If you are writing content for search engines like Google, it's important to invest in SEO content writing tools to enhance your content and boost your search rankings.
The best content writing tools like SurferSEO and Clearscope make it easy to optimize your content for organic search.
They use artificial intelligence to analyze the top-ranking pages that are already ranking for keywords that you are targeting and provide frameworks for you to produce content that is designed to outrank your competition.
This includes helping you structure your content, making sure that you include the right density of exact and partial keywords, and that your on-page elements like alt and metadata are properly optimized.
But it's not always easy to pick the best SEO content editors.
Some SEO content writing tools are priced for small-medium-sized businesses, while others are priced and designed for enterprises.
What's more, some SEO content editors sit within wider SEO tools that provide tools for keyword research, backlink analysis, and rank tracking.
Best Tools For SEO Content Writing
We've tested the best tools for SEO content writing so that you can make a quick and easy decision on how best to enhance your content creation efforts.
- SEMRush Content Editor
- Yoast SEO
Focused Look At The Best SEO Content Writing Tools
If you're looking for an effective SEO content writing tool that is affordably priced, then SurferSEO is a great option.
Like you, we design content for search engines and have tested all of the best content optimization tools out there.
While we also love tools like Clearscope and Topic, SurferSEO is our top pick thanks to its mix of functionality, ease of use, and affordability.
In fact, we optimized the content that you're reading using SurferSEO and designed our content creation modules in Compound Content (our 5-star SEO course), using SurferSEO's content editor.
SurferSEO is used by over 15,000 businesses and gives you the ability to optimize new content, or analyze and make updates to existing content by targeting the keywords you care about.
Surfer's pricing plans start at just $49 per month and include a full range of tools that help you optimize content, and plan where to focus your efforts.
Features we like:
Content Editor - we use the SurferSEO content editor to write all of the content you see on Visualize Value. Once we've completed keyword research (using AHREFs) we plug our target keywords into SurferSEO's editor in order to pull intelligence on our competitor's content. SurferSEO analyses all of the top-ranking pages for target keywords and allows us to benchmark our content against the competitors we care about. The Surfer content editor makes suggestions on content structure (word count, number of headings/paragraphs, images) and suggests keywords to include within our content to ensure contextual relevance. Surfer's content editor also shows us which question queries to answer within our content and includes NLP (natural language processing) keyword suggestions to enhance relevance (only available in the Pro plan)
SEO Audit Tool - if you are looking to optimize existing content, Surfer also features an audit tool that helps you spot gaps in your existing content vs top-ranking competitor content. Surfer's audit tools allow you to benchmark your overall content score, discover missing backlinks, and make suggestions to optimize word count across body text, headings, and paragraphs. They also make suggestions to help you improve your metadata, keyword density, and overall page structure
Grow Flow - SurferSEO has recently released a new feature called Grow Flow that allows you to connect your Google Search Console with SurferSEO in order to discover optimization opportunities every week. Using Grow Flow, SurferSEO will constantly monitor and evaluate your website's search engine performance to understand where there are gaps in your SEO strategy. Grow Flow will then send you personalized tasks every week which help you improve your organic search rankings
Integrations - there are a number of helpful integrations that make SurferSEOcompatible with your existing workflows. SurferSEO offers integrations into Google Docs, as well as WordPress so that you can optimize content directly in the platforms you're already using. Surfer also has an integration with SEMRush which allows you to pull further competitive backlink data into SurferSEO to help you build a broader picture of your competitive environment. For advanced users, they also offer an API that allows you to use Surfer's endpoints to build your own content optimization framework outside of the Surfer platform
- Content Planner - SurferSEO's content planner makes it easy to plan your content creation strategy and stay on track. It's possible to group common pieces of content together (to form topic clusters) and to identify search intent for keywords that you're looking to target in the future
SurferSEO offers you the option to start with a free plan to access their Grow Flow feature. If you then want to start adding credits to optimize new and existing content, their paid plans start at $49 per month.
While other SEO content editors can compete with SurferSEO on functionality, SurferSEO stands apart when combining features and value. This is why it's our top pick.
Free - unlimited access to Grow Flow
Basic - $49 per month - write and optimize 10 articles + audit 20 existing pages per month
Pro - $99 per month - write and optimize 30 articles + audit 60 existing pages per month
- Business - $199 per month - write and optimize 70 articles + audit 140 existing pages per month
While we currently use SurferSEO to optimize Visualize Value search content, we've also used Clearscope heavily in the past.
It has one of the best content editors that we've come across and it is incredibly insightful when it comes to grading content. The downside for us is that the Business Plan pricing starts at $1,200 per month which we can't yet justify. But when we're ready to do so, we'll consider migrating from SurferSEO over to Clearscope.
