With over 1.8 billion websites live at the time of writing, it’s harder to stand out online than ever before.
Thankfully, some amazing content optimization tools are available to help you analyze your content and outrank the competition.
Content marketing is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to bring traffic to your website and generate leads for your business.
A lot of time and effort goes into creating stand-out content, so it makes sense to go that extra step further and use content optimization tools to cover all the bases. After all, if your blog post makes it to number one on Google, it can mean extra pageviews, extra sales, more eyes on your ads, and more money for your business.
In this article, I’m going to be covering the best content optimization tools that you can use to create winning content that will rank high in Google.
What is Content Optimization?
Optimizing your content is the process of making sure your content will reach the highest number of people possible.
To do this, you will need to:
- Make sure all of the relevant keywords are included in your blog post
- Ensure that it is easy to read and understand
- Include relevant images
- Include relevant internal and external links
- Ensure the word count is high enough to cover the topic you are talking about in-depth
Of course, it’s possible to achieve all this manually, but by using content optimization software, you can save time and be confident that your content will outrank your competitors.
Refreshing Old Content
As time goes by, older content can become outdated.
Refreshing the old content on your blog can help you increase your organic traffic. This is better than letting old content fade away and go to waste.
Content optimization tools will help you understand exactly what needs updating in your existing articles, so you can quickly and easily bring them up to date.
The 7 Best Content Optimization Tools
Now that we’ve talked about what content optimization is, let’s get into the good stuff.
All of these tools I’m sharing with you will help you update your existing content, and create new content that ranks in Google.
SurferSEO is one of the most affordable content optimization tools around.
It includes everything you need to find great ideas for content, and find profitable keywords that you can rank for.
It also gives you all of the tools you need to plan and create top niche content, with a useful ‘content score’ grading system so you can see the progress of your article as you are writing it.
- Content Editor
- Content Planner
- SERP Analyzer
- SEO Audit
- Keyword Research
- Keyword Surfer
- Content Editor Extension
Surfer SEO has three plans available, depending on your needs.
The Basic plan costs $59 per month, the Pro plan costs $99 per month, and the Business plan costs $199 per month.
Surfer SEO Pros and Cons
Each content optimization tool has its own pros and cons. Consider these carefully to find out if this is the right tool for you.
- Surfer SEO is very easy to use, even for beginners
- Affordable price compared to some other content optimization tools
- Assists with content structure
- 7-Day trial for just $1
- Turns red if it detects keyword stuffing
- The keyword research tool isn’t always accurate, so you might need to use another tool alongside such as Ahrefs for your keyword research
- A limited number of queries each month
Who’s It Best For?
Surfer SEO is the ideal choice for bloggers and small businesses who are doing their own content optimization. Want to know more about how it all works? Check out our SurferSEO Review.
MarketMuse uses AI to help you research, plan, and create outstanding content with ease.
It offers personalized difficulty scores based on your existing content to show you which keywords you are most likely to be able to rank for, enabling you to get some quick wins.
MarketMuse also has a feature that allows you to create first drafts for each piece of content, saving you hours of time. It uses natural language generation to create a unique long-form piece of content that is already optimized, so minimal editing is required.
- Content Strategy
- AI Content Research
- Content Creation
- Content Optimization
- First Draft & Final Draft Creation
- Competitive Analysis
MarketMust has four main plans. Optimize which costs $79 per month, Plus which costs $179/month, Pro which costs $499 per month, and Premium, which starts at $1,499 per month.
Credits to create first drafts are not included with the Optimize plan but are included from the Plus plan upwards. Visit MarketMuse to check out their plans and pricing in more depth.
MarketMuse Pros and Cons
As with all software, Marketmuse has its own pros and cons. Let’s take a look.
- 7 Day free trial with unlimited usage
- First draft creation
- Lets you know how many times each keyword should be used in your content
- Very easy to use
- Provides suggestions for internal and external linking
- Credits must be used to create first drafts, content plans, content briefs, and to use the competitive analysis features. These are expensive and are not included in the basic ‘Optimize’ plan.
- Doesn’t show the reading difficulty level of your content.
Who’s It Best For?
MarketMuse is the best choice for larger businesses, agencies, and established bloggers who are already making a decent amount of money.
Clearscope helps you to create highly relevant content that your target customers are searching for. Its main purpose is content optimization, and it gives you everything you need to outrank your competitors.
