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Surfer SEO Review: Optimize Your Writing Process

Surfer SEO Review: Optimize Your Writing Process
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Surfer SEO Review: Optimize Your Web Content Writing Process

If you're a content marketer, you need to create search engine optimized content that ranks on Google and gets in front of your target audience. 

Creating high quality content that helps your audience - and producing it consistently and at scale is not an easy feat.

It starts with developing your writing process that covers all your bases. And while you can manually create the process from the ground up, it’s best to use tools and software to speed up the process. 

There are multiple tools out available on the market promising to help with these challenges, however, piecing them all together with multiple subscriptions could quickly run up your business expenses. 

Surfer SEO claims to have everything you need in one dashboard - making it affordable and easy to use.  Is Surfer SEO worth it? In this Surfer SEO review, we'll dive into all of the tools and features.

You can decide whether or not Surfer SEO makes sense for your business.

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Our Rating:


Surfer SEO is a one-stop platform for generating content ideas, analyzing competitors, and creating optimized content. We recommend it for bloggers, writers, and content marketers.

What is Surfer SEO?

Surfer SEO homepage

Surfer SEO is a content optimization platform that streamlines your web content creation process so you can create content optimized for search engines and people in less time.

It’s one of the most trusted SEO tools for creating content, with guys like Matthew Woodward and Gael Breton of Authority Hacker singing its praises.

But how good is it, you ask?

This review post will walk through the entire content writing process and show you how Surfer SEO operates. We'll get under the hood on all of Surfer's best tools and features. This way, you will see firsthand how powerful and useful this tool is.

Related: Get Started with Surfer SEO Today and Start Ranking on Google

Streamlining Your Content Writing Process Using Surfer SEO

To help you understand the benefits that Surfer SEO brings to the table, we need to determine the workflow of a typical content writing process.

Below are the most common steps involved:

  • Keyword research - Find search terms related to your industry that help you rank on top of search engine results pages (SERPs). 
  • Competitive research - Research content that appears on the first page of search engines. From here, you must understand why they’re ranking so high and how you can create much better content.
  • Content audit - Analyze published content on your site and determine which require re-optimization to improve their Google rankings.
  • Team organization - Delegate the entire writing process to your team so you can just publish the content on your site or submit them to clients for review.

Surfer SEO unburdens you of this load by automating the bulk of the process for you. This way, you can cut down on cost and develop a foolproof process that you can execute without fault (or outsource to capable hands).

In this part, let’s look precisely at how Surfer SEO will help you do the steps outlined above:

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Why Surfer SEO?

Surfer SEO is a one-stop platform for generating content ideas, analyzing competitors, and creating optimized content. We recommend it for bloggers, writers, and content marketers.

Get Started Today: SurferSEO.Com

Generate Keyword and Topic Ideas for Your Content

Normally, you’d need a keyword research tool to help you find high-volume, low-competition search terms to rank for in your website. You can even find topics to write about on your blog that provide readers with value.

With Surfer SEO, there are two ways you can generate keyword and topic suggestions. 

First, the Keyword Research feature lets you enter a topic or seed keyword from which you want to generate ideas.

getting started keyword research

You must then click on the topic you entered under the Keyword Research History.

keyword research seo tool

The results contain keyword suggestions that you can organize according to SERP similarity and search volume.

Review of the Keyword Research tool inside Surfer

You can expand your search by looking at search queries containing the same terms and questions related to the keyword.

step by step guide to using this SEO tool

From here, you should find keywords that have the highest SERP similarity and search volume and optimize for those.

The only downside of using this feature is it doesn’t show you how difficult to rank for the term is. Having a number score for each keyword will greatly help you find the best keywords to optimize your content faster.

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Try Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO is a one-stop platform for generating content ideas, analyzing competitors, and creating optimized content. We recommend it for bloggers, writers, and content marketers.

Get Started Today: SurferSEO.Com

The second approach is by using the Content Planner feature. 

By entering your topic or industry, you can pull related keywords and group them according to relevance in a single click.

