Surfer SEO Review 2024: Key Features, Pricing & Alternatives

Overall rating

4.1/5

4.1

7 day trial for free

Pros

Cons

Best or unique feature

Are you tired of struggling to rank your website on the first page of Google?

Do you feel like you’re missing something when it comes to on-page SEO?

Look no further than Surfer SEO – the ultimate tool in any SEO professional’s arsenal.

With its comprehensive features and advanced algorithms, Surfer SEO has revolutionized the way we approach on-page optimization.

In this Surfer SEO review, we’re going to take a deep dive into the key features that make Surfer SEO the go-to tool for achieving top search engine rankings.

What is Surfer SEO?

Surfer SEO is an on-page SEO software that helps you optimize your website’s content for better rankings in Google search engine results pages. It’s considered one of the best SEO tools on the market for on-page optimization.

Surfer SEO analyzes top-ranking pages for your target keyword and provides you with recommendations on how to optimize your own content to outrank them.

With features like keyword research, content editor, domain planner, SERP analyzer, and site audit, Surfer SEO gives you a comprehensive toolkit for optimizing your website’s content and improving your rankings.

Whether you’re an SEO expert or a beginner, Surfer SEO can help you take your on-page optimization to the next level.

Overview of Surfer SEO Key Features

I have personally used Surfer SEO for several months for optimizing articles and ranking pages in Google SERPs. Below I’ve highlighted some of the features that I’ve deemed to be most important to outline for the purpose of this Surfer SEO review.

Tasks

The report is based on the “Tasks” feature of Surfer SEO that recommends actions to improve your site’s performance

Surfer SEO tasks to do this week
Surfer SEO tasks to do this week

However, one of the downsides of the “Tasks” feature is that it may not understand the purpose of each page on your site, and the recommendations may not be relevant or necessary for all pages.

The Domain Planner

Surfer SEO’s domain planner is a powerful feature that helps you optimize your website’s search engine visibility by providing valuable insights into your current keyword rankings and content performance.

By simply entering your website’s domain, you can see a comprehensive list of all the keywords that your website is currently ranking for, along with their search volume and difficulty. 

Surfer SEO domain planner
Surfer SEO domain planner

Moreover, the domain planner feature also provides a content score based on various SEO factors such as keyword coverage, word count, and more. This score enables you to quickly assess the quality of your content and identify areas for improvement. It’s also easy to see the details of each page, including the keywords it’s targeting and how many of these it covers.

Surfer SEO domain planner - advanced insights
Surfer SEO domain planner - advanced insights

By filtering by low hanging fruits, you can identify the easiest improvement opportunities to increase your rankings and drive more traffic to your site. Overall, Surfer SEO’s domain planner is an essential tool for any website owner looking to boost their search engine visibility and attract more organic traffic to their site.

The Keyword Research Tool

Surfer’s keyword research tool is another powerful tool for optimizing your content for search engines.

With just a seed keyword, Surfer SEO can generate a comprehensive keyword cluster report that includes related keywords, their monthly search volume, and keyword difficulty.

This report allows you to plan your content strategy more effectively by seeing which keywords go together into one article and which ones you should target separately.

Based on the main keyword, it gives you insights into search volume and difficulty. Surfer SEO gives you keyword suggestions and tells you the right keyword density.

Surfer SEO Keyword research - keyword clusters
Surfer SEO Keyword research - keyword clusters

Surfer SEO’s keyword cluster report provides a wealth of information for each keyword, for example: 

This allows you to quickly assess the potential value of each keyword and prioritize your content creation efforts accordingly. 

Additionally, Surfer SEO goes beyond just providing search volume and difficulty data by also giving insights into search intent. By understanding what users are looking for when they search for a particular keyword, you can create content that satisfies their needs and increases your chances of ranking higher in the SERPs.

Surfer SEO keyword research - one cluster overview
Surfer SEO keyword research - one cluster overview

Overall, Surfer SEO’s keyword cluster report is a valuable tool for planning and executing an effective content strategy that targets the right keywords and meets the needs of your audience.

Surfer SEO Content Editor

Surfer SEO’s content editor is widely regarded as one of its most valuable features, helping users create high-quality, search engine optimized content with ease. While there is a limited number of content editors that can be run, the results are comprehensive and informative.

Surfer SEO content editor history
Surfer SEO content editor history

After running a content editor for a keyword, you’ll get an overview of all the long-tail keywords that you should cover for that topic, giving you a roadmap for creating content that truly covers the subject matter. Additionally, the content editor provides helpful suggestions for word count ranges and images to include, making it easy to optimize your content for search engines and create content that satisfies the needs of your audience.

Surfer SEO content editor long tail keywords
Surfer SEO content editor long tail keywords

With the content editor, you can confidently create content that not only ranks well in the SERPs but also provides value to your readers. Overall, the content editor is a must-have tool for any content creator looking to optimize their content for search engines and attract more organic traffic to their site.

