Aug 16, 2023

Top 10 Surfer SEO Alternatives in 2024 at Affordable Price

Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
Top 10 Surfer SEO Alternatives in 2024 at Affordable Price
Suman Samal, Asst. Marketing Manager
Suman Samal
Aug 16, 2023

Top 10 Surfer SEO Alternatives in 2024 at Affordable Price

Looking for Surfer SEO Alternatives? Here are the top 10 tools that offer more advanced SEO tools than Surfer at a more affordable price.
Top 10 Surfer SEO Alternatives in 2024 at Affordable Price

Table of contents

Are you planning to switch from Surfer to some other SEO tool that offers a better solution at an affordable cost? 

If yes, we've got you covered. 

Surfer SEO wears a premium price tag that not all startups, SEO strategists, or growing brands can afford. 

In the past, Surfer had unique features like NLP parameters, a robust keyword planner, audit tools, and so on. Therefore, users were ready to pay dollars for the tool's unique capabilities. 

However, now there are various other SEO tools that offer not only these features, but also much more at an affordable cost. 

This Surfer SEO alternatives list is curated for someone like you who wants access to all the features that Surfer has to offer without spending a fortune.  

Here are the top 10 Surfer SEO Alternatives in 2024

  1. Scalenut
  2. Frase
  3. Marketmuse
  4. Page Optimizer Pro
  5. Clearscope
  6. Writerzen
  7. Content Harmony
  8. Dashword
  9. Outranking
  10.  SE Ranking

And, our top two recommendations


  1. Scalenut - An all in one AI-SEO platform that includes planning, research, writing, optimization, publishing, and analyzing.
  2. Clearscope - AI-powered platform to enhance content quality and SEO performance.

Why look for a Surfer SEO alternative?

Are you still wondering whether you have to choose an alternative or stick with Surfer to not risk your content's performance? 

If yes, here are five aspects of Surfer SEO that you should re-evaluate to make a smart decision that aligns with your content marketing strategy. 

Extra price for more features

Whenever you need an additional content editor or AI article writer credit, you have to spend extra money to access the service. This rule applies to most of the tools they offer. 

For instance, if you've signed up for the essential or advanced Surfer plan, you can access the Grow flow, SERP analyzer, audit tool, white-label, and API features only as an add-on, which again costs you a huge chunk of money. 

Currently, you can generate one article for $29 in Surfer, which is quite pricey if you're focusing on the quantity game of content marketing. 

If you're posting 20-25 articles every month, the amount adds up to roughly $638. Hence, Surfer is not your best bet for content production if you're an individual service provider or a growing business. 


The core reasons for using AI are to partially eliminate manual tasks, speed up the content creation process, and cut costs. Surfer does not serve any of those three goals currently. You need to wait at least 15 minutes until your first draft is ready and 4-6 minutes until you generate an outline. This mirrors the point that Surfer is not the most efficient AI out there. 


Surfer SEO uses GPT 4, the latest version of ChatGPT, to generate content. Despite this fact, Surfer only does a subpar job of generating quality content. Even though the tone of voice and anti-AI detection features exist, there are obvious gaps in the content that lack brand voice, quality, and factuality. 


As mentioned before, if you're inclined to publish more content, Surfer AI will not be your most profitable business investment. The tool needs to be tailored to support quality content production at scale. Not to overlook the fact, there is a high demand for credible, authentic, and fact-based B2B content. 

Hence, brands need to find the sweet spot where they can consistently produce high-impact content on a large scale. If you’re building a sustainable business, content marketing is the only way for you to stand out and build a lasting business.. 


One of the reasons for Surfer's popularity is its accurate NLP parameters. Many users have stated that the articles which score above 80 in Surfer's content optimizer rank higher in the SERP for the targeted keyword. 

That is exactly what makes users hold on to Surfer SEO, even if it is pricey. Not to overlook the fact that the NLP score was a unique feature of Surfer a few years ago; however, almost all AI-powered SEO optimization tools now have that capability. 

Summing up all these factors, you can see that Surfer SEO is not the best bet for SEO strategists, marketers, and brands with limited budgets and high content demands.  

With that said, if you are looking for an AI-powered content marketing platform at an affordable price, there are plenty of close alternatives out there. 

In fact, to save you from the manual research process, we have reviewed the top 10 Surfer SEO alternatives in detail. It's everything you'll ever need to choose your next  AI-powered SEO tool to see better results from your content marketing activities. 

Top 10 Surfer SEO Alternatives in 2024: Summary

#1 Scalenut

Scalenut is an AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform that includes keyword planner, topic research, AI article writer, content optimizer, traffic analyzer and other powerful SEO features. From content ideation to creation, Scalenut has all the necessary tools that you need to drive organic traffic to your website. 

