Raven Tools review
What is Raven Tools?
Raven began life as a digital agency and, after using a variety of different tools and spreadsheets to compile reports for their clients, they decided to make the whole process easier and built their own online marketing reporting software.
Due to the success of the Raven software they now focus solely on developing it and adding new features.
Now Raven Tools is a very useful multi-functional SEO tool designed to help everyone from freelance SEOs, in-house SEOs and agencies of all sizes.
What does Raven Tools do?
Although it may have started life as more of an SEO reporting tool, Raven has now evolved into a feature-rich online marketing tool.
The reporting features are still the strongest though. Adding new clients and scheduling reports takes a matter of minutes, and the resulting reports (which you can brand with your own logo) are very professional.
Raven can be synced with Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, so all that data is always at your fingertips and can be incorporated seamlessly into your reports.
As well as the great reporting features, Raven also has a suite of excellent SEO tools. The most useful of these is the SEO Website Audit tool, which provides an extensive report on the SEO issues of your site, including: duplicate content issues, 404 errors, pages with low word count, images with missing alt tags and so on.
It offers a very granular view of your site, and allows you to get a quick and detailed overview of where you can start improving things – so it’s great for helping win new clients as well as keep an eye on your current clients.
Raven also offers link building tools to help find, analyse, store and track your link building targets. These tools use both MajesticSEO and Moz data to produce a handy overview of link targets.
The link building tools aren’t as feature-rich as some dedicated link building and analysis tools, but they do a great job of getting you started on your campaigns.
Raven also has a suite of social media tools that help you manage accounts across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
These tools help you to track and report on metrics across these social networks, as well as schedule updates and mine your followers for contact details.
On top of these tools Raven also has a ‘Content Manager’ that helps you keep track of your content calendar and even order content to be written via the Textbroker network, and there is a PPC tool which basically just connects with the Google AdWords API.
These two tools are not as developed as the others, but they help to round off Raven Tools as a great ‘all-round’ online marketing tool set.
Who needs Raven Tools?
Basically anyone who thinks they would benefit from keeping all their clients reports and metrics in one place would quickly find Raven becoming their ‘go-to’ tool.
On top of the great reports it can make, the Website Audit Tool will likely become your first port of call when analysing websites for potential SEO problems.
With unlimited campaigns and users, Raven Tools is great for all SEO practitioners – whether they work in a big agency or on their own as a freelancer.
How much is Raven Tools?
There are two different account levels for Raven: Pro and Agency.
The Pro account costs $99 a month, which gives you:
- 4 users
- Unlimited campaigns
- 40 backlink research reports
- 20 Site Finder research reports
- 20 Scribe SEO content audits
- 50,000 stored links
- 25,000 monitored links
The Agency accounts costs $249 a month, for which you get:
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited campaigns
- Unlimited backlink research reports
- Unlimited Site Finder research reports
- 50 Scribe SEO content audits
- 150,000 stored links
- 100,000 monitored links
Although there is a big jump in costs between the Pro and Agency accounts, you can buy extra features e.g. $1 each for extra backlink research reports – which means you don’t get forced into taking the Agency account if you don’t need it yet.
Good points about Raven Tools
As you would expect, the reporting tools within Raven are top-notch and probably worth the money on their own – especially if you currently spend a lot of time compiling client reports every week/month.
The reports are designed to include a lot of data, so it is usually necessary to create your own template to make sure your reports feature only what you need to see. Once that template is created you can use it across all your campaigns – which makes it very easy to set-up and start running with new clients.
The Website Audit tool is also very good. It provides a great snapshot of a website and helps to quickly identify the areas that need attention.
Having unlimited campaigns from the outset with the Pro account is a big positive, as many tools require extra payment levels for this. Also, the ability to pay for extra features and more reports on an ad-hoc basis, rather than being forced to take up the higher Agency account, is great for growing agencies and freelancers.
Bad points about Raven Tools
The user interface can sometimes feel a bit unintuitive, and new users will probably take a while to get used to it. It’s no problem after a few uses, but it can be a bit clumsy early on.
Some of the tools within the Raven Tools platform are also slightly under-developed, especially the Content Manager and PPC tools – but these are expected to improve soon.
If you are looking for a tool to handle all your client/website campaigns, create detailed scheduled reports easily and audit websites then Raven cannot be beaten.
The backlink tools are also very useful – although they don’t offer the flexibility of a full link tool – and provide a great starting point for link building campaigns. The fact that you can store and manage your link building targets also eliminates the need for more spreadsheets, which is always a good thing!