This enables you to fast-track your search and develop your content strategy faster.

To help expand your research, click on the Domain tab and enter the URL of your top competitors. The tool will extract the site’s top-ranking keywords and group the most related ones together.

content planner tool

Whether you typed in your industry or your competitor URL, you can view and click on the results under the SERP Analyzer History.

The results page should show you keyword clusters related to your initial keyword.

content planner

Clicking on each cluster will reveal to you the different keywords included and their monthly search volume and traffic. This is also the only time you’ll see the keyword difficulty in Surfer SEO.

inside content planner

To help you lower the keyword difficulty and increase your chances of ranking for this cluster, you should uncheck keywords with high KD scores.

Now, if you searched for your competitor URL, you’ll see which pages are ranking on Google, its average position for its keywords, and its estimated organic search traffic.

screen shot content planner

You’ll also see the page’s Content Score—the higher the score, the more optimized it is for its keywords.

If you wish to optimize for the page is ranking for keywords, click on the pencil icon to create a Content Editor page for this (or the “Create Content Editor” button if you looked for keyword ideas). We’ll discuss this in-depth in the later sections of this post.

Related: The Authority Site System Review - Is the Authority Hacker Course Worth It?

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Try Surfer for 30 Days

Surfer SEO is a one-stop platform for generating content ideas, analyzing competitors, and creating optimized content. We recommend it for bloggers, writers, and content marketers.

Get Started Today: SurferSEO.Com

Analyze Competitors to Gain an Edge

Unlike keyword research, SERP research lets you look at the top-ranking pages for the terms you’re targeting. From here, you can further generate insights about why search engines rank these pages on search results.

Some people prefer this method or verifying their chosen keywords instead of depending on the Keyword Difficulty metric. 

Using Surfer SEO’s SERP Analyzer, they can decide for themselves whether the keyword is difficult to rank for based on different SEO metrics.

From the SERP Analyzer page, enter the keyword on the text bar. 

Search Engine Results Page Analyzer

You can change the country so the tool will extract the appropriate search database. There’s also an option to choose which crawler type you want for this analysis and the inclusion of sentiments and screenshots on the results.

Once the analysis is done under the History section, click on it to review.

Here’s what you’ll see in it:

Serp analyzer

On the left side of the screen is the Structure part. It breaks down the top 40 pages ranking for the keyword according to various SEO factors like exact or partial keyword mentions, common keywords, and average word count of all pages.

analyzing search results

The goal here is to help you identify which elements in the page’s body, title, meta description, and others influence the search rankings of each page.

In the example above, the ones with green bars have the highest correlation among all ranking pages. 

This means high character count, keyword density, and word count are the most common features of the pages ranking for this keyword.

Also, you can visualize the data by checking the boxes here to show it on the graph. In this case, the Words element is checked by default.

SERP Analyzer
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Start Optimizing Your Content

Surfer SEO is our one-stop platform for generating content ideas, analyzing competitors, and creating optimized content. We recommend it for bloggers, writers, and content marketing teams.

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Based on the graph, the more words you can write about the topic or keyword, the higher your chances of ranking on top of SERPs for the keyword.

Scrolling down the page, you will see the SERPs for the keyword you entered. Each page features its Content Score and Domain Score.

content score and domain score

Use both metrics to analyze which among the pages are your top competitors.

Ideally, you want to find pages with high Content Scores and low Domain Scores in the top 10 results. The fact that these pages are ranking despite being a low authority domain means that they’re doing something right.

If you want to dig deeper into a specific page from the list, conduct an on-page SEO analysis of the page. Click on the three-button icon on the right of a result and click on “Audit.”

content audit

It shows you additional information about the page’s use of keywords and other elements. From here, you can see how many “errors” and “warnings” the page has compared to the average figure distilled across 40 pages ranking for the keyword.

Related: SEMRush Review - Inside Look at the SEO Suite of Tools

analyzing competition

Create Optimized Content Better than the Competition

Once you’ve researched your keywords and information for each, it’s time to begin with the actual writing process.

