin.
There’s no contest in this category: SpyFu wins in a heartbeat. First of all, though both tools offer free versions, only SpyFu’s is a free plan in the true sense of the word — Ahrefs’s is more of a collection of individual free tools.
And then, when you look at their paid plans, it’s even more obvious that SpyFu comes out on top. Its cheapest plan is only $16 per month, while Ahrefs’ pricing starts at $99 per month and goes up as high as $999 per month. Not very affordable for companies on a small budget!
A good SEO tool will help you research new opportunities to expand your campaigns, be it by finding keywords or investigating what your competitors are doing. Both Ahrefs and SpyFu excel here but in different areas.
SpyFu’s strength is in competitor research, while Ahrefs is the best tool out there for finding new keywords and evaluating your current rankings. So, which one wins out?
The deciding factor is the fact that SpyFu has been known to have issues with data accuracy. It’s close, but that cinches it for Ahrefs in this category.
In addition to helping you research new SEO opportunities, both SpyFu and Ahrefs also help you analyze your existing data to see how your campaigns are already performing. In this category, Ahrefs comes out on top. Not only is it great for assessing your keyword rankings, but it can also give you deep insights into your backlink profile.
Finally, any good software should have a solid customer support team as well. SpyFu does okay here — its customer support team doesn’t have rave reviews, but it hasn’t earned frequent complaints, either.
On the other hand, Ahrefs has caused a lot of frustration due to its slow and unhelpful customer service, as we mentioned earlier. For that reason, SpyFu takes this category.
Learn more about digital marketing tools on SEO.com
Now that you’ve read this comparison of SpyFu and Ahrefs, you can get started with the SEO tool of your choice. But the tool by itself won’t drive results — you have to pair it with a solid SEO strategy. If you’re not sure how to optimize your approach to SEO, you’re already in the right place.
Check out some other helpful content right here on SEO.com to boost your digital marketing expertise!
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