In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been pumping out comparison articles lately.
Allow me to spice up the playing field with SpyFu vs KWFinder.
This time, we’ll do a deep dive into each platform’s features, strengths, and weaknesses.
Hopefully, you’ll discover your SEO tool of choice for 2021 by the end of this post.
Table Of Contents
- 1. Introduction to SpyFu vs KWFinder
- 2. SpyFu vs SEMrush Pricing
- 3. Usability
- 4. Keyword Suggestions
- 5. Keyword Filters
- 6. Competitor Research
- 7. Backlink Analysis
- 8. Extra Features
- 9. The Verdict
- 10. Conclusion
Introduction to SpyFu vs KWFinder
As always, let’s start this comparison with an introduction of each competitor.
SpyFu is an SEO and PPC analytics platform that prioritizes one thing: competitive research.
Its highlights include a low price point, diverse lineup of analytics tools, and unlimited data.
While competitor research is a huge part of SpyFu, it also lets you do keyword research from scratch.
We’ll discuss that in detail later.
Next up, we have KWFinder.
As you may have guessed, KWFinder is primarily a keyword research tool intended to help you find profitable keyword ideas.
However, it’s also part of a bigger platform that covers other areas of SEO as well.
If you purchase KWFinder, you also gain access to a handful of other SEO tools from Mangools:
- SERPChecker – Analyze the top search engine results for keywords.
- SERPWatcher – Track keyword rankings of your or your competitor’s website.
- LinkMiner – Analyzes the backlink profile of a domain or page.
- SiteProfiler – Extract in-depth SEO metrics.
Put simply, KWFinder is a standalone tool, but it’s part of a package and cannot be bought individually.
The good news is, a Mangools subscription isn’t that much more expensive than SpyFu. In fact, it’s actually cheaper than SpyFu if you opt for annual payments.
Now that we’re on the topic of pricing, let’s take a look at each tool’s pricing plans.
SpyFu pricing plans
|SpyFu Basic||SpyFu Pro||SpyFu Elite|
|Price||$39 per month||$79 per month||$299 per month|
|Keyword Tracking||5,000 per week||15,000 per week||40,000 per week|
KWFinder pricing plans
|Mangools Basic||Mangools Premium||Mangools Agency|
|Price||$49 per month||$69 per month||$129 per month|
|Keyword Searches||100 per day||500 per day||1,200 per day|
|Competitor Keywords||25 per search||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Backlink Analysis||100,000 rows per month||500,000 rows per month||1,200,000 rows per month|
|Keyword Tracking||200 per day||700 per day||1,500 per day|
|Domain Analysis||20 per day||70 per day||150 per day|
While pricing is important, it’s not the end all, be all factor in choosing an SEO tool.
That said, I compared SpyFu vs KWFinder with the following in mind:
- Quality (and Quantity) of Keyword Suggestions
- Keyword Filters
- Competitor Research
- Backlink Analysis
- Extra Features
Let’s get this show on the road.
What’s the point of blogging tools if they don’t make tasks easier?
I get that top-tier tools are supposed to have a learning curve.
However, tools must be designed to help users get productive from day one.
Below is a closer inspection of the user experiences SpyFu and KWFinder provide.
SpyFU: Fast and easy to use
SpyFu features a well-implemented, streamlined navigation system.
Everything you need for your SEO or PPC campaign is accessible with just one click.
All you have to do is point your mouse over the right sub-menu and click the feature you want to use.
Most of these tools also have similar user interfaces.
You just have to type in a domain, URL, or seed keyword and click the ‘Search’ button.
The same interaction is required to use pretty much every important SpyFu tool.
That’s how SpyFu manages to make SEO tasks look easy – from keyword research to backlink analysis.
Next, let’s check how fast SpyFu gathers data for reports.
Based on multiple keyword research tests, SpyFu’s takes an average of 2.02 seconds to load up the results.
That, to me, is more than satisfactory as far as speed goes.
Check out this real-time clip of SpyFu’s keyword research tool in action:
Sure, ease of navigation and speed are important and all.
But what really completes the usability factor is a tool’s library of learning resources.
Remember, a lot of beginners rely on tutorials and guides to make the most out of any platform. And, in that department, SpyFu did a splendid job.
New SpyFu users can take advantage of video tutorials, in-depth guides, and a full-on glossary.
If these won’t help you learn SpyFu, I don’t know what will.
SpyFu Usability Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Usability-wise, SpyFu is almost perfect.
The learning resources, speed, and intuitive navigation do well in mitigating the learning curve. But since SpyFu packs truckloads of information in single-page reports, it may still take a while to fully master it.
KWFinder: Aesthetic interface that runs like butter
If we’re judging KWFinder’s usability as a single tool, it’s definitely deserving of a perfect score.
The interface is simple, visual clutter is kept at a minimum, and everything is where it should be.
It’s worth mentioning that, in order to access other Mangools tools, you need to load an entirely new page.
Mangools tools, like SERPChecker and LinkMiner, can be loaded up from the collapsible menu on the upper-left.
Right away, you can tell that having important features run on separate tools may lead to more loading times.
