Honest Frase.io Review 2024: Read This Before You Buy

This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive a commission with no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Frase.io from my fellow bloggers so it was only a matter of time until I tested and reviewed it myself.

The timing couldn’t be better – Frase just got a major 2.0 makeover. This means my review will give you the most up-to-date scoop, unlike most other outdated articles stuck on the old versions.

Is Frase a helpful SEO assistant or just another shiny AI tool that overpromises and underdelivers? Let’s find out!

AI SEO Tool
frase logo

Frase.io Overview

3.5
  • Easy search optimization
  • Competitor analysis
  • Outlining with AI
  • Lame AI writing

Quick summary of my experience with Frase

Frase’s search optimization process is decent but somewhat less intuitive than NeuronWriter (the SEO tool I use, read the full review here). It’s considerably cheaper than MarketMuse or Surfer, so it might be a good option if you can’t afford those or want to cut monthly expenses.

The AI writing feels like the typical out-of-the-box GPT-3.5 writing you’d expect from the free version of ChatGPT. Boring, repetitive, and lengthy.

Overall, Frase is an okay tool for content optimization and outlining content, but it proved unusable for me as an AI generator.

or see Frase alternatives

What is Frase?

Frase.io is an AI-powered content optimization and writing tool designed to make your content rank better in search engines.

frase homepage
Frase.io homepage in 2024

It analyses the top ranking search results for your target keyword trying to understand what search engines and users are looking for.

Then, it gives you a list of essential terms to include in your article and other insights based on commonalities that work for your competitors.

Besides semantic optimization features, Frase also has an AI writer to help you generate drafts, outlines, and even continue writing when you get stuck.

Frase was acquired by the competitor company CopySmith (now Describely) in 2022, but it continues to operate as a separate tool with its own roadmap and development team.

Knowing what this tool is for, let’s now look at how it actually performs!

Key Frase.io features

Frase got a new, simpler look at the beginning of 2024 after the 2.0 update rolled out. If you are confused about why the screenshots in this article look different from other reviews, that’s because most of the other top-ranking reviews are pretty old and don’t reflect the new Frase.io interface.

After you sign up for a free Frase account, you’ll end up in a dashboard looking like this:

frase how to use tutorial

There are three buttons to create a new document – it can’t get easier than that.

When you click on either one of them, you’ll have to choose one of the following three features:

frase workflows
  • SEO Workflow: You’ll need to insert a keyword you are targeting and Frase will analyze the top search results and give you insights for optimizing your article.
  • Blank Document: Start with an empty page if you prefer to write the article using AI tools first and optimize it later.
  • AI Article Wizard: A full AI-powered workflow for generating full articles. To use this feature, you’ll need to pay an extra $35 per month for the PRO add-on as it’s not included in any of the Frase plans.

Let’s take a closer look at what Frase offers in terms of search optimization!

1. SEO Workflow

The first step of SEO workflow in Frase is to enter the keyword you want to optimize for (also known as a search query).

Here, you also choose the target country and language for the article.

frase new search query

After you feed Frase your keyword, it will search it on Google and analyze the top results for you.

At first, I was disappointed that you can’t choose the specific competitors that matter to you like you can in NeuronWriter.

But then I found that you can actually change them later via the Settings button I pointed out in the screenshot below. So that’s good.

Frase review search optimization process

(You might want to uncheck some results, for example, if there are forums like Quora and Reddit, YouTube videos, or if your own article is in there.)

After the analysis is done, you’ll see 4 tabs to the right of the editor window. Let’s look at them one by one.

SERP

The first thing you see is the SEPR tab.

There is the “People Also Ask” section at the top, pulled directly from Google search and a list of the top currently ranking results.

Frase pulls the first 2 pages from Google SERPS, so you’ll normally see 20 results here. Less if Google shows YouTube and other stuff on the first page, which is why it’s 17 in this case (see the screenshot above).

Here is what each result looks like:

frase serp result analysis example

I like that you can see additional information about each result, such as its position in SERPs, the word count, the number of backlinks this particular page has, and its Domain Authority.

