Which Books Do You Recommend for Learning SEO?
I get asked this question quite a lot from people, and to be honest, there isn’t just one book that covers everything you need to know to become skilled at SEO. The search industry is fast paced and very competitive, it doesn’t just involve adding keywords to page titles, and stuffing keywords into your content anymore, that died years ago.
As well as the traditional link building and on-page optimisation, to keep on top of the game and to become a well rounded SEO Consultant nowadays you have to be comfortable with a wide range of areas including web analytics, landing page optimisation, content creation, and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and how to work these platforms effectively. In essence you’re an Internet Marketing Consultant, not just an SEO.
So, below you’ll find my top 10 books on not just SEO, but Internet Marketing in general, perfect for anyone looking to increase their websites’ performance on the web.
1. Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Steve Krug’s masterpiece on website conversion. Don’t Make Me Think is not just a book for designers, it’s essential reading for anyone with a website, especially SEO’s. As an SEO Consultant my job doesn’t just end when a clients’ listing gets clicked on in the search engines. As SEO’s we have to think about the process after the click, and how we get them to take a desired action, whether that be purchasing a product, signing up for an email list, or participating in the conversation. Don’t Make Me Think is exactly what you need for this purpose, it’s a short book but it’s filled with some really meaty content which you really should be reading!
2. Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity
Avinash Kaushick is pretty much the godfather when it comes to website analytics. All sites need to track their performance on things like sales processes, and keyword performance. In this follow up to Web Analytics and Hour a Day, Avinash goes into detail on how to understand the intent of your visitors. He provides clear actionable tips and techniques throughout – An absolute must for anyone with an eCommerce store or any site that requires an action, whether that be opt-in, sharing content, watching a video or downloading files.
3. The Art of SEO
Maybe not one for the Advanced SEO’s out there as it doesn’t touch on anything you don’t already know. However, if you’re just getting your feet wet in this industry then it’s the best book of its kind. Contributors include Online Marketing heavyweights Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, and Jessie C. Stricchiola.
4. Information Architecture
4th on my list is Information Architecture for the World Wide Web aka. The Polar Bear Book. This book is an absolute must for anyone with a website. It explains the basic concepts of information architecture – how to label and structure bits of information so that users can easily navigate and use. Everything from how you lay out your content and how you structure your website navigation will be influenced by what you read in this book.
5. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, eBooks, Webinars (and more) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business
Content is king, content is kong, whatever it I this book is king of content creation. If you want to succeed online outside of the paid advertising space – you have to create compelling content, whether that’s in the form of blog posts, linkbait articles, videos, on Facebook etc. You have to create content that’s going to arouse people’s interests. In this book you’ll learn everything from the art of storytelling, how to find your voice and create content or ideas shared online as much as possible.
6. Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-it-yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
Usability testing should be a continuous task for anyone with a site. Usability testing increases your bottom line. But with a price tag of £1000-£3500 for a round of usability tests by a usability expert it doesn’t often happen. In this follow up book to Don’t Make Me Think, Steve Krug lays out practical steps and techniques on how anyone can easily improve their websites usability and the problems to avoid.
7. ProBlogger: Blogging Your Way to A Six-Figure Income
Although this book is primarily aimed at bloggers, there’s several key areas covered that are useful for everyone with a website online. Such things as finding untapped markets, different revenue sources, how to use social media tools to your advantage, what successful content looks like, how to optimise advertising and much more. If you have a corporate blog (or if you don’t then you should!) this book is perfect for all!
8. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust
A book by renowned internet marketer Chris Brogan (and also Julien Smith) that touches on what is now a frontline marketing tool – social media! To create a successful brand you need to become a Trust Agent. A Trust Agent is someone who has influence online and someone that stands out as an authority in your market. Learn through actionable steps how to use social media to positively impact your business and grow your brand.
9. The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web
A book in the similar mould as to Trust Agents, The New Community Rules centres around the social web and how it can be used to effectively market your business. As I said it’s similar to Trust Agents but it touches on things that Trust Agents fails to, and vice versa. The New Community Rules discusses in great depth such things as conversation marketing and how social media thrives on honesty and transparency. You will learn all about blogging and microblogging and how to use Twitter to create brand awareness, and how to enhance your online reputation all through actionable steps and case studies.
10. Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords
A comprehensive guide full actionable tips and techniques on how to grow your ROI through increasing click-thru, conversions. You’ll learn how to build powerful well converting campaigns from scratch, how to write killer advertising copy, how to improve quality score, how to slash your bid prices, how to develop quality keyword lists and more. Do you have some personal favs? Let me know in the comments below!
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