The best SEO content writing tools

March 1, 2023
14 minutes
Sam Underwood

The power that content has on SEO performance should not be underestimated. It’s critiqued by search engines to determine your position on the SERP,  so it’s key that you get it right. 

It’s not only for search engines. When someone lands on your site, capturing the audience’s attention can keep them reading page after page. Content that is lacking or irrelevant can cause them to bounce right off.

In this article, we’re bringing you the best SEO content writing tools to improve your content. 

Why use an SEO content writing tool?

Search engines seek unique and compelling content. Even the best writers struggle to achieve these goals without the help of tools to aid their research.

Benefits of using an SEO content writing tool include:

Better topic coverage

SEO content tools suggest topics to cover related to what you’re writing, helping to ensure you’ve answered all potential questions a user might have around that topic.

Covering questions that real people commonly search for makes for more helpful content with a better chance of performing well.

While you can access this information on the SERP using People Also Asked, SEO content tools provide it under one roof, so you don’t have to leave the page while creating content.

Improved writing and readability

Grammatical errors are easy to make, and when you’re so used to reading your own writing, they can be hard to spot. Before publishing content, it’s best to run it through even a basic content tool to fix any spelling and grammar errors.

Many content tools also have a feature that will re-write segments of content to make them more succinct and easier to read.

Ensuring that content is both error-free and easy to read makes it better quality and more trustworthy.

AI writing to speed things up

Using AI is an efficient way to generate content. All you need to do is provide some context, and AI will do the rest. The key thing with AI-generated content is to ensure it remains helpful.

We recommend reviewing and editing the AI-generated content because errors still occur and need fixing before setting the content live.

Frase Screenshot

Best overall: Frase

Frase offers a range of features to help improve your content quality, including researching, creating content briefs and outlines, optimizing content while writing, and generating AI content.

One such feature is the SERP overview, which provides a quick insight into the average stats of top-performing sites with for your target query. This gives you an idea of what to include in your content and how much of it, such as word count, headers, and images.

Serp Overview
An example of the overview Frase gives for your target SERP

Additionally, the tool breaks down competitor heading structures to provide insight into how to structure your specific article.

Frase Heading Comparison

The optimize feature cleverly lists the keywords you should target and how many times they should appear in your content. This is a great way to visually ensure you include the right keywords without overstuffing your content. Additionally, this feature may help you uncover new keywords to target.

Keyword Check

Frase doesn’t just work for new content, you can also provide a URL, and then it’ll extract your content from the page, and show things like the SERP overview, optimize tool, and competitor outline within moments. Making it ideal if you think an article is due a rewrite.

Frase New Document Screenshot

Frase has multiple additional perks that help you brief content, covering a lot of the tedious tasks you’d have to do manually, such as:

  • Questions discovery via People Also Ask, Reddit, and Quora
  • Finding key stats on the topic
  • Discovering important links to include
  • Relevant news articles to reference

It’s difficult to find anything to complain about with Frase; it’s a great tool for both creating new content and optimizing existing content.

Key features

  • Content AI built-in
  • WordPress integration
  • Topic analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Stats, People Also Ask, Quora, Reddit
  • Content outline builder
  • AI content generator
  • SEO data add-on (domain data, backlink information, keyword monthly search volume)
  • Frase Answers (chatbot that answers questions from your content)

Pricing 

Frase offers three pricing plans starting from .99 per month. A discount is applied to each plan when paid annually. The largest plan is designed for enterprise-size businesses and can be customized to meet individual requirements.

PlanMonthly PriceAnnual PriceArticles per monthAI Words per month
Solo.991.9244000
Basic.999304000
Team4.9973Unlimited* (up to 3 users)4000

Add-ons are also available at an extra cost of per month. These include increasing the amount of AI content you can generate, keyword search volume, and domain and authority backlink data.

Surfer Seo Screenshot

Close runner-up: Surfer SEO

There isn’t a lot between Frase and Surfer SEO. Both Frase and Surfer SEO offer similar functionality, including keyword research, content optimization, and SERP analysis. However, Frase offers topic analysis suggestions, pulling data from multiple sources to help you improve your article.

Surfer does have AI capabilities like Frase, but they come from a third-party integration with Jasper.ai, which on the backend is just using Open AI GPT-3. Given the significantly higher cost of using Jasper rather than Open AI directly, I find it surprising Surfer went this route.

Not to be too critical of Surfer SEO, as it is a brilliant tool with some pros over Frase. One of the most significant is the design and UX. While I like Frase, Surfer SEO definitely feels less clunky, and the design is more well-thought-out.

To use Surfer SEO, add your primary keywords, and the outline builder will appear within moments. Once you’ve done that, it displays suggestions based on competing content on page one for your target query.

Outline Brief 1

Analyzing your content against a competitor’s is easy. Clicking on ‘select competitors’ reveals the top competing articles alongside their content scores, so you know when it’s necessary to up your game.

