The 7 Best MarketMuse Alternatives in 2022

MarketMuse was the first content optimization software I heard of.

When I started out in SEO and content marketing, writing was a little bit like shooting in the dark. Sure, I knew what target keyword I was aiming to rank for. And I knew I had to include that in the content.

But it was difficult to optimize for on-page SEO or know if you were including the right information.

Nowadays, we have many content optimization tools available for content planning, content writing, and content grading and updating.

MarketMuse is one of the most popular of them. But there are many MarketMuse alternatives.

What is MarketMuse and Why Do People Like It?

MarketMuse is a content optimization platform that uses artificial intelligence to help you research, create outlines, write content, and learn about organic competition.

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When it started out, it was the single platform for creating content briefs using machine learning.

They innovated in this space and were one of the first to offer a tool that can help you score your content on its propensity to rank for a target keyword based on reverse engineering search results.

The platform is an all-in-one enterprise solution, and it used to be one of the more expensive on the market. However, in recent years they’ve created a freemium version of the product with limited features and queries.

However, the next plan starts at like $7k per year, which is why so many people are hungry for a MarketMuse alternative:

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This is just your author’s opinion, but MarketMuse seems best for those who have the budget and would like to consolidate all of their content operations into one tool.

Otherwise, I believe other point solutions do specific things better than MarketMuse.

In the list that follows, I’ll outline 7 MarketMuse alternatives that I believe offer some unique advantage in comparison to MarketMuse – whether that is a cheaper solution, a more accurate solution, or one that has additional features like AI content writing for SEO.

Editor’s note: I’m going to use some affiliate links when possible to try to earn some revenue from my content. These don’t change the opinions espoused in the content nor the style in which they are written. If I think a product sucks, I’m not going to say otherwise. This is just a bonus and a way to fund the whole operation. Anyway, enjoy the article!

The 7 Best MarketMuse Alternatives Reviewed

  1. Surfer SEO
  2. Clearscope
  3. Frase
  4. Dashword
  5. SEMrush Content Assistant
  6. GrowthBar
  7. Content Harmony

1. Surfer SEO

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I’m literally using Surfer SEO right now to write this piece. That’s how much I believe in the tool.

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My co-founders often ask me how I write so quickly (not to humblebrag). The secret? I use Jasper to write faster with AI, Surfer to optimize the content and create content briefs, and a whole lot of caffeine to get the job done.

One cool thing about Surfer is it has native integrations with my other favorite SEO tools – again, Jasper for copywriting software, and they just released an integration with Semrush. This offers the complete package for a data-driven content marketer.

Surfer, like other content optimization tools, gives you content briefs and outlines based on your target keyword.

Just enter your keyword and it will give you suggestions on word count, headings, paragraphs, images, and related keywords.

It also helps you structure your piece based on related topics and questions, though I still prefer to create a manual content brief.

When you’re writing your piece, it will give you an optimization score based on a total score of 100. I typically try to aim for about a 75 or higher.

Surfer also has an awesome feature that allows you to export your content directly to WordPress. No tool saves me more time than Surfer.

Surfer is affordable, easy to use, and highly effective. It’s one of the best all-around solutions for SEOs, content marketers, and digital marketing professionals.

Sign up for Surfer here.

G2 Score: 4.8/5

Pricing: $49/mo

2. Clearscope

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I know I just gushed about Surfer, but I’m also a Clearscope power user.

At my content marketing agency, we use Clearscope. In my opinion, it’s both the easiest to use MarketMuse alternative and the most powerful and accurate at predicting your keyword rankings.

The downside is that it’s a little bit more expensive than the other tools on this list.

However, for content agencies and content teams operating at high scale, it’s worth the price tag.

Like Surfer and MarketMuse, you simply enter a keyword and Clearscope gives you a sort of content brief.

They suggest related keywords and weigh them based on perceived importance. They use IBM Watson to look at the search engine and reverse engineer the factors that are causing existing pages to rank.

Clearscope also gives you a score, though I find it a little easier to achieve an A on Clearscope than an 80+ on Surfer.

Three powerful features of Clearscope:

  1. Related keyword suggestions weighted by importance
  2. Content outline and citations based on existing rankings
  3. Questions and answers to include in your content
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They also track your scores over time and give you real time monitoring so you can proactively update articles whose scores are lower (search rankings are dynamic and search intent can shift over time).

This is my favorite content optimization tool for those with the budget to support it.

Side note: I also wrote a piece on Clearscope alternatives here.

G2 Score: 4.9/5

Pricing: $170/mo

3. Frase

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Frase is a great MarketMuse alternative that not only offers content briefs and content outlines, AI optimization, and suggested keywords, but also text generation and AI copywriting.

This makes it more of an all-in-one solution like MarketMuse.

