9 Best SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant Tool Alternatives in 2023

Pankil Shah
by Pankil Shah
Updated On: October 27, 2023
9 Best Semrush SEO Writing Assistant Tool Alternatives in 2023

SEMrush is one of the oldest and most popular names in the SEO industry, and many of the internet’s biggest brands use it, like Apple and Forbes. While these companies are huge and impressive, is SEMrush worth its monthly subscription (starting at $129.95 for ONE user 😱)?

GIF of Dwight from the Office saying "Let's put it this way...no"
Based on our experience…No.

Image Source

SEMrush is fine for larger organizations seeking technical improvements or backlinks information. Still, if you’re looking for an SEO writing assistant to create content that ranks, there are plenty of SEO tools that will get the job done for less.

Below, you’ll learn more about how the SEMrush Writing Assistant can help, where it struggles, and different tools that can help you improve your SEO through writing.

Just a heads up!

This blog was created by the team at Outranking, a trusted content analysis tool for digital marketers. In this review, our team analyzed SEMrush’s writing assistant and several alternatives, which are competitors with Outranking. This content is for informational purposes only.

What Is the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant Tool (SWA)?

SEMrush’s SEO Writing Assistant checks the ranking potential of your article based on these four key factors:

  1. Keywords and related terms
  2. Readability
  3. Tone
  4. Originality  

SEMrush’s tool recommends improving the four factors based on the top ten ranking web pages on the search engine results page (SERP). 

Like other writing platforms, SEMrush has recently adopted AI. The company calls this tool the Smart Writer. It lets you rephrase content, write new content, and ask questions to be answered by its AI. 

The SWA is only available to users who subscribe to SEMrush’s Guru and Business plans, but you can test it out with a 14-day free trial. 

What Do Content Strategists Like About the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant Tool?

Marketing professionals often use SEMrush for its list of website improvement tools. But why would SEMrush users bother with the writing assistant tool? Here are three reasons: 

1. Easy to Use

The SEMrush SEO writing assistant tool provides an easy-to-understand interface. Instead of using a unique platform, it integrates with WordPress, Google Docs, and Microsoft Word. 

This means you don’t have to use a whole new system. The sleek cross-platform interface and plethora of how-to guides make it easy to use. Here’s how it works:  

  1. Add your target keywords 
  2. Choose your brand voice and target audience
  3. Get recommendations 
  4. Write your based on the suggestions
  5. Optimize your content during editing

SWA also has a built-in editor. This editor is simple but lacks some of the more advanced formatting features you get from using Google Docs or MS Word. So,  most don’t use it.

2. Simple Integration Into Existing SEMrush-Based Workflows

SEMrush has an entire toolset providing you with guidance related to SEO, advertising, social media, and digital marketing. Having a writer on the same platform prevents you from needing to switch between platforms as often. 

For new articles, you can use the Keyword Magic Tool to learn about potential target words people put into search engines. For old articles, you can use your domain overview and organic research to find out how your articles are doing for those keywords. Then you can take that information and seek backlinks that could help your competitiveness.

This all-in-one approach is very convenient but can feel overwhelming.

3. Plagiarism Checker

SEMrush has a separate plagiarism checker you can find on the app center. While it’s handy at tracking duplicate sections, grammar issues, and AI-generated content, it’s separate. You won’t find this as part of the writing assistant. Instead, this is a separate product, requiring you to copy and paste your text. 

You’ll find the tool for “free” under the app center. We say “free” because you have to pay for the Guru or Business plan to get to the tool. So, it’s that kind of free. 🤷

Class is in session 🧑‍🏫 Learn how AI can keep your content plagiarism-free

What Do Content Strategists NOT Like About the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant Tool?

These massive marketing tools include many impressive features. Usually, you’d have to buy six or seven different tools to match what SEMrush offers. But, in the quest to become everything, SEMrush’s writing assistant has suffered. 

1. Extremely Basic (for Writers)

If you’re a content writer and need only the SEO writing assistant feature, a paid SEMrush plan isn’t worth it. You get tons of marketing tools, but only a handful of them are great for digital marketers who want to write.

