Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets

Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets

44c17 Conversion Rate Optimisation 51ZCIxySxTL. SL160  Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets

  • ISBN13: 9780596515089
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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, and 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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  1. Nate Klaiber says:
    17 of 19 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Extremely thorough book on managing a successful website, December 15, 2008
    By 
    Nate Klaiber (Dover, OH) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets (Paperback)

    The first line of the preface to this book reads, “We’ve had a website for years now, but it hardly pays for itself.” This book aims to solve the mysteries that many site owners feel about the performance of their website. Some owners don’t know any better, some don’t know where to start, and still others rely on false metrics to make their site seem as though it is doing better than it actually is. This book doesn’t contain myths. This book doesn’t contain “feel-good” stats about websites. This book contains in-depth information related to every aspect of your website, and how you can turn your website into something that works for you and, ultimately, achieves the goals you set in the beginning. This may be a financial goal and your website is responsible for driving sales. This may be a social networking goal, where you want to nurture a growing community. This may be an advertising goal, where you can optimize your site for advertising campaigns. The core of this book will help you, no matter what the goal of your website. Andy King has done an incredible job of thoroughly covering the areas of performance, optimizing these areas, and then properly analyzing the results.

    This book is divided up into two parts: Search Engine Marketing Optimization and Web Performance Optimization.

    SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING OPTIMIZATION

    Natural Search Engine Optimization
    Anyone who has ever been in charge of optimizing a website for search engines can attest to the many challenges they may be presented with. These challenges are, often times, unique to any given project. Andy starts off the book by introducing natural, or organic SEO. He explains the benefits, shows some of the core SEO techniques, and wraps it up into a very thorough ten step process to achieve higher search engine rankings. He covers many aspects such as using a professional design, the pitfalls of Flash, and lists out some of the barriers to SEO. I personally liked that he took the time out to explain what a professional design looks like. He introduces the concept here, and then goes into more depth in a later chapter. I have always seen this as one of the most important aspects to your SEO campaign. Having a solid look, feel, structure, and organization will ultimately help both humans and bots find your important content. I also liked the fact that he had a nice section devoted to Microformats while explaining the benefits of Meta Data.

    Natural SEO Case Study: [...]
    So how do we know what he says is true or even works? The next chapter dives into a case study. Enough talking about what works, let’s see some real world examples. This specific example, [...], took a site that was not professionally designed, and turned it around into something much more meaningful. While the copywriting was re-organized, much of the re-structuring took place in the markup. By employing quality markup, he was able to achieve better results, as things were all put into context. He makes brief mention of using the Lynx test to make sure things make sense. Strip your styles away. Strip your behavior away. Does the content make sense at the core? By re-working the core structure and copy-writing, they were able to see much better organic SEO results than the first iteration. This is just the first step.

    Pay-per-Click Optimization
    What we have seen in the previous chapters were methods and techniques of natural, or organic, SEO. These techniques revolved around the things that could be instantly done without putting money towards any campaigns. Organic SEO was about setting a good solid foundation for your website. Now that we have that solid foundation, we can look to setting up a pay-per-click campaign. PPC advertising revolves around setting appropriate goals, and targeting the right keywords for the right audience. I found this chapter to be one of the most important chapters in the entire book. I read through it twice. He breaks down setting up PPC campaigns, and then monitoring their health. He has things broken down to their mathematical equations to let you truly gauge your campaign. He mentions many helpful resources and tools for selecting your campaigns, A/B testing your campaigns, and then making sense of the results. He also mentions some of the struggles you will ultimately face while trying to manage a campaign, and some things you can do to alleviate the pain.

    PPC SEO Case Study: [...]
    Again, instead of just talking about what you could or should do, Andy presents us with another Case Study to put his words into action. Here was the kicker for me: This case study wasn’t all about the success of the campaign. He presented the campaign, setup the pricing, and then dove into integration. However, this was for items that were in a very competitive market. While improvements were seen, they didn’t always come easy. The end of this case study was not a magical story of success,…

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  2. Joshua Benuck says:
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Well Written and Thorough, October 13, 2008
    By 
    Joshua Benuck
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets (Paperback)

    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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  3. Dr. Roy Johnson "Mantex" says:
    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Slimming Down, Speeding Up, and Cashing In, August 6, 2008
    By 
    Dr. Roy Johnson “Mantex” (Manchester UK) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets (Paperback)

    Andy King scored a big hit in 2003 with his first book ‘Speed Up Your Site’. It’s a guide which still has its own live web site 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.

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