For us "Optimization" is not only about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), whose main purpose is to make your website more "search-engine friendly", boosting your search-engine ranks and bringing more visitors.
Optimization is much more encompassing - having good content, organizing it well, making sure it loads fast, making sure it is reliable (available at all times), making it easy to navigate around.
To assist us in that, we have built tools that help solves these problems. Read more below.
Website loading time and reliability
The amount of time that it takes for your site to load and display its content is called loading time. Research shows that people consider a website fast if it loads within 150ms (possibly around 1 second when on a mobile device).
Being slower than that means your customers start feeling dissatisfaction and don't use your website so much or just leave.
Many websites, however, are much slower. The average waiting time for a person, before abandoning your site is around 3 seconds. If your page takes longer for no particular reason - you'd better fix it. A reason for slow loading times could be: inefficient code code, huge media files, some kind of a server problem and last but not least - your server being too far away from your customer.
We optimize websites in various ways: changing to more efficient code, using data caching (Memcached), response caching (HTTP reverse proxies), serving files using Content-Delivery Networks (CDNs) and many others.
You can use monitoring systems, such as our own MonitLab, to track whether everything is running smoothly at all times.
Organizing your content
Do you feel like your website's content is organized perfectly and everything is easy to find and use?
You probably do. That may be because it is, or because you've spent so much time dealing with your website that it's all clear to you, but not to someone who just visited.
We suggest that you do some usability testing, with people unfamiliar with your website.
A cheap and easy way to do that is using a remote Usability Testing tool. A tool we've been involved with that we can recommend is GhostRec.
Optimizing for seach engines
There is rarely something you need to do for search-engines.
You don't need to perform any trickery (that is actually forbidden and can get you in trouble).
All you need to do is optimize for the user. Search-engines get smarter each day and try to give you a better rank if your website is more user-friendly.
User-friendly in what ways?
Doing those basics can get you a long way. The list of things that can be improved is quite large, but starting with this will get you a long way on the road to happy customers and happy search engines.
Mobile traffic is on the rise. If it's important for you to capture that market as well, there's some more work that can be done.
People using more devices are naturally more impatient and easily distracted. The "cost of clicking" more and more links is much higher.
Getting a good mobile website is a good first step in ensuring people get a better experience looking at your website on those tiny screens.