This all-in-one content marketing platform is used by marketers from Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft, Nvidia, and many other established brands. If you're looking for a Surfer SEO alternative that holds the combined power of SEO and AI, Scalenut is your best bet. 

Read Scalenut Vs Surfer SEO for a detailed comparison between the two.

How is Scalenut better than Surfer SEO? 

If you're wondering how Scalenut is the best alternative for Surfer SEO, in this section, we have compared all the features head-to-head to highlight the difference. 

Better NLP than Surfer

One of the major reasons marketers and SEO strategists keep using Surfer SEO despite its high price tag is because of its accurate NLP scores. 

However, it is no longer a unique selling point of Surfer. Because, now almost all SEO tools now have a solid content grading system. In fact, Scalenut has advanced NLP and machine learning technologies. You can see real-time NLP scores like you do in Surfer SEO. This is followed by a list of tailor-made SEO suggestions to improve your chance of ranking on the first page

In Scalenut, your content will be evaluated from different angles, like keyword density, links, content depth, key terms, and more. If you're using or planning to use Surfer SEO just to get access to those NLP suggestions, you're better off with Scalenut. The main reason is that Scalenut is much more affordable and has an array of other in-built tools than Surfer SEO. 

Content Outline Generator

Generally, Surfer AI uses the top-ranking result pages to generate both content and an outline. This process often leaves users worried about the subtle plagiarism that the content reflects.

Moreover, users have little to no control over training Surfer AI. This limits their ability to contextualize the content angle, funnel stage, and target audience. As a result, the content brief generated in Surfer SEO often turns out to be too basic. 

To exactly address this gap, Scalenut has a customizable outline process. With the help of the article configuration feature, you can give context to the AI so it can approach the content outline from a specific angle. This feature allows users to build an outline relevant to their content funnel and their existing content creation process.

Cruise mode

Scalenut's cruise mode option allows users to generate the first draft of their outline in less than 5 minutes. In contrast, Surfer takes a long time to generate the AI-compiled first draft. 

If you focus on increasing your content quantity and aiming to publish quality content without spending weeks creating it, Scalenut's cruise mode can help you exactly achieve that. 

Content Optimizer

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

Oftentimes, 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 score and generates 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. 

Keyword Planner

The Scalenut Keyword Planner is similar to what you do in the Surfer Keyword Planning tool. You can insert your niche topic in Scalenut’s Keyword Planner to generate a report that groups relevant keywords together. 

Scalenut's Keyword planner to achieve topical authority in your content.

This report lets you view metrics like relevance, CPC, and search volume under one tab. You don't need to juggle between multiple columns or tabs like you do in SEO tools like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to find relevant metrics that matter to you. Scalenut aims to simplify the complex and boring part of content marketing. 

Provides automatic AI suggestions to write headings, outlines, and content briefs in seconds. The existing features can be quite overwhelming for first-time users.
The custom tone of voice feature allows you to easily adapt to different niches and brand voices.
With a click, you can easily view all the top-ranking blogs for your target keywords. This allows you to find the content gaps and manually add them to the outline.
AI-generated writing points for each subhead of the blog allow you to preview and customize the prompts based on your content goals.
Similar to Surfer AI content, you can generate optimized first drafts in just a click with Scalenut Cruise mode, which is much faster.


  • Essential Plan - $39 per month 
  • Growth Plan - $79 per month 
  • Pro Plan - $149 per month

Who can benefit from Scalenut?

  • SEO strategists who manage 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 - 4.7 / 5 stars
  • Product hunt - 5 / 5 stars 
  • Capterra - 4.8 / 5 stars

#2 Frase

Frase is an AI content generation and optimization tool that helps businesses, agencies, and small teams of writers create content faster. Even though Frase is popular, its core features only include research, outline, writing, and optimization. 

Frase AI content creation tool

Frase can be a go-to solution for anyone who doesn't like to start working on a blog post from scratch. It eliminates the manual process of skimming and summarizing Google's first page content, making it an ideal tool for crafting skyscraper content. 

How is Frase SEO better than Surfer SEO? 

Here are some key features that make Frase a better content marketing tool than Surfer SEO. 

AI researcher 

Frase's content generation process is similar to Surfer's model. Even though Frase uses GPT-3 and Surfer uses the GPT-4 Open AI model, the content quality does not significantly differ. 

Using this tool, you can find all your competitors details, including their word count, backlinks, ranking position, headers, and image count, to know how to polish your content to be better than your competitors. 

