Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO- Which tool is the best?

Ashkar Gomez
11min read
Table of Contents

Want to make great content that does well in search results? 

For that, you have to have good tools.

Market Muse and Surfer SEO are content optimization tools that help you make pages rank better. 

Even though some features of MarketMuse and Surfer SEO are the same, the prices of the two tools are very different.

MarketMuse is a complete package among the two tools, because it has everything you need to optimize your content in one place.

Surfer SEO, on the other hand, is all about updating and researching content. It’s Chrome extension and WordPress integration make it easy to use. 

Today, I’ll compare these two popular tools for optimizing content. I can tell you right away that neither of these are a “one-size-fits-all” tool. Some of you will choose Surfer, while others will choose MarketMuse. There is no “right” tool to use; it depends on what you must do.

I’ll talk about what each tool can do and what they have in common. 

Let’s start the study without further delay.

What is MarketMuse?

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 8

MarketMuse is an AI-powered tool for optimizing content that helps content marketers and other writers make high-quality, search engine-friendly content. 

It uses advanced algorithms and natural language processing (NLP) to analyze a website’s current content and suggest the topics and keywords you should include in new pieces to help them rank higher in search results.

MarketMuse also gives people detailed information about how well a website does regarding SEO, which helps them find places to improve.

What is Surfer SEO?

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 9

Surfer SEO is mostly a proper tool for SEO. It helps people who write articles and blog posts optimize their content by suggesting main and secondary keywords. 

The tool is perfect because it has a data dashboard showing your page’s graph. On the line, you can see where your post falls short on the page.

This makes it easy to figure out how to improve and how to optimize your content. It doesn’t do this in real-time, which can waste time.

Features of MarketMuse and Surfer SEO

Almost every other SEO tool does the same but have different benefits. We could say that each tool works differently. Both Surfer and MarketMuse have their special features that businesses and digital marketers like.

Surfer SEO

Surfer has the following six key features that will help you in many ways.

  • Grow Flow
  • Content Editor
  • Keyword Research
  • Audit
  • Keyword Surfer Extension
  • AI Outline Generator

Grow Flow

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 10

Grow Flow is an AI-assisted task manager in Surfer. It gives you a list of things to improve the content, make posts, and more. This function helps people who are new to SEO writing. 

However, as someone who has worked in the field for a long time, you can use several other tools to schedule the creation and optimization of content.

Content Editor

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 6

The content editor is the most important part of Surfer. It shows you the term, the number of words, and other information.

The user interface of Surfer’s content creator is very well made. Your content will be given a score out of 100, and you’ll be able to see at a glance what you can change to make your score higher.

You will love how Surfer makes it easy to improve content. The tool tells you exactly where your content is doing well and where it needs work. MarketMuse also has a content editor. In the next part,  you will learn how these two are similar and different.

Keyword Research

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 3

Surfer also has a keyword research tool that lets you look up keywords. You can see more about this tool in this study’s “Content Research” part. 

Audit Tool

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 11

Like the content creator, the audit tool lets you know where your content is doing well and where it needs improvement. You’ll get advice on which keywords to use and what changes to make to the structure.

You’ll also find out which backlinks your competitors have and get suggestions for links you can put on your page. You will use the audit tool on pages you have already published.

Keyword Extension Tool

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 4

With the keyword surfer SEO extension (Chrome extension), you can pull keywords from SERPs for any topic and export them as a CSV file to help you plan and improve your content.

AI Outline Generator

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 14

Lastly, the AI outline generator is a great tool for researching content, putting together your page in a structure, and coming up with ideas to get your mind working. 

You will learn more about how the outline generator works while working on the content research part. It’s useful, but it can’t do everything; it has a set of limitations.


MarketMuse can be described in five short points. Its program does too many things; however, this gives you a general idea of what MarketMuse offers:

  • Content optimization
  • Strategic content planning (including content cluster creation)
  • Competitive analysis
  • Keyword research
  • Content briefs

Content Optimization

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 13

The content optimization system from MarketMuse is very strong. You’ll learn how to structure your writing, which keywords to use, what your competitors are doing, and more. MarketMuse also lets you quickly look over old content and gives you ideas about how to make that old content better.

You will discover more about the content optimization suite in the next part. For now, just know that it’s pretty cool.

Strategy Content Planning

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 1

When compared to other tools, MarketMuse’s strategic content planning tool stands out. MarketMuse takes an active inventory of your site, looks at how your content is compared to other content on the web, and tells you what kinds of content you should focus on.

This suite also helps you create content clusters, which help you figure out where your current content fits into your overall strategy and tell you what you should write about next.

Competitive Analysis

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 12

The competitive analysis from MarketMuse is pretty cool. You will find it useful how heatmaps show where your competitors are doing better than you. 

It helps you figure out where you need to add more content, what content you already have that needs to be improved, and where your site is doing better than your competitors. 

The heatmaps are easy to read and work well with the content planning tool for strategic content.

Keyword Research

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 15

MarketMuse has excellent tools for finding relevant keywords. Using MarketMuse keyword research, you may uncover profitable keywords to target and learn what kinds of content you should create to rank those keywords.

The “Content Research” section discusses the keyword research features in MarketMuse.

Content Briefs

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 7

At last, you can make content briefs in MarketMuse. MarketMuse provides detailed content briefs, including suggestions for things like internal and external links to include in your articles.

