Sep 9, 2022

Surfer SEO vs Clearscope: Which is better?

Vaishnavi Ramkumar
Surfer SEO vs Clearscope: Which is better?

Surfer SEO vs Clearscope: Which is better?

Surfer SEO vs Clearscope: Which tool reigns supreme? Find out the pros and cons of each platform and know which serves your content requirements effectively.
Surfer SEO vs Clearscope: Which is better?

Table of contents

Surfer SEO and Clearscope are two tools that have gained a lot of popularity in recent times. 

Both tools are known for their content optimization capabilities and have solid track records for producing rank-ready content. 

However, they fall under the high-price category and share a few similar features, leaving you in a dilemma about which one is right for you. 

If we take a deeper look at both these tools, we can spot a few significant differences that can help you know which tool serves you better.  

In this blog, we will take a deep dive into both these tools and compare their features one-on-one to highlight the differences and similarities. 

Let’s get going! 

Surfer SEO Overview

Surfer SEO is an on-page SEO optimization tool that can help you with keyword clusters, site content audits, SERP analysis, and AI writing.  

Surfer is popularly known for its content editor, popularly known as optimizer. It recommends accurate NLP (natural language processing) terms and heading suggestions that can increase the ranking potential of your content. 

The tool analyses the top-ranking pages of the target keyword to find similarities and provide suggestions like average word count, headings, paragraphs, and images.  

Surfer sources content suggestions like key terms and content structure from the top-ranking pages. Hence, it allows you to customize the competitors lists. You can add and remove pages according to your preference to outcompete specific competitors. 

As for the content creation part, Surfer integrates with Jasper AI to generate AI content. If you already have a Jasper subscription, you can access the Surfer editor from there. However, if you don’t, Surfer charges extra for AI articles and has not included this function in their standard plans. 

Besides the content editor, Surfer also helps you with keyword planning. The auto-clustering feature gives you access to multiple sets of keyword clusters in a few minutes as soon as you enter the seed keywords. Moreover, it only provides individual keyword research insights with the Chrome Extension; you cannot access it within the tool. So, it is best to pair up Surfer SEO with keyword research tools. 

Key Features of Surfer 

  • Keyword cluster creator¬†
  • Real-time content optimizer¬†
  • Content audit tool¬†
  • SERP analysis¬†
  • Keyword research tool (Chrome extension)

Pros of Using Surfer 

  • Powerful content editor that provides accurate suggestions.¬†¬†
  • Competitor customization is beneficial for users who are aiming to outcompete particular top-ranking pages.¬†
  • Auto-keyword cluster saves the manual time spent on grouping keywords.¬†
  • SERP Analyzer summarizes similarities and differences between top-ranking pages.¬†
  • Content audit helps optimize old content for better performance.¬†
  • Intuitive interface that both novice and seasoned professionals can use.¬†
  • Integrates with Jasper AI to create content¬†
  • The Chrome Extension helps in finding individual keyword insights.¬†

Cons of Using Surfer

  • Does not have auto-optimization features.
  • Doesn‚Äôt provide you insights about where competitors are using the NLP or key terms in their content.¬†¬†
  • Limited keyword insights as it does not provide extensive keyword data.¬†
  • Wears a higher price tag; hence, individuals and small content teams may find it unaffordable.¬†¬†
  • Add-ons quickly increase the overall price you pay every month to access the full potential of the tool.¬†¬†
  • AI articles are expensive and charged separately.
  • Overlapping features that provide the same information as others.¬†

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Pricing 

Plan Monthly Monthly charge if paid Yearly
Essential $89 $69
Advanced $179 $149
Max $299 $249
Enterprise Custom Custom

What do users think about Surfer SEO?

  • G2 ratings - 4.8 / 5 stars¬†
  • Product Hunt ratings - 4.8 / 5 stars
  • Capterra ratings - 4.9 / 5 stars

Clearscope Overview


Clearscope is a content optimization and tracking platform that helps users consistently monitor their content performance and edit their content with key terms to rank higher. 

The Keyword Discovery tool helps you with basic keyword research to find profitable keywords and relevant terms you can target in your next content piece. You can find both questions and terms like ‚Äúhow to create a content strategy,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúcontent strategy,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúcontent strategy template,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúcontent strategy SEO,‚ÄĚ and so on.¬†

Moreover, you can also access the search volume fluctuations of a specific term in the past 6-12 months, keyword competition level, and Cost Per Click (CPC) to understand if a keyword is profitable and worth targeting. 

