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min read
May 30, 2024

Frase vs Surfer SEO

Keelyn Hart
Content Writer at Letterdrop


  • Both Frase and Surfer have AI capabilities for generating content outlines and drafts based on search results.
  • However, neither tool can help you rank effectively in today's SEO landscape due to their limited topical coverage and lack of actionable recommendations for on-page and site-wide SEO issues.
  • Consider using a forward-thinking alternative like Letterdrop, which focuses on covering topical gaps with unique information and automating SEO fixes.
  • Letterdrop offers features such as research dumps, AI-generated outlines, and actionable suggestions for optimizing search intent and technical SEO rules.

Frase.io and Surfer SEO are some of the most recognizable SEO tools on the market.

They also share a lot in common, which may make it difficult to discern which would be best suited to help you rank higher on Google — if they are actually capable of doing that at all in today's changing SEO climate.

We'll evaluate both tools on:

  • Research capabilities
  • Writing capabilities
  • Technical and topical optimization


Founded in 2016, Frase is marketed as a content assistant, facilitating a helpful AI-assisted workflow from initial research through to content tracking.


Frase has a detailed research tool that allows you to see:

  • Headlines and topics from competitors
  • Questions from People Also Ask, Quora, and Reddit
  • Stats on the SERPs

You can access competitor pages from this dashboard to help you flesh out what others are saying on the topic, either by directly pasting these topics or by using AI to write on them.

The research dashboard in Frase
The research dashboard in Frase


Frase's AI can generate full outlines and drafts for you based on the above search results for your query.

There's also a dedicated outline feature where you can instruct AI to write sections for you based on what competitors are saying.

You can even save previous prompts as templates.

AI writing in Frase
AI writing in Frase


Frase issues an SEO score on you versus your competitors based on:

  • keyword density
  • word count
  • header count
  • link count
  • image count

It also gives you some context on these keywords — you can auto-generate these context snippets into your writing.

The Optimize tool in Frase
The Optimize tool in Frase

Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO gives users SEO content creation with a workflow, offering features for keyword research, an AI outline generator, a content editor, and high-level competitor insights.

Surfer integrates with WordPress and Google Docs, which helps you take its features with you.


Much like Frase, Surfer has a research tool.

This is tailored specifically to keyword research from top pages — you're able to specify which competitor pages you want to pull this research from, which sets it apart from Frase.

Keyword research tool in Surfer
Keyword research tool in Surfer


Surfer has a drag-and-drop outline builder much like the one in Frase.

You can also use AI to elaborate on topics related to the keywords found in the above tool.

You can:

  • Specify whether your output should be a blog post, review, or product roundup
  • Choose competitor pages you want to source information from — and choose to generate a section, H2, or paragraph accordingly
  • Add custom instructions and information to the AI for more context

Outline building in Surfer
Outline building in Surfer


Just like Frase, Surfer assigns you and competitor pages an SEO score on the basis of the inclusion of relevant LSP keyword, word count, and image count.

It does go a step further and includes the following in its scoring:

  • Page structure (headers and paragraphs)
  • Keyword density
  • Page speed
  • Backlink count and quality
  • Meta tag structure
  • Link equity
  • Topical authority score

Content scoring in Surfer
Content scoring in Surfer

Why Neither Frase Nor Surfer Can Help You Rank Today

Frase and Surfer do have handy AI tooling to help build SEO drafts faster — but, their topical coverage doesn't go much beyond keyword frequency.

Giving you a score on how many times you repeated X keyword does not bring you to true parity with other pages on the SERP.

What's more:

  • Neither tools are helping you cover topical gaps. You need to bring something new to the table
  • Neither tool help you fix on-page or site-wide SEO issues. There should be actionable recommendations for internal linking structure, page speed improvements, and more

Google doesn't need 20 pages saying the same thing — it also has its own AI by way of its SGE (search generative experience), so generic AI writing won't cut it, either.

Frase and Surfer are fast falling behind in the SEO game — they can't help you maximize rankings in 2024 and beyond.

A Forward-Thinking Alternative: Letterdrop

We aren't focused on keywords as a primary factor for ranking higher — keyword stuffing simply doesn't work.

Our SEO tools are built to help you cover topical gaps with unique, proprietary information that:

  • Competitors can't easily copy
  • Help drive real buyers to your site


You can request a "research dump" from Letterdrop and pick the SERP pages you want to get that information from.

This saves research time and helps you hit topical coverage.

There's also a "What Should You Cover?" section to individually slot in and track topical coverage.

Checking topical coverage in Letterdrop
Checking topical coverage in Letterdrop


You can generate a full-blown outline or draft by prompting our AI to do so. The prompts include:

  • The target audience
  • The feature you're focusing on promoting
  • The SERP source pages you want for information
  • Pages you want to link to (internal links)

Tailoring a draft for the AI in Letterdrop
Tailoring a draft for the AI in Letterdrop

Just like Surfer and Frase, you can auto-add headlines from top pages as well as track your keyword density — but this isn't a focus.


As well as helping you with topical coverage, Letterdrop has an information gain section to help you close information gaps out there with actionable suggestions.

Covering information gaps using Letterdrop
Covering information gaps using Letterdrop

You can also request a subject matter expert (SME) quote directly from the editor.

They'll get an email with your request, which integrates with Loom to automatically record their answer.

It also auto-adds captions, a relevant logo, and metadata for you to tweak. It then auto-publishes to YouTube and to your blog post.

Beyond this, Letterdrop can:

  1. Analyze and give actionable tasks to optimize for search intent.
  2. Give you an EEAT guide specific to your content to make sure all your bases are covered.
  3. Automatically fix over 60 on-page technical SEO rules, such as internal links, keyword placement, alt text, and more
  4. Auto-fix links and publish them across your site — broken links, redirects, link duplicates, etc
  5. Monitor your pages for and automate necessary refreshes, including opportunities for People Also Ask, fixes for keyword cannibalization, and more

Your SEO Tool Should Be Helping Add New Information to the Table

Your SEO tool needs to be helping you optimize for the future of SEO. While Frase and Surfer SEO offer valuable features, they may not be enough to secure top rankings in today's changing SEO landscape.

Consider a tool like Letterdrop, which focuses on covering information gaps and automating SEO fixes. Reach out to us for more information.

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