This gives you a better understanding of competition and what it takes to rank for this query.

(It also links to the results so you can check out any article yourself.)

Then, Frase also pulls the meta title and description, as well as the heading structure of each page.

You can copy each heading directly into your editor or save it for the outline.

Outline

On the outline tab, there are two routes you can take: create your own outline or generate one with AI.

If you choose the manual outline creation, it will show you all the headings from competitor pages, and you can pick the ones you like for your outline.

frase outline process example

It’s easy to edit and shuffle your headings, which is a very nice, user-friendly workflow that some other tools I’ve tested seriously lack.

You can turn any H2 heading into H3 or H4 and vice versa. You can also add your own headings.

Note

Please only use other people’s articles for inspiration and a general idea of what makes sense to cover to match the search intent. Don’t steal the exact headings. At the very least, make sure to edit them for your own tone and flow.

If you choose an AI-generated outline, Frase will go ahead and create one for you. Here is an example:

frase ai generated outline

Again, it’s all editable and shuffleable, and you can add your own headings.

I actually think it’s pretty good, and I liked it better than what I got from ChatGPT for the same keyword.

I personally prefer to write my own outlines, but this is pretty decent if you want to save time on article preparation (I kinda expected worse).

A Tiny Complain

The only thing I would really want to see here is the ability to choose the case. For example, I don’t capitalize every word in my headings, so in order to use this, I’d need to take an extra step and fix all words – which makes it not worth the time AI generation is saving.

Links

This is an interesting feature I don’t remember seeing in other AI SEO tools!

frase external links ideas

It gives you a list of domains that the top pages are commonly linking to, which can be useful as a source of external link ideas for your own article.

If you click on the item, it shows you a specific example of its usage by your competitors.

There is a “copy” icon, which I expected to copy the link so I can use it in the article.

frase misleading button

Instead, if you click it, it inserts an exact piece of a sentence that contains the link (in this case, it inserted “Did you know Zippia”). If you happen to have something selected, it will replace it. This behavior is a bit ridiculous to me.

Anyway.

The only tab of the SEO Workflow I haven’t covered yet is Optimize. Due to the nature of this tool, this feature deserves to have its own section, and we’ll talk about it in detail after I show you the AI features Frase offers.

2. Article creation

The AI workflows in Frase remind me about Notion a lot, but I can’t tell who inspired whom.

As you create a new document, you’ll see several options for article creation.

frase creating an article

Neither one is better than the others. Which you should choose depends solely on your process of how you approach content creation.

Let’s briefly look at each.

Option 1 – Start with an empty page

When you choose to start with an empty page, this would probably mean that you either already have an article or want to write it from scratch yourself.

If you are going to write it, Frase offers a typical simple editor with familiar functions.

frase article editor

If you already have a an article written, you can just copy a paste it here to optimize with Frase. As you can see in the screenshot, there is a % value in the top right corner that shows how optimized your article is compared to competition.

To create anything that’s not a paragraph (a heading, an image, a list, etc), simply press “/” anywhere in the document.

Frase has a feature to generate article title ideas, which is not super creative but offers some good options to choose from.

frase review ai title generation
Example of generating titles with Frase

Option 2 – Start writing an article with AI

With AI making huge waves in the content industry, more and more creators are turning to AI tools for assistance with content production.

Even though Frase is an SEO-focused tool, it also offers a bunch of AI features to help you write faster.

Time-saving tip

I’ll go ahead and say that I’m not impressed with AI generation in Frase at all, and I recommend using other tools instead (e.g., Koala for full articles or Jasper for section-by-section writing).

Keep reading for more details and samples.

When you choose to “Start an article with AI,” this is what you see:

frase ai generation features
  • Ask AI to write anything with a custom prompt
  • Continue writing
  • Write a section for a heading
  • Generate title ideas
  • Generate an article outline
PRO tip

If you have some content in your document already, you can type a slash (/) anywhere and choose “Write with AI” to see the same options.

