Our videos cover our top questions about SpyFu, but if you're searching for something deeper, try these links below or scroll down to browse through the tips.
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Read our "Quick Tour of SpyFu" for pointers on navigating the site and how to use our features to your advantage. We designed a number of elements like SpyFu Kombat and Keyword SmartSearch that offer quick help to those just starting out. SpyFu connects you with optimized, tested keywords in the shortest amount of time.
Yes, we developed a keyword generator built around capabilities so advanced that you can determine the exact parameters on every search. Have a particular CPC range? How about searches per day based with the match type of your choice? Find just the right niche. Go with Keyword SmartSearch.
Considering that it acts on a single keyword idea or heavily detailed directions for specific domains, you can create lists that meet your exact demands. It even does a killer impersonation of SpyFu Kombat. But don't worry. The basic view keeps it easy for anyone to get started.
Start with the black search box and enter any one of: your domain, your competitor's domain, or an industry niche keyword to find Top Ad competitors and Top Organic Competitors.
Determine your closest competitors, and open their domain page. Here, we show you their estimated daily ad spending.
You will also want to determine if their strategy is similar to the strategy that you can afford to use. You can be a small competitor and still thrive alongside a behemoth advertiser, but you would never be expected to duplicate their budget.
Review a domain's Ad Percentile, Average Ad Position and Average Ad Competitors to highlight their track record in ranking. You will be able to spot advertisers with tight, disciplined strategies vs. those that are winging it. That helps you determine how responsible they are with their budget which in turn shows how flexible you can (or should) be in emulating them.
This used to be a not-so-frequent question, popping up every so often. Since then, SpyFu has adopted a sharper SEO focus, creating the SEO Recon Files that are designed to make SEOs (and their work) look spectacular. These reports are designed to promote the incredible value you've delivered, weed out new opportunities you might have otherwise missed, and present that to a client so that you shine.
And when you shine, you sell more services. We like the sound of that. But if you're hoping to find how the traditional SpyFu subscription can help with SEO research, look no further:
SpyFu has added SEO-focused functionality to your keyword research. We incorporate results like:
--Daily searches - Not just how many results appear, but how many people hunt for this term in one day
--Organic clicks per day - Just how many clicks does each domain get from that number 1 position? How about number 7?
--"Click Value"- In PPC terms, what would the market value of your organic click be? Here's our estimate.
--"SEO Value"-Click value is specific to an organic keyword, but SEO Value takes a domain's ranking on that keyword into consideration. Ranking near #11 means fewer clicks than ranking on #2, so we decrease the expected number of times a domain would get any traffic from that keyword, and its value decreases. Since we can deliver traffic estimates from a domain's position and combine those with "Click Value," you can provide a true reflection of your SEO efforts, piece by piece.
By assigning realistic value to your organic clicks, you can make better decisions about where to build content to gather your share of traffic. We show you how much you stand to gain by increasing your ranking from your current position to the top spot.
Most important, we enhanced the organic data on your niche's keywords by tying in realistic values for your efforts. (Missed SEO Value per Day) Now when you rank organically on a keyword, we'll show you how nabbing the top spot translates to increased value. You will know immediately where you should prioritize and focus your efforts.
Additionally, we show organic competitors' and their organic keywords. Use SpyFu Kombat to reveal organic keyword overlap between your domain and those from two competitors'. Keyword SmartSearch returns KEI information, and even paid keywords and paid competitors can prove helpful. (Rank on what your competitor advertises on, if you then choose to advertise, your ad will get a better quality score due to your SEO work.)
We figure out the best (probably most profitable) keywords by observing a domain's behavior over time. Basically, every time they buy a keyword they are essentially casting a vote that it works for them, the higher the rank, and they more the keyword costs, the more important that vote becomes. Voting with money is a pretty powerful way to measure sentiment, actually.
So, you end up seeing things like the domain's trademark in the top 10. And that makes sense, because advertising on your own trademark is very often one of your most profitable bets. This video does a good job explaining how it works.