It’s a minor inconvenience, but the tools themselves are able to collect and present data rather quickly.
Based on multiple tests, KWFinder has an average speed of 1.76 seconds when generating results.
However, there were instances when KWFinder took a solid three seconds before showing me anything.
My hunch is that it takes KWFinder a little longer to collect data for popular keywords.
But since it’s only a tiny difference, I won’t make a big deal out of it.
After all, I’ve tested keyword research tools that take over seven seconds to get keyword data.
Now that the speed test is over and done with, let’s take a look at KWFinder’s learning resources.
The Mangools team offers an in-depth KWFinder tutorial and multi-chaptered guides for keyword research and SEO.
That may not seem like a lot compared to SpyFu’s library, which has tutorial videos. But thanks to Mangools’s editorial team, the guides are more than enough to help absolute beginners get a running start.
KWFinder Usability Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
KWFinder’s usability factor is top-notch – there’s no question about that.
The reason it didn’t get a perfect score are the loading times you have to endure in-between each Mangools tool. On the flip side, you won’t get any of that once you’ve loaded up the tool you want to use.
Either way, I’d say KWFinder and SpyFu’s usability ratings should be dead even.
2. Keyword Suggestions
Here’s what I think:
Any post that reviews KWFinder and SpyFu should have a section about their keyword suggestions.
For this section, I’m specifically talking about the quantity and quality of keyword ideas. And to test that for both tools, let’s imagine for a while that we’re in the tech niche.
SpyFU: The gold standard in competitor keyword research
As expected, SpyFu excels in pulling in keyword ideas from competitors.
You can start by heading over to the ‘SEO Keywords’ tool under “SEO Research.”
Upon entering a competitor’s website, SpyFu will show you a list of your competitor’s keywords.
For the sake of this post, let’s pretend that we’re in the tech niche and Tech Radar is our competitor.
Here are the keywords SpyFu managed to fetch from their website:
In addition to keyword ideas, SpyFu also includes important keyword metrics.
By default, you should see the following metrics in the keyword list:
- Keyword search volume
- Your competitor’s rankings
- Your competitor’s organic clicks from that keyword
- The keyword’s difficulty rating
- The keyword’s average Cost Per Click (CPC)
Take note that you can view other metrics by clicking the ‘Columns’ button and selecting them individually.
The additional metrics you can include in the keyword list are as follows:
- Clicks – The total number of organic and paid clicks the keyword generates.
- Not Clicked – The percentage of users who don’t click on any page from the search engine results page or SERP.
- Mobile Searches – The percentage of users who used a mobile device when searching for the keyword.
- Desktop Searches – The percentage of users who used a desktop or laptop when searching for the keyword.
- Paid Clicks – Measures the percentage of users who click ads when searching for the keyword.
- Organic Clicks – Measures the percentage of users who click organic results when searching for the keyword.
- Monthly Cost – The estimated monthly cost advertisers spend on average to advertise for the keyword.
- Ads – The number of advertisers that targeted the keyword in Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns in the past 14 months.
- Homepages – The number of homepages within the top results for the keyword.
That’s definitely more than enough data to help you handpick the right competitor keywords.
Of course, you can also use SpyFu to do keyword research from a clean slate.
By that, I mean using a seed keyword to generate a long list of related, long-tail keyword ideas.
You can do this by heading to the “Keyword Research” page. From there, enter the seed keyword you’d like to work with and click the ‘Search’ button.
Under the ‘Overview’ tab, SpyFu will show you an in-depth report page with essential metrics along with keyword ideas.
The metrics include:
- Keyword search volume
- Estimated organic and paid clicks
- Mobile and desktop traffic share
- Paid clicks
- Keyword difficulty
For keywords that are targeted in Google Ads campaigns, you’ll see metrics under “Google Provided Data.” This contains metrics like the keyword’s CPC, monthly advertising cost, search volume, and number of advertisers.
And below that, SpyFu identifies the SERP features being triggered by that keyword.
There are other important sections on the keyword overview report page.
Here’s a quick rundown:
- Top Google Ads Buy Recommendation – This section lists down the top keyword recommendations for Google Ads campaigns. It shows the recommendation for each keyword, their impressions per month, and the competitors who target it.
- Most Successful Advertisers and Their Best Ads – This data section has a rather self-explanatory header. It shows a list of the top successful advertisers along with metrics like their budget, total keywords, and overall coverage.
- Organic Ranking History – The “Organic Ranking History” section features a ranking timeline of the top 10 results for your keyword. You can adjust the time range and switch between the top 10 and top 50 positions.
- Inbound Links – Below the organic ranking history timeline, you’ll see a list of the top backlink sources for your keyword. The metrics included are each domain’s monthly organic clicks, page monthly clicks, Domain Strength, ranked keywords, and total outbound links.
- Organic Search Ranking Analysis – SpyFu’s keyword overview report has a built-in SERP analysis section. In addition to the top results, you’ll also see metrics like the top result’s Domain Strength, and estimated monthly clicks.
