12 Best Content Writing Tools For SEO (2023 Top Picks)
Looking for tools to help you write SEO-driven content that ranks? We’ve got you covered.
In this post, we’re looking at the best content writing tools for SEO. These tools will help you save time and write better, more engaging, and more well-optimized content.
They’re a must-have addition to your digital marketing toolkit if you want to stand the best chance of ranking highly on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Let’s get started!
The best content writing tools for SEO – summary
- Surfer SEO – Best for content optimization & running content audits.
- Frase – Best for writing content briefs & uncovering opportunities within your existing content.
- Grammarly – Best for grammar & plagiarism checking.
- PageOptimizer Pro – Best for on-page SEO optimization.
- Jasper.ai – Best AI content writing assistant. Integrates with Surfer.
- BuzzSumo – Best for content and keyword research and analysis.
#1 – Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is a content planning and optimization tool that can help you to improve your search engine optimization scores and increase your post’s ranking potential.
Surfer is one of the best tools available for content planning and strategizing, as it has a range of features that can help you to find keyword ideas and turn them into content with high ranking potential.
Based upon just one keyword, Surfer will provide tons of related search terms, and categorize them into relevant groups which can help you target multiple search terms within one piece of content. It will also provide insight relating to search intent and volume.
Then, you can use the AI-powered brief tool to flesh out an SEO-optimized brief for your article briefs in just a few clicks.
Surfer also includes a content editor tool that will score writers’ content as they produce it and track which relevant search terms have been included and how often. You can also use the Surfer audit tool to edit and optimize existing content on your site.
Overall, Surfer is one of the best tools for streamlining content planning and optimization. It’s also a particularly good choice for site owners that outsource writing tasks, as you can use Surfer to create detailed briefs for writers, and maintain consistent quality standards thanks to the content scoring system.
I particularly like how well Surfer works with other platforms & how useful it is for teams. For example, Content Editors can be generated and shared to unlimited team members via a share link. Then, the Chrome extension allows you to optimize content directly within Google Docs and WordPress.
Pros and cons
|User-friendly interface||No free trial available|
|All-in-one content planning & optimization features|
|Auditing tool included|
|Optimize content inside Google Docs and WordPress with Surfer’s Chrome extension|
Plans start from $29/month with annual discounts available. There is no free plan or free trial.
Read our Surfer SEO review.
#2 – Frase
Frase is an AI-powered content writing tool that can help you with every step in the content creation process.
You can use Frase to aid keyword research, write your content and ensure that it’s SEO optimized. The AI-powered technology makes the whole process super quick and simple, making it a good choice for beginners and solopreneurs.
With Frase, you can create optimized content briefs in just a few clicks. All you have to do is select a target search query and Frase will design a brief based on the top results for your chosen query. It will then provide you with information like main keywords to target, heading distribution, and more to help you quickly and easily create highly optimized content.
When it comes to writing, Frase also has a bunch of tools that can speed up the process. You can use the Write For Me feature that will complete your sentences and generate whole new bodies of text based on your prose and data taken from the top-ranking pages.
You can also use the automatic paraphrasing and rewriting tool to improve the quality of your work. Frase also provides tons of features that can help you optimize and analyze your content, making it a great all-in-one option.
I particularly like their analytics feature which turns Google Search Console data into actionable insights & helps you find opportunities within your content.
Pros and cons
|All tools are easy to use||Lowest plan only supports one user|
|Streamlines content planning and creation||No free trial available|
|AI writing tools make producing content easy|
|Powerful analytics that turns Google Search Console data into actionable insights|
Frase plans start from $14.99/month or $12/month when billed annually. Start a 5-day trial for $1.
Read our Frase review.
#3 – Grammarly
Grammarly is one of the best spelling and grammar tools available, and it’s the perfect addition to any content creator or marketer’s toolkit. When it comes to SEO, spelling, and grammar are extremely important, and it also impacts user experience too.
However, you don’t need to rely on outdated tools like Microsoft Word Spell Check to improve your content. Grammarly is an easy-to-use online writing assistant that can be installed as a chrome browser extension.
Not only will Grammarly detect obvious spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, but it will also suggest higher-level grammatical changes that you can make to optimize and improve your content overall. It will even detect the tone of your content and offer suggestions and edits that you can make.
