If you run a website, it is very likely you have created some content yourself or hired someone to do it for you. But, just because your content has more than 3,000 words doesn’t mean it will win the web. So don’t be shocked if your content and website are not ranking well.
While the content structure and word count certainly matter, there’s another thing that should be brought into play to boost rankings: on-page SEO. It’s all about page optimization. With proper on-page optimization, you will see some real results even if you’re running on a low budget.
Do not expect to get your website on the first page of search results overnight. It’s more likely that you will be rising through the ranks over a period of time so that your website will rank in the top ten results on Google after a while if everything goes well. But if you’re eager to boost your rankings right away and don’t want to wait too long to appear in the top ten in 2020, then you have two options to choose from:
Not only is the second option easier and faster, but it is also more effective. That’s why we recommend that you use the Surfer SEO rather than dealing with content creation and optimization on your own. If you use this SEO tool the right way, you will fill a lot of gaps in your content, make it better, and eventually improve page ranking for exact keywords.
In this comprehensive Surfer SEO review, we are going to cover everything you would ever want to know about Surfer SEO, including key features, how it works, things to improve, and much more. So, let’s get started!
What Is Surfer SEO?
It’s one of the best SEO tools that analyzes and compares a full suite of factors (up to five hundred ranking factors) of page content and audit competitors. Surfer SEO also acts as a content editor that can optimize your content and let you know what’s missing based on the content structure, keyword density, number of words, important terms to use, data-driven analysis, etc.
Surfer SEO will tell you why top-ranking pages rank well for exact keywords. That will help you understand what you need to do to create content that will help you easily get into content creation, whether you use Google Docs or something else.
Even if you are happy with your Google Docs content, we recommend running it through the Surfer. This way you will get the most out of your content. It will show you how many words your web pages have and the suggested range, i.e. the optimal number of words in the body of your content. Maybe you will need to delete or add more words to make your content better.
Specifically, Surfer SEO will assist you in two ways:
Surfer SEO Key Features & Tools
This nifty tool utilizes the following three features/tools for data-driven content optimization:
By using these powerful tools, Surfer SEO can deliver incredible search results. Still, you need to know how to use it properly to come up with the best Surfer SEO content and beat the top-ranking pages on the internet.
We will show you some tricks later to learn how to use Surfer SEO in the best possible way and outrank some of your competitors not only in 2020 but in the next year too. But first, let’s see how these three tools work.
1. SERP Analyzer Tool
The audit features can go a great job of improving your content. This is often not enough. You also need to use an Analyzer tool to get comprehensive, relevant data. That’s where SERP Analyzer comes in!
It’s the foremost feature of Surfer SEO and one of the most useful SEO tools available. For any given keyword or words, it generates an in-depth analysis for top pages. You’ll get a data-driven breakdown that includes information like:
How Can You Use It?
Check the graphs, gain access to the main views, plug certain locations (in the U.S. or in other continents and countries) as well as essential words, audit high-ranking pages and websites of your competitors (like marketing blogs of Matthew Woodward), and much more. The possibilities are endless.
This SEO tool will give you valuable insight into your content by looking at plenty of ranking signals. So be sure to use this useful tool when writing Surfer content for each page. It can be accessed next to the aforementioned Content Editor feature. Pay particular attention to NLP Analysis in its main dashboard.
What's The NLP Analysis?
Use the NLP (Natural language processing) analysis when building your content. It can help you a lot. Take a look at the ‘sentiment’ and body-words in the chart. The average sentiment can be negative, neutral, or positive. Review and consider the important terms to use for your content. It will help you audit your on-page SEO.
To check the true density of a page, simply click on a result you think is actually relevant. You will get a wide range of related words and phrases. This analysis fetches words that seem obvious; however, the page may lack some of these words.
Right from Google APIs, it is feasible to leverage NLP Analysis for a larger number of words and/or phrases suggestions. If you access it from the dashboard of the main SERP Analyzer, you’ll find an improved entity from your content that is ranking currently. Please note that it will exclude every page you’ve removed.
2. Content Editor Tool
It is all about the words. Use the Content Editor when outlining and writing content for your pages. This tool will help you create content that is optimized for most search engines. Essentially, the Content Editor will scan the Surfer content on your page for numerous LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords. All you need to do is weave the suggested words into the content. Almost each keyword matters. Try to include every keyword in a natural way on your pages.
