It would be fair to assume that Search Engine Optimisation, aka, SEO, is the most crucial aspect of digital content marketing. In a modern marketing era where everyone is trying to outrank their competition on the search engine result page, SEO is the “IT” factor that can transform your business growth.
SEO comprises of a bunch of different optimising tools that work collectively to enhance your website’s performance and, of course, boost its search engine ranking as well.
Surfer SEO is one such tool that focuses on improving the quality of your website content to achieve the desired result. But that is just the tip of an iceberg!
In reality, a surfer SEO tool does a lot more than just recommending a few modifications to your website content.
So, what exactly is Surfer SEO, and how does it effectively boost your website performance?
Let us take a comprehensive look at Surfer SEO.
What is Surfer SEO?
The rudimentary concept of surfer SEO is pretty simple and straightforward – analyse the top ranking websites and implement that information to optimise your website content.
To cut a long story short, surfer SEO targets website content like blog posts or any other website-related articles. Next, it compares and analyses over 500+ on-page signals of your blog post against the top 10 ranking websites.
These on-page signals include factors like Meta description, Backlinks, Title tags, Header tags, Keyword density, Image optimisation, and content engagement.
Surfer SEO contains an inherent keyword research tool that helps identify and generate relevant long-tail keywords for your content.
In a nutshell – Surfer SEO analyses all the factors that contribute to making websites rank higher on SERP. It will then feed you with the information to implement it and improve your ranking.
So, in a way, Surfer SEO helps eliminate all the guess-work off your website content optimisation. Instead, it offers direct data and helps you understand how to improve your ranking quickly.
What features does Surfer SEO have?
The four key features of Surfer SEO are as follows.
Being “authentic” can be empowering, but in digital marketing, they do not always yield the best results. At the end of the day, it all comes down to where your website is ranked. There is a popular expression that the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of the Google search result.
If you want a quick result, you have to analyse what the top websites are doing. Monitor and evaluate what things they are doing right.
Because Google obviously approves what the top websites are doing with their content. And, if you want to rank higher in SERP, there is no other way than to make Google like your content.
SERP analyser can help you gain information to crucial Google ranking criteria data like:
- Keyword frequency and density
- Number of headings
- Text length
- Average content length
- Long-tail keywords
- Alternate keyword suggestions
- Number backlinks to the page
- Page loading speed
- Meta tag structures
- Hidden content
All these factors are practically SEO lesson 101. And, by understanding how they actually affect your website ranking, you can boost your productivity by a substantial degree.
Another really helpful feature of the SERP analyser is that it allows you to view results differently for desktop and mobile platforms.
Although the order of ranking may not differ significantly in desktop and mobile platforms, they do fluctuate, nonetheless.
Mobile platforms obviously require higher content optimisation. As a result, you can target different websites depending on which platform you’re focusing on.
Keywords are the heart and soul of your website content (well, for the most part, at least!). It is essentially the first thing that connects the users to your website.
Users search for a specific keyword, and the Google algorithm does the rest of connecting the dots between the particular inquiry and your website. It is, therefore, essential to target the right keywords.
Besides, using the right keywords is also the simplest way to tell Google what your website content is about and what purpose it serves. This makes it easier for Google to identify your website, thus providing a good chance of getting a higher ranking. This is precisely what content editor offers!
In laymen’s terms, the content editor helps you to create content by targeting the right keywords (specifically LSI keywords). Thus, making it easier and quicker for the search algorithm to identify your website.
Essentially, the Surfer SEO content editor evaluates content from the first SERP websites and identifies the key LSI keywords. Other types of information that it tells you are:
- The ideal number of word count
- What questions and topics to address
The best way to use it is to write your content directly on the editor or copy/paste it later. After that, the editor does the rest of the job.
It will display a list of recommended changes to improve the overall quality and relevancy of your content. The editor’s key focus is to help you insert relevant LSI keywords in the right amount (density).
Keyword research is another key feature of a Surfer SEO tool that helps you find the right keywords specific to your audience.
In this case, you also do not have to write a full content on the editor. Instead, you can just type a seed keyword, and the research tool does the rest of sniffing out all the similar keywords associated with it.
