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SEO
8
min read
February 8, 2024

Page Optimizer Pro vs Surfer SEO

Keelyn Hart
Content Writer at Letterdrop

TL;DR:

  • Page Optimizer Pro (POP) and Surfer SEO are both popular SEO tools, but they have different focuses.
  • POP is great for on-page SEO and provides step-by-step guidelines and suggestions for improvement.
  • Surfer SEO offers a wider range of SEO improvements, including keyword research and content clusters.
  • Neither tool fully optimizes for the future of SEO (search intent optimization, true information gain opportunities, and more) and are too focused on keyword relevance.

Surfer SEO is a well-known name among the multitude of SEO tools out there on the market. But a more niche-focused SEO tool, Page Optimizer Pro, has quickly become a strong contender.

The tools share similar features, which can make it difficult to choose between them.

We'll compare the two in this guide to give you a clearer idea of which tool is best suited to which kind of team — and demonstrate the best way forward with SEO tooling as the SEO landscape continues to change.


Page Optimizer Pro

Page Optimizer Pro Home
Page Optimizer Pro Home


Page Optimizer Pro (known as POP) was founded in 2018, and focuses primarily on on-page SEO.

You input your target keyword to either a) AI-generate tailored sections and guidelines or b) add the URL of the page you're hoping to improve. From there, POP will analyze your content against top page results and:

  • Give you a step-by-step to-do list of factors to improve on. This includes keyword variation, meta structure, wordcount, and more
  • Suggest related topics and sub-topics to write on

It has a live content editor and gives you a content score depending on how well you follow the tool's suggestions.

It integrates with:

  • Chrome
  • Google Docs

Standout Feature 1: Better Competitor and SERP Analysis

POP takes the following into consideration when evaluating you against competitors (which you can choose or let POP choose for you) and what Google likes to see:

  • Schema structure. It shows you competitor schema data, which you can copy and paste over to your own content
  • Basic EEAT compliance. POP displays the EEAT signals your competitors are sending out versus the ones you're sending out. This can include the average amount of links, whether you have a customer support page, and more
  • Google entities. POP shows the categories that Google deems your competitors rank for, and then recommends how you can improve your keyword variation to get into those categories


An SEO report in Page Optimizer Pro
An SEO report in Page Optimizer Pro



Standout Feature #2: It Alerts You to Google's Changes

POP's "Watchdog" feature can alert you to recent changes to the SERPs and to Google's algorithm, which can help you keep your content up to date and topically relevant.


Who is Page Optimizer Pro for?

POP is great for freelancers, smaller content teams, and SEOs to check off on their EEAT and SEO basics.


FAQ: What is the difference between PageOptimizer Pro and Cora?

Cora SEO uses a proprietary algorithm to analyze various ranking factors and compare them to top-ranking websites in a given niche.

It provides detailed reports and recommendations for improving on-page and off-page SEO factors.

PageOptimizer is significantly easier to use than Cora, according to top reviews.


Pros and Cons of Page Optimizer Pro from Reviewers

Pro

"POP's keyword analysis is comprehensive and insightful. It provides an in-depth view of your competitors' keyword strategies, helping you understand how to improve your content." — Rutvik M (Midmarket)


Con

"While I have found the keyword suggestions to be useful, there were a few instances when the suggestions did not perfectly align with my content's goals." — Rutvik M


Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO Home
Surfer SEO home


Surfer is a content intelligence tool that focuses on a wider scope of SEO improvements. It offers an SEO content workflow, keyword research, an AI outline generator, a content editor, and data-driven SEO insights.

Their keyword research tool generates results in content clusters, and you're even able to organize them by search intent.

Once you've input your chosen keyword(s) into their content editor, Surfer analyzes top pages and a real-time SEO guideline is generated for you with the following information:

  • Suggested structure, including headers and paragraphs
  • A list of relevant NLP keywords
  • Suggested word count
  • Suggested image count
  • Links to competitor articles

It integrates with:

  • WordPress
  • Jasper AI
  • Google Docs
  • Chrome

Standout Feature 1: More Customizable SEO Targets

Surfer allows you to tweak your specific goals for the piece and assigns you a score on how well you're meeting these goals. It goes a little further than POP in this regard — you can choose the competitors you want to be valued against, but you can also choose:

  • structural goals
  • topical goals by selecting the most relevant "People Also Ask" topics

Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO's content editor view


Standout Feature 2: A More In Depth SEO Audit

Just like POP, Surfer gives you a real-time SEO audit. It does however cover a wider scope. It alerts you to:

  • Related pages that you should link to
  • 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

Who is Surfer SEO for?

