Previously I’ve considered myself an SEO hobbyist rather than professional, but it’s something I set myself a challenge to change earlier this year; so when I had the chance to review a new book about search engine marketing, I thought it was fortuitous timing.
Search Engine Marketing Inc,: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Web Site is written by search experts Mike Moran and Bill Hunt.
Here’s a bit of blurb about the book. More on their SEM Inc book microsite.
For years, Search Engine Marketing, Inc. has been the definitive practical guide to driving value from search. Now, Mike Moran and Bill Hunt have completely rewritten their best-seller to present valuable new strategies, best practices, and lessons from experience.
You’ll learn how search engines and search marketing work today, and how to segment searchers based on their behavior, successfully anticipating what they’re looking for. You’ll walk through formulating your custom program: identifying goals, assessing where you stand, estimating costs, choosing strategy, and gaining buy-in. Next, you’ll focus on execution: identifying challenges, diagnosing and fixing problems, measuring performance, and continually improving your program.
The main (and perhaps only) issue for not buying the book is in the publicity blurb. In fact they put it in italics themselves – the word “today”.
Today, Google updated its mobile search algorithm, arguably making some of the book out of date. To be fair, the book is now in its third issue, but the world of search engine marketing is always evolving. Who knows what Google has got up its sleeve for the year ahead?
Why buy Search Engine Marketing, Inc.?
If you’re the kind of person who prefers to work through a physical book, this could well be for you. It’s well-written with lots of practical examples that you can work through; not only focused on organic search, but also the paid side.
Although it can only be up to date the day it heads to the printers, the fundamentals of search engine marketing don’t change dramatically overnight and that most of the book will probably still be relevant in a year’s time.
If you’re completely new to search engine marketing, the book is particularly suitable. Although don’t thinking you can pick all this stuff up by skim reading – it takes a bit of commitment.
Search Engine Marketing, Inc., covers topics such as setting up your website properly and getting listed on search engines, through to creating and optimising landing pages. It also covers some of the financial side, such as budgeting for search and paid activity and working out your RoI (something I imagine most people don’t actually do).
Of course, the classic topics are also covered such as (safe) linkbuilding and paid search quality factors. It was also see a number of useful box-outs, such as “How iTunes ranks podcasts by quality” and “Is click fraud eating away at your paid search budget?”.
In summary, I think it’s a really useful book for business owners, marketers and PR people looking to build their search knowledge, with no assumptions of previous experience made by the authors. Its only real discernible weaknesses are bound by the physical format, where you have to flick through pages, rather than follow a hyperlink. But I think that in itself tells you something about our reliance on the web for finding information and learning.
Click on the Amazon link for more info or to buy: Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Web Site (IBM Press)
There is also a microsite semincbook.com with excerpts and resources.