Screenshot of Semrush subscription options
These high costs can be prohibitive for many writers for the little writing features you get

To access the writer, you need to pay for the Guru Plan, which costs $249.95 monthly. 😬 This comes with access to 15 projects, 1,500 keywords, domain analysis, and historical data. You also get a smattering of technical information related to page crawls and such, which doesn’t help someone needing a writing tool. 

SEMrush focuses elsewhere, meaning you get none of the information you need to write interesting content. This includes keyword clusters, mapping tools, competitive analysis features, NLP content readers, and long-form AI writing tools.

Long story short: Content writers and marketers who want to build their content won’t find the vital data they need to get the job done. 

2. No Workflow

SEMrush has several tools, and some of them work well together. But the SEO Writing Assistant feels segmented and on an island by itself. This island receives very little support in creating a complete writing workflow.

You’ll constantly switch between writing and marketing platforms here, slowing down your process. So, if you need content, this “all-in-one” tool lacks efficiency.

If you’re already using SEMrush as your SEO tool, you’ll have to pay extra to collaborate with other users. If you have a large content team, content sharing may quickly become expensive.

Screenshot of a poor review for Semrush
Semrush’s large price hikes leave users frustrated

3. Lacks Comprehensive On-Page Analysis of Content

SEMrush offers a lot of technical information about your on-page optimization. However, it lacks a comprehensive way of reading content. This includes content on your and your competitor’s website.

A more comprehensive approach to comprehensive on-page optimization should include content. Writing optimized articles and service pages has become a vital part of ranking organically. Any tool that doesn’t provide this feature isn’t thinking about the future.

4. Missing Content Brief and Outline Preparation Features

SWA is more of a content optimization tool than a content creation tool. Unlike Outranking and Frase, it doesn’t have features to create content briefs or outlines. A good SEO writing assistant should let you create briefs and outlines using AI and SERP data. ☝️

While you can manually create either, you might not have the time. Digital marketers handle so many aspects of business that few have the time to manage brief and outline creation. AI tools are here to help you better manage this duty. 

5. Limits Keyword Support Features

SWA focuses on optimizing your content based on one or many target keywords. Once you insert those keywords, it provides a short list of semantic keywords. The writing assistant doesn’t provide any extra keyword tools.

For example, you won’t find a keyword clustering feature. Clustering lets you ensure you cover topics wholly. There are also no visual mapping tools for your keywords. 

SEMrush operates on a “trust me, I know” approach to writing articles. This means that if your competitors are also using the same tool, you risk writing duplicate content. So, to avoid a Google penalty, check out our list of the top alternatives.

Quick Review of the 9 Best SEMRush Writing Assistant Alternatives

We get it — you’re busy! Here’s a quick rundown of our 9 best SEMrush Writing Assistant alternatives:

