Clearscope vs. MarketMuse: A Comprehensive Comparison

Pankil Shah
by Pankil Shah
Updated On: October 27, 2023
Clearscope vs. MarketMuse: Comprehensive Comparison

You’re here to make some important decisions. Let’s get to comparing what makes Clearscope and MarketMuse great … and … maybe not so great for content creation, optimization, and workflows –and why.

GIF of a man saying "Well, he has his strengths and his weaknesses."
Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses

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In this article, we’ll also get into the details on how and why Outranking can help you simplify your content creation process, enhance team collaboration, and make strategic decisions that will allow you to drive tangible results.👇


This blog was created by the team at Outranking, a trusted content analysis tool for digital marketers. In this review, our team analyzed both Clearscope and MarketMuse, both of which are competitors with Outranking. This content is for informational purposes only.

What Is Clearscope?

Clearscope is an SEO-based content optimization platform that’s best known for its simple interface and leveraging NLP technology from IBM and Google.

Screenshot of the website homepage for Clearscope.
As an early adopter of NLP technology, Clearscope is a popular choice.


Clearscope is specifically designed to make your content work harder for you. This user-friendly tool offers numerous benefits, primarily in content optimization:

  1. Simplicity: Clearscope offers easy-to-understand letter grades for your content
  2. User-Friendly Interface: The clean, intuitive interface streamlines your content optimization process 
  3. Brief Builder: Provides a simple outline and brief building tool
  4. Integrations: Works with Google Docs and WordPress
  5. Content Optimization: Provides suggestions based on readability, word count, and common words/phrases


Clearscope is one of the leading SEO and content optimization tools. But like all software, it has its drawbacks.

  1. Doesn’t Automatically Generate Content Briefs: Adds more prep time to your workflow
  2. Unavailable Off-Site Features: Doesn’t track any off-site optimization features
  3. Limited Data: Limits the data gathered to readability, word count, and common phrases, which often isn’t enough to optimize your web pages
  4. Expensive Pricing: Starts at 10 content reports for $170 — Later plans require you to contact customer support
  5. No AI Support: You’re on your own, buddy!

Want more info? 🧐 Check out our article on Clearscope alternatives.

What Is MarketMuse?

MarketMuse rivals the size and popularity of Clearscope, and is best known for working with large businesses.

Screenshot of MarketMuse homepage.
What optimization features set MarketMuse apart from the rest?


If you’re looking for comprehensive content optimization, MarketMuse can help you enhance your SEO tactics significantly.

  1. Content Optimization: Offers suggestions for readability, word counts, and more
  2. Customizable Scoring: Provides scores for every keyword, making performance tracking easier
  3. Keyword Management: Excels at keyword research, helping you understand your reader’s search intent
  4. Content Brief Generator: Provides a simple content-brief builder, saving you tons of time 


MarketMuse may have a well-rounded content optimization platform, but several downsides could impact your experience.

  1. Expensive Pricing: Standard services start at $149 per month
  2. Limited Queries: Each topic search costs two or more credits
  3. Only One Domain: The on-page optimizer only tracks results from one domain, which can be limiting if you’re working with several domains 
  4. No AI Writing Tools: Lacks integrated AI tools to help you draft content quickly and efficiently
  5. Slow to Load: With so many tools, you may get frustrated with long wait times

Today’s reading assignment: 📖 Check out our article on MarketMuse alternatives.

What Is Outranking? The Ultimate Content Optimization Tool

Outranking is an AI-driven content optimization tool that leverages the latest NLP technology and support. Unlike Clearscope and MarketMuse, it offers comprehensive content creation support and automatic features, transforming your content creation and optimization process into a well-oiled machine! 😎

Website homepage for Outranking.
Outranking gives you the resources and information you need right at your fingertips!

Outranking tackles common technical SEO issues head-on by offering affordable pricing, AI writing support and brief creation, and providing an overall superior content optimization experience and streamlined process. This makes content optimization accessible to all while delivering exceptional results.

Our latest V13 has taken things a step further, introducing automatic optimization features to do even more of the heavy lifting for you! 🏋️ This makes the platform a super-effective content optimization solution if you’re looking for an intuitive and affordable alternative. 

Features Comparison of Clearscope vs. MarketMuse

We’ve researched the top ten features any good SEO content optimization tool should have — from keyword research to content optimization — to figure out what keeps Clearscope and MarketMuse at the top of their class 🔍. So, what did we find?

1. Content Grading

Content grading allows you to optimize your work to attract the attention of search engines effectively. Clearscope and MarketMuse offer different approaches to this feature.


Clearscope uses NLP-driven recommendations like adding specific terms or enhancing readability for optimizing your content. The feedback is lightning-fast, so you can perfect your process and publish your content faster.

