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Outranking Review:
How Does It Compare with MarketMuse and Frase

 

You probably have a system for creating content already from keyword research to writing and editing, but would you be interested if there’s a software out there that can make it better?

If you don’t have a system for creating content yet, then we introduce to you Outranking, an advanced AI writing and SEO-optimization tool for content creation.

Now the question is, can Outranking help you write better content or speed up the process when compared to the likes of MarketMuse and Frase ?

Read on to find out…

 

Five Core Features of Outranking

 

For this review, we’ll be focusing on the core features of Outranking that helps with the content creation process. We’ll provide a brief description of each feature along with the pros and cons that we saw as tested out this software.

The core features are as follows:

1. Step-by-step process for creating SEO content
2. Research your Content
3. Create Content Briefs
4. AI Content Writing
5. Optimize your content to rank

 

CORE FEATURE 1:

1. Step-by-step process for creating SEO content

No more staring at an empty doc. Follow their guided process to create a SEO optimized content that ranks.

Our ranking: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  (5/5 stars)

 

✅  Pros

 

✅   Good user experience. Easy to follow.

It simplifies the process of getting started and creating content. Just follow the instructions at each step to create a well written article.

You can also toggle the AI Wizard off if you don’t want it’s guidance.

✅   AI writer at each step

Whenever possible, Outranking gives you the ability to create content with one click.

You can find this in the title, meta description, and many other places.
The quality of the content is generally better than other AI writers.

Why?

Because Outranking not only uses your previously written content, BUT also those by your competitors to give you better results.

We can also expect the quality to improve over time as the team works to fine-tune the AI and their own models.

✅   Suggestions & Explanations

Outranking not only tells you what to do at every step, but also offers personalized suggestions.

Taking the “Sections/ Outline” section as an example, it tells you how many headings you need to have in order to rank.

I like that it also provides simple explanations on why certain steps have to be taken, teaching beginners along the way.

 

❌  Cons

 

❌   The menu structure can be improved

Outranking uses an unconventional menu structure. This makes finding your way around difficult if you’re a first time user.

When starting out, you’ll often find yourself lost in one of the sections and struggling to find your way back to the “AI Wizard”.

To make things worse, there’s NO onboarding and tooltips to guide you.

This limitation can actually be a strength because once you’re used to the tool, the shortcuts will be very helpful for getting to specific sections quickly.

 

CORE FEATURE 2:

2. Research your content

Helps you to understand the topic quickly so you can create quality content.

Our ranking: ⭐⭐ (2.5/5 stars)

 

✅   Pros

 

✅   Read top 20 articles right on Outranking

In the “research” section, you can find and read the top 20 ranking articles by simply clicking on them to expand.

✅   Get SEO Metrics for top 20 articles

Get 5 important metrics right beside the domain:

Score — Shows you how optimized the content is based on Outranking’s own algorithm.

Domain Authority — A MOZ metric to check the strength of the domain. (Can you win the top 20 results?)

Page Authority — Another MOZ metric to check the strength of the particular page.

No. of Backlinks — How many backlinks are pointing to that page.

Word count

✅   Exclude a specific domain from analysis

This is an important feature that is missing in many content optimization tools.

You can choose to hide the optimization suggestions of any domain.

Why is this important?

A page might rank at the top 10 not because of its quality content, but because of its authority.

In this case, you may not want their data to interfere with your analysis.

Pages like Wiki, Edu, Gov, Forbes…

Unfortunately, Outranking can only exclude the word count, section requirement, and a few others, but NOT the suggested topics which are important to exclude as well.

 

❌  Cons

 

❌   No summary of articles

Yes, you can read full articles of ranking pages on Outranking but it would be better if they have an option to read the summary as well.

In most cases, you just want to get the gist.
And if needed I can always follow the link to the site and read the full article.

❌   H1/ H2 tags is at a different section

Sometimes, you don’t want to read the whole article but just want to scan the H1/ H2 tags (headings) to get the gist of the article.

Unfortunately, this is not available in the “Research” section. You’ll have to go back to the “Outline” section to find them.
Switching back and forth constantly reduces the user experience.

❌   Can’t build brief on “Research” section

There is no way to add headings and sections to your outline or brief when you’re in the “Research” section.

Hopefully they can add that in the future. Such as having a (+) button to quickly add headings and sections into the outline.

 

CORE FEATURE 3:

3. Create Content Briefs & Outlines

Build content outlines with H1 & H2 tags quickly.

Our ranking: ⭐⭐⭐ (3/5 stars)

 

✅  Pros 👍

 

✅   AI Generated Outline

In the “AI Wizard” section, you can use AI to automatically generate a list of headings.
Select those that you like to include them in your outline.

This gives you additional ideas on top of those you scrape from your competitors.

❌   However the flow is not optimal. I would prefer to see the headings from competitors first, understand what people are writing about, before using AI to generate more.

This is only available in a separate section.
And once you leave the “AI Wizard”, it’s difficult for beginners to find their way back.

The UX can be improved in this section.

✅   Scrape Headings From Top Competitors

Outranking scrapes all the H2 & H3 tags into the platform and you can easily browse through them and add them to your own outline.

I also like how you can rewrite the heading with AI with just a click.

✅   High Frequency Keywords (HFK)

Surfaces The Most Important Headings
It shows you the most commonly used headings for all your top competitors and sort them in order of importance.

It helps you understand what are the most commonly covered topics at a glance and add them to your outline if you like.

 

❌   Cons

 

❌   Can’t Indent to Create H3s

Your outline can only compose of H2 tags. Even if you add H3 from competitors, it shows up as H2 on your own outline.
And you can’t indent them to create H3s.