When we collect data, we start with a set of millions of keywords and collect the domains that appear on them--both paid results and natural/organic results. If we don't have any results to show when you search a domain in SpyFu, it's because that domain did not appear as a result at the time that we ran our keywords. These are the most likely explanations:
1. The domain might not rank in the top 50 natural/organic results for any of the keywords in our database.
2. The domain did not appear on the first 2 pages of paid results/ads.
It's important to remember, the domain did not appear as a result at the time that we searched for a particular keyword. Read the next answer for a more detailed explanation.
More: If you know you rank on more, there could be more than one explanation. Any one of these could apply:
--Some of the terms that you rank on might not be in our list of the millions of search terms that we run each month. You can fix that easily. SpyFu subscribers can add new keywords to our database, and we'll start searching them the following month.
--It is one of our terms, but your site didn't show up any of the times we searched. This could have happened because the site did not rank high enough on that term (within the first 2 pages of ads) or, if it was late in the day, your ad budget could have been used up.
--The domain might have just started advertising this month, and we are still collecting the data.
Or if you think you rank on fewer keywords: If you think there is no way you rank on a certain term, consider this. We keep old ads in our system, so if you ranked on an ad last year we still have it. Let's say that you didn't expect to rank on "art supplies," but we show that you do. Here is how you can see where we made the connection:
1 - click on that term (or just search for "art supplies" in SpyFu) to get to its page.
2 - verify that you see your domain in the list of advertisers on that term's page (You might have to click on "view more.")
3 - click on "View Cached Page" in the term stats to see the actual downloaded Google page for further verification.
Also, "broad match" could be the culprit. Read the article "Using SpyFu Kombat to Highlight Negative Keywords to Trim the Fat" for more on this occurrence.
If that happens it means that in those months, we didn't see any ads displayed when we searched our keyword. This is different from not getting any data for that month. In fact, you can click on the cache page link next to the keyword (on the results page) to see the actual Google page we saw. In those cases, there will be no ads.
Looking at the larger domains in the same industry can give you an idea of strong keywords and ad copy to use for SEM/SEO.
We never access private accounts and Google certainly doesn't share your private information with us. All of the information SpyFu gathers is public domain provided by Google then collected, analyzed, and sorted beyond what any given person could do. We don't employ any browser-plugins, add-ins, modules, spyware, or malware to gather our users' data.
When we estimate daily ad spending, we use steadfast data, but we have to also rely on careful assumptions. Like we stated in the question above, certain spending information critical to our calculations is completely off limits.
These aren't just random assumptions, though. We are able to return very close estimations to our members because we take variables into account when estimating costs. For example, the ad position that a domain holds can indicate where they fell on the spending spectrum. We know that the advertiser in position #6 probably paid about 45% of the maximum bid price, so we can work that into our calculations.
Of course, this average that is fairly consistent across many ads is not always spot on. When that happens, we miss the target. Without giving away privileged details about our calculations, we can say that we are more confident than ever about the cost estimations we deliver, and we continue to challenge ourselves to top our track record in the near future.
(Just as common: Please add www.myshinynewsite.com to SpyFu.)
We include all ranked sites that make the top 23 for ads and the top 50 for organic searches. Beyond that, we neither add nor subtract sites manually. This maintains the integrity of our information.
We walk the walk, too. We even list our own information on the site, which our competitors can see.
If this information has uncovered unintentional information like a personal phone number or address, contact us, and we'll remedy the situation.
"Extraction time" is down to the hour when we last collected data for a keyword. That helps you zoom in on the ad in Ad History or the cache pages for more details.
You might come across "run date" in other sections, including the URL of your Recon Files reports. We refresh our data monthly, and "run date" is how we tag that entire month. Something with a run date of 2013/04/01 was collected sometime in April and published at the beginning of May.
Each circle represents a domain that you entered into Kombat. The bigger the keyword list for that domain, the bigger the circle. We separate these into paid keywords and organic keywords, so a domain's circle represents only one of these groups at a time.
SpyFu Subscriptions are recurring. Unless you order a one-time 30-day (or 12-month) run, we bill you and renew your subscription automatically unless you notify us to cancel. If you ever need to manage your subscription or locate billing history and receipts, log in, then go to the My Account link in the upper right hand corner.
We show our pricing inside the purchase pipeline so you can review your options to find a plan that fits you best. Check them out here.
