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SpyFu (#18)

In ad buying and organic optimization, there are two critical acronyms you should familiarize yourself with: SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” is the art of positioning your content and its associated buzz in ways that get you optimal organic search results. In other words: to the top of Google.

PPC is a term used in ad buying and it means “pay-per-click.” Since most ad buying networks rely on a model where you pay only when someone clicks (or engages) with your ad. You don’t pay for all the times the ad network displays your ad but people don’t click or engage with it. That’s why it’s called “pay-per-click.”

When you’re buying ads, you need to be paying attention to your competitor’s position in the marketplace.

Analyzing their spending is critical, as is understanding gaps in the way they are advertising. This will give you get a competative edge when you are purchasing ads for your campaign or websites.

SpyFu lets you spy on your competitor’s SEO and PPC and helps you identify opportunities in your keywords or search traffic.

Let’s take the popular video calling app Zoom as an example.

First, a breakdown of the competitors to this website, and how they get traffic. Remember, organic always means people typing search queries into search engines; paid refers to traffic from advertising (that is, an ad is shown after a search is performed).

Here are the primary competitors to Zoom:

Next, SpyFu draws you an actual Venn-diagram to visualize the overlap between these sites (based on the keyword traffic):





Next, we get the keywords— organic & paid, associated with this domain.

We see the top pages that are driving traffic to this website:

SpyFu analyzes the keywords between these competitors and then intelligently recommends whether you should buy that keyword now or not. (Presumably, by analyzing the supply-demand ratio of the market for those keywords.)

We get a glimpse into the AdWords marketplace specifically, which is Google’s ad platform.

The monthly Pay-Per-Click overview shows us a chart over time. This interesting data point shows us that Zoom conferencing, which took over during the COVID pandemic of 2020, appears to have had a significant drop-off in paid advertising right at the beginning of April 2020, just when its popularity took off because of everyone working from home.

Next, we get a breakdown in paid advertising by keyword, which also shows a drop-off in April. (Notice the little bars indicate that Zoom stopped advertising all but two keywords after April.)

SpyFu lets you literally spy on your competition. See what keywords are driving organic traffic and how much they are paying for paid keyword traffic.

If you’re doing paid keyword advertising, especially on Google, this tool is an invaluable resource for understanding the marketplace you are competing in and how to get the most bang for your buck.