3 SEMrush Alternative with Intelligent Keyword Research

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Built for the new age digital marketers, SEMRush is one of the latest yet quite a mature product aiming to provide some of the most accurate and useful marketing metrics. Since businesses around the world are going through a complete digital transformation, it is, in fact, one of the most crucial aspects to take the right decision on the digital front.

Keeping the objective mentioned above in mind, SEMRush is a product built to cater to the new age, a digital marketer who needs fast-track processes for better and more accurate results. SEMRush is a brilliantly developed platform that possesses a highly competitive stack of features.  Right from tracking keywords for your SEO to keyword and PPC analytics, everything about digital marketing is taken care of.

For a marketer, blogger or even a business owner who’s starting out new, it is extremely important to get your digital presence bang on, right in the beginning itself.  At a turning point such as this, it is a wise decision to and gets an SEO tool implemented for your business, to atleast get the right traffic as well as in real numbers onto your website.

SEMRush ( read this SEMrush review ) is one such tool, that is no longer limited to managing just your SEO and Keyword ranking, but also takes care of a range of other aspects of your digital business. Let’s take a look at some of the features, that make SEMRush a totally kickass product to have integrated into your business.

What Makes SEMRush a Smart Choice?

1. Competition Monitoring

By just filling in your domain name, you can take a quick look at the overall performance of your competition’s web presence, covering aspects such as the keywords they use, the ranking of those keywords, as well as the value of each of them. Further, you can also view your competition’s landing pages, built for each of these keywords giving you insights into their web texts for better content optimization on your website.

Through the reports churned out within this feature, you can quickly point out the areas where your competition may be excelling and the gaps that you may have to fill in. By pointing our details as minute as these, competition mapping and acing your keyword strategy on SEMRush becomes a fun activity which directly benefits your business immensely.

SEMrush Alternative - SEMRUSH competition monitoring

2. Enhanced Display Advertising

Display ads are an integral part of a successful digital strategy that most companies seem to fail at implementing. However, with this particular feature on SEMRush, you can quickly take a look at your competition’s display advertising performance as well as understand their strategy to come up with a better plan for your own business.  The tool helps you create an enhanced plan for display advertising by letting you know where all you should be placing your ads, as well as where you should be targeting them.

Going one step ahead with the analytics, SEMRush would also enable you to view changes in traffic basis the device used to view your ad. A feature such as this gives digital marketers an edge over the others by letting them customize their display ads to a micro level. And all of this, of course, for improved results and increased business.

SEMrush Alternative - SEMRush Display Ads

3. Backlinking Analysis

Backlinks again being a primarily important part of your web presence strategy, had to be incorporated in this SEO tool. The backlink checker in SEMRush gives you an in-depth analysis of all the links around the internet that may be pointing or directing the traffic on to your website. Since backlinks are a credibility indicator, it is crucial to have enough number of these links to be spread out around the web.

The tool further enables you, with its analytics, to distinguish between worthy and spam backlinks that might be pulling down the credibility value of your website.  As the next step, you can check the same factors for your competition too and see how you can improve or maybe get inspired by their strategy and implement it better with the help of this all-round platform.

To make things more interesting, you can also check which types of backlinks are drawing more traffic for you, versus, the kind of backlinks your competition is benefiting from. The strategy is all about playing it right against your competition, and this is what SEMrush as a tool has been built to do for you.

SEMrush Alternative - SEMRUSH backlinks

Pricing: The basic plan starts at about $100 per month and goes up to $400 a month, with increased features as you go up the price ladder.

GDPR update:  Semrush is GDPR compliant and has updated its privacy agreements and DPA to assure that none of the data protection laws gets violated. You can read the details about how to manage your data subjects, the obligation of the data processors and other related queries on their website.

1st SEMrush Alternative: SpyFu

Going by the name, you can simply understand the product as a spy to keep a watch on your competitor. But, let’s get serious and understand what SpyFu does for your business and whether it meets your expectations of an efficient SEM tool and SEMrush alternative.

While creating SEO strategies or Adwords campaigns, you’d have probably felt the need to take a quick look at your competition’s strategy maybe- just to see what they’re up to and what could you do differently to be better strategized than them.

If you’re this person, you need to put Spyfu to work for some actionable insights that could turn around your online promotions approach almost entirely.

1. Gauge your competition

Before entering any market, assessing your competition would be one of the smartest and beneficial things that you could do for the success of your business. And amongst the competition, even better would be to know who all are topping the charts and by what margin.
Guess what? You can get your hands on all of these details on the interactive dashboard of your SEMrush alternative – SpyFu account!

