BY
Arpad Balogh
May 6, 2022

Surfer SEO Quick Review

Surfer SEO is one of the best SEO tools for creating great content that ranks well in search engines like Google at the moment.

You can audit your page, check correlation data and get precise recommendations on what entities you need to add to your content to be relevant!

Surfer takes the guesswork out of creating content and also saves us a ton of time!

It's an SEO tool we use every day and highly recommend.

Overall Rating: 

PROS

  • Great Pricing
  • SEO Optimize Pages Easily
  • Unlimited NLP
  • Great Team
  • Functionality
  • Good User interface
  • Saves Time

CONS

  • The Keyword Research Could Be Better and Have More Features

  • SERP Analyzer is Too Complicated for Beginners

What is Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO is an on page SEO optimization tool that harnesses the power of Natural Language Processing and Entities to provide content optimization recommendations.

It is designed to help content marketers and SEO professionals create better content that ranks higher in search engines.

Who is Surfer SEO for?

Surfer SEO is a great SEO tools for anyone who would like to increase the organic search rankings of their website. It is great for Small Business owners and seasoned SEO professionals as well.

Surfer SEO Pricing

At the moment, Surfer has three plans:


Basic: $59 / month

PRO: $119 / month

Business: $239 / month


If you decide go for paying annually, the prices are lower.

Features of Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO has a good number of features for optimizing your content. Here are some of them:

Content Editor

The most prominent feature is their content editor.

You can enter the keyword that you would like to rank for and Surfer SEO creates content guidelines that you can easily follow.

The tool takes your top competitors (according to how authoritative they are and how good the content optimization score is) from the search results and generates actionable recommendations.

When the loading is complete, you are greeted with a simple Google doc like editor. 


It has all of the features, like adding headers, links, quotes, code and even images that you need to produce good content.

The most important part to look at however is on the right-hand side of the screen.

As said before, Surfer looks at your competitors and based on data, calculates how many words, heading, paragraphs and images you should add to your content.

The tool also gives you the number of headings your content needs. If the top articles are listicles and there are 50 headings, you will need to do the same and Surfer will show that to you.

Surfer gives your the words and NLP entities (some SEOs call them LSI Keywords) that you have to add to your content in order to be relevant for that keyword.

When you submit your page to be indexed in Google and the search engine crawls it, it reads your page and determines if you are providing valuable and good information or not.

One part of it is having the relevant entities for that keyword in your content. If you don't have these your content wont be relevant and you won't rank.

To avoid
keyword stuffing, similar to keyword density, Surfer also shows you how many times you need to add these entities/keywords into your content based on the length of your content.

Just like with paragraphs and images, you get recommendations on those too.

you can customize word count

You can customize all of this, so for example if Surfer shows you need 2500 words, but you actually only want to write 1500 words, you can modify it in the settings and all of the recommendations will change according to that.

outline builder

Recently, Surfer has also added AI-generated Outlines. This feature allows you to easily generate the structure of your page by giving you heading ideas with AI-generated paragraphs.

Just with this, you should be able to put together a nice piece of content.

If you are hiring someone to write your content, you can also share the content editor with anyone. This way they will see the editor and the recommendations, so they can write but cannot access your account in full.

Of course, the content editor can also be used to optimize existing content you have already written. Simply copy and paste your content into the editor and optimize accordingly.

With the Google chrome extension of Surfer SEO installed, you can also integrate surfer's content editor with Google Docs. It will have all of the features Google docs, with the addition of showing Surfer metrics.

Audit

surfer seo audit tool

One of the most underrated (in our opinion) features of Surfer SEO is the audit.

We see that most people only use the content editor, while the Audit gives you forensic data on how to optimize the on-page SEO of an already live page by looking at the ranking factors on the SERPs.

All you have to do is enter your URL and the keyword you need actionable info for and hit "create audit" to do an On-Page SEO Analysis of your page.

Similar to the Surfer SEO content editor, the first thing you see is the content score. This is calculated on all of the metrics that you could see in the previous section

The tool also gives you backlink data and shows you where your competitors are getting their backlinks from and where you should get them too.

A really cool feature is the internal link feature. Surfer gives you tips on which pages you should point internal links to, to increase the flow of link juice.

It also shows you the word count, keyword usage, heading, image recommendations and the terms you need to have in your content.

It is more detailed however in the nuances of your page structure than the surfer content editor.

The audit tool gives you specific info on many times your competitors have their keywords in the image alt tags, paragraphs, and the H1 and does the same with partial keywords too.

You also get load time and TTFB data for that specific page.

If you want to get tips on improving your On-Page SEO, this is a great feature.

Content Planner

content planner

Content Planner is an awesome feature for improving the Topical Map of your website.

You can enter a keyword or your domain and given on that data, it generates you a bunch of related topics and clusters that you need to write about in order to be authority in that niche.

This can also be used to create a silo and generate supporting content ideas.

It's not only a great tool for generating ideas, but at the same time it generates you keywords as well and you can create content editors by just a click of the button for that cluster.

The intent of the clusters is also shown, so if you are lacking informational articles on your website, you can filter those too.

You also get information on the keyword difficulty, so you can see how hard it will be to rank for a certain cluster.

SERP Analyzer

serp analyzer

The SERP Analyzer tool is very hard to understand at first.

This aspect of the tool is used to find correlations between high rankings and high positions in the search results.

Basically, it lets you look at the SERP for a keyword and give you data on what are the ranking factors for that keyword that you should focus on according to the top ranking pages.

This SEO tool is similar to the data which CORA provides, but in our opinion, it is less detailed, but with a better UX.

The SERP Analyzer is data centered, and gives you a lot of information from keyword density, to prominent words and phrases, and common backlinks.