Tool NameKey FeaturesPricingProsCons
Outranking All-in-one AI-powered content creation and writing tool 
Create a content workflow for all kinds of content
Complete on-page optimization
Access to real-time SEO performance
Starts at $69/mo ($9 for the first month)Integrates with all content editing tools 
Performs in-depth SERP analysis
Provides real-time, insightful data across 20 web pages
Extremely feature-rich; may be temporarily overwhelming for first-time users
ClearscopeFull-fledged SEO content optimization platform 
Detailed competitor content analysis, keyword research, and suggestions 
Starts at $170/moIntuitive user interface
Integrates seamlessly with Google Docs and WordPress
Supports 5 language
SEO-targeting options
Doesn’t create content briefs or provide any collaboration features
Many  features are only available in the paid version
FraseContent research and optimization tool
Generates SEO-optimized content briefs in seconds
Starts at $14.99/moAffordable pricing plans
Content optimization on each plan 
Content grading system 
Additional charges for AI writing
Unintuitive user interface with a steep learning curve 
SurferSEONLP/AI-powered content research and writing tool
Built-in keyword research tool 
Comprehensive SERP analysis 
Starts at $69 /moUser-friendly interface Affordable pricingIntegrates seamlessly with Google Docs, Jasper, WordPress, etc.Limited plan flexibility
Few keyword research tools
No automated content briefs
Page Optimizer ProOn-page SEO tool
Comprehensive keyword analysis 
Content grading and brief creation
Starts at $27 /moEasy to use
Great customer support
Robust tools for creating and optimizing content
Chrome extension
Features are minimal 
MarketMuseAI-powered content creation tool that focuses on creating topical clusters and content briefs Starts at $149/moTracks content performance
Good content audit tool
the free plan includes meta tag creation, internal link suggestions, and keyword optimization
Rank Math: WordPress pluginSEO optimization plugin
Perfect for on-page SEO
Starts at $5.75/mofree plan includes meta tag creation, internal link suggestions, and keyword optimizationCustomer support is unreliable 
NeuronWriterAL/NLP content optimization and writing tool
Supports GPT-4, ChatGPT, and InstructGPT to create content 
Starts at $19/moMyriad pre-made content templates
Solid on-page optimization and competitor analysis features
The user interface can be complicated for first-time users
Content HarmonyDetailed keyword research process based on search intent 
SEO-optimized content briefs to save time and increase efficiency 
Starts at $99/mo for 12 pieces of contentAffordable pricing
Great user interface 
No LSI keyword suggestions
Slow content grader performance
Not many features

9 Best SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant Alternatives for Content Writing And Optimization

1. Outranking: The Best SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant Alternative

Hands down: Outranking is the best alternative to the SEMrush Writing Assistant. 🎉

Our platform addresses all the problems people experience with the writing assistant. This includes more data on both keywords and format, more details on how to be unique, and how your content compares to the next 20 pages.

Outranking content editor and score summary screenshot
With Outranking, you can affordably create high-quality, SEO-optimized content in minutes!

You’ll especially appreciate the AI-driven content workflow. While SEMrush lets you write small sections, Outranking’s AI handles everything, start to finish. From brief to first-draft creations, you can create publish-ready content within minutes (not days). You can also use the newly introduced automatic optimization tool to insert keywords. This helps you remain topically relevant in Google’s eyes.

Outranking in Action 🎬 See how Outranking helped AfricanSafari.io double organic traffic in six months!

SEMrush also doesn’t offer any optimization tools for service pages. With Outranking, you can select the page type, letting you change how outlining and first drafting work.

Screenshot of Outranking's first draft generator
Make each draft reflect your unique style from the beginning with Outranking!

Just like SEMrush’s writing assistant, Outranking has a sleek and intuitive user interface. We recently revamped it with the latest V13 release, responding to user feedback. It’s completely custom and doesn’t rely on Google Docs. Instead, our tool integrates with Google Search Console, making it far more valuable for SEO.

Something that separates Outranking is that I can always count on the articles generated here to be great first draft Top Tier content. Additionally, it reads your website’s sitemap to find the best pages to link to and from to help distribute page authority.

AJB on Product Hunt
Uses AI to generate high-quality, readable, scannable, and SEO-optimized contentLimited AI-content writing features
Affordable pricing starts at $99 monthly, with a special offer of $9 for the first monthMaybe prohibitively expensive for small businesses; costs $249.95 per month
Focuses on content workflow and optimizationContains several unrelated features for content creation and optimization

2. Clearscope: Content Optimization Simplified

Clearscope is another SEO tool to help improve readability, content relevance, and keyword research. Its advanced content optimization capabilities use Google Cloud Natural Language (IBM Waston) and Open AI’s GPT technology. 

Clearscope’s chief advantage is making content research and writing simple. It does this by focusing on a simple content grading system. Your job is getting the highest grade possible by filling in as many related keywords as possible as possible. The data from these keywords comes from the top SERP results.

The content editor also focuses on readability, making your content more approachable by giving it a grade level. Typically, you’ll want a grade level that is below (or matches) the grade level of other results.

