Aug 4, 2023

Surfer SEO Review 2024: Does it beat other SEO Tools?

Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
Surfer SEO Review 2024: Does it beat other SEO Tools?
Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
Aug 4, 2023

Surfer SEO Review 2024: Does it beat other SEO Tools?

In the age of AI Content, is Surfer SEO the best tool for scaling SEO? We conducted a review and here are the pros and cons of Surfer SEO!
Surfer SEO Review 2024: Does it beat other SEO Tools?

Table of contents

With the content marketing game becoming more and more intense, it is important to know which AI-SEO tool will suit your brand.

Surfer SEO is one such powerful SEO tool that provides keyword clusters, comprehensive analysis and optimization suggestions, and AI writing solutions.With its user-friendly interface and extensive features such as Content Editor, Keyword Research,SERP Analysis Tool, and Surfer AI Writer, it has become one of the top choices for SEO professionals and businesses for scaling business.

In this blog, we have conducted a detailed Surfer SEO Review, to help you understand its features, pros, cons and pricing. 

TL’DR

  • Surfer SEO is a feature-loaded AI SEO Platform that helps automate many stages of your content lifecycle. 
  • Its main features are SERP Analyzer, Content Editor, AI Writing Tool, AI Keyword Researcher, SEO Audit Tool and Outline Generator. Some of these are chargeable add-ons that do not come as part of the paid plans.
  • Surfer is a platform with great outputs and an overall user rating of 4/5. However, it is a complicated, costly tool and there is no free trial available.
  • Pricing and feature wise, there are several other alternatives available in the market which are more reasonable than Surfer. Top 5 of these include Scalenut, Frase, Marketmuse, Clearscope, and Content Harmony. 

Here are the topics we will cover in this in-depth Surfer SEO Review 2024 -

  • What is Surfer SEO?
  • Surfer SEO Features Review 
  • Pros & Cons of Surfer SEO
  • Surfer SEO Rating
  • Surfer SEO Pricing: Does it fit your budget?
  • What are users saying about Surfer SEO?
  • Alternatives to Surfer SEO
  • Conclusion

All in all, this blog will give you an unbiased and in-depth analysis of Surfer SEO and its usefulness in your SEO journey in 2024. Find out if Surfer SEO can help you achieve your content marketing plans, and if not, what alternatives are possible? Let’s begin!

What is Surfer SEO? 

Surfer SEO is a cloud-based on-page optimization tool that offers a data-driven approach to boost organic traffic and improve search engine rankings. It provides valuable insights into the content structure, word count, headings, and relevant keywords for better optimization.

Surfer SEO considers over 500 ranking factors to deliver actionable information on how to enhance each page. 

Its SERP Analyzer tool allows you to analyze search results for any keyword or query, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the competition. The Content Editor, an AI-powered tool, helps you craft high-quality content by analyzing top-performing pages, suggesting keywords and providing real-time recommendations.

Overall, Surfer SEO is a valuable asset for marketers, bloggers, and content creators looking to boost organic traffic and improve their search engine visibility.

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Surfer SEO Features Review

As you might have figured by now, Surfer is a feature-packed AI SEO platform that helps you throughout the content lifecycle. In this section, we will identify and deep dive into Surfer SEO's features. Here are some of its core features -  

  1. SERP Analysis Tool
  2. Content Editor
  3. Keyword Research Tool
  4. AI Writing Tool
  5. SEO Audit Tool
  6. AI Outline Generator
  7. Integrations/Extensions

1. SERP Analysis Tool:

Surfer SEO's SERP Analyzer is another add-on feature that provides valuable insights into top-ranking pages for your target keywords. It lets you identify keyword opportunities, analyze search intent, and optimize your own content accordingly. 

One of the key features of Surfer SEO's SERP Analyzer is the ability to compare your page against top-ranking competitors. This helps you identify areas for improvement and refine your optimization strategy. 

The tool also provides data on important on-page factors such as word count, headings, and meta tags, allowing you to optimize your content for better rankings. 

All in all, Surfer’s SERP Analyzer can prove to be a useful tool for insightful SEO metrics. However, this feature can be overwhelming for new users, as the data is sometimes unnecessarily too detailed and even irrelevant. It also comes at an additional cost of $29/day.

2. Content Editor:

Surfer SEO's Content Editor works by analyzing your content in real-time, providing optimization suggestions to improve its performance. It focuses on key aspects such as keyword density, headings, word count insights, paragraph length and overall readability to ensure that your content is well-optimized for search engines. 

