Surfer in an Agency: Outranking Big Authority Competitors Using Content Editor

Karolina Gawron
May 29, 2020

Inside this article:

Lucian Florian and his agency, FLDTRACE, takes advantage of UX Design and SEO to drive traffic and increase revenue for SMB's.

When they started working with Surfer back in December 2019, their content creation process was pretty standard: Google Docs, time-consuming guidelines creation, and double-checking copywriters’ work before publication.

In this case study, Lucian describes what has changed for them since he incorporated Surfer into the process:

  • How he utilizes Surfer’s Content Editor to outrank websites of higher authority
  • What’s their everyday process for successful content creation
  • How much it took for FLDTRACE to start noticing results from optimization with Surfer

How to speed up SEO content creation?”

In any inbound marketing agency, content plays a significant role in attracting new customers. FLDTRACE is no different. Their problem was that getting the organic traffic they needed was a lot of work. According to Lucian:

Creating new high-quality content that is SEO-optimized can be a very time-consuming process. Researching keywords, competitors, on-page topics, putting together content briefs for the copywriting team, checking the copywriter’s work, is a lot to handle. I looked for ways to simplify and speed up our content creation efforts. 

The collaboration between SEOs and copywriters required a decent upgrade.

We needed an easy way to pass instructions to copywriters, write SEO optimized content that ranks, and occasionally, audit existing content.

Lucian tested some other tools from the “on-page SEO” category but they didn’t meet their expectations.

I have looked and tested a few other solutions but they weren’t helpful. Some SEO experts might disagree here, but at the time of testing, some of those tools had a dated interface with unnecessarily complicated features. After all, I was looking to make things easier to manage, not more confusing!
Other tools did the job but they are not affordable for smaller agencies or SEO consultants.
When someone in my SEO community mentioned Surfer I was intrigued as it seemed to solve most of the issues we were facing. I liked that Surfer offered a way to select competitors and didn’t impose anything. Choosing the correct benchmark competitor is very important so that you can get accurate recommendations.

Taking Surfer for a test drive

It took some time to use the full power of Surfer, but when Lucian saw the results, he was glad he allocated his time to learn its ins and outs.

I honestly had to give it a couple of trials before I decided to go with it. At first, I wasn’t quite sure how to use it properly, but watching a Surfer webinar was a big help. Also, here’s another useful resource that made it more clear how to handle the process.
Following the advice from the Surfer team, we used the tool for a few client projects. We were able to boost a few articles from page 2 on page 1 which proved the effectiveness of the product.

Introducing Surfer as an inseparable piece of the content creation process

Seeing satisfying results from content optimization with Surfer, it was time to say goodbye to the time-consuming content creation process.

Before Surfer we had to use Google Docs and I had to rely on a copywriter to write content that ranks. If you’re not an expert on the subject this is very difficult to do. Now we save time and we see some good results in ranking. I also find it useful when Surfer pulls in recommended on-page topics from Answer The Public.

One of the low authority websites that Lucian worked with finally kicked off.

Lucian incorporated Surfer into their content creation process for good.

Our current process goes like this: I first do keyword research using Ahrefs and choose keywords that have high buyer intent and can drive business to my clients’ websites.
Then I add the keyword in Surfer Content Editor, choose 2-5 top competitors, and eliminate unrelated sites that rank because of their high authority. I choose all the important terms to use, and I provide instructions for the copywriters. I copy the shareable link and send it to the assigned copywriter. Before publishing, I double-check everything to ensure everything is ready to go.  

More organic traffic without backlinks

Without investing any time and money into link building, Lucian’s inbound agency managed to outrank some of the high authority websites.

We managed to outrank bigger authority sites just by optimizing the content. That means without having to invest in expensive and time-consuming link-building campaigns. Relevance for the win!
We have focused on long-tail keywords, added a table of contents, added modified dates + republish internal linking, and Surfer for content optimization. These articles rank with 0 link building.

Ecommerce store traffic boost.

Surfer didn’t disappoint in terms of creating new content. Now, Lucian is planning to optimize their content with SERP Analyzer, too.

We use Content Editor most of the time. That’s because we focus mainly on new content at the moment. But I plan to use SERP Analyzer for boosting content stuck in the lower positions in the close future.

Surfer is a fantastic tool that can give an unfair competitive advantage to agencies and SEO consultants using it. If you’re not using it, your competitors might!

See other case studies: