iSpionage is a tool that you can use to spy on your competitors.
It includes features that help you create your own ads and keywords to battle your competitors head on.
iSpionage comes with a wealth of features that you can employ in order to gain an advantage over your competitors by spying on their strategies and constructing your own.
iSpionage main Features Overview
iSpionage is a set of tools covering 3 main areas of search marketing:
- Keyword and Domain Research
- Keyword Monitoring
- PPC Campaign Building
Their tools are available for the US and UK markets.
Inside of the keyword and domain research module you can enter a domain and get the following information:
- Ad copy, ad budget, and keywords being bid on by a domain
- For PPC keywords you’ll see CPC, broad Google volume, average position, as well as total days seen by iSpionage and date first/last seen within the last year
- Organic keyword volumes and rankings. Volume is based off of Google’s broad match as well as the CPC. Rankings are in Bing/Yahoo and Google, respectively. A related keyword tool showing competition data and broad monthly search volume from Google
- A list of competitors in PPC and SEO along with overlapping keywords, total keywords found for each competitor, SEO traffic value (CPC x Estimated Traffic), and PPC monthly budget
- Twitter and Facebook mentions of a domain & Whois information on the domain you entered
- A 3 domain comparison chart showing the top 10 keywords of each domain (PPC and SEO) in Google and Bing/Yahoo. This chart also shows top ads for each domain
- The comparsion chart doesn’t offer deeper data and the stats are limited to the stats mentioned above for their PPC keyword tools
When comparing 3 sites under the SEO option you can see Google, Bing/Yahoo first page keywords for each domain and the top 20 keywords for each domain in Google.
When you research a keyword you’ll get:
- Top PPC advertisers in Google and Bing/Yahoo
- Related keywords with broad match volume and competition estimates
- Top ads for the keyword in Google and Bing/Yahoo
- Top SEO competitors in Google and Bing/Yahoo along with current rank for the keyword and back link counts from Google, PageRank, indexed page count, and total keyword count
You can click through on all of the above “top” lists and get deeper information for each category as well as the ability to export the data. Social metions are also available for the keyword you enter.
They also have a couple tools that do deduplication of keywords in addition to combining keywords with modifiers you put in to help generate longer tail keywords on the fly. These do not integrate with their other tools but are helpful in managing keyword lists.
iSpionage Keyword Monitor
You can monitor (US only) organic and PPC keywords inside of this tool. The maximum you can track (at the highest membership tier) is 250 so it’s likely not going to be a replacement for your day to day rank checking services.
The features here are:
- Tracking in Google, Bing, and Yahoo! for the top 100 results
- Add alerts if a site that is advertising on your tracked keyword(s) show up on any or all of the 3 search engines mentioned above.
iSpionage Campaign Builder
One of the unique features inside of iSpionage is the ability to create paid search campaigns for Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Inside of this tool you can paste in lists of keywords and clean them up with various keyword cleaning tools. They also offer a grouping feature where you can set up and name campaigns along with groups within those campaigns.
In the Campaign Building piece you can:
- Set prices at the ad group level and choose to apply that to exact, phrase, or broad match types of the keywords in your selected ad group
- Write ads for the ad group with options to copy the ad or parts of an ad to other ad groups as well (this can be a big time saver if you have similar ad groups)
- Output your campaign, ad groups, ads, and pricing selections to Google, Yahoo, and/or Bing’s format for campaign uploads
One cool feature inside of the Campaign Builder is that you can preview ads for a keyword as of yesterday’s data from iSpionage. This feature is helpful when you are stuck for PPC ad copy strategies and ideas.
iSpionage Competitor Alerts
Another feature inside of iSpionage that is unique to most tools in its market, is the competitor alerts tool. You can add multiple competitors and each month you’ll be able to see:
- New ad copy
- New PPC keywords
- New organic keywords
These are refreshed monthly and the tool keeps an archive of 6 months worth of reports.
iSpionage Pricing and Discount with Promo, Coupon code
iSpionage features competitive pricing with its rivals. It gives out a handful of features for its basic plan and then builds on top of them in order to give you the best deal for the money.
iSpionage Monthly Pricing
iSpionage features four different types of plans in its monthly and six monthly pricing plans. The first is the starter kit which features all the basic tools highlighted in the features section for $59 a month.