Clearscope is suitable for serious SEOs and enterprises looking to optimize content at scale.
Brands like Deloitte, Shopify, Binance, Youtube, and Hubspot all use Clearscope to optimize their content and rely on Clearscope's SEO content writing tool for accuracy.
Clearscope pricing plans start at $170 per month for 20 report credits. If you want quality over quantity then we'd seriously recommend considering Clearscope as your main SEO content editor.
Features we like:
Content grades - Clearscope grades your content with a content grade so that you can accurately see how your content currently stacks up against the competition. If you focus heavily, you can optimize content up to a content score of A++. This gives you confidence that your content has an edge over competitors that are not optimizing their content to the same level. Clearscope also makes it easy to see how you should edit your content to improve contextual relevance
Readability scoring - unlike SurferSEO, Clearscope also gives you readability benchmark scoring and suggests readability ranges depending on the content you are creating and your target keywords. For example, Clearscope will tell you the average readability scores across your competitive set so that you know what level of detail to include in your content (for example, write for 8th-9th graders)
Keyword importance ranking - the Clearscope content editor actually shows you which keywords are the most important to include within your content and the corresponding density for each keyword. SurferSEO shows you a range of terms, headings, and NLP suggestions but it does not give you the same intelligence when it comes to the number and placement of important keywords. The Clearscope content editor also indicates whether keywords should be included within headings and to what extent they should be included
Keyword research and search intent - it's easy to check keyword search volumes and search intent for the keywords you are targeting within Clearscope. This helps verify that you're building content in areas with high search demand before you get started
- Integrations - like SurferSEO, Clerarscope also integrates directly into WordPress, and Google Docs. This means you can access Clearscope content editing features within WordPress and Google docs, without having to copy and paste between editors (avoiding frustrating formatting issues)
We'd happily place Clearscope at the top of our list of the best SEO content writing tools, but it's difficult to justify with Clearscope's current pricing options.
We've previously used the Essentials plan which gets you 20 content report credits, and 3 user seats. However, if you're sitting between optimizing 20 pieces of content, and 100+ pieces of content per month, there is a big jump in monthly pricing.
For enterprises, we'd definitely recommend signing up for a Business Plan to get started. This plan allows you to set up unlimited users, and run hundreds of content reports per month.
Here's a breakdown.
Essentials - $170 per month, 3 user seats, 20 content report credits, 100 keyword credits
Business - Starts at $1,200 per month, unlimited user seats, 100+ content report credits, custom onboarding
- Enterprise - everything custom, suitable for enterprises
We've already named SEMRush one of the best SEO tools in our review of the best keyword rank trackers on the internet.
And the great thing about SEMRush is that it also offers a writing assistant as part of its Guru Pricing Plan.
SEMRush is used by over 30% of the Fortune 500, and 10 million marketing professionals across the globe. In fact, brands like Tesla, Samsung, and IBM all rely on SEMRush to enhance their SEO efforts.
If you are looking for an all-in-one SEO solution, then it's worth checking out SEMRush. Alongside the SEMRush Writing Assistant, SEMRush also offers tools for keyword research, checking search volume, rank tracking, backlink analysis, and optimizing for local SEO.
Features we like:
Optimize for target and recommended keywords - like other SEO content writing tools, SEMRush shows the number of target and recommended keywords that you should include within your content to provide contextual relevance. This helps to ensure that you do not stuff keywords into your content and that you optimize efficiently
Readability scoring - like Clearscope, SEMRush scores your content based on readability so that you can maintain the right tone of voice within your content. SEMRush also advises on optimal word count, and when analyzing existing content, shows you areas that need to be rewritten
Automatic paraphrasing - if you're struggling with writing concisely, you can enter the content you wish to create into SEMRush's content editor, and SEMRush will suggest a better way to phrase your content to help you overcome writer's block. This is a helpful feature when you are struggling to correctly phrase key areas within your content
Originality scoring & plagiarism checker - unlike Clearscope or SurferSEO, SEMRush scores your content for originality and plagiarism. SEMRush checks your content against your competitors and other websites online (in any language) to show you how original your content is (as a percentage) and whether there is a high degree of plagiarism. This is a really helpful feature if you are outsourcing your content creation efforts to content writers
- Integrations - SEMRush Writing Assistant integrates with Google Docs, MS Word, WordPress, and the wider SEMRush interface. This makes it easy to access the Writing Assistant functionality directly within the platforms that you use on a regular basis
SEMRush Writing Assistant Pricing
The SEMRush Writing Assistant is bundled into the SEMRush Guru Plan. This makes it very affordable if you are planning to use SEMRush to optimize your wider SEO strategy.