One standout feature of Surfer SEO's Content Editor is its ability to evaluate your content against top-ranking pages for your target keywords. This allows you to make data-backed decisions to optimize your content and boost organic website traffic.

Surfer AI Editor also features Natural Language Processing (NLP), which enables the software to understand, process and generate language as it is spoken and written  naturally by humans. This in turn enables you to improve the content score, and ultimately increase its visibility in search results. 

3. Keyword Research Tool:

Surfer SEO's AI keyword research tool provides comprehensive data on search volume, competition, and keyword difficulty. It also presents you with a list of keywords for each page you optimize. 

This tool helps uncover relevant long-tail keywords to optimize your content and also target your preferred locations. 

Additionally, it offers valuable insights into competitor keywords, giving you a competitive edge in the game. With Surfer SEO's keyword research feature, you have the power to optimize your content effectively and drive organic traffic to your website.

4. AI Writing Tool:

One of the most loved features of Surfer SEO is its new add-on AI Writing Tool. This feature utilizes advanced AI and NLP algorithms to effortlessly generate SEO-optimized content based on target keywords or topics. 

The content generated on Surfer’s AI Writer is 100% plagiarism-free. It ensures proper keyword usage, headings, and grammar, resulting in engaging articles that rank well in search results. You can customize content length, structure, tone and keyword density after the content has been generated. 

The AI Writing Tool streamlines content creation with its intuitive interface and NLP capabilities. It saves time, eliminates writer's block, and helps deliver valuable content to both readers and search engines.

However, it comes at a hefty cost of $29 per article.

5. SEO Audit:

Another one of the add-on features, Surfer SEO's Content Audit Tool is a valuable asset for identifying gaps in your already existing content pieces, and revamping them. It can be added to your Surfer Essential or Advanced plan at a cost of $49/month. 

The Content Audit Tool goes beyond just analyzing content quality. It also evaluates keyword usage and provides recommendations - such as improving keyword density, adding more backlinks, adjusting meta tag structure, content length, structure and more. 

One of the key features of the Content Audit Tool is its ability to compare your content with top-ranking pages. So you can see how your content stacks up against the competition and make adjustments accordingly. 

6. AI Outline Generator:

The AI Outline Generator is a unique feature that allows you to generate content outlines by simply entering a few words. This saves time and effort in creating well-structured content.

You can use this free tool to generate relevant outlines for blogs, articles and other long-form content. By providing just a few keywords, it simplifies the initial stages of writing by mapping out a rough structure for your blog, and letting you customize the layout as per your needs. 

The tool serves as a helpful starting point for content generation and can save time in the brainstorming process. Hence, the Surfer AI Outline Generator is an excellent supplementary aid rather than a complete solution. 

7. Integrations:

Surfer SEO offers integrations across a wide range of content management platforms and SEO tools such as Google Workspace (Docs, Sheets, Analytics etc.), Salesforce, Semrush, Amazon S3, WordPress, Shopify, Facebook Marketing and HubSpot. This lets you gather comprehensive data to do your analysis in one place and makes it easy to optimize your website content directly within your preferred CMS.

You can export data from Surfer SEO to other tools for further analysis and optimization, ensuring seamless workflow and maximizing your organic traffic potential.

Pros & Cons of Surfer SEO

After reading about these extensive features, and the variety of add-ons that help upscale your SEO game, you must be feeling that Surfer is a 1-stop solution to solve your problems. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of this tool before jumping to conclusions. Here are some of the pros and cons of Surfer SEO to consider - 

Pros of Surfer SEO:

  • Intuitive Content Editor: Surfer offers an easy-to-use and intuitive content editor, making it simple to create high-quality content across your entire website. It helps include crucial topics and terms that might otherwise be overlooked.
  • Comprehensive Keyword and Content Optimization: Surfer provides both keyword and content optimization within a single platform. This integration lets you do all your groundwork and create final outputs throughout the lifecycle journey all in one platform.
  • Excellent Customer and Technical Support: Surfer's customer support is responsive, friendly, and professional. They address queries promptly, complemented by helpful training videos, a detailed knowledge base, and an active community for additional assistance.
  • Keyword Surfer Chrome Extension: The free Chrome extension, Keyword Surfer, offers valuable insights such as search volume, cost per click, and estimated website traffic directly from your browser. It's a convenient and free addition for quick keyword analysis.
  • AI-Powered Recommendations with GrowFlow: The AI-powered tool, GrowFlow, provides actionable SEO recommendations. While not flawless, it still offers useful suggestions for improving existing content.

