SurferSEO Review – The Easiest Content Optimization Tool?

A Review Of Surfer SEO - Is It Really The Easiest Content Optimization Tool?

In this review I take a look at SurferSEO, an on-page optimisation tool which in my opinion is one of the best on the market.

Table of Contents

What is SurferSEO?

In their own words SurferSEO is “an all-in-one platform for keyword research, content creation, optimisation and SEO growth management”.

SurferSEO revolves around the concept of on-page correlational SEO. It analyses the top results on Google to decipher what the top results did in order to rank (e.g. word count, keyword density, headings, and so on).

With this data-driven analysis of what the top ranking pages are doing. You can model and compare your page to these top performers so you also perform highly in the search engine algorithm. Surfer studies the top ranking pages metrics. Which they then use to create a model of what search engines are looking for on each specific search term. 

This data that SurferSEO provides also informs you what’s missing from your own page so you can make adjustments in order to improve your optimisations.

This helps your pages overall SEO and content rank. Giving you a massive advantage over competitors who are not using any content optimisation strategy or tool.

They look at metrics like:

  • Word count
  • Keyword usage
  • Number of paragraphs
  • Common phrases
  • Incoming backlinks
  • Outgoing internal and external links
  • Media elements
  • Headline structure

Who Are The Five Founders?

As stated on their website the origin of Surfer is organic, with it being founded in 2017 by five friends. Some were developers, some marketers, some engineers but they all had one thing in common “an insatiable entrepreneurial spirit”.

The 5 founders are Sławek Czajkowski, Lucjan and Michał Suski, Tomasz Niezgoda and Kazik Piętka. Although now they have a team of “50+ specialists in Product Development, Design and Marketing, Data Science and AI, Customer Support, Sales, SEO, Operations, Finance and HR.”

Sławek Czajkowski

Sławek is the chief executive officer (CEO) at Surfer and at the time of writing has held this position for 5 years and 9 months. According to his LinkedIn profile his personal goal is to “help other people to grow their businesses by providing high quality SEM and SEO services including website optimisation, audits, link building and much more.”

Tomasz Niezgoda

Tomasz is the head of marketing at Surfer and according to his LinkedIn profile he’s “responsible for incorporating and executing marketing strategies, as well as leading a team of 4 wonderful experts.” He has been the head of marketing at Surfer for 4 months at the time of writing and before that he was the marketing executive for 4 years.

Michał Suski

Michał is the chief product officer (CPO) at Surfer and according to his LinkedIn he’s an “SEO Specialist, on page enthusiast and co-founder of SurferSEO”.  Michał became the chief product officer 9 months ago and before that he was listed as co-founder.

Kazik Piętka

Kazik is the chief operating officer (COO) and the chief financial officer at Surfer. Before founding Surfer Kazik worked as a web developer for Infopark AG.

Lucjan Suski

Lucjan is not listed on Surfers website anymore and according to his LinkedIn profile he is no longer actively working at Surfer. On his LinkedIn profile it lists him as being the chief executive officer and co-founder back in January of 2022 with no other updates in regards to working with Surfer since then.

My SurferSEO Review

In short, would I recommend SurferSEO to you? The answer is yes. Over the years I have tested many SEO tools and from an ease of use standpoint SurferSEO is the creme de la creme of SEO optimisation tools.


One of the main reasons for Surfer’s success is due to the fact it began as an in-house tool that was built to solve a specific problem for a specific agency. As a result of these humble beginnings SurferSEO is fit for purpose and does the job it sets out to do in a simple yet effective manner.

When using SurferSEO I couldn’t help noticing the ease of use which it provides users. Everything flowed. No spreadsheets or confusing data to manually sort through. From start to finish using SurferSEO was a nice experience (which is rare for many SaaS). Furthermore the ease of use you get with Surfer does not compromise the data analysis with it still providing a top of the range service for your SEO content marketing.


The team at Surfer are continually updating the software regularly with new features. The active nature of Surfers team means that Surfer isn’t being disregarded or abandoned like some SaaS are after their initial introductory period. As a result of this Surfer remains competitive in the SEO content optimisation software pool even as new competitors enter the market.

Surfer’s Grow flow is a great way for beginners to get accustomed to the strategies they need to implement in order to enhance their SEO strategy. Surfer providing you with artificial intelligence generated tasks really simplifies the process, adding to the overall ease of use that comes with SurferSEO.

