If ChatGPT has left you in awe, and you’re now looking for an AI-powered writing tool for your website, you’ve come to the right place.
Surfer SEO may become your new favorite tool to help you improve your search engine ranking.
Here’s a comprehensive Surfer SEO review that’ll help you understand what it is, how it can help you write content that ranks, the benefits and drawbacks, features, pricing, and more.
Table of Contents:
- What is Surfer SEO?
- Who uses Surfer SEO?
- Benefits of Surfer SEO
- Best Features of Surfer SEO
- Surfer SEO Pricing
- Pros of using Surfer SEO
- Cons of using Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is an SEO tool that performs data-driven keyword research based on the search engine results page (SERP). It can help you get page views by creating suggestions based on your competitors’ content.
Its main feature is Content Editor. It’s enhanced by AI, allowing you to create an outline using relevant keywords and headings similar to your competitors. It also suggests how many paragraphs and images you should use.
According to its official website, the tool analyzes over 500 web signals that indicate to search engines an article is trustworthy and creates suggestions based on that.
Here are the data that the Surfer SEO Content Editor provides in the dashboard to help you write a cutting-edge article:
- Terms (keywords)
- Suggested word count
- Number of headings, paragraphs, and images
- Outline builder that gives relevant titles, headings, and questions
- List of competing articles
- Content score based on how you incorporated all of the above
Surfer SEO is great for anyone who wants to rank on the SERP for individual articles. It lets you quickly identify and analyze your competitors and what content they write about to help you do the same but better.
Here’s a complete list of professionals who use Surfer SEO to outrank their competition:
- Bloggers: Bloggers utilize Surfer SEO to outrank competing blogs in the same niche.
- Content writers: Freelance ghostwriters utilize Surfer SEO to optimize and polish the content they write for their clients.
- Business owners: Businesses that promote their services or products online can utilize Surfer SEO to rank #1 and increase their conversion rate.
- Online marketing specialists: Aside from promoting their services online, marketing specialists can use Surfer SEO to create content briefs, analyze the SERP, and do website audits.
Here’s a real-life example of how Surfer SEO can help a business grow:
Let’s say you own a small electronics repair shop and want to gain a competitive edge over local businesses online using Surfer SEO. You could use it to discover niche-specific keywords like “microwave ovens” and add your location to those keywords.
By leveraging this information, you can outperform the most popular electronics repair shops in your area by creating high-quality content with a high content score in Surfer SEO.
Of all on-page SEO tools, Surfer SEO offers the most robust feature set and has the most feasible results.
- Excellent keyword analysis: The Keyword Research tool allows you to find relevant keywords that top-ranking pages use to help you outrank them.
- Data-driven research: Surfer SEO can identify over 500 parameters that affect a page’s rank. You can use the SERP Analyzer to find the most relevant factors.
- Easy-to-use interface: The Content Editor is an intuitive SEO tool that writers love to use. It tells you all you need to know in a compact package.
- Cost-effective content audit: The Audit is excellent at helping you optimize existing content to drive it to the top.
Surfer SEO offers several tools and add-ons that you can use to optimize content. From basic keyword research tools to auto-generating AI-optimized content, the platform has got you covered.
Here’s a complete list of Surfer SEO features:
Let’s now talk about them in more detail.
Surfer SEO’s Content Editor integrates with all other tools they offer. It’s a word processor that uses natural language processing (NLP) to suggest keywords based on data gathered from competitors. It works extraordinarily well; using them in your articles helps you build topical authority.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the Content Editor dashboard:
- Content Score: The Content Score goes up to 100, and your goal is to get as close to the maximum as you can without sacrificing readability. You increase the score by following Surfer SEO’s suggestions, such as increasing keyword density.
- Content Structure: This tells you the recommended length and number of headings, paragraphs, and images. It’s based on averages from your main competitors, so it’s highly relevant. Generally speaking, you want to stay within the range Surfer SEO recommends, as it’ll lead to a higher content score and ranking.
- Terms: The terms are your keywords. Surfer SEO gives you a recommended keyword density range—for example, “3/4–7,” the recommended range here is 4–7, and the term in this article was used 3 times. To avoid under- or over-optimization, always strive to stay within the recommended range.
