The 12 BEST SEO Books to Read This Year


Looking for the latest and best books on SEO to gain expert knowledge about ranking your website higher on Google?

This guide includes the most popular books on search engine optimization to read that can help you master all aspects of SEO, such as keyword research, on-page SEO, link building, local search strategies, entity optimization, and data analytics, written by well-known SEO professionals.

Why You Can Trust These Book Reviews: This list of book recommendations includes my unbiased reviews from books I’ve read without affiliate links. I earn nothing if you purchase any of these SEO guidebooks on Amazon. I even suggest you check your local library for these books so you can read them at no charge.

Best SEO Books to Read

1. SEO for Beginners: An Introduction to SEO Basics

By Search Engine Journal

This SEO book tops the list because it’s 100% FREE to read online or download to your digital library. The book also contains expert knowledge on the many aspects of search engine optimization that you should understand as a beginner.

Search Engine Journal has written one of the best books available if you want an introductory-level book on SEO, with topics including:

  • How Does SEO Work
  • SEO Strategy vs. Tactics
  • Why Links Are Important for SEO
  • Why Keywords Are Still So Very Important for SEO
  • Why Content Is Important for SEO
  • SEO Fundamentals: Your Guide to SEO Success Factors
  • 5 Things Every SEO Strategy Needs
  • The Three Pillars of SEO: Authority, Relevance, and Trust
  • Why Your SEO Focus Should Be Brand Building
  • The 9 Most Important SEO KPIs You Should Be Tracking
  • What to Do When Things Go Wrong in SEO

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2. The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization

By Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer and Jessie Stricchiola

I think this is one of the best SEO books ever written on the subject and belongs on every serious digital marketer’s bookshelf.

Originally published in 2012 and updated in 2023, The Art of SEO is now in its 4th edition. Many SEO experts agree that this title is a fundamental must-read book on the topic of search engine optimization. Whether you’re a beginner in SEO or a seasoned professional, you’ll find a lot of value in this book. It’s packed with more than 700 pages and covers everything you need to know about the field of search engine optimization to rank websites higher in the search engines, including:

  • The underlying theory and inner workings of search engines: how they evaluate the content and what they see when spidering a page.
  • The role of social media engagement and web page rankings.
  • How user data signals impact your SEO efforts.
  • The way links affect a site’s rankings in Google.
  • A list of the best tools to track your results and measure success.
  • An overview of how to conduct SEO planning and the stages of SEO implementations.
  • Methods of performing keyword research.
  • How to build an SEO team with defined roles so you can maximize your speed and success with search engine optimization.
  • How to consider opportunities for visibility in mobile, local, and voice search
  • Build a competent SEO team with defined roles
  • Ways to identify new opportunities for using generative AI as part of an SEO program.

This truly is the quintessential book on SEO that every search engine marketer should read. In fact, this book has even been issued as a textbook in colleges and universities around the world for digital marketing and SEO students to gain a solid foundation of what it takes to optimize websites for today and well into the future.

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3. Keyword Accelerator Playbook

By Stephen Hockman

This book was written by me, and it was inspired by the SEO Chatter community.

After talking with my readers, I discovered that a lot of bloggers, niche site builders, affiliate marketers, and small business owners struggled with two major aspects of SEO:

  • Doing keyword research the right way to get the best results.
  • Knowing how to create a content publishing plan for faster website growth.

Oddly, these two areas of search engine marketing are not discussed much together. Based on the feedback from my followers, they felt like many SEO professionals think new website publishers magically know how to do effective keyword research and develop an SEO content plan that works without teaching them how to actually do it.

As a result, I decided to write this guidebook to help beginners discover the most optimal SEO keywords for their websites and put them into a content publishing schedule that can fuel their long-term goals.

Inside this book, you’re literally getting my complete SEO keyword research and content planning strategies that have fueled every successful website I’ve ever created. The Keyword Accelerator Playbook includes step-by-step strategies for accelerating your website rankings, traffic, and earnings as fast as possible using proven systems for growth.