- Current Ads – Lastly, SpyFu displays a preview of the current ads targeting your keyword. Use this information to gauge the competition as well as borrow ideas for your own ad campaign.
Before we move on to KWFinder’s keyword research capabilities, we shouldn’t forget SpyFu’s keyword suggestions.
The keyword overview report already has four lists of keyword suggestions, namely:
- Similar keywords
- Also ranks for (competitors)
- Also buys ads for (competitors)
To get more ideas, switch to the ‘Related Keywords’ tab.
This will give you a clearer view of SpyFu’s keyword suggestions for your seed keyword.
To view other keyword groups, expand the ‘Search Type’ drop-down menu.
Initially, SpyFu should show you all similar keywords obtained from your search. But you can also view other keyword groups to diversify your keyword list:
- Also ranks for
- Also buys for
- Transactional keywords
SpyFu Keyword Suggestions Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
If there is a way to get keyword suggestions from the web, SpyFu can do it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re doing keyword research from scratch or spying on competitors. With SpyFu, you’re only minutes away from unlocking a massive keyword list along with pertinent keyword metrics.
Not to mention that SpyFu automatically groups keyword types into useful categories.
The transactional keywords group, in particular, is extremely helpful if you want keywords that can generate purchase-ready traffic.
It may not be my absolute favorite keyword research tool. But when it comes to keyword suggestions, no one can deny SpyFu’s effectiveness.
KWFinder: Simple, to-the-point keyword research
I’ve reviewed KWFinder a couple of times in this blog.
One of the things I love about it is its no-nonsense approach to keyword research.
You just plug in your seed keyword, pick your country, set a language, and click ‘Find Keywords.’
In return, KWFinder will show you a consolidated list of all detected keyword ideas.
Of course, your keyword list already contains the keyword metrics you should look at. And while KWFinder doesn’t have as many metrics as SpyFu, it does manage to get the ones that matter:
- Keyword search volume
- Pay Per Click (PPC) competitiveness
- Keyword difficulty
Here’s something fun: KWFinder lets you change the currency being used for the CPC metric. This is useful if you want more accurate estimates of your would-be PPC campaign budget.
Just like SpyFu, KWFinder also groups keywords into categories.
You can browse related keywords, Autocomplete suggestions, and question-based keywords using these tabs:
KWFinder also has a useful piece of information that’s missing from SpyFu’s reports.
To the left of the search volume metric, you’ll see the “Trend” column which contains a tiny blue graph.
That actually visualizes the keyword’s search volume in the last 12 months.
You can “zoom in” on this data by clicking the keyword and scrolling down to the “SERP overview” section.
Just above this, there’s an interactive trend chart you can use to check the keyword’s traffic over the years.
Why does observing traffic trends matter?
By inspecting a keyword’s past traffic performance, you can identify trendy and seasonal keywords.
Trendy keywords pertain to breakout topics or products that can grow in popularity – usually for the short-term.
Seasonal keywords, on the other hand, get traffic spikes during specific times and events. “Inflatable pool,” for example, usually rises in popularity between June and July each year.
While checking traffic trends is indeed important, bear in mind that you can do the same with free tools like Google Trends.
Still, it’s nice to have everything you need for keyword research in one place.
Speaking of everything, we haven’t talked about KWFinder’s competitor keyword research feature.
It’s really easy – just switch to the ‘By Domain’ mode and run the search again.
Only this time, you need to enter a competitor’s domain or page URL.
This will reveal your competitor’s top organic keywords and relevant keyword metrics. Feel free to switch between organic and paid keywords when doing competitor keyword research.
As a bonus, KWFinder also provides a handy list of other competitors and locations to help diversify your keywords.
You can these competitor suggestions above the keyword list.
For competitor keywords, KWFinder displays two extra metrics you can use.
First, there’s the “Position” metric, which indicates the highest SERP position your competitor achieved for the keyword. And second, there’s the “Estimated Visits” metric, which measures the organic traffic your competitor gained.
The estimated visits metric takes into consideration a couple of factors, namely:
- Your competitor’s average SERP positions
- Their organic click-through rate (CTR)
- The average search volume of the keyword
Finally, let’s take a quick look at the metrics KWFinder includes for the SERP overview.
Check them out:
- Domain Authority (DA) – An SEO ranking score developed by Moz. It is evaluated using different variables like the domain’s backlink profile, the quality of referring domains, and so on.
- Page Authority (PA) – Basically the same as DA, but on a page-level. Similar to DA, it takes into consideration the domain’s backlink profile and other factors.
- Citation Flow (CF) – This is a different SEO ranking score developed by Majestic. However, it ties more to the quantity of links that point to the domain or page.
- Trust Flow (TF) – Also developed by Majestic, TF determines the ranking score of sites based on the quality of links. Quality is affected by the rank-worthiness of referring domains, which also depends on several on-page factors.
- Links – This next metric measures the total count of backlinks that point to a specific URL. KWFinder also breaks down the total number of referring domains, referring IPs, and referring subnets.
- Facebook Shares – KWFinder uses data fed by the Facebook API to measure the total number of shares a URL has. This can help you paint a picture of your competitor’s sharing activities.
