How can I get the maximum Content Score?
Getting 100 in your Content Score is, of course, possible, and our algorithm will help you calculate that, but aiming to satisfy our algorithm should not be the primary goal: Optimize for your target audience, not to satisfy what our math requires.
Your goals should depend on your priority & amount of time you have, but ultimately, aiming for 10 to 20 scores higher than the competition is already a realistic goal.
Why doesn't my Content Score rise despite applying what the Guidelines suggest?
Content Score considers more factors than the ones listed in the Audit or the Content Editor, so it's not enough to only apply Surfer's suggestions. Generally speaking, Content Score grades all the good SEO practices like putting the exact keywords in h1, using NLPs, adding partial keywords, and having keywords above the fold. Turning the boxes green is essential, but it is crucial to apply the proper way of applying your suggestions according to good SEO practices; otherwise, it can cause your score to drop.
As a tip, you can look at the Outline Builder feature within Content Editor, which consists of unique headings and paragraphs based on what your competitors publish. From there, copy-paste the content and personalize your work to finish more efficiently.
Will the customization in Content Editor affect my Content Score?
Any change in the customization panel will affect the maximum possible score, including changing competitors, excluding keywords, changing structure, etc.
That is because the guidelines and the maximum score are calculated based on the original draft before adding any customizations to it. By default, we are simply selecting the most optimized pages within the top 10 pages on your SERP location for your keyword(s) that should lead you to create a piece of content similar to your competitors that already rank high in Google. If you don't have to change your Guidelines, and they're accurate for you, your content will be 100% relevant to what is already in SERPs' top 10.
That does not necessarily mean that your content written based on the customized draft is irrelevant. You sometimes may need to customize, for example, if you're looking for a competitor with the same search intent as yours.
However, if you are noticing that the whole SERP is full of competitors that do not match the search intent, you may need to reconsider your targeted keyword.
Here's what you can do:
Change your competitors to match your intent better. Although your relevancy may drop slightly (you're drifting away from Surfer's accurate suggestions), it should still be of great value.
Try searching for a more relevant keyword(s) to cover in your content – maybe you're just trying to rank for the wrong keyword, and your relevance can be higher while choosing another keyword.
Can the Content Score be too high and make my content over-optimized?
A high Content Score doesn't mean an over-optimized article. You definitely don't need to worry about that! All the guidelines are set for a reason, and our algorithm would never recommend overusing a keyword because it comes from top-ranking pages. If top-ranking pages use a keyword a lot, it is not over-optimization but simply an acceptably high frequency.