You’ll find that it’s the only search engine optimization book of its kind for jumpstarting the keyword research and content planning process (the correct way) for beginner marketers.

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4. Ultimate Guide to Link Building: How to Build Backlinks, Authority and Credibility for Your Website, and Increase Click Traffic and Search Ranking

By Eric Ward and Garrett French

I think everyone in the search engine marketing field should own this link building book.

The late Eric Ward was a pioneer in the SEO industry and was the person who laid the foundations for modern link building. In fact, he was a link strategist for websites before search engines even valued links on the internet.

Eric was the very first link marketer that Amazon.com hired to do the company’s outreach. Co-author Garrett French is the founder and chief link strategist of Citation Labs, a link building agency and campaign incubator.

Together, these men wrote one of the most important books on link building for SEO ever published. And there hasn’t been anything else like it published ever since this guidebook hit bookshelves in 2013. The most recent edition was updated in 2020.

If you want the master the skill of building high-quality backlinks for your website or a client’s site, then you should invest in this link building manual. Spanning 24 chapters and pages, this book covers everything you ever wanted to know about professional link building for SEO. Creating backlinks is the most challenging aspect of off-site search engine optimization, so the information and ideas presented in this book can make a major difference in your results.

Some of the topics you’ll find covered include:

  • What actually makes a website link-worthy.
  • How to build an effective link building campaign.
  • What key metrics you need to measure to verify your success.
  • How to create linkable assets that generate links more easily.
  • How to do link prospecting the right way.
  • Methods to qualify your link prospects so you only build high-quality backlinks to your site.
  • Tips on design pitches for your outreach emails and how to handle responses.
  • How to find effective guest post opportunities.
  • How to do broken link building campaigns the right way.
  • Ways to scale up your backlinking efforts so you can acquire more links in less time.
  • Knowing when it’s acceptable to buy links and how to negotiate the best deals.

As you can see, this book covers every aspect of link building for SEO. The book provides plenty of ideas on how to find opportunities in any niche for creating high-quality backlinks and gives timeless advice that can be applicable to any type of site.

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5. The Fundamentals of Brand SERPs for Business

By Jason Barnard

If you want to learn the secrets of branding your business on the SERPS (search engine results pages) using SEO strategies, then this book is a must-read.

I haven’t found any other guidebook on the market like it teaching the fundamental aspects of how to make your brand stand out in Google’s SERPs when someone searches for your company or brand name.

Jason Barnard reveals exclusive insight from his business, Kalicube, to explain why Brand SERPs are a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. Once you understand how Google finds, collects, and displays key information about your business in the SERPs, including the Knowledge Panel, you’ll be itching to put these SEO tactics into practice to dominate your “digital business card”.

After reading this SEO book, and hearing about the successes of other SEO influencers who optimize their brands using the author’s techniques, I’ve started putting the same steps into practice to dominate my own personal brand name and the SEO Chatter brand name in Google Search. Therefore, I can attest that the strategies in this guidebook work. So give it a read!

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6. The Secret to Capitalizing on Analytics: A Web Analytics Approach for Beginners

By Tarek Riman

This is the only SEO book I could find that teaches you how to measure the performance of your efforts using Google Analytics, making it a top resource to have on your bookshelf or desk as you’re analyzing your search engine optimization campaigns.

After putting SEO tactics into place, you need to ask yourself questions like:

  • Are my on-page optimization strategies working?
  • Did the backlinks I built improve the site’s keyword rankings?
  • Are visitors satisfied with the content?

Inside this 238-page book, you’ll discover how to get the data you need and how to interpret it to make better SEO decisions.

As the author states, “without analytics, there is no way for a company to know how their website is performing in terms of attracting, informing and converting visitors. In this book, you will learn how to get started with Google Analytics and how to set it up for optimal tracking. You will also learn to assess which marketing campaigns bring the best traffic to your website, which pages on your website are the most popular, and how to extract information about your visitors.”

I highly recommend this book because it teaches you the analytics side of SEO so you can gather important information like the location, interests, age, and behaviors of your visitors so you can better understand the people who are visiting the website. By uncovering this data, you can better capitalize on your search engine marketing efforts with data-driven decisions.