This is where things get interesting for the Surfer SEO software—it allows you to research and write optimized content in less time using the Content Editor.

Go to the Content Editor page and enter your keyword/s in the text bar.

how to use content editor

As mentioned, you can also create Content Editors using the Content Planner tool.

surfer SEO review of content editor

The ability to input as many keywords in your content brief allows you to target multiple keywords in a single content. This makes ranking for multiple related search queries much easier, knowing that you’re observing your content's most relevant keywords and elements. 

Surfer SEO takes a few moments to collect and prepare the information you need to create optimized content.

Once it’s ready, you will see something like this:

optimized content

You can write the content on the body just like a regular text editor. 

On the right side are the details to help ensure that your content is optimized for its keywords. There are three tabs in this area. 

First, the Guidelines show you its current Content Score and the structure you should strive for to create content comparable to the top-ranking pages for your queries.

Scrolling down will show you keywords you should include in your content.

keywords you should include
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Why Surfer SEO?

Surfer SEO is our one-stop platform for generating content ideas, analyzing competitors, and creating optimized content. We recommend it for bloggers, writers, and content marketing teams.

Get Started Today: SurferSEO.Com

The higher they are positioned in the list, the more reason you should find a way to mention them in your copy at least once. Doing so will help increase your Content Score, particularly the Terms and Natural Landing Processing (NLP) sections.

Use Surfer to beat your competition

The great thing about it is that it’s not dependent solely on the related words you should include in your copy. It also considers its structure—sentence and paragraph length, number of images used, formatting (using numbered or bulleted lists), and others.

Next, the Outline tab shows you the different titles, headers, and questions you can use in your content. They even include the unique text you can use as is!

creating optimized content

Regarding the generated text here, Surfer SEO paraphrased content from existing pages and included them here. While you can be sure that the content is not plagiarized, they’re not exactly written for humans.

Nonetheless, consider these as outlines to help you jumpstart ideas to discuss in your content. Feel free to edit the text to fit your standards.

Finally, the Brief tab is where you can include additional information about the post assignment for your writers.

writing your article with Surfer

Aside from the Competitors section, the Notes section is blank by default. To edit it, you need to click on the gear icon to edit the brief and other details about the Content Editor.

content editor screen shot

It will open a new window that will first show you the top-ranking pages for the keywords you’re optimizing for. The tool chose five pages with the highest Content Scores without considering its authority.

The Content Editor is unlike other on-page SEO tools like Yoast SEO or Rank Math that works like a checklist of what you need to include in your content. It draws information from pages ranking on Google for your chosen keyword. 

You can refine your Content Editor by choosing what you feel are better pages to compare your content with. In particular, look at low-authority pages ranking on the top 10 of search results. Despite their lack of authority, they’re ranking very well for this set of keywords. This means you need to replicate whatever they’re doing with their content.

You can also tweak the number of words allotted for this post.

content structure
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Why Surfer SEO?

Surfer SEO is our one-stop platform for generating content ideas, analyzing competitors, and creating optimized content. We recommend it for bloggers, writers, and content marketing teams.

Get Started Today: SurferSEO.Com

This could be important for site owners working on a certain budget with their writers.

Finally, you can include directions that your writers need to know before creating the piece in the Notes section.

notes section in the editor

Once you’re done making the changes, click on “Let’s go” to save them.

You can save the link from the editor or share it with your writers without giving them login access to your Surfer SEO account. Just click on the Share button and click on the Copy link button to get the shareable link.

how to write your article using Surfer

The gear icon that allows you to edit the Content Editor from this link will be missing. You can only edit it by logging into your account and going to the Content Editor.

Reoptimize Low-Hanging Fruit Content to Attract More Traffic

Let’s use you have an established site and would like to audit your existing content first before you start creating new pieces.

Surfer SEO’s Content Audit tool helps you identify pages outside the first page of SERPs and provides you with insights on how you can improve each.

To do this, you must first connect Surfer SEO with your Google Search Console (GSA). Next, enter your site URL on the text bar you are monitoring using GSA.