What Else The Content Editor Tool Can Do For You
Furthermore, the Content Editor can audit and analyze your content structure. That includes everything from the number of pictures and structural elements to word count and paragraph count. It should be noted that this only applies to the first-page results. However, you will be able to pick pages to be analyzed.
Think about which page is really important to you since it would take you a lot of time to check all the pages. Content Editor scans the top ten results and marks the first five pages. So focus on those best-ranking pages while writing your content rather than including all of the top pages if in the SEO audit.
It is very easy to use. You just need to write or copy-paste the content in the Content Editor tool. It will not only tell you the exact keywords you should mention in your content but also how often to add them. Therefore, keep an eye on the word count while creating the content. Surfer SEO may suggest that you delete a certain amount of words for some of your pages and make your content more concise. You may find it an odd suggestion, especially if you like to write long, comprehensive, and detailed content.
The Content Editor will also recommend questions and topics to answer and consider using as your subtitles. This will make it easier for you to plan out your pages and content for any particular topic that is ranking high in search engines. It is a good idea to create the drafts in Google Docs and get your content optimized there for almost every page. It will increase the chances of your content moving into one of the top ten 10 positions in Google. Your content will be more interesting and competitive, which is why you should use the Content Editor besides other Surfer’s features for all of your web pages.
3. Keyword Researcher Tool
Surfer SEO does not only optimize on-page SEO text, analyze the top-ranking pages, and audit competitors, but it also works as a keyword research tool. Actually, the words and keywords are the core of this tool. If you want to increase your rankings in 2020, use SEO Surfer to find the most appropriate keywords. This is a great way to encompass the content optimization process:
How To Use Keyword Researcher Tool
The key is to get the most out of keyword research. For this, you’ll need to learn how to use SEO Surfer Keyword Researcher Tool. Let’s break it down for you (trust us, it’s easy!)
You are going to see data on related and provided keywords, SERP similarity, and the search volume on a monthly basis in the chosen countries or states.
Optimize your content with numerous keywords, rather than just one keyword, using the Cluster Analysis. This mighty feature of Surfer SEO can swiftly recognize the similar pages that rank for specific keywords. If it finds identical URLs ranking for the particular keywords, that means they’re relevant for your content and can be easily taken over. That makes it easy to create supporting pages and improve the ‘money page.’
Let’s dig a bit further and uncover other important facts about the Keyword Researcher Tool.
Run Multi-Step Analysis For Different Words & Keywords
The Surfer SEO analysis comes in handy when there are no many similar keywords to deal with. Here are the three steps you should consider:
Step 1 — Add some keyword ideas to the Surfer SEO clipboard, choosing the most suitable words or the keyword. Surfer SEO will quickly come up with a broad range of keyword opinions based on your inputs.
Step 2 — By clicking the Research tab, you will uncover a number of Surfer SEO suggestions. Hover over the maximum similarity percentage to examine similar words or phrases (both suggested and researched ones). Take advantage of this free SEO audit for almost every page. It’s worth the effort!
Step 3 — We recommend sorting data-driven suggestions by word count for similar keywords, maximum similarity, and search volume. The more similar words you sort, the greater odds of targeting the right keyword. In our audit for relevant keywords, SEO Surfer has provided an extensive list of words and phrases to be used on our page.
Extra Tip: Add as many similar keywords as you can to the Surfer SEO clipboard to obtain more keyword suggestions. It really works!
Analyze Similar Keywords & Questions
Once you’ve typed the keyword (your seed keyword) into this Surfer tool, it will shortly deliver a similar keyword or words. Explore how many pages are ranking for your keyword and pages that are ranking for similar words provided by Surfer SEO. By applying similar keywords, Surfer SEO will extract questions related to a certain query.
It is difficult to decide on what pages to optimize for what keywords, especially if you need to add long-tail ones. For each keyword, you need to write a page in the case of different SERPs. If you get essentially the same results, then you should have one page optimized around both words (two keyword synonyms).