However, if you use other SEO tools for keyword research, rank tracking, and backlink analysis, then it might not make sense to take on another SEO tool just to access this part of the platform.
Guru Plan - starting at $229.95 per month
- Also includes keyword rank tracking (1,500 per day), keyword research, domain and backlink analysis, project feature tracking, and more
Topic is one of the most recently developed SEO content writing tools, but comes highly recommended by Reddit Co-Founder, Yuriy Yarovoy, who called it "the best tool in the space".
Topic is built in the same way as SurferSEO, Clearscope, and SEMRush Writing Assistant, and includes tools to help optimize new and existing content.
It's trusted by big content brands like BiggerPockets, Curated, and Trust Radius, and starts at $99 per month for 10 optimization credits. There are plans available to scale up your usage, offering the closest pricing alignment to SurferSEO in the space.
Features we like:
Content briefs - one of the best features within Topic is their content briefing tool. It works by scanning your competitors content to make easy-to-implement content structure suggestions. You can drop in the main questions that your competitor's content answers, as well as the headings that they use throughout their content to build contextual relevance. It's easy to make content edits and Topic allows you to save your content structures for future use
Semantic topics - unlike Clearscope which simply provides a list of the top keywords you should include within your content, Topic actually bundles terms together based on semantic relationships. This makes it really easy to bundle terms together within your content to help build out better semantic relationships directly within your content to help build contextual relevance - something search engines love
- Content scoring - like Clearscope, Topic provides you with a content grade for your content so that you understand how your content benchmarks vs your competition. Topic shows you tips on anticipated word count, and a full breakdown of which keywords to include in your copy - providing you with all of the same functionality you see in other writing tools for SEO
Like SurferSEO, Topic offers a range of plans that help you scale up your content optimization efforts.
The Starter Plan is priced at $99 per month and provides you with 10 content briefs, for 1 user. If you need more content briefs, you can access 25 briefs for $199 per month, or 50 briefs for $299 per month.
The Plus plan sits in line with Clearscope, but you can get a lot more content credits with SurferSEO at the same price point.
Starter - $99 per month, 10 content briefs, 1 user
Plus - $199 per month, 25 content briefs, 3 users
- Premium - $299 per month, 50 content briefs, 5 users
If you are looking for an enterprise SEO content writing tool, then it's worth taking a look at MarketMuse.
They are trusted by thousands of brands, including The Motley Fool, ON24, and Lionbridge Capital.
MarketMuse offers an AI content writing tool that helps you create market-leading content at scale.
Their pricing is offered on an annual basis (starting at $7,200 per annum) and sits in line with Clearscope's enterprise pricing.
This makes MarketMuse unfit for startups and small businesses, but if you want to try the platform on a smaller scale, you can get 15 credits per month for free.
Features we like:
Content inventory - MarketMuse automatically audits your site content, showing you a complete picture of where your site content is ranking and how valuable those rankings are for your business. The content writing tool looks for gaps between potential value and content quality to show you where you should prioritize your efforts moving forward. It's also a great way to analyze how your site is structured and where you could plug content gaps to build out topic clusters
Content briefs - like other SEO content editors, MarketMuse makes it easy to automatically design content structures for new articles before outsourcing your content to content writers. Writers can create content directly within the MarketMuse editor and receive scoring in real-time based on the content that they create
Content writers can access MarketMuse without an account - once you have built out a content brief, you can share your brief with content writers who can write content using MarketMuse's toolset without accessing your account. There is also a range of collaboration features that make it easy to comment on a writer's work, make changes, and hide certain sections of content. This is a really useful feature for content marketers that are managing a wide network of content writers at scale
- Direct competitor benchmarking - unlike other tools that give you broader criteria to optimize against, MarketMuse allows you to change the competitors you're benchmarking on the fly. This means you can benchmark vs specific direct competitors in order to see where gaps in your content exist. In addition, you can easily access a list of the closest related topics to your current article to help build out additional content ideas and topic clusters
MarketMuse pricing is primarily designed for medium-large businesses that can invest in annual subscriptions.
The free plan gives you 15 content credits and access to the some core MarketMuse features, but to get significant value from the tool, you need to pay for the Standard or Premium plans.
Free - 15 queries per month, 10 projects, no time limit
Standard - $7,200 per year, 100 queries per month
- Premium - $12,000 per year, full access, unlimited queries
Content writing tools that will improve your SEO content
Now that we have covered the best SEO content writing tools online, we also wanted to draw your attention to additional tools that you can leverage to further improve and optimize your content before it launches.
If you work in WordPress, we'd advise purchasing an annual Yoast SEO subscription.