- Link Profile Strength (LPS) – Of course, Mangools also developed their own metric for their own SERP overview report. LPS measures the overall health of a URL’s backlink profile.
KWFinder Keyword Suggestions Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
KWFinder has the makings of a top-of-the-line keyword research tool.
It is easy to use, packed with useful keyword metrics, and can spot the right kind of keyword ideas.
Unfortunately, the only reason it didn’t get a perfect score is the total number of keyword suggestions.
Even with KWFinder’s highest pricing plan, keyword ideas are capped at 700 suggestions per search. That is a huge downer, especially since SpyFu has no problem pulling in over a million ideas for some keywords.
3. Keyword Filters
Great – you now know how to use either SpyFu or KWFinder to generate tons of keyword ideas.
The question now is, how are you going to comb through all those keywords?
That’s what keyword filters are for.
Let’s discuss how keyword filters work in both tools.
SpyFU: Simple and consolidated filter options
You can filter keywords from SpyFu using the consolidated filter controls to the left of the keyword list.
Believe it or not, there are some tools that don’t have filter options for certain metrics.
Fortunately, that isn’t the case with SpyFu.
If it can provide a keyword metric, you can filter keyword suggestions through it.
To set filters, simply look for the text field you need and type.
For example, if you want keywords that generate at least 100 monthly searches, set “100” as the minimum search volume.
SpyFu also has a unique, “Adult” filter that removes potentially offensive keywords from your list. This isn’t always necessary, but it’s a good option to have in certain industries and niches.
If you can’t find the metric you want to use as a filter, click ‘Show More.’
The filter panel should expand – revealing the rest of SpyFu’s keyword metrics.
Once you’re happy with the filters you’ve set, click ‘Apply’ to reload the keyword list.
SpyFu should now show you the list of keyword ideas that match your specific preferences.
To disable a filter, just click on the ‘X’ button next to it. You may also click the ‘Reset Filters’ button to start over with all filters removed.
Another way to refine your keyword list with SpyFu is to browse using keyword groups.
Take note that this is different from keyword types, like question-based and transactional keywords. Instead, you’re grouping keywords based on two metrics – search volume and keyword length.
To view your options, switch to the ‘Groups’ tab.
You can choose to group keywords by their search volume or keyword length using the drop-down menu. After making your choice, click on any of the keyword groups below to see the keywords.
SpyFu Keyword Filters Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rating SpyFu’s keyword filter tool is one of the trickiest parts of writing this post.
Is it easy to use? Yes.
Does it get the job done? Sure.
However, I really wish they implemented a more compact design for the filter panel.
I personally think the vertical layout of the filter options negatively affects usability.
It may not be an issue for all. But for me, having to scroll up and down to find filter options isn’t what I’d call a smooth experience.
KWFinder: Great concept, even greater execution
There’s one more thing I really love about Mangools and its ecosystem of SEO tools.
Sure, KWFinder and the rest of the Mangools lineup have a clean, fluid design and seamless user experience. But the most important thing is, they’re really consistent with their implementation.
KWFinder’s filter tool, for instance, looks and works great.
Clicking the ‘Filter’ button above the keyword list reveals the straightforward filter controls.
Since keyword filters are laid out horizontally, you have a complete view of your options right off the bat. This already makes KWFinder’s filters better than SpyFu – at least from a usability standpoint.
To set filters, just type the configuration you want in the right fields. And when your done, click ‘Set filter’ to apply your changes.
That should immediately refresh your keyword list with all ideas that pass your filters.
Just remember that you can turn filters on and off at any time by clicking the green toggle.
Before I forget, also remember that KWFinder has two additional filter options when you’re doing competitor keyword research.
These are “Estimated Traffic” and “SERP Position” – both of which relate to your competitor’s performance for that keyword.
KWFinder Keyword Filters Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
You can try starting a KWFinder free trial and testing it yourself. I guarantee you’ll find it more pleasing to use than SpyFu’s.
However, SpyFu does have more filter options due to its larger set of keyword metrics. Not to mention it automatically groups keywords according to search volume and length.
4. Competitor Research
Remember, there’s more to competitive research than just keywords.
A good competitor research solution also has a powerful domain analysis tool. It should be able to acquire useful data that will help you gauge competitors.
More importantly, a competitor research tool should make the whole process easy as pie.
Having said that, I compared the competitor research features of SpyFu and KWFinder based on three factors:
- Competitor data quality
- Competitor data quantity
Here’s what I found out:
SpyFU: Tailored to SEO super spies
If you didn’t already know, SpyFu is built with competitive research in mind.
You can begin by running a thorough domain analysis of your competitor. Just head to the “Overview” page and enter your competitor’s domain.
After entering your competitor’s domain, SpyFu starts you off with a collection of SEO and PPC metrics.
Take note that you can also enter your own domain in SpyFu’s domain overview tool. Doing so allows SpyFu to give you keyword recommendations based on other competitors’ data.
When I first ran a domain analysis with SpyFu, the “Inbound Clicks from Google” section immediately caught my eye.
