Content creation is an integral part of any successful content strategy. But the job doesn't end with writing the blog post. You cannot just write a few hundred words, click publish, and relax while you expect organic traffic to just come in.
You'd be closer to failing than succeeding with this approach because it's missing one thing: content optimization. Content that is not properly optimized for organic search will never rank high on search engines, no matter how much you put into it.
Blogging is only growing in popularity. According to recent statistics by Oberlo, there currently exist over 600 million blog posts, and about 92 percent of content marketers rely on them. This is why we have content optimization platforms: to help writers up their game.
What is a content optimization platform?
A content optimization platform is software that supports a full-scale SEO and content marketing strategy from conception to final results. It also focuses on optimizing content to provide a personalized web experience for users.
Content optimization platforms are great for comparing your content with other pieces. They provide keywords, strategic insights into key subtopics, and identify any lapses in your written content.
In other words, these platforms help you create unique content and prevent you from making any mistake that might stop you from ranking higher. They also ensure you create content that reaches a wider audience, gain more traffic, and ultimately hit your business goals.
Assumptions can be risky in SEO. You should instead opt for certainty with regards to the keyword/topic you're writing about. Now you know how content optimization platforms create a seamless workflow at every stage of the process. Let's take a look at the best tools available.
15 best content optimization tools in 2021
Here are 15 great content optimization platforms to boost your organic traffic:
1. Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is a powerful cloud-based content optimization tool, and its specialty is on-page website optimization. It helps you analyze and compare your pages with the highest ranking websites regarding things like niches and keywords.
The 7-day trial will set you back by $1. The platform is beginner-friendly with a clear and intuitive interface.
Surfer SEO is great for analyzing URLs, keywords, or domains without battling with lots of data. As opposed to many content optimization tools that merely provide data, with Surfer you also get a visual representation of any sections that require tweaking.
This is the perfect tool for performing competitive analysis and becoming more visible on search engines.
Outranking is an SEO content tool used for researching SEO-related data, identifying keywords, and providing step-by-step instructions on how to optimize content. This tool also helps you see how well you’re ranking for any competition search terms. You can use the results to make changes that will boost your rankings.
With its Instant SEO Scoring feature, you can predict the success of your content. It’s an excellent alternative for Surfer SEO because it costs less, so it’s a more affordable option for content creators on a budget.
Marketmuse is a premium content solution suitable for businesses that need help with planning, auditing, and optimizing their content. It uses automation technology and machine learning to analyze content based on the competition and identify topics that will work well on your site.
Rather than providing you with the tools you need to create personalized outlines, Marketmuse allows users to request content briefs within the platform. This is great if you’re in a hurry, but not so good if you want to improve the uniqueness of your content.
These content briefs include topics to cover, average word counts, and KPIs for writers to aim for, creating ready-to-use outlines that match what’s already out there. That is, a natural language generation engine analyzes large quantities of content on a similar topic and brings it together to create an original piece of content for you.
As mentioned earlier, Marketmuse is a better solution for companies that need help with end-to-end content marketing strategies. If you have a strategy but need an easy-to-use content optimization tool to grade your drafts and ensure you cover the right subjects, Marketmuse is the ideal tool for you.
Clearscope is an important tool to have if you want a successful content marketing strategy. It helps marketers write high-quality content in relatively less time than other content optimization tools by using artificial intelligence to get contextual keywords to include in your content.
In other words, Clearscope uses a target keyword to generate strong keywords to make your content SEO-friendly.
This tool is also suitable for writers who are prone to writer's block. Whenever you feel less enthusiastic about writing, Clearscope can provide a push in the right direction through the content creation process, and you can rely on its recommendations.
It also has a Google Docs plugin, which allows you to safely store your documents, without denying you access to the writing tools offered by Clearscope.
Depending on your budget, Clearscope is a little pricey. It costs about $8 per content brief. Moreover, the interface is not beginner-friendly, but there are detailed training videos to help first-timers have a smooth experience while using the tool.
Another downside of this tool is that it cannot manage multiple projects at the same time, which can be tough when writing web content. Nonetheless, it should be part of your go-to content creation tools.
Frase is another content optimization tool that focuses on user intent, helping you create effective content based on common questions your audience is asking across different channels—like Google, Quora, etc. It uses an AI-powered technology for content research, so you can figure out what your audience needs and proffer the best solutions.
The tool summarizes articles and recommends topics, providing enough information on your chosen keyword so that you can create comprehensive content. Like Marketmuse, Frase scores your content against similar content and identifies any major flaws.
