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Since 2016, the number of live websites on the internet has boomed from 900 million to over 1.8 billion in 2021.
That’s over 1.8 billion competitors. 1.8 billion content strategies. 1.8 billion examples of both success and failure.
The upshot? Making your mark online has never been more challenging.
Content marketing is surging in popularity. Today, it’s considered one of the most effective ways to increase your online presence and generate traffic, leads, and sales. However, if you know a thing or two about content marketing, you’ll know it’s no small feat.
A carefully crafted strategy isn’t born overnight, and success is never linear. If you’ve ever tried your hand at it, you’ve probably hit some bumps in the road. In fact, your lack of success may have been so gut-wrenching that you simply gave up. Or perhaps, like so many others, you never got started because you just didn’t know where to begin.
This is where content optimization platforms come into play.
Today, more people than ever before are taking advantage of these platforms and tapping into their potential to get themselves on the right path. In fact, 57% of marketing executives claim on-page content development is their most effective SEO tactic!
In light of that, we’re walking you through some of the best content optimization platforms on the web. So, hopefully, by the end of this round-up, you’ll be closer to finding the best solution to helping you to rise through Google’s ranks and make your mark in an oversaturated online sphere.
But, before we do that:
What’s Content Optimization?
Content optimization is the process of ensuring your online content is written and formatted so that it elevates its search engine ranking. When done well, you can massively extend your reach.
To optimize your content, there are a few general rules to follow, including:
Composing an engaging and keyword-filled headline
Including appropriate images
Including keyword-filled meta descriptions and title tags
Naturally inserting relevant keywords throughout the body of your content
Ensuring your content is easy to read and scannable
Matching your content’s substance with your searcher’s intent
The list goes on…
At this point, you might be thinking: “I can do all this myself; I don’t need optimization tools or software,” and you’d be right.
Yes, it’s possible to handle all this manually. With time and skill, you could increase your website’s rankings and get the results you want.
However, if the modern world has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes, technology does it better.
This is definitely the case with content optimization platforms. With the right software, you’ll save yourself time, and you’re far more likely to achieve your desired results.
What Are The Benefits of Content Optimization?
Need some more convincing? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using content optimization software.
Increase your organic traffic: The right optimization software will help you uncover keywords that match your searcher’s intent. According to Ahrefs, 90.63% of content receives no traffic from Google because only the top results enjoy any attention. The right keywords can help you rank high in specific searches to attract your ideal customers.
Find and resolve issues with your content: With smart technology, optimization software can uncover issues with your content, like inadequate keywords and poor SEO practices, that may prevent your content from performing well. With this info to hand, you can set about rectifying these problems.
Write like an expert: Content optimization software provides specific keyword suggestions and validated topics to help build trust with you and prove your expertise to the world.
Now we’ve shown you the benefits, let’s run through the best content optimization software on the market today.
If you want to unlock the power of AI to help you plan, research, and write your content. MarketMuse might be the content optimization software for you. With personalized difficulty scores calculated from your existing content, this tool highlights the keywords you might be able to rank for to secure some easy victories.
In addition, the software automatically creates outlines with natural language generation to create unique long-form content already optimized for SEO.
Content strategy tools
AI content research
You can create first and final drafts
Pros & Cons
There’s a 7-day free trial including all features and unlimited usage
You can create first drafts
You can see how many times each keyword should be used as you write
It’s easy to use
MarketMuse provides suggestions for internal and external linking
You have to use credits to create first drafts, content plans, and briefs using competitive analysis. These credits aren’t included in the cheaper Optimize plan, making MarketMuse very expensive overall
There’s no way to review the reading difficulty of your content, so you’ll need to copy your content into another editor like Hemmingway to optimize for readability
MarketMuse offers four premium plans:
Optimize: $79 per month
Plus: $179 per month
Pro: $499 per month
Premium: $1,499 per month
Please note: You need credits to create first drafts, which are included from the Plus plan onwards.
Who’s MarketMuse Best for?
Due to the price tag and advanced features, MarketMuse is best for larger businesses, agencies, or content marketers and bloggers already making lots of money from their websites.
Like Topic, Clearscope is keyword research and content optimization tool. It’s well renowned and trusted by users across the globe. The tool allows you to perform keyword research, offers valuable analytics, and enables you to analyze your content compared to the top 30 SERP results.
