Content Editor is a tool that’s available for users with an active Surfer plan - be it Basic, Pro, or Business. You may already be familiar with the Editor from your Grow Flow projects, as it is used in “Write and Publish an Article” tasks.”

The difference is that in the standalone Content Editor, you have more power over the analysis. In this article, you will find out a little bit more about this tool.

1. Creating a query

Content Editor can be accessed on the left-hand side of the page. You’ll begin by inputting a single keyword, a phrase, or multiple keywords separated with commas 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 our support team, 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, but this entirely depends on which group of users you want to target with your article.

When you’re ready, just hit Create Content Editor button and allow the query to load for a few minutes. One Content Editor query requires one Content Editor credit, regardless if it is a single or multi-keyword analysis.

2. Customizing created query

Having created your Content Editor, you should first pay attention to the ‘Customize’ button. In the pop-up that appears, you’ll have the opportunity to adjust some of the factors that are affecting your final Guidelines.

Take the time to review the five main sections of the Customize Panel and modify them as necessary.

Organic Competitors

This is the most influential part of the customize section, as it directly influences the remaining sections. It is essential your selected competitors match your own content’s search intent.

Surfer will automatically select up to 5 domains from the top 10 based on their content, but it’s always a good idea to verify selection, especially when your keyword has a mixed search intent.

It’s widely acknowledged in the industry that getting search intent right is crucial to improving your SEO. If you are writing an informational piece on skateboarding, it wouldn’t be wise to choose an e-commerce site selling skateboards as one of your competitors!

In this section, you can also check out your competitors’ Content Scores 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, the number of headings, paragraphs, or images - please remember that this may have an adverse effect on your ability to attain a perfect Content Score, which grades relevancy, as well as other factors. In other words, adding heavy changes to the structure section may decrease your chance of getting the maximum Score for the article.

Terms to Use

While the ‘Organic Competitors’ section is the 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. Those terms 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 customization panel, you’ll find a designated space for leaving notes, which is especially useful when collaborating!

Want to know a little bit more about the customization panel? This article will guide you through this topic and will allow you to understand those sections even better.

3. Sharing your draft with your coworkers/writers/friends

There are a few different ways you can share your draft progress and guidelines for Content Editor. The most simple one is by a special shareable link to your Content Editor - you can get it by pressing the purple ‘Share’ button at the top right corner. Check out this article for more information about sharing your drafts.

4. Writing your article

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

Most, if not all of us, have experienced writer’s block at some point. When in doubt, consider checking out the ‘Outline’ tab, from which you can access ‘Outline Builder’ - it will come with titles, headings as well as AI-generated 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. You can choose to add the entire section, only the heading, or only the paragraph.

On the ‘Brief’ tab, 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.

Whenever you’re writing you might wonder if the content you’ve just created doesn’t copy any content that’s already online on SERPs - you can now check that by running your draft through our free Plagiarism Checker.

For more writing-related tips, we recommend this article in our Knowledge Base.

5. Additional resources

Surfer's Knowledge Base

Surfer's Blog

Surfer's YouTube channel

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