Wednesday, 27 February 2013

3 Books Every Website Owner Should Read

There are hundreds and thousands of books about websites out there, some completely out dated, some for the professional where if you don’t understand the lingo you won’t get any of it, and some that every web owner should read, even if they employ others to do the work for them.  There’s nothing as powerful as your own knowledge of a subject.
Don't Make Me Think
No 1 is without a doubt Steve Krug’s Don’t Make me Think.  Yes it’s been around a while, and some things have changed where web design has changed, but human nature hasn’t, and this book is about how humans use and react to websites, and how they should be designed to make navigation simple.

It’s a friendly, well written and illustrated book with more than a few tongue in cheek comments, and if you haven’t read it already, now’s the time.  It won’t take you long, and you’ll go back over and over again.

A word about SEO – This is now a thorny topic, with all the changes that Google made to its algorithms last year that changed the landscape of SEO completely and sites that were well ranked for various reasons plummeted in days.

The most important things to look for are books that are post Penguin and Panda (Google updates) in fact as recent as possible, but also structured in a way that is readable and understandable by us mere mortals, rather than code writers and developers, who all need this information, by the way.  What it has meant is that books that were very good only a few months ago are now no use to you,  so be careful about what you buy.

How to Get to the Top of Google

My recommendation, and No 2 on my list, is Tim Kitchen’s How to Get to the Top of Google.  This is an easy to read book covering a lot of ground in a few pages, and you may want to move on to something more in depth once you’ve read it, but what I particularly like about it is that it gets to the main points of what you need to do quickly.

Remember when ordering any of these self-help books on SEO that if they don’t mention Penguin and Panda they’re probably not worth having, books take a long time to get into print from manuscript and during that time they can easily become out of date.  And I know these things…..

500 Social Media Marketing Tips
Thirdly but by no means last, I recommend that you buy 500 Social Media Marketing Tips, by Andrew Mccarthy, as a small book full of short sharp and very good advice on all the main Social Media sites including of course Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  The tips are all there, but the in depth help to achieve the suggestions are not, such as ‘Get your LinkedIn Vanity URL’.  But then this book is about tips and tricks, and not the detail, which you can easily find online.

There are a lot of books on ‘Social Media’ out there, but most don’t give us what we want, which are the specifics for success.  If you do choose to buy a book solely on Facebook or LinkedIn etc make sure it’s right up to date, as the platforms have changed endlessly.  Best of all look for the huge amount of information available online, and also check out my blog at Web Hints for specifics on things like getting your LinkedIn Vanity URL and endlessly useful Twitter Apps such as Buffer. 

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