Book Review: Optimize
By Kelvin Mak | February 1, 2013
|Publisher:||John Wiley & Sons|
Lee Odden’s book, Optimize, contains plenty of useful insights, but if you have to sum up the underlying philosophy of the book in one line, the aforementioned quote would be it.
Essentially, Optimize is a roadmap that takes the reader through every step of integrated online content marketing. The book breaks the process down into three phases: Planning, Implementation, and Scale, and within them are insightful chapters that touch on pretty much every topic online marketers (and aspiring online marketers) need to know, such as:
- "Smart Marketing Requires Intelligence: Research, Audit, and Listen"
- "In It to Win It: Setting Objectives"
- "Content Isn’t King, It’s the Kingdom: Creation and Curation"
- "Electrify Your Content: Promotion and Link Building"
It is often hard, especially for beginners, to make sense of all the technical jargons and concepts that fill such books, but Odden somehow manages to simplify—though crucially not dumb down—the complexities, making them easy to read to understand. If a novice cannot catch the finer details, he or she will, at the very least, be able to understand the underlying concepts and the mindset needed to establish an effective content marketing program.
Optimize is first and foremost a practical guide—each chapter provides case studies to drive home Odden’s points, and “action items” that give the reader the opportunity to put Odden’s insights into use. However, it doesn’t neglect the theoretical aspects either. The one thing that differentiates Optimize from many of the other books on SEO, which often read like mere laundry list of things to do, is the fact that Odden spends more ink discussing the principles behind the actions—the “whys”, and not just the “hows”.
This focus on principles means that, even if time passes and many of technologies have advanced beyond what Optimize referred to, the book will stay relevant because the philosophy behind the tactics are likely still the same. A recommended read for anybody who is looking to give his or her business a leg up on the increasingly clustered web.