As a browser extension, Grammarly can detect spelling and grammar issues across the board, whether you’re writing emails in Gmail, or editing your site content in the WordPress Gutenberg editor. Overall, it’s a must-have tool for content creation.
Pros and cons
|Free plan available||Features like tone and plagiarism checking are premium features|
|Easy-to-use browser extension|
|Affordable paid plans|
Grammarly has a free plan available. Paid plans start from $12/month.
#4 – PageOptimizer Pro
PageOptimizer Pro, also known as POP is an SEO tool that can help writers and marketers easily optimize their web content. This tool is powered by Kyle Roof’s SEO method and has over 400+ proven results.
To use the tool, all you have to do is input the target keywords, domain, and target page. Then choose your competitors and geographical region and the tool will create a detailed article briefly for you. You can then export the briefs and work on them in Excel or Sheets or work on them from within the POP dashboard.
As you create your content, the content editing tool will provide optimization suggestions and give you a report card that gives your posts a score and details how well it’s likely to rank in the SERPs. Page Optimizer Pro is a great choice for content creation, and it’s one of the most well-thought-out tools on the market.
Pros and cons
|Free 7-day trial available||UI is a bit clunky|
|Uses a science-backed SEO approach|
|Easy-to-use with Chrome extension available|
Plans start from $27/month for up to 12 reports per month.
#5 – Jasper.ai
Jasper.ai formerly known as Jarvis.ai is an AI content writing assistant that makes it super simple to create content for blogs, social media, and more. Jasper is designed to do the legwork when it comes to writing, all you have to do is provide some details about what you’d like it to write.
According to the Jasper team, the AI engine has read about 10% of all content on the internet and uses this information to generate unique and persuasive content in just a few clicks. It takes into account factors like content purpose, tone of voice, and more to create compelling content without the need for a writer.
Jasper is a great idea and can be extremely useful for creating short texts like social media posts and more. However, the content still requires editing, checking, and oversight from a human, as it doesn’t always generate content that works for your site.
Pros and cons
|Easy to use||Can make mistakes|
|Great for speeding up content writing||Sometimes repeats content or gives irrelevant suggestions|
Plans start from $29/month and increase based on the number of words required.
#6 – BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is a content marketing platform perfect for helping with keyword research and analyze your content strategy.
The BuzzSumo content discovery tool can help you to generate unique and compelling content ideas and provide detailed SEO insights. You can also use the content research tool to scan and analyze thousands of articles and social posts related to your niche, which can help you develop an in-depth and insightful content strategy.
In addition to content features, BuzzSumo can also help you identify niche relevant influencers, monitor mentions, and much more.
BuzzSumo has been part of my marketing stack for 5+ years now because it’s an invaluable tool.
Pros and cons
|Advanced content research features||Free plan is limited to 10 searches per month|
|Additional features for content marketing – some of which can’t be found in other tools|
|Industry leading tool used by PR pros|
Paid plans start at $119/month. Save 20% with an annual subscription. You can try BuzzSumo with a 30-day free trial.
Read our BuzzSumo review.
#7 – SEO Writing Assistant by Semrush
Semrush SEO Writing Assistant is a smart writing assistant that you can use to optimize your SEO content.
It’s one of the most powerful writing assistants on the market and analyzes your content in several areas, including readability, SEO, and tone of voice. It also scores it in all areas and provides tips on how to improve using real-time data compiled from the top-ranking results.
SEO Writing Assistant integrates with MS Word 365, Docs, and WordPress, so you can use it wherever you like to write. It’s included as part of the Semrush platform, which includes many other SEO tools.
It’s also worth mentioning that Semrush is the most complete SEO and content marketing toolkit on the market. You get access to far more tools than just the SEO Writing Assistant. In fact, far too many to mention here.
This is why I highly recommend signing up for a Semrush free trial – it can power the majority of any content & SEO strategy. You get access to backlink analysis, content research, content optimization, PPC research, social media publishing, analytics, a blogger outreach tool, and more.
Pros and cons
|Powerful content optimization tool||Free accounts limited to one Content Template.|
|Checks writing in four areas|
|Doubles up as a plagiarism checker|
|Integrates with popular writing editors|
|Paid version includes a full suite of SEO and content marketing tools|
The SEO Writing Assistant is free, but you’ll need to sign up for a Semrush account first. Free accounts are limited to one Content Template. Paid plans start from $119.95/month.