Content Editor for Google Docs

One of the great things about Surfer SEO’s content editor is that it can be used directly within Google Docs, making it easy to collaborate with other writers and seamlessly integrate the tool into your content creation process. 

With the Surfer SEO Google Docs Chrome Extension, you can add the content editor to any Google Doc and immediately see the content score for any keyword or phrase. This allows you to keep using your familiar process of writing and organizing content within Google Docs while also benefiting from the insights provided by Surfer SEO’s content editor.

Surfer SEO Google Docs extension
Surfer SEO Google Docs extension

However, one downside of the Google Docs extension is that you cannot change the width of the Surfer SEO sidebar. Personally, I would like to make it wider, so I could have a more comprehensive overview of the keywords to cover.

But the Surfer SEO integrations don’t stop here. Surfer also has another Google Chrome Extension that allows you to see SERP data.

Surfer SEO Google Search plugin
Surfer SEO Google Search plugin

Content Editor for Jasper AI

By combining Surfer SEO’s content editor with the Jasper AI writing tool, you can take your content creation to the next level. Jasper AI uses advanced AI and NLP algorithms to generate high-quality, engaging content in a matter of minutes.

And the best part is that it can automatically include the long-tail keywords from Surfer SEO’s content editor, making it even easier to optimize your content for search engines.

jasper surferSEO integration
Jasper and Surfer SEO integration

With Jasper AI and Surfer SEO integration, you can create content that not only meets the needs of your audience but also ranks well in the SERPs.

Whether you’re looking to create blog posts, product descriptions, or any other type of content, this powerful combination of tools can help you generate high-quality content at scale and drive more organic traffic to your site.

The Surfer SERP Analyzer Tool

One of Surfer SEO’s standout features is its SERP analyzer, which allows you to analyze the search engine results pages (SERPs) for any keyword you’re targeting.

With the SERP analyzer, you can see the top-ranking pages for your keyword and identify correlations between different content elements, such as word count, keyword usage, and backlinks. This gives you valuable insights into how you should structure your own content to increase your chances of ranking in the SERPs.

Surfer SEO SERP analysis
Surfer SEO SERP analysis

And because the analysis is automatic, you can quickly and easily get the information you need to optimize your content for search engines.

Based on the SERP results, you can really dive deep into what makes these pages rank. Surfer SEO SERP analyzer gives you a comprehensive overview of the:

Surfer SEO SERP common phrases
Surfer SEO SERP common phrases

Site Audit

Surfer SEO’s site audit feature is a powerful tool that can help you optimize your site for search engines and improve your overall SEO performance. With the site audit, you’ll get a comprehensive overview of the keywords to use, internal linking suggestions, word count, partial and exact keywords to cover, and page structure feedback.

Surfer SEO site audit
Surfer SEO site audit

While these suggestions can be helpful, it’s important to take them with a grain of salt. It’s not a good idea to keyword stuff your blog content or sacrifice the quality of your content for the sake of search engine optimization.

As you can see from my personal example below, having a perfect Surfer SEO score does not guarantee ranking in the top 1 result. In my case, my article ranks at the end of page 1.

Surfer SEO content score comparison
Surfer SEO content score comparison

Instead, use the site audit feature as a guide to identify areas where you can improve your site’s SEO performance and make targeted improvements that will benefit both your readers and search engines alike. 

By following Surfer SEO’s recommendations and creating high-quality, valuable content, you can attract more organic traffic to your site and achieve your SEO goals.

Downsides of the Key Features

In my experience Surfer SEO is one of the best on-page SEO tools that I have used. That being said, it still has some considerable downsides. I’ve listed them below.

Keyword Difficulty Score

In my personal experience, while Surfer SEO is a powerful tool for keyword research and content optimization, the keyword difficulty score can sometimes be inaccurate. It’s not uncommon to see keywords with a high difficulty score that are actually relatively easy to rank for, or vice versa.

This is because Surfer SEO’s algorithm is based on a number of factors, including search volume, competition, and other factors, that can be difficult to accurately predict.

For example, let’s take the sample keyword “data-driven sales strategy”. Surfer SEO gives these traffic potential and relative difficulty:

example keyword - surfer
example keyword - surfer

For the exact same keyword, Ahrefs gives these metrics:

example keyword - ahrefs
example keyword - ahrefs

And when looking at the estimated traffic the pages of this SERP gets:

example - ahrefs serp overview
example - ahrefs serp overview

So, we are seeing that Ahrefs and Surfer SEO give wildly different traffic estimates for this particular keyword.

Backlinks and Off-page Metrics

One of the features of Surfer SEO’s site audit is the backlinks report, which is supposed to show the backlinks for the top results in the SERP for a particular keyword. In my experience, the backlinks report is totally inaccurate and misleading.

Surfer SEO - missing common backlinks
Surfer SEO - missing common backlinks

For example, after analyzing the backlinks for the top 10 results for a target keyword, none of the sites had the backlinks that Surfer SEO thought. It’s unclear where Surfer SEO gathered this backlink information, but it seems to be totally off.

