With some snooping, you can gain a lot of useful information from your competitors and use it against them.
You can’t do this without the help of analysis tools like iSpionage and SpyFu. But between the two, which one of them does a better job of spying on competitors?
Today, let’s take a closer look at these SEO research tools to see which one is right for you.
- What Is iSpionage?
- What Is SpyFu?
- iSpionage vs Spyfu: How Are They Similar?
- How Are iSpionage and SpyFu Different?
- What’s Better About iSpionage?
- What’s Better About SpyFu?
- Who Should Get iSpionage?
- Who Should Get Spyfu?
What Is iSpionage?
iSpionage is a web-based SEO tool that specifically targets your competitors’ data. The idea is for you to use your rival’s own information to outrank them in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
To help you accomplish that, iSpionage gives you robust features specifically designed to extract data from top-performing pages in your niche.
Let’s start with competitor research. iSpionage makes it easy to gain a competitive edge over domains that aim to rank for the same terms as you.
First off, you can look at your competitor’s SEO and PPC campaigns. iSpionage pulls keyword information from three search engines — Google, Bing, and Yahoo. From these sources, you can get over 92 million keywords, over 100 million ad variations, and 45 million domains.
Not only that, but you can also search for keywords in four different markets: the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
Enter your competitor’s domain and head over to the PPC Keywords tab. There you’ll find the terms that it’s trying to target. The metrics shown are the same ones you’ve come to expect from other keyword tools.
You’ll find the keywords themselves along with their CPC (cost per click), average search volume and position, and the number of ads. There’s also the Keyword Effectiveness Index or KEI. The higher the KEI, the greater the chance that the term would become profitable.
The Organic Keywords tab will show your competition’s top-performing pages. You’ll also find out which keywords the pages rank for, their position in the SERPs, search volume, trend, and CPC.
Comparing domains lets you see your standing against competing domains. Or you could use the feature to get a better sense of how well your rivals fare against one another.
And if you want a glimpse of your competition’s ad strategy, you can see their landing pages along with the ad copy they used. You can use this information to come up with a more compelling copy for your target audience.
You even get a preview of the landing page itself so you see what their audience sees straight away.
Campaign Watch is your way of tracking keywords and rankings in iSpionage. It has two types: SEM and SEO Campaign Watch.
The higher the plan you choose, the more keywords and rankings you can monitor in a month. The number of SEO and SEM projects you could start also goes up.
You can use this feature to keep an eye on your own domain’s performance on search engines.
PPC Landing Page Gallery
This feature is for those who constantly need new landing page ideas. iSpionage compiles some of the best landing page designs in their gallery for inspiration.
Honestly, this feature doesn’t add much value especially those who only need iSpionage’s competitor research capabilities.
Besides, these examples come from existing domains. Meaning you could come across these landing pages on your own with some research. And if you already have a talented designer on your team, then there’s no need for these at all.
But since it comes with your subscription, you might as well make the most of it.
There are four plans to choose from: Starter ($59/month), Professional ($99/month), Advanced ($299/month), and Enterprise which is a custom solution (contact iSpionage for pricing).
All plans mostly offer the same key features. However, the amount of data you can harvest goes up the more expensive the plan gets. Higher-tier plans have other benefits like access to white-label reporting and additional users.
You can save up to 15% if you pay annually. You can access the free version provided you enter your personal information (name, email, etc.) and business details (your domain, profession, industry, etc.).
Do note that the free version is very limited. You won’t even be able to test out the SEO and SEM Campaign Watch.
So that about does it for iSpionage. As you could probably tell, it’s a bit plain but it delivers on what it promises.
But how does it compare to SpyFu?
What Is SpyFu?
SpyFu is also a web-based competitor research tool that helps users develop SEO and PPC strategies.
As its name implies, it can spy on your competitors to give you a better understanding of what they’re up to.
Let’s look at some of its features.
With the SEO Research feature, you get to understand your competitor a little bit better. Here are just some of the things you can do with it.
- Overview — This section summarizes a domain’s performance including keywords and backlinks.
- Competitors — See what keywords the domain has in common with related sites.
- Kombat — Using this feature, you can compare your domain with other sites that rank for the same target keywords.
- Keywords — See keyword groups and organic keywords for the site you entered.
- Ranking History — This shows how your keywords performed over a period of time.
- Backlinks — See which sites linked back to yours along with relevant metrics to assess their quality.
This section has almost the same features as SEO Research. Only this time, it’s more specific to pay-per-click campaigns. It does have the added benefit of AdWords Templates which are pre-built templates to help anyone get started with their campaign.
If you need more keyword ideas, you can use the built-in Keyword Research tool to get suggestions.
Keyword Overview lets you see all the available keywords SpyFu found. But dig in deeper and you’ll find even more information that could help you decide which terms are worth investing time and energy on.
Here are other things you could do with the Keyword Research feature.
- Related Keywords — Find similar terms related to the keyword you entered.
- Advertiser History — See which domains spent money for ads that target the keyword you entered.
- Ranking History — Find the top ten pages that ranked for your target keyword.
- Backlinks — Discover which domains you need to get backlinks from in order to rank for your target keyword.
- SERP Analysis — Get an overview of your keyword’s SERP performance.
- AdWords Advisor — See a bunch of keywords that SPyFu suggests you buy ads for based on the seed keyword you entered.
