Top 5 Surfer SEO Alternatives: Find Your Perfect Fit in 2024

by | Last updated May 23, 2024

Best Overall

Affordable yet powerful. Frase offers AI writing, content optimization, and research tools starting at $44.99/month.

Best Value

The data-driven SEO powerhouse. MarketMuse offers in-depth content planning and optimization, starting at $600/month.

Most Featured

AI-driven SEO without the steep price tag. Get SERP analysis, content outlines, and optimization starting at $79/month.

Surfer SEO Alternative

Surfer SEO is great, but it can be pricey. Are you looking for ways to get awesome SEO results without breaking the bank?

Finding the perfect surfer SEO alternative is tough. You need a tool that does amazing keyword research and helps your content rank, but you want to save time and money on duds. Good news! I’ve dug deep to research the best SEO tools on the market. 

In this post, we’ll uncover the top 5 alternatives to Surfer SEO for leveling up your content game. 

Think smarter keyword choices, higher rankings, and more traffic – all potentially with some money left in your pocket.

Surfer SEO

Ready to ditch Surfer SEO’s $99/month price tag? Discover powerful alternatives with awesome features.

What are the Top Surfer SEO Alternatives?

Surfer SEO is a boss, but let’s be real – it’s not cheap. If you want killer content that ranks high without the crazy price tag, there are awesome options out there. 

Ready to find your new favorite? Here’s our top 5 list:

1. Frase

Frase is like your own personal SEO assistant. It tackles everything from finding amazing keywords to helping you write content that’ll make Google happy! If Surfer SEO feels too complicated, Frase is a breath of fresh air.


Our Take

0out of 10

Frase is a winner for most people. It's great value, powerful, and won't give you a headache trying to learn it. Unless you're some mega SEO pro, it likely has everything you need.

Key Benefits

  • Price: Starts way cheaper than Surfer, with a basic plan at $44.99/month.
  • Key Features: Powerful research tools, super easy content editor, and even AI writing to help you get started.
  • Ease of Use: Seriously, one of the easiest tools out there.
  • Support: They have helpful documents, and their customer service is fast.


  • Free: 1 user, 1 search query.
  • Solo Plan: $15/month – Great for getting your feet wet.
  • Basic Plan: $45/month – More power for content teams.
  • Team Plan: $115/month – Perfect for scaling your content big time.



  • Surfer might go more in-depth than it is for super-advanced users.
  • It gets pricey if you need to create tons of content.

2. MarketMuse

MarketMuse is like the super-brain of SEO. This tool goes deep, seriously deep, into data to create content with the crazy potential to rank. If you're playing the long game and want to dominate in your niche, this is the one to watch.


Our Take

0out of 10

MarketMuse is awesome if you have deep pockets and want the absolute best in-depth analysis out there. For most of us, though, the price is the major dealbreaker.

Key Benefits

  • Price: Oof, the big drawback. It starts at $600/month.
  • Key Features: In-depth competitor analysis, powerful topic modeling, and content briefs that basically write themselves.
  • Ease of Use: There is a learning curve, but it is okay once you get the hang of it.
  • Support: They have training resources and offer support plans for an added cost.


  • Free Plan: 1 user, Limited page level insights.
  • Standard Plan: $149/month – Ideal for smaller content sites.
  • Team Plan: $399/month – Steps things up with more credits and features.
  • Premium Plan Custom pricing – If you're a content powerhouse, this is where it's at.


  • It uses way more data than any other competitor for amazing insights.
  • Their content briefs are seriously impressive to guide your writing.


  • Crazy expensive. It's worth it if you have a large content budget.
  • It can be overkill if you don't need that level of detail.

3. Outranking

Outranking is kind of like Surfer SEO and Frase had a baby - it's got the ease of use and some cool AI features, too. It strikes a nice balance between being powerful and not overly complex.


Our Take

0out of 10

Outranking is a solid choice for most bloggers and content teams. Its powerful and helpful AI-driven features do not feel overwhelming.

Key Benefits

  • Price: It starts at $79/month, and it goes up from there based on usage.
  • Key Features: AI writing assistant, SERP analysis, competitor research, and great step-by-step content outlines.
  • Ease of Use: It's pretty intuitive, especially if you're familiar with SEO tools.
  • Support: They've got a knowledge base and a responsive support team.


  • Starter Plan: $29/month - Perfect for beginners.
  • SEO Writer Plan: $79/month - Perfect for individuals and smaller teams.
  • SEO Wizard Plan: $159/month - More credits and features for content scaling.
  • Custom Plan: Custom pricing - The top-tier Plan is ideal for big content operations.


  • A nice middle ground between simplicity and advanced SEO features.
  • AI features are quite helpful for speeding up your workflow.
  • Reasonably priced compared to similar tools.


