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Internet Marketing & SEO Resources & Tools - Yes, 500+ smile

Internet Marketing Resources & SEO Tools

 

During my time as an SEO consultant, online marketer and business owner, I've been extremely fortunate to find and use a number of the best web marketing resources and tools that have become ingrained in everything I and my company (Dimmock Web Marketing) does. It's been a pleasure to see how the tools have developed over time and to follow the tremendous growth of the companies who created them. 

Web Marketing Guides, SEO Blogs & YouTube Channels

 

Over the years I've read, re-read and saved a ton of the best web marketing guides and SEO blog posts that have educated me on almost every aspect of online marketing. I've also watched many videos and subscribed to YouTube channels that have kept me regularly "in the groove".  I'm amazed at the depth of expertise these resources provide, having probably taken days (if not weeks) to research and write up. When you read them, I suggest you share them on social too, so that the great work of the curators (and the advice they give) lives on..  

Books - Business, Marketing, SEO & Self Development

 

Everyone loves a good book and I'm no different! They've been a constant personal source of joyful learning, with the best reads challenging and inspiring me, often at just the right time when I needed them. I've included books on many different topics, including eCommerce SEO, website usability and UX, sales and consulting, thinking processes, copywriting, business building, personal growth and overcoming fear - but I've listed many more, so go have a look - I hope you find something really useful :-) 

Communities - Twitter Chats, Events (UK and Overseas) & People I Follow

 

If you work in or around the digital marketing, content, creative or social media industries, there's many Twitter chats to take part in. If you're anything like me, you probably spend large chunks of time pinned to your system crunching data, improving campaigns or building online brand sentiment.

 

For these reasons (and to stay in-touch with the human race), participating in communities, attending internet marketing and SEO-related real-life events (quick shout-out to BrightonSEO - recently confirmed as the worlds' largest!) and engaging in Twitter chats and keeping up-to-date with industry news and trends will help keep you sane - as it does for me. There's many good people in our industry and engaging with them is a sure-fire way to increase your knowledge and make new friends. 

 

Affiliate disclosure: some (not all) of the links on this resource page are affiliate links. This simply means that I’ll earn a commission if you purchase the product that I link to, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used, can fully endorse and view as a valuable asset to my business (the reason I created this page originally). Keeping this page updated does takes time (there’s over 500 individual resources!) so any commission I receive helps pay towards its upkeep.

 

 

Explore my treasure trove of the best internet marketing resources & SEO tools, using the quick-links below: 

 

Internet Marketing & SEO Tools (my swiss-army knives)

 

Screaming Frog - if you're an SEO and you don't currently use this powerhouse by Dan Sharp and his team, do it now! Their free version covers upto 500 x URLs and their paid version (£149 pa) provides unlimited URLs, along with a collection of other excellent functions. such as save and re-load crawls, Google Analytics / Search Console integration, AMP crawling and validation, structured data validation, custom robots.txt and many more - check out their award-winning SEO Spider Tools / "Free vs Paid" comparison here.

 

DeepCrawl - for single / multi-domain website error crawling, the detail this online tool provides is unmatched. For eCommerce, agencies, publishers and enterprise co's, DeepCrawl is available in "Starter" or "Corporate" versions. Its advanced crawling features, reports and configurations offer deep-dives into every facet of on-page and off-page SEO - at both page and domain level. It's worth taking their free trial for a spin too. Their product guides cover everything from crawling sub-domains and Google Analytics / Search Console integration to restricting a crawl to certain pages, depth or size of a website. Their getting started guide will help you make the most of their software, from the off.

 

Spyfu - for competitive analysis of keywords purchased for PPC ads, organic keywords that rank and every ad variation (including tests) in the last 13 years, this tool is superb - simply enter your competitors domain in the search bar and analyse their entire online real estate in Google. Learn how to connect with these domains, via social media, email, phone, and address. For SEO, uncover the exact content and back-links that lets them outrank you. Create your own custom list of domains and filter by industry, location, ad spend, search traffic, social media, and technologies. Select your plan, with Basic, Pro and Team levels available - all with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

 

Free Excel Workbook for Analyzing Screaming Frog Data by LunaMetrics - a downloadable workbook that counts, totals, and visualises the data Screaming Frog gives you. Used with SF, you're now unstoppable :)

 

BuzzSumo - for content analysis via topic or competitor, is there any tool better? Nice guide here on using BuzzSumo for PR and SEO collab. Free trial available for Pro, Plus and Large account signups here.

 

SEO Powersuite - an excellent suite of software tools for those who are experienced in SEO or new to SEO, this suite covers every step of an SEO campaign, from rankings to on-page and auditing to back-links. Available in "Free", "Professional" and "Enterprise" versions, this SEO toolkit includes 4x tools that cover every aspect of SEO — keywords, rankings, back-links, on-page and content data, mobile SEO, social media, analytics and reporting. With a user-base of over 1/2 million, it's one of the most popular SEO toolkits on the market today.  

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Answer the Public - get content ideas in seconds. Read the mind of your target audience - this tool is part of my daily semantic keyword analysis. From the creators: "As you type you are presented with an aggregated view of the questions & therefore a hint of the motivations & emotions of the people behind each search query. It’s perhaps one of the best but most under-utilised sources of research for content ideas". They offer both an excellent free version and a Pro paid version. See the comparison between free and paid here

 

AWeber - an email marketing solution with 100’s of features, designed for small businesses to make email marketing as simple as possible. Features include newsletter, drag and drop editor, HTML templates, email automation, tagging and multiple users via "team hub". Increase email subscribers with sign-up forms, integrations and API, list importing, management and segmenting. Analysis and performance testing is available through split testing, email tracking and deliverability rate. From $19 per month (for up to 500 subscribers) to $149 per month for up to 25,000 subscribers, they also provide a free 30-day free trial. 

 

Whitespark Citation Finder - perfect for local directory citation investigation, with exportable CSV's. Google My Business and other search engine local listing services, place importance on uniform company web-wide address, telephone and post code evidence, to help build authority, which in turn helps rankings. Both free and paid services are available. 

 

Majestic - the Godfather of link investigation tools. "The planet's largest Link Index database". "Two Indexes, both with mind-blowing numbers - the 'Fresh Index' is the up-to-date list of everything we've found in the past 120 days. Crucially, it also includes deleted and lost links from that period. 'Historic' is a huge database. With records going back over the last five years, you can have peace of mind that you're seeing as complete a backlink profile as its possible to do". Lite and Pro plans available here.

 

PowerMapper - an automatic site mapping tool for information architects, UX analysts and web developers. Shows URL structures in a variety of formats including Title, URL or Title and URL. 30 day free trial here and paid versions (Standard and Pro) available here.  

 

SortSite - from the same makers of PowerMapper, a brilliant website crawler that finds quality issues including accessibility, browser compatibility, broken links, legal compliance, SEO, usability and web standards compliance. 30 day free trial here and paid versions (Standard, Pro and Developer) available here

 

BrowSEO - need a quick look at the SEO of a web page? Maybe you're a consultant needing fast insight? This is a web app that allows you to view any web-page without distractions caused by styles. It also highlights parts of a page that are relevant for SEO. There's nothing to download or install. Just enter an URL to get started. This free web-based tool is simple, yet superbly effective.

 

Convert Web Page to PDF - a super useful tool to quickly transfer web pages to PDF's. 1) Add your URL, 2) Press "Convert", 3) Download PDF. As simple as 1, 2, 3. A free tool that should be part of any consultants, developer's, designer's or sales executive's portfolio.

 

 

Project Management, Workflow & Team Collaboration

 

Evernote - a brilliant tool for organising your ideas, your messaging and your work-space. Manage everything from big projects to personal moments. Capture ideas and inspiration in notes, voice, and pictures. Never lose track of your tasks and deadlines. Free and paid plans are compared and available here

 

Trello - My companies' (Dimmock Web Marketing) favourite project management, workflow and information library tool. Create boards, upload documents, images and files, invite board members and give your projects transparency. All-things-Trello here.

 

XMind - opensource mind-mapping - a full-featured mind mapping and brainstorming tool, designed to generate ideas, inspire creativity, brings you efficiency both in work and life. Tens of million people love it - I do too. Works perfectly with EverNote too. One word: superb! Desktop and mobile versions available here

 

Zapier - work automation at its best - connects apps you use enabling data movement between devices and task automation. Full list of apps to connect can be found here. Free and paid versions (with 14 day trial, no credit card required) available here

 

Internet Marketing & SEO Campaign Management (keeping it all together)

 

SEMRush - this internet and SEO marketing "machine" includes ranking data, social analysis, SEO suggestions, content investigation, competitive analysis, back-link reporting and keyword discovery. Definitely in my top 3, is there any tool better? Check out their free 7x day trials - 7 Day Guru Trial (for SMB's and growing marketing agencies) and 7 Day Pro Trial (for freelancers, startups and in-house marketers with limited budget). Find out more about SEMRush's Success Stories or downloads PDF tool-kits and guides on SEO, PPC (Pay-Per-Click), Online Marketing for Small Businesses and Competitive Research and Market Analysis.