Cons of Surfer SEO:

  • Occasionally Irrelevant Suggestions: Some of Surfer SEO's suggestions can be irrelevant, including internal linking recommendations.
  • No Free Trial: Surfer SEO no longer offers a free trial, which could make it challenging for potential users to explore its features before committing to a paid version. If you want to try it out, you have to get at least a month’s basic plan.
  • Expensive Plans: Surfer is more expensive than most of its competitors, which automatically reduces its chances of being the best option out there. Its Essential plan starts at a cost of $69/month, which is way higher than competitors like Scalenut (starting $29) and Frase (starting $49.99).
  • Additional Features as Paid Add-ons:  Some of Surfer’s best features like SERP Analyzer, GrowFlow (personalized bite-size recommendations for growth), Audit and AI Writer are paid add-ons. This means, generating content end-to-end will set you back more money, adding to the already exorbitant cost of the product. 
  • Unnecessary detail and difficult UX: If you’re a beginner, Surfer can be a little difficult to navigate. The data insights it provides after analysis can get frightfully detailed, which is often unnecessary. The UX is somewhat tacky and overloaded, which can make data tracking and interpretation troublesome.

Considering the above pros and cons, Surfer SEO offers a comprehensive suite of tools for content optimization and SEO analysis, but at a significantly higher cost. Users should weigh the benefits against the costs and specific needs to determine if it aligns with their requirements and budget.

Surfer SEO Rating

Now that we have explored most of Surfer’s features, pros and cons in detail, we can rate the tool based on our own user experience, and that of real-time users (sourced from G2, GetApp, Software Advice). 

Here are some of the most relevant criteria we evaluated for Surfer SEO and our honest ratings for each -

Criteria 5 Point Rating
Ease of Use 4/5
Functionality 4/5
User Friendliness 4/5
Quality of Support 5/5
Value for Money 3/5

Surfer SEO Pricing: Does it fit your budget?

Features, check.

Pros and cons, check.

Ratings, check.

Now it’s time to get down to business, as in, to find out if Surfer SEO is financially the best option for you. With all its offerings, Surfer seems to be great for your SEO game, but price-wise, it is not the wisest choice.

Here are all of Surfer’s pricing plans to give you a clearer picture -

Surfer SEO PlansSuitable forPricing /MonthlyPricing /Annual
EssentialIndividuals/Small teams$139$119
AdvancedExperts/Midsize teams$279$239
MaxBig teams/Agencies$499$419
EnterpriseLarge agencies/EnterpriseCustomCustom

Surfer is probably the most expensive among its competitors. If you’re a freelancer or a small business owner, it is next to impossible to invest in a Surfer plan without cutting a hole in your budget. 

It is important to note that each of the plans also have their own set of limitations. For example - the Essential Plan limits you to only 2 organization seats and 180 articles/year. 

One of the major drawbacks about Surfer is that most of its best-performing features come only with the add-ons. And as aforementioned, each of these add-on features are billed extra alongside your base plan. Their starting prices are listed as follows -

  1. SERP Analyzer - starts at $29/month
  2. GrowFlow - starts at $9/month
  3. SEO Audit - starts $49/month (free in Max and Custom plans)
  4. AI Writer - starts at $29/article

Last but not the least, Surfer has discontinued its Free Trial run, so you cannot try out this tool’s features before you swipe your card.

To answer the question, “Is Surfer SEO worth it?”, it is safe to say that it is not. It’s a great tool, but the price doesn’t justify the investment in today’s era.We will discuss some budget-friendly, yet equally or even better alternatives to Surfer SEO.

What are users saying about Surfer SEO?

Yes, Surfer SEO is a great platform for your content needs. But before you purchase it, checkout some of these user reviews and testimonials sourced from G2. This will help you know the pros and cons, from an authentic customer perspective.

Surfer SEO Positive Reviews 

What do you like best about Surfer?
  1. Sayem I. - “The Content audit tool is just amazing. This amazing tool helped to rank my article faster than ever before. I used these features to optimize my existing content and the result is BOOM!”
  2. Martyn S. - The content editor is by far the most useful tool. I would say im a decent copywriter but the content editor really allows me to fully optimise it compared to my competitors content. Giving me that edge. Already I've seen a number of my pieces rank higher.”

Surfer SEO Critical Reviews 

What do you dislike about Surfer?
  1. Jan B. - “Although Surfer SEO is generally a great tool, sometimes I encountered minor problems with the speed of data charging, especially when conducting large analyzes. In addition, for some users, especially those who are new in SEO, the learning curve can be initially steep. Finally, although it is a tool of great value, the cost may be a bit excessive for small companies or individual entrepreneurs.”
  1. Sayem I. - “The basic plan should add more credits. Sometimes it can be hard for the beginner to buy a premium tool like this with such a big amount. Either they should increase the credit limit or consider the pricing for the entry-level bloggers.”