Clearscope’s content brief creator can help you build a data-backed brief to provide direction to your writers. This tool includes insights about terms, research, and top-ranking competitors' content. 

The content optimization tool helps you analyze the real-time content optimization level to rank at the top on the SERP for targeted keywords. You will get a tailor-made keyword list to outrank your competitors for a specific term. This keyword list is curated using advanced NLP and machine learning technologies. 

The content grade system also provides filtering options like importance, heading, and keyword density to ease prioritizing specific terms. As one step further, it also helps users see how their competitors use each term cohesively in their content. This gives you an idea of where to place the term and how to use it naturally in your content. Moreover, your overall content score is indicated by a letter grade to scale your content’s optimization level. 

Finally, the content inventory system allows businesses to track their overall content performance in terms of traffic, impressions, content health, and clicks. Adding to this feature, the Clearscope keyword planner, which displays monthly searches, competition, and CPC, will help you decide the profitable keyword you should target in your next content. 

Key Features

  • Content tracker to monitor performance¬†
  • Content editor to create rank-ready content¬†
  • Outline builder acts as a suggestion tool to improve your brief¬†
  • Letter grade content score¬†
  • Integrates with Google Docs, WordPress, Google Search Console
  • Keyword research assistance¬†

Pros

  • The Clearscope report allows you to label each piece of content based on different categories, which acts as a content management system.
  • The filtering option in the content editor tools enables users to filter keywords based on importance, unused, and heading categories.
  • You can access additional research materials from YouTube, Quora, Reddit, and SERP, as well as relevant topics and questions to include in your content.
  • WordPress and Google Docs integration helps users easily include the tool in their workflow.¬†
  • The keyword importance grade in the content editor helps you see the necessity of using a particular keyword in the content.¬†

Cons

  • Instead of a specific SEO score, Clearscope provides a letter grade, which some users may find vague.¬†
  • Clearscope outline generators cannot automate the content brief creation process. It only acts as a brainstorming tool to create outlines manually.
  • The lack of AI writer, templates, and keyword clustering options limits the tool's ability to help content marketers perform end-to-end SEO.
  • The credit-based pricing system generates reports that often hinder users while searching for previous reports and creating new ones.
  • Sometimes, the keywords and other suggestions become irrelevant to what the users try to achieve through the content.¬†

Pricing 

Plan Pricing
Essential $170
Business and enterprisecustom

‚ÄćWhat do users think about Clearscope?

  • G2 ratings - 4.9/5 stars¬†
  • Capterra ratings - 4.9/5 stars¬†¬†
  • Product Hunt ratings - No reviews

What are the main differences between Surfer SEO and Clearscope?

The main difference between Surfer SEO and Clearscope is that Surfer only offers on-page optimization, but Clearscope has both optimization and content monitoring capabilities. As for the Keyword Planner, Surfer is more cluster-centric, whereas Clearscope only provides you with a list of keywords, not clusters.

Surfer SEO vs Clearscope: Keyword Planner 

Surfer SEO's keyword planner gives you multiple sets of keyword clusters, helping you to uncover keywords (both SERP-based and semantic) that you can target with your keyword. The Chrome Extension provides individual keyword data while you surf the SERP page. 

On the other hand, the Clearscope keyword planner lets you access all the keyword data, like monthly search volume, CPC, competition, and trends for the past 6-12 months. 

With Clearscope, you cannot access keyword clusters like you do in Surfer. Wheres in Surfer, you cannot access individual keyword data like Clearscope you do in Surfer. 

So, it’s necessary to use keyword research while you use Clearscope or Surfer. However, if you have to choose between these two, it’s best to have access to keyword clusters rather than a long list of keywords, as achieving topical authority is essential to ranking higher in the SERP in the long run. 

Surfer SEO vs Clearscope: Content Creation & Optimization 

Surfer SEO and Clearscope have powerful content optimizers. However, there are a few minor differences between these features. 

Surfer’s content editor is known for its number-based content scoring, whereas Clearscope takes a letter-grading approach. Besides that, both tools suggest NLP terms based on SERP analysis. However, you cannot customize your competitors in Clearscope like you do in Surfer. Apart from these factors, both tools have a similar content editor. 

