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Out of the total 1+ billion pages on the internet, only 9.37% get traffic. And the rest? They’re lost in the vast galaxy of the internet. So why is it that only a handful of pages rank even though most pages have great content? It all boils down to content analysis.
Content analysis is arguably more important than content creation itself. Making your well-crafted content piece go through content analysis helps it rank higher than simply relying on the writer’s craftsmanship. The content analysis exposes details that even the finest writers may have missed — relevant keywords, images, videos, alt texts, internal and external linking, and various other entities.
To beat your competitors and become the best in your niche, invest in on-page SEO tools for content analysis. This will surely differentiate your content from others. But what should you consider when using a tool? And how can you tell which tool is best for your on-page SEO? This guide will give you the full breakdown.
Note: I’d like to introduce myself before we start. I’m the co-founder of Outranking.io, a content performance optimization platform. When we built Outranking, we were aware of the handful of good NLP scoring tools available. But we thought — if optimizing content for common entities in ranking pages is the end-all, be-all of ranking, then everyone would rank.
So why wasn’t this happening? We figured it out.
In the next generation of search engines, AI, and conversational search queries, writing about what others have already written isn’t going to get you anywhere. So we built Outranking to help content strategists build a content plan and optimize their creations for 2023 web searches, and break away from the archaic content scoring norms.
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Because the market is flooded with all sorts of analysis tools, you can’t just choose one at random. You need to carefully sift through the options to find the right match for your content strategy. Below are 12 factors you should think about before investing in a tool:
Competitive analysis will help you research and identify the top-ranking brands and websites in your niche. You can then evaluate and compare their SEO with yours and analyze what makes them rank on search engines. With this information, you’ll boost your website’s SEO and get higher rankings on SERPs.
Effective competitor analysis requires an on-page SEO tool that delivers high-quality, in-depth, detailed insights. So when choosing a tool, consider the level of data it provides around the competitive analysis.
How in-depth do they look at the competition data? 10 pages, 20 pages? What data do they collect? Just NLP? Or do they go above that and give you word count, common and unique entities, PA, scores, and other matrices necessary to ensure you can predictably rank?
Real-time SEO scoring helps you see the real-time influence of SEO elements on the overall score. You can practically see the SEO score improving (or getting worse) as you add and remove elements to your content.
Most tools will perform real-time scoring against NLP terms, which is good to ensure you have the right coverage for these terms. But good on-page SEO scoring needs to be more thorough than that.
This will help you see how several elements affect your score, giving you a more comprehensive approach to SEO content creation. For example, in the image below, you can see many factors to benchmark the content, like title, description, outline, content, media, and links.
You’ll find many tools that offer in-depth SEO scoring, like Yoast, AIO SEO, Surfer SEO, Outranking, RankMath, Frase, etc. But you should prioritize getting a tool that works the best with your website while delivering accurate and optimized results.
Most on-page SEO tools can show you what’s wrong with your content, and that’s good. But it’s even better when your tool can tell you how to fix what’s wrong with your content. On-page SEO tools perform a detailed audit of a draft, identify the weak points, and provide solutions on fixing those areas in your content.
Let’s say your content is missing images. Any tool could tell you that! But how many images should you add? And how should you craft the image alt text? Only the crème de la crème tools can tell you. 🍒
On-page SEO analysis tools shouldn’t just analyze your content’s quality. They should give you insights into the quality of the data and other sources you use in your content.
You should choose a tool that provides the following elements of data:
🤫 Hint: Choose a tool whose founders have SEO knowledge. They’ll know how important these elements are, so they won’t skip them in the tool.
As with everything else, it’s important to balance comprehensive features with simplicity. But on-page SEO isn’t exactly easy. So, some writers will look for super easy-to-use tools that only have NLP scoring, so they can focus on getting the blog done.
But SEOs have a different perspective. Their KPIs depend on ranking, revenue, and leads, so they can’t afford to write content that won’t rank. So, they look for a tool that leaves no stone unturned.
Find a tool that gives you the best of both worlds — simple enough to use but comprehensive enough to help you predictably rank. But keep in mind that, no matter what tool you choose, you’ll still need some form of training.
Most self-service tools come with YouTube videos, documentation, and chat support, and a few of them hold webinars quite often.
