It’s common for comprehensive books written by respected authorities to be tagged as the “bible” of a particular topic or industry. My vote for that distinctive title in our industry goes to Search Engine Marketing, Inc. by Mike Moran and Bill Hunt. Both Mike and Bill are longtime search marketing veterans who were responsible for the search marketing strategy and implementation for IBM.com’s massive global network of web sites. They’re both currently active marketers who work with a wide variety of well-known organizations and brands, primarily now at the strategic level.
The hefty 626 page book is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of search marketing, from basics like search engine friendly site design and keyword research to more sophisticated topics such as optimizing paid search campaigns and creating viral social media campaigns. Given the authors’ experience, this is all solid stuff, representing best practices that can benefit just about any search marketer, from beginner to expert.
Even better, though, Moran and Hunt illuminate their concrete tactical information with nuggets of insight and wisdom gained from years of working with large, complex campaigns where playing politics and getting groups of stakeholders with sometimes conflicting needs are just as important as getting the technical details right. Want to know how to get top management to buy in to your campaign goals? Want to know how to get teams with seemingly conflicting goals to play nice together? These and many other “soft skill” challenges are thoroughly addressed in the book.
One problem with any printed book that focuses on such a rapidly changing topic as search marketing is that content can become obsolete, or even recommend strategies and tactics that may have worked some time ago, but that are currently frowned upon. Search Engine Marketing, Inc. largely sidesteps these problems by focusing on foundational information rather than tactics du jour. If you purchase the book, you also get access to a free online version from Safari books.
Another bonus: A two hour DVD where Hunt and Moran explain and demonstrate many of the concepts in the book, and also show online resources that are valuable to any search marketer.
Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is probably the closest thing to a definitive textbook for anyone wanting to learn search marketing. But it’s also so full of practical tips learned from years of experience that it’s a great read for experienced search marketers, as well.
Search Engine Marketing, Inc.
Second Edition: ISBN-13: 978-0-13-606868-6
IBM Press, $49.99