The content editor within Surfer in my opinion is the feature that really takes Surfer to the next level. The data backed support it offers you when writing your articles is amazing, it really takes a complex, often confusing process and creates a clear roadmap for the user to follow. This feature alone gives users of Surfer a massive competitive advantage over people who don’t use the software.


On the other hand, Surfer in my opinion does have a few drawbacks that should be addressed. The first and most obvious of these is the price, although the free and basic deals are moderately priced (being free and $49/month respectively). To get access to the features that make SurferSEO a great software you need at least the pro plan which is $99/month (annual plan) or $119/month (monthly plan). At this price point some users may feel the service Surfer offers is not reflective of the price they charge.

The only other big issue I have with Surfer is the ‘filler features’. While the main features such as the content planner and content editor are great and make Surfer what it is, some of the features are not as useful. For example, the keyword research feature isn’t particularly useful as I and many other SEOs already have extensive keyword tooling. If Surfer were to remove their focus from these ‘filler features’ and narrow their focus completely on the main features I feel it would be more beneficial for users.

In summary, although there are a few drawbacks to using Surfer, nothing is perfect and if I zoom out and weigh up the pros and cons, the pros far outweigh the cons. While there are alternatives out there you can’t go wrong with Surfer. Especially if you are a beginner in the SEO world, Surfer will have you covered with their beginner friendly approach to SEO content optimisation.


Let’s check out some of Surfer’s key features…

Content Planner

The content planner makes it much easier to build a visually appealing page that people actually want to see. It provides you with topic clusters (topic clusters are topically grouped pages designed to cover a subject) of related content.

You simply just enter a keyword of your choice into the keyword search bar and it will give you back clusters of related content. Each cluster it gives you is supposed to be an entire article. 

These clusters are also broken down by keyword intent. With the different intents being informational, customer investigation and shopping. You can filter these keywords by monthly search volume and keyword difficulty metrics. Surfer creates and provides these metrics themselves for you.

Content Editor

The content editor is Surfers SEO’s best feature in my opinion and the feature you can get the most use out of. It is a feature that supports you in creating and writing your article. 

Instead of writing an article from a blank slate like many websites do. Now with Surfer you can craft your article using data. This data then helps you decide what to include in your articles, headings and word count. While also giving you a general idea of what your content structure should be.

When you begin to update your article in the content editor you will see the content score on the right of the page. This reflects the quality of your articles’ content. Measuring it out of 100 (the higher the score the better). 

Below the content score you will find the content structure section. This gives you ideal ranges you should be targeting for your word count, headings, paragraphs and images. You should aim to hit these suggested ranges as they are based on what is currently ranking in the top 10 of Google search results. So theoretically if you model your article on what is already working you too should rank well.

Below the content score you will also get suggested keywords. You should include these inside your content. As you include more of these keywords your content score will begin to increase. 

When crafting your articles in the content editor you should aim to hit the green area with your content score, which is 70/100. Any score below that you risk having poor search engine optimisation.

The outline builder tab is one of the more simple features Surfer has to offer. Surfer has built in Artificial Intelligence features that suggest outlines as well as headings. You can use these and build around them to create a new piece of content. 

As Artificial Intelligence still doesn’t have that ‘human feel’ in its writing yet. It is always best to use the outline builder as inspiration for content rather than content in its final form. As then you can then improve upon this artificial intelligence outline adding your own unique touch.

The Brief tab is just a summary of the competitors and notes you have added. This becomes more useful when you collaborate with multiple people who you have added to your team on the same project.

Using the brief tab you can also edit what types of content structure, terms, topics and questions you want Surfer to consider. This is useful to avoid over optimisation in your articles.

SERP Analyser

The SERP Analyser tool shows you on page factors and how they relate to the top rankings. You can use this analyser to look at competition for a particular keyword.

Surfer displays a chart for you where you can see factors like word count, quality content breakdown, domain score and the content outline for any URLs listed on the page. You will then add your own URL to see how you rank against your competitors.

The SERP analyser offers a super in depth complex breakdown. With it taking into account 500 factors when it analyses search engine results pages.

Audit tool

The audit tool unlike the content planner is used when your page is published. You will be given a bar chart comparing your site with competitors ranking the scores out of 100. 

