As they used to say back in High School, “It has come to our attention…” that… Well, “it has come to our attention that many of you, or at least some of you, are searching for the ‘SEO Fitness Workbook‘ in PDF format.” Especially the 2016 edition in the Adobe PDF format. Continue reading
There aren’t really that many conferences that truly focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), so to call this the ‘Ultimate List’ is more than a bit of hubris. That said, if you’re in conference mode, these conferences can be a great way to catch up on what’s trending, what’s exciting, what’s new, and what hasn’t changed. Continue reading
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a subject near and dear to my heart. As the primary teacher, organizer and cheerleader of the JM Internet Group, I (of course) have my own SEO book for 2017: The SEO Fitness Workbook. Newly updated for 2017, it comes with worksheets and links to videos as well as a step-by-step methodology that starts with keywords, takes you through ON PAGE SEO such as HTML page tags and website structure, and ends up with OFF PAGE SEO (links, social mentions, and social authority). That said, I often get asked by my students for a list of the best SEO books for 2017. Here’s my updated list, and I am including FREE online tutorials for the first time. If you have a recommendation, please contact me.
Updated: November 28, 2016
Recommended Books on SEO for 2017
- SEO Fitness Workbook: 2017 Edition
- While many books on SEO sell for $2.99 or are even free, the SEO FITNESS WORKBOOK is priced at $39.99. It’s not cheap. It’s worth it. Here’s why. 1) Basic, practical advice – the SEO FITNESS WORKBOOK leads you step-by-step with an emphasis on DOING SEO not just understanding SEO, 2) The SEO TOOLBOOK – it includes, for free, the massive SEO Toolbook, 3) Worksheets – throughout, the book points to ‘howto’ worksheets that you can download and complete. Rating: 5 stars.
- Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies
- Author Bruce Clay is one of the most respected and venerable experts in the field of Search Engine Optimization. As part of the Wiley ‘Dummies’ series, he brings his expertise to the public. This book is a step-by-step guide to SEO, beginning with Keywords and going through both On Page and Off page SEO. Rating: 5 stars.
- The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization
- Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jessie Stricchiola have brought us the ‘Bible’ of SEO. This is a very, very, very, very detailed book about technical SEO. What’s a canonical meta tag? Are 301 redirects better than 302s? How should you deal with duplicate content, and is correlation really the same as causation? Nerd alert: this book will give you the gory, gory details of SEO at a technical level. Excellent book for those who know the basics. Rating: 5 stars.
- Google SEO Starter Guide
- Here’s a concept. To succeed at SEO, do what Google tells you to do! This is an older but basic guide by Google on it’s official todos for SEO success. It’s excellent as a basic guide to On Page SEO, but has ZERO coverage of Off Page tactics such as link-building, and no coverage of keyword theory or selection. Still, you gotta read it. Rating: 5 stars.
- SEO 2016 Learn Search Engine Optimization With Smart Internet Marketing Strategies: Learn SEO with smart internet marketing strategies
- Adam Clarke’s book consistently ranks as a best-seller in books on SEO. It’s a good, basic, and inexpensive introduction to the topic. It covers Google Analytics, social media (including local SEO) and other new factors, as well as explaining oldies but goodies like how to identify SEO-friendly keywords, or how Page Tags influence Google (not to mention links). Rating: 4 stars.
- Search Engine Land’s Guide to SEO
- Search Engine Land is clearly the top blog on search engine optimization. They provide this in-depth and pretty useful guide to SEO for their readership. They have a periodic table of SEO factors, which is a completely bizarre way to explain factors that have different ranks. But, oh well, they failed chemistry in High School but paid attention in math. This guide is a useful, basic guide to the subject. Rating: 4 stars.
- SEO Step-by-Step – The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Getting Traffic from Google
- Caimin Jones gives us a step-by-step guide to SEO. Getting dated with a publication date of 2014. The book focuses on technical SEO, and has chapters on things like link-building, site speed, etc., and of course basics such as keyword definition. It also covers social media marketing as it relates to SEO. Rating: 4 stars.
- Bruce Clay’s SEO Tutorial
- Bruce Clay has one of the best SEO books out there – SEO for Dummies. But, true to the adage of why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, you can find his free tutorial and use that. It’s more basic than the book, and a bit out-dated, but it covers the basics. It also has nice video links. Rating: 3 stars.
- Hobo’s SEO Tutorial for Beginners
- Updated in June, 2016, this guide dives into SEO pretty quickly. It has links to topics such as ‘What is the Perfect Keyword Density’ and often includes YouTube videos. Like many online guides, it assumes some basic knowledge and overview. It’s heavy on the technical SEO and light on the strategy. Rating: 3 stars.
- TutorialsPoint SEO Tutorial
- This online SEO Tutorial is pretty good at the basics of SEO, especially On Page optimization. However, it assumes you have a basic technical knowledge of the subject, so I recommend you first buy the SEO Fitness Workbook or another basic book before utilizing this guide. Rating: 3 stars.
- WordPress SEO Tutorial
- This is a very good guide for WordPress SEO using the Yoast plugin. It covers only the technical issues, however, but when combined with our classes and an understanding of keyword research, website structure, and off-page SEO link building – this guide is very helpful for crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s of a strong SEO-friendly WordPress website. Rating: 3 stars.
