Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy is an online keyword, ad and competitor research tool that has an excellent amount of data you can access for free. Though you still need to pay to access the full array of tools, using just the free information will give you quite a lot to go on.

Here’s how to use Keyword Spy’s various research features.

Step 1: Type in a Keyword, Domain, Destination URL or Ad Phrase

Start by typing a search term in the search box. Make sure you check whether it’s a keyword, domain, destination URL or ad phrase beneath the search box.


Step 2: Ad Budget Overview

Keyword Spy will give you an estimate of how much they think it’ll cost to advertise for this keyword on a per day basis. This is expressed as a graph above the fold, though they also give you the numbers further down the page.


Step 3: Overview

Keyword Spy will then give you an overview of all the data it has about your search term. The exact kind of data you get depends on what kind of search you did.

For example, if you typed in a domain name, you’ll see this screen:


On the other hand, if you typed in a keyword, you’ll see this:


These statistics will give you a good grasp of the overall fundamentals of your competitor’s ad campaigns and/or the keywords you’re targeting.

Step 4: Keywords

Keyword Spy will give you a list of keywords that your competitors are bidding on. Often time’s using these keywords will give you a much better launching pad than trying to build a keyword list from scratch.

Remember: Chances are your competitors have already spent thousands of dollars testing which keywords work and which ones don’t. Just “stealing” their keyword list is a great way to skip much of this trial and error process.


Step 5: List of Competitors

Keyword Spy will also give you a list of competitors. This will let you know exactly who’s competing in your space and who you need to look out for.

Also, you can just type in any of these competitors’ domain names in the search box to see what keywords they’re bidding on. Scraping together the keyword lists of 10 different competitors is a surefire way to a winning keyword list.


Step 6: Ads

One of the best features of Keyword Spy is their ad spy feature. This allows you to see all the various ads that your competitors are running. This is great both for brainstorming new ideas, as well as for just plain copying of what’s already working.


Step 7: More Detailed Results

If you want to see more detailed results, click on the corresponding areas in the subnavigation bar.

For example, if you want to see more ads, just click “Ads” along the top:

You’ll also get more data for each of the ads, such as volume and cost.

Here’s what the detailed keyword view looks like:


Again, unlike the basic keyword overview, you’ll get more keywords, along with more data.

Finally, the detailed competitors view will actually break down your competition in a pie chart for easy viewing.


Step 8: Organic Results

Though Keyword Spy is used most often for PPC keyword analysis, it can be used for organic analysis as well.

Keyword Spy will tell you all the major keywords your competitor is showing up for in the search engines.

It will also tell you what kind of ad copy they’ve tested in the past in the listings. This can be a great tool for figuring out what kind of language in the title and description tags will get you the most clicks in the search engine listings.

Using Keyword Spy, you can craft an extremely detailed list of keywords and ads to use as a launching pad for your campaign. Spending several hours on Keyword Spy doing research before launching your campaign is time well spent.

SEM Rush Keyword Research Tool

SEM Rush is a competitive intelligence tool that provides data on keywords, competitors and ads for both organic and paid traffic. It has both a paid side and a free side.

Here’s how to use SEM Rush to research keywords and ads.

Step 1: Type in Your Competitor’s Domain

Start by typing in the domain of the person or company you’d like to spy on.

Step 2: Choose the Country

One of SEM Rush’s unique features is its ability to research data from many different countries. You can select the country you want to see results for at the top.

Step 3: Organic Keyword Results

The first thing you’ll see is SEM Rush’s data on your competitor’s organic keyword results.


Step 4: Paid Keyword Results

SEM Rush will give you a list of keywords they’re bidding on. They’ll also tell you the search volume, CPC and competition levels for those keywords, along with what position your competitor is in.


Step 5: Organic Competitors

SEM Rush gives you detailed information about the domain’s competitors in the organic search results. It’ll let you know what keywords they have in common, what keywords they’re bidding on and more.


Step 6: Competitor Analysis

Who are the main competitors of the domain you typed in? How much traffic are they getting from their ads? How much are they spending? What keywords are they ranked for?

SEM Rush gives you all this data in their competitor panel.


Step 7: Ad Spy

Want to see what ads your competitors are running? Just punch in their domain in SEM Rush and you’ll be able to see the exact ad text of their ads.


Step 8: Detailed Reports

If you want to see more details about keywords, ads, competitors or anything else, just click the appropriate link in the “Reports” section on the left.


For example, this is what the detailed Ads Keywords report looks like.


Step 9: Keyword Searches

Apart from doing competitive analysis on specific domains, SEM Rush can also do research on specific keywords. Just type a keyword into the search bar.

SEM Rush will start by giving you basic data, such as the volume, CPC and overall trends.


Below that will be much more detail about long tail keywords, including volume and CPCs for a long list of keywords you might be interested in.


That’s how to use SEM Rush to research your competitors and explore new keywords. Using SEM Rush, you can get ideas for new ad copy, figure out potentially profitable keywords and automate a lot of research that would take a long time by hand.