AI Outline Tool

Frase and Surfer's AI-generated outline fall into the same category. Both of the tools need human assistance to come up with an intent-based outline. Moreover, Frase doesn't give you an auto-generated outline; you need to create one using the suggestions provided. 

On the flip side, in Scalenut, you can get a highly-relevant outline within seconds of entering your keyword and meta title. 

AI writer Tool 

In contrast to Surfer, the Frase AI writer focuses primarily on building the first draft only after creating a detailed summary for each section of the blog. This feature is quite similar to Scalenut's writing points. 

As soon as you generate an outline, Frase AI comes up with a short brief to give you an idea of what will be covered in each header of the blog. This feature can help content heads provide more detailed content briefs and guide their teams more precisely. 

AI Optimization Tool

The content optimization tool allows users to identify SEO gaps within their content and bridge them using the list of suggestions provided by the AI. 

However, Frase's content optimization tool is quite a step down when compared to Scalenut's or Surfer's SEO optimizer. Both tools have strong NLP parameters and a grading system to help users create rank-ready content. 

Pros Cons
The curated list of competitors' headers allows you to easily compile your outline manually. Unlike Scalenut or Surfers’ first draft, this tool doesn’t generate an optimized version in the beginning.
You can access add-ons like questions from Quora, Reddit, SERP, stats, and other elements that can improve the quality of your content. The tone of voice feature is not available as a separate option; you need to include that as an instruction for customize the content to your brand.
You can add instructions to train the AI to follow a specific tone or content angle. There could be more NLP suggestions and an appealing scoreboard to guide the users.
The heatmap feature in the content optimizer allows users to quickly view the keyword density of each term used in competitors' content. Lack of templates, one-click content production options, an AI-powered document management system, and social media content generation capabilities are obvious limitations of the tool.
Frase can be a highly useful tool if you're tired of manually conducting competitor research.


  • Solo Plan - $14.99 per month 
  • Basic Plan - $44.99 per month 
  • Team Plan - $114.99 per month 

You can access functions like keyword search volume, SERP Data Enrichment, and Frase AI Writer as a Pro add-on for $35 per month.  

Who can benefit from Frase?

  • Content writers  
  • Head of a content team
  • Content manager

What do users think about Frase?

  • G2 rating - 4.9 / 5 stars 
  • Product hunt rating - 4.8 / stars 
  • Capterra rating - 4.8 / 5 stars

#3 MarketMuse

MarketMuse is an AI-powered content planning and optimization platform solely dedicated to helping businesses create tailor-made content strategies. The core goal of the tool is to help users get optimal ROI from their content marketing efforts.

MarketMuse SEO tool for creating content strategy

The key tools of Market Muse include a competitor content analyzer, content planning, content clustering, a keyword research tool, and a content optimizer. All these tools work cohesively to streamline the manual work that SEO strategists and content heads perform on a day-to-day basis.

How is Market Muse better than Surfer SEO? 

If you're a content strategist or SEO expert who uses Surfer for its premium SEO features, here's why MarketMuse is a better alternative to that. 

SERP X ray 

MarketMuse's competitor analysis tool helps you see a detailed report of what works for your competitors in the SEO and content categories. 

Usually, in the Surfer content editor, you'll see a list of all your competitor's content and get an average word count, images, and headers you need to use to outcompete your competitors. 

However, in MarketMuse, you'll get to know more details about your competitor's content, like internal links, external links, pages with videos, H2 per page, content score, page intent, and many more. 

Content Clusters

The MarketMuse content clusters tool helps you analyze your content and spot the obvious content gaps in your website. With the heatmap tool, you can easily find your competitor's content clusters to locate their weak points and capitalize on the opportunity. 

Content Planning

With MarketMuse's content planning system, you can easily review your existing content hub and find new topic ideas that have the potential to rank higher on the SERP. 

The tool can also help you examine your existing content's performance and analyze metrics like topical authority, competitive advantage, personalized difficulty score, SERP features, and more. 

Unlike Surfer, in MarketMuse, you can generate an automated content inventory that updates frequently to give you real-time insights about your published content. 

Keyword Research

MarketMuse's content keyword planner has a simple and easy-to-understand user interface. One of the common issues that users find with SEO tools like Ahrefs, Ubsersuggest, or Semrush is the overwhelming amount of SEO data.

That's why tools like Surfer, Scalenut, and even MarketMuse aim to simplify the data into a consumable format. With the Market Muse keyword planner, you'll get access to basic data like volume, CPC, trends, and personalized difficulty scores. Their cluster-centric approach allows you to cover highly relevant and rank-ready content.