So you should assess the level of support you need to succeed, and choose the product accordingly. But keep in mind, the more hand-holding you need, the more money you have to spend.
Most tools out there, except for a handful, suggest you optimize content using keyword density. But even Google’s John Muller has said time and time again — this isn’t a ranking factor.
Although you should get a tool to give you in-depth NLP data, stay away from tools that equate content quality to keyword density. That’s counterproductive.
On-page SEO analysis tools shouldn’t stop at keyword density. It should also give you insights about the semantic keywords to use. Semantic keywords are the ones related to your primary keyword. So let’s say you have “SEO” as your primary keyword, the related terms would be SERP, digital marketing, etc.
Having information about semantic keywords will help you cover the topics more comprehensively. It’ll also help you rank for more keywords. So choose a proper on-page SEO analysis tool that gives you information about the semantic keywords for your piece of content.
After the competitor analysis, your tool should tell you how many internal links you should aim to use. It should also give you a list of all the links on your page you can link to, with the best anchor text for them.
But what if the tool suggests a broken link from your website and you use it? Your rankings will tank. So look for a tool that can analyze your sitemap, find broken links, and not recommend them.
Imagine you write your content using Google Docs. So when you’re deciding between two content analysis tools, which will it be? The one with a Google Docs integration or the one without? The answer is clear.
One of the many must-haves for an on-page SEO analysis tool is its connectivity and support for plugins. Connectivity and plugins enable you to use the tool in tandem with other sites and apps, making the tool more efficient and effective.
When choosing an on-page SEO analysis tool, don’t forget the importance of workflow. The tool should follow clear, logical steps, to make the content analysis process seamless.
Choose a tool that offers content research first, then optimization, and analysis last. This ensures all tasks are done in a timely manner, with no need for do-overs or repetitions and back and forth.
If you are working solo, you can skip this. But, if you are working as a team, where someone builds the briefs, someone writes and someone optimizes content, you will need a tool that can be used in a team environment. Eg. Being able to share documents, organize documents, and assign tasks and comments for team members to follow up on.
If you work with an external board, you might have to manually move these tasks to those boards or does the software integrate with other boards.
For your content analysis needs, we’ve researched and compiled a list of the top 8 tools for on-page SEO analysis tools and what features they offer.
Outranking is an on-page SEO tool that offers features for content analysis and takes it a step further to help with content creation. It’s an advanced SEO tool that integrates SERP analysis data with AI research capabilities.
Outranking offers the following features:
|Offers the most comprehensive on-page optimization||Doesn’t offer keyword research|
|Includes downloadable on-page audit reports||Can take time to master because of its comprehensive features|
|Suggests internal links using your sitemap|
|Suggests semantic terms, which many other products miss|
|Follows a unique scoring approach by analyzing factors like uniqueness, comprehensiveness, and many others|
|Integrates with WordPress, Grammarly, and Google Docs|
With Outranking, you can view your content weaknesses and improve them, which helps immensely for on-page SEO.
Outranking is the most updated on-page SEO tool with connectivity, plugins, team management, workflow, and product support.
It helps you reach your goals to get your content and website rank higher. You can learn more about this tool in the following video:
Some additional capabilities other than on-page SEO include:
SurferSEO is a simple and easy-to-use on-page SEO analysis tool that uses keyword density and coverage as the driving factor for content optimization.
Note: Keyword density is an outdated way of optimizing on-page. Read what John Muller has to say about it.
SurferSEO also uses headings, word count, number of passages, and images as scoring factors. Still, it’s not as comprehensive as Outranking.
Some features include:
|Is easy to use||Can encourage keyword stuffing because its scores are mostly driven by keyword density|
|Scores more than NLP||Lacks advanced team management features|
Marketmuse is a content analysis and planning tool that focuses on scanning pages and extracting NLP terms. Marketmuse isn’t an on-page content optimization tool per se, but it performs content analysis as part of on-page SEO analysis, so it made it to our list.
Marketmuse is no different than Outranking or SurferSEO in entity extraction, but it shows unfiltered entities that make the list quite big and disconnected. While looking at so much data sounds great, it can be overwhelming when it comes to actual optimization.
