Surfer SEO vs SEMrush – Tools, Features & Full Comparison

Ron Potterman

Ron Potterman

Although often mistaken for one another, both SurferSEO and SEMrush are two different pieces of the same puzzle. Both marketing channels for thriving and rising online businesses, SurferSEO and SEMrush target a plethora of optimizing aspects – keyword research, rank tracking, backlink research as well as link building, on and off-page optimization – and more.

The tools serve viable businesses in better targeting a specific audience, generating corresponding traffic to their site, and ranking higher on search engines like Bing and Google. Though both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are two concepts alike to one another, when it comes to boosting a business, both offer a different approach to becoming more visible across SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

For a proper introduction of the similarities and differences between the SurferSEO and SEMrush, below is a detailed head-to-head comparison.

SEO helps you optimize your business website so that for every search query related to your business Google shows your website on top. It increases your sales and presence on the internet.

The process is quite complicated and costly, but don’t worry! There are plenty of SEO tools available on the internet committed to improving your search rankings. They will analyze your website and provide you with recommendations that you can implement to make sure more customers find you online. Surfer SEO and SEMrush are among the best tools. In this post, we will be looking at their difference, key features, and pricing plans.

Let’s start with the Surfer SEO vs Semrush comparison.

SurferSEO vs. SEMrush: A Comparison

Semrush and SurferSEO do share some similarities, but they also have unique features not found in the other platforms. Here is a closer look at how the SurferSEO and SEMrush compare: 



SEMrush allows you to develop a strong presence on all social media platforms.SurferSEO is a cloud-based on-page optimization tool that helps you analyze your page in wholeness.
You can easily track up to 5 activities from your competitor using SEMrush’s Domain vs. Domain addition.The interface at SurferSEO is practical, as everything is placed on the right side of the screen.
SEMrush offers you a free trial period for seven days.SurferSEO offers a seven days trial for only $1
With SEMrush, you can easily track traffic from your competitors and thus formulate the perfect strategy for your upcoming content.SurferSEO can compare your page with many top-rated websites on the internet and indicate where optimization changes are due.
SEMrush’s user interface is superbly practical and requires partial understanding to use it as a newbie.SurferSEO does not have a social media feature, and it’s purely dedicated to writing content.
SEMrush is an all-in-one digital marketing tool that helps businesses to run SEO operations.SurferSEO has a Chrome extension to help you write highly optimized content for Google Docs.

SurferSEO and SEMrush – What’s the Difference?

Although SurferSEO and SEMrush are created for the same purpose – to optimize online businesses – there are a few pivotal differences between the two. For one, SurferSEO is a cloud-based service that can analyze your page using over 500 on-page signals. Moreover, SurferSEO can pick the perfect competitors for your business and evaluate them using the designated SERP analyzer. This feature will compare your website to other top competitors on Google and indicate how to improve your site’s ranking.

On the other hand, SEMrush is an all-in-one kit that offers over 40 features and tools created to help you in any aspect of online marketing. SEMrush helps both on-page and off-page search engine optimization. Suppose you search for a tool that can offer solutions to boost your online marketing game in a spliff. Well, with the tool, you can also keep track of social media marketing – by looking for profitable social media marketing opportunities, like Facebook Ads.

In other words, it would be safe to say that SEMrush represents a complete toolset that helps you to beat your online business competitors in 2021 from multiple angles. Not to say that SurferSEO is not reliable – it is, a lot! – but it seems that SEMrush has tons of possibilities that you won’t find on SurferSEO at its disposal.

SurferSEO – Key Features

When it comes to key features, SurferSEO has a lot to show for. With a user-friendly interface, SurferSEO is practical to use, as everything you need – keywords, analysis, optimization indicators – is placed on the right side of your screen. 

SurferSEO can analyze over 500 ranking factors and compare them with top-listed competitors. Then, Surfer will show you where you lack content quality compared to your rival and will offer splendid tools to help you optimize that aspect. Along with all other features, SurferSEO will always provide keywords – again, on the right side of the screen – along with a content ranking score. The content score still remains in its Beta stage, but even so, it is deemed highly reliable and accurate. If you aim to increase the score on your content, you have to ensure that all rightful keywords are used in the right place.

Moreover, you’ll also need to follow up on the recommended number of headings and paragraphs, and enhance your content with SEO-optimizing visuals. 

