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Clearscope Review: Is This Content Writing SEO Tool Any Good?
When it comes to content writing, it can be difficult for small businesses to assess quality. Does it come from length? Accuracy? Style and flair? These are all relevant factors, but optimizing content can be difficult to do independently.
This is why many content marketers rely on SEO software like Clearscope to aid in keyword research and content optimization. Keeping up with search engine optimization (SEO) trends is integral to improving your website rankings.
Forty-nine percent of respondents in a poll by Search Engine Journal reported that organic search brings in the highest return on investment. This placed organic search as the top digital marketing channel for marketers, followed by paid search, social media, and email marketing.
What Is Clearscope?
Clearscope (clearscope.io) is a content optimization and keyword research tool designed for digital marketing. It helps content creators and marketers optimize their content to perform better in search engines.
The SEO tool, founded in 2016 by Mushi Labs, uses IBM Watson Services to automate the content optimization process. It analyzes the top-performing content pieces for each keyword given, making it easier for marketing teams to create compelling and competitive content for their niche.
Clearscope helps speed up the content creation process, as content teams don’t need to manually find relevant keywords for each of their articles. This is very helpful as search engine ranking and search traffic are of high priority for content marketing.
How does Clearscope work?
Clearscope’s main event resides in its Optimize feature, which many companies use in their content marketing strategies. It provides relevant tools that help improve search engine rankings for businesses that use it.
To start using Clearscope’s Optimize feature, you simply need to type in the keyword you want to target and hit enter. The software will then parse through search engine results and generate a report for you.
The report will consist of a list of key terms that you can use to dictate the topics you cover. It will also include links to top-performing pieces of content for that keyword.
In one report, you get keyword recommendations and competitor analysis that can help you craft potentially high-ranking content. You also get a recommended word count typical of articles related to your target keyword.
The Optimize feature has a large text editor where you can write or paste in your article draft. Clearscope then analyzes the content of your article and assigns it a score considering readability, word count, and the number of relevant keywords it manages to hit. It also ranks your draft against the current top-ranking competitors.
Main Features of Clearscope
How does Clearscope help you create better-ranking and quality content? It has a wide array of features specifically designed with SEO in mind. Here are some of its key elements that can assist in streamlining your content creation and optimization process.
Topic and Keyword Research
Clearscope’s keyword reports help users save a lot of time and effort, especially for keyword research and conceptualization. Seeing what topics go with specific keywords can help writers make better and more comprehensive content that addresses their audience’s needs.
This feature is handy when working with clients and making pitches. Instead of spending hours researching an article that is yet to receive approval, you can use Clearscope to generate concepts and topics for approval quickly. This leaves writers plenty of time to craft and polish good quality content.
These reports also come with search volume data, which helps you prioritize specific keywords and topics that people are actually searching for.
Optimization is Clearscope’s main claim to fame. Upon finishing your content draft and pasting it into their interface, the program analyzes your piece and gives it a letter grade assessing its quality. It then provides suggestions on how to improve your content.
The SaaS tool makes these assessments by checking other high-ranking articles your content would have to compete with. It makes suggestions regarding potential keywords, phrases, word count, and readability. These suggestions help increase the quality of your content.
The better you comply with their suggestions, the higher your grade. This, in turn, will help your content perform better in search engine rankings and increase website traffic.
The Clearscope support system is pretty straightforward. It consists of a single-page form on the website, accessible to anyone—Clearscope subscriber or not. It requests your name, email address, and your question or issue regarding their service.
Clearscope support agents often make responses within the same day, as long as it is within office hours. They will answer anything related to the service, be it an easy technical question on functionality (e.g., “How do I generate a Clearscope report?”), or something outside of the common concerns of clients.
Most writers often already have a preferred program or application for writing. Clearscope integration helps writers get automatic feedback without visiting the Clearscope website.
So far, however, Clearscope only has an integration plugin for Google Docs and WordPress. They do not have integrations yet for other platforms and word processors. If you wish to write or edit on other platforms, you can copy and paste your content between Clearscope and the platform of your choice.