It’s basically a visualization of your competitor’s organic and paid traffic shares.
If the green line is higher than the blue line, that means your competitor prioritizes SEO over PPC. Otherwise, they’re probably focusing their budget on PPC campaigns.
Other than that, here are the other data sections you’ll find on top of the domain overview report:
- Organic Search (SEO) – SpyFu’s domain analysis tool captures your competitors’ organic search data. This includes their total number of organic keywords, estimated monthly organic clicks, and estimated monthly organic click value.
- Paid Search (PPC) – Of course, SpyFu also pulls data from your competitor’s paid search campaigns. You’ll see your competitor’s number of paid keywords, estimated monthly paid clicks, and their estimated monthly Google Ads budget.
- SEO Keyword Data – SpyFu’s domain analysis has more useful data panels to help you analyze your competitor’s keyword strategy. You can find their shared keyword count and a breakdown of keywords that fall on and off Google’s first page.
- Ranking and Google Ads History – SpyFu identifies how many years your competitor has been in Google search results. It also does the same for your competitor’s Google Ads history.
- Shared Google Ads keywords – Lastly, you’ll see the number of Google Ads keywords that other top competitors also target. You can inspect this data further if you want a master list of paid keywords for your blog.
Keep in mind that you’ll also see links to your competitor’s top 50 paid keywords and worst performing keywords.
Either link should take you to a different area of SpyFu. But before we explore those, let’s check out the rest of the domain overview page.
Under the “Competition” section, you’ll find two lists of other competing brands. One for organic competitors, and another for paid competitors.
This is SpyFu’s way of telling you to keep your competitor research efforts going.
Next, the “Competitor Shared Keywords” section is where you can extract tons of keyword ideas from multiple competitors.
There are two data panels filled with keyword information. And, just like before, one is for shared organic keywords and the other is for shared paid keywords.
Bear in mind that this particular section of the domain overview report acquires data from SpyFu’s “Kombat” tool.
I’ll show you how to use that later. For now, here are the metrics you’ll find below “Competitor Shared Keywords”:
- Keyword Universe – The total number of organic and paid keywords that any of the competing websites ranks for.
- Core Starting Keywords – The total number of shared keywords all competitors rank for.
- Core Niche – Keywords that all analyzed domains target in PPC campaigns.
- Weakness – Keywords that competitors rank for, but not the analyzed domain.
- Exclusive Keywords – Keywords that the analyzed domain ranks for or targets in PPC campaigns, but not competitors.
- Buy Recommendations – Keywords that competitors target in PPC campaigns, but not the analyzed domain.
If you’d rather look at actual keyword ideas from the analyzed domain, head down to the “Top Keywords” section.
You should already know how to read each list at first glance.
Getting excited to steal your competitor’s keywords?
Calm down – we still have a lot to cover.
Below the top keywords, SpyFu will present you with your competitor’s top pages in terms of organic click-throughs.
Remember, if you’re going to steal content ideas from competitors, you might as well start with the best they got.
You can click ‘View All Top Pages’ to look at the complete list of your competitor’s website content.
For TechRadar, SpyFu managed to pull a grand total of 78,463 pages.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a goldmine of great content ideas.
You can also look for specific posts by entering a keyword. For your competitor’s latest pages, just select ‘New Pages’ under the “Sort” drop-down menu.
Going back to the domain overview, SpyFu will then show you a pair of data sections on PPC campaigns.
First, you will get a list of top keyword recommendations for Google Ads.
The keywords will be listed under “Top Google Ads Buy Recommendations.”
Not sure what you’re looking at?
To the left, you’ll find the Google Ads keywords that competitors target, but not the analyzed domain. Right next to it, you’ll see the estimated number of monthly impressions that each keyword gets for each keyword.
You can check the colored dots to the right to view the competitors who advertised for each keyword.
Directly below these recommendations, you’ll see the “Google Ads History” section.
Here, you’ll see a preview of the ads your competitor ran for certain keywords.
This will give you an idea of how your competitor does paid ads. As such, you can incorporate strategies that work into your own paid campaign.
The “Organic Ranking History” and “Inbound Links” sections are at the very bottom of the domain overview report.
These are similar to the ones in SpyFu’s keyword overview report. What’s different is, they now show data focused on the domain you’re analyzing.
Phew – that was a lot to unpack.
If you’re still not impressed with SpyFu’s competitor research capabilities, remember that the domain overview tool is just the beginning.
The entire platform is actually peppered with competitive research functionalities.
For example, let me give you a closer look at the “Kombat” tool.
Basically, it makes it easy for you to find overlapping or shared keywords between up to three domains.
To make the most out of the tool, I recommend entering your own domain in the first URL slot.
This way, SpyFu can suggest a list of “weakness” keywords you should optimize for in order to be competitive.
SpyFu Competitor Research Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that SpyFu gets a perfect score for its competitor research features.
After all, it is one of my top SEO tools of all time.
SpyFu gives you tons of opportunities to leverage your competitors’ data to excel in your own SEO or PPC campaigns. It also does so through a fast and smooth user interface that makes competitive research a walk in the park.
