Every graphic designer who earns part of their living designing websites should be required to read at least chapter 14 of Dave Taylor’s book Growing Your Business with Google.

Tip: Copywriters who want to learn to craft search engine-friendly copy should read this book too.

Craig’s note: That’s my own copy shown at right. I read it on vacation in early 2006 while we were planning our own CreativeIQ blog. I thought I knew a fair bit about web design. The dozens of post-it notes and highlighted sections are a testimony to how much I was missing about designing sites that work well with search engines.

While supporting Seattle-area design studios, we’ll often find ourselves talking with studio owners who are frustrated or confused with why their website don’t rank well with online searches. Or worse, when sites they’ve designed for their clients are largely invisible to searching customers.

This book will help clear up the confusion. But don’t start reading at chapter one. Here are the chapters we think designers will find most valuable:

Chapter 14: Secrets of the Online Marketing Masters. This is the chapter every designer should read. Dave talks about the philosophy and specifics of how to design a search engine-friendly web site.

Chapter 15: Content, Content, Content. Most people don’t realize how frequently you update your website effects how often Google will visit your site. So if you don’t update the content regularly, Google learns to ignore your website for longer periods of time. This chapter also discusses the payoff of incorporating a Blog into your studio’s site.

Chapter 16: Becoming a More Popular Site. When and how to submit your site to various search engines. How to request inbound links for your site. Plus thoughts on creating your own mini-stores.

Chapter 18: Advertising Your Business with Google AdWords. For some people this chapter is the one that opened their eyes on how to use Google’s AdWords marketing program. Dave explains in simple terms how the AdWords program works and how to use it to attract business for your studio, or for your clients.

Friendly and easy to read, this book focuses on the left-brain side of crafting findable, search engine-friendly web sites. Making those sites attractive and appealing remains up to you.

If you are anything like us, you’ll eventually end up reading the whole book. That said, the first Post-it notes don’t show up in our own copy until page 111.

Tip: If you own a Seattle-area creative studio, sign up for next week’s FREE workshop Blog Your Portfolio at the School of Visual Concepts. Tuesday, September 19, 2006 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Creativetechs’ Craig Swanson and SVC’s Larry Asher will talk about how to help create a studio website that is easy to update, and more likely to attract search-engine traffic.

Source: We originally ran across Dave Taylor’s articles on the Ask Dave Taylor website while searching for something on Google. This is the only Idiot’s or Dummy’s branded book currently on our bookshelf.