 

Raven Internet Marketing Tools - founded by Jon Henshaw, this must-have internet marketing management system has everything from campaign reporting, audits, metrics, link data, content management, research centres and competitive analysis to CRM, Adwords, Google Webmaster Tools / Analytics connectivity and social media management. One of the best campaign management tools on the market with a 14 day free trial (no credit card required) available.

 

MOZ - founded by Rand Fishkin, this powerhouse includes rankings, link research deep-dives, brand mentions, local search listings, campaign reporting, site crawl test, website error reporting, research tools, content optimisation and social media campaign monitoring.  Again, one of the best internet marketing management tools available, also with a free 30 day PRO trial available. Read more about the MOZ story or check out their free SEO tools.

 

BrightLocal - the all-in-one local marketing platform, offering 4x solutions: Local SEO Tools (user by over 3,500 marketing agencies), Reputation Manager (generate, monitor and respond to reviews), Citation Builder (build local citations and data aggregator submissions) and Agency Lead Generation (engage visitors and get more leads). If you or your agency provide local SEO services or campaign management,  this online software solution will save you time and money. A 14 day free trial (no credit card required) is available, with paid plans including Single Business, Multi Business, SEO Pro and Enterprise. 

 

Toolbars & Plugins (that I can't live without)

 

BuiltWith Extension - find out what a website is built with, by a simple click on the builtWith button.

 

MozBar for Chrome and Firefox - SEO metrics, research, keyword / rank difficulty, page analysis, markup validation and social metrics.

 

FireShot for Chrome and Firefox - powerful screenshot tool including annotations, print, clipboard, email, export, save (PDF, PNG, GIF, JPEG, BMP), capture visible or selection.

 

Majestic Backlink Analyser for Chrome and Firefox - quick backlink investigation and analysis, with one click.

 

Pocket Browser Extensios - in a rush and want to save a web page for later viewing? These plug-ins are a must-have.

 

Buffer for Chrome and Firefox - share content to Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In from anywhere on the web, with one click.

 

Trello Resources for Chrome, Firefox and other browsers - a complete list of every resource, plugin and extension available.

 

Firebug for Chrome (Lite version) and Firefox - inspect HTML, modify style and layout in realtime and debug JavaScript.

 

IE (Internet Explorer) Tab for Chrome - render pages in IE while using Chrome, use ActiveX controls and test pages with different versions of IE (from IE6).

 

Bitly URL Shortener for Chrome - perfect for on-the-fly custom URL shortening, bundles or campaigns.

 

WAVE Accessibility Evaluation Checker - provides visual feedback about the accessibility of your web content via icons and indicators. Of all the plugins I have, this is (by far) my favourite. Try it and see!

 

Chris Pederick's Web Developer for Chrome and Firefox - adds various web developer tools to your browser in a simple-to-use I/F.

 

SEOBook Toolbar for Firefox - good toolbar that provides a ton of on-the-fly SEO data.

 

Brilliant Website Marketing Guides, Blogs, Blog Posts & YouTube Channels

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

 

The Beginners Guide to SEO by Moz - and their free Academy (including previous MozCon vid's)  is chock-full of beginner to advanced material.

 

Distilled's Online University - their paid online university covers everything from search engine basics to information architecture and all previous SearchLove and LinkLove videos. Well worth the subscription, especially for newbies.

 

SEO Starter guide by Google.

 

Search Engine Land's Guide to SEO by themselves.

 

What SEO Beginners Need to Know - A Basic Skills Guide by eConsultancy.

 

Technical SEO Site Audit Checklist by Geoff Kenyon.

 

The Most Actionable SEO Tips Ever by Steve Webb (WebGnomes) - almost 3,000 social shares later, where do I start with this? This was the original crowd-sourced mega post, featuring 47 x SEO professionals, that started it all (IMHO). A real pleasure to be part of!

 

Quick SEO Wins: 31 Ideas from the experts by Matter Solutions - looking for low-hanging SEO quick-win fruit? Featuring me and a host of other pro's, grab a coffee and read.

 

One Sites' Recovery from an Ugly SEO Mess by Alan Bleiweiss - A stunning, detailed account of how Alan turned around the fortunes of a client. Full of gems.

 

7 Alerts to Monitor your SEO Process Opportunities & Issues by Aleyda Solis

 

The 100 Best Free SEO Tools & Resources for Every Challenge - Interactive Guide by Cyrus Shepard. No list would be complete without this - go grab a bucket of coffee..

 

MozCon 2014 Live Notes by Lauren Hall-Stigerts - 59 pages. Fifty-nine damn pages of live note-taking. IMO Lauren ruled the internet that day!

 

Yep, Lauren was back to live note-take at MozCon 2015 - see her awesome notes here (or download her PDF!).

 

SEO Theorems and Principles by SEO Theory (Michael Martinez) - a brilliant deep-dive into SEO theories and principles that should shape your practice.. but be warned, this post is an intense journey. If you're an SEO, one word: READ!

 

 

International SEO

 

Moz's Guide to International SEO - Everything you wanted to learn about international SEO, with excellent visuals.

 

The International SEO Checklist by Aleyda Solis - Nifty infographical checklist (hi-res downloadable). Check out her International SEO Map too.

 

Use hreflang for Language and Regional URLs by Google - excellent guide with video for beginners.

 

Establishing Your International SEO Strategy by SEER Interactive - An A-Z must-read,no further comments required.

 

7 Factors to Check for International SEO - another great post by Aleyda Solis via State of Digital.

 

Creating the Right Home Page for International Users over on Google Webmaster Central Blog.

 

Troubleshooting hreflang Annotations in Webmaster Tools another key post over on GWCB.

 

International SEO Guide by Level 343 (Gabriella Sannino) - "Marketing to another culture is about more than just translating your website and doing a currency conversion" - isn't that the truth! Not sure where to start? Let Gabriella guide you.. 

 

 

Local SEO

 

How to Perform the Ultimate Local SEO Audit by Casey Meraz - the detail this post goes into is frightening!

 

Top Local Citation Sources by Country for USA, Canada, UK and Australia, excellent curated list by Whitespark.

 

The Local Search Ranking Factors by Moz with commentary by experts in the field.

 

SEO for Start-Ups and New Businesses by Andrew Delamarter, a good blueprint to get your brand on the local map, pronto.

 

Visual Guide to Local SEO by Duct Tape marketing, a local SEO infographic that delivers (includes templates, structures and full references)

 

Google'a Pigeon Update by Search Engine Land, a collection of posts featuring Neil Patel, Barry Schwartz, Myles Anderson (BrightLocal), Andrew Shotland, Andrew Dorfman, Gregg

Gifford, Matt McGee and others.

 

Which SMB Sectors Spend More Online & Get Best Returns by Bright Local, the results of the SMB Internet Marketing Survey - a brilliant resource that helps us understand the mindset of small and medium businesses.

 

The Best Local Search Blogs, curated by Bright Local - all-the-local-seo resources in one tidy place!

 

List of Free Local Search Resources by Local Visibility System (Phil Rozek). Check out the "100 practical ideas for Small Business Blog Posts" - a terrific resource!

 

 

eCommerce SEO

 

Perfecting On-Page Optimization for Ecommerce Websites by Paddy Moogan, a go-to guide I refer to regularly.

 

The Ultimate Guide to SEO for eCommerce Websites by Kiss Metrics. What isn't included isn't worth knowing..

 

How to Fix Thin & Duplicate Content for eCommerce SEO by Inflow. If thin or duplicate content is holding your eCom site back, read this first. Probably the best guide on this topic on the internet.

 

Advanced SEO For Ecommerce: Maximizing Keyword Spread by Nick Eubanks. This kick-ass post changed the way I thought about Keywords - thanks Nick!

 

eCommerce SEO - The Complete How-To over on BootStrapping eCommerce (by Shabbir) - This post is an A to Z guide and includes a ton of links and resources plus others to follow on social. Excellently written!

 

 

Video SEO

 

An SEO's Guide to Video Hosting and Embedding by Phil Nottingham - full of insight and advice.

