I first learned about Surfer SEO from Matt Diggity, who liked the tool so much that he actually invested in the company. Since Matt’s usually on the money with his choices, I thought it was worth taking a closer look.
So, I decided to grab a subscription for Surfer SEO and give it a whirl.
In this Surfer SEO review, I’m going to walk you through how I use it, what features it offers, the benefits it brings, and whether I think it’s a worthwhile investment. You’ll be getting my unfiltered, honest opinion.
But what’s the big deal about it?
How can you be sure it’s the right fit for your website?
Aren’t there other tools that are more affordable or effective?
If you’re curious to find out the answers to these questions and more, keep reading our Surfer SEO review below.
What is Surfer SEO?
Surfer SEO does a deep dive into what makes pages tick on that prized Page 1 of Google. It looks at things like:
- Content Structure: How many words you’ve got, keyword use, headings, paragraphs, and images.
- Page Speed: Nobody likes waiting around for a slow website. Surfer SEO gives this a once-over.
- Referring Domains and URLs: It checks out who’s linking to your page and the URLs you’re using.
- Meta Tags: These are like the backstage pass for search engines.
- Titles: The first thing people see. Surfer SEO takes a peek at how catchy they are.
- Common Questions: If you’ve got an FAQ section, it tells you what questions to toss in.
So, all these things help you make your page closer to the ones hogging the limelight on Page 1.
Why You Need It
Picture this: You’ve got a page called “best camping tents,” but it’s not cozying up to Page 1. What’s the deal? Well, Surfer SEO’s got your back. It helps you peek at what your competition’s up to.
Those top dogs on Page 1 all have their own unique content, but there’s a bunch of stuff they have in common. That’s what got them to the party in the first place.
But hey, remember, it’s not just about the stuff on your page. The authority of your domain is a big player in this ranking game.
Imagine two websites with similar domain authority. How does Surfer SEO give one an edge?
If one of those websites taps into Surfer SEO, it’s gonna have a better shot at outranking the other. So, you’ve got to work on your domain authority while also leveling up your content game.
And here’s where Surfer SEO steps in.
How does Surfer SEO work?
Now, let’s chat about how you put Surfer SEO to good use.
Better Content with Surfer SEO Content Editor Tool
If you’re sitting on content that needs a facelift, the Surfer SEO Content Editor Tool’s your buddy. It’s the go-to tool you’ll be using. If you haven’t even started writing yet, use this editor to give your article some oomph.
Here’s the scoop: I’m using Surfer SEO right now to fine-tune this review about Surfer SEO. Super meta, right?
Now, here’s the neat part. You can snoop on the competition. Say you’re gunning for the top spot for “Surfer SEO Review.” When you hit “customize,” you get the lowdown on all the pages hogging the limelight on Page 1. You see the top ten results and can even load more if you’re feeling nosy.
Look closer, and you’ll spot those top two champs with pretty high content scores. Yep, Surfer SEO’s at work there. Those folks are using it to jazz up their content, especially since they’re reviewing it too.
The underdog on the third rung has a so-so score. So, how am I doing with this article? Well, I’ve got 902 words in, and my score’s 48/100. As I add more of the keywords Surfer suggests, that score’s gonna rise.
Just a quick note: Don’t go overboard with keywords – it’s all about balance. For example, if it says to use “SEO tools” 6 to 20 times, a couple of mentions is fine. Don’t stuff them where they don’t belong. Think of the suggested frequency as guidelines, not strict rules.
So, glancing at the content structure section, it tells me to up my word count, paragraphs, headings, and images.
Write Keyword-Packed Headings
Surfer SEO even guides you on the headings to pop into your article. It looks at what your competition’s using and suggests keywords to drop into your headings. It could be H2, H3, or H4 headings.
For this example, it tells me to include:
- “Surfer SEO alternatives”
- “SEO tools”
- “SEO tool”
See, when it goes green, it means you’ve got that keyword in your content. I’ve got to squeeze those into other headings in my article if I want to stay competitive.
