Semrush vs. SpyFu: Which Is Best for SEOs in 2024?

Semrush and SpyFu are valuable SEO tools, with Semrush excelling in research and analysis capabilities, and SpyFu offering superior customer support and user-friendliness, making the choice between the two dependent on specific business needs.
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    Matthew Gibbons Lead Data & Tech Writer
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  • February 22, 2024
  • 7 min. read
Semrush vs. SpyFu: Which is better for SEO?

Semrush and SpyFu are effective SEO tools, but if you’re able to afford Semrush, you’ll unlock more capabilities for managing and analyzing your SEO efforts. SpyFu, however, is a cost-effective alternative for smaller businesses and freelancers.

Search engine optimization (SEO) takes time, which is why SEOs use (and love) SEO tools. If you’re looking at different SEO tools and wondering which ones are best (like Semrush vs. SpyFu), then keep reading for a breakdown!

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Is Semrush or SpyFu better for SEO?

When it comes to Semrush vs. SpyFu in SEO, Semrush is a competitive choice for businesses looking for a powerful, diverse search engine optimization tool. Individuals looking for a more affordable choice, however, should consider SpyFu.

Compare Semrush vs. SpyFu

Start your research into Semrush vs. SpyFu using the comparison table below. For more in-depth information, keep reading!

Features Semrush SpyFu
Average rating 4.5 / 5 4.6 / 5
Best for
  • SEO experts
  • SEO agencies
  • Large organizations
Pricing Starting at $129.95 / month Starting at $33 / month
  • SEO and digital marketing toolkit, including PPC
  • Keyword and backlink database size
  • In-depth competitor analysis
  • Competitor keyword research
  • Competitor backlink analysis
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) research
  • Overwhelming user interface
  • Learning curve
  • Bigger focus on PPC vs. SEO
  • Emphasis on competitor research vs. all SEO areas
Site audits In-depth SEO audit Basic SEO audit
Keyword research
  • Open-ended keyword research
  • Keyword gap analysis
  • Competitor keyword data
  • Competitor keyword performance
Keyword rank tracking
  • Location-based tracking
  • Keyword labels
  • Keyword cannibalization
  • Ranking history
  • Keyword groups and labels
SEO content
  • Topic generation
  • Content briefs
Topic generation
Competitor research
  • Keywords
  • Backlinks
  • PPC performance
  • Share of voice
  • Traffic sources
  • Keywords
  • Backlinks
  • PPC performance
Backlink analysis
  • Extensive backlink database
  • Backlink gap
  • Competitor lists
Backlink recommendations based on keyword
Customer support
  • Online chat
  • Resource library
  • Online classes
  • Online chat
  • Phone
  • Resource library
Ease of use Harder due to learning curve Easier due to interface
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • AI-based performance summaries
  • Content-based AI tool
  • Free AI tools outside subscription
Content-based AI tool

Alternatives to SEMRush and Spyfu

  • — an affordable DIY tool to easily track rankings, keyword research, and competitor analysis
  • Ahrefs — a comprehensive SEO tool for backlink analysis, keyword research, and site audits
  • Moz — features a robust suite of SEO tools for link building, audits, and on-page optimization
  • SE Ranking — offers tools for website audits, backlink monitoring, and competitor analysis

Semrush vs. SpyFu

Learn more about how Semrush and SpyFu compare below:

Ease of use

Semrush is not known for its user-friendliness. It’s not the worst tool out there in this category, but it could definitely stand to be more intuitive.

SpyFu, on the other hand, is known for being very easy to navigate and use (except for its graphs). For that reason, SpyFu wins out in this category with ease.

Winner: SpyFu


Both Semrush and SpyFu offer a free plan, so neither tool has the advantage there. That means we’re left to examine their paid plans and see which one costs more.

Semrush’s plans start at $130 per month, and they only go up from there. Meanwhile, SpyFu’s cheapest paid plan costs as little as $16 per month if you pay annually, and $39 if you pay monthly. Even on a monthly plan, that’s still much, much cheaper than Semrush.

That means SpyFu is once again the winner here.

Winner: SpyFu


Both Semrush and SpyFu give you the opportunity to research different opportunities for your SEO strategy, including keywords and competitors. So, how do they stack up against one another in this category?

