An article by Trevor Merz, Analyst of BlitzLocal
I had the pleasure of using several tools from Raven, and spent more time playing with and using the features than writing this article. Raven created a series of tools that research, analyze, and report based on links, paid search data, and ranking. Raven Tools also has a very nice social reputation management package that gives you complete control over your brand name through the dashboard. Here are a few of my favorite features
Keyword and Competitor Tools: Track brand related keywords, and those of your competitor. Tracking data is relevant to AdWords volume, ranking, and links.
Research Assistant: One can easily research a domain, keyword, and page analysis using Raven’s research assistant. There are also tools such as a keyword researcher and analyzer, an AdWords researcher, quality and design analyzer, Wordtracker, and SEMrush.
Link Manager: Manage your links, organize leads, and make a directory of websites to better keep track of important information.
Content Manager: Measure the readability and density of links and keywords on the content you post to your website. This tool can help anybody build meaningful content for their website.
User Manager: Similar to Google products, one can add accounts to share with whoever they want. This is great for agency users in a company, so access can be shared across the board.
Brand Templating: Welcome to complete freedom reporting. For agencies, Raven Tools allows you to place your own logo on the front page, making it customizable and open for reporting. For a test report I used a BlitzLocal logo to replace the Raven Tools logo.
Report Template: Even more in-depth than a brand template, Raven Tools has reporting templates where one can choose what metrics to include in the report. Raven Tools has 360 degree coverage on AdWords, Analytics, Social Media, and Search Engine research. Take a look at the options listed below. I will cover the basics of this reporting.
Analytics: Raven Tools reporting pulls analytics data and organizes it by priority of visitor information, site referrals, search referrals, and top search engines, providing you with analyzed data in regards to each.
Keyword Reporting: Know your top searched keywords that triggered your ad or website
Summary Insertion: Have something to say about the metrics being reported? Raven Tools allows you to input your own summary via rich text box insertion. Any information you type will be inserted into the report.
Social Media Monitor: Raven Tools offers a simple yet complex data pull from a variety of different channels.
Persona Manager: Log in to any of the 75 social media sites there are directly from the raven tools dashboard. Add in your information, and data will be pulled in regards to your persona. Here is an example of reporting for Twitter.
Social Monitor: Similar to Google alerts, Raven Tools searches any or all sources you provide for mention of a brand or phrase. Within the options one can mark sentiment, whether good or bad, or add the website to the link manager. Take a look at the buzz of the sites listed below.
KnowEm – KnowEm checks the availability of your brand name, username or vanity URL on 300+ popular Social Media websites. This is built into the social tools that Raven has to offer, and great for brand name identity theft.
Forum Searching – Find out what people are saying with a forum search powered by Omgili. Find all reputation management easy with a click of a button.
Raven Tools reporting simplifies and centralizes everything you need to know for your brand, and can truly give an advantage to anyone measuring web success. The best thing about Raven Tools is that everything is connected. Without Raven Tools you could be spending too much time viewing many pages for one brand, but with Raven you have every vital reporting feature and it’s all through the one dashboard.
To view a full list of Raven’s features check out their Features page. If you are interested Raven offers a free 30 day trial, with no credit card required. Raven Tools offers two tiers of services, pro and agency. Pro services start at $79 a month, limiting two users and the agency services start at $199 a month capping at 6 users. Take a free trial today, explore the excitement of simplified internet marketing tools.
Event information here.
Covered Co. has assembled a group of top experts on Facebook for their next event in a continuing series on social media marketing, “Social Media Matters”. The event will teach how any company can leverage Facebook to grow their brand and feature talks from Involver, SocialMedia.com, RockYou, and Facebook.
At over 300 million users, Facebook has become a new and influential way to reach consumers and build your brand. Facebook fan pages, social ads, applications, events, and notifications. Facebook has a whole collection of tools you can use to build your brand, but what’s the best way to use them? The two hour event will host talks from experts on marketing on Facebook with a mixer following after the event. Come mingle and learn!
Who are the gurus?
Julia French is the Founder and Managing Director of Covered Communications. A seasoned marketing and business development strategist, Julia has a track record of success in business development, event strategy, marketing, and public relations.
Before starting Covered Communications, Julia was the Director of Marketing at Blue Lithium (now acquired by Yahoo), where she managed media relations and site messaging for a social networking site, MingleNow. Previously, Julia worked at Socialtext, bringing together product management, engineering and sales teams to collaboratively execute strategic projects including the acquisition of WikiCalc and the launch and release of Socialtext Open. Before joining Socialtext, Julia held management and individual contributor positions at LEWIS PR, Trainer Communications, Amazon, and IBD Network (now Deal Maker Media).
Julia is a member of the leading blogger group within enterprise/Office 2.0 “The Enterprise Irregulars.” She was one of the creators of the Office 2.0 conference, the first conference to seriously assess web-based office applications. Julia is a founding member of “She’s Geeky,” an organization that encourages collaboration among women in technology, and she sits on the marketing and communications board for Entrepreneurs Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing corporate giving into technology start-ups.
She earned a BA in International Business from the University of Puget Sound. Julia has lived in the US, UK, and Germany and speaks fluent English and German and conversational French.
Nick Gonzalez is a partner at Covered Co., a marketing consultancy helping technology companies with product and promotional strategies.Nick has spent the last half-decade at the center of silicon valley. As a blogger, marketer, and programmer, Nick brings an editorial eye and technological understanding to all of his work.
