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Aug 7, 2008 | 2 minute read

Book Review: Website Optimization by Andrew B. King

written by Linda Bustos

I just finished reading Website Optimization: Speed, Search Engine & Conversion Rate Secrets, by Andrew B. "Andy" King.

The book is split into 2 parts. The first covers Search Engine Marketing which speaks to SEO, PPC and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization). The second explains Web Performance Optimization which covers improving web speed, CSS, AJAX, Javascript optimization. The intended audience are web marketers, developers and business managers.

Website Optimization is a great reference handbook for online retailers to have kicking around the office. It's not only got something for everyone on your ecommerce team, from your business managers and marketers to your web design and development geeks. It offers a survey of every discipline so that unless you're a ninja in all these areas you will learn something valuable.

Though I found a bit of the CSS/AJAX stuff a bit technical for me as an Internet marketing type, I was able to glean enough of an understanding of the most common performance issues and CSS, AJAX and Javascript problems that I would know what to suggest to design and development experts on my team. I particularly enjoyed the depth of tips on video optimization, as video is very important to blogs and user generated content, and is becoming more common on retail product pages and user-generated content.

Seasoned SEOs and PPC managers will find the content in the search engine marketing section elementary but will benefit from the CRO and web performance chapters. This is important, because PPC Quality Score and potentially organic rankings are affected by page load time, and search marketing professionals need to understand how to optimize client sites, even if they don't execute it themselves.

Another benefit of this book is its freshness. This is important because web optimization is a moving target. Many of the footnoted references were accessed online as recently as June, 2008. The references themselves are also valuable. Because many are online you can follow up in more-depth.

Andy King is the CEO of Website Optimization, a consulting firm specializing in website performance, search engine marketing, PPC and conversion rate optimization in Washtenaw County, Michigan. His latest book is available at O'Reilly or your friendly neighbourhood online bookseller.