The second plan is the Professional Plan which piles on with more access to features and higher limits for $99 a month. The third is the advanced plan which gives you full access to everything that you need for $299 a month.
However, there are also custom plans that you can go for if you want to go the extra mile and take on your competitors head on.
These are best for companies that want to target very specific niches. The price for these plans is negotiable since they involve custom features.
iSpionage Annual Pricing
The annual plans for iSpionage involve all the same features but they are priced lower since the commitment is longer. The basic starter plan is $50 a month while the Professional Plan is $84 a month.
The Advanced plan goes for $254 a month and the custom pricing plan is of course negotiable.
iSpionage Free Trial
There is no free trial available for iSpionage at this time. They do offer a 30 day money back guarantee however.
Pros of iSpionage
As a consultant, my job is to be smarter than the client. Ispionage is one of my secret tools. It gives me a view into the competitive set, allows me to benchmark positioning and narrative, and gives me a sense of how the market at large is current approaching acquisition. In short: I look smart. And my clients are empowered.
The interface is simple to use and the data is exposed in an easily consumable way. No need for advance training to use it so anyone in the team can login, place a query and see results. The most useful feature for us as a tech publishing company is knowing which advertisers are spending on specific keywords and topics, helping us understand the type of content needed to be built in order to yield higher CPMs.
I love that you can peek behind the curtain to get an idea of spend levels for competitors—it's actually invaluable for pitches, if you need to convince a potential client that they need to step up spend based on what their competitors are doing.
I use iSpionage only when a client pays me to work on their SEO website and/or if they have an Adwords campaign. So I don't use iSpionage as frequently as I do other parts of my work on websites. Sometimes it will be a while since I've done keyword searches and planning, and so have to remind myself how to get back into it. But then I realize it doesn't take long. Within a few minutes, I'm conducting searches on keywords for my clients and also keywords that competitors of my clients are using themselves. That is the real value for me since SEO can intimidate my clients. "Algorithms" is not a common term for them. But if I can show them what their competition is using and doing, all the uncertainty goes, and then I can continue with my work. I like the way iSpionage helps me generate ideas that in a couple of cases specifically turned around some business during a slow time in the season. For that, it's totally worth it.
I really like that iSpionage provides you with a list of SEO & PPC keywords that your competitors are using. It really helps to know what your competitors are focusing on as you're able to use this knowledge to help with your own strategies. It even shows you data from Bing/Yahoo too! It also loads quickly. There is other software's out there that can take a while to load and this one is one of the fastest.
Cons of iSpionage
I haven't experienced many faults with Ispionage. I think deeper comparison options, larger data sets, higher resolution images of landing pages.
The only thing I would like to see if not only the "bid value" of the keywords but the "average paid CPC" which is something both the Google Keyword planner and the Bing Keyword planner offer via API. The value there as a user is understanding the actual cost paid by the publisher versus what they need to bid in the auction in order to have impressions. The nuance might seem trivial but it's an important one when planning digital media yield.
It's a bit difficult to determine what you can do after getting that PPC budget estimate. I haven't really found any of the other obvious features very useful. Seems like a little bit of a one-trick pony with a lot of features that aren't that useful.
I wish the free trial would give you more access to the software but it is priced reasonably so that's probably why. It would be great if they let you download PDFs on the free trial so you can get an idea of how these look like prior to purchasing it.
iSpionage is pleasant to look at and navigating around is pretty simple. However, the site tends to load slow at times (at least during my review) and its reliance on flash charts for some of its data timed out occasionally or was just slow to load.
It is very easy to export the data and the data exports with up to one filter applied (in this case filter means 1 sorting option).
Overall, the site provides a good but not great user experience while allowing easy, clear access to tools and exporting capabilities.