Organic Competitor

When it comes to features that help you write, the main tool is something similar to what Frase offers: a score of how well-optimized your content is, alongside semantically relevant terms to include. If you hire an expert writer, you would expect these terms to show up naturally anyway, but having them there is still useful to see if you have included important information in your article.

Although we believe that Surfer SEO is a great content tool, they do not offer a free trial. Therefore, we recommend that you read our in-depth review before signing up, to ensure that it is the right tool for your needs.

Key features

  • Content planning & keyword research: With Surfer SEO, you can create a comprehensive content plan and conduct keyword research based on your seed keyword and your competitors’ pages.
  • AI-generated content brief: Surfer SEO can generate a content brief for your target keyword using data from the SERP and top-ranking pages, including people also ask, topics, questions, headlines, and more.
  • AI-generated content: Surfer SEO integrates with Jasper (formerly Jarvis), an AI writing tool that can help you write optimized content based on the content brief and editor suggestions.
  • Natural language processing: Surfer SEO uses IBM’s Watson to analyze the sentiment of the search results for your target keyword and provide insights on how to match it.
  • Content optimization: The tool analyzes your content and provides recommendations for optimizing it based on various factors like word count, keyword density, and more.
  • SERP analysis: Surfer SEO provides a detailed analysis of the search engine results page (SERP) for a particular keyword, including the number of words, links, and more for each top-ranking page.
  • Competitor analysis: Surfer SEO enables you to analyze your competitors’ content and SEO strategies to find opportunities to improve your own.
  • Content editor: Surfer SEO also offers a content editor feature that allows you to create optimized content directly within the tool.

Pricing

There are three plans to choose from, basic, pro, and business. These start from per month. However, paying annually saves 17% of the monthly price.

PlanMonthly PriceAnnual PriceArticles per yearPages per year
Basic120240
Pro9360720
Business998401680
Semrush Screenshot

Best all-in-one: SEMrush

SEMrush Writing Assistant is our go-to for an all-in-one SEO solution. This tool is available as a WordPress plugin or Google/Microsoft docs plugin, so it’ll integrate nicely with your current writing process.

At the top right of the writing assistant, your content receives a score out of ten based on the keywords you enter. This score offers a quick overview of how well-optimized your content is and areas that need improvement. The score updates in real time as you optimize your content.

The score reflects four sections:

  • Readability: how easily a reader can read your content.
  • SEO: How optimized your content is to rank on the SERP.
  • Originality: plagiarism checker.
  • Tone of Voice: How well the content fits the tone of voice you have set.
Organic Readability 1

Clicking on each of the four sections will trigger a red, amber, and green color system that highlights areas needing improvement and specifies the necessary changes.

Article Readability

The AI writing features of SEMrush Writing Assistant are still in beta mode and are minimal, consisting only of their ‘rephraser’ feature. This feature allows the AI to rewrite or simplify small parts of existing content.

Because this feature is still in beta, it’s not perfect and is only suitable for smaller pieces of content. It should always be double-checked by a human.

Overall, SEMrush Writing Assistant is a great SEO content writing tool, especially since it integrates with third-party tools. This allows you to create and edit content within an editor you’re used to.

However, there are some areas that could be improved upon. For example, there is no outline builder, a key feature of a good content writing tool as it allows you to create a brief and write and optimize content in one place.

Key Features

  • Readability Score: Evaluates how easy it is to read your text based on factors like sentence length, word choice, and passive voice.
  • Tone of Voice: Checks if your text matches your desired tone of voice, such as formal, casual, or friendly.
  • SEO Recommendations: Compares your text with the top 10 Google results for your target keywords and provides tips on how to improve your SEO score, such as adding more keywords, using headings, and optimizing titles and meta descriptions.
  • Plagiarism Checker: Detects if any part of your text is copied from another source and shows you the percentage of originality.

Pricing

The Writing Assistant is part of the SEMrush tool. There are three plans available to suit small teams to enterprise-sized companies, starting from 9 a month. If you pay annually, you’ll save 17% of the monthly price for each plan.

Grammarly Homepage 3

Best for grammar: Grammarly

Poor grammar can harm your credibility and discourage readers from reading your article. To prevent this, we recommend using a grammar checker before publishing.

One of the best grammar checkers available is Grammarly. It offers basic and advanced suggestions, including spelling checks and sentence rephrasing, which can significantly improve your content.

The Grammarly icon is available whenever you create content, whether it’s on a WordPress editor page or in an email. The icon spins as it analyzes text, indicating when it’s working. Also, Grammarly starts analyzing your text as you type, so you don’t need to activate it beforehand.

Grammarly Checks

One disadvantage of Grammarly is that it can take time to edit large text sections. Sometimes, it may even freeze up and require you to reopen the page.

As Grammarly focuses solely on grammar, it is best used in conjunction with other tools. Nonetheless, it excels at checking grammar and provides valuable suggestions, which is why we have featured it here.

