Reading can do wonders. If there’s one thing we would recommend that you do, this is to start reading! When you are in a very dynamic field such as SEO, it’s important to be always updated. One way to do that is to read.
Reading also keeps you inspired at what you do – or even in anything in life! These SEO professionals share with us their favorite books that inspire them! What are your favorite books? What books have inspired you too?
There are a lot of great and knowledgeable folks in the online marketing industry. Some of the ones I follow are:
We do focus on a couple of key blogs / people that are around 3 core areas: Conversion, Link Building and Content Writing (So I will share the top one from each category).
ConversionXL.com/blog/ (Peep Laja): Great insights into everything conversion, outside thinking for lead generation, focusing on getting those sales and ensuring all your decisions are backed up by data, instead of hunches.
Backlinko.com (Brian Dean): A great example of a simplistic way of putting together content and becoming a well known brand within only months of releasing a blog.
The content not only covers unique ways to get links but the comments section from industry experts really takes the cake for adding value and assisting us with ideas for our next tests.
(Really wanted to put QuickSprout.com/blog in here because it is a great reminder of how to focus in on simple wording, great structures and knowing your audience but Copy Blogger won out.)
CopyBlogger.com/blog: Darn well the best written, best structured and most well planned out blog around.
Not only is it great for our content team to understand structure, simplicity, co-referencing, supporting images, etc, but the content has a wealth of knowledge for strategies to use too. – Grant Merriel
I read a lot of books but not about SEO. Good to Great, 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, Seth Godin books, all Tim Ferriss books (yeah, even the 4 hour body), Rich Dad Poor Dad (only the first 1 is good) – E-Myth (only mastery) – Personal MBA, all the @garyvee books.
Lots of them are really awesome. Try to read 1 book a week or a month. Pro Tip: Blinklist + Audiobooks during travel periods. You can really only read so much when it comes to books about SEO. The rest, you go out and learn by yourself. For the rest like blogs and industry people, take a look at the next question. – Dennis Seymour
I’m not a big fan of books and videos, but person, I suggest following Neil Patel, Noah Kagan and Eli Overbey and Jason Acidre. Those four people keep me inspired and become more interested doing and learning more about SEO. – Joseph Gojo Cruz
Seth Godin is truly an inspiration for me. Apart from him, there are a few people I read and talk about a lot in my training sessions. Rand Fishkin, Bill Slawski, Neil Patel, Ann Smarty are a few names I find inspirational but the list goes on! As far as books and videos are concerned, I recommend Whiteboard Fridays and Tedtalks specially this one. – Nabeel Tanveer
Actually, there are a lot of good books to recommend. But let me share you the recent book I’ve read entitled, Good to Great by Jim Collins. He tells about his amazing findings on how leaders were able to transition from being good to becoming great leaders, while others weren’t. Try to relate the concepts in the book as an SEO and you will be amazed how great you can be. – Gary Viray
I don’t have one specific guru, I’m always interested in keeping up to date with other industry leaders. That said, Rand Fishkin (Moz) does a great job. Matt Cutts, one of Google’s engineers is worth keeping an eye on and Avinash Kaushik, Googles chief analytics evangelist has also some great insights too. – David Jenyns
Here are a few resources that you can check out if you want to get started or at least be inspired in executing SEO campaigns:
- How to Create an Effective Link Building Campaign(shameless plug)
- Kaiserthesage’s List of Link Building Strategies
- ConversionXL,, Unbounce, (CRO blogs)
- Cognitive SEO
- SEO by the Sea
I met Rae Hoffman (sugarrae.com) at SMX Advanced 2014. She was staying at the same hotel as me and we randomly started talking at the bar. Her ideas are so genius yet simple to understand. For the past year I wasn’t focused on SEO, but after speaking with her I was inspired to get back in and keep improving my skills and strategies. – Sam Nam
I don’t want to sound like a desperate fanboy, but it’s gotta be Moz. I’ve been following them since I started in SEO back in 2009 and I think that they’re great – a great company and a great brand that has done a lot for the SEO industry. I’ve interviewed Rand twice over on my blog (once about Inbound.org and another time about the rebrand from SEOmoz to Moz) and it was an absolute pleasure to do so. – Steve Morgan
I love to read about people who have gone from unknowns to great successes in either the SEO world or even just in business.I’ll often scour through old posts from SEO forums to read posts of people who were trying to figure out SEO years ago and now are super successful at it.
For example, check out this SEO Chat forum post by Rand Fishkin, owner of Moz.com in 2004.
He is trying to figure out what a good link is and ends up creating a directory so he can link out to people with exact anchor text. Haha!
And here he is trying to figure out how Google works. And now Rand is probably one of the most successful people out there in the SEO world. As far as books go, I don’t read many books about how to do marketing but I can highly recommend “In the Plex” by Steven Levy. It’s a book about the history of Google.
I think every SEO should read it. It’s killing me that I can’t remember the name of the other two books that really impacted me.One was a book about three graduates from Harvard business school and how they started successful businesses from the ground up.
