Surfer SEO vs MarketMuse: Which is BEST in 2024?

by | Last updated May 23, 2024

Surfer SEO vs MarketMuse

Need help with choosing the right tools for your website? 

With so many options, it’s hard to know which ones will boost your search engine game. Surfer SEO and MarketMuse are two powerful choices, especially for keyword research.

But which one is the better fit for your needs? Making the wrong choice can mean wasted money and time and missed opportunities to rank higher.

Let’s compare Surfer SEO and MarketMuse side-by-side. 

We’ll uncover their strengths and weaknesses and determine which one is the best weapon for your search engine success.

Surfer SEO vs. MarketMuse: Overview

To provide the most accurate comparison, we tested Surfer SEO and MarketMuse, exploring their features, user interfaces, and results for real content optimization tasks.

Best Choice
Surfer SEO 
Surfer SEO

Boost your rankings! Surfer SEO users see a 32% increase in organic traffic. Try it now.

Rating: 4.5/5 

Pricing: Starts at $49/month. 

Key features: 

  • Content Planner
  • Content Audit
  • Competitor Analysis
Best Value

Outrank competitors with MarketMuse’s 10x faster content analysis.

Rating: 4.5/5 

Pricing: Plans start at $179/month. 

Key features:

  • Topic Research
  • Content Briefs
  • Competitive Intelligence

What is Surfer SEO?

Think of it as your website’s search engine coach. Surfer SEO analyzes what’s already ranking and helps you write content that Google will love.

Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO

Target 50% more relevant keywords with Surfer SEO’s in-depth analysis.

Key Benefits

  • Speed things up. Surfer SEO’s Content Editor gives you real-time feedback on over 500 on-page ranking factors.
  • Uncovers hidden opportunities.¬†Its keyword research tools help you find profitable terms your competitors might need to include.
  • Outrank the competition. The SERP Analyzer shows you exactly what it takes to beat the current top-ranking pages.


  • Basic:¬†$89/month ($69/month if billed annually). Includes 10 Content Editor uses and 20 audits per month.
  • Pro:¬†$129/month ($99/month if billed annually). This plan increases your limits and adds additional features.
  • Business:¬†$219/month ($179/month if billed annually). Perfect for larger teams and agencies.
Surfer SEO


  • Super user-friendly.¬†Even if you’re new to SEO, Surfer SEO is easy to learn.
  • Data-driven recommendations.¬†Takes the guesswork out of optimization.
  • Works with my tools.¬†Integrates with platforms like WordPress and Jasper.


  • It can be pricey.¬†Especially with higher-tier plans.
  • Lacks some advanced features.¬†MarketMuse might be better if you need deeper competitive analysis.

What is MarketMuse?

MarketMuse is like having a content strategist and AI researcher at your fingertips. It helps you figure out what to write about and guides you to create the most comprehensive pieces on the web.


Increase organic traffic by 40% with MarketMuse’s data-driven insights.

Key Benefits

  • Find the perfect topics. MarketMuse analyzes thousands of pages to uncover content gaps and profitable keywords.
  • Build authority. Its content briefs provide in-depth outlines so your content covers everything users search for.
  • Stay ahead of the game. Tracks competitor moves and helps you adjust your strategy quickly.


  • Optimize: $179/month (cheapest if billed annually). Perfect for small teams and individual sites.
  • Plus: $499/month (cheapest if billed annually). It adds more usage credits and some advanced features.
  • Pro: $1499/month (the cheapest if billed annually). It is designed for large content operations and agencies.


  • Incredible depth of data.¬†Their analysis goes further than many similar tools.
  • Content briefs are super detailed.¬†It’s like having someone write the outline for you.
  • Great for scaling content.¬†The higher-tier plans make managing big teams easier.


  • Steep learning curve.¬†It takes time to master all of MarketMuse’s features.
  • It’s definitely an investment.¬†Prices might be out of reach for hobby bloggers or smaller websites.

Surfer SEO vs MarketMuse: Feature Comparison

Ready to see how these content powerhouses stack up? Let’s break down their key features and see how they help you reach those coveted top spots in search engines.

