I recently was looking at some automation tools for SEO (search engine optimization), research type stuff. Many of these, including the latest one I reviewed, claim to be the classic “SEO in a box” – easy, fast, effective.

I just cannot ever get behind these so-called one stop shop SEO tools. Reason: some will claim that it’s all you need, SEO is easy. However, I must say – SEO is not easy when you’re building a long term, growing business, specially in competitive markets.

So, if you want to learn most all of these ‘solid’ SEO strategies, you can do it by reading through these authoritative posts and pages below. It’ll get you close, but you’ll need to do it for a while to get to 99.99% (you will never get to 100%, because the search engines will change while you’re sleeping!)

Search engine optimization is ongoing, requires way more than technical savvy, and over the years has become a combination of (not in order): design expertise, architecture, research, technology, tools, copywriting, page optimization, conversion testing, links and reputation management, relationship building on and offline, social connectors, local connectors, content development and web tracking, analysis and general marketing consulting and sales.

If you can do all that, then you at least you have read the below, and done some cool things! Congrats.

The top 9 for fast immersion into SEO (Note: doing it, not just reading it – is most important):

  1. Yahoo’s SEO and Style Guide (and my guide on hiring an SEO consultant on Yahoo Small Business)
  2. Bing’s Search Engine SEO Guide
  3. Google’s SEO Starter Guide on Google Webmaster Central
  4. SEOMoz SEO Beginner’s Guide (recently updated)
  5. SEO Guide for Web Designers
  6. The Blogger’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
  7. Huomah’s Handbook to SEO
  8. 2011 Search Marketing (SEO) Benchmark Guide
  9. 101 Ways to Build Smart Links

Start reading, and applying, measuring and documenting along the way.

For the pro’s out there – what did I miss?


I admit, 180 minutes is quick, but I thought it was catchy headline. Set up a schedule to get it done. Take notes.

Thanks to Mr. Matt McGee for his wonderful Small Business SEM graphic.


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.