Website Optimization
Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: July 2008
Pages: 398

Remember when an optimized website was one that merely didn't take all day to appear? Times have changed. Today, website optimization can spell the difference between enterprise success and failure, and it takes a lot more know-how to achieve success.

This book is a comprehensive guide to the tips, techniques, secrets, standards, and methods of website optimization. From increasing site traffic to maximizing leads, from revving up responsiveness to increasing navigability, from prospect retention to closing more sales, the world of 21st century website optimization is explored, exemplified and explained.

Website Optimization combines the disciplines of online marketing and site performance tuning to attain the competitive advantage necessary on today's Web. You'll learn how to improve your online marketing with effective paid and natural search engine visibility strategies, strengthened lead creation and conversion to sales methods, and gold-standard ad copywriting guidelines. Plus, your increased site speed, reduced download footprint, improved reliability, and improved navigability will work synergistically with those marketing methods to optimize your site's total effectiveness.

In this book for business and IT managers, author Andrew King, president of Website Optimization, LLC, has assembled experts in several key specialties to teach you:

  • Search engine optimization -- addressing best (and worst) practices to improve search engine visibility, including step-by-step keyword optimization guidelines, category and tag cloud creation, and guerilla PR techniques to boost inbound links and improve rankings
  • Pay-per-click optimization -- including ad copywriting guidelines, setting profit-driven goals, calculating and optimizing bids, landing page optimization, and campaign management tips
  • Optimizing conversion rates -- increasing leads with site landing page guidelines, such as benefit-oriented copy, credibility-based design, value hierarchies, and tips on creating unique selling propositions and slogans
  • Web performance tuning -- optimizing ways to use (X)HTML, CSS, and Ajax to increase speed, reduce your download footprint, and increase reliability
  • Advanced tuning -- including client-side techniques such as on-demand content, progressive enhancement, and inline images to save HTTP requests. Plus server-side tips include improving parallelism, using cache control, browser sniffing, HTTP compression, and URL rewriting to remap links and preserve traffic
  • Web metrics -- illustrating the best metrics and tools to gather details about visitors and measure web conversion and success rates. Covering both search marketing metrics and web performance measures including Pathloss and waterfall graphs

Website Optimization not only provides you with a strategy for success, it also offers specific techniques for you and your staff to follow. A profitable website needs to be well designed, current, highly responsive, and optimally persuasive if you're to attract prospects, convert them to buyers, and get them to come back for more. This book describes precisely what you need to accomplish to achieve all of those goals.

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4.5

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4.0

Diverse, related topics in one place

By thristan

from geneva, switzerland

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Website Optimization:

    This is a hugely useful read, particularly if - like myself - you have a range of responsibilities for managing online assets ranging from design, deployment and testing to site promotion and marketing.

    Much of the information on each vertical section can be found elsewhere - for instance SEO, PPC and performance optimisation - and individually, each section provides solid information which might not surprise.

    The real advantage of this book is that it forces the reader to think of each of the diverse threads as being intimately related in the customer's experience. If you are a UML geek, think of it as an answer to an end-to-end use case (find site, load site, explore site): if you are a marketeer it will expand your horizon in understanding how technical, offpage elements can contribute to satisfaction, bounce rate reduction and improved conversion; if you work in application deployment or support, it will give you some useful pre-launch direction to load and performance testing and gain you brownie points with your Sales and Marketing customers.

    So, short order review is that while individual sections on their own may not deliver any surprises to someone with existing expertise, the overall remit of the book will expand the horizons of most who read it.

     
    5.0

    speed, search engine & conversion rate secrets

    By Roy Johnson

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Website Optimization:

    Andy King scored a big hit in 2003 with his first book Speed Up Your Site (http://www.mantex.co.uk/reviews/king.htm). It's a guide which still has its own live web site (http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/) where you can analyse the effectiveness of your web pages. This latest magnum opus goes way beyond that in scope and depth. It's a guide to maximising every aspect of a website and its performance.

    It's an amazingly practical manual, with page after page of ideas, suggestions, and strategies for getting your pages more widely known and read. On the whole, it's not too technical, and he supplies snippets of code only when necessary. All the tips are within the grasp of anyone who is used to running a web site, and along the way he explains the principles of search engine optimization (SEO) as well as briefing you on how SEs treat your site.

