On-page optimization is an integral part of SEO, and many specialized tools have been developed to help this process. Professional tools like Surfer SEO and Clearscope can assist in creating , auditing, and optimizing content to increase organic ranking and attract visitors.
The question is – which tool is better? That’s what we will reveal in the Clearscope vs Surfer SEO comparison below. Our experts tested both platforms, while focusing on content creation and editing. Check out our impressions to discover which SEO software is the better option for your website or company!
What Are Surfer SEO and Clearscope?
Surfer SEO Overview
Surfer SEO is a platform with various tools and utilities focused on content optimization. It compares your article, landing page, or other content to those that rank high in search engine results pages. That’s how it determines the exact keywords and other items that your page is missing. By strengthening your content, the tool helps you achieve better rankings, as well as attract and retain visitors.
The history of Surfer SEO goes back to 2017 when five friends designed the initial version of the tool for in-house company needs. Today, the team includes over 50 specialists in engineering, marketing, development, and other relevant industries. The tool serves over 15,000 businesses from 140 countries.
- The content score from 0 to 100 is a great way to compare your article to the competition
- Content planning and audit are useful additions to the mix
- Inserting notes makes it easier to share requirements with writers
- AI-driven Grow Flow is an exciting new feature
- Outline builder might make direct subheading copies
- Some provided terms might be irrelevant
Clearscope is an SEO tool that uses the so-called Natural Language Processing approach along with AI technology to help you achieve the best content optimization . Thanks to NLP, the platform can analyze your content, perform keyword research, and suggest the best terms to include in your blog post, article, or page. The ultimate goal is to increase the value of your content and your chances of achieving better search engine rankings organically.
The company was established in Texas, United States, in 2016. Today, it has a long list of reputable clients, including brands like IBM, Deloitte, Binance, Shopify, and Adobe. Clearscope is a tool primarily designed for professionals and teams.
- Grouping keywords by relevance makes it easier to add terms
- Simple integration with Google Docs and WordPress
- A user-friendly layout that beginners will find simple to navigate
- Competitor analysis and term map show useful information
- Pricey subscription cost for the default package
- Limited working hours of customer support
SEO Content Editor Comparison
A crucial component of these two platforms is their content editors, so it’s only natural that they’ll be the main focus of our Clearscope vs Surfer SEO showdown. Our experts will also cover other relevant features, including those which you can only find on one of the two platforms. Here’s what we discovered when we tested these tools!
It didn’t take long for our Surfer SEO comparison team to identify the multiple advantages offered by this feature. You can leverage it to achieve optimal article structure, and even get feedback on your work in real time. The tool also provides an extensive list of keywords related to your topic, which helps strengthen the content value and make it more attractive to readers.
It just isn’t possible to choose from Surfer SEO or Clearscope based on the layout and user-friendliness of the interface. Both platforms offer simple navigation, even if you don’t have previous experience with similar tools. You’ll find the Content Editor in the tool’s main menu on the left part of the screen.
Then, you’ll have two options. The first one is to enter keywords that are related to your topic, and the alternative is to import content from an existing URL. In the latter case, you need to enter the entire page’s address, and the odds are you might need to remove some unnecessary content pulled from the page before you start working.
Our Surfer SEO vs Clearscope review experts also note that you can pick the location to focus on for the search results, which is great if you are targeting a particular market or want to improve local SEO. You can also pick between a desktop or mobile crawler. Once you are ready, the software will prepare the content editor in seconds. The speed at which everything is prepared is rather impressive, and there’s no waiting time involved.
The information shown by the content editor is extensive. The guidelines will include the recommended word count for the chosen topic, expressed in a range from the lowest to highest possible recommendation. You’ll also see how many paragraphs and headings your article should have, as well as the number of images you should add. The idea is to make the article visually attractive but also ensure you have enough quality content to outrank the competitors.
Content Score and Guidelines
If you compare Surfer SEO and Clearscope, you’ll notice Surfer SEO shows Content Score in numbers from 0 to 100. It also indicates the average and top score of similar content, which is a metric received after analyzing the top pages in the search engine results. If you want, you also have the option to check competitor pages and see how they created their articles on the given topic.