❌   Creating Brief for Writers Are Cumbersome

First, the content brief option is hard to find. When clicked, it opens up a doc on the left and the data on the right.

You can easily add items into your brief but the editing experience is tedious.

 

CORE FEATURE 4:

4. AI Content Writing

Outranking uses the power of GPT-3 and in house AI tech to auto generate original content with a click of a button.

Our ranking: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 stars)

 

✅  Pros

 

✅   Good quality output

The overall quality of the output is pretty good whether you’re generating the title, meta description, or writing the actual copy.

IMO, output is better or will be better than dedicated AI writers like Jarvis.

Because the AI is not only looking at your previously written content, but also those from your top competitors! So the input that you feed into the AI is highly relevant.
I’m not sure if Outranking has this tech yet, if not they should definitely develop it and we should see much higher output quality.

✅   “Concepts” feature gives you better ideas for content.

This is a really innovative and smart feature that is not found in any other AI content tools.

After creating your headings, you can generate “Concepts” which basically gives you different perspectives and ideas of what to write for that particular heading.

Think of it as your H3/ H4 generator.

Other AI tools usually jump right in and start writing. And you often find yourself rewriting it because it’s not relevant.

“Concepts” helps you find that right perspective before drilling it down further. Brilliant feature.

✅   Great control of AI

Typical AI tools have the “Write for me” feature and that’s it.

Outranking allows you to generate content in different ways to get a higher quality output.

For e.g. you can generate a paragraph from your “Concepts”. Or answer a question from a specific heading.

 

❌  Cons

 

❌   Poor limits & structure (-1 star)

If you use Outranking like a normal monthly paying customer, the top plan can probably give you like 10 – 15 articles?

Then even if you want to upgrade to monthly, you don’t get unlimited characters like what monthly customers get.

1 or 3 million characters (not words) is still little in my opinion.

The add-on pricing is not great either.
What I was told is that they can’t afford to give unlimited because 500 documents a month is much higher than their monthly paying customers. So the unlimited AI usage for 500 docs will cost a lot.

Fair enough.

What about thinking of creative solutions like trading unused docs for unlimited credits?

Instead of thinking of creative solutions, it feels like they are pushing us to take up the add-on.

 

CORE FEATURE 5:

5. Optimize Your Content to Rank

⭐⭐ (2.5/5 stars)

 

✅   Pros

 

✅   Topic Suggestions

Outranking suggests topics and topic clusters to include in your article.

The goal is to optimize your content and give it a higher chance of ranking.

There’s also a density helper that shows you how many times you’ve included the topic in your article and whether it is under or over optimized.

 

❌  Cons

 

❌   Subpar Suggestions

The best suggestions are from MarketMuse. After all, they have already built a huge database and are constantly crawling the web to upgrade different topic models.

The next is Frase and Outranking which are both very similar as they use the same method of scraping the frequently mentioned keywords from the top search results.

This often leads to random keywords that lack context like, “sale”, “what”, “business”, “customers”…

I like that Outranking gives you the option to filter by one/ two/ or three words. This gives you better context of what the keyword is about.

Example:
One word = deal/ best
Two word = lifetime deal
Three word = Best lifetime deal

This is something that’s missing in Frase.

However I feel that Frase wins overall with more data & filtering options for their keywords.

You can filter by top topics, long tail, headings and more.

But most importantly, it shows the number of times each keyword is being mentioned by competitors (not available in Outranking).

You can also click on each topic to reveal more sub-topics and their frequencies (not available in OR)

Example:
Main topic: Deals
Sub-topic: Lifetime deals, best deals…

And lastly, Frase allows you to easily see HOW your competitors are using these keywords in their article by pulling in snippets of paragraphs that contain those keywords.

Since Outranking can’t compete with the quality of topics (like MarketMuse), they need to provide more data and filtering options like Frase.

 

Conclusion

 

Outranking is well on its way to becoming a revolutionary all-in-one SEO content creation and optimization tool.

Overall, I am pretty impressed with the tool and the progress they have made in a short amount of time. I think they have a bright future and we can expect to see more innovation.

The reason I call it “revolutionary” is because of the really unique features they have developed that set them apart from the competition.

Like the “concepts” feature mentioned in the review and seamless use of AI throughout the creation process.

They have also made content creation easy by making it “modular”. All you have to do is follow the steps, kind of like following SOPs, and answer one question at a time.

When you are done writing, you can even rearrange entire sections of content by dragging and dropping them.

Cool stuff.

The tool has its flaws, of course, from the rigid research modules to the weak content optimization suggestions, as mentioned in the review. I hope they can be improved soon.

And the seamless use of AI also means that credits are used up quickly.

Making the LTD really just a super extended and generous “trial”.

The top tier plan is only enough for an SME creating 8-10 articles per month, and the limits pale in comparison to other previous LTDs like Frase.


If you create more than that, you’ll have to take up their monthly add-on, which is not cheap by LTD standards.

There are other rough edges like the inability to create H3 in outlines, no auto-detection of keywords in the doc until you click “refresh”, no onboarding, confusing UX, and the pop-ups prompting you to upgrade with NO ability to close them.

Outranking is for you if you can get comfortable with its unique workflow, which I think helps speed up the writing process and improve quality.

You just need to get used to it.

You should also be able to accept the limitations (10-15 articles per month at the top tier ) or be willing to pay the additional fee of $59/m for 1 million additional characters.

I also would not be surprised if early supporters are asked to upgrade in the future for roadmap features like rank tracking, plagiarism checking, and more.

If you are okay with the above limitations, Outranking may be one of the best investments you can make for content creation, as they continue to smoothen out the rough edges and work on new innovative features.

 

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Outranking review
Ken Moo
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