Marketers still need to learn some basic HTML
I have recently been blogging for the Huffington Post and they use Six Apart‘s Movable Type blogging platform. Moveable Type was my second blogging platform after converting from Noah Grey’s Greymatter that I started using back in 2000. Even in 2013, the Huffington Post’s blogger interface doesn’t offer a Rich Text Editor so writing in familiar WYSIWYG isn’t possible there. So, what I do is compose over here on WordPress, on its Visual Editor, and then click the Text tab and copy-and-paste over to Moveable Type. Then the work begins. I upload all of my media, photos, graphics, and whatnot to my server at ChrisAbraham.com and then align them correctly before I copy the raw HTML over — which should work perfectly, right? No!
While WordPress uses modern CSS, styles, and DIVs, the install at the Huffington Post doesn’t, so I needed to take code that looked like this:
<img style="margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="19-year-old Chris Abraham rowing in 1989 for GWU" alt="19-year-old Chris Abraham rowing in 1989 for GWU" src="http://chrisabraham.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/chrisAbrahamCrewRower-300x199.jpg" width="300" height="199" />
And needed to add some original, old-school, HTML IMG tags, such as ALIGN=”RIGHT” and HSPACE=”5″ as a way of making sure that Huffington Post can render the my code the way I want it to look on their install:
<img align="right" hspace="5" title="19-year-old Chris Abraham rowing in 1989 for GWU" alt="19-year-old Chris Abraham rowing in 1989 for GWU" src="http://chrisabraham.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/chrisAbrahamCrewRower-300x199.jpg" width="300" height="199" />
However, if I didn’t know even a little bit of HTML — I know quite a lot, I started my professional life off as a web developer and programmer — I probably wouldn’t be able to even know how to add images, I wouldn’t know how best to link to third-party content as easily and effortlessly as I would have liked, I wouldn’t know how to fix rendering and formatting issues and problems, and I would need to rely too heavily on my editors — assuming they’re proficient enough or have enough time to fix both my copy mistake as well as my graphical or HTML gaffes — like the one to the left, which you’ll notice — that’s before I started adding old-school HTML to my image tags — yikes!
So, spend some time right now going through an HTML primer or two so that you can better control the visual experience that you offer both your readers as well as the platforms that try to render your content on other platforms such as Flipboard and mobile devices.
Knowing some HTML, especially how best to use tags associated with linking and images — TITLE and ALT, for example — can really beef up your inline SEO optimization because we all know — or should know — that Google only knows what you’re on about if you’re completely explicit.
I am lucky that I am fully able to render what I want to say exactly how I want it to be said — but it isn’t hard. Knowing just a little bit of HTML very very well can result in a much better reading experience for both your human and robot readers.
About the Author: Chris Abraham is a leading expert in digital: online reputation management (ORM), Internet privacy, social media marketing, and digital PR with a focus on blogger outreach, blogger engagement, and Internet crisis response. A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and advisor to the industries' leading firms. He specializes in Web 2.0 technologies, including content syndication, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media. Chris Abraham was named a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes, #1 PR2.0 Influencer by Traackr, and top-10 social media influencers by Marketwire; and, for what it’s worth, Chris has a Klout of 77 the last time he looked.