Delays caused by hydraulic pressure driven units in wind turbines may degrade and even destabilize pitch control system, leading to the performance degradation or collapse of the whole wind turbine energy conversion system. As a result, there is a strong motivation to improve pitch control technique to overcome the adverse effects from the unknown delays caused by the hydraulic driven units. In this study, a novel pitch control approach is developed by integrating optimization, delay-perturbation estimation, and signal compensation techniques. Specifically, an optimal PI controller is designed by applying direct search optimization to ideal delay-free pitch model. A delay estimator is next designed to estimate the perturbation caused by the delay. The signal compensation technique is then implemented to remove the effect from the delay-perturbation to the turbine output so that the actual output is consistent with the optimal output of the ideal delay-free model. Furthermore, the technique is extended to PID-based pitch control systems. The blade-tower dynamics models of three wind turbines, respectively with rated powers 1.5 MW, 275 kW and 50 kW, are investigated and the effectiveness of the proposed techniques are demonstrated by detailed simulation studies. It is worthy to point out a priori on the delay is not necessary in this design, which much meets the situations in practical wind turbine systems. Finally, a 4.8 MW benchmark wind turbine energy conversion system is investigated via the proposed pitch control technique, which has shown that delay perturbation estimate based compensation can effectively improve the pitch control performance in the real-time wind turbine energy conversion system.