We always tell clients that everything you need to know about search engine optimization (SEO) is already out there on the Internet. Some very good SEO’s make a nice living by providing all the information and resources you need to successfully run an Internet marketing program.
That being said, however, the best research you can bring to the table comes from practicing what they preach. Lisa Barone has a great take on the difference between reading about and practicing SEO.
In fact, most of the information put out there is general, as opposed to industry specific. Once you start to do your competitive research, that will become apparent to you very quickly. So, don’t get stuck trying to find out which SEO tactic lead to your competitor’s top 5 ranking, start practicing and let the results guide you to page 1.