SurferSEO Review (May, 2024): Thoughts by an Agency that actually uses it

By James LePage
 on March 12, 2022

SurferSEO Review (May, 2024): Thoughts by an Agency that actually uses it

By James LePage
 on March 12, 2022

In this review, we're going to take a look at SurferSEO, a tool that we at our agency actually use and find immensely valuable.


SurferSEO is a suite of 5 SEO optimization tools, including a Content Editor, Content Planner, Audits, SERP analyzer, and Keyword Research tools. In this article, we'll take a look at all of theses tools, review what they do, and explain how and why we use them.

It's a perfect way to seriously optimize your content, making it not just more visible to the search engines, but also more relevant and engaging for your audience. At its core, Surfer SEO analyzes competing articles for the same keyword, and implements some AI to "reverse engineer" what Google is looking for. From this data, it provides pertinent information, suggestions, and analysis with it's suite of tools.

Our agency uses this tool when writing our informational content on the growing web development blog, and also generate content for our Ecommerce clients and web design projects. We've used this tool for several months, and it has helped us to rank for several extremely competitive keywords, and improve the quality of our content.

Let's jump in.

Surfer SEO Features

We'll break this section of the SurferSEO review into the 5 main products that the tool has to offer.

Content Editor

Surfer's content editor tool is the main feature that we use, and the thing that diffrentiates it most from other SEO tools. It analyzes the top 10 results for any given keyword, and provides data-driven suggestions on how to improve your article.

It looks at things like word count, sentence length, paragraph length, headings, images, videos, and more to help you optimize your article. It also includes a "Readability" score, which tells you how easy your content is to read.


It seriously "gamifies" writing by providing a score. When you include concepts, images, headings, words, and more, the score increases, from 1-100. The higher the score, the better the chance you'll have when it comes to ranking on Google.

It's not just a keyword density seo tool. Instead, it uses NLP-based algorithms (which is also what Google uses for their search) to help you craft great, SEO friendly content for your target keyword.

We've also noticed that this also helps us include information that we wouldn't have considered adding if building an article outline manually.


In addition to this gamification, it'll offer outline suggestions and content briefs. This is super helpful for planning and editors, and you can share this editor with authors and users without needing to buy another seat in the SurferSEO account. Simply share via a Link or on Google Docs.

Overall, the content editor tool is extremely helpful, and we've seen our traffic and engagement increase as a result of using it.

Content Auditor

For content that already exists, you can audit against your desired keyword. This audit works just like the editor, but pulls in that existing content, and analyzes it.


The audit will tell you what needs to be fixed, added, or changed in order for your article to rank. It's a helpful way to fine-tune articles that may already be ranking, but could use some improvement.

Just pull in the URL of an existing article, enter your target keyword, and let SurferSEO work its magic.

The audit will spit out a ton of things that will help with on page seo analysis, which aren't just keyword research. It'll also look at page speed, internal links that you can send to other top ranking pages, keyword usage in the titles, and a ton of other ranking factors.

This is also something that constantly evolves as the algos get better, and SERPs change. Therefore, for cornerstone content, you can use this SEO tool to continually review on page SEO, and stay on the top of the heap.

Content Planner

A core SEO strategy consists of building several blog posts to support a cornerstone piece of content that ranks for a difficult, and high traffic keyword. The content planner generates a strategy for you, and tells you how many blog posts you need to write in order to rank for your target keyword.

Let's say I want to compete with this Ahrefs article that covers the keyword "Marketing VS Advertising." According to Ahrefs Keyword analysis, it's hard to rank for and has a monthly global traffic volume of 5.4K. We'll also get a ton of long tail and LSI keywords alongside this core one.


The content planner by Surfer SEO do a ton of analysis based on target keywords, mobile or desktop results and even basic backlink analysis, spitting out a fully fledged content strategy, based on Keyword clusters.

We can create many blog posts based around these lower traffic keywords to build authority and rank our article based on that seed keyword of "marketing vs advertising". This is a super powerful feature that other tools simply don't have.

This offers a new approach to keyword research in that you're not just creating articles on a main keyword, but laying a massive foundation to build up to your main targets. The keywords Surfer SEO suggests are a part of something much bigger! It's perfect for ecommerce shops, startups, and blogs alike.

