Introducing Sander Heilbron
We are very happy that Sander Heilbron joined Iron/Out as Senior Web Performance Consultant! Sander is known by many SEO-professionals as the developer of several important tools Httpstatus, PageSpeed Compare, SEO Peek and SEO Shortcuts. We asked him a couple of questions so you can get to know him a bit better. Enjoy!
Who is Sander Heilbron? #
My name is Sander Heilbron, for the past 9 years, I have worked at OrangeValley (online marketing agency) as an SEO and Web Performance consultant. And previously, I spent more than 12 years in various roles at media agencies such as Mindshare, GroupM and Omnicom Media Group.
What three words would your friends use to describe you? #
Creative, Perfectionist, Modest
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? #
Of course, I would prefer to stay in bed a little longer, but I have made my passion for the web my job. I find it important that the work I do is actually something I enjoy. Helping different clients with different performance issues, getting an inside look at companies, and the continuous and rapid development of the web continue to motivate me.
What is your favourite quote? #
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” There's plenty in life that can't be measured well, but this is related to my everyday work. Measuring is a critical part of improving performance. Measuring allows us to get accurate information about the current status of the user experience of a website, to define targets to achieve, and to measure again to see whether applying a technique improves performance or not.
Can you tell us a bit about your specialty? What kind of work do you do? #
I help organisations and companies improve the user experience of their website(s) by eliminating performance bottlenecks during loading and use of a page. This is relevant because user experience translates into user behaviour that affects a site's business success.
What is the best part of your job or tasks? #
The best part of my work or tasks is that the effect of my advice can be measured almost immediately via both lab and field data. This is very different from, for example, the SEO advice I gave as an SEO consultant, where the results of all efforts were not apparent until many weeks or months later.
What is your biggest professional achievement? #
Within Web Performance Optimisation, it's not just about getting fast, but more importantly staying fast. The latter is more difficult to achieve because it is not just about technical optimisations but mainly about the organisation itself. A slow website is rarely caused by one person, and it is also rare that a single person is the owner and has the ability to solve it independently of others. At Simyo, one of my clients, we managed to establish performance as a team effort where every stakeholder can and should contribute to performance. The result of these efforts is an optimal user experience that has been very stable for several years.
What is your secret talent or skill? #
Web Performance Optimisation is a complex field, to be successful you are a consultant, a marketer, a statistician and a developer. In addition to being active in online media and marketing for over 20 years, a large part of that time I have been an SEO and WPO consultant, but I am also an active web developer. I believe that you can convince web developers with your advice only when it becomes clear that you can interact with each other on the same level.
What would you want to achieve at Iron/Out in the next few years? #
I think it's a great move that Iron/Out has marketed itself as a performance specialist. We see an increasing demand from the market, companies are more often aware of performance issues within their website(s). It is usually no longer necessary to first convince companies that performance or UX issues are negatively affecting their business goals. These companies seek help because they don't know where to start to solve performance problems. In the current market, these companies can only get help from a limited number of freelancers or full-service agencies. A great opportunity for Iron/Out to establish itself as an authority in this field. I see the current team growing in the coming years to scale up (both in people, knowledge and products) and thus can serve more clients in a much better way than our competitors ever can.