The other day I was browsing through one of the many local SEO blogs I follow and I saw Nick LeRoy’s post announcing the launch of his new ebook, “Do It Yourself SEO Audit.” As one local SEO consultant to another (and residing in the same city of Minneapolis), Nick reached out to me to review it and give him some feedback.
Well I gave Nick plenty of feedback and I told him I would post a public review of his book as well. I also told him I was going to be brutally honest so here it goes.
The first part of this review provides an overview of what you get and how much it costs. The second part is where I give my overall opinion of the book and who I think it’s best for.
What You Get and What It Costs
Nick has been providing custom SEO audits for small business websites for a while now and they aren’t exactly cheap. They’re expensive because Nick is really good at what he does and he spends a lot of time on them. He told me he created this ebook so that he could reach more small business owners by offering a DIY SEO audit “guide” at a fraction of the cost of his custom audits. He figured if he could make it super affordable, he could reach more businesses.
The book currently sells for $14.99 and is just 23 pages long. There is no fluff or filler in this book so it’s a quick and easy read. It covers 15 of the most critical SEO elements of a website. They are:
- Website Content
- Title Tags
- URL Structure
- Internal Linking
- Site Architecture / Navigation
- Recurring Content
- Site Speed Optimization
- Social Integration
- Image Alt Tags
- Custom 404 Error Pages
- Meta Descriptions
- XML Sitemap
- Header Tags
- Robots.txt file
The book also comes with a SEO scorecard. This is an Excel spreadsheet that when filled out, will show you how well your website is optimized. What you do is grade yourself on each of the 15 elements and then it calculates a total score – giving you an indication of how well you’re doing overall.
It also comes with a SEO audit template. This is a Word document that is basically a boiler plate audit report. By following the main book and using your scores from the scorecard, you fill in the specifics on the audit report. In the end you have a detailed report on how well you’re doing for each of the 15 SEO elements. This is a report that you could present to your manager if you work at a business or to a client if you are a SEO consultant.
My Opinion of the Book
The main book is really good. As I mentioned, there is no fluff here. The book covers 15 SEO elements and it’s only 23 pages long including the title page, legal disclaimer, etc. so you do the math. Each element is covered in about one page. He tells you what each element is, why it’s important, and what to look for on your own website when evaluating that element. He also provides plenty of examples and screenshots.
The book reads more like a long, detailed checklist than anything else. If you’re looking for hard core, indepth information and nitty gritty details on how to fix these elements yourself, you won’t be happy with the book because you won’t find them here. Given the length of the book and its price, I don’t think Nick’s intent was to go real deep in to details. Otherwise it would be 10 times as long and 10 times more expensive!
The book provides just enough information for someone with little or intermediate knowledge of on-page SEO. Those with a thorough knowledge of SEO won’t find anything new here. Nonetheless, the book is a great refresher for seasoned pros.
The audit template is really good too and would be very useful for SEO consultants doing audits of their clients’ websites, or for someone working at a business that needs to give a SEO analysis to the “higher ups.” To be completely honest, however, I don’t see too many businesses actually using the audit template. My guess is the person that will buy this book is a small business owner that doesn’t have to report to anyone. Then again, I suppose a small business owner could give it to an employee to be completed.
The scorecard is the biggest weakness of this book. While it’s interesting to tinker with, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t provide a lot of value. The reason being is it requires you to score yourself on each of the 15 elements. If you know very little about SEO – or even have an intermediate knowledge of SEO – how are you going to know how well you’re really doing on each element? As a result, the scorecard is very subjective. To be fair, Nick does say the score provided is subjective.
Despite its inherent weakness, it at least gives you a general idea of how well you are doing overall with your website optimization. It also forces you to seriously consider how well you think you’re doing for each element. So even if the score is subjective, you’ll get a big picture idea of what elements need more attention.
All things considering, for what you get in the book and for the ridiculous low price, I give it two thumbs up.
Who It’s Best For
This book is best for small business owners with little or intermediate knowledge of SEO who want a “big picture” overview of their website optimization efforts. It would also be great for individuals with websites like affiliate marketers or bloggers. Finally, local SEO consultants that want to provide SEO audits for clients would find this book extremely useful too. In fact, I’m going to use some of the parts of the audit template for the SEO analysis I offer potential new clients.