Content Optimization

ChatGPT and MarketMuse integration bridge the absence of an in-built AI writer in the tool. ChatGPT does decent work reviewing content from an objective point of view. 

Many content creators, like Tommy Walker, founder of Content Studio, mentioned that they use ChatGPT to edit their content. Basically, MarketMuse and ChatGPT work together to provide personalized content and SEO suggestions. 

The personalized difficulty score is a unique feature that allows users to see the keyword difficulty that's highly relevant to your site. The lack of a full-fledged AI writer is a major drawback. If you're looking for a content marketing platform with the combined powers of SEO and content creation, you should probably consider Scalenut or Frase.
The MarketMuse’s content briefs enable you to provide more context to your writers regarding structure, internal and external links to be added, word counts, targeted content score, related topics to cover, and more. Even though the content briefs cover basic needs, the absence of writing points and an AI-backed outline is a major weakness.
The data backed content marketing efforts help individuals and businesses predict their ROI better. Both Surfer and Market Muse fall into the high-price category.
This tool is highly relevant for beginner to intermediate-level SEO strategists.
The ChatGPT editor can be a handy tool for SEO strategists who are also responsible for reviewing the final content.


  • Free - $0 
  • Standard - $149 per month 
  • Team - $399 per month 
  • Premium - Custom plan 

Who can benefit from Market Muse?

  • Beginner to intermediate-level SEO strategies
  • SEO Content writers

What do users think about Market Muse? 

  • G2 rating - 4.6 / 5 stars
  • Product Hunt rating  - 4.8 / 5 stars
  • Capterra rating- 4.6 / 5 stars 

#4 Page Optimizer Pro

Page Optimizer Pro is an SEO optimizer that helps you plan and optimize an SEO-centric content strategy. Unlike many tools, Page Optimizer Pro does not claim to automate all your content-related tasks. The tool is designed to help you improve your current SEO performance with ON-page SEO tools. 

How is Page Optimizer Pro better than Surfer SEO?

Here’s why Page Optimizer Pro is an ideal alternative for Surfer SEO. 


The POP Pro feature includes content briefs, content prompts, E-E-A-T, and Google entities. POP's unique selling point, for now, is providing suggestions that will not result in Google Penalties. 

The content brief will help you create a content outline that has a high potential to rank on search engines. They offer you basic features like an optimization score, a target word count, and keywords to use throughout the content. 

The content prompts option helps users rank your site in a specific niche with topical content coverage, and page structure recommendations. The E-E-A-T recommendation was introduced recently as a result of Google’s new update.

Among all the other features, the Google E-E-A-T option stood out the most. Many tools do not offer this as an individual option, and SEO experts who are more inclined toward technical SEO can greatly benefit from it. 


POP’s WatchDog is a one-of-a-kind feature that helps users track their published content and optimize it if the pages are facing any SEO dips. Usually, many SEO tools have these features, but they rarely provide solutions on how to optimize or fix old content for better performance. POP’s Watch Dog precisely bridges this gap with a curated list of suggestions to optimize existing pages for better ranking. 

POP custom 

SEO professionals who have their own optimization process for their workflow can benefit from POP Custom. This feature does not exist in many SEO tools, like Surfer. Along with in-built tools, a few other features like schema, Data comparison, LSI Variations, dashboards, and other high-level features garner the attention of SEO professionals. 

The content optimizer can be beneficial for SEO content writers who create optimized content for brands and client. The content editor only provides basic features like a content score, header suggestions, and a basic document interface to work with.
With the POP Pro tools, you can find target columns for subheads and questions you include in your content. The NLP parameters are not that advanced for the Surfer’s level.
You have more control over whether your outline should be generated based on AI or competitors’ content. The POP AI generator is merely a content briefing tool. It does not help you with creating content in a click or even coming up with the first draft.
Being up-to-date with Google guidelines like E-E-A-T, and Google Entity features allows users to follow SEO best practices. The lack of a dedicated keyword research tool, or content cluster tool restricts POP from being a complete alternative to an AI or an SEO tool.
The Chrome extension feature allows users to edit their preferred workspaces, like Google Docs, WordPress, Shopify, and many more.
The on-page SEO checker compares your page with your competitors and grades your page to show your optimization level. This one is quite similar to Surfer SEO.


  • Basic plan - $27 per month 
  • Premium plan - $38 per month. 
  • Unlimited plan - $490 per year 

Who can benefit from Page Optimizer Pro?

