What is Surfer SEO? – May 2024 Guide

In this article, we’re going to be discussing exactly what Surfer SEO is, its unique features and who exactly it’s ideal for.

You can also find more information about the tool, including a demonstration of all features, within our Surfer SEO review.

We’ve also provided answers to some of the FAQs, like does Surfer provide a free trial, do they offer discounts?

All is explained further below.

What Is Surfer SEO?


Surfer SEO is an all-in-one tool that helps website owners, businesses and entrepreneurs ensure that they’re creating well-planned, optimized content for their sites. We’ll talk more in-depth about how Surfer can help with this.

The tool was founded in November 2017 by Michal Suski and Slawek Czajkowski.

Since then it’s been growing in popularity amongst the SEO community, with some of the most well-known and influential SEOs in the industry stating that the software has been responsible for providing solid SEO ranking results.

What are the main Surfer SEO Tool software features?

Surfer SEO includes a lot of different SEO features, and since 2017 the team has been growing and developing the platform’s functionality in many ways, not least through the following:

Content Planner & Keyword Research – Surfer allows you to create an entire content plan and do keyword research in 4 steps:

  1. Open content planner
  2. Choose a seed keyword to type into the interface
  3. Select the content cluster that you want to begin writing about, or the one you wish to send to your writer
  4. Press the icon located in each content cluster to open the content editor and begin writing. A sharable link can be provided to external writers, without them having to log in.

They also have a chrome extension called keyword surfer, which provides search volume and query data to searchers, which is overlayed in the SERP. This is especially helpful for on-the-fly SEO analysis when doing a simple Google search.

SEO Audit

Surfer’s SEO audit tool is great for quickly highlighting issues with your site. It looks at such factors as:

  • Content length
  • Page speed
  • Backlinks
  • Headings
  • Keyword density
  • Referring domains
  • Google NLP & entity coverage
  • Google NLP sentiment analysis
  • Meta tag structure
  • Google Page Speed data
  • And many more factors

SERP Analysis

Surfer’s SERP analysis feature really allows you to hone in with doing correlational analysis on specific competitor websites.

The issue with a lot of other correlational analysis tools is that it incorporates the entire page 1+ SERPs into the output, even despite the fact that the likes of Amazon, Home Depot, etc may not be the most relevant competitors, with similar DA sites to yours.

Therefore, Surfer allows for you to discount large competitors like Amazon, and focus on only comparing your site to similar websites in the SERP.

Content Editor

Surfer’s content editor is very simple to use, and is really considered to be a WYSIWYG editor. On the right-hand side of the editor is the keyword tab, which includes all of the keywords that have been identified as NLP terms/entities alongside LSI/Congruent terms which are found in top-ranking content pieces. Not only does Surfer’s content editor tell you which keywords to include, but depending on the word count that you’re aiming to write, it will keep the number of keyword mentions in ratio to that total word count, so as to maintain the required keyword density. Surfer provides an overall content score depending on the keyword coverage which your piece of content achieves.

More recently they’ve even provided a Google doc integration, so that you have access to the content editor within Google docs, which includes the list of NLP/LSI keywords, the number of recommended mentions, and an overall content score.

AI-Generated Content Brief

Surfer recently released a new feature that essentially allows those inputting queries to create a content brief in seconds. It even provides auto-generated content paragraphs which can be used, but this sub-feature is only available for English queries (as of now).

This can be seen in the demonstration below

AI-Generated Content – Jasper (Formally Jarvis) integration

Jasper is an AI content writing tool that now integrates with Surfer SEO. This means that you can get AI-created content and optimize it all in the same workflow, within the content editor. We’ve included a demonstration below:

Learn more about the platform by reading out Surfer SEO Review.

What is the price of Surfer SEO

The cost of surfer SEO depends on your desired usage, and ultimately the plan which you decide to choose:

Basic: $59 per month ($49 per month when paid annually)

Pro: $119 per month ($99 per month when paid annually)

Business: $239 per month ($199 per month when paid annually)


Overall, SurferSEO is a great content planning, keyword research, competitor/SERP analysis, technical auditing and content optimization platform, perfect for those site owners/agencies/freelancers who are looking to take their website to the next level in terms of increasing organic search traffic.

If you’re interested in checking Surfer SEO out, then why not visit their site and check out the tool for yourself: visit their website

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some FAQs which we get asked a lot, specifically surrounding the topic of Surfer SEO.

Therefore, we’ve answered all of the questions below to help clear up any misconceptions.

What are the main benefits of Surfer SEO?

The main benefit of Surfer SEO is that it provides SEOs with a range of game-changing features and tools to help them increase their SERP rankings in the long term.

Not only does it provide on-page optimization data, which is informed by Google NLP and utilizing LSI keywords which are taken from competitor sites. But it also gives users a detailed look into the technical issues that a site is facing, all of which are prioritized based on importance.