Getting Stuck in Over-optimizing

While Surfer SEO is a powerful on-page optimization tool, it’s important to be aware of the potential downside of getting too obsessed with getting the perfect score. Below is an example of my article where I spent a lot of time optimizing the article for the perfect score.

Surfer SEO example - high content score
Surfer SEO example - high content score

However, it does not bring in much traffic in this case. Although it’s also important to build backlinks and internal links to the article, I still expected it to rank better due to the high SEO score.

So, in my experience, it’s important to use Surfer SEO as a guide rather than as a rigid set of rules. Some of the keywords that my site ranks for are not optimized with Surfer at all, while others are fully optimized with Surfer SEO but aren’t driving much traffic. 

This suggests that there are other factors at play beyond on-page optimization. It’s important to remember that on-page optimization is just one piece of the SEO puzzle. Other factors, such as link-building strategy, user experience, and content quality, also play a critical role in determining your rankings.

Surfer SEO Pricing

write a paragraph about Surfer SEO pricing. Mention that the “Basic” package will get you 10 content editor articles. That’s the most useful feature of surfer SEO.

You can also audit 20 pages per month, which would also get you the long tail keywords, so you can naturally include them into your content. However, the beauty of Surfer SEO really comes to life with the Content Editor, because you’re seeing the SEO Score in real time.

If you really want to push the gas on your content strategy, you can get the “Pro” plan, which gets you 30 content editor articles per month. This would be 1 per day, every day.

Significant upgrade is that you can track 5 websites with it. Ideal for serious users. 

The rest of the features are the same.

Surfer SEO pricing
Surfer SEO pricing

7 day free trial with this link

What are the Best Surfer SEO Alternatives?

Although Surfer SEO is a fantastic SEO tool for your on-page analysis and for optimizing content, there are several Surfer SEO alternatives to consider.

In my opinion, the main reason why you should even consider other SEO tools for on-page SEO optimization is the relatively high cost of Surfer SEO. Especially, if you’re opting for Jasper AI as well.

Overall rating

4/5

4.0

5 day trial for $1

Pros

Cons

Best or unique feature

SEO Features & Integrations

5/5

Grammar & Plagiarism Checks

3/5

Templates & Use Cases

3/5

AI Content Detection Checks

5/5

Commands & Paraphrasers

5/5

Pricing & Trial

3/5

Frase is a great alternative to Surfer SEO for analyzing SERPs and optimizing your content. It offers a content editor with a real-time content score that helps you improve your content’s quality.

Frase long tail keywords already included
Frase long tail keywords already included

Frase also comes with a built-in AI writing software that can help you generate content faster and more efficiently. Overall, Frase is a reliable and efficient tool that can help you take your SEO efforts to the next level.

Overall rating

4.3/5

4.3

7 day trial for free

Pros

Cons

Best or unique feature

SEO Features & Integrations

5/5

Grammar & Plagiarism Checks

4/5

Templates & Use Cases

5/5

AI Content Detection Checks

4/5

Commands & Paraphrasers

4/5

Pricing & Trial

4/5

Scalenut is a great alternative to Surfer SEO for those who want to streamline their SEO process. It has an intuitive system that analyzes the SERP for your main keyword and generates headings based on the top ranking results.

Once you have composed the headings, you can easily generate the content with their built-in AI writing tool. As you are generating the content, there is also a real-time SEO score for content structure, how many words you’ve covered and content length.

scalenut seo score
Scalenut SEO score

This makes it easy to create content that is optimized for both search engines and readers.  Scalenut’s SEO process can save you time and help you create high-quality content that ranks well in search engine results pages.

Alternative: Clearscope

Clearscope is a popular on-page SEO tool that provides an alternative to Surfer SEO. It offers features for analyzing content structure, length, and long-tail keyword coverage, as well as giving you a content grade.

clearscope screenshot
Clearscope screenshot

Surfer SEO Review Conclusion

In this Surfer review, we have highlighted the key features and benefits of Surfer SEO. We have covered why it’s considered the best on-page SEO tool that every SEO professional should have in their toolkit. 

From keyword research and clustering to content editing and site audits, Surfer SEO offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help you rank higher in Google search engine results pages. 

We have reviewed each of these features, discussing their strengths and weaknesses, and providing tips on how to use them effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned SEO pro or a newbie looking to boost your website’s visibility, Surfer SEO is a must-have tool that can help you achieve your goals. 

So if you want to stay ahead of the competition and dominate your niche, sign up for the Surfer SEO trial.

Clearscope uses AI to suggest keywords that should be included in your content and to ensure your content matches the intent of the search query. Clearscope also offers an integration with Google Docs, making it easy to use with your existing writing process.

Overall, Clearscope is a powerful tool for optimizing your content for search engines and ensuring that it meets the needs of your target audience.

7 day free trial with this link

Picture of Erkki Muuga

Erkki Muuga

Erkki has over 10 years of experience as a software product manager and a proven track record in building and growing SaaS products. He has a keen eye for key differentiating factors and spotting truly valuable software features that enable business use cases.

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