KWFinder: Useful competitor keyword and domain analysis boosted by SiteProfiler
Looking for keyword ideas by entering a competitor’s domain is one way to do competitive research with KWFinder.
But that’s not all.
While KWFinder isn’t a competitor research tool per se, it does come bundled with others you can use.
SiteProfiler is the equivalent of SpyFu’s domain analysis tool.
Long story short, it can reveal your competitor’s website SEO metrics.
SiteProfiler starts with basic metrics developed by third-party platforms.
They’re compiled in the “Overview” section, which you can select using the tabs to the left.
The metrics you’ll see here are:
- Domain Authority
- Page Authority
- Citation Flow
- Trust Flow
- Alexa Rank
- Facebook shares
- Referring IPs
Next to the overview section, SiteProfiler will give you a preview of Mangools’s backlink analysis capabilities.
The section starts with a timeline of the changes in your competitor’s backlink profile. You’ll be able to see how many active and deleted backlinks your competitor has in the last four months.
In this section, you’ll also find the following data regarding your competitor’s backlink profile:
- Total backlinks over time
- Link type distribution
- “Dofollow” links ratio
- Active links ratio
- Top referring domains
- Referring IPs and subnets
- Anchor texts
Mangools has a lot more to offer when it comes to backlink analysis, but we’ll get to those later.
Let’s proceed with SiteProfiler’s domain report.
The “Top Content” section is where you get to spy on your competitor’s content strategy.
It contains a list of your competitor’s top-performing content in terms of referring domains and Facebook shares.
Strangely, SiteProfiler doesn’t track the traffic that goes to each page.
I suppose you can estimate the popularity of a page based on the number of Facebook shares and referring domains. However, much will be left to speculation – not to mention that shares and backlinks can be artificially ramped up.
The final piece of SiteProfiler’s report is the “Competitors” section.
This takes us to perhaps the only competitor research feature SiteProfiler does better than SpyFu.
Rather than presenting you with a boring table with a bunch of links, SiteProfiler organizes competitors into data cards.
Each data card contains useful information about competitors. This includes the total count of shared keywords, their Alexa Rank, and total Facebook shares.
Not only that, you can also make SiteProfiler run an analysis of each competitor on the spot.
Simply click ‘Analyze’ to have SiteProfiler reload the page with the competitor’s data.
KWFinder Competitor Research Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Mangools’s SiteProfiler does a great job of making competitor research fast and easy.
You have the tool’s streamlined interface and performance to thank for that.
However, it’s a cut below SpyFu when looking at the quantity of competitor data you can obtain.
It still gets the important numbers that demand your attention, including your competitor’s Domain Authority, backlink profile, and best content. And for that, I’d still give Mangools’s SiteProfiler a high score.
5. Backlink Analysis
Backlink analysis is actually a vital piece of the competitor research puzzle.
Bloggers depend on competitor backlink analysis to identify link building opportunities. They can also steal their competitors’ link placement by looking for broken links and reaching out to referring domains.
Here’s how SpyFu and KWFinder can help you with those tasks:
SpyFU: Manage your backlink sources and outreach campaign in one workflow
Let me just say, you won’t have any problems finding SpyFu’s backlink analysis tool.
Just head to the “Backlinks” page, enter your competitor’s domain, and click the ‘Search’ button. You can also use a keyword to have SpyFu identify backlink opportunities to help you attain higher search engine rankings.
If you entered a competitor, SpyFu will first show you a breakdown of your competitor’s backlink types.
Selecting any of the backlink types will filter the list to show only the selected type.
The next thing that’ll probably catch your attention is the backlink list itself.
As you can see, the list includes important website metrics from the referring domain and page, namely:
- The referring domain’s organic monthly clicks
- The referring page’s organic monthly clicks
- Domain Strength
- Organic keywords
- Outbound links
By dissecting your competitor’s backlink profile, you can spot potential backlink sources that can fuel your own link building campaign.
Furthermore, SpyFu can help you scan the backlink list for opportunities that will help you rank for a specific keyword.
If you’re already analyzing a competitor’s backlink profile, you can look for keyword-specific link opportunities by entering a keyword here:
SpyFu allows you to enter multiple keywords to help you save time. It also refreshes the backlink list as soon as you add a keyword.
Talk about convenience.
Other than that, there are two more ways to refine your backlink list.
If you’re familiar with other competitors, you can have SpyFu look for backlinks that also link to them.
Simply add their domain under the “Show pages that link to these competitors” field and click ‘Add.’
Take note that if you started the backlink analysis with a competitor, you should find their domain already added there.
If you’ve built a sizeable backlink profile yourself, you can have SpyFu remove referring pages that already link to you.
Just enter your domain under “Exclude pages that already link to me” and click ‘Remove.’
Got yourself a nice list of potential backlink sources?
That’s just the beginning.
The next order of business is to concoct a link building strategy that targets those referring websites.
SpyFu can help you with this through its built-in social outreach tool.
You can get started by switching to the ‘Backlinks Outreach’ tab.
