As digital marketers, we’re always looking for the most efficient, actionable and aesthetically-pleasing way to feed in and measure data. Usually this requires us to juggle accounts from a bunch of different tools to compile the information we need. The reason this review is titled the “(nearly) all-in-one digital marketing software” is because I don’t believe there can ever be a truly one-stop research, analysis and reporting platform. However, Raven Tools comes pretty damn close.
Raven makes it simple to capture data for all of your clients in one place. You can integrate your campaigns with Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Adwords, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. You can easily measure the results of your digital marketing efforts using data fed in from Majestic SEO, Moz, and Calais. And the interface you view this on is one of the cleanest and most intuitive I’ve seen.
In this review of Raven Tools, we’ll look at a few of my favorite features and I’ll offer up a couple suggestions to make this software even more kick-ass.
My Favorite Raven Tools Features
Do Your Research
When we’re bringing on a new client, one of the first things we do is plug their website and a few of their closest competitors into the Research section of Raven. You’re given key site, ranking and social metrics that help you understand the neighborhood you’re dealing with. Logging those competitors into the Competitor Manager, allows you to compare your progress to the Jones’ over time.
Get Technical with the Site Auditor
A lot of our digital marketing projects begin with a technical cleanup of the client’s site. The Site Auditor reports on issues related to visibility, on-page optimization, semantic markup, and page speed. The report it spits out is really easy to digest and presents nicely to clients once you’ve added your agency’s logo.
Once you’ve gone forward resolving the identified issues, you can show your clients the progress that’s been made with the Crawl Comparison feature. Pick any two dates on which you ran a crawl and compare the results.
Track Site Performance
I love metrics. I love comparing them over time even more. Showing a client that you’ve helped their site become a more trusted and effective resource for their audience is a great way to keep them on board with your strategy.
Raven takes snapshots of key marketing and performance metrics like domain authority, mozRank, backlinks and page speed so you can look back and see how far you’ve come.
Some Constructive Criticism
Let’s Make Reporting Prettier
With Raven’s Reporting feature, you can build custom templates for each client that pull in only the data you want to display. At each section, you can add your own insight with their text editor to help the client understand the significance of what they’re looking at.
I do have a couple of suggestions that will make this feature more attractive to marketers and their clients.
You’re able to add your company logo and a limited customization of preferred color schemes. However, the branding ends up looking plain vanilla. It’d be great if you could upload your own custom cover pages to have more control of your agency’s branding on these reports. Overall, the reports could be more reflective of the great attention to design that went into the Raven Tools platform.
Page breaks can also be an issue. Occasionally tables get split right at the header between two pages or a single data point makes it to the next page and creates a whole bunch of blank space.
Easier Campaign Management
When you create a new campaign, there’s a great deal of customization that can be applied to help you manage the volume of clients in your account. Currently, we split our campaigns into two profiles: Clients and Prospects.
As you’ve probably experienced at one time or another, we sometimes fall behind on the administrative tasks and find our Raven account overloaded with a bunch of campaigns that are no longer active. Cleaning up these inactive campaigns can be a chore.
I haven’t found a way to mass-delete or move selected campaigns between profiles. Currently, you have to access each campaign individually and navigate to Campaign Settings to do so. A feature that allows you to select multiple (not all) campaigns at once and specify a bulk action, like move or delete, would be a simple way to make managing clients easier.
We’re still exploring all of the features that Raven has to offer and we always look forward to their updates. We’d love to hear your favorite features and recommendations for Raven in the comments.
Disclaimer: We are a proud customer of Raven Tools and were in no way solicited for this review.
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