Clearscope is an amazing tool for content marketers and SEOs. I’ve been using it for a few years now and can vouch for it having one of the best keyword recommendation algorithms.
There’s just one problem.
It is quite pricey.
And there’s really no problem with that if you’re a large enterprise company. But if you’re a small startup, agency, or blogger, this pricing may be out of reach.
So, I started to test a bunch of different content optimization platforms that were similar to Clearscope to see which one had the closest algorithm.
In other words, I tried to find the best Clearscope alternative that actually had the same quality as Clearscope (and was cheaper).
I’m happy to say that I found the right tool (and it’s the #1 alternative on this list). But before we get into the list, I want to explain how I did my research into finding the best alternative for Clearscope.
What to look for in a Clearscope alternative
Knowing what to look for in a Clearscope alternative is key.
Chances are, the price may be an issue if you’re using Clearscope — so of course, that’s one factor. But another factor is also the quality of keyword recommendations generated by each content report.
Let’s try to analyze this for a second.
With Clearscope, the cheapest plan (at the moment) is their “Essentials” plan which will run you $170 USD/month. Besides the number of users and the keyword research tool provided, the real value is in the content outlines that are generated. And on Clearscope’s Essentials plan, you get 20 content report credits.
This means that each content report from Clearscope is about $8.50.
That’s roughly two lattes, or one if you go to some fancy cafe in New York City.
Clearscope also has a great UI (user interface), and I think this is what sets them apart from most other content optimization platforms.
But, I actually love writing in a Google doc (and I’m currently writing this in a Google doc and sipping on a $4.25 latte inside of a cafe).
$4.25 for a latte is wild. Talk about inflation.
Anyways, Google doc. That’s how I tend to write all of my blog posts. And Clearscope has a great integration with Google Docs. So, I wanted to find a Clearscope alternative that also had a Google Doc integration.
This way, UI does not matter that much, and I can just focus on writing inside of a familiar editor.
Okay, as a recap of what I looked for in an alternative to Clearscope:
- Price must be less than $8.50 per content report
- Great keyword recommendation algorithm
- Google Docs integration
Now let’s get into the list.
10 Clearscope alternatives for creating SEO-friendly content
Here are my top picks for the best Clearscope alternatives in 2023:
- Surfer SEO
- Content Harmony
Okay, let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these.
1. Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is by far the best alternative to Clearscope I’ve found. I’m actually writing this article using Surfer SEO’s recommendations (lol).
Surfer SEO is an AI content optimization tool very similar to Clearscope. I compared two different reports, one from Clearscope and one from Surfer SEO, using the same exact keyword.
Both of the reports were almost identical.
So if you’re looking for a tool that gives you high-quality keyword recommendations, Surfer SEO is probably the best one on this list.
The other thing I love about Surfer SEO is that it has a Google Docs integration. It’s a chrome extension that automatically populates your reports in your Google Doc.
Here’s what this report looks like for this exact article I’m writing:
It doesn’t rank content by letter grades as Clearscope does, but rather uses a scale and a number out of 100 — I can live with that.
The price of Surfer SEO is also cheaper than Clearscope.
Surfer SEO pricing
Surfer SEO’s cheapest plan is the “Basic” one that will run you about $59/month ($49/month paid annually). With this plan, you get 10 content reports. So if we do the math, each report will run you about $6.
That’s $2.50 cheaper per report compared to Clearscope.
If you want to use Surfer SEO, you can check it out here.
Dashword is a content optimization platform that has been growing in popularity. What makes this tool a great Clearscope alternative is that it lets you create content briefs via a drag-and-drop interface.
Very similar to Clearscope, Dashword gives you a full competitor analysis. And by “competitor,” I mean other articles that rank on the first page of Google for your desired keyword. So you’ll be able to see what headings competing articles use for your target keyword, how many words they have, and what types of links they’re using.
Dashword also gives you a content letter grade content score like Clearscope does, and is very similar to Surfer SEO in the way that it generates keyword recommendations.
What makes Dashword so compelling is that, if you subscribe to one of their higher tier plans, you get access to content monitoring features.
This monitoring feature lets you easily identify underperforming pages, automate your keyword reports, and get access to rank tracking features.
Let’s talk price — it’s quite compelling for the number of features you get.
Dashword’s pricing plans are very similar to that of Surfer SEO and Clearscope in that you get a tiered pricing model based on the number of reports you generate.
