There are quite a few spy tools on the market currently, some more heavily promoted than others. They come in a variety of flavors such as SEO spy tools, PPC spy tools, and some which do both.
Spy tools can be useful in an SEO and/or a PPC campaign. However, many of these tools essentially try to extrapolate scraped results which can lead to some fairly inaccurate results. Also, these tools occasionally come up with in-house metrics (of which they really don't give you much useful info about how they arrived at the data the present from these "proprietary" metrics") to help try and differentiate their offerings from their competition.
Spy Tool Reviews
There is a much more in-depth review, with examples, up in our members forum. Here, we will do overviews of some of the more popular tools on the market. Specifically, we will be taking a look at:
- review of SEM Rush
- review of SpyFu
- review of Keyword Spy
- review of Compete.com
- review of Ispionage
- review of Alexa
Value of Spy Tools
The idea that you are missing out on something is a core marketing tactic so even if you are comfortable with one tool chances are you've been tempted to go with another. Keep in mind, from a cost standpoint, the ROI you would take by just finding a few decent keywords to target will likely far outweigh any cost associated with these tools. Your business probably won't collapse if you pick an A minus tool versus an A plus tool and none of these tools are able to make concrete decisions for you. What these tools provide are additional data points for you to consider in your own research.
We hope you'll find these reviews useful. There are perhaps a few other services we missed given how many of these tools as there are and our primary focus on SEO. If these reviews are well received we could also review everything from Quantcast & Alexa right on through to AdGooroo, but we need to know if you would be interested in those types of reviews. If there are any other cool products or services you would like us to review just let us know.
A few disclaimers: some of these services have given us free review accounts, whereas we have paid for some of the others. And some of these tools offer affiliate programs, but all reviews were done without those 2 factors influencing the editorial. Most these reviews do not have affiliate links in them (I think SEM Rush is the only one which does have an affiliate link right now), and Aaron reviewed SEM Rush before they even had a public affiliate program.
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- We license SEM Rush's SEO data for our competitive research tool.
- The second post in this thread has some killer member's only tips for getting the most out of competitive research tools.
- This thread is also awesome, and these three threads really shows how to use these tools in a way that really kicks arse.
If you can't make $1,000's from reading those threads then you certainly are not a professional grade SEO. ;)
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