HTML stands for hypertext markup language. However, aside from scoring you points in a pub quiz, that knowledge isn’t much help. So, in this article we’ll explain how to use HTML to increase audience engagement – way more useful!
What is HTML and what does it do?
HTML is a coding language used to structure information on a web page and add visual styling to some elements. The code is ‘wrapped’ around various parts of your page and that tells browsers to present that information in a certain way. That might mean changing the font style or creating bullet points to make your page easier to read.
Each ‘element’ of code consists of an opening and closing tag to tell a browser when to start applying that style and when to stop. Opening tags look <like this> and closing tags look </like this>. It’s as easy as that!
It can also be used to direct Google to relevant search phrases on your page.
How can HTML increase audience engagement?
In terms of adding visual styling to a page, HTML can help keep people on your page by making the information easy to digest. You can do this by:
- Using clear titles to break up the page to signpost users to the part of the page they want to read
- Using bullet points and tables for snapshots of information
- Adding internal links to keep users on your site
- Making certain important words or short phrases Bold (don’t over do this though)
As we’ve already mentioned, HTML can help your pages be found by Google (search engine optimization – SEO). You can read more about this on our post about What to know about SEO but in brief, you can:
- Use headings to highlight important search phrases
- Include images and label them with phrases relevant to your content
Which bits of HTML should I know?
HTML can get a bit complex. Plus, it’s often used alongside other coding language such as CSS and java script to produce very pretty, interactive sites. However, here are a few essentials to get you started.
Heading tags – these are used to give your page a title and subtitles and apply a font that makes them stand out from normal text.
Paragraph tags – these are used to contain normal text and break up your text into, well, paragraphs.
Bullet points – these are great for displaying quick facts or stats and are really easy to code. You can create normal bullet points or numbered bullet points.
Underlining, bolding and italics – use these within your paragraphs to pick out important bits of text.
If you want to have a go with these HTML elements, visit codepen and try them for yourselves!