In April of 2008 I authored the book “Search Engine Optimization: Your Visual Blueprint for Effective Internet Marketing.” The publisher is Wiley.
The book is available on Amazon and bookstores throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada.
The first edition of this book sold over 20,000 copies and was ranked as the best-selling book on search marketing for 2008 and 2009.
As a result of the success of this book I was asked by Wiley to write a second edition, which will be available in July of 2010!
In short, I spent an immense amount of my personal time (several hundred hours) starting in September or so of 2009 until about two weeks ago to write the second edition of SEO Visual Blueprint – I’m really proud of the end product and believe it will become a great resource to thousands of people looking to improve organic placement on search engines.
Before I jump into a preview of my upcoming book let me give you a bit of background about format and what the book includes.
First, the book is written in a visual format and is part of Wiley’s very popular “Visual” series.
In short, the “visual” format caters to visual learners and provides an equal combination of text and visual aids (in this case screen shots) of the different tools and techniques that I am explaining. The basic structure is a page of text followed by at least four screenshots, which are in the format of a “task.” There is a tip section at the end of each task.
Second, this book is not only about Search Engine Optimization. In fact, there are dedicated chapters on Pay Per Clicking marketing, Social Media Optimization, Monetizing Web Traffic, Using Google Analytics, and Creating Communities. I would say that 50% of this book will help you improve your organic search ranking, while the other 50% will help you expand your online marketing to stay ahead of the competition.
Finally, this book was written for an audience with basic exposure to and a general understanding of technology and search engines. If you are a beginner I’d recommend that you read the 20 page introduction several times before jumping into some of the more advanced chapters. At the same time, if you are advanced you may want to skip the first chapter of the book “Getting Started with Search Engine Optimization.”
The first edition of this book received rave reviews from beginners and advanced SEO’s alike; however, you’ll want to keep in mind that the book was written to be more of a reference guide instead of a book that follows a systematic approach to teach you everything you need to know about SEO – yes, it has all the tools and tips you’ll need, but at the same time some chapters may not apply to your specific business or need.
OK…..now that I’ve covered the above I’ll dive into a preview of Getting Started with Search-Engine Optimization from Chapter 1 of SEO Visual Blueprint: Second Edition by yours truly.
Chapter 1 – Getting Started with Search-Engine Optimization.
The first step to getting started with SEO is to decide what Web site(s) or industry you want to apply your soon to be ninja SEO skills.
All industries are not created equal….or in other words, some industries, such as finance and education are quite competitive, while others are less competitive. Your goal at this stage is likely to depend on whether you already have a Web site in mind to optimize or are looking to learn more about SEO before you start your new business. Regardless, you’ll learn some tips to flush out your initial strategy and get realistic about SEO.
Another early consideration with SEO is developing a clear understanding of your target audience. What demographic does your business target? Teenagers; Women aged 35 – 55; Dog Owners; California; Pennsylvania; Global; Forty Fort, PA; etc….. The point is to get clear about your audience – developing an edge on your competition will require that you outsmart them – one way of developing an edge with your competition is spending the requisite time to understand your target audience – by doing so you’ll be able to apply some really cool tricks and strategies later on that will help you gain higher placement for keywords that matter most to you.
Like it or not, SEO is not free. SEO requires a dedicated person or team of people to execute – it’s not enough to just hand your Web designers a list of SEO best practices – for the most part, Web designers design web sites and SEO’s do SEO. As you learn more about SEO and as a basis for reading the rest of the book I recommend that you earmark a budget – the size of the budget depends on your goals. However, at a minimum if you intend to outsource your SEO to an SEO professional you will be looking at a minimum of $3,000 per month per Web site. There are a number of potential additional costs that may or may not apply to you such as Web design and development costs, keyword research costs, link building fees, and content development costs.
Another important first step to SEO success is setting goals. You’ll need to have a come to Jesus in terms of setting realistic goals based on your specific industry, as well as your available resources. You will also need to develop patience since SEO is a long-terms process and you are unlikely to see immediate results. Don’t get me wrong….you can experience results immediately but the true benefits of a strategic approach to SEO, including building authority and great content takes times. You’ll want to progress steadily and focus on natural growth, over time.
You may decide that reading my book is your approach to learning what you need to be dangerous with SEO….and that’s OK. For others you’ll want to build out a team to assist you with your goal of SEO dominance. The truth is that a successful SEO strategy can make a material difference to the overall success of your business – as such, in Chapter 1 I provide some advice and instruction on how to put a team together that addresses all of your SEO needs – the good news is that there are tools available that allow you to pretty readily find competent SEO professionals, but you’ll need to learn how to navigate the waters that have unfortunately been infiltrated with too many snake oil salesman and sharks.
Finally, I provide some advice and insight into staying current with industry news and encourage you to get involved in the search industry by attending an industry conference such as Search Engine Strategies or SMX.
Feel free at any point to ask me questions – no questions are stupid and I’ll do my best to serve you an honest, informed, and thoughtful answer.
Chapter 2 provides an introduction to a critical component of the SEO process – Keyword Generation. Stay tuned for an preview of Chapter 2.