PROS / Raven Tools offers a full set of search engine optimization tools for you to use in your SEO program.
CONS / Raven Tools does not go as in depth with keyword research or tracking as some other tools that we reviewed.
VERDICT / Raven Tools offers every tool an SEO beginner will need and makes the process easy to understand.
Raven Tools is an online SEO toolkit that offers you ways to track, research and optimize your search engine optimization campaign. This interface is completely online, so you can log in to your account from anywhere and track your campaign and metrics.
The user dashboard is clean and easy to use. Each section that you use provides a brief description of the tools that are available. It can track up to 20 projects at one time and keep close tabs on your social media accounts and the keywords that your social accounts are using.
This online SEO program has tools to help you launch and manage your online campaign. It is the perfect tool for beginners and small business owners. It is not a good tool for more advanced SEO users or those who are running SEO for anything other than a small company.
The wide variety of tools this toolkit offers its users makes it our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner and a good choice if you are beginning an SEO program.
Raven Tools offers an extensive research suite that pulls keyword data from several sources, such as Google AdWords, SEOmoz and OpenCalais' Alchemy. The healthy mix of data from several sources makes this one of the more reliable keyword research tools available.
One unique feature of Raven Tools is its integration with Textbroker, an article-composition outsourcing service that can help you bulk up your site's content. While it can be risky to delegate your content creation in large part to external contributors, it can be a useful way to supplement your content needs.
Raven Tools' link manager is nice for outreach, but it requires you to manually add targets and update their statuses, which makes it almost like a glorified spreadsheet. It's a little more robust than an Excel sheet, however, with several SEO-related outreach-tracking categories in place. Having all of this in the same area as the rest of your tools makes it a very attractive component of an already comprehensive dashboard.
Under the Raven Tools Research tab, you'll find two sections dedicated to competitive research: Website and Analyzers. These two functions look at your competitors' sites, focusing on the structure, keyword targeting, speed and other SEO-related factors to determine the overall quality of the SEO campaign behind them.
You can use these reports to judge your own campaign's success or to discover key holes in your competitors' campaigns that you can fill in your own.
Reporting & Tracking
The comprehensive dashboards Raven Tools offers are convenient and surprisingly thorough. Not only can you drill down in each category, but you can also get a quick, at-a-glance look at key metrics in each category's dashboard. The disadvantage to having this information all in one spot is that it doesn't allow you to go as deep into each section as you would be able to with other tools.
Once you set up the service, it will take some time to sync your data. And if a service that you connect to doesn't already have a data cache, you will have to wait for data to store itself in Raven Tools' database. In Twitter's case, once you connect your Twitter account, you'll only have access to data from the moment you connected the account. This is also true for the inbound links widget. Raven Tools is solidly targeted towards optimizers who supplement with PPC, not the other way around.
Help & Support
The Raven Tools team is fantastic; its high-quality customer service representatives and active user community make the service appealing to do-it-yourself webmasters. If you're worried that you might not know as much as you need to about SEO to manage your own site, Raven Tools offers plenty of support via its blog, FAQs section and ever-present community members.
Raven Tools really aims to be an internet marketing dashboard. Rather than adding functionality or expanding your toolset, it takes tools you already use and puts them under one roof. This is useful, to an extent, but the tool might be more competitive if the company added some features that are more unique. It represents a high-level overview of your data, giving you an at-a-glance look at the important metrics that you're focusing on for your online business.
For specialists, the Raven Tools dashboard might not provide the depth you need to dig deep into your analytics, but it's great for do-it-yourself webmasters who need to keep tabs on several moving parts.