How to Use Clearscope for Content Creation & Update (Guide)

Georgios Chasiotis

Georgios Chasiotis

Clearscope is a tool that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide recommendations for words and phrases you need to include in your content for any given topic. In general, there are two ways you can use Clearscope:

  1. Through Clearscope’s Built-in Editor
  2. Through Clearscope’s Google Docs Add-on

In this guide, we assume that you already have an active Clearscope account or that you’re using Clearscope’s Google Docs Add-on, for which you don’t need to have a Clearscope account per say. 

This is an advanced guide for anyone who wants to dive a bit deeper into content creation through the understanding of entities and Natural Language Processing (NLP). By the end of this guide, you’ll know how to use Clearscope as part of your internal processes when creating or updating content. Let’s get started.

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Clearscope Reports

Clearscope is a Content and SEO tool that uses AI technology (NLP) to uncover keyword opportunities and tell you what words you should include in your content piece to perform better organically, based on the top ranking pieces for a particular keyword. 

Here is how Clearscope looks once you sign in:

Clearscope dashboard overview when you sign in on this content and SEO tool.

To run a new Report, all you need to do is add your target keyword. 

Running a new report on the Clearscope tool adding a target keyword, country, and language.

Choose the Google locale you want Clearscope to use to analyze top-performing content.

Choosing country on content and SEO Clearscope tool in order to run a report.

Finally, choose the language you want Clearscope to do the analysis on.

Choosing language on content and SEO Clearscope tool in order to run a report.

After adjusting these parameters, you can click on the “Run report” button.

Clearscope will then analyze top results for that keyword and create a new report for you based on its analysis.

Private label report based on an analysis of top results for a certain keyword on the Clearscope SEO tool.

If you click on the Report that you’ve created, you’ll see the top performing pieces for that keyword, as well as some other useful information such as the keyword’s total search volume.

Report Clearscope overview of top-performing pieces for a certain keyword such as the keyword’s total search volume.

One of the most important pieces of information in the Report Overview is the “Page types” box.

“Page types” box in Clearscope report overview.

Here, you can see what the most common content type is for the query that you’ve inserted. In the above example, the most common type is article. This means that if you want to have a chance of ranking for this particular keyword (private label products), you may need to create a blog post. 

The “Grade summary” box grades your content against your competitors for that particular keyword.

Clearscope “Grade summary” box compares certain content against competitors for a particular keyword.

In our example, we haven’t yet inserted any content in Clearscope’s Built-in Editor or connected a Shared Report, and thus Clearscope hasn’t graded our content. If you click on the Keyword search box button, you’ll get a list of keywords relevant to the one you’ve inserted, along with useful information such as:

  • Monthly searches—The average monthly searches over the past 12 months.
  • Competition—Competition based on Adwords data.
  • CPC—Average Cost-per-click (CPC) based on Adwords data.
Keyword search box button on Clearscope SEO tool.

Inside “Keyword search”, you can sort results by several metrics and even choose to display certain types of keywords (e.g. Questions). 

(More on that later.)

Also, something very important here is that Clearscope will display data from the first time you generated the Report, meaning that if you want fresh data, you may have to conduct a new search.

Conducting a new search with updated data on Clearscope SEO tool.

If you click on the “Relevant terms” button, you’ll get an overview of the most important terms for your target keyword, along with useful information such as:

  • Heading presence—If the term is used as a heading in competitors’ content
  • Typical uses—How many times the term is typically used in competitors’ content
  • Importance—How important the term is based on your target keyword
A Clearscope overview of the most important terms for a certain target keyword such as heading presence, typical uses, and importance.

In our example, the most important term—that also has Heading presence—is the “private label products” one. 

This is completely logical, since our target keyword is private label products.

Last but not least, if you click the “Competitors” button, you’ll get an overview of the main competing content pieces for your target keyword.

A Clearscope overview of the main competing content pieces for a certain target keyword.

Keep in mind that to get fresh results, you have to generate a new Clearscope Report. 

One very important thing to note about generating new Reports is that you can generate multiple Reports at a time. 

To do this, in the Run New Reports menu, you simply have to select “Run many reports”.

Generate multiple Reports at a time on Clearscope tool.

Then, you need to enter the queries you want to generate multiple Reports for, and can also insert the URLs you want to analyze based on those queries. 

Entering the queries and inserting the URLs to analyze based on those queries on Clearscope tool.

This makes sense when you want to audit your content at the end of the quarter and see which content pieces you need to update and which ones you can leave as they are. 

(To learn more about the Content Audit process we’re using, feel free to read the following post on our blog: http://minuttia.com/blog/content-audit)

In the following example, Clearscope will analyze:

Example of running multiple reports based on queries: “private label products” and private label manufacturers” and multiple URLs..