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7. SEO 2023: Learn Search Engine Optimization With Smart Internet Marketing Strategies

By Adam Clarke

This is one of the most popular books on SEO that continues to be a best-seller on Amazon, making it a trusted guidebook to read for setting up a good SEO strategy.

The book was originally published in 2013 and the author updates it every year with a new edition. This means you’re getting one of the top SEO books available with the most recent information on search engine optimization as it applies to the latest Google algorithm updates.

If you haven’t heard of Adam Clarke before, he’s a Google Ads and Google Analytics certified professional who offers SEO consulting. Clarke has achieved thousands of #1 rankings for large multinational brands and family-owned businesses.

In this book, Clarke passes on all of his expert knowledge in SEO to his readers in just over 240 pages. His goal is to have the most relevant and comprehensive book on search engine optimization that will stand the test of time and help you grow your business through organic rankings and traffic.

Some of the top strengths of this book include:

  • An understanding of how Google works to rank sites today versus years past.
  • How to find easy keywords that can send good traffic to your site.
  • How to structure your site properly for SEO.
  • Methods for how to use Google’s search quality guidelines to your advantage.
  • A solid overview of link building, including how to acquire links, which links to avoid, link building strategies, and how to scale this process.
  • Local SEO tips and strategies for getting ranked above the competition.
  • The importance of social media and its impact on SEO.
  • Troubleshooting common SEO problems like pages failing to index and what to do if your rankings drop off.
  • How to use Structured Data to get into Google’s rich results.
  • How to target Google’s Featured Snippets and People Also Ask box.
  • An overview of some powerful SEO tools, including keyword research, optimization, link building, and web analytics.
  • Access to FREE SEO checklists and video tutorials.

As you can see, this book offers a solid, SEO-focused approach, to building and ranking your site on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, whether it be an e-commerce store, affiliate website, personal blog, niche site, etc. You get virtually everything you need to plan and implement a successful organic SEO strategy for success.

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8. 3 Months to No. 1: The “No-Nonsense” SEO Playbook for Getting Your Website Found on Google

By Will Coombe

This book was written with the goal of helping you achieve extraordinary results from your SEO efforts in just 3 months, hence the title.

William Coombe is an ex-airline pilot who learned SEO on his own as a way to make money online as a side hustle. But after just two years of dabbling in SEO, Coombe became so good at search engine optimization and rankings that he was making more money each day from his SEO skills than the hourly wage he received as a pilot.

And so, the author finally decided to give up his wings and became a full-time SEO consultant. Coombe then co-founded the London SEO agency Sharpe Digital and wrote this book to help others achieve success on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Now, this book doesn’t hold any magical secrets that you can’t also find sprinkled throughout the Internet, but it does cut through the noise and tells you what to focus on, and when, in your journey to ranking in the top spots on the search engines. Essentially, by following the 3-Month SEO Blueprint in this book, you can get a better return on your time investment with SEO.

Chapters 1 to 23 cover the same topics as the other books about SEO reviewed on this page (on-page optimization, building links, content marketing, and social media for SEO), but the real differentiator here can be found in chapters 24 to 26.

In those final three chapters, you’re given a week-by-week blueprint for how to apply SEO for maximum effectiveness. And that content alone is worth the cheap price of this book.

The book description on Amazon claims that you get access to 3 hours of video tutorials. So I reached out the the author to get clarity on those teaching materials. After talking with Coombe about this added benefit, here’s what he said to me:

“The videos walk the reader through each step of the blueprint whilst giving a few more tips and tricks along the way. Obviously, some of the stuff is not best explained with text, so I created them to compliment the book.”

To get access to those SEO videos, you need to register your copy of the book (Kindle or paperback) on the author’s website by supplying the Amazon order number. Once verified, you can watch those extra training videos for FREE.

Now, if you dig into the customer reviews, you’ll find one reviewer claiming their business moved from the 2nd and 3rd pages to an average ranking of #2 for all of their keywords by following Coombe’s advice. Another person said his business hit the #1 position on Google in his target market just 11 months after applying the methods learned in this book. And the organic search traffic is now five times higher than it was before he bought the book.