Screenshot of Clearscope's content grader.
Clearscope displays a real-time score for your content as you work.


MarketMuse offers similar content grading features, scoring you based on the number of times you enter words and phrases. It also tracks word count, but it doesn’t worry about readability.

Screenshot of the content grader for MarketMuse.
MarketMuse provides feedback and suggestions to increase your topic score.

Outranking offers a holistic reading system that assesses various necessary elements like titles, meta descriptions, use of photos, and links to provide a more comprehensive evaluation. Ignoring these aspects can be a missed opportunity, but Outranking knows that!

Content grading✔️✔️✔️
Structure & readability grading✔️✔️
Title & meta grading✔️
Media & links grading

2. Keyword Research

Keyword research is a crucial facet of SEO tools, helping you to understand and leverage the search landscape for content optimization and ranking. It’s estimated that 72% of B2B markets and 73% of B2C marketers use keyword research for SEO. MarketMuse and Clearscope offer unique features to make this process more efficient and effective.


Clearscope’s Keyword Discovery tool allows you to search for keywords based on certain factors like monthly search volume, competition, and CPC (cost per click). It also suggests secondary keywords, similar to Google’s SERP, to help you target more specific and focused results. You can apply these keywords directly to your editor to gather valuable SERP insights.

Screenshot of Clearscope's keyword research feature.
Clearscope’s keyword research feature is simple.


MarketMuse separates keyword research (Topic Navigator) and SERP Analysis (SERP X-Ray) into different applications, providing a more comprehensive approach. Its Topic Navigator provides you with suggestions for secondary keywords based on search volumes, expanding your keyword strategy, while the SERP X-Ray provides data on images, videos, links, and content structure of top results.

Screenshot of the Topic Navigator feature available on MarketMuse.
MarketMuse provides more insight into each keyword than Clearscope.

Additionally, MarketMuse’s Heatmap provides a visual version of the Topic Navigator, making it easier to identify key areas of focus. Using its Connect feature, you can gain deeper insights into how the analysis applies specifically to your domain by analyzing a URL.

While Clearscope’s keyword tool is relatively simple and limited, it provides straightforward results. MarketMuse on the other hand, offers more extensive research tools, providing a wealth of data to assist you in your keyword efforts. Outranking is hands down the best of both worlds — effective and simple to use. 

Outranking offers various tactics, including keyword research and on-page optimization, and helps me knock out the competition in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs),

Jesus G. on Capterra 

3. Content Briefs

Content briefs are essential in content marketing as they provide a comprehensive guide on how to craft content that resonates with your audience and ranks highly on SERPs. They contain valuable insights, including recommended titles, related topics, linking suggestions, and user intent.


Clearscope can assist you in research for brief creation by enabling you to look through SERPs. But it lacks a built-in system for generating briefs automatically, so you’ll need to create the brief manually — a task that may be overwhelming for those new to content creation.

Screenshot of topic research provided by Clearscope for "backpacks".
With Clearscope, you’ll be doing a lot of the leg work.


Similarly, MarketMuse also lacks a built-in brief creation system, requiring you to research and seek online templates yourself. All in all, both tools prove ineffective for brief creation.

4. Content Outline

When it comes to outline creation, Clearscope and MarketMuse take similar approaches. You can use the two platforms to research your outline, but no built-in tools support its creation. Unfortunately, outlining seems to be an afterthought for these two major companies. This can be super disappointing if you’re a business owner needing more robust support for your writing process and pipeline.
Outranking goes beyond just research and offers AI-powered tools to automate the creation of both briefs and outlines — it addresses this issue by providing comprehensive support throughout the entire workflow process.

Screenshot of Outranking's outline builder for the article titled "MarketMuse vs Clearscope."
Outranking’s AI assistance empowers content creators to develop compelling and optimized content.
AI-Powered Briefs✔️
AI-Powered Outlining✔️

5. SEO Content Writing With AI

Clearscope and MarketMuse leverage powerful AI-based research tools. However, if you were hoping for an AI writing tool, neither company supports the practice.


Clearscope employs AI in various ways, including grading your content for semantic keywords, assessing readability, and analyzing SERPs. Most of Clearscope’s AI capabilities are integrated into its NLP content editor. While it excels at reading content, it’s not very useful for creating content.


Similarly, MarketMuse focuses its AI-driven tools on content grading and research. These tools include a SERP analyzer, content grader (with no readability data), and NLP analysis of common keywords. However, neither Clearscope nor MarketMuse has adopted AI for writing purposes. Even SurferSEO — a less expensive alternative to both platforms — has included AI writing as an optional add-on.
If you’re seeking a fully integrated AI writer, Outranking offers the most comprehensive and effective tool for writing high-quality content you could wish for.