Alternatives to Surfer SEO

Now that you have all the inside out info about Surfer SEO, you might have understood that it is not the most budget-friendly and versatile option out there. 

However, there are some amazing alternatives that can meet your content needs, and of course, budget. Here are the Top 5 Surfer SEO Alternatives that you can explore -

1. Scalenut: 

Scalenut is one of the most advanced, innovative and comprehensive AI-SEO platforms in 2024. It boasts way more features compared Surfer SEO and all other competitors in the market, such as an AI Writer (Cruise Mode), SERP Analyzer, Outline Generator, AI Keyword Research Tool etc. It also helps analyze and rectify blog length, grammatical errors, sentence structure, on-page and off-page SEO, plagiarism and more. 

Scalenut is a one-stop AI platform where you can plan and execute your entire content lifecycle, effortlessly generate SEO-optimized content and optimize existing content. With its topic cluster analysis, you can establish niche authority and boost organic website traffic

Scalenut pricing starts at just $39 per month, making it a budget-friendly option for businesses of all sizes.

2. Frase: 

Frase is another great alternative to Surfer SEO, offering a seamless experience with its content briefs and SEO-optimized long-form content generation. Its real-time topic score feature helps you improve your content quality on-the-go. Starting at $49.99 per month, Frase is a slightly high-priced, but nonetheless great content optimization platform that can enhance your content strategy.

It is not recommended for single users or freelancers, as its Solo Plan is greatly limited. Another drawback of Frase is that it does not have a Free Trial option. Its 5-day Trial Plan starts at $1.

3. Clearscope: 

Clearscope is an AI-powered content optimization tool that prioritizes search intent and readability. Integrating seamlessly with Google Docs and WordPress, it streamlines your content creation process. 

Clearscope offers valuable insights and detailed competitor analysis to boost your search engine rankings. However, with its pricing starting at $170 per month, it is an exorbitantly expensive tool which can cater only to high-end businesses and large agencies. 

4. MarketMuse: 

For in-depth competitor analysis and AI-driven research, MarketMuse is a top-notch content optimization and planning tool. It enables you to elevate your content quality and strategic approach. This platform focuses on strategy-building, briefs and personalized insights, but not on generating or writing content end-to-end.

While its pricing starts at $149 per month, there is a Free 7-day trial that you can take to decide whether it is worth the investment. 

5. Content Harmony: 

Content Harmony assists you in structuring your content workflow and conducting keyword research effectively with a data-driven approach. With SEO-optimized content briefs, it quickens your content creation and pinpoints it to help resonate better with your target audience. 

Starting at $99 per month, Content Harmony is fit for large teams that focus exclusively on content strategy and marketing. If you’re a freelancer, individual contributor or small team looking to grow your content strategy, it might not be a worthy investment. There is also no free trial for Content Harmony. Instead, there is a $10 trial that gives you 10 Content Workflow credits, which you can avail without any time limitations.  

Conclusion

While Surfer might be one of the best AI SEO and Content Lifecycle tools out there, its pricing and scattered UX can make it unsuitable for many. 

If you’re looking for a better alternative to this SEO platform, Scalenut is your go-to option. With a much more breathable UX and plans starting at 1/3 rd the price of Surfer, Scalenut gives you access to a much wider range of AI content and SEO solutions.

We also offer a 1 week free trial, which lets you explore all features free of cost. Our plans also offer all features without extra or hidden charges. Scalenut is a great tool to begin your SEO journey with, and it continues to be your 1-stop solution all the way to the end of your content journey. 

From SERP Analysis, Keyword Research to content outlines and AI Writer Tool that lets you breeze through the writing process, Scalenut has some amazing advantages over its competitors.

So if you’re looking for an alternative to Surfer SEO without compromising on its features and your budget, here’s your best bet. Get started with Scalenut for free and level up your SEO game today! 

Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager
ABout the AUTHOR
Suman Samal
Asst. Marketing Manager

Suman Samal is a Asst. Marketing Manager at Scalenut. She is a technology enthusiast with a keen interest in content marketing and SEO. She truly believes that with the right set of tools every organization can improve the ROI of their content marketing campaigns. She spends her time managing content operations at Scalenut and ensuring that everything we publish is of the highest quality.

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