Customizing the guidelines is a vital option offered by Surfer SEO. After entering Settings, you’ll have the option to insert URLs manually. The tool will show the competitors from the top ten ranking pages. It’s necessary to pick at least three for the Content Score and guidelines to be properly calculated, and five for accurate data.
As for the keywords, adding all of them can be a hassle, which is why the idea isn’t to get the rating to 100. Average Content Score metrics serve as guidance here, and you can pick which keywords to ignore. We found the content where you can see questions connected to the topic. Surfer SEO uses People Also Ask, but also competitor pages as the source for these questions. If you plan on adding an FAQ section to your article, this can be of vital assistance. And we should mention that some questions can even be suitable as subheadings, which means the section can be useful for getting extra ideas for your article.
The next thing we’ll touch upon in our Surfer SEO vs Clearscope showdown is that this tool will suggest a vast selection of keywords to include in the article. Some words aren’t directly related to your content, and some are among those you generally use across different texts, such as “step” or “click.” All things considered, the tool does a good job of keeping maximum relevance.
You’ll notice there’s a requirement on the number of times to use certain keywords in the content. Once you fulfill that requirement, the keyword changes color from red to green. It’s a nice touch since you can feel proud watching the words turn green and the content score increase.
Outline Builder and Brief
The tool has an intuitive Outline Builder, which leverages AI potential to help create an article. You’ll find the Outline tab next to the guidelines. Once you click on it, you’ll see that Surfer SEO will generate titles, headings, and subheadings for your article. AI analyzes the competitors and suggests the structure. And while this is useful, it often happens that the subheadings are a direct copy from other websites. That means you will need to rewrite the headings to make them original and avoid plagiarism issues.
While all suggestions may seem relevant, don’t trust them blindly. Things can get messy, so it’s best to use them to get ideas. It’s necessary to have an actual writer or editor with knowledge of the topic to ensure the AI insight becomes a strong content outline.
As for the Brief section, it includes the Note section, where you can add a deadline or any other comments you consider important. This is great for editors who want to insert notes before assigning content to writers. The brief is also where you’ll find competitor links for the topic you inserted.
While choosing Cleascope or Surfer SEO, you’ll find integrations an important feature. This tool is compatible with WordPress and Google Docs, which will meet the expectations of most writers and editors. You’ll notice a link to export to WordPress in the upper section, and that’s also where you’ll find options to Share. You can either create a Google document or copy links directly to the editor.
Content Planner and Audit
Content Planner is a great feature if you don’t already have a topic ready for your page or article. Just enter a desired term and receive a cluster of suggestions related to that phrase. You can use this to create an entire content category, as you’ll get suggestions for articles within a single theme.
If you need more insight, you can use the Keyword Research tool. Our Surfer SEO vs Clearscope experts note the tool doesn’t have the most extensive database. You can’t compare the results to other SEO suites, especially if you are looking for low-volume keywords.
Content Audit is there to analyze existing content, which can help maximize the potential of an existing page. The tool will divide the suggestions into several sections:
- Content Score. The key metric offered by this tool is the best way to get a quick glance at the current content quality.
- Missing backlinks. If there are common backlinks, the tool will suggest which to include.
- Internal links. You will receive ideas on where you can use internal links to strengthen your backlink profile.
- Terms to use. The information shows which phrases and words to include in the article.
In our effort to compare Clearscope and Surfer SEO, we’ll continue with the integrated editor made available on Clearscope. It’s easy to access the editor, but it’s necessary to enter the keyword phrase first. You can use report creation to find an optimal keyword, which also narrows down your search to a particular market or language.
Once everything is ready, pick the word from the report to enter into the editor. You will notice a blank screen in the middle and different content sections on the left and right sides.
The left section will show the Content Grade. If you read our Surfer SEO vs Clearscope comparison carefully, you’ll notice that this tool uses grades instead of a numerical score. The categories vary from F to A++, and the result will keep increasing as you meet the suggested guidelines. The average word count is also there, as well as the readability index. The platform uses the Flesch-Kincaid scale, which has been widely adopted in the content industry.
