Does It Beat Other SEO Tools?

Surfer is a great tool, but Rankability is our go-to SEO content creation and optimization tool.

If you’re looking to add another SEO tool to your arsenal, Surfer SEO is a great option to consider whether you’re sick of overpriced software or simply haven’t found one that suits your website.

But you don’t want to invest money into a tool you’ve never tried before.

That’s why we tested it: to determine whether Surfer SEO is worth paying for and how it compares to other popular tools on the market.

In this guide, we’ll share the following:

  • What Surfer SEO is
  • The best features
  • Whether Surfer SEO actually works
  • How Surfer compares to other SEO tools
  • How much does Surfer cost
  • Whether it’s worth the money

What is Surfer SEO?

Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO is a tool that helps you with your on-page SEO.

It’s geared towards writers, marketers, and developers who need to optimize a website on a page-by-page basis. The tool works by aggregating data about your competition, including:

  • The keywords they target
  • The links they have
  • The content they write.

You can use Surfer’s SEO tool to optimize your blog, eCommerce, or service site.

It takes 500 ranking factors into consideration. The end result: valuable information that shows you how to optimize each page on your site.

What features does Surfer have?

As with any SEO tool, you must ensure that it does the job you’re looking for.

That’s usually difficult when it comes to SEO since there are thousands of tiny elements that make up a solid SEO strategy.

But the beauty of Surfer SEO is that it offers tons of features inside one tool. That includes:

1. SERP Analyzer

Looking at the competition is a great way to start (or improve) any piece of content.

Why? Because it shows what Google thinks is the best fit for the query. They consider it the best content for that keyword—and the content you’ll need to beat to take their spot.

Surfer’s SERP Analyzer feature helps you understand what the results page looks like for your chosen keyword without having to do it all manually. It shows:

  • Alternative keyword suggestions to include on the page
  • The questions people want to answer when they’re searching for that term
  • The sites giving backlinks to those top-ranking pages

Search results pages can vary dramatically, though. Surfer allows you to toggle results by mobile/desktop and location.

If most of your visitors browse on mobile, for example, you can see the URLs ranking well on mobile that you’ve got to beat.

Plus, you’ll see how the SERP has changed over time. You can use this data to make your content future-proof.

Surfer - compare your website to competitors

2. Content Editor

One of the most essential SEO rules is having a bunch of keywords that mean something similar. It’s the easiest way to tell search engines what your page is about—and what it should rank for.

Surfer’s Content Editor helps you do that as you’re writing.

They now also have the Surfer AI tool, which can write the content for you.

You can write your content directly inside the editor. Then, in the right-hand column, you’ll see suggestions on how to improve your content, such as:

  • How many words to hit
  • Which keywords you’re missing
  • Topics and questions to answer

You can also export to Google Docs or copy a shareable link for your team.

Surfer - Content editor

3. Keyword research

You don’t have to add your content to the editor to find keyword suggestions.

The Keyword Research feature will do that for you and present you with a list of keywords to consider when you’re optimizing each page.

This is great if you’re working on a site that also needs to rank in other locations. You can change the location focus of your keyword search, which will show you keyword suggestions based on people’s search habits in a specific country.

There’s also a built-in clipboard to list target keywords as you go. No more copy and pasting is needed.

Surfer - Keyword Research

4. SEO audit

The final noteworthy feature of Surfer is the SEO Audit tool.

Type the page’s main keyword into the main search bar. Then, enter your page’s URL under the “comparison” section. Hit “Audit” next to your URL:

Surfer - compare zoomed in

You’ll see the SEO metrics for your page and how it compares to the keyword you want to target.

For example, we added the keyword “SEO” and ran an audit for our “What is SEO?” guide. Surfer told us:

  • The word count was in the perfect range
  • We had the correct keyword density
  • We should consider bolding more words
  • Our page loading speed was great

This report should be your first port of call whenever you’re optimizing old content.

Does Surfer SEO really work?