PROS and CONS: Surfer SEO and MarketMuse

Pros of Surfer SEO

  • Improves search engine rankings by employing artificial intelligence to fine-tune content
  • Provides a list of keywords to use in your writing and makes a plan to become an authority on a topic
  • Produces a complete article outline in minutes, ensuring your information is well-organized
  • Offers advice on what content would increase traffic and how to implement it
  • Offers in-depth analyses of individual pages to spot problem areas and recommends next resolution measures

Cons of Surfer SEO

  • Includes both monthly and yearly subscriptions and a pricing tier based on the number of editors and unlimited audits
  • Is not 100% convincing in the keyword research difficulty scoring and not as wise as Semrush or Ahrefs
  • Falls short of competing products, despite its recent (and untested) version

Pros of MarketMuse

  • Helps authors to save time by pinpointing relevant sub-topics and establishing an optimal keyword length
  • Helps to do a quick content audit and spots gaps in coverage that could boost your SEO rankings
  • Provides suggestions for fresh content by analyzing your existing site
  • Has formed relationships with content agencies for businesses that would rather outsource their content marketing

Cons of MarketMuse

  • Monthly enterprise pricing starts at over $1,000
  • No demo version available for testing
  • Challenging to exactly quantify an SEO project’s return on investment (ROI)

Pricing Plans: Marketmuse and Surfer SEO

Marketmuse Pricing Plans

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 2

MarketMuse offers three plans: the Free plan, the Standard plan, and the Premium plan.

Free plan

The Free plan gives you ten projects and queries per month. You can use it as long as you want, but you can’t get much info out of it. It’s a great way to try out the plan and get used to how it works before switching to a more advanced plan.

Standard plan

The Standard plan is for one person and costs $600 per month or $6,000 per year. For an extra fee of $99 per month, you can add more people. With this plan, you can run up to 100 queries per month, work on an unlimited number of projects, share data, and get the full output of application data.

Premium plan

The Premium plan starts at $12,000 per year and can go up from there. This package includes access for a team, endless number of queries, a domain content audit, a domain analysis with any number of pages, managed topic tracking, and an unlimited number of content briefs. All of these features are in addition to what the first two packages offer. It comes with account management staff, training on the platform, and process coaching. 

Surfer SEO Pricing Plans

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO 5

Basic plan

The Basic plan is the most affordable choice, charging only $49 per month. Since it’s only for one user, it’s a great choice for freelance writers and small companies. 

You can write and optimize up to 120 articles per year with the content editor and optimize up to 240 pages per year with the audit tool. 

Pro plan

The Pro plan is the most popular choice. It costs $99 per month and is best for medium-sized businesses that have more than one website. There are three user seats in this plan.

You can write and optimize up to 360 contents per year using the content editor, and you can use the audit tool for up to 720 pages per year.

Business Plan

The Business plan costs $199 per month, can be used by up to 10 content writers, and is best for big companies with ten or more websites.

You can write and optimize up to 840 articles per year with the content editor and optimize up to 1680 pages per year with the audit tool.

It also gives you advanced keyword research and an in-depth look into the SERP analysis.

Enterprise plan

The Enterprise plan is fully customizable and gives businesses a personalized experience and contracts that can grow as their needs change. It can be used by as many content writers as you want, and it’s good for big companies with ten or more websites.

You can write and optimize as many articles as you want with the content editor, and you can use the audit tool for as many pages as you want. 

Marketmuse vs Surfer SEO- Comparision Table

Marketmuse Surfer SEO
More advanced Content Optimization with AI-driven insights and personalized difficulty scores.
Focuses on keyword research and on-page optimization
Offers content briefs and content templates (additional cost)
Provides AI outline generator and suggests content based on competitor analysis
Provides personalized content metrics
It has no content inventory tracking
More expensive, with tiered plans and additional credit purchases.
More affordable with simpler pricing plans
More complex, with a focus on advanced features
Easier to use with a beginner-friendly interface.


Based on the study, both MarketMuse and Surfer SEO are powerful content optimization tools that can help improve the search engine ranking of your content. But if we want to make a suggestion, Surfer SEO is better than MarketMuse in some ways.

The content editor is a standout feature of Surfer SEO. It gives you thorough information and suggestions about your content’s structure, length, and focus keywords, making it easy to optimize for both users and search engines. 

Real-time analysis from Surfer SEO makes sure that your content is always useful and up-to-date with the latest changes to search algorithms.

On the other hand, MarketMuse is more about planning and optimising content. It gives you ideas for topics based on the keywords you’ve found and helps you plan how your content will be organised. 

Even though it does these things very well, it doesn’t have a very good content generator which is a downside.

Overall, Surfer SEO is the best choice if you want a tool for optimizing content that has a great content editor, analysis in real time, and an easy-to-use layout. 

But it’s important to keep in mind that both tools have their own pros and cons, and the best one for you will depend on your wants and goals.

Picture of Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez is the Founder of 7 Eagles (a Growth Marketing & SEO Company). Ashkar started his career as a Sales Rep in 2013 and later shifted his career to SEO in 2014. He is one of the leading SEO experts in the industry with 8+ years of experience. He has worked on 200+ projects across 20+ industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, UAE, Australia, South Africa, and India. Besides SEO and Digital Marketing, he is passionate about Data Analytics, Personal Financial Planning, and Content Writing.

Table of Contents

Related Articles

Your Business
Starts Here

Let’s Have a Cup of Digital Tea

Request Your Free Quote

Book Your Free Marketing Consultation

Your Monthly ads spend