When it comes to keywords, Semrush is definitely ahead of SpyFu — but the opposite is true of competitor analysis, which is SpyFu’s greatest strength. However, SpyFu has also been known to have issues with data accuracy, which gives Semrush the victory here by a slight edge.

Winner: Semrush


In addition to researching new opportunities, SpyFu and Semrush can both help you analyze your existing campaigns and resources. That includes your backlinks, website traffic, and more.

Both tools do well in this category. However, Semrush wins because it simply has more. It’s packed to the brim with analytics features, including an excellent backlink analysis tool that beats out SpyFu’s, making Semrush one of the best link building tools out there.

Winner: Semrush

Customer support

There’s nothing especially remarkable about SpyFu’s customer service. It’s fairly run-of-the-mill. However, it’s better than Semrush’s customer support, which is known for being excruciatingly slow and difficult. For that reason, this category is a no-brainer — SpyFu is the winner.

Winner: SpyFu

Inside Semrush

Learn more about Semrush’s pros and cons:

Semrush pros

When you use Semrush as your SEO tool, you’ll encounter several different benefits, including:

  • Lots of features: One thing Semrush excels in is features. Though many of these features are only accessible through a paid plan, they include everything from lead finders to heat maps.
  • Backlink analysis: One of Semrush’s best features is its backlink analysis feature. That’s where it gives you an overview of all the different websites linking to your site.
  • Free plan: At the end of the day, a big part of your decision will probably come down to pricing. Semrush has an advantage there since it offers a free plan.

Semrush cons

There are plenty of benefits to using Semrush, but there are also plenty of downsides, including:

  • Pricing: Semrush might offer a free plan, but that plan contains extremely limited features. For the good stuff, you’ll have to get one of the paid plans, which are very expensive.
  • Customer service: One of Semrush’s biggest weak spots is its customer service, which many users say is infamously slow and unhelpful.
  • Not user-friendly: Semrush’s user-friendliness isn’t the best, with an interface that’s tricky to navigate. That’s not to say it’s terrible, but it could definitely use work.

Inside SpyFu

Learn more about SpyFu’s pros and cons:

SpyFu pros

Just like Semrush, SpyFu has its share of advantages. Those advantages include:

  • Competitive analysis: This should come as no surprise based on the name, but SpyFu’s biggest strength is its ability to help you spy on your competitors and get insight into their SEO, making it one of the top competitor analysis tools out there.
  • User-friendliness: SpyFu is often praised for its intuitive and easily navigable interface, making it very easy to quickly become familiar with the tool.
  • Free plan: Like Semrush, SpyFu does offer a free plan, so it’s still an option if you don’t have the budget to pay for it right now. Of course, this plan is also very limited.

SpyFu cons

Unfortunately, SpyFu also comes with several different downsides, including:

  • Inaccurate data: Many users report that SpyFu has major issues with data accuracy, which can be very frustrating, since that’s supposed to be one of the tool’s main features.
  • Non-user-friendly graphs: While most of the tool is user-friendly, that doesn’t extend to its graphs, which people find difficult to navigate and work with.
  • Lack of search engine distinction: Some users report that SpyFu doesn’t distinguish between Google and other search engines, meaning you don’t always know where your traffic originates.

How to choose between Semrush and SpyFu

When choosing between any two SEO tools, whether it’s Semrush vs. SpyFu or Semrush vs. Ahrefs, the following questions can help narrow your choices:

  1. What is your budget?
  2. What capabilities do you need?
  3. Do you need non-SEO tools (both Semrush and SpyFu include digital marketing tools)?
  4. Are you the sole user, or will other team members use the tool?
  5. Do the tools offer a free trial or refund policy?

Since Semrush and SpyFu both offer free trials, we recommend exploring both so you can see which ones meet your needs the most. If you are looking for cheap SEO tools, these trials provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate their features and capabilities without any initial investment.

Get the best tool for SEOs with the app

Why choose between Semrush or SpyFu when you can use the app? The app is our state-of-the-art SEO tool built by SEOs for SEOs.

Get started for free today to streamline your SEO strategy, keep tabs on competitors, discover keyword opportunities, and much more!

Headshot of a smiling man in blue shirt on a black background.
Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.

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