Here are Dashword’s pricing plans:
- Hobby: $39 USD/month, includes 5 reports per month ($7.80 per report)
- Startup: $99 USD/month, includes 20 reports per month ($4.95 per report)
- Business: $249 USD/month, includes 100 reports per month ($2.49 per report)
As you can see, Dashword’s pricing is one of the best if you’re on the Startup or Business plan. If you just need the most basic type of plan, then Surfer SEO is probably better here. But if you need more than 5 reports per month, you can’t go wrong with Dashword.
They also give you one free content report, so it can’t hurt to try!
Outranking is a popular AI writing tool with a content optimization feature similar to that of Clearscope, Surfer SEO, and Dashword. They also have a suite of other content marketing and SEO tools.
Outranking is a promising alternative to Clearscope because of its comprehensive content brief generator. Their website claims that they have accurate search intent matching — one of the most important aspects of writing SEO blog posts.
On top of just keyword recommendations and SEO reports, Outranking is an AI writer similar to that of Jasper AI and ChatGPT.
So you’ll be able to not only generate SEO content outlines with Outranking, but you’ll also be able to use AI to help you craft your articles — all with just one monthly subscription.
Speaking of subscriptions, let’s talk about price.
Outranking has three different pricing tiers, with monthly and annual plans — a fairly common pricing model with many B2B SaaS companies.
Outranking’s pricing plans are as follows:
- Solo: $79 USD/month, write and optimize 10 articles
- Pro: $149 USD/month, write and optimize 20 articles
- Company: $219 USD/month, write and optimize 30 articles
On either of these plans, you’re looking at around $7 to $8 USD per content report. So while this is cheaper than Clearscope, it’s still more expensive compared to Surfer SEO.
The upside, however, is that you get unlimited AI writing capabilities (at the time of writing this article). So that does make up for the slightly higher price.
Regardless, Outranking is a solid alternative to Clearscope if you’re in the market for a tool that can do both SEO keyword recommendations and AI writing.
Next up on our list is Frase, another content optimization and AI writer similar to Outranking. Frase AI has been around for a few years now, and they claim to cut the SEO writing process by hours.
Used by many companies with an editorial SEO strategy, like Career Karma, Coursera, and Talkspace, Frase offers a suite of tools outside of just a content editor.
With Frase, you have enhanced functionality to generate content briefs, use AI to help you write content, optimize content based on keyword suggestions, and get access to content analytics and metrics to prevent content decay.
Frase has the cheapest pricing out of the tools we’ve gone over so far. However, I’m not sure exactly how they use NLP (natural language processing) to generate their LSI keyword recommendations.
Frase has three pricing plans:
- Solo: $14.99 USD/month, includes 4 content reports
- Basic: $44.99 USD/month, includes 30 content reports
- Team: $114.99 USD/month, unlimited content reports
What makes Frase an interesting option is that they’re one of the few tools on this list that offers unlimited content reports — which sounds promising for freelancers, agencies, and small businesses who are bullish on SEO content.
I don’t want to be biased, however, so make sure to do your own research as I’m not 100% aware of the quality of keyword recommendations on this low price model.
With over a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on G2, SimilarContent is an SEO content tool that gives you a suite of tools like a content editor, NLP keyword recommendations, GTP3 automated writing, and a readability checker.
The interesting thing about SimilarContent is that the tool supports over 83 languages — a promising feature for multilingual websites.
Just like Surfer SEO, SimilarContent gives you a content grader out of a score of 100, helping you make sure that you’re using relevant terms in your articles.
SimilarContent has an interesting pricing page. Their pricing works on a credit structure, so you pay for what you need. It’s not 100% clear what you get per credit, but there is a free trial that gives you 20 credits — something we don’t see with many content optimization tools.
There is, however, a lifetime license for just $79 USD. This one-time payment gives you 10 articles per day which is absolutely nuts.
There’s definitely no other SEO tool on the market that offers this kind of value for the price, so it doesn’t hurt to give the free trial a go and see if it makes sense for your workflow.
Founded in 2020, Letterdrop is a B2B content platform designed specifically for content teams at agencies and in-house.
This platform offers a full suite of content tools that let you plan, create, and distribute content across email and social media. They also have integrations with WordPress, Webflow, and other CMSs — making it easy to go from an editor to a published page on your website.