NLP – Google’s Secret Language
NLP here stands for Natural Language Processing, not the Neural Linguistic Programming Tony Robbins talks about. In Surfer, it’s about the words Google thinks are important for your topic. They’ve even hooked up with Google’s NLP API to give you the exact words and phrases you need to rank.
Building a Blog Post Outline
Inside the content builder, you can create an outline for your blog post by hitting “outline.” It’s like a cheat sheet for your post, offering up H1 and H2 headings, and questions for your FAQ section or within your content.
The kicker? You can even let Surfer’s AI do some of the writing for you. It might not be as slick as Jasper AI, but you can tweak it or use it as inspo.
There you have it, all about Surfer SEO in easy, everyday language!
Making the Most of Your Existing Content
Got a page already, and you’re itching to make it better? Surfer SEO’s got your back. You’ve got two options: the Content Editor or the Audit function.
Using the Audit Function
Let’s focus on the Audit function for now. It does a deep dive into your page, checking out:
- Content Score: How good your content is.
- Missing Common Backlinks: Those links that could give your page a boost.
- Internal Links: The links within your page.
- Terms to Use: Keywords you should throw in.
- Word Count: How much you’ve written.
- Exact Keywords: Keywords you should have.
- Partial Keywords: Keywords you might want.
- Title and Meta Description Length: The ideal length for these bits.
- Time to First Byte: How quickly your page loads.
- Load Time: How fast your page shows up.
See, I even did an audit on one of my pages about the “Best Email Marketing Software.”
Content Editor vs. Audit Tool
While the Content Editor helps you optimize your content, the Audit tool does much more. It looks at your site’s speed, how you stack up against the competition content-wise, points out the backlinks you’re missing, suggests the pages you should link from (internal linking), and tons more.
So, once the audit’s done, you’ve got a roadmap to amp up your page. Just tackle each point one by one, and you’re on your way to an improved page.
The audit tool’s super handy since it gives you an overview of all the areas you can work on, not just your content. Unlike the Content Editor, which focuses solely on content optimization.
The Content Planner – Making the Tough Keywords Easier
If you’re eyeing a keyword that’s as hard to reach as the cookie jar on the top shelf, don’t worry. The Content Planner’s got a plan.
Just pop in your keyword, and you’ll get a bunch of related topics that can back up your main article. For example, if your main article’s about “Best Cordless Vacuums,” here’s what Surfer SEO’s got for you:
- You get 97 clusters for that main topic, so you can write 97 articles all tied to “best cordless vacuums” and give your SEO a boost.
No need to write all 97, though. Just pick the ones that make sense. Some suggestions might not fit your plan, so don’t sweat it.
Filtering the Clusters
Surfer SEO’s also got a handy filter feature. You can sort clusters by:
- Intent: Pick from customer investigation, informational, and shopping. If you’re after informational articles, choose “informational.” Same goes for customer investigation. If it’s shopping, it’s usually about one product, like “Hoover cordless upright vacuum.”
- Keywords: You can filter based on the number of keywords in the cluster range. Some might find this handy; I didn’t use it much, but to each their own.
- Search Volume: The lower the search volume, the easier it is to rank. So, you can discover keywords related to your main topic that aren’t too competitive.
And you can link Surfer with Google’s Search Console to see the missing clusters and get a feel for relative keyword difficulty. Neat, right?
The Content Planner’s main goal is to help you find what to write about. No need for other tools – just toss in a main topic, and Surfer SEO helps you spot related ideas.
Serp Analyzer Tool – Dive into the Data
If you’re a data geek, you’re gonna love the Serp Analyzer tool. It’s mostly for peeping on the competition, not really comparing your site to theirs – although you can do that too by popping your website under “Compare your website to competitors” if you’re already ranking on Google.
Just put in a keyword you’re gunning for, and let the magic happen.
