Book Review – SEO ROI: Rules and Tactics of Advanced SEOs

I’ve been feeling a little SEOfatigued of late. Sick of hearing the same old regurgitated advice and seeing the same old presentation. I’ve found myself withdrawing from Twitter and retreating to smaller communities where the discussion is much more specific and emerges from real, in-the-field observations and results. And you know what? I’m learning more, much faster, and in a shorter amount of time. So, this isn’t a Twitter-diss; but more a natural evolution of my own approach to (constantly) learning SEO. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased when this book landed in my inbox reason being the content is very much of the insider-perspective, using situational examples as opposed to any grand SEO theory.

About the Author, Editor and Book

“SEO ROI: Advanced SEOs’ 7 Curiously Obvious Rules and 30 Singular Tactics That Illustrate Them” is authored by Gabriel Goldenberg an SEO and CRO consultant of considerable experience, with a range of industry speaking experience.

SEO ROI is edited by Richard Kershaw, who again has considerable experience of many areas of online marketing from both blue-chip and affiliate perspectives and is currently running the successful gift experience website

Download a free chapter of the book.


Divided into two sections, the first looking at overarching guiding principles, “the Rules”, which include sound advice such as “Teach Yourself” (rule 2); and the second section (30 singular tactics) looks at very specific, situational dilemmas and challenges any SEO or marketer in-the-field may face, with advanced solutions that solve or circumvent the issue with an ROI-positive solution. Each of the 30 tactics is premised on adherence to “the rules”.

As an example Rule 2 starts with useful points on how and where to seek knowledge within the industry; from blogs to books to good ole’ fashioned networking in the real world.

I particularly enjoyed the section on testing – classic A/B split-test methods looking at the object, existing theories, independent and dependent variables and how to measure the effects on the dependent variable. Included is a great step by step walk-thru in testing; from Step 1 “create a hypothesis, to Step 5 “Measure and Analyze”. There’s also a great deal of emphasis placed on critical thinking, as a mindset or effective approach for SEO practise, observation and test; and this is espoused throughout, including detailing some fundamental steps to thinking critically. Something that resonated quite clearly for me was Rule 5 “Define the Problem”. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen clients and staff react in something of a panic, making all kinds of plans and solutions prior to refining and defining exactly what a perceived issue may be.

Sensibly, Rule 6, recommends challenging assumptions; something I wholeheartedly agree with. Without those that dare to challenge there’s no progress surely? I was particularly pleased to see a section devoted to Inductive Validity “Inductive validity is another way of measuring the truth of an argument. Instead of setting the threshold as truth in 100% of the cases, inductive validity looks for a claim to be probably true.”

Here’s the thing…
DO NOT SKIP “The Rules” and head straight to the paydirt! Whilst the later sections of the book may be naturally more absorbing and resonating for a practising SEO I can assure you that this structure and the content therein is extremely valid.

Best Bits

I don’t want to give away too much of the excellent content detailed in the 30 tactics, but to highlight a few tactics that were fresh thinking for me: Writing Conditional  CSS for Higher Conversion – details a range of four solutions, including the ethics of each method, Link Prospecting Using Demographic Matching – with guidance on how to; and in particular a tactic Gab has described as “Message Matching”, which is an awesome tactic and unfortunately something I can’t really describe without giving away the crown jewels.

Room for Improvement?

I couldn’t find fault with this. And I’m picky.


A truly advanced book for experienced practitioners that are in a position to evaluate solutions based on wider business objectives and ethical frameworks.

Don’t just take my word for it – get your free chapter and see for yourself.

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10 Responses to “Book Review – SEO ROI: Rules and Tactics of Advanced SEOs”

  1. nat says:

    that’s one expensive book – think I’ll definately try a free chapter before purchasing

  2. I’m still learning and haven’t started marketing yet this would be really helpful

  3. SEO-Style says:

    Great review Nichola. I’ve been on the fence given the hefty price tag for the book ($130 USD). However, quality information is priceless. Sick and tired of B.S. blog posts about writing title tags.

    So what are so of the communities that you recommend for SEO? It’s obvious that a lot of these talking heads are not testing their opinions. Some of the stuff that SEOmoz says doesn’t work — actually DOES. No offense to Rand, just saying….

  4. michael says:

    Hey there Nichola,

    I was in one of your training courses for e-consultancy a couple of months back for which I learnt a fair amount. Would you recommend this book to me as I only have 6 months or so experience, or would you think it’s probably a bit beyond me? I’m also fed up of the constant repetitive dross surrounding the industry and would just like some clarity.


  5. Hi Michael,

    I think this will suit someone of around a year or so experience as a minimum, though of course everyone is different and learns at different rates. It would also depend on how you got into SEO. If for example you came straight from education your learning curve might not be as accelerated as for one who had been developing affiliate sites and moved into SEO that way. What I can say is this would be a solid investment, and if you only understand 50% now – the rest will come.

  6. When talking about smaller communities, for me I’ve found a lot of my learning has been accelerated in face to face meet-ups. Conferences like Think Visibility, Manchester SEO and Brighton SEO and any social activities and meet-ups around these tend to be extremely valuable.

  7. “expensive” would suggest over-priced. If you think about it in terms of ROI if you implement one of the thirty changes, which ups your conversion rate 5% and lets say you operate a lead-gen site that gets £5 a lead; such an investment could hypothetically ROI in a month. That’s all completely hypothetical and illustrative and I have no connection financial or otherwise to the author – but just to give some perspective… Of course you would need to have a think about your own business models and hypothetical gains once you’ve read your free chapter. :-)

  8. Austin SEO says:

    Just like you experienced, I believe that smaller groups offer much more valuable knowledge which is hands on and has a personal touch unlike these big avenues which offer a more general approach. About the book,I think its much more professional even though its also useful to the learners.

  9. Adam Perkins says:

    Interesting book review. Always looking for new ways to add more power to what I do. Do you have additional resources (online or otherwise) available for more advanced tactics?

  10. Gabriel Goldenberg says:

    hey guys,

    Just saw the comments now and wanted to try something I read about: I want to offer people here who found it expensive to get THE WHOLE BOOK free for 30 days, and if they like it, they can keep it and pay for it. It’s obviously on the condition it’s not redistributed or shared free. To the admins at SEO-Chicks, if you could forward this to the commenters above, that would be great :) .

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