We believe that the value of your subscription is built on what you get out of it. Often, so many people arrive at SpyFu unaware of all that they can accomplish, and the flood of data in every corner can be overwhelming. We want prospective members to understand what they are getting before being brought in by a flashy offer.
SpyFu is competitively priced (and today is more affordable than any of our competitors), but this should not be the reason you sign up for a membership. Buy SpyFu for what you can-and will-accomplish. After that, the value outshines any price.
We get our information from Google, showing data from Google.com for US results and Google.co.uk for UK results. We do not collect data from Bing or Yahoo.
We update our data on SpyFu.com and SpyFu Recon Files once per month.
The most recent month is collected and given a name (everything that happened throughout March is called 03/01), and it rolls out to the site the following month. This usually happens in the first week. March results would appear toward the beginning of April.
Since we show data for Google.com and Google.co.uk, we tend to capture some domains from other countries when they rank high enough in the results we show. However, we don't have full results for any countries outiside of US and UK.
What about SpyFu Recon for the UK?
Recon reports are built from the US database only. We don't yet have reports ready for the UK audience. We are weighing recommendations, though. If you'd like to vote up this topic, speak your mind here.
We offer phone support to our subscribers. Login via the SpyFu main page and use the Contact Us link in the footer. The SpyFu phone number will appear on the page. Otherwise, feel free to drop us an email or try us on Live Chat.
There are two differences in traditional subscriptions: (SpyFu Recon Files subscriptions are a third option.)
1. US or UK versions and
2. Subscription lengths.
SpyFu traditional subscriptions provide 200 credits each month toward a Recon report as well as a discount toward purchasing additional credits for more Recon Files reports. SpyFu UK subscribers also receive this credits, but Recon Files are not available on UK domains.
You choose if you want US access (Google.com ads and organic results) or UK access (results from Google.co.uk). And yes, you can have a combination of the two.
SpyFu Gold is one year (that renews every year) of SpyFu, using the US data.
SpyFu All Access is also a one year subscription (renewing automatically) that toggles between US and UK data.
After that, you decide how long you want your subscription to last. One month, one year? Special programs like SpyFu Kombat come as part of your subscription, but make sure that you're logged in when you use it to get the best access available.
Recon Files subscriptions allow you to build domain-specific reports that are heavy on details and actionable recommendations. We learned that some SpyFu subscribers want uninterrupted access to these monthly reports, and some people plan to focus only on keyword research without much need for reporting. Yet another group would do a bit of both. (Or a lot of both...) We split apart the subscription plans so that you would pay only for what you needed.
If you want both, you can swing it at a discounted rate once you login with your active subscriber name. We'll show you the discounted pricing on the purchase page.
Recon Files subscriptions provide monhtly credits you can redeem for reports. Since pricing is based on the number of keywords in the report, there isn't one per-report price.
Redeeming credits seemed to be the most convenient and flexible way to get the reports you want every month. Recon Files subscriptions offer a range of credits per month (starting at 400), and you can use the credit calculator to determine which plan is best for you.
Our Recon Files pricing page answers more about rollover credits, when credits expire, choosing a plan, and cancellation.
When you login to SpyFu, head to the Recon Files page where your list of reports has 3 samples already loaded. Or, if you don't yet have a SpyFu login, head to the Recon Files page to see a variety of samples toward the bottom of the page.
Here’s a quick link to a sample report. (Note: this specific example does not get data updates.)
Why can't I create a Recon Files report for my domain? It says that the domain isn't found?
The short answer: we haven't found enough organic keywords (that trigger your domain as a top 50 organic search result) to build a report. Without at least 10, the report doesn't return much insight.
A Recon Files report is loaded with answers and directions, but those are based on actual keywords the domain ranks on already. Even in sections where we suggest keywords to aim for (that the site doesn't rank on yet), those ideas come from related keywords and competitor habits).
In some cases where we have found just a few keywords, you might see an option to build a Keyword Ranking report. That means that you can tell us the exact keywords to run in the report. We'll search new keywords that you submit. Then if your site ranks in the top 50 results, that could be the solution that gives us enough data to start a Recon Files report for you.
We have a complete tour of every section here, including pointers about how to present it and what to do next. Don’t miss the extras mixed in there. They give you a better understanding about customization (white labeling, hiding sections, etc.) and why the Executive Summaries are so important.