What are the pricing plans for Surfer SEO?
1. Free Plan
You can get started with Surfer SEO for free. But keep in mind, you won’t have access to all the tools. You can track your website and get some content suggestions, which is pretty cool. No reason not to give it a try.
2. Basic Plan – $59 per Month
If you prefer to pay each month, the Basic plan is $59. But, here’s a tip: go for the annual plan at $49 per month, which adds up to $588 for the whole year. By doing this, you save $120 annually. This plan suits bloggers and small business owners well. You can track one website and have access to all the tools. If you need to track more than one website, it’s an extra $13 per month for each additional site. You can optimize up to 10 articles every month and audit 20 pages.
3. Pro Plan – $119 per Month
For the Pro plan, the monthly price is $119. But if you opt for the annual plan at $1,188, you save $240 in a year. With the Pro plan, you can connect and track 5 different websites, a step up from the Basic plan that only allows one site. If you want to add more than 5 sites, it’s $13 extra each. This plan is what I have, and it allows you to optimize 30 articles each month. That’s nearly one new piece of content daily. Plus, you can audit 60 pages monthly. This plan also lets you invite up to 3 team members, so they can have their own logins. This is handy if you outsource your writing.
4. Business Plan – $239 per Month
The Business Plan is $239 each month. But, if you go for the annual Business Plan, it’s $2,388 for the year. This way, you save $480 compared to the monthly payments. With the Business Plan, you can track 10 websites and optimize 70 articles while auditing 140 pages each month. It’s quite a package. Plus, it includes 10 team members, which is great for collaboration.
Surfer SEO and Jasper Integration
For those who use Jasper AI, an artificial intelligence writing assistant, Surfer SEO and Jasper have joined forces. It’s pretty awesome because it seamlessly brings Surfer SEO tools into the Jasper interface. If you want 100% unique, high-quality content written for you, check out my Jasper AI review for more details. This integration is a big plus for Jasper users.
let’s break down the pros and cons of using Surfer:
- Clean Interface and User-Friendly: Surfer boasts a neat and user-friendly interface. It’s pretty easy to navigate.
- Chrome Extension for WordPress: There’s a handy Chrome extension that smoothly integrates with your WordPress site. It’s super convenient.
- Battles Writer’s Block: One great thing about Surfer is that it can kickstart your creativity. It provides content suggestions that can help when you’re stuck with writer’s block.
- Real-Time Progress: You’ll love that Surfer operates in real-time. You can keep track of your progress as you go along.
- Jasper Integration: Surfer has teamed up with Jasper AI, which is a big plus if you use Jasper for your writing needs.
- Enhanced Rankings: Many bloggers and website owners, including me, have seen notable improvements in their rankings after using Surfer.
- Frequent Updates: Surfer doesn’t sit idle. They roll out updates and new tools quite regularly.
- Great Customer Support: Surfer also shines in the customer support department. They offer excellent assistance when you need it.
- Content Editor Credits: If you’re a prolific writer and churn out lots of content, you might need to shell out more for extra content editor credits.
- Keyword Research Tool: While Surfer is awesome, its keyword research tool isn’t the most robust when compared to some competitors.
- Grow Flow and Internal Linking: Sometimes, the suggestions from Grow Flow and internal linking might raise an eyebrow. They can be a bit questionable.
No matter if you’re a newbie blogger, a business owner, or a seasoned writer, Surfer can be a real game-changer. The SEO landscape has evolved in the past few years. You can’t get away with mediocre content and expect to rank high on Google. You need to up your content game, and that’s where Surfer SEO comes in.
Success in Google’s rankings hinges on doing things better than your competition. Surfer provides you with a roadmap to beat them at their own game. It’s a tool that every website owner should have in their toolkit.
Now, if your main focus is paid ads to drive traffic, you might not need Surfer SEO. But if you rely on organic traffic from search engines, I’d strongly recommend giving it a shot. It can be a real game-changer for your SEO strategy.