Raven SEO tools claims to have a suite of powerful tools designed to help effectively manage, market, research, report, and even create content for blogs.  Raven SEO is far from alone in this field (or these fields depending on how one chooses to view such tools), which might cause those looking for a new or different approach to wonder if the dark bird has what it takes.  As with any set of tools, that all really depends on what one is looking for.  The good news is that Raven’s bevy of tools and options allows them to compete in several different areas, but that is both a blessing and a curse in some cases.

One Size Fits All?

If there was one thing that was potentially troubling us before we got our hands on Raven, it was that tools that try to do too much often prove to be deficient in several key areas.  Luckily, we Raven SEO is backed by a team of very talented developers, engineers, artists, SEO specialists, and other employees.  The result is that Raven SEO feels more like someone took a number of top-notch standalone tools, taught them to play nicely together, and managed to create a unified and professional looking user interface to tie them all together.  In short, this black bird is anything but a black sheep.

Keywords, Competitors, and Events…Oh My!

Keyword research is one of the cornerstones of developing content, and part of keyword research is knowing that other players in the industry are doing.  There are some keyword research tools that only handle keyword research without handling even the basics of competitor and/or event tracking.  These tools, while potentially excellent at what they do, lack key features that Raven SEO brings to the table.

A real world example of how the highly integrated tools offered by Raven SEO would probably be best illustrated by considering what an affiliate marketer trying to extol the virtues of a generic widget might face in the course of a campaign.  All good campaigns will have a research phase, but knowing which keywords work today does not necessarily mean that those same keywords and phrases will work well tomorrow.  Furthermore, it might be instructive to see which keywords are being used by the competition.  After all, a change in market conditions or a single news story could influence search patterns as can a great number of competitors joining the field but offering poor content.

The last few examples are all events, but there are other events that can be tracked as well. Virtually any event can be easily entered into the timeline tracking system, and that allows for easy tracking of exposure and/or rankings.  While the tools do not allow for the automated establishment of events based on tracking of news or industry events based on RSS feeds or other sources, the ability to manually enter such information is still possible.

Manage This, That, and the Other Thing

What is all of that research, tracking, and information worth without a way to act on it?  This is where Raven SEO really shines and in our opinion, becomes far more than an SEO tool.  In fact, we would go so far as to say that Raven SEO is more of a Raven SEO plus due to the fact that it integrates other features that just about anyone who has been undertaking keyword research and/or market analysis will want to do.

Searching and Socialization, and Reports for Everything

One of the nicest tools included with the suite is the ability to move right from research to making connections.  The integrated search tool allows for one to easily look at the competition for other purposes as well, especially those relating to socialization.  After all, sometimes the best way to promote a site is engage in a little friendly link sharing, guest-posting, or otherwise plugging into the social pipeline.  In integrated contact manager and link manager helps content managers keep on top of what everyone is doing and manage their responsibilities.  A blog-, persona-, and content-manager are also integrated into the package, each one is worthy of a review of their own.

It is also worth noting that a great number of reports and reporting options are available, including white labeling.  Analytics, campaign report, agency and in-house marketing, and more are all readily available, attractive, and easily modified.  The white labeled reports are very suave and professional, unlike some competitors we could mention.

Pricing

Raven SEO comes in three primary forms, but it is possible to modify some aspects of each plan for an additional fee.  The BASIC plan offers a single user the ability to manage up to three websites (additional site cost $5 each) for $19.  The PRO plan costs $99 for two users, but adds unlimited website support, white labeling and a sub-domain at raventools.com, as well as increases the number of reports and links that can be stored in the link manager.  There is an AGENCY plan costs $249 for up to eight users, but radically increases the number of keywords, links, and reports that can be conducted.  Finding the right plan is made simple with the custom plan finder offered by Raven SEO, and there is even a free trial to test.

The Verdict

A free trial, a list of tools so long that one could write a whole series of books on them, and a user interface that makes using those tools effectively a cinch, it is hard not to recommend Raven SEO. For reviews of it’s competitors check out our SEOMoz Review and Scribe SEO Review.