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min read
May 28, 2024

Letterdrop vs Surfer SEO

Keelyn Hart
Content Writer at Letterdrop


  • Surfer SEO is a popular content optimization and SEO platform that offers keyword density matching and AI outline generation.
  • Letterdrop has a suite of GPT-powered SEO tools and was founded by ex-Googlers, with features like semantic content analysis, search intent identification, and automatic technical SEO fixes.
  • Surfer SEO is more focused on old-school techniques like keyword density and word count, while Letterdrop prioritizes what real people want to read by answering search intent and information gain.

You're a Content Marketer on the market for a dependable SEO tool. You've heard of Surfer SEO before, a popular content optimization and SEO platform, and you've just come across Letterdrop. You're probably wondering how a modern SEO tool compares to something as trusted as Surfer SEO, and whether it can get you ranking in the shifting search climate.

We'll break down the standout SEO features of the two tools in the hopes that you will have a clearer understanding of what they can do for your SEO goals. Hopefully, it helps you invest in the SEO tool best suited to drive the results you need.


Letterdrop was founded by ex-Googlers in 2021 and includes a suite of GPT -powered, smart SEO tooling to help optimize your content in a manner that's customer-centric. It integrates SEO tools with an end-to-end content management platform.

‎Who is Letterdrop For?

Letterdrop is best suited to companies with:

  • A full-time Content Marketing Manager
  • A dedicated operation around content marketing

It's also for content teams who hope to optimize content no matter the search changes that get thrown their way in the coming years. The tooling is consistently updated to reflect changes in the search climate, including making sure you optimize for Google's SGE and Perspectives.

Standout Feature #1: The SEO Optimizer

Letterdrop's SEO Optimizer semantically understands your content and compares it to top pages, Google's EEAT guidelines, and search rater guidelines. It can:

  1. Identify and auto-fix technical SEO issues.
  2. Identify Search Intent and let you know you whether the search is informational, navigational, commercial or transactional. It analyzes top pages and suggests the best format you should use to get ranking
  3. Provide insight into what has been covered on the SERPs so that you know exactly what needs to be addressed. You can even auto-generate original sections into your content based on these top pages
  4. Provide a fully-fledged draft or "research dump" depending on top page information of your choice and custom instructions
  5. Suggest topics and new angles that haven't been covered yet so that you optimize for Information Gain. You can also prompt and auto-publish subject matter expert quotes to YouTube and then embed that into your blogs.
  6. It gives you an EEAT guide specific to your content to make sure all your bases are covered.

Here's a short video rundown of the SEO Assistant.

Standout Feature #2: Letterdrop Can Fix SEO Across Your Site For You

Letterdrop's automatic SEO fixes aren't limited to individual posts. It can:

  • Identify internal linking opportunities for you and automatically insert them into the content you're currently working on or publish them in bulk across your site.

Content Refresh Monitoring in Letterdrop
Content Refresh Monitoring in Letterdrop

Surfer SEO

Surfer was founded in 2017, and has transformed from an in-house content optimization and SEO tool into a household name among marketers.

The tool creates an SEO content workflow for its users, offering keyword research, an AI outline generator, a content editor, and data-driven SEO insights.

Who is Surfer SEO for?

Surfer SEO is a one-off tool for SEO optimization sanity checks. It's also a good way to get high volumes of traffic.

Because this is largely focused on traffic volume versus quality traffic, Surfer is perhaps better suited to B2C companies versus B2B companies.

Key Feature #1: Adjustable SEO Targets

Surfer's standout feature is undoubtedly its ability for you to choose the competitors you want your content to be evaluated against.

Surfer allows you to tweak your specific goals for the piece and assigns you a score on how well you're meeting these goals. For example, you can adjust:

  • the competitors you want to be valued against
  • structural goals
  • topical goals by selecting the most relevant "People Also Ask" topics

Surfer SEO Content Editor
Surfer SEO Content Editor

Key Feature #2: SEO Audit

This AI-powered tool analyzes top pages and gives you real-time feedback on any SEO improvements you can make to existing pages to boost your ranking.