Doing all of this manually would be a big pain. The Surfer SERP similarity goes a long way towards providing everything you’d ever need for this job. While it’s really great in this regard, it doesn’t provide a keyword difficulty score, unlike some on-page SEO tools. Without keyword SEO difficulty, it is a bit tricky to choose the right keywords for content.
As far as the questions are concerned, they can inspire you when you’re creating the Surfer SEO content that could be used in Google Docs or elsewhere. Moreover, they help in spotting a traffic building opportunity for the page content. That can do wonders for on-page SEO. The questions can be sorted by either the search volume or similarity score, as is the case with the similar keyword audit.
For example, here are some similar questions we got for the ‘SEO audit‘ keyword:
What Makes Surfer SEO Stand Above The Crowd?
We’ve reviewed and tried more than 100 SEO tools. Yes, you read that right. 100. While most features of Surfer SEO can be found in many other on-page SEO tools out there, it gets the job done more thoroughly and delivers more relevant search results.
Furthermore, Surfer SEO provided us with some unique data we have not come across anywhere before. For instance, the Surfer shows the number of words that are placed above the page fold, the average word count for H2 subheadings, and the exact number of links in first-page results.
Are All The Surfer Features Really Useful?
While these on-page features are unique and interesting, not each one is useful indeed. Some of these features feel a bit forced. By the way, you get a great deal of information and often don’t know what to do with all of this. It is quite overwhelming and requires a comprehensive SEO review.
Also, on-page SEO for every keyword doesn’t involve a separate Google’s Search Algorithm. That being said, it would make sense to include the target keyword in a heading of content. Why not? Mentioning a keyword somewhere above the page fold should also be done anyway. That would be useful for each page.
Nevertheless, Surfer SEO is very cool and nifty. This is particularly true for its SERP Analyzer feature. There’s a bunch of unique and helpful data points there. Some data points could be removed, though. This would help Surfer SEO users concentrate on things that truly matter when planning their new content.
Surfer SEO On-Page SEO Audits
Okay, let’s now delve into Surfer audits and see how it works. These are On-Page 1-Click Audits, meaning you can get quick audits in a simple click of the mouse. This feature comes in useful when writing lots of posts and it can effectively increase the existing ranking.
Here’s how to use it. Once you have generated reports and entered the URLs, you need to do the audit by clicking on the Compare button That will let you quickly compare your site to competitors. Your site is going to appear somewhere and you’ll get insight into its current position. You will see your rank on the left. The button ‘Audit’ is located on the right. Click on this helpful button to start your audit.
How To Spot Quick Wins
You’ll get a better understanding of which fixes are capable of making a huge difference to ranking when combining audits and data. Surfer SEO will make it easier for you to identify quick wins. While there is a lot of stuff to consider, the number of words is no doubt one of the most important things.
Perhaps Surfer SEO will recommend removing extra words or correcting the true density to make your content on par with pages on Google that rank the best. Always take the time to check how your pages compare with the top ones. Some actions only take an hour or so and can boost ranks impressively.
Find quick wins rather than fixing everything Surfer SEO has suggested. Quick wins can instantly increase ranks without taking lots of effort and time.
What Information Will You Get?
The Surfer audit will give you complete information about:
To get further info about the key factors, hit the button ‘show details.’ It can be found on the right. Ideally, there will be no action required. It is more likely that Surfer SEO will identify some warnings and errors – whether it is pertaining to true density, missing backlinks, load time, or something else – that need to be fixed. If any action is needed, be sure to perform what’s required to boost your SEO ranking.
You’re going to notice a bar graph. It is intended to compare your pages with the best-ranking ones. In addition to auditing your content, you will also be able to track where your main competitors are. Try to figure out what makes your competitors more successful than you. Of course, that’s easier said than done. It takes a lot of work, knowledge, and time.
Missing Common Backlinks
After optimizing your posts, you need to reindex your pages and wait for outcomes. It is a good idea to build a link-building SEO plan, considering the common backlinks of your competitors. That would take your SEO to the next level.
The Surfer platform generates a list of the best sites for backlinks based upon which websites/blogs link to the highest-ranking competitors. This is a simple and quick way to see which backlinks you’re missing and how many competitors’ websites already have those backlinks. Skim over the list and pilfer the best backlinks of your competitors.
