Every graphic designer who earns part of their living designing websites for clients should be required to read at least chapter 14 of Dave Taylor's book Growing Your Business with Google.
Tip: Copywriters who want to learn to craft search engine-friendly copy should read this book too.
Craig's note: That's my own copy shown at right. I read it on vacation in early 2006 while we were planning our own CreativeIQ blog. I thought I knew a fair bit about web design before. The dozens of post-it notes and highlighted sections are a testimony to how much I didn't realize I should have known about designing sites that work well with search engines.
While supporting Seattle-area design studios, we'll often find ourselves talking with studio owners who are frustrated or confused with why their website don't rank well on online searches. Or worse, when sites they've designed for their clients are largely invisible to searching customers.
This book will help clear up the confusion. But don't start reading at chapter one. Here are the chapters we think designers will find most valuable:
Chapter 14: Secrets of the Online Marketing Masters. This is the chapter every designer should read. Dave talks about the philosophy and specifics of how to design a search engine-freindly web site.
Chapter 15: Content, Content, Content. Most people don't realize that Google determines how often to visit your website in part by often the content on that site changes. So if you don't update the content regularly, Google learns to ignore your website for longer periods of time. This chapter also discusses the payoff of incorporating a Blog into your studio's site.
Chapter 16: Becoming a More Popular Site. When and how to submit your site to various search engines. How to request inbound links for your site. Plus thoughts on creating your own mini-stores.
Chapter 18: Advertising Your Business with Google AdWords. For some people this chapter is the one that opened their eyes on how to use Google's AdWords marketing program. Dave explains in simple terms how the AdWords program works and how to use it to attract business for your studio, or for your clients.
While very easy to read and friendly, this book focuses on the left-brain side of crafting findable, search engine-friendly web sites. Making those sites attractive and appealing remains up to you...
Craig's glowing review continues: CreativeIQ: Growing Your Business with Google.
Reviews and Testimonials
Dave, I'm impressed! My review of Growing Your Business with Google hadn't been up for much longer than an hour before you had already commented on it -- and posted the review on your own website. (Embarrassingly before I corrected a few typos in my own article.) You have this blogging thing down to a science.
Which leads me to a question that I'll post on your other website, AskDaveTaylor.com: What secret weapon do you use to keep so up-to-date on who who is writing or blogging about you on the web? That would be an answer easily worth paying the $50 for immediate assistance.