The tool alerts you to:

  • Related pages that you should link, or internal links
  • Keyword omissions, including how often you should include them
  • Incorrect content length and number of headings
  • Poor keyword density
  • Page speed
  • Missing backlinks
  • Poor meta tags structure

An SEO audit with suggestions for improvement from Surfer
An SEO audit with suggestions for improvement from Surfer

Letterdrop vs Surfer SEO: A Side-By-Side Comparison of SEO Capabilities

For the sake of simplicity, we've rated the two platforms' SEO capabilities according to four grades:

  • Absent — The tool completely lacks this feature.
  • Basic — The tool meets basic requirements.
  • Average — The tool meets requirements satisfactorily.
  • Robust — The tool exceeds requirements.


Surfer SEO
Keyword Research   

Average. Includes Search Volume, SEO Difficulty, Paid Difficulty, CPC, and Current Trend. Pulls data from Semrush.

Basic. Includes Search Volume and Keyword Difficulty.

Top-Page Comparison

Average. Shows keyword frequency and heading suggestions based on top pages. You can auto-add these terms and headings.

Basic. Keyword Surfer lets you see word count, keyword frequency, and keyword ideas from competitors.

Customizable SEO Goals

Absent. The tool advises the user based on non-customizable SEO and search rater rules.

Robust. You’re able to tweak the competitors you’re valued against, structural goals you want to meet, and more.

Answering Search Intent

Robust. "Search Intent" feature identifies search intent type, appropriate format, and conversion likelihood.

Basic. Has a basic filter for search intent in Keyword Research.

Topical Optimization

Robust. Uses semantic understanding of topics to suggest and auto-add Tablestakes topics and Information Gain opportunities based on top results. Performs an EEAT analysis.

Basic. Relies on keyword relevance only. Extracts topic ideas in Grow Flow based on trend. Organizes topics based on topic clusters.

Technical Optimization

Robust. Can identify and auto-fix numerous technical SEO errors, including internal links, missing alt text, missing TL;DR, and more.

Basic. Audit tool can identify missing links, page speed issues, keyword density issues, and more.

Content Refresh Monitoring

Robust. Integrates with Google Search Console to provide real-time alerts to pages that are almost ranking, are being cannabalized, and more so you can make improvements.

Basic. General reports on improvements you can make to rank better.

Choosing an SEO Tool in 2024

While keywords play a role in topical relevance, nothing is more important in today's search environment than bringing a user's search journey to a close by answering search intent. The SEO tool you choose needs to be prioritizing this.

Both Letterdrop and Surfer SEO take search intent into account to some degree: Surfer SEO's search intent filter is basic, while Letterdrop offers a more in-depth analysis.

Giving an arbitrary score on how often you repeated a keyword or whether or not you're achieving the same word count as top pages is not enough to get you ranking today. Unfortunately, Surfer's content scoring does encourage keyword stuffing and matching word count to a degree.

  • Keyword stuffing won't get you ranking in the modern search climate where Google has a very clear people-first approach
  • The search engine's PaLM2 is smart enough to semantically crawl pages

While Surfer SEO has a set of intuitive, AI-powered tools under its belt, it's not yet been modernized to help users optimize for Google's SGE, information gain, or perspectives. It's fast becoming outdated.

As we've shown earlier on, Letterdrop takes these factors, search intent, and more into consideration when analyzing content. That's because the team is actively thinking about the future of SEO and adapting accordingly. The platform, like its creators, prioritizes users over search engines which is something you need to be thinking about when choosing your SEO assistant.

Your SEO Tool Needs To Be Looking to the Future of Search

The only certain thing in marketing is change. Your SEO companion needs to be taking that into account, while developing its automation capabilities to take as many mundane tasks off your hands as possible.

If you're looking to get ranking in the changing search climate in 2024, reach out to us.

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