SEMrush Alternative - competition monitoring in spyfu

2. Create your Content Marketing Campaign

The analytics on the tool will help you zero down on the top keywords that would work best to the benefit of your business. Post that, head over to creating catchy headlines that you may want to run as ad copies to attract browsers online. The next step would be to create a landing page to invite your visitors over. You’d be paying for every visitor that comes onto this page, but hey, at least you get traffic for your content, these visitors could soon turn into your customers!

3. Enhance your Adwords Campaign

As you’d already know, Google AdWords comprises of the advertising mechanism offered by Google to businesses who want to increase their online presence. As per the mechanism, you get to bid for your keywords to let them display as clickable ads for on Google search results.

SEMrush Alternative - adwords campaign with spyfu

SEMrush alternative, SpyFu, playing the perfect keyword buddy that your business needs, will help you uncover keywords that you may have missed out on and would assist you in scaling up quickly. Further, it would also show you keywords of your competition that is still up for sale and could land you with more business. You can also download all of your competitor’s keywords to understand their strategy better and create something of your own around it.

To make it more interesting, SpyFu also lets you take a look at and study the most successful ads and keywords. On running the Adwords Advisor report, you get insights into improvements that your competition should make in their PPC campaign, highlighting the weak keywords that could not be fetching them many positive results.

4. Budgeting Your Keywords

Sometimes it so happens that in the greed of making your ad visible on the internet, the selected keywords start flashing on unwanted websites which would add cost to your overall expense. Spyfu’s negative match advice allows you to know the keywords that are probably not getting you many returns. As per these actionable insights you can decide to drop these keywords and make your AdWords strategy much more profitable in nature.

Before this report is rolled out, Spyfu compares your keywords to the keywords across your competition all over the internet and compares the returns. If you fall somewhere down the queue, then understandably some of your keywords need to find a place outside of your campaign. This helpful feature would let you save on some crucial bucks that play a significant role for any small business or a start-up.

budgeting_spyfu - SEMrush Alternatives

Pricing: The basic plan is offered at 44$ by Spyfu which goes up to $300 per month!

2nd SEMrush Alternative: Serpstat

Another interesting SEMrush alternative, they position themselves as the growth hacking tool every business needs to scale themselves up real quick. As a platform, Serpstat isn’t very different from its competition and is pretty similar regarding the features offered.

However, it does stand out when you come down to comparing the UX of the product. The user interface is much more interactive and colorful makes you want to spend more time using the product.

Another USP would be the single view dashboard that contains nearly every bit of information that you may require to see at one point. Makes reviewing your progress much easier, at the same time giving you enough space in your mind to rework ideas and think of new stuff to implement for improvements!

Let’s take a look at the features a bit in depth to understand how exactly SEMrush alternative, Serpstat can help your business improve.

1. Expand Your Keyword Variations

The tool would not only help you build a high-quality keyword repository but will also suggest changes that you may add to your list. If you use the right words, combined with relevant content, your portal will jump up the popularity charts in almost no time.

Many times, it so happens that we tend to stick to the traditional list of Keywords generated by the SEO tool we use, however, by skipping relevant variations, you would be missing out on a good number of website visitors!

Also, if you plan to take your business to an international level, it would be a good idea to adopt a few international keywords into your seo strategy. Even better would be to integrate foreign languages into the plan. Now, to follow this approach, it is imperative that you have access to relevant data which Spyfu promises to offer at no additional cost! This is almost like a bonus feature that could help you scale up real quick!

SEMrush Alternative serpstat - keyword variation serpstat

2. Measure Keyword Trends

Running ads for your business again majorly depends on the keywords that you have included in your SEO strategy. In such a scenario, it is crucial to ensure that your viewer is interested in the keywords that you flash at him.

By using this feature on Serpstat, you will get to know the variation in the interest level of a viewer, for every ad that you may be displaying for him. It is a well-known fact that the interest level in a product varies depending on various factors which are why the fluctuations become even more important to be studied thoroughly. This is where Serpstat’s interactive graphs come into the picture, solving the problem backed with analytics.

Going one step ahead, Serpstat can list down the search results that show up once you key in a word. Such insights are important to be reviewed for you to develop a wholesome content strategy. These insights are combined with certain data points regarding the number of shares on social media, possible traffic score on the pages and so on.

3. Advertising Analytics

One of the most valuable metrics to measure the success of your business is the ROI you receive on advertising your product.  By using this feature offered by Serpstat, you can quickly go through the advertising strategy of your competition, and access to insights into their keywords strategy. You can further study their budgets, the budget allocation by going through ad positions, and even know the cost per click for the ads they are displaying.