However, this product is an amalgamation of different tools and doesn’t focus on content optimization. As a result, users can end up feeling lost and confused.
6. Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is another product by Google and it's free. You may use GSC to make already existing content on your site more effective. You can also refer to it as a behind-the-scenes look into how search engines interact with and rank your content.
This free SEO tool provides useful insight into how algorithms work and the best ways to create the high-performing content. This is based on the factors that Google considers when rating web content.
Although it can be difficult to use for first-timers, it can be one of your best SEO tools. It provides keywords and how they rank, reveals the popularity of target keywords, identifies content flaws, analyzes how your site in general and its individual content performs on search engine results pages (SERP), and optimizes content.
Among other search engine optimization tools at your disposal, Google Search Console should be your “tool of truth” when evaluating existing content on your site.
This list won't be complete without cognitiveSEO content optimizer. It uses advanced Google search algorithms to reveal exceptional content ideas for your website. That is, it helps you bridge the gap between old SEO techniques and the latest approach to content marketing.
It is one of the well-known competitive research tools used for keyword research, content optimization, and ranking analysis.
All you have to do is type in your main keyword into the search box provided, select your location, then click on “Analyze.” It takes less than a minute to provide thousands of topics and keywords for your digital campaign.
The interesting part of this tool is that you get to see keyword rankings and understand why some websites are ranking higher than others. This helps you make an informed choice for topics or keywords to utilize.
Like every other tool, cognitiveSEO Content Optimizer also has its downsides. It takes a couple of weeks to master the platform, and for $129.99 per month, you might agree that it's a bit pricey.
Although it analyzes other websites, it is difficult for the rank tracker to compare multiple sites at a time. So you have to compare one after the other, which can be tasking.
8. Content Harmony
Content Harmony is another website optimization and SEO tool, which competes against top brands like DupliChecker, Twilio, etc. As the website says, Content Harmony specializes in producing and promoting targeted content through SEO, email outreach, and paid media.
The average hourly rate of Content Harmony is $150 - $199/hr. The brand has a fully remote staff located in strategic places in the USA.
Although it is not as popular as some tools mentioned earlier, the brand has gained top recognitions—such as Clutch Research’s Top SEO Firms, Top Content Marketing Agencies, and Top Digital Marketing Agencies accolades in 2017.
As the name implies, SEOTesting helps you check the strength of your content and complements your content marketing efforts with real value in less time. It handles the mental work that comes with content creation, performing automated research and providing detailed results.
If you ever wanted to track content optimizations, you'll be glad to know that this tool makes it quite easy. You can track your site's performance with SEOTesting using individual URLs. No more guessing. You can also boost your portfolio by showing clients exactly how your optimizations impact their performance. That's the authority of a content strategist!
It is one of the most affordable SEO tools available, starting at $19/month. However, using this tool requires a basic knowledge of Google Search Console, since it can be difficult to select and arrange the reports you need.
10. Content Experience by Searchmetrics
Content Experience is an essential content optimization tool for content marketing. It provides data based on user history to make your content achieve its goal: drive audience engagement with relevance. Content Experience also helps you create content to boost your site's authority and authenticity.
Routinely creating content merely to match a schedule can be detrimental. Instead, write articles that match search intent on topics your audience can utilize right away. If you offer solutions to their problems or create content that interests them, they will remain loyal to your site.
But, it is not user-friendly for beginners, there is no trial mode, and it does not support keyword research in multiple languages.
Formerly known as WebTextTool, Textmetrics is a platform for creating quality SEO-oriented content. It is suitable for companies that want to grow their text conversion rates.
Textmetrics gives you real-time suggestions; great customer support that helps you to curate high-quality content that is appealing to your audience.
This tool uses artificial intelligence. So, you can guess that it's quite powerful. If what you need is a personalized report on your article, as detailed as a human writer, then Textmetrics is sure to get the job done.
It is a good tool for writing content, improves your content performance, and manages your copywriting tasks. However, it has its disadvantages: an expensive monthly plan, no keyword research option, it can't export content in WordPress format, and does not support multiple languages.
SimilarContent has a 7-Day free trial option and supports over 80 languages. With this tool, you can determine how much competition a particular topic or keyword has before going ahead with it.
It is also a widely-used tool (for beginners and SEO experts) because of its amazing features. SimilarContent provides a complete overview of a topic that has been covered, what improvements you should make, and how many times you should use a keyword.