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You can see above this is the content research view – it includes common features like word count suggestions, headings, links, and images. This is similar to Surfer, Clearscope, and MarketMuse.

One thing I think Frase does better than other MarketMuse alternatives is their outline. Look at how robust their suggestions are here:

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As a writer, outlining is one of my least favorite parts of the process, and this really helps speed me up in the beginning.

Finally, they have an AI writing tool that actually generates text based on your target keyword. There are multiple templates for this AI, including blog title generation, freeform writing, AIDA (for sales copywriting), and more.

Frase is a tool that keeps getting more and more feature rich, all of it AI powered.. If you’re looking for an affordable and constantly improving MarketMuse alternative, this is a good option.

Sign up for Frase here,

G2 Score: 4.8/5

Pricing: starts at $44.99/mo with a 5 day money back guarantee

4. Dashword

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Dashword is quite popular among content marketers. It’s one of the easiest to use MarketMuse alternatives out there, and it’s quite affordable too (starting at only $39 per month – they also have a free plan).

Like the other tools on this list, their value proposition is to cut research time in half. Dashword compiles all the information you need to create content briefs.

Content briefs are a pain, but they’re so important, especially if you work with many different freelance writers. The content brief is the handshake between strategy and execution, and Dashword helps you get it right.

They also have optimization and monitoring tools, which I love because I’m a content analytics geek. In many cases, you do all this content optimization and don’t actually know if anything changes.

Dashword actually shows you, over time, how your rankings and traffic are performing and proactively notifies you if you have decreased performance.

This helps you report on your progress as well.

Lovely tool.

They also have some free SEO tools like a meta description generator and people also search for suggestions.

Sign up for Dashboard here.

G2 Score: NA

Pricing: $39/mo

5. SEMrush Content Assistant

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Semrush is one of the most popular all-in-one SEO tools on the market today. Actually, if I had to pick one SEO tool, this one might be it because of how comprehensive it is.

You likely know them for their domain analysis tools, keyword research tools, rank tracking features, and even their SEM and competitive analysis tools.

But they also have a ton of content marketing tools, including their writing assistant.

You can download the Google Docs add-on and write directly in Google Docs (which I prefer), or use their interface in the app. Check it out:

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As far as performance goes, I think Semrush’s writing assistant falls a little short of the competition.

However, there are two big benefits of using this one:

  • It’s part of the Semrush suite, so you have to use fewer tools (the fewer the tools, the better IMO).
  • It’s free. Can’t complain about free tools.

If you’re just getting started with content optimization, this tool or Yoast should help you get going.

G2 Score: 4.6/5

Pricing: Free, free, free.

6. GrowthBar

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GrowthBar is a new solution, one you may not have heard of but will soon enough.

It started out as a Chrome extension to help you out with some basic keyword and content research and link building analysis.

Now, however, they’re building a full suite of SEO tools including AI copywriting powered by OpenAI and content briefs also powered by machine learning.

Tons of cool features in this alternative to MarketMuse:

  • AI blog posts
  • AI outlines
  • AI meta descriptions
  • Keyword research
  • Keyword tracking
  • Competitor analysis

AI powered everything! They even offer managed services.

G2 Score: 4.9/5

Pricing: $48/mo when paid monthly (discounts for annual pricing). They also offer a free trial.

7. Content Harmony

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Content Harmony is another new alternative to MarketMuse.

The company started out as an agency and then built this software to help their client work. Eventually, that superseded their services and they went full-in on the software side.

And for good reason: the tool is great. It’s built by content marketers for content marketers.

They, too, offer content briefs and content optimization. But they’ve also built this with topic clusters in mind, so it helps you streamline workflows not just for a single blog post, but for your whole content operation.

Think about your average content creation workflow for SEO content:

  • Analyze and determine search intent.
  • Review overlapping keywords and entities that have to be included. Ensure adequate keyword inclusion without cannibalizing content.
  • Study competitor document structure and content format.
  • Build an outline that covers key questions readers have with room to spin your own angle.
  • Cite & link to authoritative sources.
  • Identify visual content requirements, images, videos, etc.

Content Harmony automates basically all of this.

They have a keyword research tool component as well, which not many alternatives to MarketMuse have.

G2 Score: 4.8/5

Pricing: $99 per month for 12 content briefs and 50 search intent reports per month

Conclusion

If you’ve got a solid content strategy, but you’re not ranking and getting the results you could be, it might be time to look into a content optimization software.

MarketMuse is a great tool to lock in Google rankings. It has an easy-to-use editor, an easily understandable optimization report, and facilitates multiple users.

However, it’s not for everyone.

Competitors like Surfer and Clearscope are extremely powerful for content optimization and updates.

Competitors like Frase and GrowthBar actually help you write content faster with AI as well as creating an optimization report.

There are many options on the market no matter what your budget. Hopefully this list helps you choose one!

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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