Obviously, results will vary based for every website that applies the 3-month plan that is outlined in the book. But those review success stories are impressive results and something any business owner can get excited about, making it a good read.

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9. Product-Led SEO

By Eli Schwartz

If you’re a marketing manager or executive who wants to understand the logic and theory of SEO instead of reading a manual with step-by-step processes for implementing optimization techniques, then this book is exactly what you need to read.

As one reviewer put it, which I agree with is: “You know your business and products needs to invest in building and maintaining a strong foundation in organic traffic & revenue, but you don’t know what type of SEO to hire, or what kind of team to invest in building out… Product-Led SEO has you covered.”

Inside this SEO book, you’ll learn how to create a powerful growth engine for your business to help drive more leads, customers, and sales for your products by using both creativity and logic with an organic search engine optimization campaign.

Instead of just trying to gain website traffic for traffic’s sake, you’ll learn how to think more strategically about the quality of traffic you acquire by focusing on the product-market fit that answers your prospective customers’ questions in a unique way that separates your business from the competition.

Essentially, if you want to discover how to make more money for your business with more hyper-focused Google search traffic, then this is a great SEO book that can help guide you in that direction.

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10. The SEO Blueprint: How to Get More Organic Traffic Right NOW

By Ryan Stewart and David Krevitt

My final book recommendation is this title written a well-known professional in the SEO industry, Ryan Stewart, and his co-author David Krevitt.

Stewart is a marketing entrepreneur with over a decade of experience growing companies using the Internet. His agency WEBRIS was acquired in 2018 because it was such an attractive asset for delivering SEO services to clients. Under Stewart’s leadership, the WEBRIS team developed a blueprint for getting effective results from search engine optimization across hundreds of websites. Their strategy worked each and every time, regardless of the client, which made the agency a massive success.

Now, in this book, you’re literally getting the secret SEO blueprint for getting more organic search traffic to your site as it’s revealed by Stewart and Krevitt. Inside the 275 pages, you’ll find a five-phase plan that teaches you an evergreen approach to SEO that will work now and forever into the future to increase organic search visibility for your website in Google.

Some highlights from the book include:

  • How to pick the types of keywords you should try to rank a site for first.
  • How to know what type of content to write and how to structure it for Google.
  • An explanation for why Google may not rank your content and what you can do about it.
  • A method for discovering which pages on your site have the most potential for getting higher rankings.
  • How to audit your site for hidden problems and what to do when you find them.
  • The type of page you should never build links to.
  • How to manage an SEO campaign.
  • Creating a web analytics measurement plan.
  • How to build an SEO report if you’re working for a client.

The SEO Blueprint book essentially gives you a no-nonsense approach for how to do search engine marketing from the ground up. The blueprint outlined in this guidebook can give you a good overarching strategy for conducting search engine optimization the right way to get long-term results for any website and business.

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11. Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies

By Bruce Clay and Kristopher B. Jones

If you haven’t heard of the For Dummies book series before, it’s an extensive series of instructional books that present hard-to-understand language into easy-to-use content that enables learners at every level to expand their professional and personal development. There are For Dummies books for every topic imaginable, including SEO.

The authors of this book explain important aspects of what SEO is to a non-SEO audience in a comprehensible way, making it a great guidebook for beginners. It starts with the basics of how search engines work and then walks you through the process of building a keyword strategy, competitive positioning, link building, analyzing results, and more.

By the end of the guidebook, you’ll know the important differences between on-page SEO and off-page SEO and how to use each method to increase the rankings of your website in the SERPs.

Some of the highlights inside include:

  • Getting your site to appear in the right results.
  • Selecting keywords.
  • Competitive research techniques.
  • Building an SEO-friendly site.
  • Establishign conent depth and page length.
  • Backlinking strategies.
  • Solving SEO roadblocks.
  • Tracking user behaviour with analytics.

Like all For Dummies books, this is the best book on SEO for anyone looking for a beginner-friendly publication that does a good job of conveying the basic principles of SEO without being overwhelming for people who are completely new to search engine optimization.

