Great for reporting, lacking in analysis
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
June 30, 2014

Great for reporting, lacking in analysis

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with RavenTools

I currently work in-house at a large, publicly traded online marketplace. When I used RavenTools, I was at a very small (between 10-15 people) SEO agency. RavenTools was the primary link building tracking, social media monitoring, and reporting tool, as well as a secondary keyword tracking tool. As I generated most of the reporting I was the primary user of the tool, but most folks dipped into it now and then as necessary.
  • Reporting—this was by far the thing that RavenTools did best, in my estimation. The reports the tool created looked sharp and authoritative, and were very modular and customizable. This is no small thing when you work in an agency and need to provide reporting to clients.
  • Link tracking—this was sort of like a proto-Buzzstream, a CRM-esque tool that enabled users to identify link prospects, links acquired, and the like. A nice feature (pretty ubiquitous now, but still valuable) was tracking those links, so if they went away you could act on that.
  • Keyword research—RavenTools mashed up a few different sources of data—Keyword Planner (then the Keyword Tool), Wordtracker, and SEMRush—which provided a nice multifaceted range of data on keyword targets. This is valuable because none of these tools are individually entirely trustworthy, so it's good to get several options.
  • Social media monitoring—for our clients that needed this, this was a great tool. It was basically link tracking for Facebook, Twitter, and Google Alerts, but it pulled in the contextual post around the mention and you could assign sentiment to it.
  • Depth of toolset—This might have changed in the interim but the level of analysis the tools provided was very input/output—you input data in the tool, you get a report of the data you input. Monitoring was a nice layer, but you can't go wild with filters and entering a data wormhole like you can with seoClarity or BrightEdge.
  • "Useful" integrations—Raven was very much a tool built around reporting. When I say "useful," I don't mean to imply that the integrations were worthless—they just weren't things you could USE very well. They were more there to easily input into a report. The exception to this was the keyword research toolset.
  • Use as an enterprise tool—Agency life and in-house life are two very different things. This tool definitely satisfies the needs of the former more than the latter, especially for smaller agencies who are less integrated with their clients.
  • Enabling better reporting
  • Improved customer service
  • Slightly faster research time when evaluating new clients
  • seoClarity,BrightEdge
RavenTools, seoClarity, and BrightEdge are all ostensibly the same things—one-stop shops for SEO analysis of multiple domains. However, versus those other tools, RavenTools is a completely different beast. Its strength is in its reporting, which is modular and highly customizable while still adhering to a coherent report structure. The wide range of analytical tools that the other two tools offer is considerably slimmed down in RavenTools.
I don't plan on going back to the in-house world so there is just absolutely no chance I would ever purchase Raven for my current role, or for a role similar to it. I spend 90% of my time here deep-diving into a single domain, and my boss doesn't care about how my reports look. There is just no use for Raven for me.

Now, if I did somehow find myself as the head of an SEO agency providing light-touch services to a wide variety of clients again, I'd certainly reevaluate it along with other similar tools. I just don't see that happening, however.
The 6 rating splits the difference between agency and in-house. Agency, I'd give it an 8, especially if you have a lot of low-touch clients—the type that pay you a couple thousand a month for monitoring, reporting, and occasional consultation. If your agency has a more integrated model with regard to its clients, and you're in on calls all the time with different stakeholders in the org and doing work for the client every day, you're definitely bumping up against the limits of what Raven can do for you. And if you're in-house, I'd give this a 4. I can't see what RavenTools would do for you unless your internal customer really likes slick reporting and doesn't demand much from you, or unless SEO is a very small part of your job—in which case you're probably better off paying someone else to pull RavenTools reports for you.