Prior to Covered Co. Nick managed publisher relations and marketing for advertising startup SocialMedia.com. During his tenure, Nick built the publisher network to its highest profitability in the companies 2 years or operation. While at SocialMedia.com, Nick gained insight into the latest tools companies were using to market and brand themselves online. In fact he literally wrote the book on running social media campaigns for the company.
Nick was the first hire and right hand man at the valley’s information hub, TechCrunch. At TechCrunch, Nick broke news covering hundreds of startups ranging from mobile to web applications and was instrumental in uncovering the new wave of small capital startups from incubators such as Y Combinator. His commitment to getting stories first and writing posts that got Dugg, helped grow the RSS subscriptions from 20,000 to well over 3 million subscribers today.
Nick is heavily involved in the valley as a guest writer and speaker at industry events including Web 2.0, PRSA T3, and Graphing Social Patterns. He is also an advisor to the FB Rev fund and several of its companies.
I spent some time using Google Trends today. Google Trends is a tool Google created to measure traffic for terms and websites. For example, one can compare search terms such as “mountain bikes” vs. “road bikes”. Here are the results:
Mountain Bikes (Blue) vs. Road Bikes (Red)
As you can see the results are divided between search volume and news reference. The “A”, “B” etc. in the Search Volume index refer to cited news articles over the years in case you had in interest. These citations would be of a higher interest to something with a dramatic progression and decline, like the stock market.
As interesting as road and mountain bike publicity are, the publicity for search engines and social networking have officially met. Yahoo’s search engine and the social networking site Facebook have shaken hands. Here’s the evidence:
Not only have they shook hands, but Facebook has said goodbye and has continued to exceed Yahoo’s traffic. This information is breakthrough, it marks a new age in internet marketing. The primary heat is being taken off of search engines and placed more avidly on social media and networking websites.
Assuming that social networking is the next best things for internet marketing, in which basket should we place our eggs? Some of the top social networking sites include Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Hi5, and Bebo. Let’s go ahead and compare the trends. Here are the results:
As we can see Myspace was a leader in the past, but has been exceeded by Facebook in the past year. Twitter is small but is growing, along with Bebo and Hi5. Checking trends of the social media hotspots pertains to directing traffic, and finding the popular place to do so is all part of the greater picture in online marketing. Please refer to Online Marketing the Easy and Hassle-Free Way to understand how we relate information like this into our business. It will be interesting to compare these results in another quarter or two, and what we at BlitzLocal can do with information provided.
Citysearch is a major local directory player owned by IAC–the same company that runs Ticketmaster, ask.com, and match.com. They’ve been steadily losing market share– from 19MM monthly visitors 2 years ago to 7MM visitors last month. When I checked a year ago, their sales team was selling flat rate clicks across all categories for about a dollar, then using second tier search engines to buy cheap clicks, thereby creating an arb play.
A fixed price per click would seem to insulate the local client from fluctuations in bid prices. However, what actually happens is that it creates an incentive for the agency to buy the cheapest clicks possible, since that enhances their profit. With no call tracking, nobody is the wiser.
Recently, CitySearch partnered with MySpace to offer MySpace Local, where CitySearch licenses part of their 18 million directory listings and does a revshare. MySpace is taking only restaurants, bars, and clubs– so this is not a listing opportunity for BlitzLocal, which is more focused on doctors and lawyers. But MySpace does offer self-serve PPC, a weaker version of Facebook’s tool.
Listings Page Comparisons
Back to CitySearch–here’s what their actual listing page looks like. Note that the ads are somewhat hidden and the navigational elements are very heavy.
Here’s MerchantCircle’s sample listings page, ad supported, but not too bad.
Here’s blitzlocal’s sample analyst page, compare to merchantcircle.com‘s example analyst page, called a Marketing Advisor. We’ll be cleaning up our pages even more when we transition to the new system.
Promoting and marketing your business on the Internet effectively is not easy. With the millions of websites live on the Internet it’s very difficult to get a favorable ranking in search engine results. If you are not adept in search engine optimization and other promotional techniques you will find that this is virtually impossible.
BlitzLocal (www.BlitzLocal.com) takes the hard work out of online marketing and promotion. Instead of attempting the tough tasks of submitting your site to search engines, fine-tuning your site’s performance, and attracting potential customers, why not leave everything to the experts at BlitzLocal?
They will take care of your online marketing campaign by bringing potential customers to your site and converting them into paying clients. BlitzLocal has an excellent track record of successful online marketing campaigns for small businesses all over the country. BlitzLocal can customize your marketing and promotional campaigns according to your unique needs and specifications.
Why do search engine campaigns yourself and make costly mistakes in the process? Hire the services of the experts! BlitzLocal is a reliable and trustworthy team of online marketing and advertising experts who know which is the best way to promote your business.
If you are tired of your website languishing at the bottom of search engine results and getting no customers, then let BlitzLocal help you. You simply take care of your customers’ needs and BlitzLocal takes care of bringing in new customers for more sales and bigger profits. The Internet is the new way to do business, so don’t be left behind by the competition. Take advantage of an excellent online marketing and promotion company called BlitzLocal and see your profits skyrocket.
An article by Trevor Merz, Analyst of BlitzLocal