I tried giving Frase a custom prompt, something like “explain who X is for,” expecting to get a paragraph or a short bullet list (which is what most other tools would give me).

Instead, it literally wrote a whole 563-word article with an introduction, a conclusion, and even a title!

So, if you need one paragraph, you have to say it explicitly in each prompt, which I think should be a default for this process.

I feel like prompting Frase AI to get somewhat useful output takes more effort than writing an article myself.

Section for a heading feature

I had high hopes for this feature because, when implemented well, it can create an easy, hands-on, but quick workflow for creating new articles (see my Jasper review for an example of “implemented well”).

Basically, if you write a heading (or insert an outline you generated), you can type “/” after the heading and choose “section for a heading.”

frase generate section for heading

Frase will automatically pull the nearest heading to prompt the AI, which is handy, but then duplicates the heading in the output for some reason, which defeats the point.

(Would be also nice if I could just select the heading and click a toolbar button to access this feature.)

Let’s look at what Frase generated for this heading.

Click here to see a sample
frase ai generator review

That was probably the best AI output I’ve seen from Frase. At least it has a bullet list.

In other tests, Frase would just give me a full wall of text.

Click to see another sample
frase ai section sample 1

Overall, the output is way too long for a section, repetitive, and extremely boring.

It is similar to something the free version of ChatGPT would produce in the early days. (Don’t even dream about ranking with this content quality. In 2024, you can find a bunch of AI writers that do a much better job.)

You don’t have any control over the length, which results in 400+ words per generation, kind of a short article in itself (that you don’t need).

As for the “Use search results” toggle, I tried generating a section with it both on and off, but the output is pretty similar.

Not sure how exactly it uses the competitor content under the hood, so I’d be sure to check the resulting content for plagiarism or not to use this feature at all to stay on the safe side.

After generating a section, Frase doesn’t offer you any options other than keep/discard and regenerate.

frase after ai generation
Continue writing feature

Continue writing is another AI feature that is super helpful in other AI writing tools I’ve tried. In Frase, not so much.

For example, in this case, it decided to write 3 new sections and fill in 2 of them. Since I already had the outline, this is not at all what I intended for that part of the article. It repeats the parts from other headings I have and clearly doesn’t refer to the context of the current article at all.

Click here to see a sample
frase continue writing example

Basically, it made a mess, and I would not use this.

I would say the text itself is on par with what an entry-level writer might produce. But meaning-wise, this didn’t make sense for my current article structure at all.

Is Frase’s AI outputs plagiarism-free?

After I saw the bland AI language Frase uses, I decided to put it through my plagiarism checker.

Grammarly showed 14% plagiarism, which is a lot.

For comparison, when I write myself, my articles can show 1-2% due to commonly used phrases and structures. For AI-generated content, anything under 7% I would consider acceptable and easy to improve with some personalization and editing. 14% is too much work to edit, and I’d rather not use it at all.

Option 3 – Generate a full article with AI

Frase offers a quick way to generate SEO-friendly articles, but it doesn’t come with any plan, free or paid. You need a PRO add-on for this, which will cost you an extra $35 per month and will let you generate up to 30 articles.

I didn’t pay for the add-on because

a) I already have other tools for that,

b) I wasn’t impressed by the other AI features Frase offers, and

c) you can’t trial this feature,

so it won’t be a part of this review.

(In case you are wondering, my #1 recommended tool for generating full articles is Koala – read my full review here.)

Option 4 – Import from URL

Of course, you might be joining Frase because you want to optimize your existing articles that don’t perform as well as you’d like.

In this case, you can just import the article by feeding Frase the URL.

Frase actually does a pretty good job with importing: it keeps the formatting, headings, links, lists, and images while stripping unnecessary things like sidebar, footers, and other widgets.

So, no complaints here.

3. Search Engine Optimization

Let’s now look into the Optimize tab, which is the whole purpose of using Frase.io in the first place.

