MA Web Design + Content Planning

Social media and SEO


Essential Text Books

Further Reading

Essential Text Books

The books in this section form a core of texts that cover all the topics addressed during the Social Media & SEO course. Many of them are available from the library.

The Art of SEO (3rd Ed.) by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, and Jessie C Stricchiola

The Art of SEO

The Art of SEO is comprehensive. It’s not a short amusing guidebook to the As and Bs of SEO, it’s a thorough explanation of the A to Z of SEO. The world of SEO is complex and confusing with many conflicting views but this book takes us calmly through the whole thing, giving excellent and well considered advice along the way. From the preface:

“We were inspired to create it (the book) because we have not previously seen a comprehensive work on the topic of SEO, and we believe that it is very much needed in our industry.”

Quite right, and this book is set to become the standard text on the subject. In almost 600 pages and 13 chapters, it covers all the bases and the fact that it’s written by 4 authors means you’re getting the best advice from 4 experts. Some will want to read this book, cover-to-cover, others will dip into it and use it as a reference – the book lends itself to either method. If you only buy one book on SEO, this should be the one.

Building Findable Websites by Aarron Walter

I’ve been waiting for someone to write this book for some time. Essentially, Building Findable Websites is a good practice guide for people who actually build websites and who want them found. It describes how web pages should be built in order to make them visible on the web and covers topics such as the correct use of markup, how to name your files and folders, custom 404s, site search and how to create original and attractive content.

Most of these ideas are not new but this is the first book to bring them all together in a logical form and to express them in a coherent manner. This book is a “must have” for all serious web designers. My only criticism of the book is that it is too short. The book ends with an excellent chapter called “Putting Findability Into Practice”, which is an action plan that readers can use for their own website. However, there is more to the book than is written between its covers. A companion website includes 5 “bonus” chapters as PDFs that really should be a part of the book – the one on traffic analysis is particularly useful. Still, taken as a whole, this is an excellent body of work – thank you Aarron Walter.

Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik

No review has been written for this book.

Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (3rd Ed.) by Brian Clifton

No review has been written for this book.

Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter

No review has been written for this book.

Ambient Findability by Peter Moreville

From the publisher:

A thought-provoking book that describes the future of information and connectivity, examining how the melding of innovations like GIS and the Internet will impact the global marketplace and society at large in the 21st century. Research, stories, examples, and illustrations add depth and color to this important subject. Written by best-selling author Peter Morville.

Further Reading

The books below all fill in gaps, overlap and expand upon the “Essential Text Books” listed above. You do not need to own them but they may be used as good alternatives or simply to explore a bit more of the subject.

Web marketing all-in-one for dummies by John Arnold

No review has been written for this book.

A Practical Guide to Designing the Invisible by Robert Mills

How do we design the invisible and why would we want to? In this book, Robert Mills explores design beyond the superficial, visual surface and explains that designers must become familiar with the meaning in the work we produce. Mills explains how the design decisions we make (the colour of a webpage, the form of an icon) can change the way people think, feel and react to our designs. The book makes a very good companion to Mark Boulton’s book by adding a layer of understanding about the implications of the design decisions we make.

Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter

Aarron Walter’s excellent book for A Book Apart explains how best to design websites for people, examining the psychology of design. Like many books in the same series, this is a brief read but manages to condense what could be a complex subject into a digestible 100 pages.

This book will help you understand how to give personality to your designs and how to surprise and delight your site visitors.