  • It can get pricey if you generate a lot of content each month.
  • It might not be robust enough for hardcore SEO specialists.

4. SEMrush

SEMrush is like a all in one tool of online marketing. Yes, it does awesome SEO stuff, but it also helps with so much more. If you're building a business online, this toolkit is worth seriously considering.


Our Take

0out of 10

SEMrush is incredible, but unless you need everything else it offers, it's overkill as a Surfer replacement. If broader marketing is your jam, it could be a 9/10! It depends on your needs.

Key Benefits

  • Price: Their cheapest Plan starts at $119.95/month. It's pricey!
  • Key Features: Keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink monitoring, website audits... honestly, there are way too many to list here.
  • Ease of Use: It takes time to learn, especially with all its features. But it's not overly difficult.
  • Support: They have a huge knowledge base and webinars and offer customer support.


  • Pro Plan: $108.33/month - Good for smaller teams or freelancers.
  • Guru Plan: $208.33/month - Adds more features and data for scaling businesses.
  • Business Plan: $415.66/month - This is for agencies or sites with massive traffic.


  • It's a powerhouse that can help your whole online business, not just SEO.
  • Backed by tons of data and trusted in the industry.


  • It's super expensive if you only plan to use the SEO features.
  • Confusing for beginners due to the range of tools available.

5. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is the backlink king! It does SEO stuff, too, but its backlink analysis is where it truly shines. If you're serious about building backlinks or spying on competitors, this is the tool.


Our Take

0out of 10

Ahrefs is fantastic but earns a lower "Surfer replacement" score since its focus is different. If backlinks are your priority, go more like an 8/10 and consider it!

Key Benefits

  • Price: Starts at $99/month for their Lite plan. Ouch!
  • Key Features: Powerful backlink analysis, keyword research, competitor tracking, content auditing, and more.
  • Ease of Use: There is a little bit of a learning curve, but they have great tutorials.
  • Support: Knowledge base, blog, and email support are available.


  • Lite Plan: $129/month - Perfect for solo users and smaller sites.
  • Standard Plan: $249/month - Expands data limits and features for growing sites.
  • Advanced Plan: $449/month - Built for teams focused on serious SEO scaling.
  • Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing- This is for large agencies and sites with massive needs.


  • Best-in-class backlink data, extremely detailed.
  • Their keyword research features have improved a lot lately.


  • It's expensive if you're mainly focused on content creation tools.
  • It's not as beginner-friendly as some alternatives.

Buyer's Guide

Finding the best Surfer SEO alternative isn't easy. We took a deep dive to bring you unbiased recommendations. Here's how we made our selections:

  • Understanding Your Needs: We focused on the target keyword "Surfer SEO alternatives" but dug into related keywords people search for to pinpoint common pain points.
  • Analyzing the Market: We researched popular Surfer SEO alternatives to make sure we didn't miss hidden gems.
  • Focus on Search Intent: Is the user looking for a cheaper option with more features, or is ease of use the top priority? We considered this for each tool.
  • Critical Factors:
    • Pricing: Finding a range of price points for different budgets.
    • Features: Each tool's must-haves and where they excel.
    • Negatives: What's missing or could be improved?
    • Support & Refunds: Help when you need it and safety nets if a tool isn't a fit.

Wrapping Up

Finding the right tool to replace Surfer SEO is a big deal. 

It's about boosting your SEO optimization efforts and making it so easy to create content that ranks. Whether you're on a budget, need in-depth analysis, or value simplicity, there's an alternative out there for you. Remember, don't be afraid to experiment with free trials to find your perfect fit! 

Need more help? I regularly review different SEO tools (including SE Ranking!) and love using my experience to guide others in their keyword discovery and optimization journeys. 

If you want to help optimize existing content, I can help with that, too!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why look for a Surfer SEO alternative?

Surfer SEO is powerful, but it can be expensive or overly complex for some users. Alternatives might offer better pricing, simpler interfaces, or unique features that better fit your needs.

What's the best Surfer SEO alternative for beginners?

Frase is a great beginner choice. It's super intuitive and affordable, making it easy to learn the ropes of content optimization.

Can I get a free Surfer SEO alternative?

Unfortunately, no fully-featured SEO tools are completely free. However, many offer trials or limited free plans, so you can test before committing.

What if I need in-depth competitor analysis?

MarketMuse is your best bet for deep competitor insights, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Ahrefs or SEMrush are solid alternatives if you need backlink analysis, too.

Do any Surfer SEO alternatives work inside Google Docs?

Yes! Both Frase and Outranking offer integrations with Google Docs, making your writing and optimization workflow a breeze.

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder


A tech enthusiast and writer with a passion for AI and software innovations. He simplifies complex topics to help readers stay ahead in the digital world.

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