The first thing that has caught my attention is that you can optimize several articles for the same keyword and keep them in separate tabs. This will only use one search credit.

In other tools I’ve used, you’d need to delete the article if you want optimize another one for this keyword. So that’s a nice touch.

So here is what you see when you go to the Optimize tab:

optimizing article with frase

At the top, Frase shows you the Topic Score for your article. This is a relative metric of how it compares to the current top results.

The scoring system is somewhat different from how other tools like Surfer or NeuronWriter do it.

Usually, you just need to beat the highest score. In Frase, the #1 article is at 100%, so I guess you need to match that 100% if you want to beat it, which is a little intimidating.

Also, the number one article is not always good or even optimized, which makes me kind of skeptical about Frase’s whole optimization process.

Anyway, you can click on View Competitors to see their scores.

frase competitor comparison

In this case, Frase estimated that the current article would be on position #10 in its current state from a semantic perspective.

How to make it rank higher?

Take the list of keywords Frase suggests and try to weave them all naturally into your article.

You can see all keywords or just long tail keywords, which includes everything that’s more than one word.

frase long tail keywords

Frase tells you exactly how many times to use each keyword and which keywords have already been used in your article. This panel updates in real time as you make changes in the editor.

The keywords are also highlighted in the editor in the same color. I believe green means you have enough and yellow means not enough.

From my tests, it only colors everything in green and yellow, there is no red like I’ve seen in other tools. If some keyword has 0 uses, it’s just greyed out.

Unimpressed

I’ll be honest: I don’t like seeing the long, long list of keywords – that’s a lot of unnecessary scrolling and ineffective use of screen space. I like how NeuronWriter and SurferSEO handle this, putting 2-3 keywords in every row instead.

You can export all keywords to a CSV file if you prefer to work on your article outside of Frase.

Another way to look at keywords in Frase is by Clusters.

Frase groups similar keywords in clusters so you can quickly see all related keywords.

frase review seo clusters

For example, in the “experience” cluster, there are keywords like “relevant experience,” “professional experience,” “relevant work experience,” and so on.

For some reason, all the keywords inside the cluster are shown as green, even the 0 ones, which I think is a bug.

If you click on any keyword, Frase shows you all its mentions in the top results.

frase keyword usage example

And I mean ALL mentions – for example, I clicked on the word “resume” and Frase showed me all 1,117 places the top competitors mentioned it throughout their articles. Quite a lengthy scroll. Not sure who’d need this.

There is another interesting way to look at keywords, which is a bit more visual.

If you click on Explore Topics, you’ll see how many times every keyword is used in each of the top articles (plus yours).

frase io exploring topics

This feature is somewhat similar to MarketMuse’s Heatmap feature – but to me it feels much less intuitive in comparison.

Also, I’ve yet to figure out what orange means here.

Overall, it seems like Frase is trying to match what other SEO tools are doing, but personally, I don’t trust their optimization process due to the relative scores and inconsistent colors.

Frase pricing

Frase used to offer a 5-day trial for $1, but they recently changed it.

In 2024, you can create a free Frase account and try its features before committing to paying anything. They don’t even ask for your credit card anymore.

The free Frase account limits you to:

  • 1 document
  • 1 search query
  • 5,000 AI-generated words

…which is all you need to see Frase in action and make a decision.

How much does Frase cost?

Frase.io currently offers three pricing plans:

frase io new pricing
  • The Solo plan is only $15 per month, but it limits you to a maximum of 10 articles you can create monthly, which is not enough for anyone who wants to consistently rank on Google. It’s best for bloggers who are just starting out and don’t publish content consistently yet.
  • The Basic plan is the best value for money if you are a solopreneur or only manage one blog. For $45, you can write and optimize up to 30 articles every month but are still limited to one user.
  • The Team plan makes sense if you have writers or assistants, and if you need to create or optimize more than 30 articles per month. It will cost you $115 per month with 3 users on board, and you can produce unlimited amount of content, which is a really sweet deal for many bloggers.