SERP Analyzer

In some cases, you can use this tool as a standalone analysis platform, eliminating expensive subscriptions like Ahrefs or SEMRush.


The SERP analyzer gives you a unique look into the keyword, and competing websites that currently rank for the term. There's a lot to explore here from common backlinks, to phrases, words, questions, and more.

You can also use this to spy on your competition and understand their SEO strategy. This is perfect for larger organizations that want to get a sense of what's working in their industry landscape, and where they may need to step up their game.

Keyword Research

This tool allows you to look at monthly search volume and more. You can layer multiple keywords to get other insights. It's a fairly straightforward process, but it's worth noting that you can find some SERP features and other keywords that you may want to target.


This is one of the more important aspects of SEO as it gives you an understanding of how people are searching for your product or service.

With that said, it's nowhere near the Ahrefs or SEMRush platforms implementations of this same feature.

Keyword Surfer

Keyword surfer is a free Google chrome extension that plugs into your search results and tells you how difficult it is to rank for a certain keyword.

Just do a search on Google, and the Keyword Surfer toolbar will pop up on the right hand side of the screen. You can see the difficulty to rank for that keyword, as well as the estimated traffic you could get from ranking on the first page.

This is a great way to quickly research keywords without having to leave Google. Just type in a seed keyword, and start looking at related keywords and their difficulty levels.

Integrations With Jasper

Something that is super cool and unique, is that this tool integrates directly with, an AI powered content creation platform.


This means that you can take all of your keyword research, and quickly turn it into blog posts, articles, or even ecommerce product descriptions with the click of a button.

The integration is super seamless, and it's one of the first times I've seen a keyword research tool offer this type of functionality.

This plays off the new API feature which lets you integrate Surfer's Content Editor pretty much anywhere, and programmatically get data about the content you're creating.

Read: Using SurferSEO and To Create High Quality Optimized Content

Surfer SEO Pricing

For the features that it offers, pricing isn't to bad. You can get started for as low as $49/month, and you get access to all of the features listed here.


For content optimization, this may seem pricey, but it's one of the only tools that does anything like this. And remember, the seo rankings that you'll get with this will pay for the SEO tool 100x over!

That said, it's not as comprehensive as tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush, so keep that in mind when comparing pricing. Instead, we use Surfer in tandem with Ahrefs, and find that those two product serve all of our needs for on page seo tools as well as off page seo. We can find missing common backlinks, and create incredible blog posts with the Surfer SEO tool.

Surfer SEO Alternatives

There are a few SurferSEO alternatives, but in all honesty, they don't come close to what Surfer offers. That's because this company is focused on continually improving their offering, and have the budget to do so. Other startups will find it hard to compete with things like the Surfer Content Editor.

  • Topic - They offer similar features, but cost more money.
  • Clearscope - An incredible company, but focused on enterprises and are out of budget for pretty much everybody else.
  • Marketmuse - A younger startup that offers a free plan, but then jumps to $7000+ a year!

For more info, read our complete list of SurferSEO Alternatives here.


Overall, I'm really impressed with what Surfer SEO is doing. They continue to expand their feature set, and make it easier for content creators to optimize their content.

The integration with is incredible, and I can see this becoming a staple in content marketing departments everywhere.

That said, the tool isn't perfect. The keyword research could be more comprehensive, and the pricing may be out of reach for some small businesses. But overall, I think it's an incredible tool that should be in every marketer's toolkit.

To sum up, here are the pros and cons of SurferSEO:


  • Suite of 5 tools, not just a content editor
  • Integrates directly with and has API access
  • Super easy to use
  • Great for content optimization


  • Keyword research could be more comprehensive
  • Pricing may be out of reach for some small businesses

I hope you enjoyed this SurferSEO review. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. And if you're looking for an SEO tool that does a little bit of everything, be sure to check out our list of the best seo tools here. Thanks for reading!

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Article By
James LePage
James LePage is the founder of Isotropic, a WordPress education company and digital agency. He is also the founder of, a venture backed startup bringing AI to WordPress creators.
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