Some features include:
|Easy to use, because it only analyzes NLP||Doesn’t receive frequent updates|
|Focuses on keyword coverage more than keyword density||Is the most expensive out of all the tools in this list|
|Lacks advanced team or document management features|
Clearscope is much more in-line with Marketmuse’s features for content analysis. But Clearscope doesn’t perform complete on-page analysis as Outranking does.
Clearscope’s ideology is to optimize content based on keyword density and keyword coverage (by keywords, we mean NLP terms). It also scores partially for word count, readability, and images.
Some of Clearscope’s core features include:
|Is easy to use||Uses IBM Watson for NLP analysis (they claim this is better but without concrete proof)|
|Uses IBM Watson for NLP analysis (they claim this is better, but without concrete proof)||Doesn’t offer semantic search terms|
|Isn’t suitable for small and medium-sized businesses|
|Is quite expensive|
The tool is ideal for simple content-related processes, but it’s by no means sufficient for complete on-page content optimization.
Semrush likes to insert itself into all things SEO. Semrush, while primarily a keyword research tool, offers a basic content optimization tool (NOT on-page). On-page optimization involves many factors that are more important than readability, uniqueness, word count, and basic NLP.
I was super surprised to find their editor lacks the basic data they themselves provide in other parts of their product, like semantic terms. A great on-page optimization tool will guide you into optimizing everything, not a few look-good elements.
When you push out the content you wrote spending 20 hours, you don’t want to do a half a** job of optimizing it, pardon the language. But that’s do or die for me.
Unfortunately, for lack of better tools, Semrush still made my list as a contender for on-page optimization. 🥴 Outranking still beats it with comprehensiveness here.
Features (on-page features only):
|Convenient if you already use Semrush for other things||Not-very-comprehensive writing assistant|
|Lacking WordPress tools and integration with other tools|
Frankly, I don’t see any upside to using Semrush for on-page optimization. It’s great with other things, but not on-page.
RankMath is a WordPress content analysis tool. Although it’s quite comprehensive, it lacks the data quality you need to make a dent.
Still, it has a free version, and it serves as a good checkpoint before publishing. You can use it as a secondary optimization tool to confirm you haven’t missed anything.
Some RankMath features include:
|Cheap to use||Lacks quality data|
|Beginner-friendly (Don’t bank on results)||Tries to do a lot of things at the same time|
|Offers a suite of other SEO features||Slows down WordPress, reportedly|
|Covers many aspects of on-page optimization|
Frase is a content analysis tool that provides research and content formatting options. Frase is an older tool that has built many smaller tools within its product over time. All products are geared toward content briefs and writing utilities.
It does on-page analysis and analyzes ranking pages for NLP terms, word count, and a couple of other things. But it doesn’t cover all major on-page ranking factors.
Frase core features include:
|Offers a lot of utilities for writing and research purposes||Has a cluttered UI because it’s trying to do too many things at once|
|Integrates with Google doc using a plugin||Considers SEO as an afterthought, you’ll need to purchase an SEO addon|
|Doesn’t check on-page factors comprehensively like Outranking|
I like Moz on-page optimizer because it does exactly what it says. Their grader will check any webpage for on-page SEO best practices. It can score for 27 factors just like Outranking can. Where it lags is NLP terms — even the Moz Pro won’t suggest keywords you’ve missed.
Moz Pro also misses out on topic coverage. So unless you’re using multiple tools, Moz Pro isn’t an all-in-one tool for on-page optimization like Outranking.
The tool comes with the following features:
|Generates in-depth SEO performance reports||Can be an expensive addon if you’re using keyword research too|
|Keyword rank tracking can fit nicely into on-page optimization suggestions||Doesn’t score on-page for NLP terms|
|Can be an expensive addon if you’re using a keyword research too|
Content analysis is the secret key to getting you high on that SERP. But you can’t choose a tool willy-nilly and call it a day. You need to carefully shop around for the best on-page SEO tool with content analysis.
Your tool shouldn’t just stop at the basic SEO elements. It should offer proper insights into the problems your content has — and how to fix them. It should also guide you to create the best possible content with high-quality, comprehensive competitor analysis.
Out of the (number to be confirmed) tools we’ve analyzed, Outranking outranks the others (pun intended). It offers a whole host of features and tools to assist you through every step of the content creation process — from brief creation to publishing.
What are you waiting for?