The second was a book written by a young teenager where he interviews the heads of many well known companies and writes about their success. I’ve just spent ages searching to try to remember the names of those books…apparently I need to learn how to search Google a little better.
There are several websites that I get great value from. I visit Barry Schwartz’s Search Engine Round Table every day. I read everything that SEO by the sea writes on Google patents. I also like to pick up link building ideas from Jon Cooper and Brian Dean.- Marie Haynes
I highly recommend subscribing to MOZ, Hubspot, and Website Magazine. The strategy I am currently designing is inspired by an article I read in MOZ a few days ago. Moz’s Whiteboard Friday is highly recommended too.
There are a lot of people that I look up to on the SEO field. Some of them are Matt Cutts, Rand Fishkin, Benj Arriola, and Jimmy Cassells. Special mention to Ed Canape, the reason why I became knowledgeable in SEO. He was my mentor when I was still new in this field and I still think I owe him big time because of that. – Ester Del Fierro
Inspired to do SEO and sources to learn more about SEO are 2 different things. But you are asking what inspires me to do SEO. That is synonymous to me to what inspires me to work.
- Book: Rich Dad Poor Dad and Cash Flow Quadrant – Kind of far from SEO, this is more of a business book and more about the journey out of the rat race. SEO is just one of my vehicles to help me out of the rat race.
- Video: The Secret – SEO is a pay-it-forward type of industry. You learn from others and you teach others. This is the law of attraction at work here. It happens naturally and the more you teach, the more you learn.
- Person: My wife and kids, they inspire me to do anything, including SEO.
- Website: I have no website that inspires me. I have tons of websites that teaches me a bunch of stuff, including SEO, but I do not find them inspiring. I find them informational, very useful, valuable, but not inspiring.
Sure. There are lots of great people and resources out there to learn from. Here are just a few:
- Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
- Linchpin: Are You Indispensible by Seth Godin
- The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries.
- Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover.
- Content Marketing Institute
- Moz blog
- Joe Pulizzi
- Rand Fishkin
- Sam Nam
- Benj Arriola
- Jason Acidre
- Gary Viray
I love all books of Brian Tracy and the series of Dare to Fail by Billi Lim. I suggest seoorg.ph forum. – Ed Pudol
The websites above are just a few of the many websites to source knowledge about SEO. Check out this page if you would like to know the list of blogs that I follow. – Louie Sison
Travis Sago was one of the first people I followed when I started learning SEO and I am still subscribed his newsletters today. He’s one of the good guys and an incredible marketer. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson is a book that had a huge impact on and the way I tackle new challenges. – Adrian Wright
Here’s a blog that held my interest as of late:
SEO by the Sea by Bill Slawski – his cracking of patents never fails to amaze me.
I couldn’t decrypt a single sentence of patent and yet Bill even translates it to usable information for SEO specialists to know what’s coming up next in Google’s (future) algorithm changes.
It’s also complimenting to my blogging style because I try to translate SEO to simple terms for SEO Hacker’s readers.
Here are some books (not about SEO) that I’m very fond of as of late:
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – long read but worth every word. I learned a lot on managing a team, importance of design and purity, innovation, artistically ‘stealing’ and improving ideas, increasing your net worth as a person, and so on and so forth.
Good to Great by Jim Collins – a wizard of management. His in-depth study laid out in easy story-type writing voice makes this book an easy choice for improving one’s management skills and wisdom. He has influenced most of my ideas in managing my own team in a lot of ways.
Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (founders of 37 Signals) – This book just cracks it. Helps you think out of the box in terms of efficiency, innovation, product, work habits, and all things beyond. – Sean Si
It’s really fun to learn on almost everything about SEO.
There are a lot of highly skilled SEO practitioners who openly share their secret recipes in basic and advance SEO however I think these guys below are my favorites when it comes to SEO, link building and internet marketing:
Matthew Woodward – award winning IM guy showing hisincome reports and step-by-step SEO guide to success.
Brian Dean – should you decide to empower your SEO-fu, feel free to visit Brian’s blog at Backlinko.com
Glen Allsop – I’ve first notice this guy in Moz. Later on I found myself enjoying his blog posts at Viperchill.
Jason Acidre – this guy is the Manny Pacquiao in the SEO world. Hats-off!
Neil Patel – most of his best kept secrets in SEO and internet marketing are all found in Quicksprout.
Alex Becker – this guy won’t just teach you SEO, he will rather teach you step-by-step programs on how to earn a decent income using SEO and some wits.
I’ve actually studied his SEO omega guide as well as his ROI optimization tutorial videos. It was totally worth everything. If you want to evolve your SEO skills from basic to advance internet marketing you definitely need to check out his Youtube videos. – Fervil Von Tripoli
Just keep on reading SEO blogs, MOZ’s weekly whiteboard friday videos are a great source of information. Make sure you follow Google’s Matt Cutts for tips on any algorithm changes in Google. – Jose Duque
There’s a couple. Garrett French and Eric Ward are very good – and both have published impressive books about SEO. I am currently developing my own Southampton SEO Consultant website which I hope one day will stand up well against those type of names – time will tell. – Marc Heighway