- Insert Terms: This feature requires that you’ve written at least 50% of the recommended length before you can use it. When you do use it, it attempts to replace common words with keywords you haven’t already used. It’s not particularly good, so it’s not worth using.
- Outline Builder: It uses AI to recommend titles, headings, and questions based on the SERP. It’s one of the most valuable features, as it allows you to cover a topic thoroughly and helps with brainstorming a good outline. There’s also an AI Outline Generator, which can generate a complete article outline based on the main keyword. It’s decent, but you shouldn’t solely rely on it, as it leads to cookie-cutter content.
- Brief: The brief is useful if you’re sharing the Content Editor with someone. It also allows you to share a list of competitors you selected earlier to help with research.
All in all, the Content Editor is an excellent cloud-based word processor that allows you to keep track of keywords at a glance in a simple-to-use interface.
Keyword Research Tool
Surfer’s Keyword Research Tool is essential for anyone starting a new website, as it allows users to discover hundreds of relevant keywords and topics, all neatly clustered together based on relevance.
One major drawback it has compared to other keyword SEO tools is that it struggles with low-volume and long-tail keywords. It needs sufficient data to identify search intent and find related keywords.
The SERP Analyzer tool is essentially a more advanced version of the Keyword Research tool. It checks the competition for a main keyword and provides valuable data that you can use to rank higher.
When you open the SERP Analyzer and type in a keyword, you’ll be met with a graph that tells you the position in search results based on the variables you select on the left side of the screen. It can also provide related keywords and sites that backlink to the top-ranking pages.
You can select the number of words, partial keywords, and exact keywords to see how much it affects the ranking on the SERP for the keyword.
Since the SERP Analyzer tool is rather complex, we wouldn’t recommend it to beginners. It takes quite some time to analyze a single keyword, and there’s still no guarantee that it’ll rank #1 on the SERP.
You can select the tone of your article, your main competitors, and whether you want to use anti-AI detection.
The only major downside is that Surfer AI is expensive. You need a Surfer SEO subscription to even access Surfer AI. From there, it costs $29 for a single article. You can purchase a pricier package to get some free credits, but it’s still one of the most expensive AI content generators.
Grow Flow is an incredible site-wide SEO add-on that connects to your Google Search Console. It helps your website grow by giving you tasks that directly lead to higher rankings by boosting your domain and topical authority.
It achieves this by examining your articles for missing keywords, finding opportunities for internal links, and recommending article topics you haven’t talked about yet.
Grow Flow can also identify changing trends and recommend time-sensitive topics to make sure you don’t miss a high-traffic keyword.
You can think of the Surfer SEO Audit tool as a more automated SERP Analyzer that allows you to update existing content that’s fallen out of favor.
It checks your competition to identify missing topics and keywords, makes suggestions for backlinks and internal links, finds duplicate content, and helps you fill content gaps. It also allows you to monitor your competitors to ensure you stay on top.
Like the Content Editor, it gives you the content score and content structure recommendations. Even if you used Surfer SEO to write the article, someone might outrank you, so the Audit is always worth purchasing.
Google Docs Integration
Once you download Google’s chrome extension from Surfer SEO, you can use Google Docs similar to the Content Editor. You will have access to the Content Score, Terms, Headings, and other features to make your content rank.
Surfer SEO offers several pricing tiers and a bunch of free and paid add-ons. Pricier plans offer more Content Editor credits, features, and organizational seats.
Lite ($29 per Month, $19 for Annual)
- 36 Content Editor credits ($8 per additional credit)
Essential ($89 per Month, $69 for Annual)
- 84 Content Editor credits ($5 per additional credit)
- Two organization seats
- Includes all features
Advanced ($179 per Month, $149 for Annual)
- 300 Content Editor credits ($3 per additional credit)
- Five organization seats
- Includes all features
Max ($299 per Month, $249 for Annual)
- 600 Content Editor credits ($3 per additional credit)
- Ten organization seats
- Includes all features and add-ons
Enterprise (Custom Pricing)
The Enterprise solution is for large-scale operations. It offers everything the Max package has, along with excellent customer support and success manager, product training, business review meetings, legal assistance, and more.