The right section contains three tabs, and the first one includes Terms. These are keywords to include in the article, as well as the suggested number of times to insert them. Clearscope uses the same approach as Surfer SEO and other tools, which means the system analyzes the top search engine results for the topic and collects LSI keywords for the key phrase provided.
It’s useful that the tool sorts terms into three categories – heading presence, unused, and importance. This means you can prioritize keywords and naturally insert them into the content. The keyword will turn green once you add it the expected amount of times. Our Surfer SEO vs Clearscope experts mention that you can see the keyword importance by clicking on a term. It will also provide useful suggestions from competitor sources, which is great if you need inspiration.
Another useful addition is that you can add keywords you find important. It’s worth noting this won’t affect the keyword grade, as these keywords don’t contribute to the total score. The software will even suggest some extra keywords that didn’t make the initial cut.
Semantic Grouping is an excellent feature since it will group keywords by relevance. For example, you’ll see words like “target audience” and “content marketing” next to each other rather than randomly spread across the list. These are convenient additions that make the entire experience of using Clearscope better and easier.
Research and Outlines
The research tab is where you can collect more info for your content. It starts with the questions you’ll commonly find online related to your topic. The tool does a pretty good job, and you can use it to generate an FAQ section in only a few clicks.
As our Cleascrope vs Surfer SEO review shows, you’ll also get a list of the most relevant external links in the Research tab. These links are collected from competitors. If you need more information, you’ll find a list of websites of where to get them. The list usually includes sites like Reddit, Quora, and Wikipedia, so it doesn’t exactly go into great detail.
If you click on Outlines, you’ll see a suggested structure for the article on the given topic. Although Clearscope does a good job of generating headings and subheadings, you’ll also find that it’s often a rather direct copy of competitor sites. Despite this, it can be helpful as guidance to know all sections to include in the article to ensure you have all the content from competitor pages in a single location.
Term Map, Competitors, and Integrations
These utilities provide even more info to make using this tool more enjoyable. You’ll find them in the top-right section, and the extensive info about competitors is undoubtedly the biggest addition to this tool. As our Clearscope vs Surfer SEO experts mention, the default graph shows the competitor’s organic position and the content grade. It’s great to understand the minimum grade necessary to rank highly in search engine page results.
You’ll also see a list with top competitor links, including their position in desktop and mobile searches (nice touch), as well as word count and content grade. The term map will show which keywords were used by particular competitors, which is great for confirming which terms you can’t afford to miss in the article.
As for integrations, you can link the report to a Google Doc by adding its URL into the field to link a shared report in Clearscope. Apart from some layout changes, the information available is identical. WordPress integration is also supported, although it’s necessary to install the plugin in your CMS first.
The winner of our content editor showdown is Clearscope, but it was a close call. We made this choice because the platform is incredibly user-friendly and easy to use. You’ll benefit from keyword sorting and other useful features that help prepare top-quality content. Surfer SEO does provide a higher range for the content score, but our Clearscope comparison showed that you’ll easily get used to the concept of grades ranking your content.
Comparison of Other Features
Grow Flow is a crucial addition to Surfer SEO, and the biggest innovation in the last few years. The idea is to offer a to-do list with tasks that will enhance your SEO performance. Once you access the feature, it will show tasks for the current week. These might include adding missing keywords to some pages to improve their content score, checking out tutorials on how to perform different actions, or suggestions on which links to enter.
The tool will even provide article suggestions, although they won’t always be in line with your website’s content. Grow Flow seems to be primarily for beginners, but even experts can save some time analyzing what to add manually or with other tools.
Surfer SEO also provides SERP Analysis, which will show detailed information about a specific keyword . You can check the word count, titles, multimedia, page speed, and dozens of other factors for the best-ranked pages for that keyword.
As for Clearscope, it’s worth noting that it keeps a detailed report history for all of the reports you create. You can select a customized date range but also organize them based on tags. It’s also possible to archive old reports or even delete those you don’t need anymore. If you have multiple clients, the grouping option is great since it ensures the content stays organized.
Our Clearscope vs Surfer SEO review team also mentions that this platform has a Keyword Discovery tool. Clearscope allows you to enter the keyword in the search bar and filter the results by language or local market. The information provided is more extensive than the rival’s Keyword Research, and that’s why we feel it’s worth mentioning. This utility will offer details like average monthly searches, cost per click, and existing competition. Apart from the default table, you can also check the list of questions related to that phrase or look for trending terms. And it’s also possible to enter a URL for keyword analysis and pull relevant terms from there.