Here’s a quick summary of how this tool works:
- Automatically scrape the contact information of referring domains – After adding backlink sources to your project, SpyFu automatically siphons their contact information from the web. This includes their phone numbers, email, and social media profiles.
- Initiate communications with prospective link sources – Added contacts will now appear in your outreach project. You can then initiate outreach from your SpyFu project through the contact methods available.
- Track your progress with each prospect – As you wait for your link to be built, you can monitor your progress through the live tracker. Just update the status of each prospect to tags like “under review,” “need to reply,” “rejected,” and “link accepted.”
SpyFu Backlink Analysis Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
As much as I appreciate SpyFu’s backlink analysis tool, they left out a vital piece of information: link anchor texts.
Your competitor’s anchor texts can tell you a lot about their link building strategy. More specifically, they can help you determine if they’re prioritizing branded or keyword-optimized links.
On the bright side, SpyFu’s social outreach tool is surprisingly powerful. That’s something that can really turn backlink analysis insights into tangible action plans.
KWFinder: Find current, new, and lost backlinks with LinkMiner
Again, KWFinder users will have to rely on another Mangools tool for backlink analysis.
With LinkMiner, your competitor’s backlink data – including new and lost backlinks – is at your disposal.
After entering your competitor’s URL, LinkMiner will hit you with a nice, compact list of backlinks.
Do note that you can tick the “One link per referring domain” option to tidy up the list.
Right there, you can immediately tell that Mangools put their best foot forward in terms of design.
The backlinks are neatly presented and it’s easy to locate the crucial metrics you should be paying attention to, namely:
- The referring domain’s Citation Flow and Trust Flow
- Number of external links on the referring page
- Number of Facebook shares
- The referring domain’s Alexa Rank
- The backlink’s target page
- Anchor text used
- Link Strength
For your information, Link Strength is a metric developed by Mangools to measure a backlink’s SEO value. It depends on other verifiable factors like the referring domain’s Citation Flow, Trust Flow, and backlink type.
It’s also worth noting that LinkMiner provides a quick view of important competitor domain data.
That should help you determine if it’s a battle you can win.
In any case, LinkMiner also does a better job of presenting backlink data than SpyFu.
Below each link, you’ll see additional tags for the backlink type, language, and current status. You can instantly identify backlinks that are deleted, “Dofollow,” “Nofollow,” and so on.
Last but not least, LinkMiner has a better way of making certain backlinks easier to find.
By clicking ‘Filter,’ you can quickly pluck out just the type of backlinks you need and want in your campaign.
You can filter backlinks according to Link Strength, referring domain Citation Flow, source URL, anchor text, and more.
You can also use the drop-down menus to filter backlinks according to their type and status. Apart from the default options, you can get backlinks that are “Nofollow,” “Dofollow,” “Active,” and “Deleted.”
KWFinder Backlink Analysis Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
SpyFu’s social outreach tool is indeed handy. But from a pure backlink analysis perspective, LinkMiner outclasses it in almost every way.
Perhaps the only advantage SpyFu has over Mangools as far as backlinks are concerned is the quantity.
While SpyFu can technically grab unlimited backlink data, LinkMiner starts at 100,000 rows per month for Mangools Basic users. Still, I think 100,000 backlink rows are more than enough, which is why I think Mangools should win this round.
6. Extra Features
As it stands, SpyFu wins over KWFinder on two fronts: competitor research and keyword suggestions.
Mangools’s collection of SEO tools, however, wins in terms of backlink analysis.
But don’t give up on KWFinder just yet – the showdown isn’t over.
This takes us to our sixth and last basis of comparison: extra features.
SpyFU: Great add-ons for bloggers and SEO agencies
The number of extra functionalities you can enjoy with SpyFu is surprising, especially looking at its price point.
Let’s take a look:
- Rank tracking – SpyFu makes it easy to set up a weekly tracker for your keyword rankings. The interactive timeline also tracks your weekly ad positions, allowing you to gauge the success of every move.
- Quick list builder – If you need a list of the top domains, keywords, or even business leads, SpyFu can give you just that. You can also request a custom list from SpyFu for a price.
- SEO reports – If you’re selling SEO services, you’ll be happy to know that SpyFu offers an easy-peasy SEO report generator. Reports help you clearly communicate the value of your services to clients, including their effects on their traffic and profits.
- Google Ads templates – New to Google Ads? SpyFu can help you get your first-ever ad campaign up and running with pre-made templates developed by experts.
SpyFu Extra Features Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
SpyFu is indeed armed to the teeth with tools to help anyone up their SEO game.
However, some of these tools are only handy for very specific groups of users.
For average bloggers, saying that they can make the most out of SpyFu is a tough sell. But it’s still a very solid, well-rounded platform regardless.
KWFinder: Powerful toolbox for solo bloggers
When it comes to extra features, KWFinder’s advantage lies in the other tools under Mangools’s belt.
- Rank tracking – As a KWFinder user, you can use SERPWatcher to track the organic keyword rankings of any domain. It’s easy to set up and lets you track multiple keywords from KWFinder, a file upload, or through manual entry.