[Outranking] goes beyond just suggesting keywords that will boost your search ranking, and actually helps make your content optimized and interesting to read.

Jean Bertin C. on Capterra
Screenshot of a positive Outranking review
Whatever you’re writing about, Outranking’s writing AI has you covered!

6. Content Inventory

Staying organized is the key to a successful SEO content strategy! With this, your SEO tool of choice should provide options for managing your content inventory. Thankfully, both Clearscope and MarketMuse have their ways. 


Clearscope provides guidance for performing content inventory, but due to limitations in their tool, they recommend using third-party tools like Screaming Frog. While this external tool is handy, it’s unusual that Clearscope doesn’t have any internal features. Fortunately, Clearscope helps mitigate some of these limitations by integrating with Google Docs and WordPress. This allows you to track some of your content inventory.

Screenshot of Clearscope's content editor.
Clearscope reliance on external tools for a content inventory can be frustrating for users.


MarketMuse differs by offering an internal content inventory system as part of its platform. It allows you to create different plans and sort your content accordingly. With this plan section, you can categorize your website into different pages or organize your work into different categories, granting more flexibility and control over your content inventory.

Screenshot of MarketMuse's content organization feature.
How will you organize your website?

The choice between supporting content inventory tools depends on your goal. If your focus is on improving a WordPress blog, Clearscope might have an advantage due to its integration capabilities. Otherwise, MarketMuse’s internal content inventory sorting could be helpful. 

7. Plagiarism Checker

Clearscope and MarketMuse don’t include a built-in plagiarism checker as part of their platforms. Instead, you have to turn to third-party options like Copyscape and Grammarly. Given the high cost of both tools, this is kinda surprising. 

When it comes to protecting your content’s integrity, Outranking’s got your back! 🤝 The platform offers a built-in plagiarism checker, setting it apart from everyone else.

8. Integrations

Both Clearscope and MarketMuse offer integrations with various platforms, but they differ in their focus.


Clearscope integrates with Google Docs and WordPress, making it a favorable option for users who heavily rely on these platforms. For example, the Google Docs integration allows for smoother collaboration and content creation within the familiar Google Docs environment.

Screenshot of Clearscope's integration with Google Docs.
Clearscope’s Integration with platforms like Google Docs and WordPress can make your life easier.


MarketMuse has concentrated its integration efforts into ChatGPT to provide you with new features like answering questions with data from GPT, expanding on concepts, creating outlines, and drafting articles. While this integration provides additional AI writing capabilities, it requires an extra subscription to access OpenAI’s API environment, adding to the already high cost of MarketMuse.

It’s worth mentioning that both companies seem to have forgotten the most important integration: Google Search Console, a valuable feature for any content optimization tool.

9. Content Optimization

Both Clearscope and MarketMuse offer automatic content optimization to improve your existing content and make it more relevant for your audience. However, the level of automation varies between the two tools.


Clearscope provides the relevant keywords and their competition, search volume, and cost per click. Since this information comes from Google Ads Keyword Planner, it’s updated, and provides the trending search terms. Based on your chosen keywords, Clearscope then creates a content outline with the relevant heading tags. Finally, it checks the content against competitors to identify gaps in your content.


MarketMuse takes a simpler approach by identifying at-risk pages that contain low-quality content and compares them against the top 20 ranking pages to identify the gaps. It also integrates with ChatGPT to help with content creation.

Though both tools offer content optimization, they still take time and eat away at your day. Outranking, on the other hand, automatically finds low-hanging content optimization options and creates optimized briefs. Moreover, it also includes many on-page SEO factors for greater success with search engines.

Outranking saves me so much time, especially in the research phase and outline building. I don’t use it too much for AI writing, but mainly for content optimization, and it’s amazing for this!

Gaia B., on Capterra
Screenshot of a positive review for Outranking on Capterra
Outranking makes optimizing your content a breeze!

10. Pricing

Clearscope and MarketMuse are known to be the pricier options on the market. But what do they have to offer for the hefty price tag?