Now that you know everything there is to know about Clearscope Reports, let’s see what Clearscope looks like in action.  

Using Clearscope’s Editor

This is the most important part of the process. 

Understanding how to use Clearscope’s Editor is essential to get the most out of Clearscope.

As we mentioned in the beginning of this post, you can use Clearscope in two ways:

  1. Through Clearscope’s Built-in Editor
  2. Through Clearscope’s Google Docs Add-on

Let’s see what each of those ways is all about. 

1) Clearscope Built-in Editor

Assuming you’ve generated a Clearscope Report, you can click on the “Optimize” button. 

Optimize Button on Clearscope Report.

You can also locate that button inside the Report Overview for each of the Reports you’ve generated. 

Once you do this, you’ll get inside Clearscope’s Built-in Editor. 

Built-in Editor option on Clearscope tool regarding useful information about content: content grade, word count, and readability.

On the left side bar, you can see useful information about your content. 

Here’s what they mean:

  • Content grade—A measure of content relevance and comprehensiveness
  • Word count—The total number of words found in the content
  • Readability—The readability grade level as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability index

Right below each of those three metrics, Clearscope gives you a recommendation based on the analysis of the top-performing content that it does when generating any new Report.

In our example, the typical result in the top 10 of Google SERPs has an average of 2,100 words and a readability grade of 10th-12th. 

Quick Tip: Don’t get obsessed over those numbers. While we obviously want to be within limits and get the highest content grade possible, we still have to sound natural. Try to cover the topic thoroughly, but don’t get stressed if you have 2,098 words instead of the 2,100 words that Clearscope recommends. 

An interesting feature inside the Built-in Editor is the “Terms” one on the right side. 

"Terms" Feature inside the Clearscope's Built-in Editor on the right side.

These are the terms which—according to Clearscope—are relevant and important to use to cover the topic thoroughly, and which have a chance of performing better on the SERPs. 

Quick Tip: Sometimes, you may notice words that are somehow topically irrelevant with the topic that you want to cover. The fact that they exist in Clearscope’s Report means that they exist in your competitors’ content. Don’t get obsessed over using all suggested terms—once again, focus on creating a valuable and natural content piece. 

You can sort those terms by:

  • Heading presence—If the term is used as a heading in competitors’ content
  • Unused—The terms that you haven’t yet used in your content
  • Importance—How important the term is based on your target keyword
Clearscope terms filters: heading presence, unused, and importance.

Also, be aware that the number of terms displayed—in our example, that’s 50—will differ based on the target keyword you’ve used to generate the Report. 

The moment you start writing the first words, Clearscope will start grading your content based on the factors outlined above. 

Entering the first sentence regarding content piece on Clearscope SEO tool.

If you click on any of these terms, you’ll notice a window with some relevant information on that term popping up.

A window with some relevant information on a certain term popping up on Clearscope tool.

If you click on “Examples”, you’ll get to see some examples of that term in the top competitive results.

Examples of a certain term in the top competitive results on Clearscope tool.

This can give you some context on how the term is used on different competitive content pieces and it can be particularly useful for terms that don’t seem to make sense. 

When you insert a word or phrase that’s included in the terms suggested by Clearscope, you’ll notice that Clearscope highlights it in yellow and also marks it as “used” in the Terms box.

Clearscope highlights with yellow color inserted word or phrase that’s included in the terms and also marks it as “used” in the Terms box.

To turn off highlighting, all you need to do is click on the “Copy mode” button at the bottom of the Built-in Editor.

This is how your content piece will look once completed:

Completed content piece overview within Clearscope's editor.

We generally advise all our content creators—as well as our clients using the Google Docs Add-on—to try to get their pieces to A+.

Even though you can also get to A++, you don’t want to over-optimize. 

Quick Tip: Stuffing terms inside your text is not a way to perform better and should be avoided. 

At this point, let’s see how you can use Clearscope on Google Docs. 

2) Clearscope’s Google Docs Add-on

Using Clearscope on Google Docs is as easy as using the Built-in Editor. 

The only difference is that you have to install Clearscope’s Google Docs Add-on to start using it. 

If you want to know how to do that, visit the Stage 2.4 – Clearscope Google Docs Installation Guidelines document. 

There, you’ll find everything you need to know, from finding Clearscope in the G Suite Marketplace to running your first Report. 

This is what you content piece will look like once completed:

Completed content piece overview on Google Docs.

Shared Reports in the Clearscope Report History that we’ll see later can be identified by the little Google Docs symbol next to them.

Shared eeports in the Clearscope report history.

Now, let’s take a look at Clearscope’s Report History function. 

Clearscope Report History

In Clearscope Report History, you can display all Reports you’ve run since starting to use Clearscope.

