16 SEO Writing Tools for Higher Rankings in 2024

Sidra Condron
June 27, 2024
8 min read

In today's competitive digital landscape, creating high-quality, search engine optimized content is non-negotiable. But with so many moving parts in the content creation process, it's easy to get overwhelmed or miss critical optimization opportunities.

That's where having the right arsenal of SEO writing tools comes in. By leveraging tools for keyword research, competitive analysis, content optimization, and AI-assisted writing, you can streamline your workflow, craft more impactful content, and watch your search rankings soar.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through 16 indispensable tools across four key categories - research, writing, optimization, and efficiency. You'll learn how each tool works, key features, pricing, and practical use cases to elevate your content strategy. By the end, you'll be equipped to build your own ultimate SEO writing toolkit.

Let's dive in.

Keyword Research & Topic Ideation Tools

1. Google Keyword Planner: Uncover Profitable Keywords

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that helps you discover new keywords, get search volume and forecasts, and plan your Search campaigns. Simply enter words or phrases related to your business or service, and the tool will generate relevant keyword ideas along with historical metrics like average monthly searches and competition level.

While the tool is geared towards Google Ads, it's an excellent starting point for organic keyword research. Use it to identify high-volume, low-competition keywords to target in your content. Keep in mind that search volumes are rounded ranges and competition refers to paid, not organic search.

Pricing: Free with a Google Ads account

2. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer: Go Deep on Keyword Insights

For more advanced, granular keyword data, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer is a top choice. Enter a seed keyword, and the tool will generate thousands of keyword ideas categorized by relevance and keyword difficulty. You can view key SEO metrics like search volume, clicks, CPC, and parent topic for each keyword.

One standout feature is the ability to see keyword metrics for 10 different search engines across 171 countries. Use Ahrefs to find low-difficulty keywords with high click potential, analyze search intent, and uncover content gaps. The wealth of filters and data points makes it a powerhouse for strategic keyword research.

Pricing: Plans start at $99/month

3. Answer the Public: Find Question-Based Content Ideas

Ever wish you could read your audience's mind and know exactly what questions they're asking? That's where Answer the Public comes in. This nifty tool visualizes search query data by plugging your keyword into prepositions like "for," "can," "near," "without," etc.

The result is a goldmine of long-tail keyword variations and content ideas based on real user queries. Use this tool to ideate blog posts, FAQs, and topical clusters that directly address your audience's pain points and curiosities. Keep in mind the tool is limited to 3 free searches per day.

Pricing: Free for 3 daily searches, Pro plan starts at $99/month

4. AlsoAsked: Expand Topic Coverage

Another powerful question-mining tool, AlsoAsked scrapes People Also Ask boxes and visualizes related questions in an expandable map. Simply enter your keyword and watch questions branch out into sub-questions, revealing a treasure trove of semantic and thematic connections.

Use this tool to easily see content gaps and opportunities to build topical authority. Export the questions and use them as H2s, FAQs, or to inform your content briefs. AlsoAsked offers some free insights but requires an account to unlock full features.

Pricing: Limited insights for free, paid plans start at $15/month

Competitive Research & Content Gap Analysis Tools

5. Ahrefs Site Explorer: Spy on Competitor Content

Want to know why your competitors are outranking you? Enter their URL into Ahrefs Site Explorer for a behind-the-scenes look at their top pages, keywords, backlinks, and more. You can see which pages drive the most traffic, which keywords they're ranking for, and who is linking to them.

Use these competitive insights to reverse-engineer their content strategy and identify gaps in your own. Look for pages with lots of keywords and traffic but few backlinks - these may be opportunities to create better content and steal their rankings. Don't forget to set the mode to "Prefix" for analysis of the entire domain.

Pricing: Plans start at $99/month

6. Semrush Traffic Analytics: Analyze Competitor Traffic

Another powerful competitive intelligence tool, Semrush Traffic Analytics gives you an inside look at any website's traffic sources and user behavior. Enter a competitor's URL to see key traffic insights like monthly visits, top pages, average visit duration, bounce rate, and audience overlap.

Use this data to benchmark your own site's performance and spot opportunities to improve user engagement. Pay attention to your competitor's top traffic channels and geo-distribution to inform your own marketing strategy. Semrush offers a limited free version, but you'll need a subscription to unlock historical data and advanced features.