- SEO browser extension – Whether you’re a Mangools subscriber or not, you can take advantage of their homebrewed browser extension. This provides quick insights on the overall SEO health of websites, unveiling metrics like DA, AR, and backlinks.
- SERP Volatility Checker – Mangools has a real-time SERP volatility checker that proactively monitors changes in Google SERP rankings. It also tracks organic keywords that have relatively stable SERP positions day by day.
- Free SERP Simulator – Getting high rankings is one thing, getting higher click-throughs is another. SERP Simulator lets you preview how your page looks like on SERPs to optimize elements, like the title and description.
- SERP features in SERPChecker – In addition to organic results, SERPChecker also compiles data on pages that trigger SERP features. The tool also obtains data for those pages, including their Link Profile Strength, DA, and referring domains.
- Anchor text filters – Mangools’s SiteProfiler not only displays the anchor texts in your competitor’s backlink profile. It will also give you a clear breakdown of their anchor text types, be it branded, naked, or keyword optimized.
- Keyboard shortcuts – Mangools supports keyboard shortcuts in all its SEO tools except for SiteProfiler. This simple feature has a huge, positive impact on your productivity.
KWFinder Extra Features Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
With the right approach, the Mangools suite of juicy SEO tools can help newbie bloggers become SEO rockstars.
But what’s really impressive is that they managed to make even their extra features easy to learn and use. Most importantly, these are features that solo bloggers – like the majority of my readers – can benefit from.
Now that we’ve done our homework, it’s time to tally the results.
SpyFu: 4.5 out of 5 stars
KWFinder: 4.5 out of 5 stars
In terms of usability, the battle between SpyFu and KWFinder ends in a stalemate.
Both offer speed, a clear navigation system, and well-labeled instruments at your disposal. With the right guidance, absolute beginners can also learn both platforms in less than an hour.
This round is a draw.
2. Keyword suggestions
SpyFu: 5 out of 5 stars
KWFinder: 4 out of 5 stars
In terms of metrics, SpyFU and KWFinder are in the same league.
However, SpyFu is capable of racking up way more keyword ideas than KWFinder.
I’m not saying KWFinder’s performance in terms of keyword suggestions is subpar. As a matter of fact, it’s more than capable of providing you with a long list of profitable keyword ideas.
But since SpyFu can and will give you unlimited keyword suggestions, it’s objectively a step ahead of KWFinder this time.
The winner of this round is SpyFu.
3. Keyword filters
SpyFu: 4 out of 5 stars
KWFinder: 4 out of 5 stars
Both SpyFu and KWFinder handle keyword filters in their own way.
SpyFu wins in terms of the sheer number of metrics you can use as filters. KWFinder, on the other hand, wins in terms of convenience.
This round is a draw.
4. Competitor research
SpyFu: 5 out of 5 stars
KWFinder: 4 out of 5 stars
True to its name, SpyFu proves it’s one of the leading competitor research tools money can buy right now.
Compared to KWFinder, SpyFu is simply better if you want to analyze competitor data – period.
The winner of this round is SpyFu.
5. Backlink Analysis
SpyFu: 4 out of 5 stars
KWFinder: 5 out of 5 stars
Now, this caught me by surprise.
I honestly expected SpyFu to outperform KWFinder. But after a side-by-side comparison of their backlink analysis features, KWFinder came out on top.
Apart from the seamless backlink filter option, it can also help you spot new and lost links. It also reveals the anchor texts used in links – something SpyFu can’t do.
The winner of this round is KWFinder.
6. Extra features
SpyFu: 4 out of 5 stars
KWFinder: 5 out of 5 stars
Both SpyFu and KWFinder are loaded with extra features to keep you busy for days.
However, KWFinder has a much more practical set of those extra features, especially for the average blogger. Some of SpyFu’s additional features, however, are more helpful to agencies and freelancers who offer SEO services.
The winner of this round is KWFinder.
Which one should you choose?
Here’s where we’re at:
SpyFu has a total of 26.5 out of 30 stars.
KWFinder, alongside the entire Mangools library of tools, also has 26.5 out of 30 stars.
Two different SEO tools, the same overall rating.
However, that doesn’t mean SpyFu and KWFinder are equal.
If you want:
- Aggressive competitor research tools
- Cheaper entry-level plan
- Unlimited SEO and PPC data
- Customizable SEO reports for clients
Then SpyFu is the better option for you.
However, if you want:
- Better backlink analysis
- More extra features
- Cheaper mid-range plan
- A more pleasing experience
Then go with KWFinder.
There are certain things KWFinder does better than SpyFu. At the same time, SpyFu outperforms KWfinder in some respects.
At the end of the day, KWFinder is not a SpyFu alternative and vice versa.
My advice is, understand your own goals and pick the tool that best serves them.
We already covered the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. It’s only a matter of picking the one that excels in the tasks that matter to you.
What did you think of our SpyFu vs KWFinder showdown?
Did you find your go-to SEO tool for 2021?
I hope I helped you make this crucial decision. If not, don’t forget to write your questions, feedback, and suggestions in the comments below.
Cheers and may you have an awesome year!