by Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin

Purchase from Amazon (affiliate link)

SEO: An Hour a Day

This book, an excellent guide for the self-motivated search engine optimizer, won me over on page 54. Not that I wasn’t already convinced that Jennifer and Gradiva had a lot to say: but page 54 contained the single statement which demonstrated a perfect understanding of what it takes to understand the search marketing industry.

I wonder why that’s happening.

As they say, this mantra will keep you working through all the intellectual challenges of SEO. It demonstrates that critical characteristic of the successful search marketer: curiousity. They make a concentrated point of telling their reader that their own curiousity, coupled with a bit of experimentation and a strong willingness to learn, will keep their site moving continuously forward.

SEO: An Hour A Day is a great book. It’s honest in recognizing where it can’t help you, by differentiating clearly between "eternal truths" (things you can always count on – like change) and "ephemeral truths" – those facets of search marketing which are constantly in fluctuation.

The authors focus consistently on your business needs. They’re not trying to tell you that you need to do something for the good of the world – they’re telling you that you need to do something to accomplish your specific business goal. That practical and realistic emphasis on business oriented needs makes the book a great reference.

Of course, SEO isn’t just a matter of fixing your site and finding some marketing – and the authors are obviously aware of this. They’ve included chapters on convincing your company – everybody from the graphic designers and IT guys to the 5-martini lunch executives gets their mention. Even better, for the time-pressed small business owner, you’ve got an entire chapter on slacking off. What could be better than knowing exactly what you can go ahead and leave until later?

The book isn’t necessarily going to move somebody into the top ranks of search marketing, of course. No single text is capable of providing the breadth of experience and knowledge contained in 10 years of practical use. But if you want to understand what your professional consultant is doing, or use this book as a kicking off point to learn how to promote your own sites, you’ll have made a great choice.
Personally, I think I’m likely to recommend this book be on the bookshelves of my own clients – they may not ever read it, but one can always hope!