Feb 042012

James Hussey and Wife (author of Duct Tape SEO: WordPress SEO Done Dirt Cheap)

James Hussey, author of Duct Tape SEO, and his wife Tasha

With a motto like “Workin’ for my wife and kids” you know James Hussey is not playing around with search engine optimization (SEO). Fueled by the real-world needs of putting food on the table and shoes on a multiplicity of feet, he’s got no time for shady practices and shoddy implementations.

From West Coast to East Coast (and the Mid-West to boot), he’s learned a few things about keeping it real and killing off what doesn’t work. He knows all about the power of using metaphoric duct tape to hold it all together. Now, making a living from what he loves, he’s taken his gleanings, packaged them up, and offers them to those who would rather not have to piecemeal together a strategy for online success.

Book Review of James Hussey's Duct Tape SEO: WordPress SEO Done Dirt Cheap

Duct Tape SEO: WordPress SEO Done Dirt Cheap

Duct Tape SEO was written for bloggers, local business owners, marketers, who write great content but want more natural traffic with less work. With the beginner in mind, it shares search engine optimization (SEO) best practices and encourages readers to keep their money in their pocket — and utilize proper techniques instead.

James Hussey spends the better part of the first 45 pages priming you. Like the well-oiled pump in your great-grandmas backyard, where priming coaxed the water out the ground, pressed all the HOT air from the pipes, and made ready for the gush of clean, clear water flowing powerfully into the waiting buckets.

Hussey wants you ready … Airways clean and clear of hype, myth, and the general B*S you’ve been fed for the last few internet years. Prepared to receive truth and pumped to act on it.

SEO Reality Check

Yes, James is a huge proponent of SEO but he is also a realist who tells beginners from jump-street that search engine optimization is not the end-all, be-all of securing traffic on the web. Throughout the book, even as he shares a step-by-step process or discusses the nuances of a strategy, he gently reminds readers to keep the big picture in mind while they laser-focus their SEO activities.

Myths Dispelled

Every industry has myths. With clarity and a bit of humor, James debunks the top three that beset the SEO industry. Clearing the way for those learning the ropes to walk a straight and narrow path fraught with brambles, he detangles before misinformation becomes a thorn in the side.

Roll Up Your Sleeves

Duct Tape SEO is a well-rounded manual, taking you from zero to 60 at a reasonable pace. It doesn’t move at the speed of light because there is work to be done.

Proper Context

With so much widespread information around the internet, it can be difficult to initially synthesize it into two avenues. James has smartly divided the book into two distinct sections covering these avenues: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

Encompassing more than just theory, it lays a strong foundation covering the fundamentals. In keeping with creating a proper context, he doesn’t just cover the well-known “long-tail” approach to keyword selection; he provides insight into how to select and rank for short-tail and mid-tail keywords as well.

Covers the Bases

Remember, this book was written for the beginner. Rather than waiting to the very end, James dives right in with the one tool every beginner to anything needs right up front: a glossary. Hussey doesn’t assume a newbie will build a website from scratch, so true to the title, he does a thorough walk-through of preparing a newly-installed WordPress blog to be used as the foundation.

To this end, he includes a detailed chapter that could have been named “The Plugins You Never Thought Contributed in a Big Way to SEO.” Ok, my title is a little lame. Still, I love his treatment of this cadre of plugins because they are not all “SEO Plugins,” yet he has conscripted them into his army to do his bidding.

Thorough But Not the Final Word

Hussey does not try to pack in everything there is to learn about optimizing a WordPress blog for the search engines but does a good job of taking a beginner through all the steps. He shares some of his personal results from more advanced techniques and leaves room for you to continue learning after practicing the basics.

Interesting Bits

  • The “dirt cheap” part – Covers his favorite free tools for keyword research, building backlinks, and testing
  • Giving credit – Judiciously points to proof-of-concept studies and industry trends, giving credit where credit is due
  • Bonus material and workbooks – The bonuses are workshop handout caliber: over-deliver has been overused so I won’t say it!
  • Social media – Touches on the relationship between SEO and social media profiles
  • Competitve analysis – Discussion of research for competitive analysis
  • Footnotes – James uses footnotes in his ebook! ** :)

Any Complaints?

When Google changes an algorithm or introduces a new filter for spam content, epic publishers don’t notice (for the most part). Otherwise you’ll just waste even more time by complaining it wasn’t fair that your flotsam and jetsam didn’t rise like cream. – James Hussey

No complaints, but speaking of Google and its changes, I’d love to see an update to Duct Tape SEO that takes into account the impact of Google+ — which had just hit the scene when the book was released.

The book talks about Klout’s influence and its role in social media posturing as it intersects SEO activities. Since the book’s release, we’ve witnessed fallout with Klout and seen Kred.ly (and others) come into play. The author’s take on these events with respect to search engine optimization strategies for beginners would be another welcome addition.

Final Thoughts

Starting with a blank slate, Duct Tape SEO fills your plate with food for thought then leads you to the buffet and shows you exactly what to select — and what to leave behind — for a healthy SEO diet. As much motivational as it is a teaching tool, it builds confidence in first-timers by creating context, providing worksheets, and sharing anecdotal tidbits from James’ own personal experiences.

I’m not really an SEO fanatic. In fact, 2012 2013 is the year I’ve designated as my SEO Year. I’ll be using Duct Tape SEO (and James’ upcoming book) as blueprints for my own efforts this year, especially as I build out my local directory project.

Book Review of James Hussey's Duct Tape SEO: WordPress SEO Done Dirt CheapThanks for reading this review of Duct Tape SEO.