Surfer is a little better equipped than POP in terms of the scope of its tools, but it's also best suited as a one-off tool for SEO sanity checks.

We would recommend it for generating outlines and guidelines for:

  • Freelancers
  • Agencies
  • Medium sized content teams


Pros and Cons of Surfer SEO from Reviewers

Pro

"Surfer's comprehensive approach to SEO optimization is its standout feature. The platform seamlessly integrates keyword research, SERP analysis, and a detailed look at competitors' strategies. This integration is elegantly executed in the content editor, making it a breeze for both novices and seasoned SEO professionals." — Alex K (Small business)


Con

"I would love even more transparency on how to achieve the best content score, sometimes I'd need more insight." — Verified User in Marketing and Advertising (Small Business)


Page Optimizer Pro vs Surfer SEO

Page Optimizer Pro Surfer SEO
Keyword Research No Yes
SERP Analysis Intermediate - shows schema comparison and EEAT signal comparison Basic - based primarily on keywords
Customizable SEO Targets Basic - competitors only Advanced - extends to structural and topical targets
EEAT Analysis Basic - shows EEAT signals you vs your competitors are hitting No
AI Writing Assistant Basic - for briefs Intermediate - has an outline builder
SERP Monitoring Intermediate - alerts you to Google SERP changes and algorithm changes to account for Basic
Integrations Basic - Chrome extension and Google Docs Robust - Jasper, Google Docs, Chrome, WordPress


Neither Surfer nor Page Optimizer Can Help Optimize for the Future of SEO

Surfer and Page Optimizer pro can certainly help you take care of the basic SEO sanity checks, and give you an idea of what's covered.

The same can be said for other Surfer alternatives like Clearscope, MarketMuse, and Frase. 

Both Surfer and Page Optimizer are too focused on word count and keyword inclusion, outdated practices that in turn encourage keyword stuffing.

Neither tools help you:

As the SEO landscape continues to shift (especially in the wake of Google's SGE), the SEO basics are not enough to get you ranking. Google is already smart enough to semantically crawl pages and its algorithms will only improve from here.


Letterdrop

We're putting Letterdrop forward as a more full-service and modern SEO alternative to both Surfer and Page Optimizer that's helped companies like Scribe to 11x their traffic and paid signups within a year.

Founded by ex-PMs on the Google Search team, Letterdrop is one of the first SEO assistants built to put people first, prioritizing new perspectives and search intent.

Our suite of SEO tooling can identify and auto-fix SEO issues both on-page and across your site, taking SEO off your hands.

In a nutshell, Letterdrop's SEO tool semantically understands your content and can:

  1. 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
  2. Provide in-depth insight into what has been covered on the SERPs so that you know what needs to be addressed. You can even auto-generate sections into your content.
  3. Suggest in-depth topics and new angles that haven't been covered yet so that you optimize for information gain.
  4. Give you a robust EEAT guide specific to your content to make sure all your bases are covered.
  5. Automatically fix over 60 on-page technical SEO rules, such as internal links, keyword placement, alt text, and more
  6. Auto-fix links and publish them across your site
  7. Automatically alert you to why your pages aren't ranking and help you automatically implement fixes

We're not here to tell you to repeat X keyword 30 times, but to help you automate SEO best practices and create content that:

a) Ranks better

b) Your customers actually want to read

It also has AI tooling that can help accelerate your workflow from ideation to publish.


‎Who is Letterdrop For?

Letterdrop is best suited to companies with:

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


Pros and Cons of Letterdrop from Reviewers

Pro

"Their SEO features are so forward-thinking, and they clearly understand how the Google algorithm is evolving. We get the chance to create powerful content that ranks." — Lauren Funaro, Head of Content at Scribe


Con

"Since they're new, there are definitely still some bugs." — Lauren Funaro


Invest in Tools That Keep You On Top of SEO Changes

SEO is changing. Surfer SEO is quickly becoming outdated, and Page Optimizer Pro still has a while to go before it can offer you robust topical coverage suggestions.

Putting the user first has never been more important in SEO, especially with Google's SGE.

We're constantly developing our tooling to optimize for the future. Reach out to us if you want to put SEO on autopilot, the right way.

Ready to optimize for the future of SEO?

SEO is changing. Make sure you’re on top of the game with the latest techniques.

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