Then the audit tool will tell you what exactly you need to improve on your site in order to increase your content score. Surfer will give you a suggested breakdown for the keyword density, bolded terms, number of headings, images, specific word use and word count. 

For example Surfer will give you instructions on the word count range you should be using to increase your content score based on what your top performing competitors word count is. 

You can also filter competitors to get accurate results that fit your needs no matter what – although Surfer is getting better at filtering useless entries over time on its own anyway.

Keyword Research

The Keyword research portion gives you 3 options to choose from: similar keywords, having the same terms, and questions. This gives you an idea of how the SERPs look at similar keywords. 

Surfer also provides estimated search volume and SERP similarity. All of this gives you an idea of keywords that can be put into one piece of content.

WordPress & Google Docs Integration

Surfer has both WordPress and Google Docs integration. With both WordPress and Google Docs you will now be able to create content within these platforms without the formatting issues that come along with copying and pasting.


SurferSEO like most other SaaS tools has both monthly and annual plans for you to choose from. With the annual plans being 17% cheaper than the monthly plans.

There are four different tiers of plans available, all of them offering slightly different features. The tiers are Free, Basic, Pro and Business – the Pro plan is the most popular amongst users.

SurferSEO also boldly claims at the top of their pricing page on their website that they offer a 7-day money back guarantee for any customers who may be dissatisfied with the SurferSEO tool.

Free Plan

The free plan is for those who have just started a new website and want to grow it quickly. Although it offers very limited features, it still gives you access to the Surfer interface so it is a good starting point for users who may be skeptical about what SurferSEO has to offer.

When you sign up for the free plan you are able to:

  • Add and track unlimited early stage websites
  • Receive specific content optimisation suggestions on every topic

The price for the free plan is obviously $0/month (monthly plan) or $0/month (annual plan)

Basic Plan

The basic plan is perfect for small business owners, bloggers and hobbyists who want to get a more detailed analysis for their website.

The basic plan allows you to invite 1 team member to help you manage the websites you are optimizing with Surfer. The plan also enhances guidelines with natural language processing for free for the 1st month.

The basic plan gives you the ability to: 

  • Add and track unlimited early stage websites
  • Add and track 1 website with the ability to track extra websites for $11/month each
  • Get new SEO insights every 7 days

The basic plan also includes tools which allow you to:

  • Write and optimize articles with content editor (10 articles/month)
  • Audit any page (20 pages/month)

The price of the basic plan is $59/month (monthly plan) or $49/month (annual plan)

Pro Plan

The pro plan is Surfer SEOs most popular plan with it being best suited to medium-sized organizations operating multiple websites.

The pro plan allows you to also invite 3 team members to help you manage the websites you have on the SurferSEO optimisation. The plan also has free natural language processing with enhanced guidelines for you.

The pro plan allows you to:

  • Add and track unlimited early stage websites
  • Add and track 5 websites with the ability to track extra websites for $11/month each
  • Get new SEO insights every 7 days

The tools the pro plan includes allow you to:

  • Write and optimize articles with content editor (30 articles/month)
  • Audit any page (60 pages/month)

The pro plan is priced at $119/month (monthly plan) or $99/month (annual plan)

Business Plan

The business plan which is the high ticket option of the four is best suited to large organizations managing ten or more websites.

When you choose this plan you are able to invite 10 team members to help manage the different websites you are working on.

The business plan gives you the ability to:

  • Add and track unlimited early stage websites
  • Add and track 10 websites with the ability to track extra websites for $11/month each
  • Get new SEO insights every 7 days

The tools included in the pro plan allow you to:

  • Write and optimize articles with content editor (70 articles/month)
  • Audit any page (140 pages/month)

The pro plan also gives you access to additional services not included in the other plans which are:

  • Access to Surfer SEOs customer success team
  • Dedicated backlink building metric reports
  • White labeling
  • Access to Surfer SEOs API

The business plan is priced at $239/month (monthly plan) or $199/month (annual plan).


Due to the rise of SEOs in recent years the demand for SEO tools like Surfer has continued to grow with no sign of this rate of growth letting down anytime soon. As a result of this there are a wide range of SEO tools available to choose from. 