  • SEO experts who have their own workflow to optimize their content will find Page Optimizer Pro’s custom features more helpful. 
    What do users think about Page Optimizer Pro?
  • G2 - 4.9 out of 5 stars
  • Capterra - 4.7 out of 5 stars

#5 Clearscope

Clearscope is an SEO-optimization platform that helps businesses create an SEO-driven content marketing plan. This tool provides similar alternatives to Surfer SEO tools like a content editor, SEO reports, a real-time content tracker, and more. Clearscope is an ideal tool for businesses trying to produce SEO-friendly content.

Clearscope SEO platform for content optimization

How is Clearscope better than Surfer SEO? 

Clearscope has only limited features; however, if you're looking for an alternative to Surfer's content editor and report, here's why Clearscope is a better choice. 

Content Reports 

Like Surfer Content Editor, Clearscope lets you get a detailed report on your written content. Additionally, you can import your published content to the report tab with just a click, ultimately saving you from manual copy-pasting. 

Content Inventory

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

Content Editor 

Clearscopes' Content editor has advanced NLP and competitor analysis features to help you optimize your content for search engines. The grades and suggestions that the editor generates are similar to what Surfer does. The report includes keyword suggestions, competitor analysis reports, and readability grades.

The Clearscope report allows you to label each piece of content based on different categories, which, in a way, acts as a content management system. Instead of a specific SEO score, Clearscope provides a letter grade, which some users may find vague.
The keyword importance grade in the content editor helps you see the necessity of using a particular keyword in the content. Clearscope outline generators cannot automate the content brief creation process. It only acts as a brainstorming tool to create outlines manually.
The filtering option in the content editor tools enables users to filter keywords based on importance, unused, and heading categories, allowing them to easily work during different phases of the editing process. The lack of an AI writer, templates, and keyword clustering options limits the tool's ability to help content marketers perform end-to-end SEO.
You can get access to additional research materials from YouTube, Quora, Reddit, and SERP, as well as questions to include in your content. The credit based system to generate reports often acts as a hindrance to users while searching for previous reports and creating a new one.
Their integration with Google Docs and the WordPress Plugin helps users easily include the tool in their workflow. Sometimes the keywords and other suggestions become irrelevant in regards to what the users are trying to achieve through content.


  • Essential - $170 
  • Business and enterprise custom 

Who can benefit from Clearscope?

  • SEO strategist who works with different clients 
  • Content writers 
  • Content managers

What do users think about Clearscope? 

  • G2 - 4.9 / 5 stars 
  • Capterra - 4.9 / stars  

#6 Writerzen

Writerzen is an SEO platform that comes with a keyword explorer, planner, and AI assistant. Like the Surfer SEO editor, your content will be scored to indicate the content optimization level. The other SEO features present in this platform allow you to build content clusters and strategies to systemize your content ideation process. 

Writerzen end-to-end content creation tool

How is Writerzen better than Surfer SEO? 

Comparatively, Writerzen has more features than Surfer SEO. Here are a few aspects of the tool that stand out. 

Topic Discovery 

The Writerzen topic authority tool examines hundreds of URLs from your SERP for the specific keyword you input. This is performed to group highly relevant content ideas based on intent, relevancy, and topic headlines. 

The process and results are quite similar to the Surfer's SEO results. With highly relevant content ideas, you can build the topical authority to attract the attention of your ideal target audience by appearing on the first page of the SERP. 

Keyword Explorer 

The keyword explorer tool lets you find relevant terms applicable to your seed keyword. You'll find all the necessary keyword details to choose the high-potential term, which you stand a chance to rank higher. Their key metrics include trends, volume, CPC, SERP pages, and keyword difficulty. Conversely, Surfer does not provide a detailed view of keywords like Writerzen does. 

Keyword Planner 

The keyword planner uses advanced technologies and scans through the SERP, Google keyword planner, and Google keyword suggested database to group relevant keywords, build keyword clusters, and create AI-powered content briefs. As a result, your outline and research process are foolproof for your content's success. 

The content creator 

The content creator tool includes an outline, keyword lists, and a content writing tool. Instead of juggling between multiple tabs and screens, you can compare competitors' pages and create a ready-to-use outline under one tab. 

However, to ease the scanning process, the AI summarizes your competitor's content and presents it as an outline for simple readability. You can go through each piece of content manually and structure your outline as you prefer. Even though it's not as similar to the Surfer, the Writerzen AI summarizer does a better job than the Surfer AI outline generator. 