As for outline creation, Clearscope has the upper hand because it gives users access to competitors' outlines, research insights, and statistics, which saves the time spent on manual research to develop a chosen topic. Additionally, Surfer integrates with Jasper to help users create AI content, whereas Clearscope does not have AI writing in its tool stack. 

Surfer SEO vs Clearscope: Content Monitoring 


Content monitoring is one of the significant elements that sets Clearscope apart from Surfer SEO. 

With the Clearscope content inventory, you can monitor how each piece of your content performs in the SERP for specific search queries. The platform also supports Google Console integration, which helps you to track the overall impression and clicks of the content. However, Surfer SEO has no feature that can help you track your content. 

What’s Missing in both Surfer SEO and Clearscope?

With Clearscope, you’re restricted to limited SEO and AI functions. Whereas Surfer SEO only offers content optimization features and complementary SEO features like content audit and competitors' content insights via audit and SEPR analysis.  

While both tools share some useful features, they fail to integrate with your content workflow effectively and offer a comprehensive solution that can minimize the manual time spent on planning, creation, and optimization. 

Surfer SEO and Clearscope both lack the following features:

  • Providing both keyword lists and clusters¬†
  • Ranking Trends Tracker¬†
  • Comprehensive SEO content report¬†
  • Auto-Outline Creator¬†
  • Easy-to-use long-form content creator¬†
  • Auto-content Optimizer¬†
  • Featured Snippet Suggestions¬†
  • Integration with social listening tools to find readers‚Äô queries¬†
  • AI assistance with every step of the workflow to increase efficiency¬†
  • 1-click WordPress content publish¬†
  • External link suggestion¬†

If you’re a content writer, marketer, SEO or content head, you would know that all the above-mentioned features play an important role in your content workflow. 

That’s why Scalenut is designed to cement the features gap at a much more affordable price. It helps you to plan your entire SEO content strategy, create an SEO blog in less than 5 minutes, optimize for better ranking and track your SEO performance over time. 

Scalenut is engineered to fit precisely into your content production workflow and increase your overall content efficiency by automating cluster creation, first draft creation, and optimization efforts.
Similar to Surfer and Clearscope, Scalenut has an intuitive interface that you can easily navigate within a few minutes.

Comparatively, Scalenut has a more robust content creation and competitor analysis tool than Surfer and Clearscope. If you are looking for a comprehensive content marketing platform that offers both SEO and AI solutions, Scalenut is your best bet. 

How Can Scalenut Help? 

Scalenut is an AI-powered content optimization platform designed to streamline your content creation process and improve your search engine rankings. 

With real-time content analysis and optimization recommendations, Scalenut offers advanced features to enhance your content's performance. 

Here’s how Scalenut helped a leading Pharmaceutical brand add 100K traffic to their website. 

Scalenut offers 

  • Keyword Planner and Cluster Creator¬†
  • Outline Generator¬†
  • Cruise Mode (Article Writer)¬†
  • Content Optimizer¬†
  • SEO Content Editor

Keyword Planner

The Scalenut Keyword Planner helps you achieve topical authority in your industry and specific niche. You can insert your niche topic in Scalenut’s Keyword Planner to generate a report that groups relevant keywords together. 


Scalenut Keyword Planner
Scalenut Keyword Planner

This report lets you view metrics like relevance, CPC, and search volume under one tab. You do not need to juggle between multiple columns or tabs as you do in SEO tools like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to find relevant metrics that matter to you.

Scalenut Keyword Planner
Scalenut Keyword Planner

If you are a content writer, sometimes you might just have one seed keyword to target. In that case, you will need a list of relevant key terms to target in order to rank higher. That’s why the Scalenut content editor suggests relevant key terms that your competitors’ content is currently ranking. This allows you to easily outcompete your competitors without doing hours of manual research. 

Content Outline Generator

In Scalenut, you can create an AI-generated outline automatically or build a custom version by comparing top-ranking web pages under a single tab. With this information in one place, you can easily find content gaps, add frequently asked questions, and restructure your outline with the drag-and-drop option within minutes.  

Content Outline Generator
Content Outline Generator


Moreover, Scalenut provides additional features like writing points and social listening tools to generate questions from forums like Quora, Reddit, and search results. This ultimately reduces the time taken to search and create an outline manually.  

