When it comes to researching, planning, writing, and optimizing content for search engines, Surfer SEO stands out as the most popular content intelligence solution out there. 

The cloud-based platform offers SEO professionals and content creators a surefire way of improving their rankings, thanks to its powerful machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) algorithms.

Surfer SEO isn’t the only player in the on-page SEO game, though. 

There are several Surfer SEO alternatives that offer similar features—if not more! That’s not to mention differences in pricing and user experience, which carry a lot of weight. 

Read on to learn about my top Surfer SEO alternatives and what they have to offer. There’s a lot to discuss, so you may want to grab a cup of java first.

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Table of Contents

  1. Frase
  2. MarketMuse
  3. SE Ranking
  4. Scalenut
  5. Clearscope

The 5 Best Surfer SEO Alternatives of 2023

Here are my picks for the best alternatives to Surfer SEO today:

1. Frase 

frase.io web site; start of Surfer SEO alternatives
frase.io web site

Overview

Frase is a comprehensive content research and optimization platform that offers similar features to Surfer SEO, with the addition of AI writing and collaboration tools. 

This platform makes it easier for you to find high-value keywords to target. It provides insights into key metrics like keyword difficulty, search volume, and related keywords. 

Now, Frase’s competitor analysis is remarkable, to say the least. It shows you the keywords your competitors are targeting and how they’re structuring their content.

Additionally, it enables you to collaborate with others on content projects. You can share content outlines, track progress in real time, and provide feedback. 

Key Features

User Experience

Frase has a clean and simple interface that makes it easy to find the features you’re looking for. You can find the main menu at the top of the screen, with clear categories of different features. 

Support-wise, Frase’s customer service is quite responsive and helpful, both via email and live chat. There’s also a vast knowledge base that contains onboarding articles, video tutorials, and other useful resources.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Frase has three payment plans:

  • Solo ($14.99/m): This plan allows for one user and four articles per month. 
  • Basic ($44.99/m): This plan allows for one user and 30 articles per month. 
  • Team ($144.99/m): This plan allows for three users and unlimited articles per month. 

You can get started with Frase with a 5-day free trial for only $1. Then, you’ll have to choose a subscription plan. And for $35/m, you can opt for the Pro add-on for unlimited AI content generation. 

Bottom Line

Frase is a versatile Surfer SEO alternative with top-notch AI and team collaboration features. It’s perfect for those who produce a lot of content on a regular basis and want to save time on research and optimization. 

2. MarketMuse 

MarketMuse website
MarketMuse website

Overview

With its comprehensive content planning and optimization features, MarketMuse has risen in popularity to become one of the most popular Surfer SEO alternatives out there. 

It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze content and detect topical gaps. Based on its analysis, it provides topic ideas to write about, as well as detailed briefs. 

What I like the most about this SEO tool is that it champions natural writing. It makes it easy to write naturally about any topic without any clear instances of keyword stuffing. 

I also like that instead of analyzing only 10-30 Google results, MarketMuse’s AI goes the extra mile by analyzing hundreds, if not thousands, of SERP pages!

Key Features

User Experience

Not to sound biased, but MarketMuse is my favorite content optimization tool in terms of user experience. Not only is it easy to use and navigate, but it’s also visually pleasing and well-organized. 

I’m also quite fond of how well-categorized MarketMuse’s knowledge base is. It’s so rich that you probably won’t need to hit their email support with any questions. 

Pricing

MarketMuse has three subscription options:

  • Free: This plan allows for one user and 10 queries per month. 
  • Standard ($149/m): This plan allows for one user and 100 queries per month. 
  • Team ($399/m): This plan allows for three users and unlimited queries per month. 

Bottom Line

It’s easy to see that agencies of all sizes can benefit from MarketMuse’s powerful NLP algorithms and on-point SEO recommendations. Besides, the platform has a free plan, so you get to experiment with it for as long as you want. 

3. SE Ranking 

SE Ranking web site
SE Ranking web site

Overview

Up next is SE Ranking, an excellent alternative to Surfer SEO for a number of reasons. For starters, it offers a wider range of SEO features, with the most notable being backlink monitoring

Similar to Surfer SEO, SE Ranking helps you optimize existing content for readers and search engines. It does so by providing feedback on target keyword usage, search intent, readability, and sentence structure. 

What’s more, the platform provides you with a variety of reports that you can use to track your SEO progress. It also audits your website for any technical SEO issues that might be hindering its performance.

Another strong selling point of SE Ranking is that it automatically tracks your rankings in the SERPs so that you can see how your SEO content optimization efforts are paying off. 

Key Features

User Experience

SE Ranking’s user interface and content editor are so user-friendly that even complete beginners will find it easy to use. It’s clean and well-organized, with a nice focus on visualization in the form of charts, graphs, and more. 

The cloud-based platform also offers 24/7 customer support via email. It also has a Getting Started section, a vast knowledge base, and a rich FAQ section. 

Pricing

SE Ranking has a 14-day free trial period and three payment plans:

  • Essential ($55/m): This plan allows for one user and 10 projects per month. 
  • Pro ($109/m): This plan allows for three users and unlimited projects per month. 
  • Business ($239/m): This plan allows for five users and unlimited projects per month. 