Read our Semrush review.
#8 – SEO PowerSuite
SEO PowerSuite is an all-in-one SEO software solution. You can download it for free and use its many tools to help you produce content that ranks.
The built-in Website Auditor tool is especially useful for content writing. It has a content analysis feature that helps you to optimize your work for on-page ranking factors.
You can also use the Rank Tracker for keyword research to discover keywords to inform your content strategy; the LinkAssistant to build links that help your content rank; and the SEO SpyGlass tool for competitor and backlink research.
While the free version doesn’t allow you to save projects, you can get a lot of use out of it. And the paid plans are quite affordable.
Pros and cons
|All-in-one SEO toolkit||Downloadable software|
|Generous free plan|
|Competitor and keyword research|
You can download SEO PowerSuite for free. To unlock premium benefits, you can purchase a license for $299/year.
#9 – Hemingway
The Hemingway App is one of the best free SEO writing tools around. It’s a completely free text editor and readability checker. You can use it to make sure your writing is clear and concise.
Readability is important when it comes to web content. Online readers have short attention spans—they don’t want to have to process complex, hard-to-read sentences, and technical jargon.
Producing well-written content that’s easy to read helps to ensure a better user experience. This is rewarded by search engines and gives you the best chance of ranking highly for your target keywords.
The Hemingway Editor helps with this. It analyzes the text you write and checks it for readability issues like complex phrases, hard-to-read sentences, passive voice, and frequent adverbs.
Sentences that could be improved are highlighted in the editor and color-coded so you know what needs to be fixed, and your work is given an overall grade in the sidebar
Pros and cons
|Powerful readability checker||Doesn’t integrate with WordPress or Google Docs|
|Easy-to-use editor interface|
|Desktop app available|
The online Hemingway Editor is free to use. You can download a desktop version of the app for $19.99.
#10 – Clearscope
Clearscope is an enterprise-level SEO content optimization platform. It’s used by some of the biggest businesses including YouTube, Nvidia, Adobe, and Webflow.
You can use Clearscope to build winning content briefs and outlines and optimize your content in the built-in text editor with real-time scoring and customized feedback.
Clearscope reports enable you to audit top-ranking Google search results and analyze the data, and the keyword discovery tool helps you find search queries to target in your content strategy.
It integrates easily into your existing workflows. You can hook it up to Google Docs using an add-on, or to WordPress via a plugin.
Pros and cons
|Quickly create content briefs||Business-level plans are expensive|
|Real-time text editor|
Clearscope Essentials plan starts at $170/month. The business plan costs $1,200/month and you can contact their sales team for a custom-priced Enterprise plan.
#11 – MarketMuse
MarketMuse is an AI-powered content planning and optimization tool. It helps you write the best content while streamlining the creation process.
MarketMuse is a little overpriced compared to some other tools, but it still offers a lot of awesome features.
The built-in auditing solution can analyze your domain to measure your website authority and content quality and help you to prioritize your best content opportunities.
AI-generated content briefs save you hours by compiling everything you need to write authoritatively on a topic. It acts like your own personal content strategist, suggesting related topics, providing internal/external linking suggestions, and more.
The real-time text editor grades your work with a content score and gives you feedback on the quality of your writing, with suggestions on how to improve.
However, while this is a solid tool with a variety of features, I wasn’t too impressed with the AI generated content. Considering the price of the platform, I expected better.
Pros and cons
|Broad feature set||Overpriced compared to competitors|
|Detailed briefs||Quality of AI generated content was poor in our tests|
|Real-time feedback on your content|
MarketMuse offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start from $7,200/year.
#12 – NeuralText
NeuralText is another AI-powered platform that helps with content creation. It comes with multiple tools to help you save time and automate the writing process so you can work smarter, not harder.
The built-in content optimizer makes it a lot easier to create optimized blog posts. It works a lot like Surfer. First, you insert a keyword that you want to target, then run a content brief to analyze what’s already ranking and create a basic outline.
Next, you use the brief/outline to write your content and NeuralText will check it as you go. It’ll grade your content and provide suggestions on how to increase your chances of ranking for your target keyword using data compiled from the SERPs.
If you’re struggling to think of ways to include a keyword, you can open up existing usage examples from your competitors in one click, which comes in really useful.