Overall, Frase is super affordable compared to other similar SEO tools. For comparison, MarketMuse pricing starts at $149 per month, and Surfer only lets you use AI with a $219 plan or bigger.

All Frase plans integrate with Google Search Console and WordPress, which is nice, considering that other tools tend to charge more for that.

Personal tip

Pay attention when purchasing a Frase plan: they are trying to upsell you with an extra Pro-Addon that will cost you an extra $35 per month on top of your subscription. I’ve seen several negative reviews where people complain about being charged more than expected due to missing this.

Room for improvement

Most of the things I didn’t like I’ve already covered while talking about the key features of Frase, but there are a couple of other issues I’d like to mention.

1. Missing search results

Sometimes, Frase has trouble pulling a particular search result, which I think might have something to do with how some websites are built.

Here is what it looks like in the SERP results panel:

frase io search issue

In this particular case, I was able to access the article with no problem, so not sure what’s the issue here. Anyway, this probably means that this #2 article was not analyzed, which is not ideal if I want to outrank it.

2. Minor glitches

Sometimes, when I use certain features or click certain buttons, the user interface glitches a bit. I can see flickering or the screen updating several times in a row. It’s not a dealbreaker, of course, but I saw this kind of thing enough times to be worth mentioning.

Another example is AI tools being stuck in progress mode like this:

frase ai hanging

After generating a section, this stayed on the screen, circling forever until I closed it with the Escape button.

3. Customer support

I had an issue that my card didn’t seem to work – they basically just responded saying “use a different card” and completely ignored all my follow up messages.

I’ve seen other people complaining about Frase’s customer support, too, especially regarding billing.

Best Frase.io alternatives

I mentioned that I’m not super impressed with Frase’s capabilities, so let me share my favorite alternatives.

For content optimization – NeuronWriter

If your main focus is on-page SEO analysis and optimization, NeuronWriter is what I use to rank my articles on the first page of Google. It provides detailed competitor analysis, NLP-based keyword suggestions, and a very intuitive interface.

Read my full Neuron review.

For AI-generated articles – Koala Writer

If you’re looking for an AI writing tool that produces high-quality SEO-friendly articles, Koala Writer is the best option I’ve seen so far. It’s created by SEOs for SEOs and has everything you need, including things like internal linking and FAQs.

Read my full Koala review.

As a full SEO suite – MarketMuse

For a comprehensive SEO solution, MarketMuse is hard to beat. It’s considerably more expensive than Neuron, but it offers comprehensive keyword research, easy competition analysis, content optimization, and multiple unique features like Heatmaps and SERP X-Rays.

Read my full MarketMuse review.

Frase logo text

Final verdict: Is Frase.io worth it?

Whether or not Frase is worth it for you depends on your content standards.

After thorough testing, Frase isn’t the right match for my process. But I also know several people who enjoy using it and have had some success ranking articles with it.

Even though Frase wouldn’t be my number one choice, it has a solid content optimization process and generates decent article outlines. So, I suggest you leverage the free trial and see if it has what you are looking for.

Overall Rating:
3.5 / 5

Pros

  • Content optimization
  • Competitive analysis
  • Good AI outlines
  • Can optimize several articles for the same keyword (as 1 search)
  • User-friendly interface (mostly)

Cons

  • Minor glitches
  • Low-quality AI generator
  • Questionable customer support

or see Frase alternatives

Frequently asked questions

Is Frase legit?

Yes, Frase is a legitimate company that has operated since 2017 and has its HQ in Boston. Its founder and CEO, Tomas Ratia, is active on Linkedin. Frase earned an impressive rating of 4.8/5 based on 290+ user reviews on G2.

What is Frase AI good for?

Frase is good for outlining the articles and optimizing them based on competitive research, but I wouldn’t use it for AI article generation.

Can I use Frase for free?

Yes, you can now try Frase for free after the app update in early 2024. The Free plan lets you optimize one article for one search query and generate up to 5,000 words with an AI assistant.

Similar Posts