Ten Books to Help Build Your Online Presence

by Louellen Coker on February 2, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a conference focused on using the web to market your business. We heard from leaders of popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Avvo) as well as from Google, Google Adwords, and Bing. It was a phenomenal conference and I’ll share what I learned in future posts. In the meantime, here is a list of the books recommended by the presenters in the order in which they were mentioned. (I’ve included an affiliate link to the book on the amazon website in case you want to add the book to your personal bookshelf.)

1. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

[amazon-product image=”41EH5YVC7WL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]0060566108[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” type=”text”]0060566108[/amazon-product], written by a team from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, compares what the authors have identified as “visionary” companies with selected companies in the same industry. The authors juxtapose Disney and Columbia Pictures, Ford and General Motors, Motorola and Zenith, and Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments, to name a few. The visionary companies, the authors found out, had a number of common characteristics; for instance, almost all had some type of core ideology that guided the company in times of upheaval and served as a constant bench mark. Not all the visionary companies were founded by visionary leaders, however. On the whole, this is an intriguing book that occasionally provides rare and interesting glimpses into the inner workings and philosophical foundations of successful businesses. Recommended for all libraries.

2. The Cluetrain Manifesto

[amazon-product image=”41-0CC6UJqL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]0465018653[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”The Cluetrain Manifesto” type=”text”]0465018653[/amazon-product]  began as a Web site (cluetrain.com) in 1999 when the authors, who have worked variously at IBM, Sun Microsystems, the Linux Journal, and NPR, posted 95 theses about the new reality of the networked marketplace. Ten years after its original publication, their message remains more relevant than ever. For example, thesis no. 2: “Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors”; thesis no. 20: “Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing. At them.” The book enlarges on these themes through dozens of stories and observations about business in America and how the Internet will continue to change it all.

With a new introduction and chapters by the authors, and commentary by Jake McKee, JP Rangaswami, and Dan Gillmor, this book is essential reading for anybody interested in the Internet and e-commerce, and is especially vital for businesses navigating the topography of the wired marketplace.

3. Free

[amazon-product image=”41zEip9U-GL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]1401322905[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”Free: The Future of a Radical Price” type=”text”]1401322905[/amazon-product] by Chris Anderson, popular author of [amazon-product text=”The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More” type=”text”]1401309666[/amazon-product], received mixed reviews for this . Reviews on Amazon.com show that most readers are able to gain something from this book. Check out Amazon’s podcast about the book, Omnivoracious Podcast: Chris Anderson on Free. It’s a nice discussion with the author about this book.

4. The Tipping Point

[amazon-product image=”41UQpXGaf%2BL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]0316346624[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” type=”text”]0316346624[/amazon-product] by Malcolm Gladwell is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how ideas reach viral status. Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. His 1999 profile of Ron Popeil won a National Magazine Award, and in 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference,” (2000) and “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” (2005), both of which were number one New York Times bestsellers.

5. Stealing MySpace

[amazon-product image=”51cdgnM3bpL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]1400066948[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America” type=”text”]1400066948[/amazon-product]  as described by the author:

Porn. Hacking. Spyware. Spam. Spy cameras you can hide in your shoe.Prior to launching MySpace, the founders dabbled in all of the above. Relentless marketers and knockoff artists, their story also included a boardroom coup, broken friendships, betrayals, litigation and a pair of feuding media moguls–Sumner Redstone and Rupert Murdoch.

When I stumbled on the history of MySpace, I quickly realized it was not your typical Silicon Valley saga. There were no computer geniuses dropping out of prestigious universities, no fancy algorithms, no computers in garages. In short: The MySpace tale was manna from journalistic heaven–I had to write it.

It was also a serious lesson about the evolution of the Internet. The success of these ragtag marketers from Los Angeles demonstrated an important change in our culture: Technology had finally become relatively easy to use. Innovation was no longer confined to the digital elites. MySpace’s success was largely due to the fact that it put its customers first, and technology second.

Still, as it grew, MySpace’s lack of tech savvy has been its Achilles Heel. Today, MySpace is being forced to play technological catch-up to rival social networking site, Facebook, and it’s not clear if it will succeed.

The final chapter of the MySpace story has not yet been written. But the unlikely tale of how MySpace was born is one that begged to be told. —Julia Angwin

6. SEO Warrior

[amazon-product image=”51dOCMrzRJL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]059615707X[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”SEO Warrior” type=”text”]059615707X[/amazon-product]  shows you how to make it easier for people to find your website and convert casual users into active users through a collection of tried and true techniques, hacks, and best practices. Learn the nuts and bolts of search engine optimization (SEO) theory, the importance of keyword strategy, and how to avoid and remedy search engine traps.

7. Search Engine Visibility

[amazon-product image=”41XDRbSxZoL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]0321503244[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”Search Engine Visibility (2nd Edition)” type=”text”]0321503244[/amazon-product]  is about designing, writing, and creating a web site primarily for a site’s visitors, and helping them find what they are searching for via the major search engines, directories, and industry-related sites. This book teaches developers, designers, programmers, and online marketers what pitfalls to avoid from the beginning so they can provide their clients with more effective site designs. It includes up-to-date information on new developments such as blogs, video and podcasts, web applications and more.

8. Marketing in the Age of Google

[amazon-product image=”41362%2BFrlSL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]0470537191[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”Marketing in the Age of Google: Your Online Strategy IS Your Business Strategy” type=”text”]0470537191[/amazon-product] is projected to be available in May 2010. In this non-technical book for executives, business owners, marketers, and product managers, search engine strategy guru Vanessa Fox-who created Google’s portal for site owners, Google Webmaster Central -explains what every marketer or business owner needs to understand about how search rankings work, how to use search to better understand your customers and attract new ones, how to develop a comprehensive search strategy for your business, and how to build execution of this strategy into the businesses processes. This isn’t another book about paid search for advertisers. This book focuses on organic listings – the unpaid results that receive 86% of searcher clicks.

9. Landing Page Optimization

[amazon-product image=”51h1exIcOlL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]0470174625[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions” type=”text”]0470174625[/amazon-product] by  Tim Ash is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide, from which you’ll learn all the skills necessary to dramatically improve your bottom line, including identifying mission critical parts of your website and their true economic value, defining important visitor classes and key conversion tasks,   gaining insight on customer decision-making, uncovering problems with your page and deciding which elements to test, developing an action plan, and avoiding common pitfalls. Includes a companion website and a detailed review of the Google Website Optimizer tool. Read our review.

10. Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity

[amazon-product image=”41JJGPJVjGL._SL160_.jpg” type=”image”]0470529393[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product text=”Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity” type=”text”]0470529393[/amazon-product] adeptly addresses today’s business challenges with this powerful new book from web analytics thought leader Avinash Kaushik. Web Analytics 2.0 presents a new framework that will permanently change how you think about analytics. It provides specific recommendations for creating an actionable strategy, applying analytical techniques correctly, solving challenges such as measuring social media and multichannel campaigns, achieving optimal success by leveraging experimentation, and employing tactics for truly listening to your customers. The book will help your organization become more data driven while you become a super analysis ninja!

Do you have any books on this subject that you’d like to recommend? Please let us know in the comments.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Willa February 15, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Oh now this seems very useful thanks for sharing these titles, and I will be looking forward to more insight from this conference.

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