James Parsons is the founder and CEO of Content Powered, a content creation company. He’s been a content marketer for over 10 years and writes for Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, and many other publications on blogging and website strategy.
List of 15 Clearscope Alternatives to Try for Blog Optimization
Clearscope is a fairly powerful app that combines IBM Watson’s AI with keyword research and content marketing techniques. It’s a good way to analyze the content you’re creating and make sure it fits squarely in the niche you want it to while helping ensure you cover all the bases.
What can Clearscope do for you?
- Generates reports for a keyword you add, to tell you what content is ranking for that keyword, what quality that content possesses, what other related keywords might come up, and where any of your content ranks (if you’ve produced any in that topic).
- Grades specific pieces of content you paste into the interface, with regards to the above report. It judges your content based on its optimization for search in the keywords chosen, along with other SEO factors like reading level and word count.
There are a few issues with the tool. For one thing, some of its suggestions and metrics are confusing. They list a “competition” metric that is just the PPC competition and doesn’t always relate to the organic competition. They also list “related” keywords that aren’t necessarily good keywords to target.
Most importantly, though, Clearscope is pretty expensive.
I’m not here to review Clearscope, though. Brian Dean of Backlinko did a good job of that already. Instead, I’m here to provide you with some alternatives you might be interested in trying, if you want to do keyword research (possibly even with AI powering it) but you don’t want to pay the steep fee for Clearscope, or you want more features, or you just don’t like them for some reason.
Here are the fifteen alternatives I’ve found, along with a quick list of features and pricing plans for each:
One of the core features of Clearscope is the ability to analyze a piece of content you’re writing, extract the keywords it uses, identify related keywords, and help you optimize to hit the entire topic, not just one specific keyword. SimilarContent does more or less the same thing, with a different interface.
In addition to this feature, SimilarContent estimates a “content relevance score” that helps judge where your content might rank for searches. It has a readability checker, and keyword suggestions as well. Plus, the tool is cheap; only $10 per month for a fairly robust basic package. Even their most expensive package is only $50 per month, less than a third of Clearscope.
Surfer is a more robust SEO tool with a handful of useful features.
- A content editor, which grades content on keyword use and readability, plus offers keyword suggestions.
- A content planner, which helps you develop an overall keyword strategy, to find gaps in coverage.
- A SERP analyzer, to figure out where you rank and how you can rank better.
- An SEO audit tool for general site SEO checks.
- A keyword research tool for dedicated keyword research without the weight of an attached content editor.
- Two browser extensions, one for editing and one for keyword research.
Plans limit which tools you can access and how often you can use them, but the basic package starts at $50 per month, and it’s plenty for most small businesses.
MarketMuse does everything Clearscope can do, but also adds a range of AI-based features on top of it.
In particular, they can generate content briefs to give you a starting point for where to target a keyword and an entire AI-generated “rough draft” feature. I have mixed feelings on this, which I go into more detail in my Clearscope and MarketMuse comparison post. MarketMuse is undeniably powerful, but it’s also very expensive. It’s one of the most commonly compared options when discussions about Clearscope alternatives come up, but it’s also been around a while. Pricing starts at $79/mo for 25 queries per month.
Topic streamlines the usual keyword research process we all go through. You plug in a keyword, and it scans the top 30 results in Google. It picks out headings, questions, related keywords, and other useful information you can use to guide your content.
It also has a built-in outline builder, a suggested headline tool, and a content optimizer that has many of the same checks and overviews that Clearscope offers. If you’re curious, they also have comparison posts for Clearscope and Surfer on their page. Their service is a little pricy — $6 per brief for the kind of volume I create – but it’s not bad for the industry.
Frase is similar to other platforms like Clearscope, except they’re very focused on one specific kind of content. Rather than general blog content, they focus on the “question and answer” content.
I love Q&A content; it’s the kind where users are already seeking out actionable information, and it gives you a great chance to use a call to action and capture some new leads. Frase takes that into account as well and optimizes not just for keywords, but also your call to action. Frase has two products that are related; Frase Answers and Frase Content. Both of them have free trials, so feel free to give them a try before you start looking into the paid packages.
CognitiveSEO is one of the big names in the industry, and as such, they’re able to provide this tool semi-free. I say semi-free because they offer a limited version of the tool for free, but restrict you to 5 uses per month.
All you need to do is plug in a keyword, and they give you information about it. This report includes content difficulty, link difficulty, search volume, a keyword explorer, a ranking analyzer, and a content assistant. Even the free version is quite powerful, albeit limited. Pricing is comparable to Clearscope, but the range of data they offer is, in my opinion, much better.