SurferSEO: Keyword Research Tool

Keyword research has a crucial role in search engine optimization. Without proper keyword research, you won’t be able to generate traffic, and the page will therefore go unrecognized on Google. For this reason, SurferSEO is an excellent optimizing tool, which provides you with the right set of keywords to use for your content.
Not just showcasing keywords, SurferSEO will also suggest the number of times a keyword needs to be used and optimize the content until all keywords are colored green. 

surferseo keyword research
surferseo keyword research

The SEO keyword research on SurferSEO will help you to detect the right keywords to target your desired business audience. The research generates a handful of valuable and similar keywords, all generated as a result of the tool’s monthly research and competition comparisons. All results provided by the SurferSEO can be easily exported to Excel files, for a more organized outlook.

Additionally, the tool can also display related questions to the given keywords, all of which are FAQs asked by users themselves. 

Content Editor

SurferSEO analyzes all top-ranking websites before delivering new content. This makes the best way to rank your content and provide better answers, information, and guidance to users than your competitors. The SurferSEO content editor allows you to enhance the topic you’re writing about by structuring it right, assigning each paragraph an equal amount of content, dispersing keywords across the content accordingly, and making the most of your heading content.

Ahead of editing your content, you will have to choose and provide a target keyword phrase, so the Content Editor can enlist all similar keywords and phrases you can use. Next stop? A higher Google rank! 

SurferSEO: SERP Analyzer

If you want your business to hit the first page on SERPs, you have to evaluate all of your competitors, along with their content. This will provide you with enough insight into the competitive landscape, and allow you to figure out what factors are crucial to consider before optimizing your own content. Such factors can include anything from backlinks, and word count, to NLP (Natural Language Processing) analysis, a number of elements, and then some!

surderseo serp analyzer

Semrush: Key Features

Despite their few similarities, Semrush boasts a few essential elements that are not part of the SurferSEO suite of tools. This list of features includes a domain overview tool, position tracking, and a market explorer tool. Moreover, Semrush can directly indicate the changes you need to make to increase your website traffic and generate more leads as well.

Below are the key traits of the Semrush, explained in detail.   

Semrush: Domain Overview Tool

This is one of the best-integrated tools of SEMrush. Here, you can see yours as well as any other competing website’s statistics. This way, you acquire enough insights on your current protocols and goals, and can easily note the most successful keywords that can drive higher traffic to your website. To make use of the feature, you’ll need to enter your root domain before all information is showcased for comparison. Among other tasks, with this feature, you can also gain insights into the amount of traffic you would generate if you used a paid search, alongside the number of backlinks, and paid and organic keywords resources. 

Semrush: Position Tracking

Once you compile a listing of all important keywords you would want to rank your site higher for, ensure you add these to the position tracking tool. This way, you will obtain filtered weekly updates on your and your competitors’ ranking progress and status – for those exact keywords. The most vital addition to this feature is that you can estimate your progress on the local search engine, via its geo-targeting tool. Among other perks, you can also choose your service area, including country, state, or zip code. Additionally, position tracking allows you to perform live search engine optimization workshops to better your site’s overall success and scalability.

Semrush: Traffic Analysis

Once you figure out what keywords you are ranking for on Google, evaluating website traffic will become of utmost importance. Therefore, you must always know who is visiting your website, and from what location. SEMrush’s traffic analysis tool can help you greatly in estimating the number of visits you scored over a certain time frame. Moreover, you’ll also be able to see other important stats and metrics, such as:

  • Bounce degree;
  • Traffic source;
  • Amount of pages viewed on each visit;
  • The time a user spent on your website, 

and more!

Semrush: Market Explorer Feature

The market explorer tool allows you to take a peek at all relevant market insights and thus gain a competing advantage. To do that, you will have to enter the leading competitor from within your industry, after which SEMrush will display a list of all searched competitors belonging to that industry. The market explorer tool will also help you find genuine business role models and provide a listing of suggestions to help you gain more market advantages. You will also be able to see which sites receive more traffic than yours, alongside market traffic generation strategies, and particular audience demographics.

Semrush: Keyword Research

The Semrush keyword research feature will allow you to optimize campaigns, but it’s suggested to be used before starting a new PPC or SEO campaign. With this Semrush feature, you can discover all about your currently used website keywords. Just need to enter a keyword or a phrase, and it will indicate the following information related to that keyword:

  • Questions
  • Trend Graph
  • Competition
  • Keyword difficulty
  • Keyword variations
  • Search volume
  • Average cost per one click
  • Comparable keywords

It’s worth noting that the keyword research tool SEMrush trusts is a highly reputable one, featuring over two million keywords in its database – which means most of the hard labor has been cut out for you already. 