Still, the integration Clearscope does have with Google Docs and WordPress is pretty solid. It allows writers to see their content score and keyword recommendations in a sidebar within their document. This feature allows users to do the writing and optimization processes at the same time, speeding up the workflow.
Ease of Use
Clearscope’s user interface definitely makes it shine. It has clearly-labelled sections that guide users intuitively through the screen. The site clearly organizes the information you need into relevant tabs, making them easy to access and explore. Each section loads fast (or all at once), minimizing wait times.
Its main features are well within sight. You can see checkmarks appear beside keywords you hit. You can see your content score’s progress bar move and change colours depending on your article’s optimization.
You can also write directly on Clearscope, minimizing the need for copying and pasting from one word processor to another. It has a few of the relevant formatting tools you may need when drafting a piece of content.
Having the right SEO content marketing tool makes it incredibly easy to optimize your content, eliminating much of the manual research and effort you would normally need to do.
Pros of Clearscope
You probably already have a pretty good understanding of Clearscope and what it does. It has a solid set of features that can be very helpful for businesses.
Many of its clients attest to its benefits, as it is very helpful for content teams everywhere. Here are some of the top reasons Clearscope may be the perfect content optimization tool for you.
Content creation can be tedious and time-consuming, especially when considering client specifications and SEO requirements. Content writers may have to go through several rewrites to produce something of quality while adhering to content optimization best practices.
Clearscope’s content reports and keyword suggestions help cut down the time needed to do these things. Writers don’t have to spend hours doing content research and finding the right keywords for pitches that are yet to receive approval.
This tool helps writers and marketers get a lot more done within a given amount of time. It aids in the ideation, writing, and optimization of content, thus streamlining the content creation process for the individuals and teams that use it.
Helps Produce Better-Optimized Content
Every digital marketer knows the importance of SEO. However, creating SEO-friendly content can be pretty complex, requiring several steps to complete.
Content writers may prioritize style and readability, which are also standards for quality content. However, a piece of content that reads well doesn’t necessarily mean that it is SEO-friendly. Meanwhile, SEO experts can put in the right keywords, but too many in the wrong placements can make content clunky or awkward to read.
Clearscope helps writers find the right balance between content and SEO performance through its reports and suggestions. It helps integrate the writing and optimization processes, allowing for both SEO-friendly and well-written content.
Real-Time Content Grading
Upon opening Clearscope’s optimize page, you can see a list of suggested terms or keywords on the right-hand side. Once you write or paste your content into the text field, the software immediately gets to work. You can see your draft’s content grade on the page’s sidebar within seconds.
If you make any changes to your copy, the content grade also adjusts. Adding a relevant term or keyword would help increase your grade and tick a little box beside the keyword, almost like a checklist.
This feature allows you to track your progress and get an immediate look at how your content would perform in search engine rankings. It also makes standards easier to communicate, especially when your writing and optimization processes involve more than one person.
Offers Insights on Competitor Performance
Although you can make independent content assessments for quality, it can be challenging to determine how your content would stack up against competitors.
Clearscope helps you get a clear view of other content pieces within the same niche. It generates content reports by parsing through the different search results for your target keyword. Here, you can see the top-performing pieces of content that you may have to contend with.
Aside from showing you your competitors, Clearscope also gives them a content grade, much like what you receive. As you optimize your content and increase your grade, you’d then have a pretty good idea of how your content compares to what’s already out there.
Improves Organic Traffic
Better-optimized and SEO-friendly content helps your website rank higher on search engines. SEO is no longer an afterthought for many companies, with 69 percent of marketers investing in an SEO strategy in 2021.
Clearscope helps your business get tangible results through better SEO. For example, Optimizely, an experimentation platform based in the United States, achieved a 53 percent increase in organic traffic by following Clearscope’s content recommendations.
Most consumers use search engines to find services and items they might find interesting. The higher you rank in these web searches, the more likely you will attract new customers. Clearscope has earned its reputation by giving businesses great results in these aspects.
Cons of Clearscope
Every organization has different needs and ways of doing things. What might work for some may be inappropriate or lacking for others.
