Search Engine Optimization :: Lyndsay Walker :: Toronto, Ontario

PubCon: Raven Tools Demo

Raven Tools SEO ToolsWe’re having some technical difficulties but @RavenJon promises we will have a demo.

Jon is showing off his desktop background, a Henshaw original painting.

And now he just yelled at me to pay attention. In the mic. Hmph.

Jon explains how the tool got started, dealing with the tedious tasks and made it into an automated process. Now the Raven tools are growing and growing with lots of new features all the time.

Whether you’re agency or in-house, it can help you manage your campaigns and keep track of your sites, help with keyword and competitive research, link building, contacts, content management, social media monitoring, search engine rankings, Google analytics integration and more.

In Raven, you can set up profiles and within those profiles you can manage one or many sites.

The dashboard has all the web sites for that profile with quick links and options for each.


The research assistant tool allows you to research your own or competitors by domain or by keyword

  • In Jon’s example, he uses “seo tools” as the keyword which returns related keywords, CPC, number of results, volume, etc. What’s awesome about this tool is how it allows you to add the keywords to your manager or SERP tracker with one click.
  • Click Save View to see this later or run a report on it.
  • Also in the research assistant is the Page Analyzer tool. Enter a URL and it will find relationships and ideas in regards to location, businesses, people and keywords.


Keyword Manager

  • Includes Google AdWords data, links and SERP tracking for your keywords.

Competitor Manager

  • Compare your site rankings with your competitors. You can also set up alerts if anything changes for you or your competitors.

Event Manager

  • Add events like newsletters, publications, etc., and overlay that event onto your other reports (like traffic, SERP traffic).

Raven reports are downloaded to branded PDF documents. (awesomesauce!!)


  • Take the domain that you want a link from and run it in the quality analyzer report and the tool will give a grade out of 100.
  • If you decide you want that link, click “add link” on the toolbar (when you’re on that site) and fill in the details. Tons of options, including assigning that link to someone else.
  • Sorts your links by status (queued, requested, active, etc.)
  • The Web Site Directory will get you tons more information about the site you flagged for a link.
  • Contact them for a link
  • Once it’s online, click “add link” again and update the status to Active.

Other options:

  • Link status (check every month to see if anything has changed)
  • PR change, Nofollow, Link removed, Etc.
  • Email alerts

Jon went through the notification and alert options – totally customizable.

Jon mentioned that all reports can be exported; you don’t have to use their reports.


Content manager

  • Useful for a copywriter to save content to and then have someone else approve it.

Blog manager

  • Put in blog posts and schedule them for publishing


Persona Manager

  • Great for more than one social persona (other employees, corporate personas, etc.)
  • You can log into your social network sites from the toolbar
  • Twitter module is available for extra data about that account. You can also tweet from this manager. Custom URL shorteners will be available in Q1.

Social Media Monitor

  • Partnered with social mention
  • Set up as many searches as you want (your own or competitors), pick sources and choose whether or not to be alerted daily
  • Report show buzz, sentiment graph, daily mentions etc.
  • For each result, choose a sentiment and the sentiment graph will update


  • Integration with this tool, further integration hopefully coming


  • Search forums using keywords


SERP Tracker

  • Compare competitor SERP ranking side by side
  • Change display settings (turn on/off competitors, search engines, Google AdWord data, baseline data)
  • Trending available for up to six months of data. Cached results available!

Jon stealthily showed what search engines are available for this tool.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics data is imported into the Raven reporting tool. Overlay trendlines and events over the GA data.

Report Wizard

  • Report settings include report name, brand template, report template, scheduling options and date range. Choose to email the reports directly to the client.
  • Drag and drop report pieces and drag them around to choose order.
  • Reporting options galore. Far too many to be able to mention here.
  • All report sections have an option to add summaries.
  • Jon says you can templatize these reports. Is that a word? If not, it should be.


  • Add users and roles and the user will only see the modules they have access to.
  • Rolls apply per web site.
  • JavaScript snippit available to allow for user login access.

Other Stuff

Messaging, tasks, contacts and more!

Aaaaand we’re done. Kickin’ ass and taking names. Or business cards.

My Favourite Charity: Winnipeg Humane Society

PurposeInc Charity Poker TournamentI enjoy playing poker and this year I want to give PurposeInc’s Poker Tournament a shot.

DK is an awesome guy and has asked that, as a mandatory part of registration, players and guests blog about their charities of choice.

There are so many wonderful charities out there. So many causes and organizations have touched my life. Those charities and organization save lives every day, though breast cancer research, diabetes research, children’s hosiptal donations and more. My charity also saves lives, in a most different way.

My charity of choice is the Winnipeg Humane Society. Not only is my company, Canada’s Web Shop, a WHS supporter but we also are redesigning and rebuilding their web site with new features that will make it even easier for people to adopt a pet, become a foster parent or donate to help the WHS keep up with the growing expenses of more and more animals in their care.

Thsoe who know me know that I am a massive animal lover and if I could, I would probably become a crazy cat lady. I donate regularly to the Winnipeg Humane Society and as soon as I’m back from PubCon Las Vegas, I’m hoping to adopt a second kitty.

Every month, hundreds of dogs, cats and other animals are turned into the humane society. Every month, not nearly enough find homes. And every month, the Winnipeg Humane Society struggles to find room for these animals that just so desperately want forever homes.

Pets can save lives. For those suffering from depression, a pet can make the difference between life and death. I know that for myself, my kitties have helped me through my darkest times. Having a furry friend that gives unconditional love can lift people from depression and even suicidal thoughts.

If you can’t adopt a pet for yourself, please consider donating to your local humane society.

