To create a successful affiliate marketing website you need a solid content strategy. Humans will never be as perfect as automated systems so luckily there’s software that can help.

However, the issue remains: which software do you choose, and why?

Surfer SEO vs InLinks

What is Content Optimization Software?

Content optimization software is a program that can search the web and compile a strategy for your website’s content. It starts with ideas—what topics do you need to write about?

The software will evaluate similar articles to understand readers’ intent. It’ll help you fill gaps in the content on your site as well as optimize what’s already there.

On top of topics, some content optimization software provides a lengthy list of keywords to use in each article. They’ll help you rank on Google.

Additional features depend on which software you choose—some software can even automate in-linking.

Relationship Between Search Engines and Content Optimization

Optimizing your content is laying the cement for your traffic-filled highway. With optimized, high-quality, long-form content, your page seems appealing to search engine algorithms.

Search engines don’t want AI-written mediocrity that anyone can churn out. They want high-quality, in-depth and keyword-rich content that will help the reader learn something. 

Think of it this way—the higher quality the article, the longer the reader will spend drinking in that information. So, they see more ads if you’re in the Google Adsense program and that makes Google money. Google likes that. Your article is more likely to rank higher, making you and Google happy.

It’s not enough to have a few top-ranking articles, though—you want a long-term strategy that’ll have people returning. It takes expertise to think in the long run to stay relevant and strategize to ensure you always have new content to publish. Content optimization software can help you with that.

Who Needs This Content Optimization Software?

People who need content optimization software are the ones who are in it for the long run. Entrepreneurs with a passion and a niche they can tell the world about.

A lot of this “telling the world” comes from affiliate marketing—reviewing and recommending the best products for different types of people. There are tons of affiliate marketers for every niche so it’s tough competition. Content optimization software will help you hop in the carpool lane and jump ahead of everyone else on the road.

Even some non-affiliate-marketers can benefit—those of you with a niche site with no products to review. Instead, your product is pure knowledge. Placing ads on your site will make you and Google some money, as long as you have the optimized content and subsequent web traffic.

So without further ado, we’re going to take two to lay out and examine to help you determine which first your needs, strategies and preferences. Let’s get into this Surfer SEO vs InLinks comparison.

Surfer SEO Overview

Surfer SEO evaluates content from over 500 competing pages as you research your keyword topic. It provides keywords, topic ideas and more.

Top Choice With Our Clients
Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO is one of the smartest cloud-based tools out there. It automates real-time guidelines that will help your pages rank higher in search engines.

 

The tool is simple to use—insert your focus keyword and get a fully-comprehensive guide topped with additional keywords, important questions and topics to include.

 

By including a Surfer SEO guide along with your order, our writers will optimize your content accordingly, while keeping the reader’s interest in mind.



Topic Modeling

If you don’t have your topic laid out and an idea of what to cover, then you have nothing for your article. You can make it up as you go along and provide content you think is helpful, but you need to pair that with what people are actually searching for. 

Surfer SEO provides a decent amount of content for topic modeling. In a Surfer SEO content editor doc you’ll find:

  • Keywords and how many times to use them.
  • Topic/heading suggestions.
  • The number of paragraphs and headings to use.
  • Word count target range.
  • Suggested image count.
  • Content optimization rating.

While this sounds incredible, it can be imperfect at times.

For example, Surfer SEO will scan competitor content and provide you with what it thinks should be in your article compared to your competitors. It also takes variations of keywords that people have likely searched for, but it doesn’t always do it well.

Luckily you can edit your document and provide it to your writers, but many people choose not to.

Keywords

Let’s take keywords for an article about shoes as an example. A random title—How To Clean Nike Shoes.

Keep in mind these aren’t real keywords for the topic but here’s an example of keyword types that may show up:

  • How to clean Nike shoes
  • Nike shoes
  • Women’s Nike shoes
  • Nike womens shoes
  • Men’s Nike shoe s
  • Nike shoes clean
  • Shoes
  • Shoe
  • How to
  • Clean

Again, we made these up as an example, but they’re based on real Surfer SEO keywords we’ve worked with. Some of these keywords contain typos, lack apostrophes and are unnatural. Others are just broken variations of the main keyword.

Topics

Surfer’s suggested topics are usually excellent. Some from “people also asked” Google Search results, others are lifted from competitor content.

These suggested topics are just per-article, though. Outside of individual articles, Surfer has an excellent content planner use that covers all bases. We feel this is a reasonable Surfer model that ticks the right boxes.

Content Strategy and Planning

Surfer’s content planner is much better than its topic modeling. You input a keyword or niche and Surfer SEO comes up with a range of potential article titles or topics to write about. You can input a location for your target demographic, too, to change the results.

It will show you the main keyword to use in your article title, as well as several high-quality secondary keywords.

Random example: your keyword is “SEO.” Surfer then shoes you suggestions including “SEM” and “marketing to influencers” and the more content that you can expand on and work with.

Usability

Surfer has highly efficient usability. It’s as easy as inputting your broad search term and Surfer does the rest.

Creating your reasonable Surfer model content editor is just as simple. Go into “detailed view” and you should see the button to create the content editor that contains the topic and keyword list for your chosen main keyword/article idea.

Working with the content editor is easy—copy and paste your optimized content into the editor. Keywords light up green if you hit the targets. The tabs to check various keywords are labeled and laid out well.