The coolest thing about NeuralText, though, is the AI-powered writing assistant. It can complete your sentences for you and generate text to help you produce content faster.
All you have to do is select a copy/content type and describe your product in a few sentences. Then, NeuralText will generate hundreds of ideas in one click.
The difference between NeuralText and other AI-powered content generators is that NeuralText leaves room for your personal touch. It won’t generate reams of poorly-written content for you; it will just suggest some ideas to get your cogs whirring and provide some creative inspiration.
Pros and cons
|Built-in content optimizer||Interface can be clunky|
|Content and copy generator|
|Useful time-saving features|
You can start out with the Free Forever plan (limited to 5 briefs and 50 smart copy runs). Paid plans start from $49/month.
Content writing tools for SEO FAQ
What is content writing?
Content writing is the process of producing written content for marketing purposes.
Usually, this means articles and blog posts. However, content writing can also include other types of content such as video and podcast scripts, ebooks, white papers, and even physical content like flyers and brochures.
Content writing tools help with this process by allowing you to write more engaging and optimized content for search engine results pages.
Is content writing part of SEO?
SEO content writing is a specific type of content writing in which the primary goal is to create content that ranks in the search engines. This type of content writing is very much part of SEO.
In order to drive organic traffic to websites, digital marketers try to rank the website at the top of the SERPs for keywords that their target audiences are searching for. In order to rank for these keywords, marketers often need to publish blog posts and pages that are optimized around them and other on-page ranking factors.
An SEO content writer’s job is to produce that optimized content. Optimizing content for SEO might involve making sure the keyword or related keywords are present in subheadings, title tags, and meta descriptions. It also involves making sure to topic in-depth, address search intent, etc. You can find more SEO tips in our roundup of SEO statistics.
This is where content writing and content optimization tools come in handy, not only will they help with keyword research but they’ll also help with your content structure, headings and title etc, to achieve the optimum results from search engines.
It’s also worth noting that these sorts of content writing and optimization tools shouldn’t just be used for content published on your own site. You should also consider using them for content created for your blogger outreach or link building campaigns.
What’s the difference between content writing and copywriting?
Both copywriting and content writing involve producing content for marketing purposes.
The main difference between them is that copywriting is specifically for advertising purposes (i.e. encouraging the reader to take action, driving sales, etc.), whereas content writing is specifically for content marketing or SEO goals (i.e. improving brand awareness, building customer trust, driving traffic, etc).
Another way to think of it is that copywriting primarily aims to persuade, whereas content writing primarily aims to inform or educate.
Examples of copywriting include short-form advertising copy, email copy, and landing page copy. Examples of content writing include long-form informational blog posts, how-to articles, FAQ guides, etc.
How do I become a content writer?
To become a content writer, you’ll first need to learn about content writing and SEO best practices.
From there, the next step is to create a portfolio of work. You can self-publish content to use in your portfolio or offer your services for free to charities, etc.
Once you have a portfolio of work, you can start finding clients by responding to job ads and pitching your services on freelance marketplaces.
Does Grammarly help with SEO?
Grammarly indirectly helps with SEO by helping you to minimize errors in your work and avoid plagiarism.
Search engines like Google don’t want to rank poorly-written content, which is why accurate spelling and grammar are important considerations for your SEO. Grammarly checks your work to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
Search engines also don’t like to rank duplicate content. Grammarly’s plagiarism checker helps to make sure all the content you publish is original.
Choosing the right SEO content writing tools for your needs
As you can see, there are lots of content writing tools for SEO out there that writers, strategists, and marketers can leverage, but you probably don’t have time to try them all.
With that in mind, here are the three we’d definitely recommend starting out with:
- Surfer SEO is the best choice for content optimization. It’s an invaluable tool for writers and marketers that tells you exactly what related keywords to include and how to structure your article for SEO. It also grades your content and lets you know what you still need to do to improve.
- Frase is the best tool for writing content briefs. It analyzes the top-ranking pages for any target keyword and uses the data to curate SEO-optimized briefs for you in seconds, saving you hours of time.
- Grammarly is an essential tool for every content writer. It’s the most powerful spelling, grammar & plagiarism checking solution on the market and will help you make sure there are no glaring errors or readability issues in your written work.
Finally, if you need help tackling writer’s block or scaling your content output, you may find our post on AI writing software helpful.
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