In my opinion, it’s one of the top search engine optimization books for getting a good primer on how to build a simple SEO strategy that works to increase your website’s rankings and traffic on Google, Yahoo, and Bing without having to have a lot of advanced technical knowledge.

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12. Affiliate Content Secrets

By Stephen Hockman

My final recommendation is another shameless plug for a book I wrote to help people who are operating affiliate websites. (See my reviews of the best affiliate marketing books if you want even more suggestions for this type of SEO business.)

Inside Affiliate Content Secrets, you’ll discover the exact methods I’ve used throughout the years to make a six-figure income with affiliate marketing.

  • The first section of the book is all about improving your content for higher conversions. It gives you easy content writing strategies to implement to make your product reviews more helpful for the reader and to convert more visitors into customers.
  • The second section reveals my complete on-page SEO structure to build a top-ranking affiliate buying guide. I show you how to structure the content on the page from top to bottom and where to place your target SEO keywords for Google to crawl.

The affiliate marketing strategies and SEO methods you’ll learn are universal to all types of websites and can help you maximize your profits on every affiliate page you publish, regardless of the niche and your affiliate network (i.e. Amazon, Clickbank, ShareASale, etc.)

If you want to improve your product click-through rates, conversions, and rankings on Google’s search engine, then this book has a ton of secrets you can use to your advantage.

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More Books That Can Help You With SEO

The following books are also worth your time to read because they can help you craft a cohesive digital marketing strategy that goes beyond the fundamentals of SEO. These guidebooks teach you how to write better content, optimize for higher conversions, dominate your niche, and maximize your website’s growth potential.

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

If you’re in charge of writing the content on a website, then this is a must-have book in your collection. Knowing the best practices and strategies in SEO is one thing, but if you’re not writing good content that’s enjoyable to read, then it can render all of those efforts on SEO useless. This is especially true in the era of

Ann Handley teaches you how to write great content that has style and flair, correct punctuation, and proper grammar, without unnecessary fluff. The author also gives you the best practices for creating credible and trustworthy content, which is more important than ever in today’s online world with Google’s Helpful Content System that rewards web pages that satisfy the user and demotes content that does not.

Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions by Tim Ash, Maura Ginty, and Rich Page

Many SEOs are the ones held accountable for more than just keyword rankings and clicks; they’re also the people that a client puts the pressure on for revenue growth. Read this book to learn how to improve conversion rate optimization to generate more sales.

Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business by Stephanie Chandler

If you want to be a really successful business owner, then you need to be a good digital marketer in multiple disciplines. This book does an excellent job of teaching you how to do that with audience identification, creating and distributing high-authority content, and generating exposure through search engines, social media, and word of mouth marketing.

One Million Followers, Updated Edition: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days by Brendan Kane

This book teaches you the skills for amassing a large social media following, which makes it an excellent accompaniment for any SEO book you choose to read from this list. The author is a digital strategist and growth hacker who has worked with famous music artists like Taylor Swift and Rhianna as well as top brands like IKEA, MTV, Vice, and Skechers. You’ll learn proven methods for how to establish and grow a digital audience and keep them engaged so your brand becomes more popular in 30 days or less.

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone

This book has helped thousands of people accomplish massive action in their businesses. It’s not a book on SEO but it is a good read for anyone who wants to improve their business efforts outside of the world of search engine optimization.

If I were to sum up this book in two sentences, it would be this:

The 10X rule says that you should set targets for yourself that are 10X greater than what you believe you can achieve. Then, you should take actions that are 10X greater than what you believe are necessary to achieve those goals.

Summary for the Best SEO Books

I hope you enjoyed this list of the latest and best SEO books to read to gain knowledge about ranking websites higher in Google.

As someone who has personally been doing search engine optimization for more than a decade, I can attest that any one of these books will be a great resource for your library to help you develop a better SEO strategy for your business. Just pick the books that offer the training you need right now, whether it be keyword research, on-page SEO, link building, local search strategies, entity optimization, data analytics, etc.

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