The tool will then show you pages receiving impressions and traffic according to Google Search Console. For each page, Surfer SEO show you its Content Score and the keywords from which it receives impressions and traffic.

From here, identify keywords that have low Content Scores and are outside the first page of Google. Creating a Content Editor for each of these pages allows you to optimize their Content Scores and hopefully improve their rankings.

To help you identify which pages to prioritize first, you can toggle the Low Hanging Fruit switch to show you these pages. Or you can filter the pages based on different factors so you can determine the pages on your own.

low hanging fruit

Using Surfer SEO to look at pages you can optimize first allows you to maximize the traffic from your existing pages. The fact that they’re getting impressions and traffic means you should work on them first instead of creating content from scratch.

Delegate Your Writing Tasks Like a Real Boss

Ideally, you just want to monitor your site’s progress based on the content published in it. Surfer SEO helps automate the process as much as possible in this regard, especially if you’re working with a writing team.

It all starts with the Organization feature.

Depending on your chosen plan, you can add an unlimited number of members into your account. Simply send them a link that will ask them to create a Surfer SEO account. 

adding members to your team

Once completed, they will have access to your dashboard and its features. The user can create Content Editors and research keywords and topics for your websites.

Also, if you prefer working with Google Docs for the articles, Surfer SEO has a Chrome Extension you can use that shows the data from the tool into Google Docs.

The Google Chrome extension also works if you want your writers to create the content straight into WordPress. This way, you can simply review the content from the site and publish it when approved.

With Surfer SEO, you have no excuse to streamline your workflow and make the writing process much easier for you and your team!

Surfer SEO logo

Our Rating:

Why Surfer SEO?

Surfer SEO is our one-stop platform for generating content ideas, analyzing competitors, and creating optimized content. We recommend it for bloggers, writers, and content marketing teams.

Get Started Today: SurferSEO.Com

Surfer SEO Pricing

Here’s the most current snapshot of Surfer SEO’s monthly pricing:

how much does Surfer SEO cost?

The price of each plan is dependent on the number of Content Editors you can create and audits you can conduct. The more credits you have for each, the pricier the plan becomes.

You can choose to pay annually to save 17% on all plans.

All plans include the Content Planner and SERP Analyzer tools. You can use both features as many times as you need. But you must use them within reason—if you abuse the Content Planner and SERP Analyzer, you may encounter issues with your account.

Back then, you could sign up for a 7-day trial of Surfer for $1. Nowadays, you have to pony up the total amount of the plan you want. 

The good thing here is that you can always cancel and get your money back within the first seven days upon signing up.

But, even after seven days and you’re still undecided whether you’ll keep your account or not, you can reach out to extend your trial period up to 30 days.

Click here to visit Surfer SEO's pricing page to learn more.

Surfer SEO Review: Conclusion

As you have seen above, Surfer SEO is in a class of its own.

It’s not just about giving you the ability to create content that search engines and people will love. It’s also about automating your writing process so you can focus on producing results with the content you’ll publish using this tool.

Since then, there have been Surfer SEO alternatives that try to do the same thing this software does. 

However, none of them come close to how polished and refined Surfer SEO is when gathering and organizing data to help site owners and writers produce content that meets your high standards.

Despite the Content Editor limits across all plans, you can still use its SERP Analyzer to manually analyze the pages ranking on Google. From here, you can generate insights to help you come up with data to create optimized content, whether you’re using the Content Editor or not.

Plus, the Content Planner allows you to brainstorm for new topics to write about and existing content you can optimize to improve their rankings. 

Ultimately, I cannot recommend Surfer SEO enough. Click here to get started with Surfer SEO today. There's a reason all of the top content marketers are using it. This tool will help you save time and expedite your writing workflow. Make the most out of the content you create and publish online. 

Ilir Salihi

Hey! I'm a blogger, affiliate marketer, and #freedomfighter. I love digital marketing. My goal with is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners leverage the internet to build a passive side-hustle or full-time income.