Few SEO tools however offer a quality of service similar to Surfer. This is because although many SEO tools offer competitive analysis for keywords and links, very few analyze on-page content. As this on-page content analysis helps you organise your content into a well developed plan it does truly separate Surfer from the competition. 

However, I have gone out and found a few alternatives which offer a similar level of service as Surfer. You should consider these also as potential options for your next SEO tool!

The I have found alternatives are:

  • Cora
  • Frase IO
  • Website Auditor

SurferSEO vs Competitors


Similarly to SurferSEO, Cora is an on-page analysis tool. Cora is priced at $250/month which is a steep price to pay even when compared to Surfers highest ticket option of $199/month. 

This fixed price point of $250/month indicates off the bat that Cora is aimed at larger organisations similar to Surfers business plan, so when making comparisons I will compare Cora to the SurferSEO business plan.

The features Cora offers are:

  • SEO Diagnostics Tool
  • Unlimited keywords and websites
  • Measures Up To 2040 On-page and Off-page factors
  • Tunes For Your URL and Keyword
  • Makes 12 Different Reports
  • Only Tool on the Market that adapts to Google Updates

Although Cora offers more in depth analysis in my opinion compared to SurferSEO the major drawback is the user interface. If I had to describe the interface in one word it would be BAD in all caps!

The terrible interface stands out to me because of Surfer SEOs great beginner friendly interface, so maybe the contrast between the two makes Cora seem worse than it actually is.

To summarise the Cora vs SurferSEO comparison, if you are a beginner there is no doubt in my mind that SurferSEO is the one for you. However if you are more experienced in the world of search engine optimisation you should be able to find your way around the Cora interface. But if you prefer ease of use over the slightly better results you may experience with Cora, choose Surfer.

Frase IO

Frase IO is a content optimisation tool that also offers various AI writing tools for free. Unlike Cora, Frase IO offers three tiers of plans for you to choose from: Solo, Basic and Team. You can also unlock a 5-day trial for $1 for each of these tiers.

The Solo plan is priced $14.99/month (monthly plan) or $12/month (annual plan). With this you get access to:

  • 1 User Seat
  • Write + Optimize 4 articles / month
  • Generate 20,000 AI characters / month

The basic plan is priced at $44.99/month (monthly plan) or $37/month (annual plan). With this you get access to:

  • 1 User Seat
  • Write + Optimize 30 articles / month
  • Generate 20,000 AI characters / month

The Team plan is priced at $114.99/month (monthly plan) or $97/month (annual plan). With this you get access to:

  • 3 User Seat ($25/ month per extra)
  • Write + Optimize unlimited articles
  • Generate 20,000 AI characters / month

You can also purchase the Pro Add-on for $35 / month at any tier for unlimited AI characters.

Again I will compare the highest ticket offers for both SurferSEO and Frase IO with them being priced at $239/month and $149.99 respectively. 

SurferSEO has a better interface than Frase IO, which is expected as the interface is arguably Surfer’s best feature. Furthermore the content optimisation analysis and data SurferSEO provides is also a level above Frase IO

However, the AI writer which Frase IO has built in is far superior to the one built into SurferSEO which can add to the ease of use when writing an article you want to get ranked.

In summary, although there are a few upsides to Frase IO, due to the deeper research SurferSEO provides it is the better option of the two.

Website Auditor

Like both SurferSEO and Frase IO, Website Auditor deals with on-page analysis. But unlike the other two tools, Website Auditor is not cloud based, instead you have to download and install it.

When it comes to pricing, Website Auditor is the best priced of the three, with it costing only $299/year – just a little bit more than the monthly cost for the Business plan at SurferSEO.

Like with many SaaS you pay for what you get so as the significantly lower price point already suggests. The quality of service Website Auditor provides is not going to be of the quality you get with SurferSEO. 

The features Website Auditor offers allow you too:

  • Run Technical SEO audit for your entire website
  • Optimize content of all your landing pages
  • Manage your sites robots.txt and XML sitemap files
  • Save and load your optimisation projects
  • Schedule automatic site audits
  • Create professional ranking reports for clients

SurferSEO also has many of these features built into its software but at a much deeper and developed level allowing you to get higher quality results.

In summary although Website Auditor is much cheaper it is worth paying the extra cost to get a much better on-page optimisation product in SurferSEO.


