Planning an SEO strategy for your online business can feel like a huge undertaking, especially when you’re starting completely from scratch. While there are thousands of online resources, like blogs and webinars, to guide you, it would be helpful to have all of that useful information in one nice, pretty package.
We’ve compiled a list of highly recognized books that can aid both the novice and expert to achieve their SEO goals. And we know what you’re going to say. Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, so aren’t these books outdated or soon going to be? Yes and no. Many of these books come out with new editions yearly, and although specific tactics may not be relevant by the time these books make it to publication, the core concepts and principles are well organized and invaluable. Be sure to also check out our DIY SEO ebook as well!
For someone just beginning to learn about SEO, you’ll probably want to find a guide that’s easy to follow and won’t bore you to sleep. Thankfully, Jason McDonald’s Seven Steps wasn’t written solely for the tech professional, and it’s also incredibly engaging and entertaining. McDonald has been teaching digital marketing since 2009, and has the amazing ability to break down his extensive knowledge into easily digestible language.
While working your way through his workbook, you’ll be introduced to many theories as well as actual online tools and worksheets to apply what you’ve learned. Most importantly, it teaches marketers and small business owners how to adopt an SEO mindset rather than simply going through the motions.
Bruce Clay, a professional search engine optimization consultant, is a household name in the SEO field. He writes, speaks and teaches on the subject, and his expertise is apparent in this 700+ page reference guide. The book is actually nine self-contained mini books in one, which gives you the freedom to focus on specific topics of interest. Topics include basic search engine knowledge, keyword strategy, mobile-friendliness, link building, analytics and much more! The book is certainly lengthy, but Clay presents this training tool in a straightforward and accessible way for all of his readers, marketers and online business owners alike.
The most mysterious and often perplexing aspect of SEO may be the process of link building. There are so many gray areas on which methods are appropriate and inappropriate to acquire links, so it’s no surprise that it can come off a little daunting – even for the more experienced. However, it simply cannot be ignored if your website’s ranking is of any importance to you.
Eric Ward and Garrett French have put together an easy-to-read guidebook full of purely white-hat link building tactics that will help you point relevant and valuable links back to your site. While Ward doesn’t provide any insight on how to navigate any gray areas like we mentioned before, this will prove to be beneficial for novice link builders since you’d want to veer towards the safest techniques.
Overall, this link building handbook lends some of the best tools, advice and strategies in a writing style that’s concise and flows well for its readers.
For the More Advanced
SEO 2016 & Beyond
by: Dr. Andy Williams
In this comprehensive SEO reference, you’ll learn how to rank higher and increase traffic without getting penalized by Google. With Dr. Andy Williams, there is a right approach and a wrong approach and he’ll make sure you always choose right, especially when writing and strategizing content. The book also acknowledges fresh algorithm updates, such as Google Penguin and Panda, which illuminates on the fact that Google is getting smarter and smarter. It’s constantly evolving and improving ways to disregard black-hat schemers and people who try to manipulate traffic away from optimal search results.
Williams, with his decade-long SEO background, is a trusted source for learning about the SEO environment as it is today.
The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization
by: Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jessie C. Stricchiola
If you’ve been searching far and wide for the Holy Grail of SEO books, you can take it easy now. Written by a team of SEO superstars, The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization may just be the most comprehensive book on search engine optimization out there. While it can be used as a reference for all degrees of experience, it delves very deep into a wide breadth of modern, high-level strategies, such as analyzing algorithm effects, optimizing for mobile and prospecting local opportunities. Still, these complex concepts are simplified through handy screenshots and detailed examples.
By the end of this guide, you will have instantly become a trained expert and could easily claim years of SEO experience under your belt – in theory.
That wraps up our list of the top SEO books you should add to your bookshelf this year! Don’t see your personal favorite up there? Let us know which books taught you everything you currently know about SEO in the comments below!