It offers real-time keyword ranking, live chat support, and more. This tool is also affordable—cheaper than Surfer SEO, Marketmuse, and some other content-based tools—pricing starts at $9.99/month.
13. SEO Scout
SEO Scout is an SEO analytics, keyword optimization, and testing tool. It helps you optimize your content, analyze your results, and test your website’s SEO performance on a large scale.
You can compare your website with those of your more successful competitors using SEO scout. The process is fulfilling because you will uncover a lot of strategies to utilize for your site.
It is easy to use, but the plan for beginners is pricey – $29/month. While it allows you to analyze the website of your competitors, only one website is allowed in the beginner plan. It also offers a 14-day free trial, but the keyword report is not properly arranged, and the free trial has limited features.
Grammarly is an AI-based writing tool that scans for grammatical errors and suggests better alternatives. It is a common SEO tool for growing amateur writers and enables experts to maintain a bold, clear, and precise writing pattern.
This tool also checks for plagiarism. So, if you want to create original content, this tool should be your closest ally.
Furthermore, the best part of this tool is its Chrome extension, and the plugin works well on Google Docs and Microsoft Word. You can enhance the quality of the content anywhere, anytime.
Search engine algorithms use contextual cues and writing tone as a ranking factor. With this tool, you can improve your content’s authority by optimizing how readers consume and understand your content.
Grammarly also works with Google Docs and Clearscope. This means you can streamline your workflow and focus on your content. Leave project management to Grammarly.
It has a free version with a plethora of features. But the pro version offers advanced options, like plagiarism detection and formality level. It also provides clear recommendations to improve grammar and spelling issues for a wider audience before you publish the optimized content.
However, you can’t accept several suggestions/recommendations at once. Instead, you must accept or reject suggestions individually, and this may cost you a fair bit of time. This is especially true if your word count exceeds one thousand and the mistakes are many.
You can not always trust the recommendations from Grammarly, as they are sometimes wrong and not contextually relevant. So, look out for unnecessary suggestions.
15. Hemingway Editor
Content optimization is tedious because you must scrutinize every sentence to make them appealing to readers and optimized for robots. This is where Hemingway Editor comes in: to help you write better content and ensure visitors continue to check your site.
Hemingway Editor helps to check content for errors like passive voice misuse and difficult-to-read sentences. You can also use it to fix your writing tone, grammatical errors, and sentence structure. Like Grammarly, you can use Hemingway Editor to check for the readability and correctness of your content.
You can use this online tool for free, but it doesn’t have a widget for Chrome and Safari. So, you have to manually copy/paste content to the online or desktop program to check your content.
Do not solely rely on this tool, as it does not offer suggestions on how to fix writing problems.
What Makes a Great Content Optimization Platform?
Every content optimization platform (both the ones mentioned here and those not mentioned) are unique. But some factors contribute to the success of any platform. Do you know what makes a great content optimization platform?
Before making a decision, refer below for some factors to consider in an SEO tool.
- Ability to customize content: If your chosen platform does not give you the ability to customize your content, you will have trouble using such a tool.
A great content optimization platform allows users to curate content however they wish to, without forgetting that it is just software and can't determine the user’s choices.
- Mobile customization: A good content optimization platform will have options available for a website and an app (with a user-friendly interface) that allows users to change its size and shape depending on the screen it is being displayed.
- Clear search results: Before using any platform, check for clarity via its demo mode. You wouldn't want to pay for a platform that doesn't offer clear search results, as that is the only way to make decisions about your content.
In other words, the results provided by the platform determine the quality of your content. The ability to provide data-driven, clear results makes a great content optimization platform.
- Good customer support: Customer service determines the usability of any tool to a large extent. What makes many content optimization tools stand out depends on how they relate and attend to users.
Even the most experienced content expert may still require the assistance of a technical team. So, be sure to check for customer support and the availability of a tech-savvy team before signing up on any platform. The last thing you want is to pay for services and not get premium attention when a need arises.
Curating content is tasking, whether for business purposes or personal use. But these SEO tools have been made available to ease the workload that comes with creating quality content. They are AI-enabled. So, in areas where human strength fails, these tools can get the job done.
If you are involved with content creation, branding, and digital marketing at any level, you cannot compromise on these SEO content optimization tools.
You can utilize one or more of the tools mentioned above to edit, analyze, and rearrange your content until you are sure it will rank on Google. But do not solely depend on them, as they can only assist you in creating optimized content for your audience.
Moreover, this list does not downplay the functions of other tools in your SEO toolbox. The ultimate goal is to rank high, and you are free to utilize any platform of your choice.
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