 

Wistia's Guide to Video SEO by Wistia - Excellent guide, from video sitemaps to optimisation after indexation.

 

The Secret Guide to Video and SEO by KissMetrics - setting goals, increasing conversions, attracting links and more.

 

5 SEO Tools You Need to Use BEFORE Publishing a YouTube Video by Ann Smarty on ReelSEO - don't press "publish" until you've read this.

 

Surviving Without Snippets: Your New Video SEO Strategy by Casey Henry - last July, Google pulled the rug of rich-snippetry. So what now? Casey guides us..

 

 

Image Optimisation

 

Yoasts' Optimising Images for SEO - nice beginners guide. Includes finding them, using them in articles and what to do when you add them.

 

How To Optimise Your Images for SEO - a thorough walk-through including stats, file names, sitemaps, site speed, international websites and social media. Excellent post from eConsultancy.

 

Google Developer's Image Optimisation for Content Efficiency - a geek's delight! Everything from Vector vs Raster Images and selecting the right image format to parameter tuning and an image optimisation checklist.

 

18 Image Compressors to Speed Up Your Website - rounding off this section, take it away Mashable: "get aggressive and take control of your image sizes to deliver a faster loading website to your users.." - can't add more. Go create a better user experience..

 

 

Mobile SEO

 

Google Developers' own Mobile SEO Guide contains the four key areas that need consideration: types of configuration, getting search engines to understand your setup, common mistakes to avoid and optimising for tablets and feature phones.

 

If you're looking for a comprehensive step-by-step guide on building a mobile-friendly website, grab yourself a pound of coffee and get reading Distilled's mammoth post.  

 

Search Engine Land's own Mobile SEO Search section is rammed full of useful posts - everything from mobilegeddon to ranking factors and app indexing.

 

Read up on the four most common mobile SEO mistakes that developers make when optimising their websites. Excellent post by Peter Meinertzhagen on eConsultancy.

 

Need some inspiration or ideas for your own mobile-friendly design project? See HubSpot's 15 Examples of Mobile Website Design featuring Shutterfly, Etsy, Huffington Post Nationwide Insurance and SAP - enjoy :)

 

BuiltVisible's monster: The Digital Marketers Guide to Mobile Search & SEO includes optimisation, app indexing and promotion and "mobile first" content development - pure brilliance.. 

 

This new section wouldn't be complete without Sean Malseed's RankTank Mobile-friendly SERP Testing Tool, available on Windows and Macs.

 

 

eCommerce Guides - CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) and UX (User Experience)

 

21 x eCommerce Sites That Are Getting It Right by eConsultancy. Who's setting the examples of what's possible?

 

A Guide To E-Commerce Conversion Tracking Using Google Tag Manager by Pier-Yves Valade over on Ludis Media. Comprehensive guide and another bookmark.

 

15 Hazards That Will Cripple Your E-Commerce Site’s Load Time by Alesia Krush (of Link Assistant) over on KissMetrics. Well now you know. Go fix! 

 

User Experience Tips: How to Seduce eCommerce Visitors to Buy on SituatedResearch. Today's challenge: spot what they left out!

 

 

Website Navigation - Faceted, Filtered & Category

 

Guide to eCommerce Facets, Filters and Categories by Frank Scharnell.

 

Faceted Navigation Best (and 5 of the worst) Practices via Google Webmaster Central (H/T ).

 

Filters vs. Facets: Definitions by Nielsen Norman Group.

 

Tips for Filtered Navigation in eCommerce by John Doherty.

 

Filtered Navigation in eCommerce - Tips, Do's & Don'ts by eConsultancy.

 

 

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

 

The Beginners Guide to CRO by Qualaroo - new to all-things CRO? This visual guide includes every facet to help increase your conversions.

 

The Small Business Guide to CRO by Simply Business - Flowchart format with a ton of links out to resources.

 

Definitive Guide to Conversion Optimisation by Neil Patel & Joseph Putnam over on Quick Sprout. Excellent advice in chapter 2 "gather data" and chapter 3 "mine for actionable insights".

 

ConversionXL - a CRO blog by Peep Laja - an A-Z of CRO marvelousity. Subscribe to his email newsletter too ;)

 

No CRO section would be complete without Nick Eubanks, so here's a few of my favourite UX posts to get your teeth into: 5 UX Hacks That Can Immediately Increase Revenue & some head-smacking with These Simple UX Changes Grew Sales 50%.

 

Did you know that Joel Klettke runs The Pit: Landing Page Critiques group over on Inbound.Org? If you need to improve your CRO (who doesn't?!) go take a look and get involved!

 

 

Technical SEO - posts by Google

 

Pagination with rel=“next” and rel=“prev” (note: this is no longer an indexing signal - confirmed by Google)

 

Using Canonical URLs

 

Dynamic URLs vs Static URLs - What's the difference?

 

The Impact of Duplicate URLs

 

Categorising Parameters with the URL Parameters page

 

Manage URLs with Multiple Parameters

 

View All in Search Results (note: this is no longer an indexing signal - confirmed by Google)

 

 

Technical SEO - non-Google posts

 

Rel=Canonical Cheatsheet by Pat Marcello.

 

How and When to Use 301's vs Rel=Canonical by Brad Miller.

 

Moz's Guide to URL Redirection including SEO Best-Practice.

 

 

Link Acquisition

 

Beginners Guide to Link Building by Paddy Moogan - the same chap who wrote the book below..

 

The Link Building Book by Paddy Moogan - if you've haven't already got this, give yourself a slap.

 

Link Building Tactics: The Complete List by PointBlankSEO (Jon Cooper) - filter the list of tactics by "time to execute" & "dependencies".

 

Link Building - The Definitive Guide by Backlinko - nicely curated collection of link building resources.

 

Three excellent posts by Julie Joyce: The Seven Golden Rules of Link Building Revisited,  How To Build Relationships And Links For Your Business (Cool interview with Ronell Smith over on Authority Labs) and How Can Link Builders Keep Learning? which includes links to link-building and SEO blogs.  

 

 

Search Engine Algorithms - History, Updates & Penalty Recovery

 

Moz's Google Algo Change History - 15 years of documented updates.

 

Your Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird - Marine Haynes' "textbook" on all-things algo.

 

Google Penguin Resource Guide by Linkarati - a brilliantly curated post for all-things Penguin (love the visuals!).

 

A Guide to Google Panda Recovery - excellent, well-written piece by Marcus Taylor (Venture Harbour).

 

Google's Penalty Box - Could Your Webmaster Tools Be Keeping You There? - excellent insight by Sha Menz.

 

HummingBird Unleashed by Gianluca Firoelli - Gianluca waited for the dust to settle before publishing this. His post cites many back-up sources, making this resource invaluable.

 

Google's "Mobile-Friendly" update went live 21st April 2015 and caused quite a stir. Google provided some (much-needed) facts about the mobile update on the day.

 

 

Algorithm Monitoring Tools

 

Panguin Tool - log-in via Google Analytics and see which update may have hit your (or your clients) website.

The best SERP algo fluctuation tools I use include: MozCast by Moz, Algaroo by DejanSEO, Flux by SERPMetrics and Pulse by Ayima.

 

 

Semantics, Entities, Machine Learning and Google Patents

 

SEO by the SEO - Bill Slawski's library of insight, knowledge and patent information.

 

Semantic SEO: Making the Shift from Strings to Things - Aaron Bradley's post is one of the best I've read and perfect for old-school SEO's looking to make the semantic step-up.

 

Future SEO: String Entity Optimization - an interview with Barbara Starr by Paul Bruemmer on Search Engine Land.

 

5 Questions About Semantic SEO - by Matthew Brown on the current state (although June 2013, still 100% relevant) of semantic SEO and structured data.

 

Machine Learning Basics for Better Content & SEO Results by Doc Sheldon - excellent beginner guide to machine learning and learning algorithms.

 

Deep Learning - a new area of Machine Learning research, moving Machine Learning closer to one of its original goals: Artificial Intelligence.

 

A great list of resources for data science, visualization, machine learning and big data by Data Science Central - a curated beast.

 

An Introduction to Entities and What Is HummingBird and the Entity Search Revolution by David Amerland - good Slideshare presentations on understanding what entities are, how they work and Google's HummingBird.

 

I Am An Entity - Hacking the Knowledge Graph by Andrew Isidoro. An excellent deep-dive into Google's Knowledge Graph - how they're born, data sources and search behaviour. Then he asked Could Branded Web Mentions Supplement the Link Graph? citing patents and Bill Slawski - top-grade insight by Andrew.