Now that we know what Surfer’s SEO tool can do, one question still stands: does it really work?

We put Surfer to the test and found the things it’s great (and not-so-great).

Pros of Surfer

Let’s start with the good things about Surfer’s SEO tool.

First, it’s fast to load results. You don’t need to wait for the reports to build; you’ll see them in less than five seconds.

Plus, I found Surfer super easy to navigate for people who aren’t into tech. And if you’re not unsure of how to use the tool, there’s a “how to use” link on the app dashboard to help you get to grips with it.

There’s also a Chrome extension if you don’t want to use the website. This lets you investigate on-page SEO elements while on a website without cutting and pasting the URL into

But arguably, the best part about Surfer is the built-in content editor. Other SEO tools don’t offer content editors inside their platform; you’d have to pay for another tool like Clearscope or MarketMuse (which are pricey on their own.)

The downside of Surfer

Surfer is undoubtedly a good SEO tool. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a limited number of queries based on your price plan. This can look appealing at first glance, but you might quickly run out of queries, especially if you’re working on a large site.

How does Surfer SEO compare to other SEO/content tools?

There are hundreds of SEO tools to choose from, each with its own features (and price points).

Let’s take a look at how Surfer compares to some of the most popular.

Surfer vs. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the most popular SEO tools that Surfer is competing with.

That’s because Ahrefs has a reputation for being a great SEO tool for websites of any size. Their Site Explorer is superb for analyzing existing pages—but Surfer is better for creating new ones.

You can add your content to get specific suggestions.

The URL analyzer is better on Ahrefs, too, because it shows a bunch of useful metrics like:

  • Domain Rating (DR)
  • How organic traffic changes over time
  • The top pages on a site by traffic value
  • Backlinks pointing to the domain

…But the sheer volume of data can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re new to SEO.

Overall, Surfer is the better choice for the content and optimization side of SEO. That’s because the content editor helps beat competitors and guides you through writing the actual content.
(With Ahrefs, you’d have to do it and wait for the SEO results to appear.)

Surfer vs. Moz

Moz is another popular option if you’re looking for SEO tools.

Moz and Surfer have very similar features, but the content editor is the biggest difference.

Moz has a page optimization report that suggests what your content should include. However, it’s just keywords; you can’t see changes in real-time.

Surfer, on the other hand, gives real-time suggestions as you type the content. It also compares it against your competitor’s content structure to check that you’re on the right track while writing—not afterward.

Surfer vs. MarketMuse

Whilst MarketMuse isn’t an SEO tool, it’s the most similar comparison to Surfer’s content editor tool (the feature that makes it 10 times better than most traditional SEO tools.)

MarketMuse is very expensive and doesn’t have the other SEO features you probably need—like Surfer’s keyword research or site audit tools.

You’d have to pay for MarketMuse and a separate SEO tool, like Ahrefs or Moz, to use Surfer’s features.

How much does Surfer SEO cost?

For ongoing plans, pricing starts from $89/month. This basic plan includes the features we’ve mentioned.

The full package starts from $219/month. With that, you’ll get the option to white-label your SEO reports, making it a superb way for agencies to share results with their clients. (Either way, it’s still tons cheaper than Ahrefs’ most similar plan.)

Their Chrome plugin is totally free, and you don’t need an account.

Is it worth the money?

In short, yes! Surfer is cheaper than other SEO tools and just as good, if not better.

Plus, you’ll be able to find a plan that suits you without breaking the bank.

Freelancers and small businesses would do fine on the basic plan. Agencies, eCommerce websites, and huge blogs have more than enough features to manage their sites on the Pro or Business plans.

Ready to master your SEO with Surfer?

As you can see, Surfer is superb SEO software to add to your toolkit.

Whether you’re a small blogger or running a 5,000-page eCommerce website, you’ll find their features helpful.

If it does, there’s no risk of falling in love with a product that you can’t justify the price tag for. Pricing for Surfer SEO is incredibly affordable—mainly when it acts as a content optimization and SEO tool all in one.

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