It also tells you the volume of search associated with every keyword. Best of all, you can also narrow your keyword research specific to different locations.
This is incredibly helpful if you’re trying to achieve high ranking in several locations and not just in one specific region.
The “SERP similarity” is unquestionably one of the best features of the Surfer keyword research tool. It helps streamline your keyword utilisation strategy by helping you determine if you should create separate content for individual long-tail keywords.
For instance, if the SERP similarity results for any two keywords are different, it is best to create separate pages for each keyword.
However, if the results are the same, you can create a single content and optimise it around the two (or more) long-tail keywords.
The majority of marketers focus solely on equipping their website with new content to stay afloat in the market. However, what most people do not realise is that auditing their current content play as much critical role in creating a new one.
Auditing your older content at regular intervals will allow you to analyse how they are performing and whether they are still relevant to your audience’s requirements. It is no secret that the “needs” of the consumers vary significantly over time. And, SEO audit makes sure your older contents do not become redundant.
However, it is just not about keeping your content relevant. SEO audit also takes care of all your website’s SEO related aspects. In a way, an SEO audit is a perfect tool to cover up the cracks on your website.
Some of the common issues that the SEO audit helps you identify include:
- Website interface/ user experience
- On-page content optimisation
- Website structure
- Keyword density
- Homepage loading speed
- Word count
- Technical SEO problems
- Off-site issues
An extensive analysis of the above factors can help you to boost your website performance without having to start from scratch. Instead, you can just examine certain aspects of your older posts that might require some technical modifications.
You can determine how much content you need to add or remove from your current ones or how to boost your website structure. In turn, these data help you remodel your older content so you can achieve the ideal result without breaking a sweat.
Does Surfer SEO actually work?
Just like any other optimising tools, Surfer SEO also comes with its fair of scepticism associated with it. Most digital marketers need an instant result, and that is where many SEO tools fail to deliver.
However, that is not the case with Surfer SEO. Over the years, it has thrived due to its simplistic yet high-rewarding nature.
It certainly has its limitations, but for the most part, it enjoys quite a positive reputation amongst online marketers.
So, here’s looking at some of the most convincing benefits of Surfer SEO and some grey areas where it needs some improvements.
Pros of Surfer SEO
Easy to use
The simplistic and no-nonsense nature of the Surfer SEO is something that every marketing enthusiast will truly appreciate. Optimisation tools usually do not have a good track record of being user-friendly. They require a good deal of technical insights for you to successfully navigate through its sophisticated interface.
This becomes a barrier for users to make optimal usage of several SEO tools, especially amateur marketers who have moderate technical knowledge. However, with Surfer SEO, you get a spotless and intuitive user interface.
The streamlined workflow structure is simple and straightforward. It cut right to the chase and helps you get the job done without any technical nuances.
Surfer SEO’s list of unique optimisation features is what makes it a true standout. Yes, there are other similar Search Engine Optimisation tools, but Surfer offers some really unique and convenient features.
The content editor is arguably the top draw feature of the Surfer SEO. This feature is not only effective but also offers a great deal of convenience. The built-in editor makes the process of creating search engine ranking-friendly content look easy and effortless.
The content editor essentially spoon-feeds you with all the information required to take your content to the next level. From LSI keyword suggestions to the number of bold words to the number of images, the content does it all!
Other than that, the Keyword research tool also does an excellent job of sniffing out all the relevant keywords specific to your target audience. The SERP similarity feature in specific, allows you to strategise your content creation based on the similarity of two different LSI keywords.
Using the information, you can determine the most sensible and efficient way to use “trending” keywords on your content.
Quick and hassle-free
The Surfer SEO is all about getting the job done without any shenanigans. And, well, it does precisely that!
It gets right down to the business from the word go and help you obtain results quickly. However, the best thing about Surfer SEO is that all the features in its arsenal are really practical and easy to access.
The data metrics it provides from analysing several top-ranked websites have good accuracies. You can easily boost your website traffic and overall performance by implementing the recommended modifications.