The keyword optimizer provides a similar content score to Surfer SEO. The Writerzen AI content creator is less effective than Surfer AI in creating long-form content.
Writerzen has an advanced feature named Golden Score. This saves you from manually scrolling through the list of keywords to find terms with high search volume and less competition The features can be a handful for new SEO strategists and marketers.
You can input the pre-built keyword list you developed using SEO tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Ubersuggest in the Writerzen Keyword Planner with just a click of a button. The absence of a heatmap tool restricts users from analyzing competitors' content performance in depth.
The Buying Journey feature under the keyword planner tool allows content heads to create more intent-driven content briefs. The absence of a Chrome extension feature restricts users from integrating the tool with their existing workspace, like Google Docs or Wordpress.
Plagiarism checks, auto-clustering, SERP insight, and other add-ons help users create more optimized content. New users take a significant amount of time to completely understand and use the tool to its full potential.


  • Lite - $19 per month 
  • Plus - $79 per month 
  • Pro - $199 per month 
  • Ultra - $359 per month 

Who can benefit from Writerzen?

  • SEO Strategists 
  • Head of Content 
  • Marketers

What do users think about Writerzen? 

G2 rating - 4.7 out of 5 stars 

Product Hunt rating - Nil 

Capterra - 4.8 out of 5 

#7 Content Harmony

Content Harmony is a content facilitator built with the core goal of reducing the manual work that content teams do daily. The core features of this tool include a keyword optimizer, reports, a search intent detector, and content briefs. 

Content Harmony is a SEO tool for content outline and brief creation

All these features work together to save you ample time, yet provide you with a data-based content outline.

How is Content Harmony better than Surfer SEO? 

Surfer SEO does not currently provide an AI-powered content outline and brief. where Content Harmony exactly helps you with that. Here are the core features of Content Harmony that make it a better tool than Surfer SEO. 

Keyword reports 

This keyword report goes one step beyond Surfer competitor analysis and presents detailed information about top-ranking pages. A seed keyword you enter will result in details like intent, topic, outline, questions, sources, competitors, images, and videos. This helps you make data-driven decisions while building your content strategy. 

Content Briefs 

You’ll have numerous templates, keyword research tools, outline generators, competitor analysis, and many other features to generate content briefs. Even though Surfer provides insightful suggestions, the lack of different inbuilt tools is a major drawback when compared to Content Harmony. 

Content Optimization 

The Content Harmony Optimizer lets you scale how well your content is optimized to stand out in the SERPs. Your content will be scored based on keyword density, word count, readability, and content score. The additional tools included in the Content Optimizer are similar to the ones you get with Surfer SEO, and Scalenut. 

Pros Cons
Different brief templates allow you to create custom outlines for your content team, depending on your content format. You cannot include different versions of one keyword you're targeting. If you do so, you'll be charged extra credits, resulting in duplicate errors.
A neat view of competitor outlines saves you the manual work of going through each page to create a content outline. Credit based system often confuses new users who are experimenting with the tool.
The shareable workspace link option replaces the numerous versions of Google Docs shared back and forth within teams and allows teams to manage content in one place. You need to come up with a seed keyword, like you do with Surfer. This prevents you from exploring new ideas for your website.
The tool is highly focused on helping Content marketers and SEO professionals drastically reduce the time taken to create content. The tool does not have an auto-outline generator like Surfer and Scalenut do.
Content Harmony is a highly user-friendly tool for beginners in the content marketing field. The platform is not a full-fledged SEO tool. Just like Surfer, it only helps with content optimization and ideation.


  • The standard plan - $50 per month and goes up to $799 per month. 
  • Enterprise plan - $1000 per month. 
  • The price varies depending on the content's quantity or volume. 

Who can benefit from Content Harmony?

  • SEO strategists 
  • Content marketers 
  • Agencies 

What do users think about Content Harmony? 

  • G2 - 4.8 out of 5 stars 
  • Product Hunt - Nil 
  • Capterra - 4.9 out of 5 stars

#8 Dashword

Dashwood is another SEO optimization software that mainly helps you with creating briefs, optimizing your written content, and monitoring your published works. The tool only has limited features but surpasses Surfer SEO's capabilities in content creation and tracking aspects.

Dashword is a content editor and monitoring tool

How is Dashword better than Surfer SEO? 

Dashword is a minimal app with three core functions. Here are a few reasons why it's better than Surfer SEO. 

Content Brief Builder 

Dashword's content brief builder is designed in a visually appealing way to save endless scrolling and let users create their outline in a few clicks. Similar to most SEO optimization tools, Dashword has both an AI-based and a SERP-based outline. 

Ultimately, you can choose whichever is more relevant to the purpose of your content. You can easily export the ready-to-use outline to your workspace with just a click using their export and share option. 

Content Monitoring 

With the help of the content monitoring tool, you can find your ranking position, volume you generate, trend frequency, and content score. 

