Why Sugarrae loves Raven Tools
Rae Hoffman-Dolan — a.k.a. Sugarrae – was sweet enough to answer a few questions about Raven Tools, which she has been using for years for her companies.
Which Raven tool do you use most often? Why?
Honestly, I still haven’t discovered everything Raven does. I find something cool and then become fixated on it. Wash, rinse, repeat. LOL. However, I’m a big fan of the entire Links section. When I did my Raven review, it focused on that section in depth. That one tab alone is easily worth the cost. And it seems like every time I use it I find something more.
Which Raven tool saves you the most time or money? Why?
The Link Manager, because I have several employees who work on my affiliate sites. The Link Manager allows all efforts to be coordinated, reducing overlap. That makes the time spent promoting my sites much more effective.
Which one of the Raven tools are people stupid for not using?
Okay, follow me here. If you or the client is using Google Analytics, go to Raven > Analytics > Google Analytics > Keyword to see a list of the top inbound keywords according to traffic.
Then click “Display Settings” and check “Display Rankings” to see the current ranks for your top referring keywords. I like to look at that and find keywords sending me decent traffic where the ranks could be easily improved. So say I find a term that is sending me 600 visits a month, but I only rank No. 8 for the term, then I know that it’s a term worth investing some time in to move the ranks up considering the traffic (according to fact and not “estimations”). All at a very quick glance.
Additionally, it helps me find “unexpected” keywords I may not have originally been targeting and tracking that are sending me traffic. Love it.
What other software do you use for internet marketing?
None really. I’ve been pretty vocal in that I’m like a mathematician that uses an abacus. LOL. I hate learning new things. I have a lot of stuff we’ve built in house, but I’m very manual. Raven was one of the first tools I’d ever tried in depth and stuck with. It is the only toolset that I’ve ever been called an “evangelist” for so far.
How does Raven Tools fit into your team’s workflow?
Perfectly. Employees understand it. I understand it. It’s simple and does what I want — and need — it to do.
Do you have any secret tricks with Raven Tools?
See my answer to “Raven tools people are stupid for not using.” As a twist on that same theory, I will go to the SERP Tracker and click “Display Settings” and then tell Raven to display Google Analytics visits beside the search terms. Next, I tell it only to show me the keywords labeled “converting” (which are the highest converting keywords for a site) and can do the same SEO effort targeting to produce better ROI based on my best converting keywords. Whereas the Google Analytics method I described in the other question allows me to identify high volume and unexpected keywords, this lets me focus solely on terms where I know there is money, money, money, money…. MONEY!
What’s your Raven Tools pet peeve?
That it’s nearly impossible to know everything the tool set does, unless you work for Raven. I can think of three separate occasions I’ve thought “man, if only Raven could…” and then I send it in to you guys as a suggestion and get back “you can just A, B and then C…” [headdesk]
In which we get personal
If you’re stranded on a desert island, what three things do you bring with you?
Assuming my family is already included I’d bring beer, a BBQ and a TV that showed any (and every) NFL football game of my choice (cough, BUCS, cough).
What’s your beverage of choice?
Coors Light. Or Coke. I also really love unsweet tea.
Who is your hero?
My son. He is severely handicapped and has faced more in his 13 years on earth than most people will in a lifetime. And he does it all with a smile.
What’s the most beautiful place you have ever been?
I’ve traveled a lot and every place I’ve been has its own beauty. The mountains of Tennessee had the most peaceful sounds I’ve ever heard. Scotland was the greenest place I’d ever seen. The Dominican had the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. San Diego has the best overall feel of any place I’ve visited. But I’m a redneck at heart and I love the backwoods. Any place where you can pitch a bonfire, crack a beer, turn the radio up loud and not have neighbors complain is the most beautiful place on earth to me.
iPhone, BlackBerry or Droid?
Sigh. I was a BlackBerry fanatic for almost seven years. MFE Interactive even built a website dedicated to BlackBerry addicts due to my obsession. After I moved to Houston last month, my need for a phone went more from business to personal, and I went—gasp—iPhone. Funnily enough I also own an Android site, but no iPhone site. Yet.
What’s your dream job?
I’m doing it. And have been for over a decade now. I didn’t “mean” to become an affiliate marketer, but now I can’t imagine being anything else. But if this industry ceased to exist, I’d love to own a small local bar. Dead serious.
Contact Rae Hoffman-Dolan via her affiliate marketing blog at Sugarrae Inc.