Blogs are great to stay on top of your industry with the latest trends and insights. But sometimes blogs are too brief as a medium to fully communicate an idea. Sometimes you need a gold old-fashioned book to immerse yourself into a subject to fully comprehend the depth of the discipline.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is no different. In order to know the tricks of the trade, you have to know the trade first. What follows is a list of both intuitive and not-so-intuitive books that should be on any SEO’s bookshelf.
1. The Art of SEO
The Art of SEO is a tome of SEO knowledge. It contains over 500 pages of SEO strategy, concepts and tactics from popular industry authors/business people Rand Fishkin, Eric Enge, Jessica Stricchiola and Stephan Spencer. Although specific tweaks in the search engines’ algorithms happen constantly, this is a solid foundation of SEO knowledge that won’t soon be outdated.
2. Marketing in the Age of Google
Marketing in the Age of Google is a great executive-level explanation of SEO. Former Googler Vanessa Fox illustrates important concepts of search engines and SEO at a level that is easy to understand for clients who are new to SEO. Sometimes being able to clearly communicate concepts to your stakeholders can be as important as having the right strategy in the first place.
3. Web Analytics 2.0
You can hardly call yourself an SEO if you don’t know your way around your web analytics platform. Avinash Kaushik’s Web Analytics 2.0 is the definitive guide to understanding Google Analytics, Yahoo Analytics or just about any other tool you might be using. SEOs would be nothing without their web analytics packages. This book will help you become a web analytics ninja.
4. Don’t Make Me Think
The best SEOs know that SEO and website usability go hand-in-hand. You’d never want to optimize for topics that aren’t relevant to your business. And you’d hate to lose the visitors you do get because your site is confusing or unresponsive. Don’t Make Me Think is a high level introduction to website usability from industry expert Steve Krug.
5. Letting Go of the Words
Once again, the usability of your website is of critical importance. It’s tempting for SEOs to jam keywords into headlines, image captions and other places on the page. Ginny Redish’s Letting Go of the Words shows you everything your visitors are expecting from you – in addition to your keywords – in the titles, headers and content of your site.
So there you have it. Have you read one of the books on our list? What did you think? Or am I missing a must-read? Share your thoughts in the comments below.