Bottom Line

SE Ranking is the way to go if you’re in search of a Surfer SEO alternative that focuses on SEO in general, not just on-page SEO. Just bear in mind that SE Ranking’s AI capabilities are less sophisticated than Surfer’s.

4. Scalenut 

Scalenut web site
Scalenut web site

Overview

Fourth on our list is Scalenut, an AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform that has a lot in common with Surfer SEO. This includes keyword and topic research, content generation, and SEO optimization

Where the two platforms differ, however, is team collaboration features. You can create shared workspaces on Scalenut with streamlined team management. The same can’t be said about Surfer SEO. 

I like how on-the-money Scalenut is with its SEO recommendations. I also like its accurate content scoring system, as it’s based on several factors, including originality, readability, and SEO relevance.

Scalenut’s content analytics makes it easier to track your content’s performance and identify areas for improvement. There’s also a content calendar to help you with scheduling. 

Key Features

  • Keyword research and grouping
  • Team collaboration features
  • AI-powered content generation
  • Accurate content scoring
  • Content calendar and analytics

User Experience

Scalenut has a modern yet simplistic dashboard that provides an overview of your most important metrics. The content editor is easy to use, with features such as grammar checking and plagiarism detection. 

In addition, Scalenut’s support comes in the form of 24/7 live chat and email support. There’s also a comprehensive knowledge base that contains helpful articles and tutorials. 

Pricing

Scalenut has a 7-day free trial and three subscription plans:

  • Essential ($39/m): This plan allows for one user and five articles per month. 
  • Growth ($79/m): This plan allows for one user and 30 articles per month. 
  • Pro ($149/m): This plan allows for two users and 75 articles per month. 

Bottom Line

While Surfer is focused mainly on on-page SEO, Scalenut delivers a more comprehensive set of features that cover everything from keyword and topic research to search engine optimization and team collaboration. 

5. Clearscope 

Clearscope web site
Clearscope web site

Overview

Finally, we have Clearscope, which is one of the best Surfer SEO substitutes when it comes to LSI keyword research. It does an excellent job of suggesting target keywords that aren’t just relevant today but also in the future!

The platform provides its suggestions based on its analysis of the top 30 pages in the SERPs. This spares you the hassle of intensive content research. 

One of Clearscope’s strongest suits is its content/keyword report generation. Its reports provide insight into search volume, competitor content, relevant terms, and page types. 

However, the thing that may deter you from using Clearscope is its expensive pricing. Additionally, it doesn’t provide you with a detailed content brief—like Frase, for example. 

Key Features

  • Simple content grading scale
  • Future-relevant keyword suggestions
  • Extensive competitor analysis
  • WordPress and Google Docs integrations
  • Content report generation

User Experience

While it doesn’t have the most aesthetically pleasing dashboard, my experience with Clearscope was positive. It’s easy to navigate, and the content editor is especially user-friendly. 

In terms of support, the platform only offers email support, available from 9 AM to 6 PM (CDT), Monday to Friday. It also offers a bunch of guides and tutorials that I’ve found pretty useful. 

Pricing

Clearscope has three pricing plans:

  • Essentials ($170/m): This plan allows for one user and 10 content reports per month. 
  • Business (Custom Pricing): This plan allows for five users and custom content reports.
  • Enterprise (Custom Pricing): Similar to Business, but with more advanced features. 

Bottom Line

Although it’s expensive and doesn’t offer 24/7 support, Clearscope makes up for its shortcomings with its advanced functionality and content intelligence. It’s best suited for productive content teams and businesses. 

In Summary 

There you have it: the five best Surfer SEO alternatives of 2023. 

If you’re looking for a tool that excels when it comes to AI writing, team collaboration, and detailed briefs, you can’t go wrong with Frase. It’s my number-one pick for a reason. 

But if you’re looking for comprehensive content planning and optimization, MarketMuse and Scalenut should be at the top of your list. Their keyword research and grouping capabilities are second to none. 

Lastly, if you’re looking for a tool that offers all-encompassing search engine optimization, you should definitely try SE Ranking or Clearscope. Their focus covers more than just on-page SEO. 

Ultimately, the best Surfer SEO alternative for you will boil down to your particular needs and budget. And since all of the tools on my list have a free trial period or a free plan, I recommend giving them all a shot. 

Rank high, friend!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Surfer SEO Really Work?

Yes! Surfer’s powerful algorithms, data-driven analysis tools, and accurate keyword suggestions make it an effective content optimization and keyword research tool that can take your content creation process to the next level.

Is Frase Better Than Surfer SEO?

Frase is better than Surfer when it comes to AI content generation and creating detailed briefs and outlines. On the other hand, Surfer offers a better SERP analysis and content optimization feature set. 

Can You Use Surfer SEO for Free?

No, you can’t use Surfer SEO’s core functionalities for free. That being said, there’s a 7-day money-back guarantee, so you get to experiment with the platform for a week without a financial commitment. 

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