Although there are numerous blogs and websites dedicated to SEO, sometimes the best way to learn in depth is by finding an expertly-written book that can explain the intricacies of SEO strategy and tactics.
These are interesting times for books. Books now come in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited (free with subscription), PDF, and audio formats. After experiencing consistent growth for the previous 5 years, ebook sales were actually down 20% in first half of 2016, while analog books were up 4%.
Learn how to organize and operate an SEO team in BrightEdge’s free and insightful ebook on SEO Management or learn a succinct 4-step SEO methodology for generating results and returns in How to Maximize SEO ROI.
However you want to read them, here are the 5 best SEO books that we have found for those from beginners to experts looking to improve their SEO techniques and results.
Best SEO Books 2017
1. SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs
By John Jantsch and Phil Singleton
4.8 stars on Amazon
#5 in SEO on Amazon
As the title suggests, this book is written for the 3 major stakeholders of the website besides the SEO: the marketers, the designers, and the executives, and all can benefit when the interests of the thee groups are aligned. While the title highlights SEO, this book is also about developing a well-rounded marketing strategy as it is about getting better Google rankings for your website.
The authors describe how websites have evolved from digital brochures to marketing platforms, but also how a lot of the web design industry still treats web design as a creative and development exercise; SEO and lead generation often aren’t included in the process. This book is great for business owners, it gives them a look under the hood without getting too technical, and it will show them how to get more out of their team’s effort for the website.
Written in an easy and approachable style, this comprehensive guide on SEO allows any of the 3 personas it addresses to take a valuable journey through industry facts and resources to come to the conclusion that they must take action on SEO. SEO lead generation is a long-term strategy that requires up-front work but pays off with sustainable gains.
According to the authors, from this book, you’ll learn how to: Create and re-purpose content and plan an editorial calendar, use different social media channels to generate engagement with your content, build and manage your online reputation, plus handle negative reviews, do quality link building without resorting to the shady practices Google now penalizes, conduct keyword research to optimize your website and all of your content, use pay-per-click advertising in the most cost-efficient way to get the biggest bang for your buck, and build a revenue-generating website that will help power your company’s growth for years to come.
This is an excellent new book in the space. The book is best for beginners and people outside the field or SEOs with less than a year experience.
2. SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
By Matthew Capala
4.5 stars on Amazon
#13 in SEO books on Amazon
Matthew Capala has been working in digital marketing for over a decade, including having experience with big-name brands such as Apple, Smirnoff, and Prudential. He teaches at NYU while helping businesses of all sizes understand how the internet can be used for tremendous growth.
In addition to the catchy and appealing title, there are a number of interesting aspects to this book:
1) It is self-published, which is rather unique in the world of technical education books, and hoorah for that
2) It is very colorful as a 5-year-old would like it
3) As a self-published book, it has a manuscript feel and layout, which is both endearing and annoying
4) It is on the expensive side for 233-page book at $26.95
This book has been written for beginners and it remains true to that purpose. It focuses on providing high-quality, actionable information for those new to the world of SEO, who might not be familiar with the latest marketing terms.
He organizes the book into what he calls the 5 Cs of SEO: Content, Code, Credibility, Connections, and Cash, which makes a good structure. True to his teacher roots, Capala details dozens of websites and resources to help readers do SEO. In addition to the colorful screen shots and cartoon images, Capala uses extensive analogies to make his points, but they become a jumble: “You can compare each of the Cs to a well-organized football team;” “Content marketing is similar to baking a cake for a party;” “The Wild West Era of SEO;” “Golden Nugget Keywords;” Internet information is “passed through the grapevine.”
The self-published layout and non-standardized graphics are distracting and make it hard to skim and re-read the book. I think Capala should spend the money to hire a designer and get professional layout and typesetting support, especially at this price point. But, the content is thorough and useful for a beginner that likes a lot of storytelling and playfulness in their SEO.
The book is also best for beginners and people outside the field or SEOs with less than a year experience.
3. SEO 2017: Learn search engine optimization with smart internet marketing strategies
By Adam Clarke
4.5 stars on Amazon
#1 in SEO books on Amazon
Available in analog, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited versions
Adam Clarke has been certified by Google as an SEO and Internet marketing professional. He has spent the past decade consulting with various brands and building websites that regularly reach the number one slot on Google.
This book comes recommended both from those new to SEO and from more experienced marketers looking to learn more about some of Google’s latest algorithm updates. Clarke breaks down clear strategies for optimizing content without triggering penalties. He uses easily scaleable techniques that for businesses of all sizes and explains sophisticated SEO topics without resorting to industry jargon. Important topics include web analytics, keyword research, and link building.
Learning and remaining up-to-date in the field of SEO and online marketing requires regular reading and studying. Those interested in brushing up on their skills should consider investing in a few of these SEO books to gain a thorough overview of the topic and excellent resources for moving forward. This is an excellent value at $9.99 for the paperback.
4.SEO Fitness Workbook: 2017 Edition: The Seven Steps to Search Engine Optimization Success on Google
By Jason McDonald
4.8 stars on Amazon
#13 in SEO books on Amazon
Dr. Jason McDonald first became involved with online media back in 1994 and is widely considered an industry leader. He also teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This book goes far beyond just teaching theories and ideas; it offers readers a host of tools to ensure that they internalize the information. It comes with worksheets and access to online SEO tools to help people put the information they learn through the text to good use. This SEO book helps marketers get into the mindset of SEO so they can seamlessly adapt to future industry changes and remain optimized. The book is intended for marketing professionals, designers, small business owners, and anyone else who wants to learn and understand the latest in SEO strategy. Not only do you learn about keywords, links, and metrics you also receive worksheets and tips to put that knowledge to use for your business.
5. The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization
By Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer and Jessie Stricchiola
4.5 stars on Amazon
#19 in SEO books on Amazon
Each of the authors are highly respected within the field of marketing and especially SEO, having established famous marketing companies and blogs.
This book provides readers with a comprehensive overview of SEO, putting the complicated theories and techniques that guide some of the foremost experts on the subject into easy-to-understand language. The advice and information is accompanied by numerous screenshots and examples to help people fully grasp the topics being discussed. The book presents a plan for success that companies can implement in their own strategies to reap the benefits of modern digital marketing. The authors take readers from the earliest stages of defining their audience to anticipating the SEO of the future.
This book is for the intermediate to advanced SEO and people with a few years experience in the field.