Despite Clearscope’s many benefits, it might not be the best choice for some companies. Here are some areas where Clearscope might fall a little bit short compared to other content optimization tools in the market.
A Clearscope subscription is not cheap. It starts at the Essentials tier, which costs $170 per month. With this plan, users can only generate 20 content reports a month. The Professional tier costs $350 a month, which increases the content report cap to 50.
Clearscope is a beneficial tool, but these prices are likely inaccessible for freelancers or small businesses to sustain. Clearscope is still pretty unique for the most part, but other tools such as Ahrefs and MarketMuse provide similar services at a fraction of the price.
With its pricing at the higher end, Clearscope is most suitable for established businesses with a high enough income to justify the pricing. If you’re just starting with content optimization, it might be best to try out other tools in the meantime.
At the moment, Clearscope only has integrations for Google Docs and WordPress. These word processing and blogging platforms are already quite popular, but they might not be the ones you use for your business.
For example, if you wish to write on Microsoft Word or your content editor wants to make edits on Grammarly, you’d have to copy and paste your content back and forth between the programs. This extra step might not be ideal for streamlining your content optimization process.
Limited Customer Support
Clearscope does provide adequate customer support. However, they only issue responses during office hours, Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 6 pm CST.
Upon making an inquiry, you’d also have to expect to wait a few hours for a response. Although not awful, this type of support can fall short compared to other tools. And especially in an industry that relies heavily on deadlines and timeliness, late response times can be problematic.
The official Clearscope website also lacks a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page, which could be a helpful resource to get timely answers and minimize the workload of Clearscope’s customer support staff.
Content Report Cap
Unless you contact Clearscope for a custom plan with custom pricing, regular subscribers can only get from 20 to 50 content reports a month.
If your business focuses extensively on creating and optimizing content, these numbers can be very limiting. Twenty to 50 content reports aren’t a lot, especially if you need to produce lots of content on a regular basis.
If you consider the prices you have to pay as well, the costs can run pretty high. If you really want to use Clearscope for your business operations, make sure you can justify the costs for the services you will get.
Clearscope does many things well, but it isn’t an all-in-one content production tool. It is missing a lot of features and add-ons that other tools within a similar (or lower) price range could provide.
It isn’t capable of providing content briefs, assigning production tasks, or giving authoritative access to more than three or ten people at a time. This factor can be limiting for larger teams or companies.
The only way to give multiple people access to content reports is by sharing the link. Although mostly adequate, you might need to rely on other tools or software to track employees’ activity on Clearscope accurately.
Another feature that could make Clearscope better is providing link-building recommendations and automated website audits. Some of its competitors offer these services at a lower cost.
Plans & Pricing
Clearscope is a very useful and effective tool for businesses everywhere. Its clients consistently rave about its excellent service and good return on investment. However, its pricing is admittedly on the higher end compared to other similar tools in the market. Here is Clearscope’s current pricing plan.
Final Words on Clearscope as a Content Writing SEO Tool
Clearscope is one of the most prominent keyword search and content optimization tools in the industry today. It uses IBM technology to browse through various websites and search engine results, recognizing patterns and best practices. The data Clearscope collects and presents helps businesses create competitive and compelling content.
The entire SEO writing process can take quite a bit of time. From ideation, drafting, and polishing, creating quality content that also performs well in search engines can be quite challenging. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as style, accuracy, and keyword usage.
Clearscope’s automated process allows content creators and businesses to create quality, well-performing content in a much shorter time frame. It helps make the content creation workflow more streamlined and efficient.
Need to Learn More? Contact SearchEye Today!
Nowadays, digital marketing is becoming more of a necessity for most businesses. Crafting an effective content strategy can be challenging with the responsibility it takes to run a business. This is especially true for small enterprises with a limited staff.
SearchEye helps take this concern out of your hands. With its easy onboarding process and point-and-click ordering, you can get optimized content and reliable backlinks for your business at any time.
You can request various articles and receive expert advice from our team. We aim to help businesses like yours thrive through excellent content. Contact us today if you want to learn more or make your first order.
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