Since advertising is an important part of an all-round online marketing strategy, using the analytics to improve upon it can be a great step for your business. Knowing that your ads must always be targeted right for the right audience, localizing your ad strategy can help you fetch the desired results.

If your target market lies in the local area, half your worries are taken care of. But in most cases, for businesses that are looking to scale up, their target usually becomes international countries. While catering to international searchers, it is important that you pay attention to the international keywords too. The international keyword data that this SEMrush alternative, Serpstat offers can really help you strategize your marketing approach much better.

4. Ranking Analytics

The entire agenda of putting in so much effort into online marketing revolves around increasing web traffic and getting business online. However, one of the major influencers driving this objective would be your website ranking.

SEMrush Alternative serpstat - ranking analytics

In the business of online marketing and expanding digital presence, it is advisable to regularly monitor your website’s online ranking. While you can easily get these insights on Serpstat, you may go one step ahead and check out the same for your competition too. If they lie somewhere ahead of you, you can quickly see their paid advertising plans and other actions too.

Interestingly enough, the feature also lets you check out your ranking performance on Google as well as Yandex, across different countries and cities or basis any specified language that you prefer. This feature would also be extended to Yahoo and Bing, soon.

Also, you can check the ranking of your keywords in combinations of phrases as well, making the analytics much more robust and efficient in nature. Further, you can specify a niche or industry or a category of products that you may want to delve into, giving you the freedom to go as deep as you want regarding fetching results.

5. On page Audits and Reports

The on-page audit functionality offered by SEMrush alternative, Serpstat lets you run a quick, yet in-depth analysis of the performance of your website, vis-a-vis your competition. This gives you an edge over the others as you get insights into improvement areas and the right direction for enhancement opportunities. Again, over here, the ranking is taken into consideration, optimization errors are identified post which the concerned elements can be easily worked upon.

All of these insights are delivered through some interactive and colorful charts and graphs. These have been designed for quick understanding to encourage informed decision making for the business. Crucial data points are reflected on the interactive dashboard, and the same area also shared as alerts over email. The data points may be segregated basis different campaigns so that you would know the performance situation for each of them in a single glance.

SEMrush Alternative serpstat - on page audit report

Complex numbers and analysis of the same are depicted through simple charts and graphs for easy grasp. It has been ensured that even professionals who do not possess any knowledge in the domain of digital marketing, SEO and analytics would also be able to understand these reports in one simple look.

Pricing: You may start using Serpstat on the basic plan priced at $20 a month, which goes up to $300 a month. There is further segregation between ‘personal’ and ‘business’ use, basis which the pricing also differs a bit.

SerpStat update: Since the GDPR law has become effective SerpStat has invested a fair amount of efforts to make their system GDPR ready. They have revised their privacy policies, audited their data processing techniques and made considerable changes to help their customers abide by the new data protection laws.

3rd SEMrush Alternative: KeywordSpy

Of all the SEMrush alternative tools mentioned here, Keywordspy has probably been around for the longest time. This tool has often been described as ‘powerful’ and ‘versatile’ as it offers segmented features that can be adopted in your SEO strategy as required. You can use the tool and its various feature to increase our web visibility.

The tool promises to offer tons of data with its analytics for you to optimally improve your digital presence. However, not all of it would be available for free. But, it is safe to say that the open data offered is also competitive enough for you to strategize well.

The combination of features available has been designed to enhance digital strategies, by successfully monitoring and combating competition at almost every level. One of the major aspects that stands out here on this tool is the affiliate intelligence- a feature that has got the keyword research game going strong for this player.

The array of features available on this SEMrush alternative, KeywordSpy are kind of interesting, so let’s take a look:

1. Bids and Budgets

On using this tool, you would discover this helpful feature that lets users check out all the relevant and available keywords for your business. It’ll also give you a list of keywords that your competition is bidding on, along with the going rates, delivering helpful insights for you to make your own bid. Over here, instead of analyzing every keyword from scratch, you’re already getting a ready list that you can use to your advantage.

bids and budgets of SEMrush Alternative - keywordspy

Once you’ve decided on keywords, your ad strategy will have to be put in place. Freezing upon budgets for an effective advertising strategy can again be tricky, but Keywordspy can give you a precise estimate of your expenditure, with easy to comprehend graphs. The chart seen here is only reflecting the transition, but if you go further down the page, you will also see numbers to get a better picture of the scenario.

bids and budgets of SEMrush Alternative

2. Competition Statistics

Data and numbers are a big part of creating an SEO and online visibility strategy which is why this tool emphasizes on the same completely. You can put in a search query as per the data you require. For example, on putting in a search for the domain name, the following statistics will pop up:

statistics keywordspy

But if you put in a particular keyword, you will see the following details on your screen:

stats keywordspy

These numbers will give you a good overview of your competition and their strategy with numbers that you can completely. This will help you in tweaking your worn strategy to every detail that you may require to optimize your own.

