As a Content Marketer, you know that there are hundreds of SEO tools that claim to be the best for optimizing your content.
Clearscope is one of the greats and was one of the first tools to apply NLP to SEO. But it's been around for some time now, and there have been complaints that the keyword research isn't always that relevant. And irrelevant keywords lead to less targeted traffic, fewer conversions, and content that fails to drive KPIs. That will be a fun conversation with your VP of Marketing.
Maybe you're wondering what new alternatives are out there and how they compare to Clearscope. I've put together a list of contenders — Surfer SEO, Frase, MarketMuse, and Letterdrop.
For each of these tools, I give a rundown of their strengths, their weaknesses, and what they offer for their pricing. I also include tables that compare their capabilities for:
- Keyword research.
- Structural optimization.
- Topical research.
An Overview of Clearscope
Before I get into its competitors, here's a rundown of Clearscope and what it can and can't do for you.
Clearscope makes use of AI to assess and grade your content according to how relevant it is to search engines.
A Business Plan is around $350 per month. This covers:
- Five user seats.
- SAML single sign-on (SSO.)
- Customized account setup.
- 20+ Custom Content Reports and Content Inventory Pages.
- Google Docs and WordPress integrations.
- Support for five languages.
- The editor uses integrated keyword research to correct and grade content.
- It suggests topical improvements according to top-ranking articles.
- It has an easy-to-understand content grading system.
- It works seamlessly with WordPress.
- Multiple users can use the editor at the same time.
- It doesn't offer any structural SEO suggestions.
- Keyword data is very limited and sometimes irrelevant.
- It doesn't do SEO audits for web pages.
1. Surfer SEO
After you've put in your keyword, Surfer SEO analyzes the content of top competitors. It looks at incoming backlinks, keyword usage, metadata, and more.
It then produces a customizable guideline for you. It covers structural tips, keyword suggestions, and topic recommendations. It also gives real-time feedback on the overall SEO score of your page.
Their Business Plan is $239 a month. For that, you get to:
- Add and track ten websites.
- Add and track unlimited early-stage websites.
- Receive new SEO insights every seven days.
- Access all SEO optimization tools.
- It has features such as a built-in outline builder and plagiarism checker.
- The audit feature can evaluate content and landing pages.
- You can download a spreadsheet with keyword data.
- Competitor research does not cover content gaps.
- There's no content inventory, which means no content planning.
- Content outlines are simplistic.
- Spreadsheets can appear complex or incomplete.
Surfer SEO vs Clearscope
Frase processes your content and compares it to the top 20 search results for your keyword. It awards a content score, which you can improve by including topics and keywords from top pages.
A Team Plan is $114.99 per month. You get:
- Three user seats.
- To write and optimize unlimited articles.
- To generate 4,000 AI words per month.
- You can write on the platform, and Frase makes real-time research suggestions.
- Automate content briefs that include top-ranking keywords.
- Receive regular reports on keyword performance for the topics of your choosing.
- The "Questions" feature lets you see common FAQs on your keyword.
- It's more like a research tool than an optimization tool.
- Research can become too broad or too niche.
- No structural optimization.
Frase vs Clearscope
MarketMuse makes use of AI to help you research, plan, and generate competitive content.
It anticipates topics your site will likely rank for, gives you a difficulty score, and generates detailed content briefs covering keywords, topics, and suggested word count.
A Team Plan is $399 a month. This is what you get:
- Three users.
- Unlimited queries and briefs.
- Full results in SERP X-ray, including averages.
- Full results in Heatmap, including site-level analysis.
- Full results in Topic Navigator.
- Connect for linking recommendations.
- Data export.
- ChatGPT integration with the text editor.
- Sophisticated reports on page-level, site-level, and SERP insights.
- It suggests internal links.
- It stores content already on your website and makes suggestions for SEO improvement.
- Saves hours of manual research with detailed briefs.
- Long load times and an overwhelming interface.
- The Keyword Research Tool doesn't have competitive or search volume metrics.
- Penalizes you for not using the sometimes irrelevant keyword suggestions.
MarketMuse vs Clearscope
Shameless plug aside, Letterdrop offers more than competitive advantage alone.
Keywords are dying. The future of search is more topical. You need to think about more long-term things like organic research and information gain.
Letterdrop does have an ecosystem of native SEO tools, including a Keyword Research and Compare tool to help you rank better on search engines, but it also does so much more than that. It replaces and consolidates a bunch of content optimization and content management tools all in one place.
Now that's bang for your buck.
Starting at $495 a month. This is everything you get:
Here are the ways that Letterdrop differs from the above alternatives in terms of SEO strategies:
1. Letterdrop also does Structural Optimization. It can detect internal linking opportunities, broken links, and identify opportunities for SEO refreshes of old pages.
2. Letterdrop uses GPT-4 and AI to automatically fix issues. It can do things like automate internal links across pages and automatically identify posts that are almost ranking. We wrote an article covering Letterdrop's advanced SEO tools
3. Letterdrop integrates a publishing flow with approvals and writer management. Artifacts like outlines and drafts are tied to the platform — there's no need to copy and paste from Google Docs or force writers to use it. Everything is in one place.
Letterdrop vs Clearscope
Which Clearscope Alternative Is Best for Me?
You don't want to end up in a situation where you're telling your CEO that you wasted money on an SEO tool that is doing nothing for your content.
Your choice comes down to company goals, SEO strategy, and your marketing budget. You want to be as efficient with your marketing spend as possible while helping your content rank properly.
Letterdrop is thinking about the future of search and AI. It can help you bring all your content ops under one roof, from SEO strategy to project management to publishing. All you have to do is talk to us, and we can get you started.