Clearscope’s Key Features:
Indicates your content’s readability
Pros & Cons
It comes with a Google Docs add-on
It’s available as a WordPress plugin
There’s a readability indicator
There’s free training, onboarding, and excellent customer support
You don’t have to enter into a minimum contract
It’s easy to use
You can review your competitor’s content scores and reading levels
Unlike competitors like MarketMuse, Clearscope doesn’t have a first drafts functionality
Its pricing is expensive even at its lowest plan
Clearscope has two premium plans and one enterprise plan:
Essentials: $170 a month
Professional: $350 a month
Enterprise: Custom Pricing
Who’s Clearscope Best for?
Clearscope is suitable for professional businesses and bloggers focused on outranking their competitors. It comes with all the tools you need to understand what your competitors do well or could improve upon. However, because of its high pricing, it’s not as suitable for smaller businesses with tighter budgets.
If you’re already using SEMrush, it’s a no-brainer to expand your usage into content optimization as well. The product comes with an SEO writing assistant, which allows you to edit and review your content in real-time with a content grader for SEO friendliness.
Overall, SEMRush is also a great keyword research tool, so if you’re looking for a more powerful all-in-one solution, this might be the one. But, of course, this comes with a higher price tag than many of its competitors.
SEMRush’s Key Features:
Content grading for readability, SEO, tone of voice, and originality
Word count target counter
Post tracking measures the impact of your article.
You can revise and improve content with a content audit.
Pros & Cons
It’s an all-in-one solution for keyword research and content optimization software.
It comes with an add-on for Google Docs and WordPress.
It highlights keyword stuffing.
You get access to readability, SEO, and plagiarism grading.
The content optimization software is only available as a bundle with SEMrush’s plans, so it’s not the cheapest option if you already have a keyword tool you like.
If you want access to SEMRush’s content marketing platform, you need to opt into either SEMrush’s Guru or Business Plan:
Guru Plan: $229.95 per month
Business Plan: $449.05 per month
Who’s SemRush Best for?
SEMrush as a content optimization software is best suited to existing SEMrush users or those wanting an all-in-one solution. If you don’t have a great keyword research tool yet, you can kill two birds with one stone by signing up to SEMrush. Nonetheless, the price tag makes this tool suitable only for larger and growing businesses with a budget that allows for such an investment.
Frase is a little different from our previous competitors. It isn’t just a content optimization software; it’s also a chatbot tool, but these features are sold separately. Like many of its competitors, Frase uses AI to optimize your content and help you outrank the competition.
Frase’s Key Features:
The outline builder creates intelligent outlines optimized for target keywords and FAQs
Content analytics with real-time topic scoring
Content optimization workflows that scale with your business
You can import content from live URLs
There’s a Google Doc integration
You can instantly export to WordPress
You can assign article due dates for your writers and tag documents to indicate what stage they’re at
Pros & Cons
Question research allows you to rank high for featured snippets and voice search
Pricing plans are affordable for small businesses
There’s a Google Search Console integration
Frase automatically creates content briefs
You can share and export as much as you want
The platform is still relatively new and sometimes glitchy
Frase isn’t as intuitive as some of its more expensive competitors
Frase has three pricing plans, starting out slightly cheaper than our other alternatives:
Basic: $44.99 a month
Team: $114.99 a month
Enterprise: Custom Pricing
Who’s Frase Best for?
Frase is well-suited to content marketing teams and agencies. But it’s also great for anyone creating content on a larger scale – thanks to the more affordable basic plan, it’s viable for bloggers and small businesses.
Like Clearscope, Dashword is a content optimization software that allows you to analyze competitor content to see how you could do it better.
You can create content that’s more in-depth and easier to read with the content grader. Just enter a chosen keyword, and Dashword will generate a report on how to outrank competitors listing for the same keyword.
Content grader with readability level checker
Keyword and critical topic suggestions
Competitor analysis – you can review competitor content scores and wordcount
Dashword lists frequently asked questions associated with the topics you want to write about
Pros & Cons
Very affordable for beginners
It’s easy to use
You can easily create an outline using the topic and question suggestions
Instead of a free trial, you get your first report for free
You unlock unlimited reports on the Pro plan
Generating reports can take a while (around two to three mins)
Dashword comes with an affordable plan for beginners and a more premium plan for those looking to grow their content marketing strategy.