Key features

  • Writing Suggestions: Grammarly scans your text for over 250 advanced grammar rules and provides feedback on how to improve your writing.
  • Spelling and Punctuation: It catches spelling or punctuation errors and offers corrections.
  • Vocabulary Enhancement: Grammarly suggests synonyms and alternative words to avoid repetition and improve clarity.
  • Plagiarism Detection: It compares your text with billions of web pages and academic papers, and shows you if any part of your text is unoriginal.

Pricing

Grammarly has three plans, one of which is free. The premium versions offer much more features than the free one and start from .95 a month. You can choose to pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly with discounts available for the latter.

PlanFeaturesPrice per month (monthly)Price per month (annual)
FreeBasic writing suggestions, tone detection, spellcheck
PremiumClarity, vocabulary, tone improvements, plagiarism detection.95
BusinessPremium features plus team management dashboard and priority support per user per user
Rankmath Screenshot 1

Best Wordpress plugin: Rank Math

Rank Math is a popular WordPress plugin that provides content optimization capabilities.

This tool offers two features: Focus keywords and Content AI. The former involves optimizing content around a specific keyword, while the latter uses machine learning to analyze content and provide insights on how to improve its relevance and readability. Combining these features allows users to comprehensively optimize their content for both search engines and human readers, resulting in improved visibility and engagement on search engines.

One of the benefits of Rank Math is that it’s accessible within the WordPress page editor. However, while it doesn’t take up too much page space, the amount of information provided can look overwhelming.

Key features

  • AI-powered plugin
  • Integrates with WordPress
  • Keyword optimization
  • Analyzes SEO performance of every page
  • Provides long-tail keyword suggestions
  • Checks for keyword overstuffing

Pricing

Rank Math offers four plans, including a free option. The paid plans start at 9 per year, and you can cancel or upgrade your plan at any time.

One of the great benefits of Rank Math is that even the basic account includes a generous amount of features, albeit not related to content writing.

Worthy mentions

While the five content tools above are our favorites, we could go on and on if we weren’t trying to keep our list concise.

Here are two more SEO content tools worth mentioning that would work well with another content tool.

Marketmuse Screenshot

MarketMuse

Marketmuse is heavily driven by AI and it supports the content process from research to creation. The goal is to use AI analysis to identify content opportunities and save up to half the time spent creating content.

Marketmuse has three main features:

  • Automating content audit processes
  • Creating content briefs
  • Text editing

Marketmuse offers three plans to choose from, one of which is free. The paid plans are pricier than the average tool, but their AI intelligence is one of the best out there. If you want to invest in top-of-the-line AI, then Marketmuse is the tool for you.

Language Tool Homepage

LanguageTool

This is a great tool for quickly checking extracts of content. Using three color codes to differentiate between grammar, spelling, and style issues, you can easily identify areas needing amendment.

The free account provides basic grammatical information while upgrading to the pro version gives you access to all features.

Chat GPT

ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI. It’s a super smart tool that can help with content creation in numerous ways. It can save time, increase productivity, and provide valuable insights and recommendations.

This tool can be used to generate blog posts, social media updates, and marketing copy. It can also be used to answer common customer questions, provide customer service, and offer personalized recommendations. Additionally, ChatGPT can assist with language translation, summarizing lengthy text, and identifying relevant information from a large dataset.

Elephas

Elephas is an AI-powered writing assistant designed for Mac users. It offers a range of content creation capabilities, such as crafting articles, emails, and headlines. It can also improve grammar and provides helpful suggestions.

Using Elephas can save time, increase productivity, and provide valuable recommendations. Plus, Elephas respects your privacy by not storing your data on their servers.

How we reviewed

Our review system for choosing the best content writing tools is based on the following points:

  • Question discovery
  • Competitor analysis
    • Competitor heading structure
    • Competitor questions answered
  • Topic analysis
  • Integrations (for easy publishing)
  • Editor experience
  • AI features
  • Grammar/spelling

Why trust us

Our team of experts has thoroughly researched and tested each of these tools to ensure that they meet our high standards for quality and effectiveness. We have also taken into consideration the needs of different users, from those just starting out to established businesses looking to improve their content.

To provide you with the best possible recommendations, we have focused on a range of features, such as question discovery, competitor analysis, topic analysis, editor experience, and AI features.

The team involved to make these reviews are all SEOs themselves, and use these types of tools daily.

Summary

Even the most confident SEO writers can benefit from using an SEO content writing tool. It’s difficult to capture everything required to get your content to perform as best it can on the SERP.

SEO content tools not only ensure that your content is readable and grammatically correct, but they also help with generating content ideas and ensuring that you cover an entire topic.


Sam Underwood

Sam is an international Ecommerce SEO Consultant with experience implementing enterprise-level SEO strategies.
@SamUnderwoodUK
@SamUnderwoodUK
Technical SEO, SEO strategy, Content strategy

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