As mentioned above, Letterdrop does lean more on the enterprise side. Its pricing is very attractive for late seed and Series A companies, or companies that have a one-person marketing team.
If you use Webflow as your CMS, you can start with $99 USD/month basic plan. However, their more robust plan that gives you SEO optimizations and content research capabilities will run you about $500 USD/month.
Nevertheless, this is a great platform to look into. Especially if your website is built with Webflow.
Content Harmony is another great platform for generating content and helping you with the content research process.
Very similar to Dashword, Content Harmony offers compelling pricing for content briefs and search intent reports.
What makes Content Harmony great is that even their most basic plan gives you unlimited projects and users. So if you’re an agency or freelancer that manages multiple clients, this is a great platform to look into.
They also have a great trial, giving you 10 content briefs for just $10 USD — can’t beat that.
Content Harmony pricing
Content Harmony has three different pricing plans, but only two of them are self-service options. The plans are as follows:
- Standard: $99 USD/month, includes 12 content briefs
- Pro: $299 USD/month, includes 50 content briefs
- Enterprise: $1,000+ USD/month, includes 200+ content briefs
As you can see, if you need less than 12 content briefs per month, there are some better alternatives on this list. But if you need more than 12 reports/month, and if you have a large content team and need multiple user seats, Content Harmony is a great platform to look into.
GrowthBar is a great AI content tool created by the folks at Growth Marketing Pro — a team that really knows their stuff when it comes to SEO content writing.
GrowthBar is a promising platform as it’s more than just an SEO content optimization tool like most on this list. GrowthBar also has an internal content writer marketplace that allows you to outsource content writing to real humans.
If you’re looking to outsource as much of your content production as possible, GrowthBar is a great tool to look into. Their writer marketplace is very affordable for the type of content you get.
I actually used GrowthBar and used their writer marketplace to see the quality of their content, and was pleasantly surprised with the quality I got for such an affordable price.
GrowthBar’s pricing is very competitive and is a great option for small startups just getting their content operation up and running.
Here are GrowthBar’s pricing plans:
- Standard: $48 USD/month, includes 25 AI outlines ($1.92 per report)
- Pro: $99 USD/month, includes 100 AI outlines ($1 per report)
- Agency: $199 USD/month, includes 300 AI outlines ($0.66 per report)
As you can see, the pricing is very compelling. They’ve actually decreased their pricing since I first started using them, so it’s an even more promising platform to use now.
Founded in 2015, MarketMuse is an AI content optimization and planning platform. This platform is actually more than just a Clearscope alternative.
MarketMuse is a full content operation and SEO software company that gives you keyword research capabilities like Semrush and Ahrefs, content planning like Letterdrop, and the ability to identify topic clusters.
MarketMuse does lean more on the enterprise side, so pricing is going to be quite expensive. However, they do offer a free plan that gives you access to 10 queries per month.
You can view their full pricing plans on their website.
Last, but not least, we have cognitive SEO. Just like MarketMuse, cognitiveSEO offers a full suite of SEO tools to help you rank higher in the SERP (search engine results page).
From content optimization to backlink analysis and site checker, this tool is more than just a keyword writing assistant. cognitiveSEO also has an SEO API, unlike most of the tools on this list, that allows digital marketing agencies and developers to integrate their tools into existing in-house workflows.
As you may already be able to tell, this tool is quite advanced and may not be the best if you’re looking for a simple alternative to Clearscope. But if you need something very robust, it’s worth looking into.
cognitiveSEO does have pricing options available for companies of all sizes. However, they do lean on the pricey side if you just need a keyword recommendation tool.
You can view their full pricing plans on their website.
Conclusion: Which is the best Clearscope alternative?
As digital advertising costs are on the rise, and organic search becomes more appealing to companies, it’s important to find the right tools to help you with the content creation process.
If you’re looking for a Clearscope alternative, chances are you already know what types of features you’re looking for. A tool that helps you craft a compelling content strategy and gives you a real-time content grade is a great place to start.
With all the tools we went over, I can’t recommend Surfer SEO and Dashword enough.
If you want something very similar to the workflow Clearscope has, for a cheaper price, then I would say go with Surfer SEO.
If you want to experiment with extra features like content monitoring and need to add multiple team members on a budget, then I would recommend looking into Dashword.
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Happy content creating!
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