The 9 Best Content Writing Tools for SEO

I’ve riffed on the best SEO tools – from SERP Trackers to reporting software.

But what about tools that can actually help you write and therefore rank?

Afterall, it’s easy enough to do some basic keyword research. Even easier to track your rankings once they’re published.

But the hard part is in the middle – writing content that is actually genuinely good, that will match search intent and outrank competitors.

Though there are many tools in this class, I’ll list the ones I’ve found most useful. These will include content optimization and research tools, AI copywriting tools, editing and quality assurance tools, and a few productivity tools.

The 9 Best Content Writing Tools for SEO

  1. Jasper.AI
  2. Copy.AI
  3. Surfer SEO
  4. Clearscope
  5. Frase
  6. Yoast SEO
  7. SEMRush Writing Assistant
  8. Grammarly
  9. Hemingway

1. Jasper.AI

Jasper is one of my favorite SEO copywriting tools.

It’s a GPT-3 based AI copywriting tool that helps you do a ton of stuff, from rewriting sections of your content to writing an entire article from scratch, basically only using artificial intelligence.

It has a powerful integration with Surfer SEO as well, which helps you lock in on a keyword and write the piece with SEO in mind.

Jasper can be used for tons of stuff – copywriting for Facebook Ads, mass producing product description blurbs, or just getting out of writer’s block.

Personally, I use it for two main purposes:

To help me break through procrastinating when writing SEO content pieces (like this one)

To repurpose my content into different formats (like Tweets and LinkedIn posts).

I’d say, overall, most of the words you read from me are still my own and not written by a robot. But what Jasper has done is help me 2-3X my productivity when it comes to content writing.

Not too bad.

Price: $29/mo

G2 Score: 4.8/5

2. Copy.AI

Copy.ai is another powerful AI copywriting assistant.

While Jasper is certainly my favorite for long form SEO content, I think copy.ai really excels when it comes to short copy. Stuff like ad copy, social media marketing (Instagram captions and whatnot), website copy (metadescriptions, headlines), and ecommerce product descriptions.

What’s nice with Copy.AI is you can also sign up for free and kick the tires before you buy.

It’s still useful for writing blog posts, but you’ll likely not get the most mileage out of it if you’re trying to outsource most of the process. It’s best for ideating blog titles, executive summary sections and bullet points, or small bits of copy to push past writer’s block

Price: freemium (then $35/month)

G2 Score: N/A

3. Surfer SEO

Surfer is a content optimization tool that helps you write and edit your piece with the best chance of ranking in search.

It essentially reverse engineers the content that is currently ranking on the first few pages for a given keyword, and then gives you recommendations on things like how long the content should be, what keywords you should include, and more on-page SEO optimization tips.

I now use Surfer for my personal blog for a few reasons:

  • It’s cheaper than Clearscope, so it fits with my budget.
  • I like that it includes tips for images and videos as well as links you have in your content.
  • The content score is harder to beat than Clearscope, so part of me feels like I’m optimizing it more using Surfer (might just be perception).

I use tools like Surfer and Clearscope with a grain of salt; my first order goal is to write a fucking great piece of content that I’m proud of and that my audience will love. My second order goal is to optimize it for search.

So I basically use these tools like a last round editor to make sure I’m squeezing all the SEO juice out of it that I can.

Price: $49/month

G2 Score: 4.8/5

4. Clearscope

Clearscope is one of the most powerful content optimization tools out there.

Again, Clearscope takes a target keyword, say “best content writing tools” and then it looks up what ranks on the first few pages of Google. It uses artificial intelligence / machine learning to identify which words appear and which words are most important in terms of ranking. Then it gives you recommendations and a nice clean optimization score to strive towards.

Look, I love Surfer and use it. But Clearscope is my preferred tool. We use it at my agency for our SEO clients, and I’d use it for my personal blog if it were a bit more affordable.

The tool is wildly easy (and honestly fun) to use. I’ve found it to be highly effective, too, punching above my weight for tons of keywords using this solution.

Also, the team is awesome. Bernard, the founder, is a friend and he’s super sharp. Check this interview out that I did with him.

If you can afford it, Clearscope should definitely be in your arsenal.