Pricing: Plans start at $129.95/month

7. Surfer SEO Content Editor: Optimize Content Comprehensiveness

Surfer SEO is an on-page optimization tool that analyzes the top ranking pages for your keyword and provides recommendations so you can match content quality and comprehensiveness. Simply enter your keyword, and the tool will scrape the SERP to analyze top-ranking content. It suggests ideal factors to target like article length, keyword usage and even H1, H2, H3 details.

Use Surfer's Content Editor to ensure your draft covers all the essential subtopics and includes enough semantic keywords. The built-in content grader scores your content against competitors and identifies gaps to fill. This data-driven approach takes the guesswork out of on-page SEO.

Pricing: Plans start at $89/month

8. RivalFlow AI: Elevate Existing Content

Looking to extract even more value from your existing content? RivalFlow AI uses advanced NLP algorithms to analyze your content against competitors and provide specific, actionable recommendations to fill content gaps and outrank them. Simply connect your Google Search Console account and RivalFlow will identify pages with untapped keyword potential.

For each page, you'll see questions your competitors are answering that you aren't, along with AI-generated content briefs to help you expand your piece. RivalFlow makes optimizing old content a breeze - no more manual competitor comparisons or aimless guessing. Use it to jumpstart your content refresh strategy and climb the SERP.

Pricing: Free trial, plans starting at $79/month

Content Optimization & On-Page SEO Tools

9. Yoast SEO Plugin: Simplify On-Page SEO

If you use WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin is a must-have for optimizing your posts and pages. This comprehensive tool handles all the on-page SEO basics like title tags, meta descriptions, canonical URLs, and XML sitemaps. It also evaluates your content's readability and keyword optimization, providing suggestions for improvement.

Use Yoast's content analysis feature to ensure your post is well-structured, readable, and includes your target keyword in all the right places. The built-in snippet editor lets you customize how your page appears in the SERP. Yoast offers tons of features in its free version, with more advanced options in the premium upgrade.

Pricing: Free, Premium version starts at $99/year

10. Clearscope: Optimize Content Against the Competition

Clearscope is an AI-powered content optimization tool that helps you create comprehensive, search-engine friendly content. Enter your target keyword, and Clearscope will analyze the top ranking pages to generate a list of semantically related terms to include. It also provides an overall content grade and readability score.

Use Clearscope's real-time content editor to optimize your draft and ensure you're matching the content depth and quality of the top SERP results. The keyword map feature identifies gaps and opportunities to incorporate more relevant terms. While pricey, Clearscope's data-driven insights can give your content a serious competitive edge.

Pricing: Plans start at $199/month

11. MarketMuse: Measure Content Quality & Depth

MarketMuse uses AI to build authoritative, topically-rich content. The platform's key differentiator is its focus on "Content Depth"—a metric that measures how comprehensively your content covers a given topic compared to the competition.

Use MarketMuse's Research tool to analyze any keyword or topic and get a list of must-include related topics, questions to answer, and internal linking suggestions. The Optimize tool scores your draft's content depth and provides specific recommendations to improve topical authority. MarketMuse is a powerful tool for crafting expert-level, search-optimized content.

Pricing: Plans start at $149/month

12. Grammarly: Ensure Readability & Polish

While not strictly an SEO tool, Grammarly is an indispensable writing aid that helps you create clear, error-free, and readable content. This AI-powered writing assistant checks your draft for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, while also providing suggestions to improve clarity, concision, and tone.

Use Grammarly's Chrome extension to proofread your content directly in WordPress, Google Docs, social media, and more. The tool's readability analysis ensures your content is easy to understand and engaging for your target audience. Grammarly offers a robust free version with more advanced feedback in its Premium plan.

Pricing: Free, Premium starts at $12/month

AI Writing Assistants & Efficiency Tools

13. Jasper.ai: Generate SEO-Friendly Copy

Jasper.ai is a popular AI writing tool that uses GPT-3 technology to generate original, high-quality content across a variety of formats. Choose from 50+ templates for blog posts, social media content, ad copy, and more, or use the long-form editor to collaborate with the AI on longer pieces.

While Jasper won't replace human writers entirely, it's a powerful tool for ideation, outlining, and generating SEO-optimized copy. Use the built-in Grammarly and Copyscape integrations to polish your draft and ensure it passes plagiarism checks. Just remember to fact-check and add your own insights to the AI-generated content.