This handy metric can be used when assessing the content gaps. As its name suggests, it lets you check whether you have used some words too rarely or too frequently. If there are important terms that require attention, Surfer SEO will highlight them. All you need to do is review these words and apply Surfer’s suggestions. Make sure it really makes sense to do it for all the terms suggested. That’s one of the simplest ways to optimize existing articles and, trust us, it really works!
In order to enhance your SEO, you’ll have to add/remove some terms this way:
PRO TIP: This long list can be prioritized easily. Simply click on ‘relevance‘ to see the most important things that need to be sorted first. That will save you time.
Words & Headings
Surfer’s feature will tell you which words in your bolded text as well as paragraphs are performing well. If you have excessive words in some of your headers (H2, H3, H4, H5, or H6), then Surfer SEO will point out that you need to remove some words. That will make your headings more effective and optimized alike.
Hit the button ‘show details’ and you’ll see whether you are over, within, or below the recommended range. Surfer SEO provides these suggestions based on how many words the highest-ranking posts have in their headings (H2 and H6).
Maybe you will need to edit some of your headings by removing or adding a couple of words from them. Keep carrying on that process (it may take a few edits sometimes) until you meet the Surfer’s requirements. Once it says there are no further actions needed, this will mean you did a good job with words and headings.
Surfer SEO Support
After reviewing the Surfer key features, it’s time to check the user support. Luckily, it is very easy to ask a question. All you need to do is click the Surfer chat button that’s located at the lower right corner of the page. A chat window will pop up and you will see these lines:
Hope you’re having a great day 🙌
If you have any questions or problems, please describe your query briefly so I can pass that information further to my team.
Below these lines, you will need to write a message. There is also the ability to attach a file or image. Make sure it’s not greater than 10mb.
What's The Catch?
Do not expect they will always answer right away because the Surfer team is not available 24/7 for users. Instead, you will probably receive this message:
“We’re not here at the moment, but we’ll answer your question asap! What’s the best email to reach you?”
Sometimes you will get an answer very quickly in a couple of seconds, though. You can either wait for a reply here or provide your email. Someone from the Surfer team will reach out to you after a few minutes or in a few hours. But this isn’t a big problem. The big problem is that most of their answers are generic and not always helpful, which is definitely a con when it comes to Surfer SEO,
If you have a tricky or complex question — for example, “How Surfer estimates how much traffic my site gets” — you are more likely to get data that already exist in their tools/features than getting thorough explanations or tooltips. Likewise, if you have some serious content problems, do not expect the Surfer team will address them all.
Generally speaking, we find Surfer support good, but not excellent. The initial Surfer responses are often generic and don’t completely answer some questions. However, you can ask for clarification and you might receive honest answers later on.
What We Like & Don't Like About Surfer SEO
No SEO tool is perfect, right? Some are great at analyzing ranking factors, while others excel at the content structure or keyword density. It is really hard to find an all-around tool that is impeccable in every aspect of SEO. Surfer is no exception.
Here, we will shed some light on the things we like about Surfer SEO and things that need to be improved.
Surfer SEO Pros
Surfer SEO Cons
Final Thoughts On Surfer SEO: Is It Worth Trying?
Now that you know how to use Surfer SEO when writing content, you can have a better idea of whether or not it’s worth the effort. This online tool and platform are very affordable and easy to work with as well. It is suitable for anyone no matter their SEO experience.
Regardless of your SEO skills, this tool will help you a lot with the optimization of your content. If you use the Surfer properly, it will improve both your content and rankings for sure. Moreover, it’s very likely to become one of the essential on-page SEO platforms in your search engine optimization process. You can rest assured your existing SEO ranking will be rising over time with Surfer SEO. Not only will you bump up your ranks, but you will also create better content, get more site views, and increase traffic to your website.
We find Surfer useful but not ideal. While this tool is user-friendly, simple, and unique in terms of some features, there is still room for improvement. There are many features that we found aren’t as necessary as others, and it is tricky to understand which things really matter the most. Plus, the keyword research could be much better. We have also found some inaccurate and confusing information.
But with that said, we can say that Surfer SEO is a good value for money and helpful when it comes to optimization of existing pages/posts/articles, or whatever. Despite the fact that some features leave much to be desired, the Surfer is still very effective at improving ranking.