3. List of Competitors

Most of us forget to continuously monitor all of our comet options, often going after only the top 3. However, it will be a wise idea to at least know a top 10 list of all your competition.

Fortunately for you, on SEMrush alternative – Keywordspy, it doesn’t take too long to get a comprehensive list of the competition in your domain.

list of competitors - keywordspy

Further, you can also get a list of keywords they’re all bidding on. All you need to do is just fill in any of the competitor’s domain names in the search box.

4. Advertising

Spying on your competition should be not only fun but also useful. Keywordspy has kept this as a fundamental goal and offered a feature which lets you spy on your competition’s advertising strategy through and through.

After covering the keywords and their rates, you can also go through all the ads that all of your competition might be running online. By taking a look at your competition’s ads, you can maybe give birth to new and innovative, more efficient ideas or you may also simply choose to do something similar.

advertising - keyword spy

The point is that this feature does simplify a lot of things, not to mention the amount of time you save!

5. Affiliate Intelligence

Affiliate marketing is a term that came into existence when online platforms started displaying ads for other products on their website in exchange for a small amount of money. What started off as a small way of making the extra bucks has now snowballed into a huge industry like domain, which is seen across the web space.

To go deeper in detail, affiliate marketing can involve a range of activities-  you could recommend a product on your blog or a website in plain, simple text, or even place a banner ad somewhere on your portal. Each time a visitor buys the concerned product, the ad’s affiliate link enables the payment for your effort which is transferred into your bank account.

Although advertisers oversee this method of online marketing, it does prove to be pretty fruitful when done right. Most advertisers steer clear of it for fear of losing their brand identity or targeting the wrong set of people, but hey, this is where your strategy comes into play.

SEMrush alternative, KeywordSpy’s affiliate campaign intelligence gives you all the insights you need for an efficient round of results. The idea is to increase the profit margins without wasting time researching on strategy turn points.

affiliate intelligence - keywordspy

The tool’s heavy emphasis on affiliate intelligence is what makes it stand out amongst its competition. It is true that their UI is not the best and can sometimes test your patience levels, but then the results delivered under this particular feature will blow your mind. On this platform, you can easily search for each and every affiliate ad program running across the internet. On identifying the ones following a desirable strategy, you can easily replicate them on to your program.

To able to see what ads your competition is running along with the kind of people being targeted, almost all your worries are taken care of. Not just this, affiliate networks supported include some of the leading ones, such as Clickbank, Commission Junction, LinkShare, ClixGalore, PayDotCom, ShareASale, MaxBounty and over 300 more in the market.

To have all round affiliate insights, you need to have a few areas covered which involve the following:

  • Affiliate Network Support
  • Daily updates
  • Affiliate Data
  • Top Products in your domain
  • Advance charts
  • Unlimited exporting
  • Anti-cloaking technology
  • Advanced wildcard searches
  • Over 127,000,000+ keywords

Pricing: The basic package which holds a specific number of features is offered at a price of 89$. The set of features increases as you go higher up on the rating scale, the highest one being $140 per month.

Which Product Should You Go For?

Choosing the right product for your business completely depends on the results that you’re looking to derive out of it. The budgets also play an important role in deciding on a product.

But if you talk about the overall efficacy, SpyFu and Keywordspy are the long-term players in the market. However, Serpstat seems to the best in the breed.

Ankit is a technology entrepreneur. Founder of Aritic.


  1. Rahul Ganesh Reply

    Ok, this is rather cool…reminds me of Alexa when you say ” just on filling your domain name, you can take a quick look at the overall performance of your competition’s web presence, covering aspects such as the keywords they use,..” basically everything in a snapshot

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Yes Rahul; SEMrush alternatives does give these information in one single screen only!

  2. Roy Miller Reply

    SEMRush is most sought after for Competition Monitoring, but how worthy is that? Is there a study to prove how much money can be earned or saved by Competition Monitoring? Is market really that competitive, unless of course, we are in the e-commerce space? Just a though, why would a dentist, for instance, be interested in regular competition monitoring or any other professional (a photographer)…

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Hey Roy, SEMrush and alternatives are for digital marketing professionals and marketing team.