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Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book. I was not asked nor compensated to provide a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. The review copy is mine to keep. Links to the book within the review are affiliate links. If you purchase through those links, I will receive monetary compenation.

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Vernessa Taylor

Technology Consultant, Business Writer at Local Business Coach Online (LBCO)
Founder and editor of the blog here at LBCO. Thanks for reading, sharing, commenting and visiting. See you next time.

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  34 Responses to “Review of James Hussey's Duct Tape SEO: WordPress #SEO Done Dirt Cheap”

Comments (34)
  1. Hi Vernessa

    This looks an interesting read as I also want to improve my knowledge and application of SEO in 2012. In the “dirt cheap” part you mention he uses free tools for keyword research, backlinks and testing, but what about the plugins he uses can we get these free also or would they be an extra expense?

  2. today companies are spending tens n thousands for SEO. I think this post is surely gonna help for those who do have that much to spend but can do something to improve their seo…

    • Hi Rahul,

      You’re right, the average individual blogger or small business will be looking for ways to enhance their search engine optimization efforts while saving money. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I think that this book can be like a priceless treasure for everyone who works in this sphere, especially for beginners

  4. There are so many eBooks for SEO, SEM and so on – but this eBook is really good. Thank you for sharing and reviewing.

  5. I think that companies spend more money on SEO than we could ever imagine. SEO has always been a myth for me, such as Google. Gosh, once you would start to understand (OK? not the whole think of course, you re not supposed to do that), they’ll change it all. Great review, Vernessa!

    • Hi Julia, welcome to CoachNotes Blog! No doubt, things will likely change in some fashion or another. One thing that has seemingly remained consistent is that if we develop good content and remain consistent in our approaches, those changes don’t negatively affect us over the long term.

      One outstanding feature of Jame’s book is the sensible, consistent approach he takes to SEO. Nothing boutique, just solid forward motion. :)

  6. Hi, Vernessa. Thanks for your review of James Hussey’s book. I’m a newbie in the world of internet marketing and a book like Duct Tape SEO could help me a lot. I believe in the power of SEO to boost a website’s performance but I still need to learn the best tips and strategies. I’d like to get a copy of this book.

    • Hi Mae, thanks for stopping by. His book was written for the newbie in you. :) Getting it early in your process will help you avoid some of the mistakes and misinformation that abounds on the ‘net.

      • I agree with you about misinformation on the Internet. I’ve read many SEO 101 articles and sometimes it’s hard to know which is best. I should only rely on a proven and tested guide like the Duct Tape SEO book :)

  7. Hey Vernessa,
    Nice review on the book.I only entered the world of SEO and online marketing couple of months ago and I believe that i really got to get my hands on that book.I have so much to learn still to improve my skills.It is very important to have people like you and James to point us newbies to the right direction!

    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks. You won’t be disappointed when you pick up a copy. I’m not exactly a newbie in the strictest sense but I definitely found James’ style and tutorials useful at this stage of the game. Appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  8. is there any good premium plugin dat will increase my SEO .Well u mention keyword research is necessary….is there any plugin for dat???

  9. Hello Vernessa, thanks for the review and I learn a lot of things about SEO. Everyone should know about this. Thanks for sharing this information.

  10. Hi Vernessa.
    Your creation can surely bring a huge help to me in understanding the real face of SEO especially this year of 2012. Thanks!

  11. I like the way of writing its awesome and you have included some really good points about SEO.

  12. Hi James!
    Awesome article James.Today Many companies are looking for SEO and spending hundreds and thousands of money to know much about SEO.This article is very useful for them ans also for new one’s who start to do SEO.Thanks for sharing your post.

  13. Nice share of information about Duct Tape SEO, Vernessa. Through reading this blog, I have learned good things and benefits of using the Duct Tape SEO. I am so glad you have shared it to us. thank you., Vernessa. Keep up your good attitude.

  14. I use Yoast and love it. Where I fail is using plugins to take advantage of RSS feeds. I am just beginning to work on my RSS feeds and use them to gain a following. The syndicator and web traffic genius plugins sound like a good place to start.

  15. Thanks for the post. I’m a small business owner and very new to SEO. This looks like a great resource. I’ll check it out to learn more as I’m trying to rank well for commercial real estate loans as a key word for my site.

    • Hey Scott,

      Try adding a blog to your business site. Then you can write articles that contain your keywords and when you comment on other blogs that have CommentLuv installed, you’ll be able to pull some traffic to help you rank as you desire.

  16. Duct tape seo sounds like something I need to get. I have learned a lot in the last 3 years but I need to learn more. I have already found quite a few people who are willing to teach people and I have found quite a few who just want the money and don’t care if you ever learn anything about seo. Thanks for the enticing article.

    • You’re welcome, Dennis. Once you test the waters with the people who are willing to teach, find someone whose techniques bring results and stick with them. That way, you’ll build a solid foundation.

  17. I love these knowledge filled books. There is always a tremendous amount of info that you can apply to improve your site. Thanks for sharing this suggestion, I’ll check it out.

    • James’ book comes with a stack of bonus material that is a wonderful complement to his book, not just useless garbage. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed should you decide to pick it up and work through it.

  18. I hope he mentions one or two places other than a certain one that was recently closed down (I’m not sure if I can mention the site) where one can check one’s inlinks for free. Those places are hard to come by.

    • Hi Sonny,

      Not sure which site you’re referring to but the book does go into detail about free sites that are useful in your SEO activities. It would be okay for you to mention the site that closed down if you think others would benefit by knowing.

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