HTML is the language of the web. It’s what every single website is made of—it’s the structure that holds together all the text, links, images, and other elements on a webpage.
If you’re a digital marketer who wants to up your skillset and accelerate your career, learning to code in HTML (and CSS) is a great place to start.
There’s no need to worry about the technical side of things when you’re just starting out. Once you have a grasp of basic HTML and CSS, it will become easier to communicate with developers because you’ll know what they’re talking about. This will set you apart from other marketers who don’t know how to code in HTML, and it will give you more control over the content you create.
Six reasons why digital marketers should learn HTML
1. To get the most out of your content management system
Content management systems allow marketers to create and update web pages without having to write any code. If a marketer wants something done that the CMS can’t handle, however, they will have to turn to the IT department.
Knowing HTML is useful for achieving small tasks that are not easily handled by a CMS. For example: Including text with different fonts or different colors. Changing the font size. Adding italics and bold text. Creating bulleted lists and numbered lists. These are some of the easiest HTML tags to learn and use in your content management system.
2. To boost your email marketing campaigns
As a marketer, chances are that you’ve heard of responsive design and the importance of it when building emails—but did you know that it’s impossible to make emails responsive without HTML? If you can write an email so it looks good on both mobile and desktop devices, then you’re much more likely to get your message across and convert more subscribers into customers.
If you write HTML code by hand, then there are no limits on what you can do with your email designs. You aren’t stuck with whatever templates your email service provides; instead, you can create your own custom designs that match your brand perfectly, making it easier for readers to identify who sent them the email.
3. To help you track down issues more efficiently in your website
As a marketer, you are often tasked with making sure that your company’s web page content is up-to-date and accessible to all users. This means that you need to take an active role in the creation of your company’s website.
Even if you don’t have any coding experience, you can use HTML to fix broken links and images on your company’s website. Just having a basic knowledge of HTML will give you a better understanding of how websites are constructed and make it easier for you to troubleshoot issues when they arise.
4. To sharpen your SEO skills
Most marketers believe that SEO is all about writing compelling copy, link building and techniques that are more related to content marketing than web development.
However, the truth is that an understanding of HTML can help you better understand how search engines see your website and provide you with additional tools to improve your site’s performance in search results. For example, here are two (technical) elements you can quickly pick up.
Sitemaps: They are usually created by developers. They are XML files that describe the pages, videos and other information on your site. They help search engines understand what content is on your site and help them crawl it more effectively. If you know HTML, try creating one for your website.
Robots: Robots, also known as robots.txt files are used to tell search engines about the pages that should not be crawled by bots. By understanding how robots work and by learning how to create them yourself, you can ensure that search engines ignore the URLs you want them not to crawl and index only the ones that they can serve to users.
5. To become a CRO wizard
Knowing how to read and code HTML and CSS can help you improve your website’s conversion rate optimization (CRO). You’ll be able to view your website from the perspective of its visitors, which can help shape your marketing strategy by addressing problems that could otherwise be lost in technical jargon.
Let’s say, for example, that your website is having trouble loading on mobile devices. If you know how to read HTML and CSS, you’ll be able to find out what parts of the page are causing it to load slowly—and fix them. Or maybe the number of visitors to your site is dropping off between the third and fourth step of checkout. Again, if you know how to code, you’ll be able to tell if there are any errors on those pages that might cause visitors to abandon the site rather than complete their purchase.
Even if coding doesn’t seem like something you’re interested in learning about, it never hurts to understand what goes into building a website—especially when it comes to improving its performance for conversions. We wrote an entire article about how to make your forms convert better. If you’re interested, here it is: https://formx.stream/blog/web-form-optimization/
6. To boost your career as a digital marketer
HTML is the foundation of modern web development. And no matter how much SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) marketing you know, learning HTML is a crucial part of your career as a marketing professional. It’s hard to find a job as a marketer that doesn’t require at least some basic HTML.
As marketing continues to evolve from art to science, the ability to manipulate data and code is becoming more essential. It’s this simple: Digital marketers who think of coding as just another toolkit are in a better position to advance their careers.