Add-ons need a basic Surfer SEO subscription to be purchased. Here’s a quick roundup:
- Grow Flow: $9 per month
- Audit: $49 per month
- SERP Analyzer: $29 per month
- White Label: $49 per month
- API: $29 per month
Surfer SEO is one of the most popular writing tools on the market for these four reasons:
Surfer SEO’s interface is intuitive and easy to use, even if you’re a novice.
Although some data-rich add-ons can be overwhelming, the most critical data is readily available in the Keyword Research Tool and the Content Editor dashboard.
As a bonus, the colorful content score gauge provides you with direct feedback on how well-optimized your article is.
Provides Rich and Accurate Contextual Data
The best way to outrank everyone on the SERP is to thoroughly cover the topic. Surfer SEO helps you do just that. The terms generated using NLP are almost always relevant to the topic and send a signal to search engines that your article deserves a high rank.
But it doesn’t end there.
You can also use it to identify the best backlinks, improve your internal links and content strategy, optimize the number of headings and images, and find high-potential keywords.
Speeds up Writing and SEO
Writing an SEO article from the ground up is easier than optimizing existing content.
The Content Editor allows you to use the right keywords and add them to your headings as you write, making the writing process much less painful.
If you’re a business owner or blogger who struggles with finding topics and developing a content strategy, Surfer SEO can do that for you with just a few clicks.
Good for Collaboration
The Enterprise plan is tailored to larger, structured teams. For instance, if you have one person do the initial keyword research, another person writes the content, and an editor checks it, Surfer SEO has got you covered.
By adding organization seats and sharing the link to the Content Editor, your team can collaborate on articles, leading to better and more optimized content.
Although the tool is helpful, it does have some notable drawbacks:
Dependency on Data
Surfer SEO struggles with low-competition keywords and unpopular niches. The Keyword Research Tool collects data based on search volume and relevance. It tends to miss noteworthy keywords that were only mentioned in one or two articles.
If the SERP for a keyword you want to target has no relevant articles and only forum posts instead, it won’t be able to provide accurate or meaningful data.
Limited Language Support
Although Surfer SEO works in many different languages, it works best in English and Spanish.
This is primarily due to a lack of data for other languages, and the keywords aren’t always grammatically correct or must be added in a specific grammatical case.
Potential for Overoptimization
Surfer SEO encourages the use of keywords and doesn’t handle alternative spellings. If you’re focused on getting your score to 95 or more, the end result will be a keyword-stuffed article that’s hard and unnatural to read.
Moreover, some keywords are context-specific, and you may accidentally plagiarize another article.
All Surfer SEO plans are rather expensive. And if you’re interested in a particular add-on, you can’t get only that particular tool. You have to get a plan first and then pay extra for the add-on.
For instance, if you’re interested in the Lite plan and the Audit plugin, it’ll set you back $78 per month.
To get all add-ons for free, opt for the Max plan. But at $299 per month, it’s one of the priciest SEO tools on the market.
Surfer SEO is a terrific content optimization tool that collects data based on SERPs and gives you relevant keywords to help you rank. It has all the tools you need to succeed, from suggested keywords and backlinks to detailed content audits.
The only major downside that might set you back is that Surfer SEO is pricey, and each add-on costs extra.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a Good Score in Surfer SEO?
According to Surfer SEO’s content score gauge, a good score is between 67 to 100. On average, most well-optimized articles fall in the 80 to 90 range. Although getting to 100 is possible for most topics, it’s not always recommended, as it might result in awkward keyword placement and poor readability.
Does Surfer SEO Really Work?
Surfer SEO is an excellent tool for creating and optimizing content using competitors’ data, so it works really well. It provides you with relevant keywords and excellent heading suggestions to help you write an article that stays on-topic. It’s also good at finding topics you haven’t already covered on your website.
Any recommended further reading?
Learn more from our Surfer SEO Guide, discussing creating optimized content, improving page structure, keyword research, and search intent.