I’ve been spending the better part of the last couple days really digging into the Internet marketing tools at Raven. I’ve heard about them for quite some time, but I just hadn’t had a chance to give them a serious try.
There are a lot of really good things about these tools. You can tell Raven has thought about the user interface for a long time and has done a good job of anticipating users’ needs.
When I first began using the tools, I felt that I probably could pull all this information together from sources that were either cheaper or free. I no longer think that’s true.
The major value of these tools is that you don’t have to cobble together a bunch of information from multiple places. The biggest thing I learned from this recession is that efficiency is absolutely key to the success of business.
The basic plan starts at $19 a month and would probably be plenty for the owner of a single site. For $99 a month, you can track up to 1,000 different key phrase rankings within many different international engines. You can track 1,000 phrases all in Google, or you can track 333 in Google, 333 in Yahoo, and 334 in Bing. Tracking more than 1,000 positions costs $.06 per keyword tracking.
As an agency, this pricing structure is great because I can have an unlimited number of domains. I’m just paying for the services I use across all my clients’ websites.
Let’s look at the key areas of the tool:
- Research: Shows you organic keywords, paid keywords, and competitors. If a key phrase interests you, you can easily add it to be tracked in other reports. I’ve spent a good amount of time in the Research Assistant, which culls data from SEMRush.
- Links: Allows you to research existing links pointing to your site and then also find new links. As you pull links into the Links Manager, you can tag them in a variety of ways so you know if the link is active, declined, or requested (among other statuses).
- Content: Allows you to organize all of your content in one place. You can also connect your WordPress blog to the system so you can manage all your blogs in one place.
- Social: Gives you the ability to monitor important key phrases, such as your company name, across many different social sites. You can also set up personas where you can track Twitter stats and also easily manage multiple social sites from one location. This is really handy if you run social media channels for multiple clients.
- Ranking: Shows your search positions across the search engines you want to track. It also lets you track your competitors’ rankings. It ties Google AdWords traffic volume information so you can see how valuable your top rankings are from a potential traffic point of view.
- Analytics: Connects into your Google Analytics account. They do a nice job of pulling your data together in a meaningful way from a traffic generating point of view. It also ties into the goals you’re tracking in Analytics so you can sort your traffic to see which referrers are giving you traffic that converts. Also, it lets you easily sort by paid and non-paid traffic.
- Reports: Pulls all this data together into reports that you can templatize. So, every time you bring a new client into the program, you can instantly set up a highly sophisticated report just the way you like it. It’s as if they saved the best for last. Reports is really powerful and will likely save you a lot of time.
Raven does an excellent job of helping organize your traffic generating strategies into efficient systems across many sites. This is likely to become a major part of my arsenal of must-have tools.
Of all the things it does, I don’t have any desire for them to work in a different way. This tool is clearly incredibly thought out. If anything, I just want more of what it does already.
I’m not sure if my wishes are even possible, but if I could dream of a Raven of the future, it might include things like:
- Google Webmaster Tools integration
- Tying in Top Search Queries from Webmaster Tools within the Ranking reports
- YouTube Insights integration in social
- Facebook Pages stats in social
- LinkedIn stats integration in social
- Something like the Link Search Tool by SoloSEO to help find new links
The only reason I came up with these additional ideas is because the tool is so amazing already. I just want to see its amazingness continue.
Nice work Raven people!
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