Every minor aspect of Surfer SEO makes sense and does what they are supposed to do without beating around the bush. You just have to search for the appropriate action, and the Surfer does the rest of examining the key aspects from the top SERP websites.
Surfer SEO is also exceptionally quick. You do not have to sit for ages waiting for the reports to build up. Instead, the entire process is rapid and abrupt. You can obtain suitable data metrics in just a matter of a few minutes.
Websites that rank up higher on SERP are there for a bunch of good reasons. If you can manage to sniff out what those reasons are, there is every possibility that you will come under the radar of the Google search engine algorithm. And that is precisely what the Surfer SEO helps you achieve with its semantic analysis technique.
It performs an extensive keyword comparison used between the top 10 highest ranked websites on SERP. This will give you a clear idea of what actually works in a real-world scenario.
Since the metrics are obtained from the top-performing websites, you can be assured of its effectiveness in boosting your ranking as well.
Surfer SEO certainly comes packed with an adequate number of top-end optimisation features. However, the icing on the cake is its reasonable pricing. Unlike other premium SEO tool services, Surfer SEO’s plan charges do not make a dent in your pocket.
Their base plan starts from as low as $49.2/month, while their premium offering Business plan costs about $165.8/month.
You also have the option to switch to an annual subscription plan, in which case you can save an extra 20% on the total cost as well. More savings for you!
Also, if you want to give it a brief trial run before purchasing it, you can do so by paying $1. The trial duration will last for 7-days, and you can decide whether to upgrade to their plan after the expiry date.
The downside of Surfer SEO
The perks of using Surfer SEO are abundant. However, that does not mean it is completely free of any flaws. Like any other SEO tools, it also has some limitations that could be improved over time.
No free trial
As mentioned earlier, there is no doubt that the Surfer SEO offers exceptional value for your money. However, one of its most notable pitfalls is that it does not come with a “free trial” option.
Of course, paying $1 for a 7-day trial period is not particularly a deal-breaker. But, it could discourage some people, considering that other similar SEO tools offer a free trial period.
Moderate query cap
This is another critical aspect that many people complain about. The Surfer SEO does not support as many queries cap as many people would expect, especially large establishments.
The number of queries will vary depending on your subscription plan. For instance, the basic plan only offers 15 SERP analyser queries/day.
On the other hand, their top-end Business plan has a maximum limit of 100 SERP analyser queries/day. Although this number could be more than adequate for medium website owners, it may be problematic for large business establishments.
Cannot filter the result by priority level
The Surfer’s SERP analyser’s final search result offers great depth in terms of various optimising variables. This, of course, is great for gaining a profound knowledge over which factors to improve on your content.
However, the same depth of information can also backfire. You may find yourself toggling through an overwhelming number of variables. In such cases, it may be difficult to implement every single optimisation recommendations.
The best way around this dilemma is to have a dedicated switch or a filter button that can help you to select and view only the important ranking factors. This can make your job of applying the necessary changes much more comfortable and convenient.
Sadly, the Surfer SEO does not have this feature at present.
Basic keyword tool
The most underwhelming aspect of Surfer SEO is probably its basic keyword tool. While it is not completely redundant, it could definitely use some technical facelifts. At present, the clarity of the metrics is more on the average side.
However, if metrics do not concern you, Surfer SEO is the way to go!
How does Surfer SEO compare to other SEO/content tools?
Now that we have a clear grasp of what Surfer SEO brings to the table, it is time to pit it against other competitions.
After all, there are quite a substantial number of SEO tools in the market. Each one of them comes with a unique set of optimisation features that differentiates them from one another.
However, they are not completely independent of each other. Since they all function within the same search engine optimisation platform, they can be eerily identical at times. This can make your job of distinguishing between two content tools even more difficult.
To help ease such confusion, we are going to compare Surfer with some of the most prominent SEO tools in the market.
Surfer vs aHrefs
aHrefs is one of the most popular SEO tools in the market at present. So, how does Surfer fare against the SEO giant that is aHrefs?
One of the most compelling features of aHrefs is its Site Explorer tool.