Whenever you see content ranking lower in the SERP, you can instantly get an alert or check the status on the SERP position tab and make necessary changes based on suggestions. Considering this aspect, Dashboard is a better option than Surfer SEO. 

Keyword research

The keyword research tool is quite intuitive to use. As soon as you enter your seed keyword, you'll generate a list of relevant terms that you can target in your next piece of content. 

You'll get access to the monthly search volume count, trend analysis, competition, CPC, and keyword difficulty. Clearly, Dashboard wins over Surfer when it comes to keyword research. 

Pros Cons
The Google Docs add-on is a recent introduction to the tool that fits right into the content team's workflow. Limited SEO features restrict users' ability to attain their full SEO potential.
Minimal user interface that makes it easy for beginners to get used to the tool. The content monitoring interface could have been much more neat and organized.
The content optimization feature follows the basic rules and works effectively for SEO writers. The content optimization tool is not backed by strong NLP and machine learning algorithms to meet Surfer's or Scalenut's level of accuracy.
You can get access to the weekly status of your content's performance in a short and concise manner. The absence of additional content editor tools like readability scores, research sources and citations, and questions from forums are major drawbacks of the tool.
You can create a report for each keyword with just a click, which simplifies the outline and briefing process significantly. Competitors analysis reports can be more detailed to provide in-depth content insights to outcompete competitors.


  • Startup - $99 per month 
  • Business - $349 per month 

Who can benefit from Dashwood?

  • SEO content writers
  • Beginner SEO professionals 

What do users think about Dashwood?

  • G2 rating - Nil 
  • Product Hunt rating - 4.6 / 5 stars 
  • Capterra rating - Nil 

#9 Outranking

Outranking is an SEO tool that helps you with content ideation, optimization, and monitoring your content consistently to track and improve SEO performance. 

Outranking is a SEO platform that streamlines content creation and management

The core features of the tool include a content optimizer, an AI writing assistant, a content strategy builder, and a centralized hub to manage your content teams. All in all, the tool is ideal for professionals who are invested in planning and editing content. 

How is Outranking Better than Surfer SEO? 

Outranking wins over Surfer with its different functionalities. Here are a few core features of Outranking. 

Outline generator 

Outranking's outline generator produces both an AI generated outline and a gist of competitors' outlines, which you can compare under one tab to come up with the most effective version of the outline for your content. This is way more effective than editing outlines generated by Surfer AI. 

Content optimizer 

Outranking's content optimizer looks and works like the Surfer editor. You'll get to access the average word count details, headings, images, and uniqueness to get an idea of what you should aim for to rank at the top of the page. 

As a step up from Surfer SEO, with Outranking you can track the competitor's content score, domain authority, and backlink details presented in an easily understandable graph. You can find all the relevant NLP term suggestions and further dive deep to view where and how your competitors have used a specific keyword.

Content Strategy builder 

The content strategy builder is a compilation of tools like keyword clustering and grouping, content audits, internal linking, a content inventory planner, and much more. These comprehensive sets of SEO tools are geared to helping you gain topical authority in your niche and rank on the first page. 

Pros Cons
The content optimization task features help you spot the SEO gaps in your content and fix them quickly. The absence of a heatmap tool restricts users from analyzing competitors websites and content in depth.
The content optimization task features help you spot the SEO gaps in your content and fix them quickly. The tools can be overwhelming and handful for beginners and non-SEO writers.
The drag-and-drop outline design allows you to format your outline easily within seconds. Lack of training videos or tutorials impacts new users as they have no clear idea how the tool works.
With the Outranking AI tool, you can generate the first draft of your topic relevant to the outline you developed. This cuts down on the basic research part of your work process. The absence of community support is also a major flaw.
The content management hubs keep your team updated about their tasks and progress. Users may find it hard to get used to the tools and details of the dashboard.
You can quickly export content reviewed in Outranking to WordPress or your content management system in a few steps.


  • SEO writer - $59 per month 
  • SEO strategist - $99 per month 
  • Custom plan for enterprise-level clients 

Who can benefit from Outranking?

  • SEO professionals 
  • Content marketers 
  • Marketing Strategists 
  • Content manager 
  • Head of Content 

What do users think about Outranking? 

  • G2  rating - Nil 
  • Product Hunt rating - Nil
  • Capterra - 4.6 / 5 stars

#10 SE Ranking

SE ranking is an optimization tool built especially for agencies and enterprise-level firms. In addition to the fundamental features, SE Ranking offers options like white-label data sharing, local marketing tools, APIs, and many more.

SE Ranking is a comprehensive tool for content creation and optimization

The core goal of the platform is to simplify your existing SEO and content marketing workflow. 