Hobby Plan: $29 per month
Professional Plan: $199 per month
Who’s Dashword Best for?
Dashword is a great and affordable option for smaller businesses and bloggers looking to get their content strategy off the ground on a budget.
Update: Topic has been recently acquired by Cafe Media and will be sunsetting the platform for external customers.
Topic is a content optimization software that helps you outline your blog posts. It was specifically created to help speed up the research process and provide actionable insights to optimize your content and put you on the fast track to success.
Whenever you run a keyword through its system, Topic reports what you need to cover in your post. Then, it proposes headings, topics, and questions that should appear in your content. The AI even creates unique H2 and H3 headings for you.
Topic’s Key Features:
Outline builder with H2 and H3 heading suggestions
Geo-targeting and support for five languages
WordPress and Google Doc plugins
Word count calculator
Pros & Cons
You’ll save time on manual content research
Unlimited sharing and collaboration
There’s a 7-day trial available for $7
Leftover content briefs roll over to the next month
Topic is on the pricier side
The loading speed can be slow sometimes
You get limited content briefs/optimizations per month. I.e., you can only run the service 10 times on the cheapest plan; essentially, this amounts to $10 per brief, which is quite expensive
Topic offers three pricing plans:
Starter: $99 a month
Plus: $199 a month
Premium: $299 a month
Who’s Topic Best for?
Topic is ideal for agencies and in-house content teams wanting to quickly work up new content briefs using AI.
Rank Math is an SEO WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your content as you write your posts. The tool is easy to use, providing straightforward suggestions for your content. Many users have found it a welcome change from Yoast, with its high-speed performance and novel features. It can also be used on multiple websites at no extra charge.
Rank Math comes with a free plan, and premium plans start at $59.
Yoast SEO is often named the number one WordPress SEO plugin and a must-have for many businesses. It provides an SEO wizard for your WordPress site to help you publish SEO-friendly content. The plugin functions using a streetlight system. I.e., if your content hasn’t achieved the green light, Yoast provides SEO recommendations to help point you in the right direction.
While Yoast is an excellent tool for your site, strictly, it isn’t a content optimization software in the same sense as some of the other tools we’ve mentioned.
The plugin has a free plan. However, the premium plan for a single site costs $89 per year.
Grammarly has become a staple in content optimization. It checks your work’s spelling and grammar and helpfully points out typos. In addition, Safari and Chrome extensions are available to help you to optimize your writing no matter what website you’re on. There’s also a Grammarly plugin for Google Docs!
There’s a completely free version, but premium plans start from $11.66 per month include nifty features like a plagiarism checker.
The Hemingway Editor is a free in-browser content optimization tool for finetuning readability. It’s not as targeted towards SEO. However, Hemingway successfully marks difficult-to-read phrases, unnecessarily complicated words, and passive verbs. It also provides you with suggestions on where to omit words or use an alternative.
You can use this tool to check if your work is formulated too closely to other web content. Aptly named, the Plagiarism Detector quickly checks for plagiarism, making it a valuable tool if your current content optimization software doesn’t include this feature. The software has a free plan which lets you check large volumes of content.
Which Are The Best Content Optimization Platforms?
So, we’ve talked you through a handful of some of the best content optimization platforms on the market. They all have an incredible range of features and capabilities, so how do you decide which one’s best for you?
SEOSurfer has a simple-to-use interface, making it an excellent choice for less experienced users. It’s also one of the most affordable suggestions on our list. Although it might be lacking some more advanced functionalities that one can find in more expensive tools, it’s perfectly suited to small businesses and bloggers looking to optimize their own content with an intuitive tool.
Clearscope comes with add-ons, unlimited sharing, and exporting. In addition, it assigns a content score and reading level to your main competitors. This is a unique feature, and if you’re ready to take content optimization seriously, we think Clearscope is worth the investment. In addition, it has some more advanced features than our other suggestions. Clearscope takes content grading a little further and provides deeper insight into your own but also your competitor’s content.
Frase NLG makes this platform stand out from the rest. It’s simple to use and reasonably priced, too, making it an excellent option for less experienced users. That said, it also has vast enough capabilities to suit more extensive content operations. It’s a real all-rounder, providing excellent value for money.
Which do you think are the best content optimization platforms? Tell us your thoughts in the comments box below!
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At Findstack.com, our research is meant to offer general software recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.