Surfer SEO is an SEO tool used to help you find secondary keywords, know the true density, and have a guided way of optimizing your content.

It also provides information on the word count range based on top ranking pages and also important terms to use.

When used accordingly, Surfer SEO will help you outrank the first 10 pages on search engines. And you’ll know how well you are close to that goal by checking the SEO score. This score ranges from 0-100 with 100 being best optimized for the search terms, images and relevance.

The best thing about this editor is that the data is real-time. As you optimize the relevant search terms, the score changes accordingly.

So, how can you use this content editor?

1. Explore

At this stage, open the Surfer SEO content editor and take a look at the following:

  • Your keyword phrase
  • Relevant terms to use
  • Topics
  • Word count

The terms that you should use in your content provides a scoping of your content.

If you are doing a product review, you’ll see the popular brands and products you should make sure you mention to optimize your content correctly.

The topics further add to the scoping and help you know how to plan your writing and which direction it should take. You will have information about topics and questions to consider.

If you don’t know where to start, I can suggest how to use the topics section,

• You can use in the frequently asked questions section when writing a product review

• They can form part of your subheadings if writing a blog post

2. Start Researching Your Topic

You’ll find the relevant websites on the first page of the search results.

  • Open each page result at a time to check if it’s relevant based on your terms and topics.
  • If not, close it and open another web page.
  • Do this until you have about 4-5 relevant pages to help you in creating your content.

3. Create an Outline

Now that you know the word count required, the scoping of your writing and the available information create a plan.

Here, you can specify the number of words per section.


If we are doing a 2000 words product review on the best smartphone for travelers, our outline would be something like this:

a) Introduction -100w

b) 5 products 250 words each =1250w

  • Huawei
  • iPhone
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Tecno

c) Buyers Guide 450w

d) Frequently asked questions 200w

4. Create Your Content

Unlike using a word document content editor where you write based on what you research only, Surfer SEO requires a slightly different approach.

You’ll need to keep looking at your terms and determining which word fits where naturally. This may be quite slow, especially when doing it for the first time, but will prove extremely helpful during the editing phase.

It’s crucial to create fluff-free content. Let your article be engaging, precise and clear. This requires some conscious writing process.

Ensure you’re well-rested and writing in a distraction-free environment to maintain exceptional quality.

Can I Exceed Headings and Paragraphs Range?

Content editor

Surfer SEO specifies the number of paragraphs to use in your content. Most of the time, you may exceed this, and it should not bother you. The thing to remember is that robots generate the data on paragraphs and headings.

As such, you should not entirely depend on it at the expense of human intelligence.

As long as you’ve used short paragraphs and relevant headings, you are good to go.

Are Images Important in Surfer SEO Content Editor?

Content editor image

Something you want to make sure you fulfil is images. Besides creating a great user experience, images can help you explain the processes better, which reduces bounce rate and can increase social shares. So, make sure you use relevant images.

The number of images specified on Surfer SEO comes from an average of the images used in top-ranking pages of that keyword phrase.

If you’re writing Amazon product reviews, don’t worry about images as the ASIN code will help generate the image once the posts are published.

But for blog posts and articles, make sure you get relevant images. To avoid copyright issues, ensure you get stock-free images from sites like Unsplash or Pexels. Alternatively, you can get customized images that are well-edited.

Something else, make sure your image has an alt text that’s related to the primary keyword. It’s also appropriate to use secondary keywords in the alt text. This will improve the SEO score and lead you closer to the goal of appearing on the top pages.

5. Structuring Your Content

Surfer SEO Commands

Just like a word editor, you’ll need to format your content accordingly as your content structure plays an important role in content optimization for readers.

You will see commands for headings, links, redo, undo, links, images, and even listing on the top of the Surfer content editor. These will help you get a better organization of your text.

As of Feb 2021, you may experience a challenge when numbering your headings. The trick is, write the number say 1, then a full stop, 1. And then press shift- backspace to maintain consistency. But hopefully, that challenge should be sorted soon.

6. Editing and Proofreading Your Work

One of the challenges you may experience is how to use Grammarly to edit your work while using Surfer content editor.

No need to worry.

You’ll need to install the Grammarly Chrome extension. This awesome tool helps you in editing your work when online. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an email or using Google docs to create content.

The installation process is easy, as long as you’ve premium Grammarly logins. Just follow the prompts, and you’ll be good to go.

Once installed, you can edit your work as you write (I find it slowing down my writing) or you can wait until you’re done to edit.