 

 

Content Strategy

 

The Epic List of Content Strategy Resources - What hasn't Jonathon Colman included in this excellent post? 

 

Developing a Content Strategy by The Content Marketing Institute.

 

The What and Why of Content Strategy by Usability.gov - these folks are the "leading resource for user experience (UX) best practices and guidelines, serving practitioners and students in the government and private sectors" - enough said.

  

5 Strategic Steps to Big Content by Mackenzie Fogelson. This post, in itself, is BIG content. Read, bookmark and follow Mack's advice.

 

3 Questions You Must Ask Before Outsourcing Content by Ronell Smith. Another straight talker, don't even think about hiring, till you've read this..

 

What is Creativity by Shelli Walsh over at ShellShock UK. This free e-book is the best I've read on all-things-creativity. Submit your name, email and bingo, you're onto an all-nighter!

 

How To Structure a Killer Content Marketing Campaign by Sean Smith over on SEONick, Nick Eubanks' awesome blog.

 

Personas: The Art and Science of Understanding the Person Behind the Visit by Michael King - What are they? How do you build them? User Journeys, outreach and psychology - this resource has it all.

 

Content Strategy Helper Tool – Version 3 by BuiltVisible - using Google Spreadsheets, this 3rd update is a complete rework of the tool with new social sites, content aggregators and news sources. How does Richard Baxter and his team produce this awesomeness?

 

What is a Channel Plan and Why Do I Need One? by Kate Hagan over on Content Harmony. Your content's ready? Great. How you going to distribute and promote it once it's been published? Read on.

 

Content Marketing Budget Examples For All Business Sizes by Kane Jamison (founder of Content Harmony). What should businesses (of all sizes) and marketers expect to spend on content marketing? What kind of output can they expect to see in return? Invaluable insight!

 

SEO Essentials for the Content Strategist by Todd McDonald. I know I use "must-read" a lot, but goodness me, if you're wondering how content strategy & SEO can work together, this whopper is your breakfast, lunch & evening meal!

 

Rand Fishkin's Whiteboard Friday on Why Good Unique Content Needs To Die discusses the content bar we should be aiming for and how to get there.

 

 

Copywriting

 

Business Casual Copywriting Blog is Joel Klettke's baby. How he crafts his words (exquisite), his directness (refreshing) and his tenacity to say it like it is means checking him out.

 

How to Write Effective Copy for Your Website by Distilled - Research, USP's, writing like a human and staying consumer focused - it's all here. Fabulous stuff!

 

Essential Copywriting Tips for the 3 Most Important Pages on Your Website by Berry Feldman over on HubSpot - Your "Home", "Landing" and "About" pages, dissected. Must-read!

 

75 Resources for Writing Incredible Copy that Converts by Kiss Metrics - Yep, seventy-five (a weeks worth?) resources including posts, infographics, guides, books, courses, websites and blogs on all-things-copywriting including headline writing, CTA's, eCommerce copy and conversion / landing pages. Features (among many) Copyblogger, QuickSprout, UnBounce, Nick Usborne and Copy Hackers. Dive in :)

 

 

Infographics

 

Infographics as a Creative Assessment by Kathy Schrock - an entire collection of all-things-infographics.

 

The Beginner’s Guide To Creating and Promoting Infographics by Kristi Hines - useful step-by-step guide - why, how and promotion.

 

SEO Guide to Creating Viral Linkbait and Infographics by Ed Fry over on Distilled - Brainstorm, research and analysis, design and presentation, publishing and sharing. HUGE. Free workbook too

13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics by Neomammaliam Studios (run by Danny Ashton) - this (stunning) infographic "exposes the science behind the boom".

 

9 of the Best Animated Infographics on the Web (no kidding!) - a collection of what-can-be-achieved infographics, by those super people at Neomam.

 

10 Reasons Why You Should Care About Visual Content Marketing - yep, another from Neomam. They are an infographic powerhouse.

 

 

MicroData / Schema.Org

 

MicroData, JSON-LD & Schema.org - Rich Snippets: Everything You Need to Know - by Daniel Butler over at BuiltVisible (I'd suggest following Richard Baxter - their founder, too).

 

Structured Data Markup Validation and Testing Tools - a brilliant resource by SEOSkeptic (Aaron Bradley).

 

Basic Vocabulary for schema.org and Structured Data - learn all the lingo and terminology in another great guide from SEOSkeptic.

 

20 Ways Business to Business SEO's Can Leverage Schema.org Markup by Search Engine Land - want to get ahead of the B2B game using rich snippets and markup? Read on.. 

 

Promote Your Content with Structured Data Markup by Google Webmasters - a step-by-step walkthrough with useful Google and non-Google resources.

 

The Meta and Rich Snippet Tester, created by Sean Malseed is simply brilliant. Bill Sebald wrote a helpful user-guide too.

 

 

Content Management Systems (CMS)

 

WordPress SEO - The Definitive Guide to Higher Rankings for WordPress Sites by Yoast.

 

A Complete Joomla SEO Guide by Themexpert.

 

RSSEO - RSJoomla's excellent SEO plugin for Joomla - we use this SEO addon on the website's we build using this CMS. This link provides 3 levels of subscription: 1 Year Single Site, 1 Year Multiple Sites and 6 Months Multiple Sites.

 

OpenCart SEO - The Ultimate Guide Part 1 and Part 2 by themselves.

 

SEO Settings for WIX by themselves (includes Basic, Advanced, Site Visibility, Google Search Console and Wix's SEO Wizard).

 

ExpressionEngine SEO by Caffeine Creations.

 

The Definitive Guide to Magento SEO by Paul Rogers.

 

 

Social Media Strategy

 

The Beginners Guide to Social Media by Moz - Covers value, best practices, metrics and ROI, finding the right network and super guides to all social platforms.

 

Getting Started With Social Media: A Resource Guide by Social Media Examiner - a super-helpful, nicely curated collection of the "how, why and what" of social media platforms.

 

Step by Step Guide to Your Social Media Success by Simply Business - a practical flowchart, with the "best of the best" advice. Awesome!

 

Killer Tips for a Powerful Social Media Strategy by Lyndon Antcliff over on CognitiveSEO - contains more insight and advice than many so-called "guides" on the 'net. Bookmark!

 

 

Paid Search Advertising

 

So what exactly is PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and Paid Advertising? Search Engine Land go into detail and explain. 

 

The PPC Guide for Beginners Part 1 - Intro to PPC ROI  by Wordstream - The next 4 x guides are: Part 2 - Setting Your PPC Goals, Part 3 - The Landing Page Dilemma, Part 4 - Finding Your Keywords and Part 5 - Bringing It All Together. If you're new to PPC, this series is a great place to start.

 

Are you a Small Business thinking of using Google Adwords? Cool, you'll find the SimplyBusiness Adwords Starter Guide super-useful.

 

Feeling a little more confident with Adwords? Great, take a lookie at Search Engine Land's extensive selection of posts and guides.

 

Want to know what's happening Inside Adwords? Check out Google's official blog for news, tips and information on just that!

 

Have you considered adding Bing Ads to your (or your clients) marketing mix? Wordstream shows 7 Ways that Bing Ads Beat Google Adwords.

 

Already have a Bing Ads account? AdStage's Comprehensive Guide to Auditing Your Bing Ads Account covers account organisation, campaign settings, keyword audits, negative keywords, landing pages and more. 

 

 

Social Media Paid Advertising

 

If you're new to social media advertising, first take a look at HootSuite's Beginners Guide - it's huge and extremely helpful!

 

BufferApp's Beginner's Guide is worth a look too and covers Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In.

 

Hubspot's Field Guide to Twitter Advertising shows you how to create and launch (successful) campaigns. Includes getting started, ad types, followers, conversions, leads, promoted tweets, audience targeting and a TON more. Extensive! 

 

SproutSocial's Beginners Guide to Facebook Advertising is equally as huge, covering business pages, campaign objectives, budgeting, placements, ad types, "likes" and app engagement. Yep, everything!

 

What doesn't SeerInterative's brilliant Pinterest: A Guide for Marketers include? Snuggly presented as 8 sections (beginner, intermediate, advanced, marketing, advertising, tools, analytics and history) I haven't found a better, more comprehensive guide on Pinterest Marketing. Bookmark!

 

Another superb guide from SproutSocial - this time covering all-things Linked-In Advertising. Company pages, showcase pages, self-serve PPC advertising, partner solutions, sponsored InMail and group ads. Another bookmark!

 

Want to advertise on the most popular social network for young people? HootSuite's Everything You Need To Know About Instagram Ads is, well, exactly that. Need to know the impact Instagram is having? Check out the links to useful resources.