- Keyword research
- Readability level indicator
- Content optimization
- Content grading
- Competitor analysis
- Content management
- Outline Generator
Clearscope has three main plans:
- Essentials plan, which costs $170 per month
- Professional plan, which costs $350 per month
- Enterprise plan, which offers custom pricing depending on your needs
Clearscope Pros and Cons
Although Clearscope is a brilliant content optimization tool, it has its own pros and cons. You should evaluate these based on your own needs to decide if Clearscope is right for you.
- Google Docs add on
- WordPress Plugin
- Readability Level
- Free training and onboarding
- Very intuitive and easy to use
- No minimum contract
- Unlimited sharing and exporting
- Great customer support
- Provides the content score and reading levels of your main competitors
- High price point
- Unlike MarketMuse, Cleascope doesn’t have the ability to generate first drafts
Who’s It Best For?
Clearscope is a great option for professional businesses and professional bloggers who want to outrank their competitors.
Its high price point means it’s not the best choice for smaller bloggers, but it’s a great choice for anyone making enough money to write this off as a business expense.
Topic is a tool that helps you create winning SEO content saving you hours of time that you would have spent manually creating content briefs.
When you enter a keyword into the system, Topic will tell you exactly what you need to cover in your content, including all of the headings you should be using, questions you should answer, and different topics you should be covering in your content.
AI creates unique H2 and H3 headings for you, saving you even more time by providing you with what you need to outrank your competition, straight away.
- Research assistant and outline builder
- H2 and H3 heading suggestions
- WordPress and Google Docs plugins
- Geo-targeting and support for 5 languages
- Topic suggestions
- Shows you questions you should answer based on your target keyword
- Content grader
- Word count calculator
Topic has three plans available:
- The Starter plan, which costs $99 per month
- The Plus plan which costs $199 per month
- The Premium plan which costs $299 per month
Topic Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of using Topic for your content optimization:
- Saves hours of time on manual Topic research
- 1-month content brief rollover
- Priority chat support
- Unlimited sharing and collaboration
- 7-day trial for $7
- More expensive than its direct competitors (Clearscope and MarketMuse), however, it does offer more features
- Load speed can be a little slow at times
Who’s It Best For?
Topic is a great tool for in-house content teams and agencies. It enables you to quickly create content briefs using AI to ensure everything is covered.
SEMrush’s Content Marketing Platform
If you’re already a user of SEMrush, then you should definitely be taking advantage of this tool to optimize your content. The SEO Writing assistant allows you to check your content in real-time as it is graded for SEO friendliness.
- Topic research
- Grades content for readability, SEO, tone of voice, and originality
- Real-time reading difficulty grader
- Word count target counter
- Recommended semantic keywords
- Plagiarism checker
- Measure the impact of your article in Post Tracking
- Revise and improve content with Content Audit
The Content Marketing Platform is only available on SEMrush’s Guru and Business Plans. The Guru plan costs $229.95/month, and the Business plan costs $449.95/month.
SEMrush Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of SEMrush’s SEO writing assistant, compared to other content optimization tools.
- All-in-one keyword research and content optimization tool
- Add-on for Google Docs
- Add-on for WordPress
- Highlights when you are keyword stuffing
- Only comes as a package with SEMrush, so might not be economical for anyone who already has a good keyword tool
Who’s It Best For?
This is the best option for anyone who doesn’t already have a great keyword research tool and wants something that combines both Keyword research and content optimization.
The price point is fairly high, so it’s best suited to larger businesses and growing agencies who already want to use SEMrush for their keyword research.
Dashword is a content optimization platform that helps you create winning content by enabling you to create content that’s more in-depth and easier to read than your competitors.
Once you enter your chosen keyword, Dashboard will generate a report showing you exactly what you need to do to outrank your competitors who are already ranking for your keyword.
- Content grader
- Word counter
- See your competitors content scores and wordcount
- Keyword suggestions
- Discover key topics
- Readability difficulty level checker
- Provides you with frequently asked questions on your topic which you can answer for your audience
- Competitor analysis
Dashword has two plans: The Hobby plan, which costs $29 per month, and the Professional plan which costs $199 per month.
Dashword Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of using Dashword that you might want to consider before signing up for a plan:
- Very affordable plans
- Easy to use
- Easy to create an outline and share with freelance writers
- The first report is free – no credit card required
- Unlimited Reports on the Professional plan
- It can be a little slow to generate reports, sometimes taking 2-3 minutes
Who’s It Best For?
Dashword is one of the best options for small teams, bloggers, and content marketers working on a small budget.
Frase is a content optimization tool that will help you grow your organic traffic and increase your conversion rate.