How is SE Ranking better than Surfer SEO? 

SE Ranking is an all-in-one SEO tool that has many more functionalities than Surfer SEO. Here are a few of the top functionalities of the tool. 

SEO monitoring and research

SE Ranking supports both keyword research and monitoring activities in the most streamlined way possible. The key SEO-related tools of SE Ranking include a rank tracker, website audit, backlink monitor, and on-page SEO checker. 

The tools further expand to include keyword suggestion tools, competitive research tools, and SERP checkers. In comparison to Surfer SEO, this platform has much more to offer in terms of research and reports.  

Content Marketing

Your end-to-end content creation process can be managed with SE ranking with the help of tools like content briefs, content creators, and optimizer tools. You can add up to five keyword variations and example articles to write more brand-centric content. 

However, when it comes to competitor analysis, Surfer and SE ranking fall under the same category as they do not provide detailed information like the other tools we reviewed before. 

Local marketing 

SE Ranking local marketing features help small business owners build their online presence successfully. The tool helps local businesses rank higher for search queries relevant to their specific location. You can even get custom-tailored reports suggesting steps to rank higher in the SERP. 

Pros Cons
AI-powered content creation adds power to the other tool stacks and helps users complete their tasks more quickly. The features can be quite a handful for new users, beginner SEO professionals, and writers.
The platform allows you to analyze a website's backlink profile and identify potential opportunities for building high-quality links. The content optimization tool is not backed by strong NLP and machine learning algorithms to meet Surfer's level of accuracy.
SE Ranking offers white-label reporting, which means you can brand the reports with your own logo and present them to clients if you're an agency or work with multiple stakeholders. This adds a professional touch to your SEO reports. While SE Ranking offers competitive pricing, the pricing structure becomes complex, especially when considering additional features or the number of keywords tracked.
Automates lead generation for digital agencies by creating free SEO audits for prospective clients in exchange for their contact information. The content creation process requires ample input from your end to generate a readable first draft of the content.
Compared to other SEO tools, SE Ranking offers competitive pricing plans, making it more accessible to businesses of various sizes.


  • Essential - $44 per month 
  • Pro - $87 per month 
  • Business - $191 per month 

Who can benefit from SE Ranking?

  • SEO Experts 
  • Content Writers 
  • Content Marketers

What do users think about SE Ranking?

  • G2 rating - 4.8 / 5 stars 
  • Product Hunt rating - 5 / 5 stars
  • Capterra - 4.7 /  5 stars.  

How to Find the Best AI-SEO tool that Works for You? 

Now that you know the different Surfer SEO alternatives that offer similar or advanced features, you might be wondering which tool is best for you. 

Even though many of the tools mentioned above can seem enticing, there are a few factors you need to consider before making this investment. If you’re a growing brand or individual service provider, evaluate each tool based on its features, price, and customer ratings. 

You can see that each tool listed above has one or two unique features. But not every innovative feature is necessary to rank your website higher on Google. So, map out your content marketing and SEO goals and invest in a tool that complements your marketing activities. 

If you're looking for an all-in-one content marketing platform that strikes the right balance between quantity, quality, and price, Scalenut can be a perfect fit for your content requirements.

Scalenut's features like cruise mode, content optimizer, keyword planner, and article writer help you rank higher on the SERP and gain topical authority in your industry. 

With Scalenut’s 7-day free trial, you can experience firsthand how Scalenut can simplify your content creation process. 

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions

What is the equivalent of Surfer SEO? 

There are many tools that offer the same tool stack as Surfer SEO. If you’re looking for a close alternative that is powered by strong NLP and machine learning technologies, an AI-backed content grading system, and a powerful keyword tool, Scalenut is an ideal option for you. 

Is there a free version of Surfer SEO? 

Surfer does not provide any free trials for users. This is one of the major drawbacks of the platforms. 

Is Surfer SEO better than MarketMuse? 

Surfer SEO has comparatively fewer features than MarketMuse. With MarketMuse, you can get detailed content reports, content inventory management, and keyword suggestions. However, we cannot overlook the fact that MarketMuse is more expensive than Surfer SEO. 

What are the free tools that are an alternative to Surfer SEO? 

One of the closest alternatives to Surfer SEO is Scalenut, in terms of keyword research, NLP suggestions, AI article writers, and optimization. The other free alternatives include Frase, MarketMuse, Page Optimizer Pro, Clearscope, and Writerzen. 

What are the best alternatives to Surfer SEO? 

The best Surfer SEO alternatives are Scalenut, Clearscope, Content Harmony, Dashword, and SE Ranking. 

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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