Surfer’s usability is impeccable, and fantastic for beginners and those less technically minded.

InLinks Overview

InLinks is a search engine optimization tool functioning on semantics, working with analyzers and graphs to ensure your content is ranking, and that you know why. It also helps lace your article with relevant links.

Topic Modeling

InLink’s topic modeling is interesting, partly because it helps you determine what content you have, and what you lack. 

You input a keyword and it shows you a detailed map, ranked by importance for the keyword or your chosen niche. This helps you prioritize your future content, letting you target the most important and most searched topics first.

InLinks also provides keywords for each topic, which based on research, we feel are better than Surfer’s. The keywords are more complete sentences or phrases and lack grammatical errors and broken, disjointed phrases as Surfer provides. 

For example, if you’re writing about “how to clean Nike shoes” then “how to” and “clean” won’t be additional keywords outside of the keyphrase.

This is in part down to InLink’s wider focus. InLink cares more about the context outside of the keywords, the wider topic the main keyword encompasses. It uses Google Knowledge Graph mirroring alongside optimization via semantic search.

Overall, InLinks has smarter topic modeling and focuses on quality and importance. This differs from Surfer’s focus on finding topics and keyword-stuffing each article.

Content Strategy and Planning

As mentioned above, InLinks provides topics ranked by importance. Not only that, you can input what you already have and let InLinks fill in the gaps—so if you’re writing about camping and you’ve covered tents and stoves, it will show you that you’re missing sleeping bag content.

InLinks also helps you optimize internal links within your content—hence the software’s name, InLinks.

The software will help you determine the right anchor text and can detect every page on your site that may be applicable. It will examine your existing internal links to see what way you operate regarding them, too—and all it takes is a line of code to get this going.

This is a highly important part of content strategy and planning. It increases the rate of interest and keeps readers on your website for longer. 

Usability

InLinks isn’t for the faint of heart or those who don’t know much about tech. While the topic modeling and keyword elements are easy to use, when you get a little more advanced it’s not so simple. For example, the code you’ll require to implement the internal linking element.

There’s also a feature of InLinks that allows you to boost your strategies using Schema.org, which again, is more for advanced content strategists. 

This feature helps you figure out how search engines and web pages, even email messages think and function, helping you rank. Unfortunately, this will all seem like gibberish if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So, while InLinks has excellent and clear usability, it’s not beginner-friendly usability.

InLinks vs Surfer Pricing

In terms of pricing, we feel Surfer and InLinks have their strong points. You can get a week-long Surfer trial for $1, but there’s an entirely free version of InLinks.

Surfer Plans

The plans below are priced per month.

Basic: $59

  • Fifteen daily SERP analyzer queries.
  • Twenty-five monthly content editor queries.
  • Unlimited keyword research.
  • Twenty-five daily backlinks and visibility queries.

Pro: $99

  • Fifty daily SERP analyzer queries.
  • One hundred monthly content editor queries.
  • Unlimited keyword research.
  • One hundred daily backlinks and visibility queries.
  • Fifty monthly NLP analysis queries.

Business: $199

  • One hundred daily SERP analyzer queries.
  • Three hundred monthly content editor queries.
  • Unlimited keyword research.
  • Three hundred daily backlinks and visibility queries.
  • One-hundred-and-fifty monthly NLP analysis queries.
  • Report white labeling.

InLinks

Free

For free you can have 20 pages a month analyzed, or 4 content audits in place of that. The services include:

  • Content optimization.
  • Detailed Schema markup.
  • Semantic internal linking.

This only applies to one product or website and will only research using top trends.

Pro

Pro plans start at $39/month for 100 pages or 20 content audits. This is across unlimited websites and it will search unlimited trends.

The costliest pro plan covers up to 9,775 pages on your website(s) or 1,955 content audits instead. Although at $1,794/month you might as well just …

Enterprise

This plan covers unlimited pages on unlimited sites, with unlimited audits. The services are the same as free and pro, with the addition of dedicated infrastructure for your site.

Choosing the Best SEO Tools for Content Optimization

With both tools laid out, it’s time to take your pick. One thing you should remember is that there’s no wrong way to work or incorrect tool to pick, so long as your content remains high-quality and optimized.

Based on this review we recommend InLinks as it seems to have fewer issues than Surfer, keyword-wise. However, many of our clients use Surfer and we’re happy to work with it—our writers are up to the task of combatting the demands of the software.

Evaluate your expertise, budget and preferences to choose which tool is best for you.

Improving the Ranking of Your Content

Any SEO tool with topic modeling can help improve your content. Here are some tips on what you need to do to improve your ranking.

  • Publish new content often.
  • Update your old articles.
  • Lace each article with relevant links.
  • Provide sources for all facts when you can.
  • Utilize metadata, meta descriptions and image file names.
  • Tag correctly, and go with what’s trending and what’s always in style.

But most importantly …

  • Provide high-quality, helpful content with a high conversion rate!

You can do this with any reasonable InLinks or reasonable Surfer model to obtain those desired search rankings.

Final Analysis: Surfer vs InLinks

We feel that a reasonable Surfer model is better for beginners, but InLinks is best for high-quality, in-depth articles. InLinks will help you write about the correct topics with applicable keywords, internal relevant links and more.

If you prefer keyword stuffing—trying to rank for as many search terms as possible—then Surfer SEO should be your go-to.

Both SEO tools have their uses and which one is better depends on your intent.