Content Editor can also be accessed on the left-hand side of the page. You’ll begin by inputting a keyword or keyword phrase that will shape your content piece. Before running the editor be sure to set your desired region.

You can choose an entire country, or a city. If your desired location isn’t currently available, contact support and we’ll add it to the list!

You should also consider whether you want results for Mobile or Desktop. We advise using mobile results as Google uses mobile-first indexing.

Having created your Content Editor, your first-port-of-call should be the ‘Customize’ button. In the pop-up that appears, you’ll have the opportunity to adjust the information used to determine your Guidelines.

Take the time to review the four main sections of the Customize panel, and modify as necessary. These sections are:

Organic competitors

This is the most influential part of the pop-up, as it influences the remaining sections. It is essential your chosen competitors match your own content’s search intent. It’s widely acknowledged in the industry that getting search intent right is crucial to improving your SEO. If writing an informational piece on skateboarding, it wouldn’t be wise to choose an e-commerce site selling skateboards as one of your competitors! Check out your competitors’ content score to easily discern the quality of their work. You can add or remove these data points as you like, to get a clearer understanding of who you are competing with.

Content Structure

Your structure guidelines are calculated by averaging the structure of your chosen competitors. While you can adjust the recommended word count, number of headings, paragraphs or images, this may have an adverse affect on your ability to attain a perfect Content Score, which grades relevancy, as well as other factors.

Terms to Use

While the ‘Organic Competitors’ section is most influential, we consider the suggestions made in the ‘Terms to Use’ section to be the most important part. These words and phrases are sorted by relevance. They were chosen because of their prominence on your competitors’ pages.

Moreover, Surfer’s in-house algorithms (including NLP) are working hard in the background to determine which keywords have the greatest influence over a SERP ranking. We are very confident that the vast majority of suggestions are going to be of use to you, but it’s likely a few words may not be conducive to your vision.

These can be unchecked for this particular work, or even blacklisted (so that they don’t appear in future Content Editors either). You can also import your own terms, if that’s something you’ve prepared outside of Surfer’s tools.

Topics & Questions

Much like with ‘Terms to Use’, these suggestions are sourced from your competitors, Google, and Surfer. This section is great for ensuring that you are meeting the needs of your target market, and it can also help with filling potential gaps in your content. See what people want to learn in relation to your seed keyword, what your competitors are writing about, and what Surfer thinks you should write about.

At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a designated space for leaving notes; especially useful when collaborating! There are a few different ways you can share guidelines for Content Editor. Most simply, you can find a shareable link to your Content Editor work by pressing the purple ‘Share’ button at the top right.

You might also consider installing the Google Docs extension so that you have Surfer’s Guidelines available there, or downloading the Guidelines as a .txt or HTML file.

With Guidelines prepared, you may begin the act of content creating. As you write, and follow the suggestions presented to you in Guidelines, you’ll notice the speedometer graphic live-update with your representative Content Score.

Aim for a score of >70, but understand that we recommend quantity over quality; it’s better to have 10 pages with a rating of 70 than 1 page with a rating of 100. Moreover, common sense prevails and your content may simply read better with a score <100! Surfer is an outstanding tool for guidance, but your discerning eye should take precedence. There may be times when you are unclear on how you have come about a certain Content Score. Understand that it is tracking hundreds of on-page factors including keywords and phrases, NLP, content structure, and images.

Most, if not all of us, have experienced writer’s block at some point. When in doubt, consider checking out the ‘Brief’ tab, from which you can access ‘Outline Builder’. Here you can find AI-generated titles, headings, sub-headings, and paragraphs.

These are created based on your competitors’ content and can be pasted into your Content Editor for a quick boost to your content score and are a great foundation upon which to build. The suggestions should be plagiarism-free, but because it’s generated by learning from competitors, you might consider running it through your preferred plagiarism checker. You can choose to add the entire section, only the heading, or only the paragraph.

Content generation is currently only available in English, however, you will still be able to find the headings your competitors are using in one place, which can give you great insight into what you should also be doing!

Beneath Outline Builder, you’ll find any Notes made in the Customize panel, as well as links to your chosen competitor’s pages, and the ‘Topics & Questions’ section.

Additional resources:

Surfer Knowledge Base

Surfer Blog

Surfer YouTube

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