A Beginning SEO/Link Building Reading List

Occasionally I’ll get people messaging with questions about how to get into SEO or more specifically Link Building (define) work. One of my favorite things about web marketing is the transparency within it’s professionals as to what worked for them. I started Link Building on my own before I really knew what Link Building was. I just had a client that needed link building services so I started reading up on what I would need to do for that project. Below are some good SEO starting point readings that I’ve come across in the past year of my SEO work. Apologies to my non-techie friends that could care less about the content in this post!

SEO books that I own & use
Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day by Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin
Building Findable Websites
by Aaron Walter
The Art of SEO by Eric Enge

Understanding the Big Picture Articles
Beginner’s Guide to SEO, Chapter 7 Linkbuilding
by SEOMoz
How to write title tags for Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Ranking Factors 2011
Link Anatomy: Understanding the Value of a Link
30 Link Building Link Baiting Techniques that Work in 2011
Link for People Not Search Engines
Finding Link Opportunities with Advanced Search Queries
How to Train a Link Builder

Outreach Tip Articles
If you remember nothing else then just keep it conversational and don’t sound like a robot.*
9 Ways to Improve Your Infographic Pitches to Blogs & Websites, yes this is for infographic outreach but he gives tips that can be applied to outreach for any campaign really.
Content-based Link Building for Outreach
, written by the lovely Justin Briggs.
A Linkbuilder’s Gmail Productivity Setup (with Outreach Emails from 4 Industry Linkbuilders

RavenTools – If I could have only 1 from this list then it would be RT.
Tout App – simply put this is a email templatizer that lends some of the features from eMail Marketing to regular emails. The paid version lets you save templates, schedule emails to send at optimal times and see performance (opens, clicks) for emails that you’ve sent.
Boomerang for Gmail – let’s you schedule emails from your inbox. I really LOVE scheduling emails as sometimes with my School schedule I end up working at odd hours.
Open Site Explorer – enter in a competitor’s website url and see what other sites are linking to them.
Hootsuite – As far as I’m concerned there’s no other option for managing a Twitter account. I’ve been using Hootsuite for years and love it.
30+ More Tools to Automate Your Link Building
79 Link Building Resources – 2011 Edition

10 Responses to “A Beginning SEO/Link Building Reading List”
  1. John Barrel says:

    Link building is one of the most popular technique to increase the traffic and ranking of your website on search engines. Building or exchange links with relevant site is really useful, because search engine considers back link as a recommendation for your site. You can exchange/ buy high quality links with 1000’s of popular website by visiting our website http://www.links-builder.com

  2. gary says:

    great list! a few to add:
    competitive research:

    blog optimization:

    link prospecting, contact finder, outbound link scraper, and other tools:

    link building creativity

    ultimate guide to link bait:

    and this is probably my new favorite link building blog:

  3. Jay says:

    Do you like RavenTools link tracking over BuzzStream’s? I know that RavenTools is more comprehensive of a suite but if you only compared the link building component.

    Great post BTW!! .

    • amandarecord says:

      Hey Jay,

      Yes, RT is definitely more comprehensive than BuzzStream but I’m sure a lot of RT users find that there’s not enough time in the day to leverage all of the tools included in Raven Tools. I’ve used both tools for very different Link Building projects.

      I think the main advantage that BuzzStream has over RT is it’s CRM functionality. You can save contact/email templates, email from within the tool and they give you an account email address (for tracking purposes) to BCC on emails. This saves all records of those emails so that anyone logged into your BuzzStream account can see a full contact history. You can also see tweets in the contact history.

      That said I still prefer Raven Tools to BuzzStream. In the time I’ve been using Raven Tools (little over 1 year) they’ve updated the tool frequently. Big updates too! I think a couple months back I remember them overhauling the UI. I like the customizable dashboards, link manager, firefox toolbar, and reports. I do think the BuzzStream booklet tool has better luck at scanning (and returning) contact information than Raven Tool’s ‘find contact’ option though. Looking forward I think RT has the manpower to keep improving it’s tool consistently.

      Thanks for commenting!!

  4. Great list of resources here! Thanks so much for including Raven Tools as one of your favorites. We hope to keep making your link building easier! -Courtney

  5. Jay says:


    Thanks for the in depth reply!

    When you said “I’ve used both tools for very different Link Building projects” could you be more specific (with giving any trade secrets away:-) about the type of projects that warranted Buzzstream over RT? Is it possible or necessary to use both products depending on the task at hand?



    • amandarecord says:

      No problem. I used BuzzStream on a Link Building project where I was doing outreach for 1 website whereas I started using Raven Tools when working for a SEO Agency. So the entire time I’ve been using RT I’ve been Link Building for 1-4 different websites (and clients) from varying niches within that 1 tool.

      I don’t think it’s necessary to use both tools at the same time. I would imagine there would be task overlap and discrepancies in your link records if you did use both as there’s not any type of data synching between the 2 competing tools. As I mentioned (to me) BuzzStream’s main advantage is their CRM and the likelihood of no disconnect between internal team members being lost in contact records. It just depends on how many people at your company/agency are working on one account at the same time as to whether that’s a big internal issue or not. Most of the accounts that I’ve worked on I’m the only person doing a specific type of outreach (guest blogging, infographic, etc.).

      BuzzStream does start out at a smaller monthly fee ($29) than RavenTools. Both have free trials with BuzzStream offering 14 days and Raven Tools offering a 30 day try out. Both companies are super responsive on Twitter. I hope this helps!

  6. boldsoul says:

    Thanks for this!

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