This is a really neat feature that allows you to analyse all the key SEO-related variables of any selected URL. You just have to type in a URL of your choice, and the site explorer does the rest of providing you with a detailed overview of its SEO performance.
Another really great feature of aHrefs is that it can handle websites of almost any size with ease.
However, Surfer’s SERP Analyzer offers a more versatile option as you can easily examine multiple top ranking websites simultaneously. Surfer is also a much better option for creating new content, thanks to its powerhouse that is the content editor.
Surfer SEO also takes the edge when it comes to the user interface. aHrefs’ user interface is by no means a complicated affair, but the overall site navigation is more streamlined and smoother in Surfer.
The pricing area is where the distinction between Surfer and aHrefs becomes very noticeable. Surfer’s entry-level plan starts at just $49.2/month, while its flagship Business plan costs $165.8/month.
On the other hand, the base plan for aHrefs starts at $99/month, while their top-tier Agency plan costs $999/month.
In brief, if you’re looking for a well-rounded SEO tool that also goes easy on your pocket, Surfer is a much better option.
Surfer vs Moz
Moz (formerly known as SEOmoz) is another one of the most popular SEO tools in the market. It is tagged as one of the most effective tools for SEO marketing.
So, how does Surfer stack up against Moz?
To be fair, Surfer and Moz are two very similar SEO programs. They offer a set of very identical optimisation features. Nonetheless, they contradict in some ways.
The most significant difference between the two is the Content editor. Surfer’s content editor helps you to distinguish the difference between LSI keywords. This, in turn, allows you to strategise how to create new content around those keywords.
As such, Surfer reduces your content creation and management by a considerable margin, which is not the case with Moz.
Moz does a really great job of keeping track of all the critical keywords from the target URL. However, it does not really expand out into other horizons other than analysing keywords. For instance, it does not offer real-time suggestions, which Surfer does.
It’s almost a one-dimensional SEO tool that concentrates its attention purely on improving your keyword performance.
Having said that, Moz is by no means a bad SEO tool. However, if you fancy a more versatile option, Surfer is the clear winner!
Surfer vs MarketMuse
Well, technically, MarketMuse is not a conventional SEO tool. However, it is the closest thing that comes in comparison to Surfer’s key arsenal, Content editor.
Seeing as how the presence of content editor blows other competition out of the water, it is only fair that we compare Surfer with MarketMuse.
MarketMuse is more like a content marketing tool that accelerates content creation by giving you access to all the keyword-related information. It is essentially a content editor, but with some extra features.
The two primary features of MarketMuse are Inventory and Applications. The inventory plays the role of tracking down the highest-ranking content and reports it back to your content.
On the other hand, Applications comprises all the research and optimising tools that help you plan and create the final product.
However, MarketMuse comes with one massive limitation in the form of a hefty price tag. In fact, some may even say overpriced.
It also does not help that despite its hefty pricing, MarketMuse is still just a content marketing tool. If you want the entire SEO package like Surfer, you will have to purchase separate SEO tools like Moz or Ahrefs.
So, while MarketMuse is a great content creator/improvement tool, it does not make much sense as an overall package when compared to Surfer.
Is it worth the money?
The cost to feature ratio for Surfer SEO is undoubtedly one of the better ones in the market. It does not necessarily offer all the highest-end optimisation features, but for its decent pricing, you get more than what you pay for.
Surfer’s entry-level plan is comparatively cheaper than most of its contemporaries, which is great for small website owners. You can easily enjoy the benefits of a fully-fledged SEO tool without breaking your bank.
Besides, its Pro and Business plans also offer adequate optimisation features that can comfortably handle large websites and blogs.
To put it briefly – yes! Surfer SEO is totally worth the money.
Surfer SEO Conclusion
Surfer is unquestionably one of the most compelling SEO tools in the market at present. It breaks away from the conventional trend of optimisation tools, burning a hole in your pocket.
It also comes packed with some exciting features (most notably the content editor) that you do not see elsewhere! Surfer’s unique set of features makes creating new content or optimising old content a breeze.
Overall, if you’re genuinely concerned about boosting your website’s traffic and SERP performance, Surfer SEO is definitely worth checking out!