 

Rounding this section off, Contently produced a Beginners Guide to YouTube Advertising infographic that covers useful stats, YouTube's 4 types of ads, TrueView technical requirements, targeting your ideal audience and super ideas for making your ad stand out.   

 

 

Internet Marketing Blogs

 

Inbound.Org's "Ask Me Anything" Q&A series includes a host of industry practitioners. And yes, they answer every question posted/

 

Blind Five Year Old by AJ Kohn - AJ's blog is stack-full of insights and research, covering many topics in unique way that gets to the bottom line. Follow! 

 

Annielytics.com by Annie Cushing - collection of analytics insights, tips and advice, plus her collection of internet marketing tools on spreadsheet

 

Matthew Barby's Blog - Matthew covers everything from Facebook Likes to growing a social following from zero and harnessing the power of influencers. A superb blogger..

 

Google's Blog - all the latest news from Google

 

Higher Visibility's Blog - check out their "What you need to know" posts, which is why I love reading HigherVisibility - they cut out BS

 

David Naylor's Blog - Director of Bronco, David isn't afraid to share his opinions on industry news and trends (thank goodness - we need more like him!)

 

SEMRush's Blog - covers every search engine marketing topic imaginable. The SEMRush team really engages the online marketing community. Special mentions to Elizaveta PerstnevaElena Terentyeva and Arina Boykova.

 

Moz's Blog - some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry post on the Moz blog. Their YouMoz blog is also worth a read. Check out Rand's own blog too - very honest, authentic and personal account of his own opinions and life experiences

 

Portent's Blog, with regular posts from Ian Lurie. Similar to Rand's blog, Ian's candidness and humility is a breath of fresh air

 

Matt Cutt's Blog - although currently on a sabbatical from Google, Matt still shares his thoughts on all-things-internet and technology

 

Bruce Clay's Blog - if it's happening in the world of internet marketing or SEO, these guys and girls are normally reporting on it or sharing gold-dust

 

SEO Theory's Blog - Martin Martinez has been building and promoting Websites since 1996, so his insights and advice is well worth following

 

Yoast's WordPress Blog - an essential read for serious Wordpress developers. Joost de Valk posts a ton of SEO-based information. Well worth a follow

 

SEONo Blog by Steve Morgan - another SEO who's not afraid to voice his opinion and set the record straight. Like his style and suggest following him

 

SEONick Blog by Nick Eubanks - best know for his CRO and UX posts, he's also a Keyword Research samurai..

 

DejanSEO's Blog by Dan Petrovic - creator of Algaroo, his daily insights on SERP fluctuation and SEO is a must-follow for SEO's

 

Siege Media's Blog by founder Ross Hudgens, who brought you "How to improve Title Tag CTR by 20%+" - need I say more?

 

These big four need no explanation: Search Engine Land (on Twitter), Search Engine Watch (on Twitter), Search Engine Round Table (on Twitter) & Search Engine Journal (on Twitter)

 

 

Business & Personal Growth Blogs

 

James Altucher's Blog by James Altucher - Since finding James' blog, it's transformed how I think about the choices I make and being true to who I am. His straight-talking, no-nonsense approach to life and genuine helpfulness make his blog invaluable.

 

LifeHack by Leon Ho - founded in 2005, his blog offers insight, tips and a sh!t ton of personal development commentary. Well worth following

 

Zen Habits by Leo Babauta - Leo's blog is my weekly read of all-things-priority. Just check out his archive and deep-delve into insights, mindsets and why YOU are worth it :)

 

Seth Godin's Blog by Seth Godin - Aside from his brilliant marketing books, Seth also provides regular short post on all-things personal growth, life and answering the question "Why?"

 

 

Videos & YouTube Channels - SEO, Google & TedTalks

 

SEER Interactive - founded by Wil Reynolds, these guys and girls keep raising the bar. Kudos to a shining light in our industry. Check out Wil's blog and his own YouTube channel - both full of insight and advice

 

Moz - founded by Rand Fishkin, this team of people live by TAGFEE

 

Google Webmasters - includes Webmaster Office Hours with Japanese, Chinese, English, English / Hindi, German & Russian languages and (of course) John Mueller's commentary

 

Raven Tools - videos include RavenTools tutorials and videos from pro's around the globe. If you use their software, subscribe!

 

SEO Training Dojo - as the motto says "where warriors are made". Run by David Harry and Terry Van Horne with guests who know their onions.

 

Search Engine Roundtable - run by RustyBrick (Barry Schwartz), often the best place for latest news and search engine trends. 

 

EvolvingSEO - run by Dan Shure with practical tips and advice from Webmaster Tools to choosing SEO as a career.

 

99U - Behance's research and education arm. It takes its name from Thomas Edison's famous quote that "Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration"

 

TEDTalks - shares ideas and inspiration from TED talk from around the world. If you want to grow personally and professionally, hit the subscribe button!

 

Business Growth Books

 

Good to Great by Jim Collins - from the author of the equally ground-breaking management book Built to Last, in this Jim asks "Can a good company become a great company? If so, how?" Along with his team, he researched 1,435 companies over a period of five years, to find out which had experienced the most exceptional improvements to their performance over time. He settled for eleven companies, including Gillette, Walgreens and Wells Fargo. This book explores the traits of those eleven high-performance companies. If you run an internet marketing agency with staff, this book (especially if you read in conjunction with "The Marking Agency Blueprint", below) will help you stand out from the (ever-increasing) agency crowd if you learn and deploy the traits discussed.  

 

The Marketing Agency Blueprint by Paul Roetzer - similar to Jim Collins "Good to Great" (above) this had a profound effect on how I viewed, run and grew my web marketing business. Processes, systems, client relations, lead generation and marketing are the name of the agency game. Without clearly defined strategies and action plans for each segment, problems can occur. When problems surface, the ability to spot them soon enough and rectify them, sets the pros apart from the amatuers. Thsi book covers: eliminating billable hours, becoming a hybrid, talent within teams, scaling infrastructure, developing a marketing gameplan, managing your sales funnel, client relations, delivering results, embracing failure (yes, we've all been there) and answering the question "What is your purpose?". A wonderful book for agencies and consultants that covers every facet of developing an internet marketing company. If you're looking to start a digital marketing business, read this.

 

The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson - do you manage or supervise people? Are you new to management or have just been promoted to your first management role? First published in 1983, this easy-to-read classic offers three secrets to managerial success: one minute goals (task expectations and immediate motivation), one minute praisings (catching people doing something right, instead of when doing something wrong) and one minute reprimands (immediate feedback). When I first read this book, its simple-to-read formular took a little getting used to. My approach was "management books should be a thousand pages, right??" Wrong.. this little book gets to the core areas fast (beginning with a small story) and provides actionable tips and suggestions that can be implemented straight away.

 

The EMyth Revisited by Michael G Gerber - thinking of starting a new business or freelancing? Not where you want to be running your own business? An Amazon review comment sums this book up perfectly: "Gerber is correct that most entrepreneurs are limited by a comfort zone of wanting to remain in control as either strong technicians or managers, which limits the potential of the business. As soon as they exceed what they can handle, the business either fails in a break-out attempt or shrinks back to a simpler state. The new businesses that succeed the most are the ones that have a business model that is easy to replicate with ordinary people."  Working on your business not in your business means wrestling away from having a "technical" or "manager" mindset. Sure, it can be a little hard to implement, requires commitment and needs you to lessen your control, but if you want to grow your business, this is an important read.

 

Setting the Table by Danny Meter - this book focuses on "serving" and having a mentality that's obsessed about "hospitality". Don't be fooled by the title - this book isn't about just running a successful restaurant (although if you're running a restaurant, you'll equally benefit!). It's a book written for every business owner and entrepreneur and focuses especially on how to work with your staff. The book includes insights, lessons and inspirations from one of the worlds leading entrepreneurs and offers a blueprint for any service-related business.

 

Personal Development Books

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie - first published in 1937, this timeless classic educates us on people skills, communication and how to influence. It's also sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and is required reading for both personal and professional soft-skills development. Have you ever met someone that immediately made you feel at ease? Or who seems so pleasant that they make you genuinely feel good about yourself? Or someone that makes you feel inspired or gives you confidence? These are the soft-skill developmental outcomes that this book will help you achieve. I first read this book in 1994, when it helped me immeasurably with learning how to work with clients at their level. Needless to say, as a web consultant, if you haven't already read this, make it your next read.