SEMRush is a name that is probably familiar to most of you. Among their many features is a keyword overview tool. This tool provides keyword reports that include volume, difficulty, trending traffic, keyword variations, relevant questions, and other related keywords. It’s all very robust, but unfortunately, it’s not something you can just use on its own. You need to sign up for the full SEMRush package, and the base version of that package is $120 per month.
I’ve found that SEMRush is very polarizing. Some people love it and consider it an indispensable tool. Others find it overly expensive for underwhelming service. You’ll have to give it a try yourself and let me know what you think.
SearchMetrics offers half a dozen different tools, including a Research Cloud, a Site Experience, and a Search Experience tool, but it’s the Content Experience tool that is most similar to Clearscope and, thus, the one that appears on this list.
This tool has a ton of advanced stuff going on, but it can all be a little difficult to parse at first. For example, it has a cluster map of keywords and related topics, drafted and designed to showcase the semantic relevance between those keywords. It can be a bit much to look at until you realize what it means.
Their content editor is similar to Clearscope, in that it analyzes your content as you write it and helps you optimize for the keywords you want to include in your content. Pricing is hidden behind a sales call, but it seems to be around $80 per month at the base level, possibly for the full suite of tools.
Dashword is the most comparable alternative to Clearscope so far. Even their interfaces feel familiar. I don’t think Dashword is powered by IBM, but I don’t know for sure one way or the other.
Either way, it works the same; it’s a content editor with a lot of keyword-focused optimizations and suggestions laid over the top. The area where Dashword shines is the pricing; it’s a flat $99 per month with unlimited access. It does also let you target specific geographic areas, though, which can be helpful for certain companies out there.
At first glance, ArticleInsights looks like a hold-over from the early 2000s school of web design. It’s a powerful analytics tool for content and keyword analysis. It’s pretty good about grouping keywords and pointing out the over-used ones, not just in your content, but in content already published on the topic.
Unfortunately, it’s not a real-time editor the way many of the other tools on this list are, so you have to re-run reports to get new insights once you make changes. Pricing is $6 for 25 searches per month (or $12 for 60 searches). This is a little misleading, though, since re-running a single article can eat up more than one search. Still, it might be worth giving a shot, and they let you try it for free.
Link Assistant offers a bunch of different SEO tools, all collectively known as the SEO Powersuite. The website auditor has a wide range of features you may find useful, but they include a lot that isn’t exactly related to keyword research. This makes it difficult to directly compare Clearscope to Website Auditor, but hey, that’s a judgment you can make for yourself. I’m just giving you options.
I will say that Website Auditor’s paid plan is cheaper than Clearscope, and it offers more different tools. If you’re used to using half a dozen tools or more to create content, it might be worthwhile to see if one specific tool can consolidate all of those features in one place. It might be worth trying!
Page Optimizer Pro bills itself as the “unfair competitive advantage” you can gain over your competition. It’s used by a few major companies, including Salesforce and HubSpot. It’s also a lot more than just a content and keyword research tool.
It has well over 350 different SEO tests it checks for on your site and can give you a checklist of a thousand little items you can tweak and improve to make your site look better in the eyes of the almighty Google. The best part is, it’s pretty cheap, with the introductory plan only costing you $20 per month. Even the unlimited plan is only $40 per month, which is perfectly reasonable for a tool of this magnitude.
TextMetrics is an “augmented writing platform”, and it’s back in the same realm as Clearscope. It’s an active editor, which provides you feedback in real-time as you write. They have one very important feature above and beyond keyword research, and that’s D&I. What is D&I? Diversity and Inclusion.
We as a society are quickly reaching a point where diversity and inclusiveness in our content are more important than ever before, and being at the forefront of that movement is a good place to be. It often doesn’t even take much to tweak your content to suit, either. The only downside is that pricing is inconsistent and depends on factors including your users and traffic.
14. SE Ranking
SE Ranking is a powerful, all-in-one SEO tool. It has dozens of features, ranging from keyword analysis to rank tracking to backlink monitoring and more. It even has competitive research tools.
As you might expect from something this robust, they have a lot of knobs to twist to customize pricing. Thus, the amount you pay depends on how long your subscription is, how often you want your site and content scanned, and how many keywords you want to track as well as other volume limitations.
To wrap up this list, we have BrightEdge. BrightEdge is like SE Ranking, in that it’s a total SEO platform. They do keyword grouping, ranking, and analysis, but they also do so very much more. I’d have to write a whole new post just to cover all of their features.
To be honest, BrightEdge and Clearscope are not exactly comparable as tools. It would be like comparing the product search within a single Etsy store to all of Amazon. It just goes to show you, there’s a tool for every possible use case, from the smallest to the most robust.
Do you know of any other tools that are similar to Clearscope that I’ve missed? If so, let me know about them. I’m curious about what other AI-driven keyword tools exist because this is an area that takes up a lot of my time and I’d love to streamline it. Drop me a line!
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