What steps would you follow to optimize a website?
At the beggining use both tools:
Check where you got some problems and then try to fix it. These tolls will show you what exactly makes your website slower (for example - big amount of requests).
Build links from relevant niche
Add quality required content
Make site user friendly
Offer great user experience and make the loading time fast
dont use high quality images
Use proper alt tags and names for the images
The First step is to identify whole the problems with the website. Like; website speed, URL structures, necessary page creation (home, services, about, blog & contact us), web page content etc.
If you want your website to genreate business or achieve the business goal it is not enough to optimize the website technically for on page seo only by adding some seo elements. But you need to audit your website for all aspect like website design, marketing features, User interface and finally for seo. Check your website for:
I think it will really help you.
SSL/CDN - Cloudflare
Remove Unused CSS scripts
Move JS scripts to footer
No index duplicate content
upgrade the server
remove unnecessary plugins
Run site in screamingfrog - find broken links, wrong title tags, etc etc.
Get post size under 1.5mb
and so on..
For me, on-page optimization is very important.
I also use blog commenting and Web 2.0 cross-linking. I proven this to be very effective.