Reports history overview since Clearscope is started to use.

You can sort results by date, based either on when you created or updated them. 

When you choose a Report, you can Archive it, Delete it or add a Label to it. 

Archive, celete, or add a label to clearscope report once it's created.

Let’s see what those actions mean. 

  • Archive—Put the Report into Archive (ideal for outdated Reports)
  • Delete—Remove the Report entirely from your Report History
  • Label—Add a label to the Report based on your categorization system

The last of these actions (Labels) is very important. 

For us at MINUTTIA, each Label represents a client, which makes it easier for us to search and find Reports for each of our clients. 

If you’re using Clearscope for your own business, a different labeling system would make sense. 

For example, you can label Reports based on the stage that a content piece has to pass through, such as:

  • In Progress
  • Pending Review
  • Published
  • Needs Update

To create a new label, you just have to click on “New label”. 

Create a new label on Clearscope report history.

Then, give your label a name. 

Giving a name to a label reports.

Once you click on “Create”, you’ll be able to assign this name to your Clearscope Reports. 

Assigning the name on Clearscope reports by clicking on “Create”.

If you want to delete a Label, all you need to do is move your cursor over that Label and click on the “x” button that pops-up. 

Delete a label: move your cursor over that label and click on the “x” button that pops-up.

Once you do that, the Label with all its Reports will be deleted. 

Finally, let’s look at how you can use Clearscope’s “Keyword search” function.

Clearscope Keyword Research

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Clearscope’s “Keyword search” function overview.

The blurred blue entries underneath the search bar are searches you’ve run in the past. 

To run a new search, all you need to do is insert a keyword, choose a Google locale and a language and click “Go”.

Running a new Clearscope keyword search by inserting a keyword, choosing a google locale and a language, and clicking “Go”.

Wait a few seconds for Clearscope to find relevant keywords based on your target keyword.

Finding relevant keywords based on a target keyword on Clearscope tool.

You’ll then get  a list of relevant keywords based on the target keyword you inserted. 

List of relevant keywords based on the target keyword on Clearscope tool.

At the top of the list, you can choose to sort results by:

Sort keyword results by most searched, least searched, most competitive, least competitive, highest CPC, lowest CPC, and trending.

This is particularly useful if you’re looking for keywords with high commercial value (Highest CPC) or keywords that are more popular (Most searched). 

You can also choose to display only keywords that are questions (e.g. have modifiers like what, why, when, how) by changing the “Type” from “All” to “Questions”.

Choosing to display just questions keywords from the "Type" option on Clearscope.

You can then have some of these questions—when it makes sense—to be used as H3 or H4 headings in your content piece, and give precise but complete answers to cover the topic thoroughly. 

Last but not least, you can export the results to a CSV file by clicking on the “CSV” button located at the top right corner. 

Exporting the keywords results to a CSV file by clicking on the “CSV” button at the top right corner.

It is recommended that before you run a new Report, you use Clearscope’s Keyword search function—as part of your overall keyword research process—to discover the best keywords for the content you want to create.

Clearscope Metrics

Like most prominent SEO software tools, Clearscope has its own metrics. These metrics are tied to its different features and capabilities, such as its keyword search tool. It is essential that we explain what each of these metrics means so that we’re able to understand how it’s connected to our performance.

Monthly searches

Monthly searches is a metric you can find in the “Keyword search” tool. According to Clearscope, this is the “average number of monthly searches over the past 12 months.” For example, let’s look at the number of monthly searches for the target term “customer education”.

Clearscope monthly searches metrics for the target term “customer education” as average number of monthly searches over the past 12 months.

When conducting a keyword search, the first keyword in your list will be the one you’ve used to conduct the search. Everything below this is a long-tail variation of that term. Thus, the number of monthly searches for your target keyword will be displayed in the first row of the table.

Even though we’re not sure what the source is for this metric, we assume it’s data that comes from Google Ads through an API for search data. 

Competition

Competition is a metric that shows you how competitive a term is. According to Clearscope, Competition is measured by Google Adwords (now Google Ads) using the following scale:

  • Low: 0.0–0.33
  • Medium: 0.34–0.66
  • High: 0.67–1.0  

Since Google Ads defines competition in terms of how many advertisers are bidding for a particular term, we can see that competition is also somewhat connected to the commercial value of the term.

Clearscope Competition metric for target term: "customer education" is 0.06.

In our example, the Competition for our target term is 0.06, which means low competition. However, looking at the cost-per-click (CPC) for that term, we can see that their average CPC—which we’ll be looking at next—is quite high. 

Thus, even though Competition is a good metric that can generally show us how many businesses may be interested in the same term in terms of paid search, we shouldn’t draw connections between Competition and CPC. 

