Book Review: Website Optimization | WebReference

Book Review: Website Optimization

By Lee Underwood

cover imageAuthor: Andrew B. King
Total Pages: 394
Publisher: O'Reilly
Copyright: 2008
ISBN: 0596515081

Creating Web sites today can be a daunting task. There are so many formats, techniques, and tricks that it's easy to get carried away. A good Web designer/developer needs to know when to stop. In addition, they need to make sure the site is optimized in order to maximize the client's investment. That's where Web site optimization comes in.

Andrew King has published a new book to help you pull it all together. It's called Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets. King is the founder and former Managing Editor of and He's currently the President of Website Optimization, LLC, a Web performance and search engine marketing firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

King's new book is all about maximizing the return on the client's investment in their Web site. It focuses on increasing conversion rates, and optimizing the site for search engines as well as speed. And it does a great job of it. The book is filled with case studies and examples, along with valuable tips and techniques for increasing the speed of your Web site, along with its conversion rate.

Search Engine Marketing Optimization

The first section analyzes well-tested methods for increasing your position on the search engines. Here, King begins with examining "core techniques" used with his own clients. First, search engine roadblocks are discussed, including splash pages, the use of Flash, improper navigation and duplicate content.

Next, those steps that will help to increase search engine rankings are examined. King looks at ten steps that go beyond Google's PageRank method. These steps include the proper usage of keywords, writing effective page titles, meta description tags and headlines, creating keyword-focused content, and building good inbound links.

The section is rounded out with an in-depth study of pay-per-click (PPC) and conversion rate optimization. A case study is also included. These tips alone could help increase your ad revenue.

Web Performance Optimization

King has spent many years learning how to tweak and fine-tune Web sites for peak optimization. When he was the Managing Editor of he was constantly testing new methods and tweaking the site for speed. A lot of that knowledge comes together in this section.

The first chapter covers optimizing Web pages. These twenty pages cover topics such as reducing overweight graphics, the placement of CSS and JavaScript links for better page rendering, performance tips, reducing DNS lookups, and minimizing HTTP requests. There are nuggets of gold to be gleaned from this chapter. Don't miss it!

Other chapters include CSS and Ajax optimization, along with more advanced techniques. These tips and techniques should help increase the visitor's satisfaction by making the time on each page more usable, without having to wait for things to happen.

Finally, a chapter on Web site metrics is included. Here you'll learn what metrics are and how to use them.


King has put together a valuable reference tool that should be included on the desk of every Web developer, designer and marketer. These procedures should help to make any Web site more effective and profitable. Check it out before your competition does.

Original: September 23, 2008