Best Internet Marketing & SEO Resources: 500 x SEO Tools, Web Guides, Posts, Videos, Events, Books & Communities
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 also moderate a G+ Community book club that has a ton of recommendations - join up here.
Communities - Google+, Hangouts, Twitter Chats, Events & People I Follow
If you work in or around the digital marketing, content, creative or social media industries, there's a ton of Google+ communities, Hangouts and 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 events and Google hangouts or 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:
Free Excel Workbook for Analyzing Screaming Frog Data by LunaMetrics - a dowbloadable workbook that counts, totals, and visualises the data Screaming Frog gives you. Used with SF, you're now unstoppable :)
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. (pssst, it's free) NEW
Whitespark Citation Finder - perfect for local SEO directory investigation, with exportable CSV's (free trial available)
Majestic - the Godfather of link investigation tools. "The planet's largest Link Index database" - go try it! (free trial available)
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 (free trial available)
SortSite - a brilliant website crawler that finds quality issues including accessibility, browser compatibility, broken links, legal compliance, SEO, usability and web standards compliance (free trial available)
BrowSEO - need a quick look at the SEO of a web page? Maybe you're a consultant needing fast insight? This tool is for you (free) NEW
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. Way too simple..
Project Management, Workflow & Team Collaboration
Evernote - a brilliant tool for managing your brain, your ideas, your messaging and your workspace
XMind - opensource mind-mapping, works snug with EverNote too. One word: superb!
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? Want to check it out? Free trial available
Raven Tools - founded by Raven Jon (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 free trial available
Moz - founded by Rand Fishkin, this powerhouse includes rankings, link research deep-dives, brand mentions, campaign reporting, crawl test, website error reporting, research tools and social media campaign monitoring. Again, one of the best internet marketing management tools available, also with a free trial available.
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
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
Trello Resources for Chrome, Firefox and other browsers - a complete list of every resource, plugin and extension available (by Trello!)
IE (Internet Explorer) Tab for Chrome - render pages in IE while using Chrome, use ActiveX controls and test pages with different versions of IE (IE6, IE7, IE8, or IE9)
Google URL Shortener for Chrome - one click, copy and paste and you're off
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
Sorry guys and girls, I don't use Internet Explorer (does anyone anymore??)
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
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..
7 Alerts to Monitor your SEO Process Opportunities & Issues by Aleyda Solis. There's a reason why this was the "best read post of 2014"..
Yep, Lauren was back to live note-take at MozCon 2015 - see her awesome notes here (or download her PDF!) NEW
Moz's Guide to International SEO - Everything you wanted to learn about international SEO, and some..
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
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 Gab's guide you..
This Google+ update from John Mueller (Jan 2015) on using hreflang for international pages
The Local Search Ranking Factors 2014 Edition by Moz with commentary by experts in the field
Visual Guide to Local SEO by Duct Tape marketing, a local SEO infographic that delivers (includes templates, structures and full references)
Which SMB Sectors Spend More Online & Get Best Returns by Bright Local, the results of the 2014 SMB Internet Marketing Survey - a brilliant resource that helps us understand the mindset of small and medium businesses
The Best Local Search Blogs of 2014, curated by Bright Local - all-the-local-seo resources in one tidy place!
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! NEW
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 NEW
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 NEW
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.
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 and UX)
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
Faceted Navigation Best (and 5 of the worst) Practices via Google Webmaster Central (H/T Annalisa M. Hilliard)
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
No CRO section would be complete without Nick Eubanks, so here's a few of my favourite UX posts to get your teeth into:
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! NEW
Technical SEO - posts by Google
Technical SEO - non-Google posts
Moz's Guide to URL Redirection including SEO Best-Practice
Beginners Guide to Link Building by Paddy Moogan - the same guy who wrote the book below..
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 (new to this resource page) How Can Link Builders Keep Learning? which includes links to link-building and SEO blogs.
Search Engine Algorithms
Moz's Google Algo Change History - 15 years of documented updates
Algorithm Monitoring Tools UPDATED
Panguin Tool - log-in via Google Analytics and see which update may have hit your (or your clients) website.
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
Machine Learning Basics for Better Content & SEO Results by Doc Sheldon - excellent beginner guide to machine learning and learning algorithms
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..
Developing a Content Strategy by The Content Marketing Institute. Not including this super-useful guide would be criminal..
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" 'nuff said
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..
How To Structure a Killer Content Marketing Campaign by Sean Smith over on SEONick, Nick Eubanks' awesome blog
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?
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 NEW
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. What are you waiting for? Dive in :)
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
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 (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.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
A Complete Joomla SEO Guide by Themexpert
OpenCart SEO - The Ultimate Guide by themselves
Advanced SEO Settings for WIX by themselves
ExpressionEngine SEO by Caffeine Creations
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!
Paid Search Advertising NEW
So what exactly is SEM? Or PPC and Paid Advertising for that matter? Search Engine Land have you covered.
The PPC Guide for Beginners Part 1 by Wordstream - Yep, there's a further 4 guides provided. If you're new to PPC, start here ;)
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 NEW
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 posed! NEW
Google's Blog - all the latest news from Google
SEMRush's Blog - covers every search engine marketing topic imaginable. The SEMRush team really engages the online marketing community. Special mentions to Elizaveta Perstneva, Elena Terentyeva, Michael Stricker,
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
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.
Videos & YouTube Channels
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
Raven Tools - videos include RavenTools tutorials and videos from pro's around the globe. If you use their software, subscribe!
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!
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. NEW
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. NEW
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.
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. NEW
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 NEW
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.. NEW
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. NEW
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 NEW
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.. NEW
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 NEW
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. NEW
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) NEW
- 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. NEW
NOTE: If you'd like me to add your event above, please get in touch and let me know :)
Consulting Blog Posts
How SEO Pros Manage Their Work & Time (70 Questions, 10 Pros & Over 30 Resources) by Sean Smith - I've included this uber-useful post because managing workload and time can be one of an SEO's biggest challenges, especially using the above!
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! NEW
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 NEW
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. NEW
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. NEW
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..
All-things-web Book Club, run my myself & Dawn Anderson - "Book recommendations (and those to avoid) by fellow web marketers)
MaxImpact (prev YouTube episodes), run by Max Minzer - follow him on Google+ (link above) and register to watch or participate
Search Engine Land Community, run by themselves - "Search engine news, marketing tips, ideas and conversation"
Google Analytics Community, run by themselves - "The largest Google Analytics user community online"
State of Digital Community, run by themselves - "Discuss the latest developments in digital marketing"
(Stop Press! SEMRush have produced their own guide to running Twitter Chats. Download the PDF for 10 more chapters! NEW)
@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
@ - 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
@ - Internet Marketing & SEO
@ - 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
@ - 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!