Clearscope editor screenshot
Clearscope is known for its simple, user-friendly interface

You’ll also get a keyword research tool, providing you with information about the monthly searches, competition, and CPC (cost per click). All of this gives you a good idea of the paid and organic potential of your blog ranking on the top results. 

Clearscope is simple, but its biggest problem comes from the competing tools that offer free versions of the same thing elsewhere. If you want keyword research, you can use Google AdWords. Otherwise, you can get a grade level for your content using Hemingway. 

It also lacks AI features, meaning you’ll have to build outlines, briefs, and blogs from scratch. So, you’ll need to rely on other tools to get a complete content writing system. 

Despite this, Clearscope charges a minimum of $170 for 10 content reports. Clearly, there are other, more cost-effective options available.

“Overall I love the tool, but it is very expensive and only a feasible cost for an agency — not so much for small businesses.” – Verified G2 Reviewer

Enables real-time data updates and metadata extractionIt also has an intuitive user interface
Focuses on simplicity and has an easy-to-use interfaceAlso has an intuitive user interface

Psst! 😶‍🌫️ Check out our list of the top 11 Clearscope alternatives!

3. Frase: Affordable and Intuitive Content Optimization

Frase is popular among SEO and content writers because of its affordability and easy-to-use features. You’ll find different plans for your unique use cases.

Frase optimization tool screenshot
Frase provides writers with an affordable, easy-to-use option

Frase’s monthly, basic plan (starting at $14.99 monthly) lets you optimize four articles per month, which is fine if writing for one site. But if you’re a content writer, needing at least 30 slots, you’ll need to pay $44.99. The unlimited plan is $114.99 and all plans have access to its optimization tools.

With Frase, AI is an afterthought. If you want AI content, you’ll need to pay $35 monthly on top of the amounts above. And in our experience, AI doesn’t always listen to your commands. Frase is also known for providing more data than apps like Clearscope, but writers still find Frase lacking in the data it provides:

While the SERP research functions are powerful for the top 20 results, it doesn’t represent some keywords properly like other software that analyses a broader spectrum of data.

Rod K. on Capterra
Frase SEMrush
Uses unique AI and NLP technology to create informative content and gather ideasUses AI to generate content ideas and create content 
Features include automated content briefs, content scoring, and content editor.No automated content briefs or outline 

4. SurferSEO: Like Frase with an AI Writer

SurferSEO transformed from an SEO-focused tool into a full content planning, execution, and optimization platform. It’s specifically tailored for SEO writers, marketers, and developers who need to increase organic traffic. 

In other words, SurferSEO is what would happen if SEMrush actually focused on content optimization. 😦

You can use its SEO content editor to generate relevant keywords, outline articles, and write articles while earning real-time content optimization scores. SurferSEO also offers a free article outline generator to recommend content structure and headlines.

SurferSEO outline builder.
SurferSEO provides an extensive suite of features, plus an AI writing tool for an additional cost

SurferSEO spends less time advertising its built-in keyword research and clustering tool. This isn’t referring to its free Google Chrome extensions. Instead, it’s a keyword clustering tool that provides a list of clusters, not allowing you to change them. This can be frustrating if you have a different approach in mind, which is a problem expressed by SurferSEO’s user base.

“I don’t like the keyword research functionality and the way that it creates topic clusters that can’t be modified. We use it, but in conjunction with an external keyword research tool, and never create the content editors directly from the topic clusters.” — Vegan P. on G2

SurferSEO is similar to Frase in terms of functionality but has a few notable differences. Its inbuilt keyword research tool analyzes over 500 pages on the SERPs to provide accurate suggestions for higher rankings. The SERP analyzer feature also breaks down the SERPs for a specific keyword and provides insights on how you compare with your competitors. 

Surfer AI, its built-in AI toolset does a decent enough job writing content for you. But it costs $29 per article, making it financially impossible for some solopreneurs and some small businesses.

Pricing ranges from $69 to $249 monthly, with no free trial. Premium features (like a deeper SERP Analyzer and more advanced auditing) are included only in the top plans. 