It has two main offerings: Frase Content and Frase Answers, but they are sold separately, so we’re just going to be reviewing Frase Content here.
Frase Content uses AI tools that enable to you optimize your content and outrank your competitors.
- Provides intelligent outlines for your target keywords
- Create content briefs to share with your team
- Scalable content optimization workflows
- Assign due dates to articles for your writers, and tag documents by stage
- Instant export to WordPress
- Import content from a live URL
- Google Docs Integration
- Real-time topic scoring
- Question Research
Frase has two main pricing plans: Basic, and Team. The Basic plan costs $44.99/month, and the Team plan costs $114.99 per month.
Frase Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of using Frase content. These should help you make up your own mind on whether or not this is the right content optimization tool for you.
- Question research helps you to dominate featured snippets and voice search
- Affordable pricing plans
- Easy to use
- Google Search Console integration
- Automated content briefs
- Unlimited exporting and sharing
- Frase is a relatively new platform, and can occasionally be a bit glitchy
- The interface isn’t as intuitive to use as some of its higher-priced competitors
Who’s It Best For?
Frase is best for content marketing teams and agencies, and anyone else who creates content on a large scale.
Its affordable price point also makes it a great option for bloggers and smaller businesses. This content optimization tool is a great all-rounder!
Other Writing Tools For Content Optimization
As well as using a content optimization tool, there are some other great writing tools.
Anyone creating content for their website or blog should consider testing these tools out. They will help ensure that not only is your content optimized for SEO, but it is easy and enjoyable to read.
Here are some of my go-to tools for creating winning content.
Hemingway Editor helps you create readable content.
If the content optimization tool you are using is showing you that the reading level of your content is too advanced, you should try Hemingway. You can paste your content into the editor and it will highlight all of the areas of your content that are considered ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to read.
It also highlights words that have a simpler alternative that you could use, as well as highlighting the use of passive voice.
Hemingway Editor is FREE.
Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress plugin that helps you make sure that all of the content you publish is readable and SEO-friendly.
This SEO tool uses a traffic light system to show you how your content is doing, and updates in real-time as you edit your content in the WordPress editor.
If your content hasn’t achieved the SEO-friendly ‘green light’, Yoast will provide you with a list of SEO recommendations that you can change to make sure your content is as SEO-friendly as possible.
Yoast has a completely free plan, as well as a premium plan which costs $89 per year for one site.
Rank Math is a search engine optimization plugin for WordPress that makes it easy to optimize your content as you write it in the WordPress editor.
The tool is very easy to use, and it saves you hours of time and guesswork, showing you exactly what you need to do to optimize your posts.
Rank Math is raved about by leading SEOs, with many users delighted by the speed, performance, and features after switching over from Yoast. It’s also a great option for anyone running multiple sites, as you can use it on unlimited websites at no extra charge.
Rank Math has a free plan, as well as two premium plans which start at $59.
Some of the tools included in this list already have a plagiarism checker integrated. However, if you’re using a tool that doesn’t already have one included, you should always run your work through a plagiarism checker.
Plagiarism Detector quickly checks your writing for plagiarism, and lets you know how much (if any) is found. This is a particularly important tool to use if you are working with content writers, in case they have used any plagiarized content in their article.
Plagiarism Detector has a free plan which allows you to check larger volumes of content and give you access to extra features.
Every writer, editor, or blogger, should be using Grammarly to check their spelling and grammar and catch typos in their work. Grammarly is available as a Safari and Chrome extension, so you can just leave it turned on and it will catch typos wherever you are, even in Google Docs.
It will also catch errors in your Gmail, Slack, and even on your social media accounts!
Grammarly is free, but they do have premium plans which start at $11.66 per month and includes extra features such as an inbuilt plagiarism checker.
Headline Studio by CoSchedule is the perfect tool for making sure you create a winning headline.
Simply type in your headline, and Headline Studio will analyze it and grade it out of 100. The higher the score, the better your headline.
Headline Studio has a completely free plan, but you can upgrade to Studio Pro for access to more features if you want to.
Website Optimizer Tools
With the growing number of businesses moving online, using content optimization software is vital if you want to stay at the top of the game. All of the tools we have talked about in this article will help you create stand-out content that ranks well, and that your readers will love.
If you’re just getting started and working on a tight budget, try Frase or Surfer SEO. Both of these tools are fairly affordable, and you will see the difference having optimized content makes to your traffic and leads.
If you’ve got a bit more money to spend, then go for MarketMuse or Clearscope. Both of these premium tools will help you to create content at scale by quickly creating great outlines for your content that you can give to your writers.