 

Screw It, Let's Do It by Sir Richard Branson - As one of the books comments suggests "It's a short series of anecdotal life lessons suitable for teenagers as well as adults. If you want something to give to an aspiring young entrepreneur, or something light and stirring to read in an evening, this is the book". Topics include: just doing it, having fun, being bold, challenging yourself, standing on your own feet, living the moment, valuing family and friends, having respect and doing good. I found Richard's style of writing to the point, simple yet extremely insightful. One of the best books I've read on achieving success, from a business person that commands respect.

 

The Power of No by James Altucher - an admission: for a lot of my life, I was a "yes" person. It was the easiest word to say to please people, to do things for other people, to be the "go-to" guy and to feel accepted and validated by others. Problem was, in trying to make other people happy, I was fast becoming the most unhappiest person I knew. I was stretched and stressed way beyond my boundaries. I then began to realise the answer: getting better at saying "NO!" didn't make anyone (including me) die. Then, in 2014, James released this wonderful book that further strengthened my resolve to being a "NO!" advocate. Want to claim back your personal power, boundaries and sovereignty? Read this book.  

 

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey  - released in 2004, this book is a masterpiece in understanding how action-orientated people get things done. Learning and understanding these 7 habits positively changed my approach to life, both personally and professionally: pro-activity, beginning with the end in mind, priorities, win/wins, understanding then being understood, synergy and "sharpening the saw". I can't count how many times I've recommended this book, so if you're looking for guidance in living a fruitful life, through integrity, service to others, humility and dignity, this is your book. 

 

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson - a parable that takes place in a maze with two mice (Sniff and Scurry) and two "little people" (Hem and Haw), about their relationships with cheese (aka "change"). To the reader, "cheese" can be a job, our health, our career or our relationships. The moral of the story is to be alert to changes and be prepared to go searching for new sources of cheese when the "cheese" we have runs out. This book helped me understand how change can be embraced and that being more adaptable enables me to take advantage of the opportunities that change brings about. If you or someone you know you fears or resists change, this little story will help you see change as an enabler, not a limiter. 

 

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers - I first read this book back in the mid 1990's, at a time when I suffered from a number of debilitating anxieties and fears. It taught me that it's 100% OK to feel fear and ties in with an acronym I once read that fear is "false evidence appearing real". As emotions, fear and anxiety can hold us back in many ways, both in our personal and professional lives. Thankfully, this book taught me to attempt things inspite of the fear I felt and to detach myself from the emotion I was feeling. This classic helped me overcome many fear or worry-based challenges using a little courage, a little confidence and a large dose of comfort avoidance. If fear is holding you back, you'll love this practical, actionable book.

 

Search Inside Yourself by Google engineer Chade-Meng Tan. Did you know that the "Search Inside Yourself" programme has been run for staff working at Google since 2007? This book is based on that course and focuses on developing emotional intelligence through mindfulness. "This book will show you how to apply the principles of ‘Search Inside Yourself’ to you, your business and everyday life." - one of the best books I've read on self development.

 

The Last Lecture by professor Randy Pausch - Randy sadly died in 2008 due to cancer. Before he learned of his terminal illness, instead of grieving, he wrote this inspirational book for his three young children which was then thankfully published for the benefit of all. About the gift of life and making a difference in this world, he said: 'We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.' - this special book changed how I view (and participate in) life and helped me understand how "now" is all we really ever have, no matter who we are or how much we think we have under our control.

 

The Power of Less by Leo Babauta - we live in a society where we're told constantly that "more" is better. Whether that's a better car, more holidays, better clothes or more technology, we're told to be happy we need to remove "lack" from our lives. However, the description of this excellent book says it all: "we do not need to keep up with the Joneses. The flip side of our society's growth is that we can choose what to accept and what not to accept; what to keep and what to lose." This book helps you work on three key areas and gives deep insights into a) why less is powerful, b) how to know what you want and what you need and c) how to choose what is essential and clear out the rest. 

 

Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - "passionately argued, superbly researched and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts - and how you see yourself." - one of the best books I've read on understanding the personality of introverts. Whether you work with introverts, market to introverts, sell to them or indeed are an introvert yourself, this book is a "soft skills" and "A to Z must. Understanding how other personalities think, what motivates them, their fears and what excites them, doesn't just help communicating with them in real-life - it can also pay dividends for online user experience, if introverts are part of your core market.

 

Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely - "irrationality plays an important role in our day-to-day decision-making—not just in our financial marketplace, but in the most hidden aspects of our lives" - get deep insights into irrational decision-making (and why it's important that you get good at practicing it). This book is an easy read and is backed up by interesting-yet-thorough research and complimented by a very personal approach. Dan's previous book, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions is equally insighful. IMHO both are required reading.

 

Website Marketing Books

 

Essential Digital Marketing for Small Business - a collaboration with me, Simon Dunant, Heather Robinson, Joe Pulizzi, Lotta Holmberg, Kevin Jones, Ruth Noel-Samaroo and others on how small businesses can grow their brand and generate leads using the internet. Sections include social media, content marketing, search engine marketing, SEO (my bit!), blogging, mobile marketing and training providers.   

 

Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals - written by Bruce Clay and featuring wisdom collected from Chelsea Adams, Paula Allen, Kristi Kellogg, Virginia Nussey, Lee Odden, Lisa Buyer, Jonathon Colman, Brian Solis, Ric Dragon, Wistia and others, this excellent book's topics include: reaching business goals with content marketing and SEO, planning a content marketing campaign, choosing content topics that lead to customers, blogging: the axis of a content marketing strategy, "I don't have to be the expect to be the go-to", video: it's time to shine, images (it's about the message), live events, social media: talking with people, not at them and "paid, earned and owned media". As an "all in" resource for constructing your content marketing strategy, I couldn't recommend another book, especially as the authors are all leading content marketing practitioners.   

 

Content Strategy for the Web - a ground-breaking book, written by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach, this is an excellent (and heavy-going) guide to forming a content strategy synergy across all the marketing channels you promote in. With tools, resources and examples of different types of strategy to consider, the authors have left nothing out. I've also found this book useful for handing out to clients who need to understand the different between writing a 500 word blog post and developing a long-term content strategy. The more your client understands the "why" behind content strategy, the faster they'll become an active participant (key to any web marketing strategy).

 

The Art of SEO (Third Edition) co-authored by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiola and Rand Fishkin - now in it's 3rd incarnation, this book is only one of a few I'd recommend you read, whether you're an absolute beginner or running your own SEO business. Why? The authors have worked through a number of key search engine time-frames and events and lived to tell the tale. This boob covers a vast amount, including: 1) exploring SEO's underlying theory and practicalities, 2) demystifying  the roles of social media, user data and algorithms including Google's Panda and Penguin updates, 3) measuring success and tracking results (including your competitors) using suggested tools, 4) spotting opportunities that can be found in mobile, local and vertical SEO and 5) building a well-performing SEO A-Team with well-defined roles. I refer back to this book often, due to it's in-depth exploration of putting the pieces of the SEO jigsaw puzzle together. 

 

Call to Action - Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results - want to increase your website's ability to generate leads, sell more, gain subscribers or whatever action(s) you want your visitors to take? Sometimes the smallest improvements made to a visitors website journey can pay the biggest dividends. This practical, down-to-earth classic, written by Bryan Eisenberg (@TheGrok), covers the following conversion rate optimisation (CRO) areas: planning, structuring, communicating, momentum and optimising. At 258 pages, there's nothing this book has left out and yes, visitor psychology, page copy, website micro-moments and overcoming conversion obstacles are included. This was the first book I read on call to actions and it revolutionised my understanding of why websites exist. Add it to your library, now.

 

Social PR Secrets - what doesn't this book cover? Written by Lisa Buyer and featuring every conceivable area of social media strategy, creativity and management, I read this (having won it in a contest conducted by Lisa) early on in my career as an SEO consultant running their own business. I knew I needed to development my social engagement, interaction and conversational skills and this book provided many actionable tips and techniques. Topics covered include: social PR evolution and revolution, today's media relations, the new press release, content strategy, editorial calendar, online newsrooms, the art and science of social publishing, managing a community, customer service, LinkedIn secrets, Twitter secrets and a whole lot more.

 

Million Dollar Websites by Rebecca Murtagh - do you market your business to the c-suite? Are you an executive looking to update or re-design your corporate website? This book was written for both consultants (to understand the c-suite's typical mentality to websites) and the c-suite (to understand key user experience, navigational and promotional considerations). This 268 pager includes a ton of information: what is a "million dollar" website? money pit vs money tree, avoiding costly mistakes, planning, knowing your customer, goals, KPI's, defining a strategy, SEO, content, assets, development budgets and keys to building your web team.  