Another benefit of such a tool is that it measures over 500 ranking factors, and so not only does it provide easy-to-follow recommendations, but for those data analysts, it also provides such well-refined granular data to analyze.

What are the limitations of Surfer SEO?

Similar to all of the SEO tools on the market, at the core of Surfer’s function, it’s a correlational analysis tool. Therefore, just because a factor is seen to be strongly correlated with higher ranking sites, correlation does not always refer to causation. This essentially means that the tool also requires foundational knowledge of data analysis, to ensure that the user isn’t blindly following every single positive correlational factor.

For example, all page 1 ranking sites may have 10+ bolded words on their page, whereas all page 2+ sites have 0-5 bolded words. This would potentially cause a novice to think, let’s add 10+ bolded words, and rankings will improve… What you’re not seeing is that all of the page 1 results also have backlinks from Forbes, NYTimes, and The Wall Street Journal, whereas page 2+ results do not.

However, to play devil’s advocate, if sites within the top 10 are all showing similar results in regards to specific ranking factors, then a site should likely fall in line with those results, regardless of whether they’re actually directly moving the needle, because it’s clear that Google’s not taking issue with those values.

Does Surfer measure which ranking factors are the most crucial for SEO?

Surfer measures hundreds of SEO ranking factors, more specifically over 500 ranking factors. Google is obviously updating its algorithms each and every day, so existing ranking factors may become more or less prominent and new ranking factors will come into the mix.

What are the best Surfer SEO Alternatives?

There are several tools on the market that can be considered to do similar functions to Surfer SEO, below we’ll describe the core differences between the discussed tools and Surfer:


MarketMuse is one of our favorite tools and is run by a team of AI and data analysts. However, the tool is less orientated towards providing SEO optimizations from a technical standpoint. Instead, MarketMuse’s overall philosophy is to help site owners and content creators create the best content they possibly can, and it does this by analyzing 1000’s of SERP results for the chosen query and then compiling a topic model based on the topics/entities that are commonly discussed – The company filed a patent in 2015 to protect their process.

The tool then assesses the top 20 results for your desired query against their topic model to provide recommendations. As you can see this is more about overall content optimization & quality improvements, and less about assessing competitors based on other technical ranking factors as Surfer does.


This is another tool that has a very good team behind its development. Frase is similar to MarketMuse in the sense that it’s more orientated towards helping users optimize their content, and does not provide technical SEO recommendations. One of Frase’s best aspects is their SEO content brief tab, where you can easily browse page 1 of Google and import competitor headings so as to create a brief, in a quick and efficient way. Frase uses a kind of term frequency/NLP analysis on all of the SERP results to provide recommendations and leverages named entity recognition to extract topics, for the suggested terms to include.

Page Optimizer Pro (POP)

POP was founded by Kyle Roof, a very popular SEO specialist who in 2019 ranked a page entirely using Lorem Ipsum. He’s a data scientist at heart and similar to MM, has patented the workings behind their software. This tool is the most similar to Surfer in the way that it uses Google’s NLP (with certain paid plans) to analyze the SERP results and provides suggestions accordingly. Also, similar to Surfer, it’s a correlational analysis tool that enables users to deselect less relevant competitors when analysis is taking place.

SE Ranking

SE Ranking is more of an all-in-one SEO platform, but has similar functionality to Surfer, but has not got the same reputation amongst SEO’s as Surfer has in regards to content optimization and technical analysis.

For which types of content Surfer can be used?

Surfer can be used to optimize all types of content, this is because whether you have an eCommerce, consultancy or blog site, the tool allows for you to select and deselect competitors, which means that you can audit your content based on sites/content which is similar to yours. Therefore, it’s great for eCommerce category pages, product pages, blog posts, long-form informational guides, product reviews, and more.

What are some of the characteristics of optimized content?

Firstly, one should be able to define optimized… If we’re referring to content being SEO optimized then it should really cover the topic/sub-topic entirely, and discuss/reference information so that the reader and search engines know that the information is reliable.

Surfer SEO does correlational analysis to analyze all of the top-performing SERP results, to create an optimization benchmark score. This is in terms of content and technical SEO factors.

Additionally, the content editor helps in providing all of the Google NLP entities, showing what Google understands about a specific keyword phrase.

With that being said, optimized content should adhere to the topic model, which Surfer does its best to display.

Does SurferSEO offer a free trial

No, Surfer used to have an offer where you could pay $1 for 7-days access of the tool, but this has since been discontinued – They have never offered a free trial. You can learn more about this in our article here.

The team does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ve got nothing to lose by signing up and checking out the full functionality of the tool.

Does Surfer offer a discount?

Yes, Surfer does offer a discount and you can learn more about this in our Surfer SEO Discount article which is here. However, to summarise, they provide discounts to those customers who pay for their plan annually, instead of monthly.

How can I access Surfer SEO?

Simply visit the site and sign up for the plan which is most ideal for you!

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