SEO gets thrown around a lot on the blogosphere—and for good reason. Good SEO gets eyes on your content. I freely admit I knew nothing about it when I first started blogging. But it eventually became something I needed to learn, and that’s why I set out to arm myself with as much knowledge about the topic as possible. One of my first weapons was Search Engine Optimization for Dummies by Peter Kent. And what a weapon it is.
Despite its title, Search Engine Optimization for Dummies requires a basic level of knowledge of HTML and the inner workings of websites. And that’s probably something important to note: SEO is technical. There’s no way around it. This book is for dummies with Internet knowledge.
If you don’t understand HTML or if you have no idea what meta titles or descriptions are, you’re better off learning the basics first. SEO isn’t for those with little working knowledge of what goes on behind the dashboard of your blog or website.
HTML and SEO are complicated, but a little education goes a long way.
Search Engine Optimization for Dummies is less about learning how to be better at SEO than your competitors and more about learning how search engines function, what they look for, and what that means for someone who wants to improve their search engine rankings (i.e., YOU).
Learning about search engines can lead to being better than your competitors, however. Do SEO the right way, and you’ll be fine.
Though Search Engine Optimization for Dummies is the type of book that’s best read in small doses—it took me a month to go cover to cover—it provides a wonderful primer and resource for everything that SEO entails.
And yes, SEO entails a lot. But it can be relatively simple once you understand how everything works together: think links, keywords, and writing something people actually find useful.
- Write content for humans, not search engines
- Get other sites to link to yours using optimized keywords
- Link within your site to make it easier to index your site
- Optimize your website for the most specific keyword possible
Peter Kent says that though he’s been writing (and updating) this book for the Dummies collection for years, very little has changed. Certain, basic SEO principles never go out of style. Though search engine algorithms change, you’ll find that they don’t intentionally punish someone practicing good SEO tactics.
And with Google’s introduction of yet another algorithm, this advice has never been more true. The SEO basics (writing quality, helpful content for humans and practicing good linking) never go out of style.
And if you’d rather not tackle SEO yourself, Peter Kent offers advice on what to look for when hiring someone to take care of SEO for you. Not all SEO firms are created equal. (That also goes for web designers who optimize your website.)
My takeaway on SEO experts/firms is that many who claim to know SEO and how to best optimize your site actually don’t. Search Engine Optimization for Dummies is a good way to weed out the good from the bad.
Have your say. What are your favorite SEO resources? What SEO tactics do you practice?