 

Don't Make Me Think (revisited) - the original bible of usability and user experience, written by Steve Krug. I can't think of another website usability book (perhaps with the exception of Nathalie Nahai's book below) that covers its subject in such a fundamentally easy-to-read, visually insightful way. Many of todays experts cite this book as their original starting point into all-things UX. The book covers: how we really use the web, designing for scanning (not reading), why users like mindless choices, not writing for the web, navigation, avoiding UX arguments, testing, mobile considerations and accessibility. Like most of the other books within this resource, this deserves a place on your bookshelf. 

 

Webs of Influence - written by Nathalie Nahai, this excellent book (one of the first that covered the psychology of the web in such detail) explores the secret psychology behind what makes visitors click through to (and stay on) websites. Split into three sections, you'll find out how to: 1) know who you're targeting: the human brain, psychology, cultural differences and individual preferences, 2) communicating persuasively online: websites, images, videos, colours and social media and 3) sell online with integrity: influence, reputation capital, increasing sales, pricing, value, the 'behaviour chain', risk, trust and privacy. This is also a great book to give clients prior to them embarking on a website update or re-design. The section on cultural differences is especially insightful if you or your client sells internationally online.

 

Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions (updated 2012 version) - by Tim Ash, the original (written in 2008) was a ground-breaker in optimising core landing pages. My own copy has more scribbled notes, folded pages and highlights than most of my other books. With 150 pages, the coverage is vast: identifying which parts of your site are critical, defining visitor classes and key conversion tasks, avoiding common pitfalls, deploying neuro-marketing and persuasion techniques, lead generation best practices, uncovering problem pages, testing elements, writing a conversion strategy or action plan and gaining buy-in from key personnel. Of all the books I've read (and I've read a quite a few) this stands out as the one so fundamental to website success that not reading it or following it's suggestions could be deemed as website marketing malpractice.

 

Search Patterns: Design for Discovery by Peter Morville - the challenges of "search" and building usable search experiences. One of the books reviews sums this read up perfectly: "In the preface Morville sets out to tear down the walls between disciplines, and at this he succeeds. From user psychology to technical considerations to the specific components of the user interface, Search Patterns has something for everyone involved in implementing search... "Search Patterns" is a must-read for everyone collaborating on a search application. It will give your team of designers, engineers, and business stakeholders a common vocabulary and greater awareness of the many sides of search". My 13 year old found this book invaluable in better understanding online search, user psychology and pattern recognition - needless to say, just like his dad, it changed his outlook towards the web too! A must-read!

 

Create Magnetic Headlines by Lyndon Antcliff - Available on Kindle, if you're responsible for creating online content or writing copy for your website, this book shows you, step by step, how to produce attention grabbing headlines and will help you create compelling content that stands out through the distraction of a social media addicted readership. Written by my good friend,  Lyndon introduces you (maybe for the first time) to the primal brain and why you need to understand how it works: "If you don’t trigger the primal brain with a well-crafted headline, your body content will never be seen by anyone."  The second half of this book provides a ton of headline examples covering many topics, especially good to get the juices flowing when you hit a creative brick-wall.

 

eCommerce SEO: An advanced guide to on-page search engine optimization for ecommerce by Traian Neacsu - I don't normally purchase SEO-related books, especially on topics that can change often (due to Google's algorithym updates) because the information presented can become obsolete pretty soon after it's released. However, this guide covers core and fundamental practices of eCommerce SEO in an easy-to-read, image-friendly format. The topics include every SEO consideration of an eCommerce site, from website architecture, keyword research, crawl optimisation and internal linking to optimising home pages, listing pages (department, category and sub-category) and product details pages. Worth a read, whether you're an SEO novice, seasoned pro or an eCommerce site owner with little SEO knowledge. 

 

Marketing Books & Events

 

Marketing Books

 

Seth Godin is one of my favourite all-time authors because he's written a number of powerful, thought-provoking books on many different aspects of marketing. Four books that have helped me the most include:

 

  • Tribes - We Need You To Lead Us - don't pass up the opportunity to lead - start a movement, bring together a tribe of like-minded people and doing amazing things with them and for them
  • Purple Cow - insights on standing out from the crowd, getting heads turning and being the "remarkable" option when your ideal customers are looking for that something in your market place or niche
  • Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers - delving into the strategies of 7 major companies, Seth suggests we focus on discovering the customer's problem and getting permission to follow up with e-mail. The term "permission marketing" is used widely to explain the differences between "push vs pull" marketing (traditional vs online)
  • Meatball Sundae - Seth wrote a post that explains what's wrong with the scattershot approach many organisations take with marketing and why he wrote this book. Although written in 2009, it was way ahead of its time and applies to marketing now, more than ever. This sums up what businesses need to strive for, perfectly: "New Marketing - whipped cream and a cherry on top—isn’t magical. What’s magical is what happens when an organization uses the New Marketing to become something it didn’t used to be—it’s not just the marketing that’s transformed, but the entire organization."

 

The Essential Persona Lifecycle by Tamara Adlin -  one of the few books available today that covers creating personas, how to use them and evaluating them over time in so much depth. If you just need to know what to do and what order to do it in, this book will change how you think about your online target audience. I found the insights especially useful for studying buyers on diverse products and services that appealed to multiple personas. One of the most common challenges facing website owners is not knowing who their target audience really is and creating content that doesn't engage or resonate with them. This book helps address that challenge by putting you into the mind of your ideal buyer(s). This book is equally a required read for offline (traditional) marketers too and should be on the book-shelf on any marketing department.

 

Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath - As a marketer, do you need to get your ideas across to people more effectively? This book offers practical advice, suggestions and a process to follow, to help your messaging not only get to your customers, but also to 'get through to them' (to stick). Whether web copy, traditional copy or ad copy, this book is one of my  favourite reads. As the intro states "Sticky = understandable, memorable and effective in changing thought or behaviour". Do you want your communication with your clients to be sticky?

 

Youtility - Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype by Jay Baer - Succintly summed up, this book compels teaches you that "to win attention these days, you must ask a different question: 'How can we help?'". I bought this book back in 2013 and soon after, my business grew and increased substantially because I decided to make "helping people" my #1 priority after reading it. I found that people remember how your helped them far more than what you said or wrote. By helping them, I don't mean superficially. I mean showing them how much you care by helping them in ways that no other person would. Today we live in a business culture of "me, me, me" - but if you're the one person who stands out in their day because you focus on "you, you, you", you'll not only be remembered, you'll often be sought out by others for help too.

 

 

Digital Marketing Events & Hashtags

 

UK

 

MeasureFest - Brighton 12th September 2019 #MeasureFest

MeasureCamp - London 21st September 2019 #MeasureCamp

Festival of Marketing - London 10th & 11th Octover 2019 #FestivalofMarketing#MarketingWeekLive

SearchLove London - London 14th & 15th October 2019 #SearchLove & #SearchLoveLondon

State of Digital - 19th November 2019 #StateofDigital

UnGagged London - April 2020 #UnGaggedLondon

BrightonSEO - Brighton 16th & 17th April 2020 (advanced tickets available here#BrightonSEO

SMX London - London 19th & 20th May 2020 #SMXLondon

SearchLeeds - Leeds June 2020 #SearchLeeds

 

Worldwide

 

MeasureCamp Global Calendar

 

France

 

SMX Paris - 18th & 19th November 2019 #SMXParis

 

Germany

 

SMX Munich - 18th & 19th March 2020 #SMXMunich

 

Italy

 

SMX Milan - 5th, 6th & 7th November 2019 #SMXMilan

  

USA

 

PubCon Las Vegas - 7th to 10th October 2019 #PubCon & #PubConLasVegas

UnGagged - Los Angeles 7th, 8th & 9th November #UnGaggedLondon (as #UnGaggedLA yet to be populated)

SMX East - New York 13th & 14th November 2019 #SMXEast

PubCon Austin - 6th February 2020 #PubCon & #PubConAustin

SMX West - San Jose 19th, 20th & 21st February 2020 #SMXWest

PubCon Florida - 24th, 25th & 26th March 2020 #PubCon & #PubConFlorida

SearchLove San Diego - 26th & 27th March 2020 #SearchLove & #SearchLoveSanDiego

SearchLove Boston - June 2020 #SearchLove & #SearchLoveBoston

SMX Advanced - Seattle 8th, 9th & 10th June 2020 #SMXAdvanced

MozCon - Seattle 6th, 7th & 8th July 2020 #MozCon

Inbound - Boston September 2020 #InBound20 

  

NOTE: If you'd like me to add your event above, please get in touch and let me know :) 

 

Consulting Resources

 

Consulting Blog Posts

 

From Zero to a Million: 20 Lessons for Starting an Internet Marketing Agency by Mike Ramsey. Thinking of starting your own internet marketing / SEO agency? This is required reading..