Offers an AI writing feature, but at an additional costThe AI writing assistant requires you to pay for a high-tier plan
Provides extensive features, including a keyword research tool, outline generator, and content editorOffers limited features compared to SurferSEO

5. Page Optimizer Pro:  Emphasizes On-Page SEO

Page Optimizer Pro (POP) is focused on on-page optimization, making it more comparable to the entire SEMrush platform than its writing assistant. As a result, both tools can feel overly technical, requiring a bit of experience to use. 

POP includes several features that are absent from the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant Tool. It helps create SEO-optimized content briefs, and the content editor tool provides real-time suggestions on latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords. The ‘Content Analyzer’ feature also analyzes your content and performs competitive analysis for similar keywords.

Page optimizer pro dashboard.
Page Optimizer Pro focuses on on-page optimization

But despite all these tools, there is some concern that POP doesn’t provide results. Here is one user sharing their experience: 

I haven’t had great results using Page Optimizer Pro. I have been able to improve rankings and get more traffic to certain pages, but with other pages there has been no improvement.

Verified Reviewer on Capterra

The POP AI writer integrates the platform’s on-page optimization intelligence with the GPT-4 writing software, enabling you to improve your on-page SEO. The unique E-E-A-T tool prepares and positions your website to rank ahead of the competition by providing a comprehensive roadmap for success. 

SEMrush also offers on-page SEO but without POP’s in-depth tools. Also, SEMrush’s on-page tools, like its content marketing platform and API access, are only available on the Business plan, which costs $499.95 monthly. POP’s monthly pricing starts at just $27, but you’ll need a premium plan to unlock the full collection of features.

Page Optimizer ProSEMrush
Emphasizes and provides in-depth on-page SEO optimization toolsProvides a wide range of technical optimization tools
Features an AI writer for editing and optimizationAlso features an AI writer that can help rewrite or produce new content

6. MarketMuse: A Content Planning Mastermind

MarketMuse is a well-known content optimization platform known for keyword research, SERP analysis, and content writing features. As an alternative to SEMrush’s writing assistant, it focuses more on the actual content on your website. This is a stark alternative to SEMrush’s more technical focus.

MarketMuse relevant terms heatmap.
MarketMuse has a variety of valuable features, including a comprehensive content-planning workflow

MarketMuse boasts content planning tools to help you prioritize high-quality topics. It also generates content briefs that provide recommendations for article structure, titles, subheadings, word counts, and more. You can share these briefs with other writers to ensure high-quality content creation — something you won’t find on SEMrush.

But it’s not perfect, especially when it comes to creating briefs and selecting topics.

Creating briefs can be frustrating sometimes because the Section Focus Topics that I enter don’t always save after I leave the brief and come back to it. I also wish you could enter more than one new Section Focus Topic at a time once you’ve already created a brief.

Nina L. on G2

MarketMuse has a comprehensive content planning workflow, which is absent from the SEMrush writing assistant tool. You don’t have to compromise your efficiency by switching between sections during the content creation, because everything you need from start to finish is on the same platform. Other writers won’t need to sign up on MarketMuse to access your content brief or edit your article — they can access every document through a shared link. 

Test the basic features with the free plan. If you’re satisfied, opt for any of the packages:  Standard ($149/mo), Team ($399/mo), or Premium (custom pricing).

Provides topic clusters and gives recommendations for article structure and moreIncludes keyword recommendations and an inbuilt plagiarism checker
Sophisticated and streamlined content planning workflowsNo content workflow features

Read the tea 🍵 Check out our article for the best MarketMuse alternatives in 2023

7. Rank Math: Great for WordPress

Rank Math is a solid SEO plugin for WordPress users, plain and simple. It verifies site settings, offers ideal setups, and configures SEO, social profiles, webmaster profiles, and other SEO settings through a step-by-step setup wizard. Best of all, it’s installable on your WordPress website.