Yoast SEO plans are priced at just $99 per year and give you 360-degree intel on your content before you launch it.
This includes analyzing the number of internal/outbound links set up in your content, your meta description length, existing keyword density, duplicate keywords, and more.
Yoast SEO is available in 20+ languages and helps you save time and verify that your content is effectively structured and well linked together before you press go.
On top of this, Yoast SEO makes it easy to add structured data so that you increase the chances of your content showing up in featured snippets and other SERP features.
Another useful writing tool that you can leverage to write better content is Grammarly.
Grammarly helps you maintain high-quality content by auditing your grammar, spelling, writing style, and tone of voice.
While not strictly an SEO writing tool, we use Grammarly to make sure that our content reads well, and that our tone of voice is always on point and consistent.
And we're not alone.
Grammarly is used by execs throughout global businesses and integrates directly into your email, social media tools, and content editors to ensure you're always putting your best foot forward when it comes to content writing.
There is a free tool that checks spelling and grammar, and paid plans start at $12 per month.
Paid plans offer further tools to help ensure your content is correct, concise, clear, and well delivered.
Why should I invest in writing tools for SEO?
High-quality content does two things.
Firstly, it engages users which in turn increases the chance of other websites linking to your content (driving backlinks). And secondly, deep, contextually relevant content ranks in search engines, driving high intending traffic onto your website.
For these reasons, if you are looking to develop your SEO strategy, then it's critical that you use SEO content writing tools to optimize and develop well-structured content.
But there's more.
In times gone by, Google scored content based on keyword density. This led to many websites stuffing relevant keywords into their content in order to rank.
These days, thanks to the evolution of Natural Language Processing technology, computers (including search engines) are capable of understanding human language, and the relationship between words within sentences and bodies of content.
Google itself has leveraged these developments to create its own NLP model called BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) which helps Google evaluate website content and its relationship with search demand.
Now rolled out in over 70 languages, BERT has revolutionized the way Google perceives content. As such, website owners now have a greater obligation to create content that is unique, useful, and relevant - failing to do so will mean your content simply won't rank.
The best SEO content writing tools help you keep your content unique, contextually relevant, and packed full of terms that Google deems to be contextually relevant (based on learning from sites that are already seeing their content rank).
If you want to put your best foot forward, leverage SEO content editors to gain further competitive edge, and win.
How do I pick the best tools for SEO content writing?
If you have made the decision to purchase an SEO content writing tool, it's important to pick the right tool for your business.
Here are some key factors to consider before making a commitment.
Keyword research - do you require a tool that just takes care of your SEO content writing, or do you need an all-in-one SEO tool that can help you with keyword research, rank tracking, site auditing, and backlink analysis? Here at Visualize Value, we split our tech stack, using AHREFs for keyword research, and SurferSEO for content optimization
Integrations - where do you create content? Do you use WordPress or Google Docs? If so, pick an SEO content writing assistant that is integrated with these platforms. Most of the best SEO content writing tools integrate with WordPress and Google Docs as standard, but it's important to check
Content writers - if you are using outsourced content writers, will they need access to your SEO content writing tool? Some tools like MarketMuse give content writers the ability to edit content without an account, but this is not common
Keyword suggestions - it's worth checking out the free trials available and running your content through the same content editors across platforms. That way you will be able to see how keyword suggestions differ across content writing tools. For small-medium sized businesses, we'd recommend prioritizing SurferSEO, Clearscope, and Topic
Features - which features do you require access to? Do you need to be able to check unique content levels and plagiarism? This isn't a priority for Visualize Value because we know that every piece of content we create is 100% unique. However, if you are using content writers where you need to sense-check their work, this is an important feature. Likewise, if you plan to use content audit and planning tools, make sure your SEO content writing tool provides access to these features
- Free trials - why not make use of free trials to validate whether tools add value to your content creation workflows before you commit? Most of the best SEO content writing assistants offer 14-day free trials or access to a limited number of credits to get you started
Sign up for the best writing tools for SEO and get started
Start by clicking through to the various different SEO content editors we've recommended, including SurferSEO, Clearscope, SEMRush, and Topic.
Check out their free trials, and assess which pricing plans work best for your use case.
For enterprises, we'd recommend taking a look at Clearscope, and for startups, through to small-medium-sized businesses, we'd prioritize SurferSEO, Clearscope's Essentials Plan, and Topic.
If you are looking for ways to supercharge your content strategy, check out our dedicated SEO course, Compound Content.
Compound Content helps businesses super-charge their content creation efforts. We cover everything from keyword research to content creation and SEO best practices. Our aim is to ensure that you design content that ranks, and drives high-intending search traffic onto your website for the long term.