Cruise mode

Scalenut has an in-built AI writer to help you create quality long-form content at scale. The cruise mode function allows users to generate the first draft of their outline in less than 5 minutes. Once you have the first draft, compare it with your competitor's content. This helps you see what points and subheadings you have missed. Instead of juggling multiple tabs, you can find all your competitor's content under the research tab. 


Cruise mode
Cruise mode


Moreover, you can fine-tune the AI-generated copy in Cruise mode using the rephrase, shorten, or expand options. You can generate additional information for each section using the write and instruct tools in the editor tab. Altogether, this gives you complete control over AI and allows you to generate brand-relevant content within minutes. 

Content Optimizer

One of the biggest obstacles for content writers and bloggers is producing rank-ready content. You might be spending hours and hours ensuring every piece of content you publish is optimized to rank on Google or other search engines. 



Content Optimizer
Content Optimizer


However, manually checking the keyword density and finding relevant keywords to target can be a hassle. In situations like this, a reliable content report can boost your confidence that a piece of content is optimized for search. That's why Scalenut's Content Optimizer grades your content to generate a score and necessary suggestions to help you find a place at the top of the SERP. 


Moreover, you can use the fix-it button to auto-optimize your content based on the suggestion list. This eliminates manual editing time and acts as a supporting tool to fine-tune your content. 

SEO Content Editor 

Scalenut has advanced NLP and machine learning technologies to help you create content that ranks on the first page of the SERP for target keywords. You can see real-time NLP scores and custom SEO suggestions to improve your content. 



SEO Content Editor 
SEO Content Editor 

Scalenut's SEO editor evaluates your content from different angles, like keyword density, links, content depth, key terms, and more. 

Pros Cons
Provides automatic AI suggestions to write titles, outlines, and content briefs in seconds. The existing features can be quite overwhelming for first-time users.

The custom tone of voice allows you to adapt quickly to different niches and brand voices.
Easily view all the top-ranking blogs for your target keywords under one tab. This allows you to find the content gaps and manually add them to the outline with a click.
AI-generated writing points for each blog subhead allow you to preview and customize the prompts based on your content goals.
Additional features like NLP terms, competitor content analysis, questions, and statistics can help you drastically improve the first draft without manually conducting basic-level research.
You can create supporting social media copy and short-form content using the AIDA, PAS, BAB, and other 45+ ready-to-use templates.

‚ÄćPricing¬†

Plan Monthly Yearly
Essential Plan $39$20
Growth Plan$79 $40
Pro Plan$149$75


Who can benefit from Scalenut?

  • SEO strategists are managing a team of writers.¬†
  • Content heads who are responsible for creating content briefs¬†
  • Writers who run a small team¬†
  • Writers who create SEO-based long-form blogs and articles¬†
  • Marketers who manage social media channels and content editing activities¬†

What do users think about Scalenut? 

  • G2 review - 4.7/5 stars
  • Product hunt review - 5/5 stars¬†
  • Capterra review - 4.8/5 stars

Which is the Best Tool: Surfer SEO or Clearscope? 


By now, you will have an idea of the features of each SEO tool. This gives you more clarity about your requirements and what each tool offers.  

If your core priority lies in content optimization and monitoring, Clearscope might be your ideal choice.

Surfer is an ideal option if you’re looking for an AI writer and content optimization tool.

However, if you’re looking for a comprehensive AI SEO tool with content creation and tracking capabilities within an affordable price range, Scalenut is your best bet.  

Scalenut offers all the features and functionalities that Surfer SEO and Clearscope have for just $79 per month. Even Scalenut’s Pro plan only costs $149 per month.  

If you want to know how Scalenut can help you streamline your content efforts and drive traffic to your website, feel free to hop on this 7-day free trial to play around with the tool. This will give you an idea if Scalenut can meet your demands. 

Vaishnavi Ramkumar
Content Marketer
ABout the AUTHOR
Vaishnavi Ramkumar
Content Marketer

Vaishnavi Ramkumar is a content marketer specializing in creating BOFU content for SaaS brands. She believes reader-centric content is the sure-shot way to generate high-quality leads through content marketing. As part of the Scalenut team, Vaishnavi curates content that drives brand awareness and boosts signups. When she's not crafting content, you can find her immersed in the pages of a good book or a course.

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