The world of product management can be hard to navigate for any SEO wanting to learn.
I’ve put together a list of books which helped me learn practical and theoretical product management principles when I joined the product team at DeepCrawl.
I will also be updating this list as I continuously learn.
What you’ll learn:
Lean-Agile principles which can help you to minimise outputs whilst maximising the value of your projects.
User story mapping visualisation technique to define and plan development release strategy with a development team.
Setting customer-centric goals by defining outcomes which can drive business results.
Design Sprint workshop a five-day event in which tested big risky business ideas in just five days.
Lessons from real-world case studies which help you to explain concepts and principles.
In-house SEO tips and case studies from some of the best SEOs in the world.
Product-led and SEO-led growth concepts from experience product and SEO consultants.
I still have a lot of books on my reading list. I will update this list in the future.
INSPIRED: How to Create Products Customers Love
By Marty Cagan
INSPIRED was the first book recommended to me as a new product manager. It is one of the best practical books on how to transform a business into a product-led business.
It's packed full of advice, tips and frameworks for all the challenges you will face when transforming a business. The author even goes into detail on how to structure a product team. The book is also filled with examples to help you understand the context of advice.
If you're going to read one book on product management, read this one.
The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
By Eric Ries
The Lean Startup began as a blog in 2008 and quickly became a movement and a best selling book in 2011.
A great introduction to the Lean method many businesses use today to build customer-focused products. This book takes you through Eric's Build-Measure-Learn framework when working with start-up companies.
Although this book is getting on a bit, it is a great introduction to Lean-Agile principles.
Validating Product Ideas
By Tomer Sharon
This book was recommended to me by the Head of UX at DeepCrawl when we began doing user research for features. This book provides a step-by-step guide on how-to-do user research and helps you figure out what customers want.
This book is for any SEO who wants to validate ideas quickly using customer interviews.
Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams
By Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
I picked up Lean UX at the Product Owner training workshop in London. A brilliant introduction on Lean UX principles and a practical guide for anyone who wants to learn how to work more effectively with other teams using agile methods.
A must for any SEO who wants to learn how-to practice Lean-Agile methods, and achieve more by doing less in your projects.
User Story Mapping
By Jeff Patton
User Story Mapping is a brilliant book on using a simple method to help plan, break-down and work with engineers to develop web development strategy.
It's packed full of helpful advice on why visualisation is important, why the documentation does not equal understanding and a step-by-step guide on using the user story mapping technique to create web development strategies.
I recommend this if you're a technical SEO who wants to learn how product managers and engineering teams break down complex features into smaller releases.
Outcomes Over Output
By Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
This book is less than 100 pages but one of the most useful books I have read on goal-setting in digital. I read it in less than 40 minutes, but I still refer back to it.
Many successful product management teams have combined outcome principles with a framework like Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to drive business success.
If you're an SEO strategist or in-house SEO I highly recommend getting this book.
Digital Transformation at Scale: Why Strategy is Delivery
By Andrew Greenway, Ben Terret, Mike Bracken, Tom Loosemore
This book won't be on many "best product book" lists.
I bought this book after one of the authors spoke at a Product Tank conference in Manchester (I forgot his name). The focus of his talk was the lessons he learned from his agency helping the UK Government go digital.
A lot of his advice in his talk and the book helped me out at DeepCrawl, which was going through a transformation at the time.
If you're interested in how the UK Government Digital Service was created or want experienced advice on leading agile teams from those who have helped digital transformation within Governments.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
By Jake Knapp
The Design Sprint is a step-by-step guide on how to build and test a prototype in just five days. The idea behind this book is to test a big and risky idea that might take 6 months for the business to figure out (wasting time, money and resource).
At DeepCrawl we tested a handful of risky ideas using the step-by-step guide in the Design Sprint (including Automator).
This book isn't useful for most SEOs but if you want to test a big risky business idea in a short space of time this is the book.
Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself
By Wes Bush
Product-Led Growth is a fantastic guide on how a company can shift to a product-led strategy. It is a practical guide with frameworks and case studies on the power of Product-Led Growth.
I picked this up early in 2021 as it was recommended to me. I was very impressed by the amount of information, practical guides and case studies which could be applied to SEO.
This book is very useful for any SEO strategist or Head of SEO wanting to get a better grasp of advanced practical product strategy.
Mastering In-house SEO
by Simon Schnieders
Simon Schnideders, CEO at BlueArray, has compiled 26 case studies from in-house SEOs across multiple different markets.
This is a great book packed full of case studies from in-house SEO experts. Although it doesn’t include product-led advice, it does include a lot of advice from those who have considerable experience working in-house.
I’d recommend this book if you quickly want to gather SEO ideas to drive growth, navigate the company politics or general tips about how to work in-house — a great book to keep within reach for ideas.
By Eli Schwartz
Eli Schwartz, Head of SEO at SurveyMonkey, has written a fantastic book on Product-led SEO.
Although the book doesn’t include a practical guide or framework, it is packed with advice on organic search growth by using the product as the SEO driver, rather than SEO simply used as a marketing channel.
I highly recommend you get this book if you are an SEO team or specialist at a company who wants to learn why they should be implementing a product-led strategy.
Interested in other Product resources?
Do you want to learn more about practical Product Management resources for SEOs?
Leave a comment and let me know what other resources you’d like to see.