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Book review: Tactical SEO by Lee Wilson

This review is as much a favour for a friend and colleague as it is a book review. I work with Lee Wilson at Vertical Leap, and you might think that biases my view.

I like book reviews to be objective and informative, so I’ll try to help you make up your own mind about whether it is right for you.

What is tactical SEO?

Tactical SEO book by Lee WilsonSEO being search engine optimisation, what would be considered tactical about it?

There was a time, years ago, when SEO was more formulaic than it was tactical. Search engines were more directories than they were the algorithmic engines we see today.

Anyone who created the most inbound links and used the right keywords the most times could achieve a high ranking authority. SEO was, to put it simply, an arms race.

Nowadays, SEO is about understanding a number of factors – the audience, the context, the intent. Ranking authority comes from a number of variants – all of which can have different meanings in different contexts at different times.

  • Site and page speed
  • Page size
  • Page layout
  • Content relevance
  • Competitors
  • Intent behind a specific search query
  • Search history of the person searching
  • et cetera

To achieve success with SEO requires an understanding of steady optimisation; a range of tactics that contribute to brand authority and relevance.

Who is this book for?

This book is not for you if you are one of those people who want an instant answer to the question, “How do we rank on page one of Google for our biggest keyword?”

Those people will be disappointed to hear that there is no single answer that applies to all situations.

Neither is this book a technical manual. Note it is not titled Technical SEO – such a book would include more examples of code and detailed explanations of server-side and under-the-bonnet solutions.

It does touch on technical matters in a general way, but the main thread of this book is about tactics related to SEO – content planning and publishing, link building, performance analysis,

The SEO value check-list is a useful resource, if you want a quick look at all the areas touched by SEO.

There could be some more visual illustrations. For example, a mention of Google’s Knowledge Graph could be accompanies by a screen shot to show what it looks like.

Therefore, I’d say this book is for someone who already has some understanding of SEO, who wishes to expand that understanding. To expand the realisation of all the factors that an SEO professional needs to consider.

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