SEMrush continues to be the go-to for SEO and digital marketing tools for businesses of varying sizes. Its all-encompassing suite of SEO and SEM (search engine marketing) tools provide marketers with an almost inexhaustible amount of insights and actionable data. While iSpionage can’t compete with SEMrush in terms of breadth of services, competitive research is its strong suit.
Both SEMrush and iSpionage provide marketers with insights on competitors’ profitable keywords, successful and failing campaigns, budget, and similar PPC data, but the latter offers them at a lower monthly cost. Keep reading our thorough review below to determine which PPC tool can better serve your SEM needs through the data they deliver.
SEMrush vs iSpionage Comparison Chart
|Price||Check Pricing Plans at SEMrush.com||Check Pricing Plans at iSpionage.com|
|Keyword Rank Tracking/Month||Pro: 500|
|Crawled Pages||Pro: 100,000/month|
|SEM Campaigns: Twice a week|
SEO Campaigns: Once a week
|Keyword Queries per Month||Pro: 250|
|Scheduled PDF Reports||Pro: 5|
|White Label PDF Reports||Pro: No|
|Number of Users||Pro: 1 (+$70/mo for an additional user)|
Guru: 1 (add up to 2 more users at +$140/mo for every additional user)
Business: 1 (add up to 9 more users at +$140/mo for every additional user)
|Social Media Tracking||Yes||No|
|Local SEO Focus||No||Yes|
|Mobile App||Android, iOS||No|
|Covered Countries||117 Countries||US, UK, Canada, Australia|
SEMrush’s monthly plan for competitive intelligence is a lot more expensive than iSpionage’s starter plan
Figuring out which ads and keywords work and which don’t by trial and error requires a considerable amount of time on your part, and time is a precious commodity. Instead of starting your ad campaigns from scratch, you can utilize SEMrush and iSpionage to spy on your competitors’ keyword strategies and budget allocation to guide you as you plan your own. This is why looking at their price alone is not the wisest way to choose your PPC and competitor analysis tool.
With that caveat aside, iSpionage offers monthly plans with more competitive prices and lower costs upfront. Its Starter plan costs $59/month and this gets reduced to $50/month (15% discount) if you sign up for a full-year commitment. All the plans offer competitor research, SEM campaign watch, SEO watch and reporting features, except the lower-tier plans are more limited. For instance, the Starter plan only lets you monitor 15 PPC keywords and track the ranking of 100 keywords. If you upgrade to the Professional plan, you can monitor up to 25 PPC keywords and track the ranking of 500 keywords.
Unlike iSpionage, SEMrush’s plans are more expensive. Its base plan alone, the SEMrush Pro, costs $99.95/month. Even though signing up for an annual plan gives you a discount of 16%, it’s still more expensive than iSpionage’s entry-level plan. On top of the base monthly cost, if you want to get insights on your competitors’ campaigns and strategies, you need the SEMrush Competitive Intelligence add-on which costs $200/month at the time of writing.
Competitor Analysis Tools
SEMrush and iSpionage have their own set of competitor research tools to help you design your ad campaign strategies
As mentioned earlier, SEMrush offers the most extensive set of SEO and digital marketing tools while iSpionage’s is more limited. As iSpionage’s strength lies in competitor analysis, it’s only fair to focus on SEMrush’s and iSpionage’s features and tools that gather competitive intelligence for you.
Both SEMrush and iSpionage have the capabilities to show you your competition’s top-performing ads, their calls to action, keyword searches that prompt the ads, and their estimated budget spend. Moreover, they let you localize your SEO and SEM campaigns for instances where certain regions deliver a better click-through rate (CTR) and, therefore, lower cost per click (CPC). SEMrush offers a better visual presentation of this through its CPC map (see photo above)
SEMrush and iSpionage can also show you how long an ad has been running and how much was spent on those successful ads. From this data, you can glean from the ads’ performance which keywords or templates have given your competition better success. The actionable insights you can get, whether they’re from a successful or underperforming ad, will guide in designing and implementing the tweaked strategies of your competitors.
Additional PPC Tools
Each platform has tools for easier keyword research and organization
SEMrush has a dedicated PPC Keyword tool that is designed specifically to help SEO professionals gather, organize, and optimize campaign-relevant keywords. This tool will take care of any negative and duplicates in your site. Meanwhile, iSpionage has a similar tool that organizes your competitors’ SEO keywords for you to help on the SEO side of your marketing.
Social Media Research Tools
SEMrush offers insight on your competition’s social media performance, a feature iSpionage lacks
SEMrush seems to be on a mission to make it hard for digital marketers to look somewhere else as it offers almost everything you need. From full site audits to social media research, SEMrush has a tool for it, giving it a significant edge over iSpionage in this regard. Through SEMrush’s Social Media Tracker, you can schedule and publish social media content for different platforms in one dashboard. This tool also reveals your competition’s content to see which ones are performing well.
iSpionage has yet to roll out a dedicated social media research tool, but it tells you the traffic your site is getting from social media through its Social Visitors Flow tool. It shows your audience’s interactions with your website and reveals which social media platform provides a higher chance of conversions.
Reporting and Ease of Use
iSpionage offers white-label PDF reports at a lower cost
Both SEMrush and iSpionage have robust reporting tools and an interface that’s easy to use. Sure, they have a slight learning curve, but once you get to know the platform, they are both straightforward and work smoothly. Their reports are not only visually appealing, but also presented in a way that shows the metrics you want to highlight. In addition, you can also schedule reports to arrive straight to your inbox on your preferred day of the week.
Those who prefer consistent branding across all communications will need the white label reports offered by SEMrush and iSpionage. Between the two, however, iSpionage offers this service at a much lower cost. Its Professional plan, which costs $99/month if billed monthly, lets you customize your reports and include your brand’s logo. This is also available on SEMrush, but its white-label PDF report is only available through its Business plan. This top-tier plan costs a minimum of $399.95/month, not to mention the monthly competitive intelligence fee that costs $200/month at the time of writing.
SEMrush remains one of the top SEO and digital marketing tools, but iSpionage offers excellent value for your money if you only need competitor analysis tools
Overall best SEO and digital marketing tool
Best value for your money for competitor analysis tools
SEMrush, as an all-in-one digital marketing platform, helps marketers streamline various projects and campaigns without the need to subscribe to another SEO tool. The array of metrics SEMrush can provide allows SEO professionals and marketing agencies to better understand not just their own campaigns, but their competitors’ as well. It is not the cheapest SEO and digital marketing platform in the market, but it is unquestionably a worthy investment.
If you’re on the hunt for a more affordable alternative to SEMrush, however, iSpionage and its competitor analysis features are excellent value. Its focus is on spying on your competitions’ digital marketing strategies and it does this job well at a cost that’s friendly to small and starting businesses. Pairing iSpionage with Raven Tools, another TapClicks company, will give you similar metrics that SEMrush delivers.