  3. Mark Cook Reply

    Really impressed by your review of SEMRush, that it does so much more than just SEO and Keyword ranking.
    One section intrigued me most after SEMRush is Affiliate Marketing. I think it deserves an article to itself. Everybody wants to make excellent money from it but don’t know how.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Thanks for the suggestions Mark. I will try my best to cover more about SEMrush and affiliate marketing in new future posts.

  4. Joan Anderson Reply

    SEM Rush is very expensive. Ankit, what do you think truly justifies this kind of costing $100/per month?
    Thank you.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Yes Joan, SEMrush is expensive compared to other alternatives which I have mentioned in this blog post, but the total number of features which SEMrush provides are much more than other apps. In case you need to use all the features provided by SEMrush, it is the best tool available at given price.

  5. Kevin Murphy Reply

    Great article Ankit! I am looking for an alternative to SEMrush that can do onpage audit for keywords for that article only, Most of the tools I see show keywords for the entire domain.


    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Hey Kevin, you can tryout webtexttool. This can help with what you are looking for.

  6. Meeta Surendra Reply

    There is a huge difference in pricing of Semrush and its alternatives!

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Yes Meeta; there is difference of price along the alternatives of SEMrush.

  7. Emily Baker Reply

    SpyFu looks quite beneficial in terms of selecting key words and creating a campaign. One can upgrade quite a deal within SpyFu.

  8. I have to say competition monitoring has become quite important but it’s benefits still elude me because you never know what the model of the other business might be.

    It does help to have the whole picture in front of you thanks to SEMrush but again for smaller businesses and those not familiar with tech, so do you feel that it has the same benefits for them?

    I must say you have really presented a great in-depth write-up on it and thank you for that.

    • Ankit Prakash Reply

      Thats great to hear Mike!
      And thanks for the appreciation.

  9. Russell Adams Reply

    SEMRush is one of the most popular products in digital marketing. The most important SEMRush alternatives are SpyFu, Serpstat, and KeywordSpy. KeywordSpy has been in this field for the longest span of time and is known to be extremely versatile and powerful. The various features of the tool help in increasing the web visibility. It is extremely important to select the right product for every individual business depending on the result that one expects from it.

  10. Melissa Moore Reply

    Ankit, SEMRush brilliantly took care of all the aspects of my digital marketing. It was a smart choice for me due to its competitive monitoring and its awesome display advertising. Some of the effective alternatives to SEMRush are SpyFu, KeywordSpy, and Serpstat. The platform of Serpstat provides almost similar features to SEMRush. On the other hand, SpyFu provides some of the most actionable insights that can entirely change the approach of the online promotions.

  11. Roy Thompson Reply

    SEMRush can be the perfect choice for the ones who want everything of their digital marketing to be taken proper care of. Some of its features like monitoring, display advertising, and backlink analysis make it the favorite tool for many. Some of the very popular SEMRush alternatives are SpyFu, Serpstat, and KeywordSpy. These tools equally increase the web visibility and improve the digital presence.

  12. Matt Reply

    Hi Ankit,

    I’m wondering if you would one day like to review Pulse Site Auditor? We can set you up with an account.


  13. Beverly Hughes Reply

    I have used semrush for my website for quite a long time. But, recently I have switched to serpstat. The features that I liked about it are it provided the historical data related to a specific keyword and also the details of 100 top search results with specific keywords.

  14. Norma Reply

    I have liked Exponea over semrush for some of the features like the easy plug and play functionality, easy integration of traffic data analysis and its execution.

  15. SEM Rush is very expensive. Ankit, what do you think truly justifies this kind of costing $100/per month
    Thank’s bro

  16. Fahad Reply

    Great, I have purchased SpyFu. Working like a charm. Thanks for recommendation.

  17. Jade Nguyen Reply

    Great list. Have you had a chance to check out Nightwatch? It’s another tool that deserves a mention as a SEMRush alternative.

  18. jhon eric Reply

    Always I hope to get a nice post that’s the same which is I desire. Thank you, sir, for your nice post.

  19. Lola Santiago Reply

    SemRush has always been my favorite tool. The only problem that I faced with it was the learning curve. You need to be really through with the SEO concepts to leverage this platform to the best. It takes time to get a hang of it but once you get it things get a lot easier.

  20. Essie Reply

    Thank you so much for this post. I always heard about Semrush and couldn’t really zero down to another alternative if I really needed one.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.