Raven Tools’ website offers many well known tools and resources. But there are also several hidden gems, camouflaged among the rest of the fantastic tools that make research and reporting quite a bit less daunting.
There are some integrations you may not know about, some in-depth resources and inspiring and actionable blog posts from guest writers – all of which are valuable add-ons to Raven’s already impressive arsenal of tools for smart internet marketing.
In the spirit of Easter, I give you my map for the egg hunt to 10 of Raven’s best treats.
1. Raven’s user guide
Any new hires or people unfamiliar with the sheer power of the Raven toolset immediately get hit with this as required reading. I keep a copy on file as a quick reference for myself as well. It is a .pdf so you, too, can be a badass on the fly.
2. SEO Competitor Analysis Checklist
After I arm newbs with the user guide, I am certain to share the competitor checklist. It contains a discovery process that provides invaluable insight into the competitive landscape of new clients.
3. Research Central
I often describe Research Central as the ultimate weapon in competitive reconnaissance. It gleans copious data you can consider before you start your campaign. This alone makes Raven worth the monthly subscription. The competitive landscape is easily defined with the metrics that Research Central combines from trusted sources.
One of the most awesome ways to use Research Central is finding backlink opportunities here’s an excellent post with actionable tips for link building.
Although I come from a network hardware background of spanning tree protocols of routing and switching, web code has always been difficult for me to learn. Once schema became the standard of the search engine triumvirate, there were instances where it was absolutely necessary for some clients.
Once again, it was Raven to the rescue. Schema creator gave me worry-free valid code that would pass even white glove inspection. (Editor’s Note: You should also check out the new WordPress Plugin for Schema that will generate and insert the code for you if you’re using WordPress as your content management program.)
5. Basecamp Integration
Even if your team is not using Raven, you can manage and collaborate with Raven’s Basecamp integration. This is especially useful for managing telecommuters and contractors in different time zones and parts of the world. It is somewhat difficult to find, so here’s a screenshot:
6. Know’em Integration
I use this service anyway, so it becomes one less task for me to forget because of Raven’s partnership with Know’em. You can use it to check availability for usernames on over 500 social networks. If you are pressed for time, you can also have Know’em register accounts for the networks you choose for a small, but scaling fee.
7. WordPress and Social Management
You can manage and publish your blog content with this slick WordPress integration. The Content Manager is also a brilliant way to plan and schedule your posts right in the Raven dashboard. Social media integration allows you to monitor, manage and report your social efforts for many different personas.
8. Postmodern SEO
Joe Hall is someone I have always admired and respected as an Internet marketer and code geek. The man has created some of the most innovative plugins and services that I have used in this sport. Aside from that, he is very opinionated and speaks his mind with authority.
About the time when I was struggling with what I was being told was effective and what I found to be effective, I read this post. I bookmarked and reference it when I need inspiration or a reminder that what the talking heads say shouldn’t always be considered fact.
9. Interview with Bill Atchison
Bill Atchison, AKA @IncrediBill, is one of my favorite wiseguys on twitter. He is not afraid to speak his mind and make us laugh while he does so. Bill has been fighting a good fight against scrapers and rogue bots for a while now. His awesome products include CrawlWall, which acts as a firewall for websites, and Link Scrubber, which does a bulk verification of outbound links and also analyzes the content being served by the external links. Check out where Jon Henshaw interviews Bill.
10. Why Netmeg Loves Raven Tools
Another of my favorite peeps online is Meg Geddes. She is one of the most brutally honest folks you can find in the socialshpere. Like Meg, I too, am waiting for Grooveshark integration with Raven, which we might actually get before the Android App. If I had one complaint about Raven, that would be it. (Editor’s Note: Noted.) Read why Netmeg uses Raven.
I hope this list will help new and even veteran users better use some of the lesser known and talked about features within the Raven Tools community. If you have suggestions for Raven, please fill out their feature request form.