Price: starts at $179/mo

G2 Score: 4.9/5

5. Frase

Frase is another tool that helps you write and edit content in order to rank, but it comes flush with other interesting content optimization and conversion features.

First, they heavily index on the content research and content brief creation that other tools like Surfer and Clearscope (and also MarketMuse, which I didn’t mention on this list) do.

You type in your target keyword, it does its machine learning magic, and gives you recommendations as to what related keywords you should include (and also gives you ideas as to subheaders and sections you should include).

Past that, they recently added their own AI copywriting solution.

Solid tool, and I’ve used it a fair bit. But I prefer specialist tools to all-in-one software, so I’d rather use something like Jasper with Surfer or Clearscope usually.

Price: $19.99/mo

G2 Score: 4.8/5

6. Yoast SEO

Yoast might be one of the most universally used and recognized SEO tool suites.

The tool has been around for a long time – I think since I started building websites and blogging back in college. And it’s a WordPress plugin (WordPress being the most popular CMS by a pretty large margin)

Yoast has many features that live within the WordPress editor, the most popular being a content optimization tool that lets you target and optimize for a given keyword. They also include things like readability score that other products like Surfer and Clearscope give (though I tend to trust the latter over Yoast nowadays).

They’ve also got technical SEO tools like 301 redirects, metadescriptions, schema, and more. It’s essentially an all-in-one SEO product that lives within your WordPress, right where you write and publish.

It’s pretty cheap and pretty much everyone uses it (at least WordPress users, anyway).

Price: $99 / per year

G2 Score: 4.6/5

7. SEMRush Writing Assistant

SEMRush has a ton of tools for SEO, but their Writing Assistant is underrated when it comes to writing content that ranks.

I’m a big fan of SEMRush (though I also love Ahrefs). SEMRush, the platform, has so many tools its almost overwhelming. From SERP Tracking features to keyword research and even tools to analyze PPC and social media, it’s a digital marketing powerhouse.

One underrated tool is the writing assistant, which is a Google Docs add-on to help you optimize your on-page SEO for things like keywords and readability. Very handy and I think it’s still free if you use this as a standalone product.

Price: free

G2 Score: 4.6/5

8. Grammarly

Most people know Grammarly at this point, if not, here’s what it does: helps identify, prevent, and fix grammar mistakes.

It’s a Chrome extension, so instead of just being limited to WordPress or a Google Doc, it can help you fix your writing errors all over the internet (including email, Twitter…anywhere you’re writing content).

Personally, I have used Grammarly in the past but have stopped. Not because of any product limitation (it’s a great product), but because I actually just don’t care a ton about perfecting every little bit of grammar in my content.

One tool I do use, however, is Grammarly’s plagiarism checker. This is incredibly helpful if you’re working with guest writers or freelancer writers.

I’ve also written a comprehensive list of Grammarly alternatives here.

Price: freemium

G2 Score: 4.6/5

9. Hemingway

Finally, Hemingway App. This helps make your writing simpler, clearer, and more readable.

As a big fan of Ernest Hemingway and his concise writing style, I like the mission of this company: simplify your writing. Make it readable. Make it *fun* to read.

This is a good tool for any of y’all who haven’t gotten the “college essay” style of writing out of your system. You know, the one where you change the word “use” to “utilize” to take up extra space and increase your page count.

Many of us are trained against the natural ability to write like you talk, and instead, we come up with this weird formal posture in the written word. If this is you, Hemingway can help you fix it (as can reading your essay out loud).

Price: free

G2 Score: 4.4/5

Conclusion

I’m a writer and I do SEO and content marketing for a living.

I’m also a MarTech fanatic, constantly searching for new tools to make my life easier and my content more effective – whether that means better resonating with readers or just increasing my rank on search engines like Google or Bing.

While this list doesn’t include every content writing tool for SEO, it does contain my personal favorites – those I use nearly every day or at least have used in the past to great effect.

I’m curious, what new amazing tools am I missing? Let me know.

 

Alex Birkett
Alex Birkett is a product growth and experimentation expert as well as co-founder of Omniscient Digital, a premium content marketing agency. He enjoys skiing, making and experiencing music, reading and writing, and language learning. He lives in Austin, Texas with his dog, Biscuit.

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