The features Surfer offers are great; the Content editor and SERP analyser make Surfer what it is and cement its place among the top SEO softwares if not the top SEO software. Although bearing that in mind, a few features Surfer offers are not great and could be ignored by users as they don’t offer much value. But overall the features Surfer offers are advanced while also being user friendly causing no confusion for users allowing them to be used to their maximum potential.

When it comes to pricing Surfer is on the higher end if you want to unlock the full potential of the service with the Business plan for $199/month. Although there are the lower tier options such as the basic plan for $49/month for users on a budget. Surfer does offer a free option for users who want to get a taste of the Surfer interface and what it offers without paying. So overall full the pricing is fair, well structured and gives users a choice of different price points. As the Surfer interface is very accommodating for beginner users, having the lower priced membership options suits this customer base well, with Surfer also having the business plan to meet the needs of more experienced users in the search engine optimisation space.  

When compared to alternatives on the market such as Cora, Frase IO and Website Auditor, in my opinion Surfer is your best choice. I break all these softwares down in further detail in my SurferSEO vs Competitors sections. But in short Surfers interface is levels above the competitors which really lends itself to making Surfer such a user friendly experience. Surfer in my opinion also has the best pricing structure out of its competitors due to the fact each tier of membership meets the needs of a different demographic of users. As a result of this Surfer will see higher membership rates which benefits both the user and Surfer.

Surfer SEOs website is easy to navigate and gives potential users the information they need to make a to purchase the software. Furthermore the website also offers sections where users can learn and improve their knowledge in all things SEO related. For example, in the content writing section of the website Surfer has a SEO writing masterclass which users can get for free to improve their skills. Surfer also offers a breakdown of their product as a whole on their website, going into detail about all the features so customers get a good idea of what they are getting for their money. When on the website you also get access to information about the company as a whole with their brand story which explains their humble origins.

Overall I like Surfer a lot. Some of my freelance writers use Surfer. I also know some of the seed investors, so I’ve been familiar with Surfer for a long time. Surfer’s shining light is their user friendliness, beginners who have just downloaded Surfer don’t face a steep learning curve like they will inevitably do on other search engine optimisation softwares. Finally the pricing for Surfer is fair. You can choose your tier of membership to get what you need out of the software.

SurferSEO FAQs

How does Surfer work?

Surfer simplifies your approach to domain-level SEO with Grow Flow, our AI growth management platform. There are hundreds of ranking factors that Google algorithms take into consideration, and content is just one of them. Using Surfer doesn’t guarantee you’ll rank number 1—but it does guarantee your pages will be of the highest possible quality, which maximises your chances of high rankings. Think of Surfer as your content marketing & on-page SEO consultant.

Go in-depth and take control with Surfers suite of tools, which are here to help you create & rank your pages faster than ever. Whether you’re creating something new, or optimising historical content, inform your process with Surfer!

Surfer will provide you with guidelines based on SERP (Search Engine Result Page) competition, machine learning algorithms, and NLP (Natural Language Processing).

The guidelines will help you design a content plan, create high-quality pages for your keyword, prepare fast and accurate content briefs for yourself and your writers, and audit your existing pages—in a way that’s both user-friendly and SEO-oriented.

Which plan is the best for an agency?

For agencies if you are small to medium sized I suggest you go for the Pro plan as that will have everything you should ever need, giving you up to 5 domain spots you can connect. However if you are a larger sized agency dealing with more clients I suggest you look at the Business plan as that allows you to connect up to 10 different domains, with the option to purchase additional domains. 

Which plan is the best for a freelance copywriter?

For freelance copywriters the basic plan should be sufficient for your needs. You will be able to connect 1 domain and have access to the other tools SurferSEO has to offer. The free plan simply does not give you access to enough tools to operate effectively as a freelancer, while the Pro plan is overkill for you in my opinion.

What payment methods do Surfer accept?

The payment methods Surfer accepts are credit and debit cards (for monthly & yearly subscriptions) and bank transfers (for yearly subscriptions only). Unfortunately, Surfer does not accept any form of crypto or Paypal payments.


SurferSEO Reviews

I take a look at the features, pricing and founders behind one of the industry’s fastest growing tools: SurferSEO.

Charles Floate

Rate this product


Overall, SurferSEO is worth purchasing for any SEO content writer. It will make your life easier, your work more competent, and a fair price!



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