9 Must-Read Books To Become A Better Optimizer

Published in Online Marketing.

Online articles have a limited size and may contain limited information. For this reason, books are excellent for helping you defining your strategy and identifying insights to develop hypothesis for A/B Testing and optimize your website.

The purpose of this post is not to compile a huge Google search list, but to collect the ones useful (in our opinion) for Conversion Rate Optimization.

(By the way, we don’t take profit from any of these recommendations)

Conversion Rate Optimization

You Should Test That by Chris Goward

You Should Test That! by Chris Goward
You Should Test That! by Chris Goward

Chris is a top-rated speaker and keynote at conferences and seminars globally, like Search Engine Strategies, PubCon, Search Marketing Expo, European Conversion Summit, eMetrics and Conversion Conference, where he evangelizes how marketers should test and gain insights about their messages and websites.

In 13 chapters, he systematically takes us on a journey from the very first basic steps of testing and experimentation, to making a strong and compelling case for conversion optimization, to the critical sections of prioritization the many opportunities in front of us and executing our experiments.  By Avinash Kaushik

How to Build Sites that Sell: The Scientific Approach to Websites by Peep Laja

How to build websites that sell by Peep Laja
How to build websites that sell by Peep Laja

Peep Laja is a conversion guru that has been doing digital marketing for over 15 years in Europe, Middle East, Central America and the US. He has extensive experience across verticals: in the past he’s run a SaaS company in Europe, an SEO agency in Panama, a real estate portal in Dubai, and worked for an international non-profit. He runs the popular conversion optimization blog ConversionXL, which I love it.

The best posts on his blog are organized in this book. This is, it has the same useful content, but organized well and designed for reading. The goal of this book is to give you a step-by-step guide to boosting conversions on your site

Website Opimization: An Hour a Day – A Conversion Rate Optimization and A/B Testing Guide by Rich Page

Web Site Optimization - An Hour a Day by Rich Page
Web Site Optimization – An Hour a Day by Rich Page

Rich Page has been analyzing and improving websites for over 10 years, and is currently a conversion solution specialist at Adobe helping major Fortune 500 clients improve their testing and optimization strategies. He has been blogging about web analytics and optimization topics for over 5 years at http://www.rich-page.com, and is a regular speaker at Conversion Conference and other industry conferences.

In nine exciting chapters Rich shows you, soup to nuts, exactly how to leverage usability, testing, and web analytics to transform your organization and achieve magnificent success! by Avinash Kaunish.


SEO Fitness Workbook, 2016 Edition: The Seven Steps to Search Engine Optimization Success on Google.

SEO Fitness Workbook 2016 by Jason McDonald
SEO Fitness Workbook 2016 by Jason McDonald

Dr. Jason McDonald first became involved with online media back in 1994 and is widely considered an industry leader. He also has taught SEO, Adwords, and Social Media since 2009 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This book, first published in 2012 and updated in 2015 goes far beyond just teaching theories and ideas; it offers readers a host of tools to ensure that they internalize the information. It comes with worksheets and access to online SEO tools to help people put the information they learn through the text to good use. The book helps marketers get into the mindset of SEO so they can seamlessly adapt to future industry changes and remain optimized. The book is intended for marketing professionals, designers, small business owners, and anyone else who wants to learn and understand the latest in SEO strategy. Not only do you learn about keywords, links, and metrics, you also receive worksheets and tips to put that knowledge to use for your business.

Web Design – Master the Tools

Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set by John Duckett

Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set by John Duckett
Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set by John Duckett

Jon Duckett has been designing and building web sites for over a decade, working with global brands, and has authored and co-authored over a dozen books on web design, programming, usability, and accessibility. He has curated conferences about web programming and has been a web strategy consultant, often coding front ends for projects and designing architectures for back end programming.

This two-book set combines the titles HTML & CSS: Designing and Building Web Sites and JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Development. Together these two books form an ideal platform for anyone who wants to master HTML and CSS before stepping up to JavaScript and jQuery.


Usability: Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug 

Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Steve Krug is a usability consultant who has more than 20 years of experience as a user advocate for companies like Apple, Netscape, AOL, Lexus, and others.

This book is the third revisited edition of the book with over 400,000 copies sold in twenty languages. It’s very popular, short and very easy to read. But the most important thing about this book is that it will make sure that you’ll carry out usability tests.


Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership, and most of all, changing everything.

I am sure that you are familiar with the five Ps and more of marketing (Product, Pricing, Promotion, Positioning, Publicity, Packaging, Pass-along…). This book is about the new P, “Purple Cow”. With the idea that cows, after you’ve seen them for a while, are boring, a Purple Cow, though would be interesting. Something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting.  Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service.


Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik

Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik
Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik

Avinash is one of the world’s leading web analytics gurus and author of the top rated blog Occam’s Razor to help you keep up to date.

Analytics can be a dry subject, and Avinash is great at focusing on how to use it as a practical tool for optimizing a business.

His approach is based on his experience running a company’s analytics department, so he focuses on practical, profitable activities, with a step-by-step guide and not just getting lost in data and theory. The book contains a lot of good advice and a CD with five hours of insightful audio Podcasts, and other useful web analytics resources. Pages 237–262 cover testing.


100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk

100 Things Every Designers Needs to Know about People by Susan M. Weinschenk
100 Things Every Designers Needs to Know about People by Susan M. Weinschenk

Susan Weinschenk is a behavioral psychologist who has been working in the field of design and user experience since 1985. She has published five books on user experience in computer systems and has spoken at many conferences. She also is the founder of the Weinschenk Institute.

This book combines real science and research with practical examples to deliver a guide every designer needs. It may help you to increase the effectiveness, conversion rates, and usability of your own design projects by finding the answers to questions such as: What grabs and holds attention on a page or screen? What makes memories stick? What is more important, peripheral or central vision? How can you predict the types of errors that people will make? What is the limit to someone’s social circle? How do you motivate people to continue on to the next step? What line length for text is best? Are some fonts better than others?

Featured image by Kate Ter Haar

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