The Best SpyFu Alternative for SEO Research

Traffic Generation


Marcelo Beilin  (Updated Apr 7, 2024 )

SpyFu is known for having one of the best PPC research feature sets in the industry. If you’re just running search ad campaigns, then SpyFu is all you need.

However, if you're also doing content marketing to rank high on organic search, you’ll find its features quite lacking and you’ll be quickly looking for a SpyFu alternative.

Disclosure: Although I receive affiliate compensation at no additional cost to you to support this site that compensation in no way influences my recommendations, which are strictly informed by my 10+ years of online business experience consulting for clients large and small. My aim is to always recommend tools that offer the best return for your investment (for more details, read my Affiliate Disclosure). 

Why You Need a Quality SpyFu Alternative

In order to win at the content marketing game, you need highly accurate organic search information. You need to know not only what keywords your competition is ranking for, but also what keywords they’re not ranking for, so you can exploit those content gaps.

You also need to know which high domain-authority sites are linking to your competitors so you can target them in your backlink outreach efforts.

In order to perform the above tasks you'll need to have a lot of competitive organic search data, and this is an area where SpyFu lacks firepower.

What Is the Best SpyFu Alternative for SEO Research

The best tool out there bar none when it comes to sheer data collection power is Ahrefs.

While their name may not be as memorable and quite hard to pronounce, they actually pack a heavy punch when it comes to large-scale organic data acquisition.

They operate 2,600 servers that are constantly crawling and updating 420 million webpages per day out of a total index of 8.6 billion pages.

In fact, they run the world's largest third-party database of search queries and the third largest backlink database in the world, second only to Google and Bing.

If you choose to use Ahrefs for your SEO needs you'll be in good company as it is the tool of choice of the world's top digital marketing professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions About SEO Tools

What should I look for in a SEO tool?

When choosing an SEO tool, you should look for something that offers you a complete package — an SEO Swiss army of sorts.

This includes keyword research, rank checkers for your site and competitors, link building research tools and social share monitoring among others.

Also, a good SEO tool should be affordable since their cost recurs every month and it can quickly add up, taking funds away from your budget that could cover other business needs.

While there are some SEO tools that offer one-time lifetime memberships, they tend to have much smaller datasets that offer a lot less real value.

Are there any Google tools I can use for SEO?


Google has 3 free tools that can work for SEO: the Google Keyword Planner (this requires a free Google Ads account), the Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster tools), and Google Analytics.

Out of the three, the Google Keyword Planner is the only one that offers competitive information, since the Google Search Console and Google Analytics only present SEO data from your own site.

The Google Search Console shows you the organic keywords your pages rank for, including clicks, impressions, CTR and position information.

It also shows you which domains are currently linking to your pages and what pages are getting the most links.

Google analytics shows you a plethora of SEO information related to your site, including number of visitors, traffic sources, average time on page, pages per session and bounce rate, among many others.

Like the Google Search Console, Google Analytics will only show you data from sites you own, so you can’t use it for competitor analysis either.

Is Google Analytics an SEO tool?

Yes and No. Google Analytics is a powerful tool for understanding which traffic sources are bringing the most conversions to your site, but it doesn’t show you what your competitors are doing to rank higher than you. A proper SEO tool needs to show you both.

Which are the best SEO tools for a beginner?

What it comes to ranking on search engines, the most important task for a beginner is content creation.

Although equally important, outreach for backlinks will need to wait until you have a significant amount of high quality content on your site. “Thin” content websites don’t get a lot of love from other sites.

Therefore, you should focus strictly on content creation at first, for which you’ll need a solid keyword research tool that’s cost effective and easy to use.

My recommendation is KWFinder, which has a solid and growing database of keywords, very affordable entry-level plans and an intuitive user interface that requires very little training to master.

How do I find SEO keywords for free?


The best way to find SEO keywords for free is to do a search on the Google Keyword Planner tool (you require a free Google Ads account in order to do so.)

This tool will show you monthly search volume, competition (paid, not organic) and other factors to help you get a general idea of which keywords are going to work for your campaign.

If you’re looking for more advanced features, you could take advantage of SEMRush’s free trial or Ahrefs’ $7 for 7 days offer.

What is the best paid keyword research tool?

The best paid keyword research tool is Ahrefs since they’ve managed to create the third largest search keyword database in the world, which is not that far behind Google itself.

Ahrefs also offers a great keyword idea engine that allows you to uncover related keywords, search queries that contain your keyword and user questions from the “People also ask” section in Google search results.  

Is the Google keyword planner tool useful for organic SEO?

Yes, but only in a roundabout way.

While the Google keyword planner shows highly accurate monthly traffic volumes for the keywords you’re doing research on, it only shows you how competitive the keyword is from a standpoint of paid search ads, not organic searches.

However, you could argue that if a keyword is highly competitive in an ad auction, there’s a likelihood that a lot of people would also be trying to rank organically for the same keyword.

So, a paid keyword with a low competition score from Google Ads should translate to an organic keyword with low keyword difficulty.

Now, keep in mind that this is not always the case 100% of the time — there are high difficulty keywords with low commercial value that don’t attract a lot of paid ads — but it does hold true in a lot of cases.

Which SEO tool is considered the best for backlink analysis?

Of all SEO tools on the market, Ahrefs has managed to compile the largest database of backlinks available anywhere — with the exception of Google — with 23 trillion backlinks and counting, making it the best tool for backlink analysis.


I hope you found this article helpful. If you have questions about another SpyFu alternative, feel free to leave a comment below.

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About the author

Marcelo Beilin is a Digital Marketing Consultant and blogger who helps clients take their traffic and online revenue to the next level.

He also helps readers find the perfect tools to earn online income at

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