One of my most requested videos lately seems to be about showing the differences between Surfer and Frase.

So, here you go.

This post is ONLY focusing on the Content Editors in each tool.

There is a lot more to both tools and that would be too much for one post! But the content editor/optimizer is the most common feature asked about so I am only focusing on that for this post.


Surfer versus Frase: The Differences

While there are similarities – there are many differences too. While Frase is the new kid on the block – it started as a content creation tool. Surfer has been a round a bit longer – but actually started as a content optimization tool – and added their content creation tool at a later date.

I have been watching both tools and they are both receptive to customer feedback, constantly improving their tools and are both great options.

Below I am showing some of what each tool offers so you are familiar with all the parts!


  • Topic Research
  • Create Content Briefs
  • Create Content
  • Optimize Content
  • Import content from URL
  • Question Ideas


  • SERP Analyzer (for optimization)
  • Content Editor (creating/editing content)
  • Keyword Research
  • SEO Audit
  • Surfer SEO Extension For Chrome

For everything below I am using the term: “best shoes for bunions” as my test keyphrase.

Choosing Competitors

Both tools allow you the opportunity to choose the competitors you want to use to help create your content. This is one of the most important parts of the whole process!

Choosing the wrong competitors can make all the difference in whether or not your content is successful in the search results.

I have to give Surfer a bit of an advantage on this part of the tool. Their list of competitors was a bit more accurate for the top 10 and I like how the tool shows the content score, words and authority so I can make informed choices.

Frase has similar information, but not right on the competitor select screen.

Below are the results for the search term from each tool as well as the organic search results from Google.

Surfer has the edge in pulling the correct results in the correct positions to match the SERPS. Frase is close, but they are not in order of the SERP’s.

Actual Search Results

  • Prevention
  • Healthline
  • Healthy Feet Store
  • NY Mag
  • Lucky Feet Shoes
  • Ortho Feet
  • Ortho Feet
  • Barking Dog Shoes
  • Family Footwear Center
  • Women’s Health Mag

Surfer Results

  • Prevention
  • Healthline
  • Healthy Feet Store
  • NY Mag
  • Lucky Feet Shoes
  • Ortho Feet
  • Ortho Feet
  • Barking Dog Shoes
  • Women’s Health Mag
  • Family Footwear Center


  • Prevention
  • Healthline
  • NY Mag
  • Family Footwear Center
  • Women’s Health Mag
  • Healthy Feet Store
  • Very Well Fit
  • Lucky Feet Shoes
  • Barking Dog Shoes
  • Ortho Feet

Surfer Competitor Screen

Just like Frase, Surfer pulls in all the information for the top competitors and you can see a lot of the results are the same. Just make sure the articles you want to use for your content are checked and click Let’s Go!

Surfer competitor screen

Frase Competitor Screen

Frase offers an easy to use competitor screen where you can see that they have 16 sources for you to consider using to create your content.

Just uncheck the ones you do not want and click save to move on to the content editor. You can also import a URL if there is a competitor you want to use that is not in the list.

frase competitor selector

To view the score for each of the competitor websites you need to visit topic score and now you can see the relative difficulty of the page you need to optimize against. This is the comparison to Surfer’s content score.

Keyword/Topic Suggestions

Since this is one of the most valuable pieces of these tools, I wanted to be sure I did a comparison of what each tool delivered as needed keyword/topic ideas for “best shoes for bunions”.

The thought process is that by using these term variations in your content you will rank higher. Each tool will show you how many competitors are using the term and provide examples of how the terms are being used to help you optimize for the term.

This is straight from the tool with no customizations or anything on my end.


  • best shoes for bunions
  • shoes for bunions
  • type keyword s
  • toe box
  • shoes
  • wide toe box
  • big toe
  • bunions
  • best shoes
  • runner


  • wide toe
  • wide toe box
  • heels
  • shoes for bunions
  • material
  • option
  • pair of shoes
  • bunion pain
  • running shoes
  • sneakers

Surfer Suggested Terms

surferseo keywords

Frase Suggested Terms

Frase keywords

Creating Your Content

This where I feel Frase outdoes Surfer. Frase makes it easy to add content ideas from other websites to build out a content ideation format. Then you can easily edit it to make it your own.

Surfer you will need to manually add all content, there is no ability to add content from other websites.

In the below screenshot you will see the Frase content editor. The right sidebar shows the content that was written about the term “wide toe” from the top competitors I selected. I can just click on a paragraph and it imports the content into my brief with an annotation of the site it was taken from.

Awesome right!

But guys DO NOT use this content as it is! Change it to make it your own.

add content to Frase

You can just click a button to add paragraphs, headings, questions and so much more. This is where Frase totally outdoes Surfer in my opinion.

Editor Access

If you are using writers for your content, both tools offer a link that you can share to allow them access to the article so they can use the tool without needing an account.

I have used Surfer as a content writer and it is a pretty seamless experience. I have not outsourced writing with these tools yet though.

WordPress Integration

  • Surfer does offer WordPress integration with a Chrome Extension.
  • Frase offers a Publish to WordPress feature.

I have not tested either because I prefer to just copy and paste.


Below are the languages that the tools offer at the time of this writing.

Frase offers English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Danish
Surfer claims to work in all languages



Hobby Plan: $29/month and includes 5 queries a month for their content editor and 5 queries per day for their SERP analyzer

Basic Plan: $59/month and includes 25 queries a month for their content editor and 15 queries per day for their SERP analyzer

Pro Plan: $99/month and includes 100 queries a month for their content editor and 50 queries per day for their SERP analyzer

Business Plan: $199/month and includes 300 queries a month for their content editor and 100 queries per day for their SERP analyzer

A 20% discount is offered for annual purchases.

Surfer also includes NLP in some packages, backlinks, keyword research in their monthly plans but I am not addressing those here since they are unique from Frase.


Basic Plan: $45/month and allows you to optimize or create 30 documents & integrate Search Console

Growth Plan: $120/month and allows you to optimize or create unlimited documents & integrate Search Console, Hubspot and Google Doc which is coming soon

Enterprise pricing is also available upon request

A 15% discount applies for annual purchases.

Frase also includes their “answers” technology in their pricing plans, but I am not talking about that in this article since Surfer does not offer anything like it.

Final Thoughts

Both of these tools are awesome. If you can only afford one, I would recommend Surfer just because of how much it does. If all you are really focused on is content creation, then Frase is the choice I would make.

How I use Frase For Content

I start all my content in Frase. I put in my keyword, choose my competitors and get an outline from the content my competitors. I then add in content from the competing sites and modify it to make it my own.

I check that the terms that are most relevent are green, I have the recommended number of images and headers and then I move it to WordPress and publish.

I currently use Frase for all my content creation.

How I Use Surfer For Content

I use Surfer to optimize my existing content with their SERP analyzer which delivers so much amazing data directly from competing websites. With over 500 metrics analyzed, it is a way to win in the SERP’s if you use it properly!

I currently use Surfer for all of my content optimization.

My Recommendations

I would recommend Surfer if you need more in-depth content optimization. Because it assesses your content with their SERP analyzer it can offer a little more insight into how you can further improve your website based on what your competitors are doing.

Surfer has the edge between the two just because of the amount of data it can deliver. This may change as Frase continues to improve and expand though!

For now, I will be keeping both – I prefer the look and features of the Frase editor, but do feel Surfer gives me an edge with a bit more data for optimizing.

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