Pricing: Plans start at $69/month

14. Copy.ai: Overcome Writer's Block

Copy.ai is an AI-powered workflow engine that can help you generate compelling copy for blogs, ads, product descriptions, and more. With dozens of Workflows in the Library and a chat assistant, Copy.ai is designed to kickstart your writing process and overcome creative blocks.

As an AI-agnostic platform, you can tune your results by switching up with AI model generates your content. Use their infobase and brand voice features to make sure your content follows your brand style guide and tone. Once your workflow is perfect, you can bulk generate copy with the click of a button.

Pricing: Free plan, Pro starts at $49/month

15. Frase: Streamline Content Briefs

Frase is an AI-powered SEO content tool that helps you research, plan, and optimize content for search. The platform's standout feature is its content brief generator, which analyzes the top ranking pages for your keyword and creates a comprehensive brief complete with an outline, talking points, keywords, and more.

Use Frase's brief template to align your writers and ensure your content matches search intent and covers all the key subtopics. The built-in content optimization tool compares your draft against the brief and provides a content score and actionable recommendations. Frase streamlines your content workflow from start to finish.

Pricing: Plans start at $15/month

16. Wordtune: Improve Writing Flow & Style

Wordtune is an AI-powered writing companion that helps you communicate more effectively by rephrasing and polishing your writing. Simply write your draft and let Wordtune suggest alternative ways to express your ideas with better clarity, concision, and flow.

While not a substitute for human editing, Wordtune is a great tool for improving your writing style and ensuring your content is engaging and easy to read. Use the tool's "casual" and "formal" tone options to adapt your writing for different audiences. Wordtune offers a generous free plan with more advanced features in its Premium version.

Pricing: Free, Premium starts at $9.99/month

Bonus: We put together a comprehensive guide covering how to integrate AI into your content strategy.

Putting it All Together: Building Your SEO Writing Toolkit

By now, you've seen the breadth of tools available to supercharge your SEO content creation process. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Here's a quick recap of the key tool categories and how they fit into your content workflow:

  • Keyword Research & Topic Ideation: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Answer the Public to discover profitable keywords, generate content ideas, and understand searcher intent.
  • Competitive Research & Content Gap Analysis: Analyze competitor content with Ahrefs, Semrush, and RivalFlow AI to identify content gaps, benchmark performance, and inform your content strategy.
  • Content Optimization & On-Page SEO: Ensure your content is comprehensive, readable, and optimized for search with tools like Yoast SEO, Clearscope, MarketMuse, and Grammarly.
  • AI Writing Assistants & Efficiency Tools: Streamline your content creation process and overcome writer's block with AI-powered tools like Jasper.ai, Copy.ai, Frase, and Wordtune.

The specific tools you choose will depend on your budget, team size, and content goals. Here are a few recommended stacks for different use cases:

  • Solo Blogger or Freelance Writer: Google Keyword Planner + Yoast SEO + Grammarly + Wordtune
  • Small Content Team: Ahrefs + Clearscope + Jasper.ai + Frase
  • Enterprise Content Marketing: Ahrefs + Semrush + MarketMuse + Frase + RivalFlow AI

Of course, these are just suggestions - feel free to mix and match tools based on your unique needs and preferences. The key is to choose tools that integrate well together and support your end-to-end content workflow.

To get the most out of your toolkit, we recommend the following best practices:

  • Establish a clear content strategy and keyword map before diving into content creation
  • Use keyword research and competitive analysis to inform your content briefs and outlines
  • Optimize your content for search engines and readers using on-page SEO best practices
  • Leverage AI writing tools for efficiency but always add your own insights and quality control
  • Regularly update and refresh your content using data-driven optimization tools
  • Monitor your content's performance using Google Search Console and other analytics tools

Conclusion & Next Steps

Investing in the right SEO writing tools is one of the best ways to scale your content creation, improve content quality, and drive organic traffic growth. By leveraging tools for keyword research, competitive analysis, optimization, and AI-assisted writing, you can work smarter, not harder, and achieve your content goals faster.

So what are you waiting for? It's time to build your ultimate SEO writing toolkit and take your content to the next level.

Not sure where to start? We recommend checking out RivalFlow AI - a tool that analyzes your content against competitors and provides specific, actionable recommendations to fill content gaps and outrank them. RivalFlow AI makes it easy to extract more value from your existing content and overtake competitors on the SERP.

Sign up for a free trial of RivalFlow AI today and see the impact for yourself: Try RivalFlow AI Free

Happy writing!