 

The Account Managers Guide to Effective Communication and Client Retention by John-Henry Scherk - covers the 3 types of KPI, communicating with two audiences and showing you care. Advice that every web marketing or SEO client account manager should follow!

 

Have you read the two blog posts I wrote exclusively for SEO consultants? Hop on over to Overcoming 4 Tough SEO Business-Building Challenges and "What The Hell Are You Talking About?" said the SEO Client. You might find my Pre-Qualifying and Winning New Clients Slideshare preso useful too .

 

 

Consulting Books

 

Anthony Parinello has written a series of sales and consulting books that helped me as an account manager and now as a business owner. They explore the topic of how to best approach, contact and market your services to VITO's (Very Important Top Officers):

 

  • Selling to VITO - understand the mindset of Very Important Top Officers, also know as the c-suite. "Selling to Vito" introduces you to the "VITO" concept and contains valuable insights, principles and tips on both getting appointments with impossible-to-reach top decision-makers and helping them understand the true value of the services you're selling. Of all the books I've read on consulting, this book (and in particular, understanding the c-suite mindset) was a ground-breaker 
  • Getting to VITO - where "Selling to VITO" introduced salespeople to the Very Important Top Officer (and should be read 1st), this book introduces a 10-step practical plan, explores how similar you are to a VITO and the dynamics at play when first making contact
  • Secrets of VITO - this book wraps it all up and explores the six inches between your ears (one of my favourite subjects!): thinking and selling like a Vito. How do other top-selling CEO’s sell to their prospects, customers, partners, employees, stockholders and themselves? This book contains success stories for you to see how they work in action

 

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith - real-world "service" or "solution" sales and consulting advice, wrapped up in short, insightful tales, this is possibly the best book I've ever read on consulting. Almost 20 years old (written in 1997), Harry takes us on a journey through the following chapters: getting started, surveying and research, marketing is not a department, planning - the 18 fallacies, anchors warts and american express, the more you say, the less people hear, "ugly cats, boat shoes and overpriced jewellry", monogram your shirts, not your company, how to save £500,000, holding on to what you've got and quick fixes.

 

Questions That Sell by Paul Cherry - the art of intelligent questioning and discovering the "meaning behind the meaning" - an essential people-skill, that can be fully developed, for every consultant. "Increase your success rate using the powerful examples, exercises and hundreds of sample questions, included in the book: vision questions (that tap into your customers’ needs and desires for the future), questions to uncover problems (that fix something that’s not working for your client) and pay-off questions (that get your customers to articulate for themselves how much your product or service is worth)". Having had a past career within the IT sales industry, I can personally vouch for this book. If you get stuck trying to figure the what, why and how of using questions, this book was written for you. 

 

Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets by Michael T Bosworth - although now over 20 years old, I can't recommend this book strongly enough and is another brilliant read for consultants, freelancers or technical sales people who sell complex products or services, with long buying cycles, in mature markets. Website marketing, especially in the medium to enterprise market-places, is exactly that. For those who help smaller business owners understand why they need your solution (which to them could be extra complex), the strategies can be equally effective. The sales management processes and strategies that Michael explores with meticulous detail are especially useful, as is the common-sense approach he takes to understanding why clients need specific types of information before they can advance to the next step on the sales cycle.  

  

Lead Generation for the Complex Sale: Boost the Quality and Quantity of Leads to Increase Your ROI - written by Brian Carroll, this best-selling consulting masterpiece is just over 10 years old. Selling website marketing services can be an extremely complex sale, depending on the clients' existing situation, their technical setup, their industry and their digital asset footprint. This book shows you how to: create and build an ideal customer profile, communicate with your best customers, develop your prospecting funnel and lead generation calendar, understand the financial aspects of your sale, definer your goals, pre-qualify prospects, stay consistant, nuture leads and maintain / update your own database.

 

Escaping the Price-Driven Sale: How World Class Sellers Create Extraordinary Profit - written by Tom Snyder, this book is an insightful educational read on implementing value-based selling (the value you bring to your clients business), as opposed to selling your time for money (which can often result in going "cheap" or becoming RFP "column-fodder"). Having spent 20+ years as a salesman and consultant, I wish I'd read this book when I first started Dimmock Web Marketing and put in place its suggestions. Most importantly, "this book is grounded in 30 years of research conducted in the field with global companies by Huthwaite, Inc.". As a consultant or business owner, this discourse in pricing will benefit you greatly.

 

Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath - Covering both old and new sales techniques and with detailed explanations on every step needed to win large or enterprise-size businesses, this book gave me the confidence to pitch better, provide value throughout the sales cycle, get the c-suite championing my message and to become a trusted member of the corporate team. Using the advice in this book, I was able to oust a large UK SEO brand (who were providing a poor service) from a client and help them achieve the goals they desired. If you're a freelancer or consultant and winning bigger business is important to you, this book will open your eyes to all the possibilities.. 

 

Anti-Sell: Marketing, Lead Generation & Networking Tips for Freelancers Who Hate Sales by Steve Morgan - If you're a freelance SEO (or a freelancer in web design or any other software or technology field) this fantastic book is for you. Do you hate selling? You're not alone! As Steve suggests  "..the best way to sell is not to sell. Let that sink in. The best way to sell is not to sell. It sounds completely and utterly counter-intuitive, but it's the truth." Packed with chapters covering (among many other topics) sales / marketing / networking / lead generation tips, tying your sales process into your passions and strengths, getting involved in events and communities, real-life case studies and tons of recommended further reading. Besides all this, I've known Steve for years and he certainly knows his onions - highly recommended!

 

 

 

 

Twitter Chats (that I sometimes take part in)

 

#EcomChat - Mondays @ 5am PST / 8am EST / 1pm GMT. All-things eCommerce by EcomChat via Dan Barker & James Gurd

 

#CMWorld - Tuesdays @ 9am PST / 12pm EST / 5pm GMT. All-things content by @CMIcontent & @joepulizzi

  

#SEMrushchat - Wednesdays @ 8am PST / 11am EST / 4pm GMT. All-things SEM by SEMRush with a special guest every week

 

(Stop Press! SEMRush have produced their own guide to running Twitter Chats. Download the PDF for 10 more chapters!)

 

#SEOChat - Thursdays @ 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT. Hosted by web marketing & SEO pros. Nice guide by Bruce Clay

 

 

People To Follow on Twitter

 

@Bill_Slawski – Semantic SEO, Machine Learning & Google Patents

 

@aaranged – Semantic SEO & Machine Learning

 

@dawnieando – Semantic SEO, Taxonomy, Ontology & Crawl Optimisation

 

@DavidAmerland - Semantic SEO 

 

@AlanBleiweiss – Forensic SEO Audits

 

@gfiorelli1 – International SEO & Semantic SEO

 

@aleyda - International SEO & Keyword Research

 

@ZephSnapp - International SEO

 

@SEO_Copy - International SEO

 

@MaxMinzer – Local SEO & Google+ Community

 

@MikeRamsey - Business Building, Local SEO & Legal Marketing

 

@MBlumenthal – Local SEO

 

@CyrusShepard - Internet Marketing & SEO

 

@DocSheldon - Internet Marketing & SEO

 

@RandFish - Internet Marketing & SEO

 

@Ammon_Johns - Internet Marketing & SEO

 

@nick_eubanks - Internet Marketing, SEO & Keyword Research

 

@ajkohn - Crawl Optimisation, Internet Marketing & SEO

 

@dohertyjf - Business Leadership, Internet Marketing & SEO

 

@theamitsinghal - All-things Google

 

@RonellSmith – Content Strategy

 

@KaneJamison - Content Strategy

 

@matthewbarby - Content Strategy, Social Media & Blogging

 

@Hallstigerts - Marketing Nous & Social Media

 

@JulieJoyce – Link Acquisition

 

@Marie_Haynes – Link Penalties & Recovery

 

@ShahMenz – Link Penalties & Recovery

 

@WilReynolds – Business Building & RCS ("Real Company Stuff")

 

These peeps all post super-useful tweets, so if you're not already following them do so, because they know their onions :)

 

**UPDATE** Search Engine Watch's Graham Charlton recently published this monster Twitter list of SEO's and key industry people to follow.

 

As my professional and personal journey continues within the industry, I'll continue to add more resources that I find useful over time. Watch this space!