Scroll down, and you’ll see the Grammarly icon. When you click on it, you will see the issues highlighted, and you can now go ahead and edit your work.

7. How to Submit your Work

Now that you’re through with your writing, how do you submit it to the client?

Just alert them that you’re through or follow the laid down procedures of submitting the work.

But since it’s an online editor, like Google doc, your client can access it from their side. This means they can also check on your progress from time to time. So, if you agree to start immediately, just do exactly that.

8. Surfer Content Editor Back-up

Sometimes you may delete your written work on Surfer SEO content editor. Or some internet interruptions may result in this. Don’t freak out when this happens. Surfer SEO keeps a backup copy and you’ll only need to email them to talk to them through live chat to access your document.

Something else, you can also keep your back up on Google docs or a word document. So if you were looking for a way of retrieving lost content while using Surfer SEO editor, now you are sorted. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I share the content editor draft to writers?

Yes. On the left side of the draft, click ‘share’. You’ll find a prompt that asks you to copy link to share. You can copy the link to your slack, Trello board, google docs or even email. Any person with this link can edit the document.

2. Is Surfer SEO a content editor tool? Is there anything else it does?

As one of the best SEO tools, Surfer SEO is also a:

A. SERP Analyzer Tool

This tool helps you analyze the top search engine results pages. It can also help you compare the SEO content score of your blogpost to that of your competitors. These top-ranking pages can be invaluable sources of content ideas.

B. Keyword Research Tool

You can use Surfer to look for keywords that you want to rank for. Combined with other features of the tool, your keyword research can get easier.

C. Content Planner.

Not sure how to schedule your content? Use Surfer SEO.

D. Site SEO Audit Tool

You can use to assess whether your existing content is well optimized for search engines.

If not, Surfer SEO will provide page optimization suggestions and how your existing content can perform better. Just click the audit button.

3. Where does Surfer SEO get its data from? Can I trust it?

The main source of data for Surfer SEO editor is search engines, especially Google. This content editor tool analyzes the top 10 pages of the keyword phrase in real-time.

The search engine results give over 100 important terms to use.

As such, the data is reliable and can help you get to the enviable position of the top pages.

4. Why does it seem hard to use Surfer content editor?

Since we are wired to resist change, it can feel a little uncomfortable and tedious when using Surfer SEO content editor for the first time.

But as you use the tool and learn how to navigate, I’m sure you’ll love it.

5. How does surfer SEO content editor know the right word count?

As you may know, word count is one of the key ranking factors that search engines use. With that understanding, the Surfer content editor suggested word count cannot be random.

It comes from the average word count of the top pages.

6. Is keyword density important when using Surfer content editor?

Yes. Since the real density is based on real data of top-ranking pages, you want to remain within the range.

And Surfer content editor helps you know the number of times to use a keyword. This eliminates the need for guesswork.

Low keyword density will mean under optimization, meaning you have a lower chance to rank higher. Going above the keyword density range will result in spamming, which will negatively impact on-page SEO.

So, remain within the range.

7. What is the Notes Section for?

Here, if you are outsourcing the content creation, you can let the content writer know what to keep in mind or a certain site that can help in research and writing.

8. What is the Recommended Content Score?

You should aim at the highest score possible. But anywhere above 80 is excellent. Only be careful not to use overuse the terms such that your content is unnatural.

Always remember you are writing for people to read, not just to rank high on search engines. Always strike that balance.

9. Is Surfer SEO Free?

No. If you are starting, you can use the $1-7 day trial and after that subscribe to one of their paid plans.

The cheapest is the hobby plan that goes for $29/month and the most expensive is the Business Plus that goes for $649/month.

Final Thoughts

Surfer SEO is an amazing content editing tool, but like any other tool, it’s a robot. As such, don’t use blindly, and when a word cannot fit in the context of your writing, do not force it. After all, it’s designed to be a guide not to take over your writing.

Endeavor to maintain that human and conversational tone as you write. With this, you’ll have a piece well-optimized for SEO that also resonates with your readers. And this will ensure a high ranking on search engines.AI

Beth Waweru
Author: Beth Waweru

Beth Waweru is a health and wellness writer and a freelance writing trainer and coach. She's a certified content marketer, an On-page SEO specialist, and an advanced copywriter. She enjoys writing content and copy for brands and individuals in the holistic health and fitness industry. Beth enjoys mentoring new and upcoming freelance writers to master the craft, land high-paying clients and successfully launch their freelance writing career.