SurferSEO vs. SEMrush – Pros & Cons

Although both SurferSEO and SEMrush come with a fair share of pros and cons, for some, SurferSEO is the first best option today, mostly due to its greater scope of advantages, compared to the SEMrush. Still, many others trust SEMrush just as much as SurferSEO and consider it a far more sophisticated system than its rival.

Precisely, here is a list of the pros and cons of each search engine optimization tool:


  • SEMrush is an excellent tool for digital marketing and analysis. Its keyword tools are considered highly efficient and practical, and the forte of this system compared to the SurferSEO;
  • Content writing on SurferSEO is fantastic, whereas all keyword density suggestions are automatically generated and highly competitive.
  • SEMrush delivers powerful insights to help you understand your competitive surroundings, which then calls for more informed decision-making.
  • The Content Editor feature on SurferSEO assists you in writing better content and optimizing it for higher traffic and site index.
  • SurferSEO offers a content score scale from 0 to 100, alongside a number of paragraphs you need, word limit, and recommended use of headings.


  • SurferSEO’s monthly subscription is thought to be more expensive for long-term usage. SEMrush also comes with a higher subscription of at least $100 a month.
  • SurferSEO is known to be limited in terms of executing static analysis, while with SEMrush, it’s hard to determine your main business focus, given the overload of information and analysis.
  • The keyword density tool in SurferSEO can be changed – low, medium, and high – which then alters the description relevance.
  • SEMrush offers additional packages but at a skyrocketing price, an approach many other packages exclude and find unnecessary.
  • SurferSEO is known to crash from time to time, while SEMrush is more stable and more error-free.

SurferSEO and SEMrush Pricing for 2022

SEMrush and SurferSEO are known to be the leaders in the online marketing sphere when it comes to content writing. This means that both search engine optimization tools are not free, thus requiring a specific price to be paid for usage. For instance, SurferSEO has three pricing plans – Basic, Pro, and Business. Same as SurferSEO, SEMrush also has three pricing packages but makes a pricier option than the former.

The reason why SEMrush is more expensive than SurferSEO is the number of features it offers. It’s already known that SEMrush offers more than just keywords and content writing. SurferSEO, on the other hand, is much more practical to use and has a friendlier interface than its keen.

Here is a detailed look at the current subscription plans and pricing for both platforms.

SurferSEO Pricing:

    Basic ($59/month)                Pro ($99/month)    Business($199/month)
Has a SERP analysis with 15 queries in a day.SERP analyzer with 50 queries a day.SERP analyzer with 100 queries a day.
Content Editor feature with 25 queries a month.Content Editor tool with 100 queries a month.Content Editor with 300 queries a month.
Backlinks and visibility: 25 queries a day.Backlinks and visibility: 100 queries a day.Visibility and backlinks: 300 queries in a day.
Unlimited keyword researchUnlimited keyword research.Keyword research is unlimited.
/NLP analysis 50 queries a month.NLP analysis with 150 queries a month.
//Report White Labeling for audit and content editor features.

SEMrush Pricing:

              Pro($199.95/month)          Guru ($229.95/month)  Business($449.95/month)
Suitable for freelancers, and in-house marketers with a limited budget.For growing marketing agencies, and small businessFor agencies, businesses with extensive presence, and E-commerce projects
Run your SEO, PPC, and SMM projects with over 40 advanced tools.Content marketing platform.Everything included on Guru and more
Know your competitors’ traffic, social media results, rankings, and more.Provides historical dataExtended limits and sharing options.
Read-only sharing access.Extended limits of the Pro offer.Google Data Studio integration
/Google Data Studio integrationShare of Voice metric

The Final Verdict

All in all, both of these tools are fantastic to use, depending on what your online business may need. With over 500 ranking indicators, SurferSEO has long been considered simpler to use and more practical.

However, the new and updated 2021 findings discover that SEMrush is a bit better than SurferSEO, mostly due to its added variety of features, like social media engagement and carrying out more targeted content marketing campaigns. On the other hand, when it comes to quality content writing and keyword optimization – SurferSEO is the undisputed aid your business needs.

As the SEMrush version comes with a free trial, it might be the more fitting option to get you started. However, if on-page content optimization is what you’re after, SurferSEO has you back – and is a cheaper alternative to consider down the line.

Ron Potterman
Ron Potterman

Ron started as a tech blogger 15 years ago. Since then, Ron has developed massive writing skills and is reviewing tools for freelancers and more.
Ron has a huge part of our community.

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