- MOZ SEO Beginners Guide
- MOZ is one of the top providers of (paid) SEO tools. It provides this basic introductory tutorial to SEO. Aimed at beginners, and (over)emphasizes technical SEO. But, hey, it’s free. Rating: 3 stars.
- SEO 2016: Learn Search Engine Optimization
- R. L. Adams has written a strong, conceptual book on the basics of SEO, which is unfortunately light on the todos and technical aspects. The book starts with ‘trust,’ and how to build it vis-à-vis Google. Beyond basics such as Keywords, it continues this theme of ‘building trust’ as a metaphor to understand the do’s and don’ts of effective SEO optimization. It also extends to social media marketing, and Google’s more than 200 ranking factors. Rating: 3 stars.
- QuickSprout SEO Tutorial
- First of all, this tutorial has the most ANNOYING continual pop up nags to join the email list. That makes it nearly unreadable. However, if you can keep clicking no, no, no, the guide itself is very well done, and easy-to- use. It’s heavy use of pictures makes it very nice. Rating: 3 stars.
- SEO Decoded: 39 Search Engine Optimization Strategies To Rank Your Website For The Toughest Of Keywords
- Shane David brings us some strategies to help rank on difficult keywords. The book covers the basics of On Page and Off Page, and includes a chapter on WordPress SEO. It also has a list of tools. Rating: 3 stars.
- SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
- Matthew Capala’s 2015 book attempts to explain SEO ‘as if’ you were a five year old. Meaning in simple, plain English. The book has SEO templates, coverage of ‘content marketing’ (which is the new, new thing). It covers link-building and Google+ as off page tactics, too. Learn more about Matthew at http://www.searchdecoder.com/. Rating: 3 stars.
- Seo: Seo Bible & Tips – Google, Bing, Yahoo!
- Published in May, 2016, SEO: SEO Bible & Tips is a short, sweet to-the-point booklet about SEO. It has a heavy emphasis on content and content-marketing, and is a bit short on the technical details such as tag structure on pages, and the site content structure as a whole. If you’re looking to understand SEO-friendly content marketing, it’s a good investment and at its price point, why not? Rating: 2 stars.
- Internet Marketing 2016 – Quick & Dirty Online Marketing Strategies To Get Tons Of Traffic
- Uday Shankar Byri has brought us a short quick book that crosses social media marketing and SEO. He explains, for example, how to write ‘killer’ headlines for your blog posts that not only show on Google but get a lot of social sharing. He covers podcasting, viral marketing, and even SlideShare as tactics. So, rather than really be a book about SEO, this is more a book about social media and content marketing. It’s the new, new thing! Rating: 2 stars.
- SEO: Marketing Strategies to Dominate the First Page
- Grant Kennedy’s 2016 SEO book begins with some history about SEO, especially so-called ‘White Hat’ vs. ‘Black Hat’ strategies. He gives you tips and strategies, and covers the basics of AdWords at a conceptual level. Rating: 2 stars.
- SEO Myths and Half-Truths: Slice through the Veil of Misinformation to Uncover the Secrets to SEO Profits
- David Hood brings a dose of cynicism to the books on SEO. This book discusses the myths and half-truths that dominate the public information on SEO. What’s good about the book, therefore, is that it exposes you to the idea that a lot of what is taken as ‘true’ about SEO isn’t true at all, and/or there are a lot of huckster SEO people out there, so buyer beware. It includes some coverage of how to hire an SEO expert. Rating: 2 stars.
- Google’s Webmaster Academy
- This is Google’s official learning resource on SEO. It’s pretty bad – super oversimplified with goofy graphics, and quizzes. It is, however, so light on information that it’s pretty much a joke. Included just to show you that, sometimes (often), Google is NOT the best source of information on SEO. It’s too tangled up in the conflict of interest of making money off of AdWords advertising yet also trying to speak to a community that just wants the free stuff on Google thank you very much. Rating: 1 stars.
A Strategy for Starting SEO in 2017
Ok, before you buy all the books. Step back for a moment, and think about the big picture. Your strategy to approach the optimization of your website, vis-a-vis Google and Bing. Here are some steps. First, write down your marketing goals. Who are your customers? What do they want? How does what you sell match what they need? Second, figure out the keyword connection points. SEO is all about search, so they must be searching by some keyword that “matches” what they want to what you offer. You gotta know those keywords in a very, very systematic way. Third, after reading some of the books above, you should understand page tags and SEO. Inventory your current site content vis-a-vis tags such as the TITLE, META DESCRIPTION, HEADER, ANCHOR, and IMG ALT tags. Make sure you have your keywords in those tags! Inventory your website structure and links between pages. Inventory your home page content. Fourth, turn to links and off page SEO. Links are the currency of the Web. Who links to you, and why? How can you get more quality links? Take a look at social media: what are your social profiles like (especially Google+), and how can you improve them? Are you popular on Twitter? Finally, turn to Google Analytics and metrics. Measure your rank on Google, and measure your inbound traffic.
SEO, like physical fitness, takes the desire to learn, the courage to implement, and the tenacity to stick with it.
Finally, if you’d like to suggest an SEO book for my 2017 list of the best SEO books, please just email me your suggestion with a link to Amazon. Thanks!
Updated: November 28, 2016