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Search Marketing in a Box

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Looking for a comprehensive guide to search marketing that's filled with tons of practical, no-nonsense tips and techniques? The Search Engine Marketing Kit may be just the ticket.

Back in the early days of the web, simply getting online was quite a challenge for most people. Then in 1994 or so, you could buy an "internet in a box" kit that led you step-by-step through the process of getting connected and using the web.

For newcomers to the search marketing scene, it's a very similar situation to the early days of the web. It's confusing, and often difficult to make sense of the search marketing industry. Sure, there's tons of information available about search engine optimization and the various flavors of paid search marketing, but there's also a lot of contradictory and flat-out incorrect information floating around, as well.

Now we have The Search Engine Marketing Kit, by Dan Thies, which reminds me a lot of those early internet in a box kits. The "kit" is really a book, printed in three-ring binder format, and it's one of the most comprehensive guides to all aspects of search marketing I've seen yet.

The book is written in clear, easy to understand language, making it a useful guide for not only understanding search marketing but for doing it yourself. Even better, the book is technically accurate, staying focused on accepted practices and solid techniques that really work. You won't find any snake oil or flaky discussions of algorithms du jour in this book, unlike (sadly) some other similar books or websites that I've seen.

I'm not surprised—Dan Thies is a regular speaker at Search Engine Strategies, and I'm always interested in listening to what he has to say. His insights into keyword research are particularly valuable—though in The Search Engine Marketing Kit he demonstrates solid chops across the spectrum of search marketing activities.

The book is organized into eight chapters, and comes with a companion CD ROM. Kicking off with an overview of how search engines work, the next chapters cover search optimization basics and advanced search engine optimization techniques. While the basics are useful for improving the visibility of any web site, the sections on dealing with thorny issues surrounding dynamic sites, how to safely move a web site and harmonizing site design with effective search engine optimization are particularly valuable.

Next is a chapter on pay per click advertising. Again, the focus goes beyond explaining the mechanics by discussing various strategies and tactics for testing ads and landing pages, improving click-through rates and generally enhancing the performance of sponsored listings.

The next two chapters focus on how to start and run your own search marketing business, with interviews from a number of respected industry practitioners. If you're new to search marketing, or not familiar with how the business aspects of the industry work, these chapters provide a good behind-the-scenes overview.

The last chapters cover tools and other useful search marketing resources. The companion CD ROM comes with numerous sample documents, worksheets and other tools that can help you with your search marketing efforts.

The Search Engine Marketing Kit isn't a trade publication, and it carries a relatively high price compared to what you'd find in your local bookstore. Is it worth the price? Well, the CD ROM comes with $150 worth of credits on Google, Overture and Findwhat, so that offsets the price to a certain degree. If you're just casually interested in search marketing, other books like Shari Thurow's Search Engine Visibility or Cat Seda's Search Engine Advertising are probably better bets.

But if you're serious about search marketing, and want a detailed, thorough guide that's thoroughly lacking in bs, The Search Engine Marketing Kit is an excellent choice, and will likely pay for itself once you've started applying its lessons to your own web sites.

The Search Engine Marketing Kit
by Dan Thies
Sitepoint, 273 pages (three ring bound) + CD ROM, $197

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

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