SMX Advanced and SES Toronto

It was a bit odd at first to go from traveling somewhere almost every weekend to not going anywhere in three months. I admit, it’s been nice, but I’m feeling the itch to get out out of Winnipeg lately!

Good thing it’s almost June. I’m attending back to back conferences next week. From June 2-3, it’s Search Marketing Expo Advanced in Seattle and from June 8-9, it’s Search Engine Strategies in Toronto.

SMX Advanced will be a big change from what I’m used to at conferences. For one, there are four of us sharing a suite. Will there be sleep? Ha, I would guess not. Pillow fights in our underwear? Well I don’t want to crush anyone’s dreams, so I won’t comment. Haha. But for the first time in a while, I’m not speaking at the conference I’m attending. I think this will take off a lot of pressure and I can just sit back and absorb the info. Given that this is an advanced show, I felt that was extra important.

And, as usual, I’ll be speaking at SES Toronto. This time I’m speaking on a site clinic. This is awesome because I won’t have to prepare a presentation. Plus I love doing site audits! The best part about SES Toronto is that it’s TORONTO. Home. Oh, sweet home. I will take in every siren, horn honking and close call with a taxi.

If you’re going to be at either of these shows, be sure to come on up and say hi!

Google Friend Connect and PubCon Stuff

Well, I wasn’t able to make it down to PubCon, so unfortunately I’m not speaking.

But at this morning’s keynote by Matt Cutts, he announced a nifty new feature – Google Friend Connect API.  It allows for user IDs to be centralized – letting a user login with his/her Google, Yahoo, AOL usernames and more.

I’ve installed it along with @jdevalk’s fancy plugin.

So if you want to test it out, why not log in and leave a comment?

What do you want to know? SEO Design and Information Architecture

In just a few weeks, I’ll be speaking on two panels at PubCon SouthCareer Gut Check (SEO/SEM Career Landscape) and SEO Design and Information Architecture.

For the Search Engine Optimization Site Design and Search Engine Optimization Deployment – Information Architecture panel (whew that’s a long name), I will be speaking on a few specific subjects:

  • Using CSS for Effective SEO
  • Page Structure: DIVs vs. Tables
  • WordPress Design
  • Using Analytics for SEO Design

So – tell me what you’d be interested in hearing more about.  Even if you can’t make it down to Austin next month, I’ll be sure to talk about it more here when I get back.

And if you are going to be there, stop by Salon A at 11:20 on Day 2 (Thursday, March 12) and say hi!

PubCon Las Vegas 2008 – Come and Gone

Another fabulous week in fabulous Las Vegas.

Once again, I spoke on the “SEO Design and Organic Structure” panel with Mark Jackson, Alan K’Necht and Todd Friesen keeping us all in line as moderator. This year, Aaron Wall joined us on our panel. The session looked at things at a pretty high level, but I think we were able to give some valuable tips. The session room was full, and I saw more people coming in than going out. Always a good sign!

I’ll post my presentation and more details about it shortly.

As always, Joseph Morin outdid himself with the night entertainment. When there wasn’t an event planned, there was always something going on at the Breeze Bar in Treasure Island.

Huge huge thanks to Jim Hedger and the WebmasterRadio gang for an absolutely outstanding SearchBash at Rain in the Palms hotel. Well done guys – and good luck topping that one!

The great news is that we don’t have to wait until next November for more PubCon fun. Brett and his team are putting on PubCon South in Austin, Texas from March 11-13. I hope to be there, so come on down and buy me a drink!

PubCon Las Vegas 2007 – Week in Review

What an incredible week. One of the most exciting, and also one of the most tiring!

One of the highlights of the week were the shows that Joe Morin arranged for PubCon attendees. I attended Mystere at Treasure Island and Blue Man Group at the Venetian. Both were outstanding shows, but I would have to say that Mystere was better. I did enjoy Blue Man Group, but I found the first hour to be a little slow going. The last 45 minutes, however, was phenomenal and certainly made up for any shortcomings.

I did manage to get to a few sessions – I admit, I spent most of the time networking. I sat in on the Duplicate Content session, where advises you to strip session IDs with robots.txt while Google says to leave them in. Another tip that Google gave is to use absolute URLs in your links so that if your content gets scraped or syndicated, the links still bring people back to your site. It was also suggested to use robots.txt to block RSS feeds, avoid another source of dup content. Yahoo! reminded everyone that Site Explorer has a tool that will rewrite dynamic URLs.

Next I hit the In-House Session – featuring my good friend Jessica Bowman of SEM In-House (and Yahoo!). She talked about the different kinds of allies you can have in house – informers and influencers. She recommends asking more than giving advice, and preparing an “SEO 101” presentation to give to everyone! This includes knowing the difference between a 301 and 302 redirect.

Bill Macaitis from Fox Interactive Media gave his Top 10 Tips for In-House SEO:

  1. Definite opportunity
  2. Small wins (like starting with Title and Description)
  3. Sell to all stakeholders
  4. Find allies
  5. Money words (say what the execs want to hear)
  6. Face to face
  7. Relationship management
  8. Ranking reports
  9. Bring out the competitor
  10. Accept no excuses.

Aaron Shear was also on the panel. He emphasized knowing your KPIs and using data – it can be your best friend. He noted that Commission Junction gives really unfriendly linking. He also talked about getting into the SEO forums but not to let your management browse them – they’ll be sure to pick up all the bad advice and ask you to implement it.

In the Analytics session, John Marshall went through the anatomy of a click. This was very interesting to me, as we are currently investigating discrepancies between Google AdWords reporting and Omniture reporting. All of the sudden, it makes a lot more sense. Scrott Orth also talked about Analytics Simplified.

More on my week at PubCon later!

(But before I go… some link love to the coolest guy in Kansas City)