The 5 best resources for learning SEO

Since we made it to page 1 of Google for “IT support London” in May 2009, thanks to ‘The Google Gin bet’, we’ve had a lot of clients, suppliers and partners ask how we did it.  SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, has been hugely important in our business growth since early 2009.

This blog post came about because Neil Infield, the Manager of the British Library’s Business & IP Centre (BIPC), recently asked me for some quick resources on SEO in addition to what I cover in the seminar (Lucidica runs SEO, Email Marketing and Pay Per Click seminars at the BIPC each month). FYI, the BIPC is an excellent resource if need assistance or advice on starting a business.

Now, we don’t specialise in SEO, nor do we want to, but we did want to know enough so we could do as much of the SEO effort ourselves.  Over the years we’ve accumulated some great resources on the topic so if you are looking at making a start in your understanding of this all-important small business marketing method, here are our top 5 learning resources.

1) ‘Site Visibility Internet Marketing’ FREE podcast

By far this is the best resource we’ve found – especially if you are not too technical.  Andy, Kelvin and the crew provide just enough info on the pertinent topics in the vast field and complex that is SEO.  The nuggets that drop out of this now weekly cast are enough to make anyone hooked on SEO salivate.

We strongly recommend you listen to their old casts (as many as you can fit in when at the gym!) and add their casts to your MP3 player list for a weekly top-up.  The premium internet marketing podcast also comes highly recommended.

P.S. You’ll recognise the friendly accents as local.  Based down in Brighton the Internet Marketing Podcast is the UKs #1 online marketing cast, and from last count, #2 in iTunes world-wide!

2) ‘Search Engine Optimisation for Dummies’ book

These dummy books are always a great way to get across the basics in any field.  Grab this one first and probably skim through the first few chapters before starting the above podcasts.

This book will be a good reference for you when listening to the Internet Marketing Podcasts.

3)  ’50 Ways to Make Google Love Your Website’ book

When fellow Partner of the British Library, Johnny Martin (who talks about numbers and finance for small business), first told me of this book I couldn’t get the great Paul Simon 1975 hit song “50 ways to leave your lover” out of my head for days.  Nevertheless I managed to get a copy and found the book useful and relevant for the market we work with, small businesses – those with 1-50 staff.

This book is the intermediate of the three recommended here so once you’ve had your fill of SEO for Dummies, grab this one.  Since Johnny first mentioned it I’ve had more than 5 other people recommend it, which is enough to make the list here.

4) ‘131 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies’ article

It may be almost 10 years old this article is a classic.  By the time you are half-way through the above podcasts and consumed most of the above 2 books you should be in to executing some tactics.  This article provides splendid ideas on how to go about building links to your website (still a hugely important part of effective SEO).  Be sure to look through the rest of the SearchEngineWatch.com website too.

5a) ‘The Art of SEO’ book

This is the advanced material, some may not need to go this far but if your thirst for SEO knowledge is not yet quenched, this is the book for you.

Strongly recommended by some of the guys at Google and comes highly rated from other sources I checked, so this book makes my reading list.

5b) ‘Clockwork Pirate’ FREE e-book

A bonus 6th resource for you this was a recent find, and it’s gold.  Kelvin is the main contributor in recent years to the Site Visibility Internet Marketing podcasts listed at resource #1 above.

When I sat down and read these 63 pages over a strong coffee (OK, coffees) I couldn’t believe the ideas, value and experience he was giving away here.  And for FREE, well almost free – there is a great little marketing catch you’ll see at the site.  You don’t need to part with any wonga, but it’s an innovative way for Kelvin to get some link love of his own.  My recommendation to you on where this slots into your learning is

If you’d like to hear how Lucidica got to page 1 of Google for “IT support London” in less than 3 months, and how other small businesses can rapidly improve their search engine ranking, come along to my search engine optimisaton seminar at the British Library.

Lucidica is the IT department for small businesses.