    This is an up-to-date account of how search engines such as Yahoo and Google rank your pages and deal with search requests. He also presents

    real-life case studies in which he shows 'before and after' makeovers of professional sites. These are most instructive in that the 'before' pages look attractive and professional enough - until their underlying weaknesses are analysed and rectified. The improvements give what are claimed as up to fifty times more site visitors per day, and in the case of a cosmetic dentist the need to employ more staff and move to bigger offices in Philadelphia.

    The first half of the book deals with search engine marketing optimization, which can be expensive as one enters the world of paid advertising. But the second concentrates on things which anyone can do and afford - making pages smaller, lighter, and faster by trimming off the surplus fat. In an age of faster and faster broadband connections, web users are simply not prepared to wait more than a couple of seconds for a page to appear - so you've got to make important pages lean and speedy:

    "Web page optimization streamlines your content to maximise display speed. Fast display speed is the key to success with your website. It increases profits, decreases costs, and improves customer satisfaction (not to mention search engine rankings, accessibility, and maintainability)."

    All of these issues are dealt with in detail - and I particularly liked the fact that he was prepared to repeat some of the techniques when they occurred in different contexts. It's not always easy to grasp some of these technologies in one simple pass. Especially as - in the case of optimizing images - he explains no less than sixteen possibilities for cutting file size and speeding up downloads.

    He's also keen on the optimization of style sheets and shows an amazing variety of techniques for creating what he calls 'CSS Architecture'. Here too there are no less than ten strategies explained which offer cleaner, tighter, coding and the use of structural markup to beat browser peculiarities and rendering delays.

    Most of his explanations are clearly articulated, but occasionally he lapses into less than elegant repetition and jargon, which could deter the inexperienced:

    "By converting old-style nonsemantic markup into semantic markup, you can more easily target noncontiguous elements with descendant selectors."

    Fortunately, this sort of thing only happens occasionally. There are some very nifty tricks for creating buttons and rollover techniques using style sheets, which saves the time to download a graphic files button, and thus once again speeds up page rendering.

    He puts in two chapters on advanced web performance and optimizing JavaScipt and Ajax on your site which I have to admit went beyond my technical competence. But then it's back to terra firma with understanding the metrics of your site's performance - that is, knowing how to analyse the statistical data returned by website analysers such as Google's Analytics and WebTrends.

    I've never been able to understand before what page 'bounce rate' was until it was explained here - and I was astonished when I saw the results from some of my own pages!

    As the search for more detailed information and for planning campaigns goes on - so the process becomes more like a science. There are graphs and formulae scattered around these pages to prove this. It's the same for Pay Per Click advertising (PPC). All I can say is that if you are in this league, Andy King is your friend, and his advice is here thick on the ground to help you.

     
    4.0

    Great book for professionals

    By jdruin

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Website Optimization:

    This book is divided into 2 basic sections: getting attention from web surfers and optimizing web code.

    The first portion of the book focuses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques then on Pay Per Click enhancements. It was this part of the book that I thought was particuarly geared towards professional, e-commerce deveopers that depend on maximizing their applications for revenue streams.

    The second half will help both pros and weekend web writers alike. In this portion, the author explains several techniques to optimize the execution of HTML, CSS and JavaScript code while also minimizing the footprint of this same code. This portion of the book is applicable to most any non-trivial website since it does not focus specifically on revenue generation sites.

    Overall the book is well written and the code optimization area (second half) contains useful chapters on the inner working of CSS and JavaScript that will help developers optimize code plus follow best practices.

    I recommend the book for web professions and web retailers.

     
    5.0

    Well Written and Thorough

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Website Optimization:

    First off, if you are a developer like me this book is not about the type of optimization that comes to mind when looking at the title (at least not fully). While Website Optimization does cover the technical details of optimization such as making full use of CSS, making efficient use of Javascript, and implementing AJAX wisely. It also covers the search engine marketing side of optimization. This includes the how to get your site to rank higher, how to plan and run a pay per click marketing campaign, and how to increase the percentage of clicks that turn into purchases. I see applicability for this section of the book beyond commercial websites. Open source projects or informational websites can use the techniques to increase their visibility.

    The book is well researched with many footnotes, charts, and illustrative case studies that demonstrate the techniques presented. The case studies follow the chapters that introduce a given marketing technique. The provides a concrete example that helps solidify the understanding of the material previously presented.

    The final chapter ties together the marketing and the technical with ways to measure how well you are doing at your optimizations efforts. If you are serious about improving your website from a marketing or a technical perspective this book gives you the tools you need to do so. The rest is up to you.

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