Although there isn’t a free trial, Surfer SEO offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. The available packages include:
- Essential. It costs $89 monthly and includes 15 articles per month and 100 daily keyword research credits. You get shareable links, a plagiarism checker, and two organization seats.
- Advanced. For $179 a month, you can create up to 45 articles per month in the editor.
- Max. It costs $299 a month and increases the number of available articles to 90 per subscription cycle. You also get the Grow Flow weekly SEO insights for a single domain.
- Custom. Personalized training, business review meetings, and even legal assistance are possible if you contact the company for a special subscription tailored to your needs.
Add-ons include a site audit, SERP analyzer, white-label reports, grow flow and API. These cost extra but could be included in the custom package. It’s also possible to save by paying annually.
The first thing you’ll notice in the Clearscope pricing vs Surfer SEO pricing analysis is that the platform doesn’t have a money-back guarantee or free trial. The packages included are:
- Essentials. The price is $170 a month, and you get 10 content reports and 20 inventory pages. The package includes a single user seat, Google Docs + WordPress integrations and support for five languages.
- Business. It offers customized pricing for five users, SAML single-sign-on, and other features that fit your team’s needs.
- Enterprise. Another subscription with request-only pricing is for large businesses and adds features like a crawler whitelisting, custom data pipeline, and unlimited monitored domains.
If we only assess costs, it seems that the winner of the Surfer SEO pricing vs Clearscope pricing is the former. It offers several pricing variations and a custom option tailored to your team. The lowest subscription cost is also cheaper than that of Clearscope, even if you choose some add-ons. It’s a shame that neither of the platforms has a free trial, although you can request a demo to test how everything works.
Alternative to Clearscope and Surfer SEO
What if you’ve read the Surfer SEO vs Clearscope showdown, but you are still unsure about these tools? The solution lies in finding a third platform that meets your expectations, and SE Ranking might be the right fit!
SE Ranking is an all-around SEO suite, which means it offers an entire toolkit to enhance your SEO. It offers a user-friendly content editor that leverages AI power to create top-quality articles and pages that outperform competitors. The tool uses the same approach as Clearscope or Surfer SEO – it analyzes the texts of competitors to create briefs and offers relevant terms for the content.
In terms of content marketing, SE Ranking has an intuitive and AI-powered content editor. You can create an outline based on proven content from top pages in the rankings. The platform will advise you on the preferred keywords, word count, and article structure. The content score will rate the quality of your article, and you can also check for grammar errors and plagiarism. Thanks to guest access and Google Docs integration, it’s easy to work on the content together with other team members.
The on-page SEO checker analyzes page metrics and elements to suggest opportunities to improve optimization, and you can perform a website audit to resolve technical issues that might compromise your search engine performance. SE Ranking has a reliable rank tracker and extensive reports that will ensure you can monitor and present results to clients easily.
Combined with other features, such as the keyword suggestion tool, backlink checker and monitor, and competitive research, SE Ranking is a vital player in the SEO industry. It delivers a wide selection of tools and can be the only platform to suit your optimization and tracking requirements, especially if you consider its affordable price.
The final impression of our Clearscope vs Surfer SEO showdown is that both platforms offer excellent value for the money. Surfer SEO might seem more affordable, but some additional twists may justify Clearscope’s higher price. If you need a more intuitive interface and additional features like the term map, this platform might be more enjoyable to use for content creation and optimization.
That being said, both Clearscope and Surfer SEO do the intended job well. If you plan to use them to create top-quality content, both platforms can deliver. They use a similar approach by analyzing competitors and pulling out suggestions on phrases, headlines, and other things to include in your article. They also have audit tools and keyword research utilities, but these are nowhere near as extensive as SE Ranking or other all-around SEO suites available on the market.
Ultimately, Surfer SEO and Clearscope are good choices for content creation, whether you are a writer, editor, or website owner. Clearscope seems better suited to teams and professionals, while Surfer SEO is also accessible to individuals, especially considering its lower price.