1. Keyword Research Tools

  • Surfer SEO: Great for uncovering related keywords and search volume and getting long-tail keyword suggestions. Its Keyword Surfer extension brings data right into your Google Search results.
  • MarketMuse: Excels at finding topic clusters and identifying content gaps competitors are missing. It also provides questions people search for related to your topic.

2. Content Optimization

  • Surfer SEO: Real-time feedback in the Content Editor with an overall content score. Focuses on factors like keyword density, headings, and word count.
  • MarketMuse provides in-depth content briefs, suggested topical coverage, and a personalized difficulty score that shows how difficult it is to rank.

3. User Experience

  • Surfer SEO is beginner-friendly and intuitive. It is easy to get started, even if you’re new to SEO tools.
  • MarketMuse: Steeper learning curve, however, offers more powerful insights once you master the platform.

4. Content Planning

  • Surfer SEO:¬†The Content Planner helps you strategize with topic clusters and content ideas.
  • MarketMuse: Offers a content inventory feature to track, analyze, and improve existing content.

5. Competitor Analysis

  • Surfer SEO: SERP Analyzer lets you dissect the top-ranking pages for your target keywords.
  • MarketMuse: Tracks competitor content moves and identifies opportunities to outrank them.

6. Integrations

  • Surfer SEO: Works directly in platforms like WordPress, Jasper AI, and Google Docs.
  • MarketMuse: Offers multiple integration options but may require a bit more setup.

7. Pricing

  • Surfer SEO: Starts at $49/month, making it more accessible for smaller budgets.
  • MarketMuse: Pricier, starting at $179/month, geared towards larger teams or content agencies.

Choosing a Content Optimization Tool: What to Look For?

  • Ease of use: Will the tool fit seamlessly into your workflow, or is there a steep learning curve? Consider your current SEO knowledge.
  • Keyword research depth: Does it uncover easy-to-rank-for terms and related search queries or offer generic suggestions?
  • Data-driven recommendations: Does the tool provide clear action steps based on real competitor analysis, not just vague guidelines?
  • Pricing and your needs: Factor in your budget and website size. Expensive tools might be overkill for smaller sites.
  • Integration with other tools: Can the tool work with your current content creation tools (e.g., WordPress, writing platforms)?

Key Insight: Stay blinded by flashy features. Prioritize tools that genuinely help you understand search intent and how to write content that search engines and real users will love.

Final Verdict (Our Pick)

After testing both, we found that Surfer SEO is our choice for most content teams. It wins for its blend of powerful features and beginner-friendliness. 

Surfer SEO’s keyword research tool makes uncovering profitable terms easy, and the Content Editor’s real-time feedback keeps you focused on optimizing for relevant keywords.

While MarketMuse offers deeper analysis, Surfer SEO’s SEO tool set focuses on natural language processing, and the lower price tag makes it a more versatile solution. 

Trust us; it’ll streamline your content process and boost your chances of hitting the sweet spot in search results for your target keyword.

Surfer Seo
Surfer SEO

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Surfer SEO help boost my search engine rankings?

Absolutely! Surfer SEO analyzes top-ranking pages so you know what factors influence your spot in search results. It helps you optimize for better on-page SEO, a crucial part of ranking higher.

Is Surfer SEO better than MarketMuse?

Both are powerful tools. Surfer SEO often wins for ease of use and value, but MarketMuse offers deeper insights. The best choice depends on your budget and specific needs. This surfer SEO review helps you compare!

Does Surfer SEO have an SEO audit tool?

Yes! The Audit feature analyzes your existing pages for optimization issues and suggests fixes, streamlining the process of improving your on-site SEO.

Can I get free version of Surfer SEO?

Unfortunately not. However, it offers a 7-day trial for $1, so you can try the features before committing to a paid plan.

How does Surfer SEO help with the content creation process?

The Content Editor guides you with real-time SEO feedback as you write. It helps you include the right keywords and related terms for a more comprehensive, search engine-friendly piece of content.