SEO and SMO Education Strategy

Google 'SEO books' or 'SMO books' and you will see there are a large number of titles available on either subject. Remove 'books' from the search and a much larger list of results is returned. Search for on-line courses on SEO and SMO and again, many results are returned. In short, there's no lack of educational material available on SEO and SMO. As a Real Estate professional, one already has many subjects that one must be knowledgeable of including local property values, construction practices, population demographics and Real Estate law to name a few. How much time should you devote to these additional subjects, given their complexity and the many other important chores that require your time?

My answer is that it depends on various factors including: whether you're on your own or part of a team, whether you have an interest or aptitude for SEO and SMO, whether there is available professional help and what you're budget is for hiring said help. Given that SEO and SMO, 'inbound' marketing techniques, are quickly supplanting the 'outbound' marketing efforts of the past such as newspaper ads and mailings I think you need to develop some knowledge of these subjects. Even if you're hiring a pro you need to be able to appraise what they are doing for you.

What then is the best way to learn about SEO and SMO? As one who has spent a fair amount of time reading books and web pages, using tools and taking courses, I suggest you start with an on-line course or a straightforward book that includes exercises and tool recommendations. SEO and SMO are inherently hands-on subjects and it's all about knowing how to use the available tools. The 'tools' on the social media side are the applications themselves such as Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. It's no small feat understanding how to optimally use these applications but it's something anyone can do if they apply themselves.

Below is a list of books, on-line courses and web pages I have found useful in educating myself about SEO and SMO. It's good to take some notes while taking courses or reading books. It helps to jog your memory at a later point. How have you educated yourself on these subjects?

Books

SEO Fitness Workbook, 2012 Edition by Jason McDonald - A very practical step-by-step guide to optimizing your website for search
The Art of SEO by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiola and Rand Fishkin - An excellent reference, this books covers the many facets of
the subject in great detail. It is not the book to start with but is the go-to source for specific questions.

On-line Courses from Lynda.com

SEO Fundamentals by David Booth  - Good jumping off point. Introduces you to the basics of SEO and some useful tools
Analyzing Your Website to Improve SEO by Peter Kent - A practical, to-the-point guide to creating optimal SEO for your website.
SEO: Link Building in Depth by Peter Kent - A specific guide to building back links, the single largest factor in improving page rank.

Web Pages

Video SEO
Tagging and Presentation Techniques
schema.org. Use of microdata
Local SEO
More Local SEO
Citation Building
Social Media Tips
SEO and SMO Books Recommendations

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