As a marketing enthusiast in the realm of SEO, I am convinced that content is the only dominant, driving factor between an average site and an outstanding one. From great content, everything else flows — trust, links and conversions. It’s the difference between a page 10 result and a position #1 result.
If true, why do we use the default WordPress editor as our writing companion for both page and post creation? If our competition is setting the bar so low, do we not have an obligation to go above and beyond to truly shine through and earn the rankings we deserve?
I would say so!
And so, I think it is vital to work through the known writing apps out there, compare them against each other, and elect an arguable winner. After all, a solid writing app will lead to improved content and subsequent SEO over the long haul.
To make this a true and fair comparison, I thought it only be right to analyze our largest blog post at the time of this publication and see what errors, insights and guidelines each editor would provide us with, not to mention the overall approach they take toward the relationship between keywords, readability and overall content quality.
WordCounter is more than your basic word document processor.
It is able to detect what grade level you’ve written at, as well as the density of certain keywords and phrases, which makes it helpful to understand if you are overusing a certain group of words. There are a number of custom features you can also add using their options setting, including the likes of a “talk to type” ability as well as a “proofread” function where it will read your sentences back to you — along with aesthetic changes such as fonts and colored themes. The other nice thing about WordCounter is that it somehow remembers the body of text you input from your last visit, which makes it all the more useful if you forgot to save your work and exited the page, or worse yet, your battery dies!
While it has its drawbacks in that it does not tell you what you should include, or what alternative keywords are a better option, it does much more than a standard notepad solution ever could.
It’s surprising that this tool is actually free.
Hemingway is simple and minimalistic; that is, until you start writing. It has the ability to detect language, tone, flow and readability — providing you with direct suggestions on how to improve your text. The color coded errors and warnings allow you to receive immediate feedback on where you are going wrong, or what you might want to be wary of. The simplified statistics also keep you informed of your word count and reading time, in case you needed to stick to a limit. Similar to WordCounter, it can determine the reading level you are writing at, although each tool has its own way of determining this result which will lead to some discrepancies between tools.
Whatever you could determine Hemingway lacks in features with regard to keywords and optimization, it makes up for with human-like editorial intelligence and high quality analysis. A great start for any writer.
TypeWipe is a tool you would expect a SEO to create.
It has the power of Hemingway in terms of analysis and color-coded critique, while allowing you to pick a target keyword which you can specifically optimize for. In doing so, TypeWipe provides variations and alternatives that you should select to include in your body of text, provided it makes sense to do so without comprising the quality of your output. Word count and readability level are also a nice touch, making it just as remarkable that is too is free of charge.
If you want to optimize your content for SEO and are on a low budget, TypeWipe would be the tool to start with.
Ryte is the beginning of what we will see in premium content optimization tools.
Going beyond a target keyword and suggestions of what keywords to include, Ryte will also let you know what keywords you should use less of as well as what keywords you should include more of. Ryte also looks at the competing pages in the SERPs to determine how you should create and structure your content, utilizing TF-IDF (term frequency–inverse document frequency) to make a detailed analysis and clear path to better visibility.
It may be one of the more expensive tools, but Ryte is an investment that will pay off when used as intended.
Surfer is one of our favorite content optimization tools, hands down.
Surfer seems to get everything right. It does everything that other optimization tools do i.e. analyze competing pages, make suggestions for what keywords to include and how many times to include them — but with some extra perks that propel them to the top of the heap, most notably, their proprietary “Content Score” which gives you a clear visual indicator as to where your content stands and how much work is needed to bring it to a satisfactory level for both users and search engines.
The power, performance and price of Surfer have made us fans of the app, which we recommend whenever we can.
SEOscout is a blend between a few optimization tools.
It seems to combine the ease of TypeWipe, with the functionality of Ryte. They also have some unique aspects of their content analysis, including a comprehensiveness score in the form of a percentage, along with NLP insights (powered by IBM’s Watson AI) which will assist you to cover the topic and sub-terms thoroughly. SEOscout understands that over optimization is just as big an issue as under optimization, and has designed its editor to guide you in the right direction.
If you want a solid writing assistant that holds your hand along the way, look no further!
Perhaps the best content optimization solution out there.
Topic is an AI that does more than it really should (something I never thought I’d say). With the input of a target keyword, Topic can reveal what headings, questions, and keywords you should include in your content brief. Similar to Surfer, it too will provide a content score, albeit in a grade format. It can also create a comprehensive outline on the fly, and even generates optimized titles that are almost always better than what a great SEO could have thought to muster up (I would know!).
If you absolutely need to produce high-quality pieces that nail search intent, Topic fits the bill.
There are other solutions we have purposely omitted, either due to a lack of originality or a failure to keep up with the rest of the industry. The tools we have mentioned each serve a unique purpose for different users and at different levels of their marketing & SEO journey. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, I doubt you could find it anywhere else. Try and test them all — I’m sure you’ll have a favorite before you know it!