In other words, Competition may indicate commercial value for a particular term, but that’s not definitive. 

CPC

The CPC, which we just mentioned in the previous paragraph, is “average cost-per-click on Google Adwords”. Thus, once again, Clearscope uses Google Ads data to serve this metric, which is accessible through its Keyword search report.

Clearscope Competition metrics for the target term “customer education” is $31.54.

By taking a look at the CPC, we can see whether or not advertisers are bidding for that term and how much they pay on average for one click. Once again, this can be indicative of the commercial value of a term, even though that’s not definitive. 

In general, we at MINUTTIA try to target terms that have some commercial value, but we don’t obsess over it, as this isn’t the only thing that matters when deciding which terms to target.

Content Grade

The Content Grade is probably the most important of all the tool’s metrics. According to Clearscope, “better grades mean more relevant and comprehensive content, which is often correlated with Google rankings.”
You can see this metric in a Clearscope Report for a particular term or while editing a new content piece. For example, here’s what a Clearscope Report for the term “PR tools” looks like:

Clearscope Report Overview for a particular term: "PR Tools".

As you can see, the Content Grade is visible in two different places in that report. At the same time, when we start editing the piece on Google Docs (or in Clearscope’s Built-in Editor), the Content Grade changes, going from “F” to “A++”.

Content Grade Clearscope metric for target term: "Pr Tools" shows changes on content.

To calculate this metric, Clearscope takes into account whether or not the suggested terms are used in the text, as well as how many times each term is used. In general, the higher the Content Grade, the better. However, you should never try to over-optimize, as your piece of content may end up feeling unnatural. 

Word Count

Word Count is another very important metric. According to Clearscope, this is “the word count of the main content. This does not include the navigation, footers, etc.” 

Similar to Content Grade, you can see this metric in a Clearscope Report for a particular term or while editing a new content piece. For example, once again, here’s what a Clearscope Report for the term “PR tools” looks like:

Clearscope Word Count Report for the term “PR tools” shows the average number of words for the typical top 10 results in Google search is 2,110.

What this report basically tells us is that the average number of words for the typical top 10 results in Google search is 2,110. At the same time, the average number of words for the typical 11-30 results is 1,760. This gives us an idea as to what the length of the piece we’re going to create should be. 

While in the editing process (in Google Docs, for example), you’ll notice that Clearscope counts the number of words you use as you add content.

Clearscope Word Count metric counts the number of words used to add content.

Even though many content creators and SEOs are obsessed with the word count for the pieces they create, you should focus on intent rather than the number of words you write. 

Creating lengthier pieces of content isn’t going to get you results—at least, not always—since the searcher intent is far more important than the number of words in your piece of content. 

Does your piece cover the topic thoroughly in less than 500 words? Then go for it. Does a particular topic that you want to cover require a 7,000-word guide? Again, go for it. Just don’t set limits (like >2,000 words) that don’t make sense in context. 

In many cases, these limits have been established due to studies on search engine results. However, these are correlation studies, and correlation doesn’t prove causation. Now, let’s move to the next and final metric. 

Readability

According to Clearscope, Readability is “the Flesch Kincaid readability index grade. This score indicates how difficult a passage in English is to understand.” Once again, you can see this metric when running a Clearscope Report for a particular term for the top-ranking results on the SERPs.

Readability Level on Clearscope Report shows level of language used by the top competing pages for target term.

This shows you the level of language used by the top competing pages for your target term. In general, you want your readability level to be as low as possible so that your piece of content is easy to read and understand. 

However, for some niches (e.g. content pieces discussing medical conditions), there should be a higher Readability level. Thus, Readability depends on the topic you’re covering, and to a larger extent, the industry you’re in. 

As with the two previous metrics we mentioned, Readability is something that’s visible while editing a content piece on Google Docs or using Clearscope’s Built-in Editor. 

Clearscope Readability metric that’s visible while editing a content piece on Google Docs or using Clearscope’s Built-in Editor.

And with that, we’ve covered all the basic metrics that Clearscope uses in different parts of the product. Let’s wrap this up and leave you with some final thoughts. 

Wrapping Up

The way content creators create content is changing. Clearscope is definitely a big part of this change. Put simply, things that matter in the past (e.g., keyword density) don’t matter as much anymore. 

Search engines like Google become better at identifying the user’s intent and serving the most relevant content that matches that intent. Using a tool like Clearscope when creating new content can help you a) be on topic and b) uncover aspects of the topic that you haven’t heard about before.

On top of that, this software can help you streamline your processes and make the lives of your content creators and SEOs easier. This is why Clearscope is now an interval part of our internal processes as an agency and a powerful tool to help us get better results for our clients. 

Make sure to give it a try.