Rank Math WordPress
Rank Math is specifically designed to optimize your WordPress content

Of course, if you aren’t a WordPress user, this isn’t for you. 🤷

And even if you are a WordPress user, the most interesting part of this tool is the free version. It’s pretty limited, only giving limited information on your SEO. This includes some information on your blog posts and some limited technical information. 

For the technical information, you’ll need some training:

…if I had to add something here it would be that some of the features require a certain level of expertise that most newbies may not be too familiar with or know what to do with. I also think the limit on their keyword assistance is a little restrictive and can be used up really fast if you are not careful.

Rosie H. on Capterra

Overall, Rank Math simplifies SEO for WordPress users with its user-friendly design, advanced snippet previews, and AI-powered content suggestions. While SEMrush also provides keyword recommendations, readability scores, and a plagiarism checker, Rank Math offers more features specifically for WordPress SEO. 

Rank Math’s monthly pricing ranges from $59 for its individual Pro plan to $499 for 500 users in its Agency plan.

Rank MathSEMrush
Step-by-step configuration for perfect SEO setup on WordPressNot explicitly tailored to WordPress
Clean user interface and intuitive UI for enhanced productivityUser-friendly interface with content insights

8. NeuronWriter: Advanced Content Editing and AI-Powered Outline Generator

NeuronWriter draws inspiration from SurferSEO but provides its own unique offer with superior AI credit deals and additional content writer analysis pages. NeuronWriter is divided into intro categories, each of which offers a comprehensive text editing experience with semantic models and Google SERP analysis. Its AI-powered outline generator and AI writer are great for quickly and easily generating SEO-optimized content.

RankTracker optimization tool.
NeuronWriter offers sophisticated tools at affordable prices

Although NeuronWriter’s content editor is exceptional, its AI tools are still in progress. SEMrush might be a better alternative for users seeking a broader suite of SEO tools and real-time data on keyword strategies. But, NeuronWriter’s focus on AI-powered content creation and affordability sets it apart.

NeuronWriter’s starting price of £19 places it among the most economical options on this list. But it doesn’t offer the same high-quality AI writing tools as Outranking.

Advanced tools, semantic models, and Google SERP analysisSmart content editor and deep optimization insights
Affordable pricing optionsHigh costs for both Standard and Premium plans 

9. Content Harmony: Build Content with an Effective Workflow

Content Harmony is an excellent alternative to SEMrush; it provides a workflow that aligns with how content is built. You can create high-quality content that fulfills your audience’s demands by analyzing search intent and assessing overlapping keywords and entities. Content Harmony also cites rival document structures and constructs reader-focused outlines.

Content Harmony search intent tool
Content Harmony is popular for its optimized workflow and features flexible pricing based on usage

Content Harmony’s most interesting offering is its content intent tool. This gives you an idea of the people searching for your target keyword. Understanding intent is vital for writing the best potential content. 

Pricing is based on the volume of content created per month. For example, it costs $99/month to create 12 blog entries. Thankfully, you can try out the $10 trial before you commit to a full subscription. 

Content HarmonySEMrush 
Powerful search intent scoring, with a focus on keyword targeting Focuses on keyword recommendations, but only offers a few features to optimize content for search engines
Tools to track and analyze competitor websites Similar tracking and analysis of top-performing web pages on the SERPs

Wrap-Up: Why Outranking Is the Tool for You

If you’re looking for a comprehensive, efficient SEO tool, Outranking has got your back! Our AI-powered content writing feature is a game-changer — it can effortlessly generate engaging, informative, SEO-optimized content in seconds! ⏱️

See for yourself why Outranking is THE AI-assisted writing tool for you 👇

Outranking is the perfect balance of features and affordability, offering a cost-effective solution without compromising quality or functionality, in contrast to other alternatives with higher price tags.

By choosing Outranking, you can unlock the power of a world-class, all-in-one SEO tool that boosts productivity, enhances content quality, and maximizes your ROI. 

Hop on over to Outranking! 🦘

Join our crew of 12,000+ SEO explorers on a mission to rank 🧭