While most consumers won't do this, as it is too complicated, It can be really good for diving a little bit deeper into the SERPs and mining out data.

For example, for the keyword "SEO Tips" we can see a correlation between ranking high and the number of words in hidden elements, but we can check other serp similarity too.

You can also add your own page to see how you compare related to the competitors.

This feature is great, especially if you are an SEO Professional. If you are a small business owner, you most likely won't be opening this section of the tool!

Keyword Research

The Surfer SEO Keyword Research Tool is one of the weakest links in the features in our opinion.

Once you enter your target keyword, it generates you related keywords, search volume, keywords with same terms and questions that have that keyword in them.

It is simple and good for generating ideas and keywords if you don't use any other tools, but it's problems lie in its simpleness.

It cannot really compete with other tools like Ahrefs which gives you a wider range of features for keyword analysis.

For example, it doesn't show keyword difficulty or filtering options. It cannot reverse engineer competitors and give you historical data or click / no click ratio.

However, Surfer SEO is a content optimization tool so we cannot expect for it to be a tool like Ahrefs for the same price.

Surfer SEO is still pretty cheap given how big of a feature set it has.

Grow Flow

The grow flow is a recent addition to Surfers' features and we love it!

Many of us get lost in the process of content creation, creating a backlog of articles which we never get around to doing anything with and in the countless things we have to act on our websites.

Grow Flow does nothing else but give you tasks to do, based on an automated Surfer Audit in a very organized way.

Currently, it gives you three tasks a week.

It can give you recommendations like adding a keyword to an article, adding an internal link or creating a piece of content to increase the topicality of your website.

For it to work, you must connect your Google Search console with Surfer, so it can look at the data of your website.

Currently, you can add only one website but they will release an option to add more websites soon.

AI Content Generator (Soon to come)

The AI Content generator in Surfer SEO is a feature that is rolling out as we speak. Surfer had a black friday sale, where a certain sales goal had to be reached in order for them to start working on this feature and it was reached!

Similar to Jasper AI, it uses GPT-3 to generate content.

As of now, only a certain set of people can use it and they are rolling out for a batch of 50 people at a time.

Because we don't have any information on how it works, once we receive access we will come back and update the article.

Surfer SEO Alternatives

There are a few on-page optimization tools that serve as alternatives to Surfer SEO.

Clearscope

Clearscope is an AI-powered content optimization tool. Similarly to Surfer SEO, it helps users to create optimised content for their website.

Once you enter your seed keyword, It looks at similar factors like content length, and keywords that you have to add to your content in order to be optimized.

It integrates with WordPress and Google Docs. It also offers readability metrics, which Surfer SEO doesn't at the moment.

On the keyword research side, it's not the best either, it offers metrics like search volume, but it doesn't compare to a tool like Ahrefs.

Clearscope is a bit on the pricier side.

Marketmuse

Marketmuse is a content planner and optimiser software.

Marketmuse uses AI to generate content briefs that can help you write faster. It gives you ideas like what topics to mention, and how many words should that section include.

Like Surfer SEO, it gives you the terms to use in the content and the suggested amount that you should use too.

As far as we know, it doesn't have a dedicated keyword research tool.

Dashword

Dashword is a minimalistic tool compared to the other Surfer SEO alternatives and it's not very popular yet.

It works very similar to other SEO tools. It helps you create seo content faster by giving you content briefs and prominent terms to use in your content.

The two main metrics in Dashword are word count and content grade.

The pricing is a bit off and it offers 5 NLP credits compared to Surfer SEO, which is unlimited and included in all plans.

It offers to monitor the published content, so you can check how your optimized seo content is doing once you have made it live!

Frase

Frase is one of the most popular Surfer SEO alternatives out there. If one tool can pick up the fight with Surfer SEO, it's this tool.

Frase lets you research content, and write and optimise existing content faster.

The content editor feature is very similar to Surfer SEO. You get a basic content editor where you can type your content.

Where Frase stands out is when you create the content briefs. It has an AI writer feature, has templates for easier planning and also gives you questions and Wikipedia examples.

You can optimize content by adding missing topics to the content itself.

It offers basic backlink analysis as well where you can see missing common backlinks for your page.

On Page AI

On Page is also a good Surfer SEO alternative, if you are looking for an on-page optimization tool that offers data on the missing entities of your content.

You have to add your main keyword and then compare it with other pages. Then On Page AI will show you key terms that you should add to your blog post or money page content in order for it to be more optimized.

Chrome Plugin: Keyword Surfer

There is a free chrome plugin from the Surfer team called Keyword Surfer.

It is very easy to install and it can give you keyword data based on what you type in Google. You can see the search volume, the CPC, related keyword ideas and even can generate articles outlines!

This tool we have also showcased
in our free keyword research tools article with usage tips!

Conclusion of our Surfer SEO Review

Surfer SEO is a must-have tool if you want to rank higher on Google. It has a lot of features that are useful for small business owners and several ones that can be very interesting for seasoned SEO professionals.

The starting price at $59/month is very affordable for a tool with so many features, which is usable for anyone who wants to start optimizing their website!


If it helps you rank only one piece of content that makes you money, it has paid you back!

We hope our Surfer SEO review was useful for you and we highly recommend using it!

About the author

Arpad Balogh is a Hungarian SEO Expert and Strategist with more than 8 years of experience in the field. He loves dogs, he is afraid of empty pools (so weird, right?), loves vegan food and has a passion for telling very bad jokes.

Technical SEO, Structured Data and Keyword research are the areas he loves the most.

As a Founder of Slothio, His mission is to help 5,000 small business owners to grow their business in the next three years, help them be happier and enjoy life more.

Arpad Balogh


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