The Backlinks feature does two things for you. One, you get to find link opportunities based on your target keyword.
Two, you can use social outreach to build your link building prospects.
Basically, if you’re running out of leads for your link building campaign, SpyFu has the tool that’ll help expand your list and get you moving again.
You’d be happy to hear that SpyFu offers a way for you to track your performance in the search engine results pages.
Not only that — You can organize your keywords in groups so that it becomes easier for you to stay on top of it all.
You’ll see your keywords, their CPC, monthly searches, ranking difficulty, and the highest placement your pages got for the selected keyword. There’s also an indicator that tells whether your page went up or down the SERPs.
SpyFu does offer a reporting feature. But if we’re being honest, the reports look outdated by today’s standards.
We’re glad that it’s there for those who need it. But it’ll be hard to convince others to present these to their clients. You’re better off creating graphs and tables from scratch.
SpyFu has three pricing plans available: Basic ($39/month), Professional ($39/1st month; $78/month thereafter), and Team ($299/month).
The best thing about SpyFu’s plans is that all of them come with unlimited data. Higher-tier plans may have additional features like custom-branded reporting or additional users. But you get unlimited search results, data exports, and domain overviews regardless of which one you pick.
And yes, you do get a significant discount if you opt for the annual plan.
iSpionage vs Spyfu: How Are They Similar?
SpyFu and iSpionage share a lot of similarities. Maybe more than both of them would care to admit. Here are just a few.
They Get Competitor Keywords
You can use either tool to create a list of keywords that your competitor targets. This means you can finally fight toe-to-toe with them.
Since you’re likely to have the same target audience, using your rival’s target keywords could land you the same site visitors.
You can review the keywords and pick the best ones based on metrics presented by both tools.
And yes, it is possible to also see what keywords your competitors are actively bidding on as part of their ad campaign.
Having this information within reach will help you outrank similar sites down the road.
They Get Backlink Information
Of course, targeting the same keywords isn’t enough. You’d want to earn backlinks from the same sources as your competitor.
Fortunately, both iSpionage and SpyFu have backlink tools that show you who’s linking to your rival.
Now you can reach out to these sources and inquire about possible link building opportunities. This can be a gamechanger for your business or client.
They Offer PPC Data
Marketers would often get stuck analyzing their competitor’s SEO keywords and completely ignore their PPC campaigns.
That shouldn’t be the case.
Going through the competition’s PPC data will reveal which keywords they value the most. And smart marketers wouldn’t hesitate to fight for the same ones.
iSpionage and SpyFu will tell you which keywords your competitors are using for their PPC marketing campaign.
They Monitor Rankings
You can monitor your SERP performance using iSpionage and SpyFu. They will tell you if your pages have gone up or down the SERPs based on your target keywords.
There’s even a way to compare your rankings with your competitors so you know which one of you is winning the fight.
This information could also reveal why you’re getting more or less site traffic during a particular time.
How Are iSpionage and SpyFu Different?
Now, how about we look at the ways that iSpionage and SpyFu are different from one another?
|Price||SpyFu has more bang for your buck given what you’re getting for the price of their plans.||iSpionage is more expensive than SpyFu which is a shame given that you do get limited data with their low-tier plans.|
|Features||SpyFu has more features to offer than iSpionage. It goes beyond competitor research. Its features feel more fleshed out.||iSpionage mainly focuses on competitor research functionality. Features like its landing page gallery is a welcome addition but unnecessary for most folks.|
|Database||SpyFu only offers data from the US and UK.||iSpionage offers data from the US, UK, Australia, and Canada.|
|Data Allotment||SpyFu offers unlimited data across all plans.||The amount of data you could access will depend on which plan you select.|
What’s Better About iSpionage?
- Free Trial — So long as you’re comfortable giving your personal and business information, you can try iSpionage’s competitor research tools at no cost to you. SpyFu requires you to sign up for an account with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- White-Label Reports — SpyFu does have a reporting feature but theirs look dated by comparison. With iSpionage, subscribers to plans (Professional or higher) get access to white-label reports. Now you can present reports to clients with ease.
- User Interface — In our opinion, iSpionage is better for those who aren’t used to working with SEO tools just yet. It has a simplistic presentation that makes it easy to interpret the data being presented.
What’s Better About SpyFu?
- SEO Research — We’re not just talking about competitor research here. This refers to being able to do research on your own site. SpyFu feels like it has better research tools for any domain regardless of who owns it.
- Unlimited Data — If you’re working with multiple clients, you might need SpyFu for its unlimited data. There’s no data cap, meaning you can research as many keywords or domains as you need.
- More Users — SpyFu’s largest plan, Team, lets you add up to five users. iSpionage’s Advanced plan (which is priced the same as the Team plan) only grants access to three users. While iSpionage does have an Enterprise solution that lets you specify the number of users, there’s no telling how much that will cost unless you contact iSpionage.
Who Should Get iSpionage?
iSpionage works best for those who want a purpose-built tool for competitor research. It’s a simple tool that lets you see what your competitor is up to. The user interface is easy enough for novices to get right away.
If you want a no-frills yet effective competitor analysis tool, then iSpionage is worth looking into.
Who Should Get Spyfu?
SpyFu works best for those of you who need to handle a lot of data. Because it offers unlimited data, you can run more research for all of your clients if you’re running an agency.