Clearscope’s pricing plans have limited transparency, providing only the following information:

Clearscope's pricing information.
Clearscope doesn’t make their prices readily available.
  1. Essentials: Starting at $170 per month for 1 user and 10 content briefs
  2. Business: Pricing information not provided; allows up to 5 users and unlimited briefs
  3. Premium: Pricing information not provided, but offers unlimited users


MarketMuse provides more clarity in its pricing structure, offering the following plans: 

MarketMuse's pricing options.
Though MarketMuse is more transparent about price, it can become expensive fast!
  1. Free: $0 per month, limited information, 1 user, and 10 queries available
  2. Standard: $149 per month for 1 user and 100 queries
  3. Team: $399 per month for 3 users and unlimited queries
  4. Custom: Pricing information is not provided, but it offers unlimited users, inventory and topic tracking, and personalized metrics

5 Reasons to Choose Outranking Over MarketMuse and Clearscope

Despite Clearscope and MarketMuse being solid tools in their own right, Outranking outperforms both, making it a superior choice for content creation and optimization. The cherry on top? 🍒 Our team has heard your cries, and V13 now offers an intuitive and feature-rich UI. 

But wait, there’s more! 

1. Save Time Creating Content Briefs

By harnessing AI technology, you’ll be able to generate captivating titles, comprehensive outlines, and optimized meta descriptions. Then you can tailor your content for user intent and search engine requirements with our AI-driven recommendations. This is gonna save you tons of man-hours on research and planning.

Screenshot of an X post by Komal Ahuja about why a content brief is important
Content briefs are an important part of the content journey, so make it easier for you and your team

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2. Craft Detailed Outlines with Just One Click

Our AI-based outline builder is an innovative feature designed to streamline your content creation process. By analyzing top results for your target keyword, the tool can craft a detailed outline in just minutes, saving you precious time and effort by automating the outline creation process

The outline builder’s unique approach makes it both user-friendly and efficient, giving you a seamless blend of accuracy, speed, and SEO-optimized performance. 

AI-Generated BriefsYesNoNo
AI-Generated OutlinesYesNoNo
Content GraderDetailedSimpleSimple

Need proof? 🕵️ See how Outranking made one journalist’s life easier through content research automation ⚙️

3. Stay Relevant with AI-Assisted Writing Workflow

Whether you’re creating original, research-based content or simply need a creativity boost, our AI-assisted writing workflow feature presents an innovative way to expedite content creation. It blends human creativity with artificial intelligence to furnish the highest-quality articles that will resonate with your target audience. 🎯

Unlike Clearscope and MarketMuse, Outranking offers a full suite of content tools to supplement your content team’s proficiency with AI-sourced insights. The platform assists you throughout the entire process – from idea generation to content brief and first draft creation, all the way through to full SEO analysis.

Our platform distinguishes itself through its value-driven assistance. With the power of CPT-4, this SEO content editor works to streamline the entire content creation process, significantly reducing your research time.

  • Outranking: AI-assisted research and content workflow support
  • Clearscope: AI-assisted research
  • MarketMuse: AI-assisted research

4. Stay Organized with Content Planning and Inventory

Plan your content calendar and inventory based on priority, ROI, and business objectives by analyzing easy-to-rank opportunities and strategically executing content. Our state-of-the-art design makes us a more user-friendly and robust choice for perfect content production, all without relying on third-party tools.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how we do it:

  • Fully supported content workflow and inventory management
  • Integrates with major tools like WordPress and Google Search Console
  • Enables you to add users without paying excessive fees

5. Improve Your SEO Through Comprehensive Content Scoring

Outranking takes content scoring to the next level, offering actionable data on the number of headings, word count, tables, images, metadata, and common phrases. This makes Outranking superior to both Clearscope and MarketMuse, which focus more on meeting the word count and keyword count.

Outranking’s intuitive scoring methodology identifies topical gaps and presents detailed SEO recommendations, making it a powerful tool for fine-tuning your content. Our content scoring feature will allow you to transform your entire content strategy by making your text search engine reader-friendly in one fell swoop. 

Clearscope vs. MarketMuse: The Straight Scoop

TL;DR? Here’s the low-down:


Clearscope has certainly left its mark on the world of content optimization. With its clean interface, simple content optimization, and integrations with Google Docs and WordPress, this platform can keep you on track to meet your SEO goals. BUT ☝️ Clearscope seems to have exchanged nifty automated features like brief creation and AI writing for simplicity, which leaves all the manual work to you (as if your SEO regimen wasn’t long enough).


Going toe-to-toe with Clearscope, it’s clear why MarketMuse is a go-to choice for big businesses. Its optimization suggestions, customizable keyword scores, and chill interface make it a strong contender. But why break the bank (remember, $149 monthly for just one user 😬) when they don’t provide comprehensive AI features to take your content to the next level?


The research speaks for itself — Outranking runs circles around Clearscope and MarketMuse. Outranking’s powerful AI takes the stress out of your content creation and process optimization every step of the way while keeping your contentOps cost effective and top quality 🧘.  

Ready for Liftoff? 🚀

Join the 12,000+ people juicing their content and boosting rankings with Outranking. Try it out for free!