Thursday 22 December 2011

The low down on HTML 5…

html5HTML 5 is the next leap forward in web development; it is more search engine friendly, great for mobile browsing and does not require third party plug-ins for audio/ video support. It’s been around for a while, but has really started to come into its own as web browsers like Google Chrome and FireFox have started to embrace it. We recently launched a HTML 5 website for financial planners Hansford Bell in Tavistock.

So you are probably thinking what’s new and why should I care? If you imagine a web page has a beginning, middle and an end, which has to be indexed by search engine crawlers in order to show up in search listings. Well, until now those search engine crawlers have been unable to identify what’s the beginning, the middle and the end, as every web developer gave each part their code a different name. HTML 5 gets around this by employing generic code which is more easily read by search engine crawlers like Google’s very own ‘Google bot’, and is therefore more easily indexed. Thus search engine’s like Google can provide you with more accurate search results, depending on your search query of course.

As far as browsing the web on your smart phone goes, HTML 5 is pretty awesome for that too, allowing smart phone users to render graphics and animations much faster and more effectively than with typical flash software. In fact it’s so good, that Adobe (makers of Flash player) have just officially announced that they are killing Flash Player for Android and the BlackBerry Playbook, arguing that HTML 5 is the "best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms”. The good news is Adobe will continue to support Flash for the PC, which is not surprising as it remains the delivery conduit used for popular players like YouTube.

One of the most advantageous aspects of HTML5 is that it does not require third party plugins for audio and video, making it much easier to embed videos on your site should you wish to do so! This is pretty cool as plugins can often cause your browser to slowdown or crash and its pretty inconvenient when you are trying to watch or listen to something and you are prompted to download and install a newer version of the plugin before you can do so!

So... why wouldn’t you want HTML 5? There’s less hassle involved with plugins, its quicker, search-engine friendly and great for the internet on your smartphone.

How could Twitter benefit your business?

twitter_logo2The great thing about social media platforms is that they are free. The only cost involved is the time spent running them, and twitter is no different! Twitter is most useful for discovering what is going on ‘right now’, and it’s great for many businesses too as it provides a way to keep their customers updated and informed. A tweet could provide followers with links to a promotional offer or news story, or a status update running through what they are up to. Each tweet is limited to 140 characters in length so you won’t find yourself burning the midnight oil writing long articles to keep your followers entertained!

marks-and-spencer-on-twitterAs with other social media outlets, twitter is a quick and easy way for customers to see what is going on without having to actually visit the website or blog of a company. For example, @MarksandSpencer, currently sell a vegan range that I would not have otherwise known about had I not been following them on twitter. So there’s no doubt it’s a great way of reaching out to your target audience.

Although twitter is free, at a cost, you can take a step further in reaching your audience by using twitter’s ‘Promoted Accounts’ feature. By signing up to this feature, twitter will position your twitter account in front of users who might be interested in following your company using the ‘who to follow’ widget. It is well worth while if you have a small following online and are looking to build your brand. ‘Promoted tweets’ may also be of interest if you are running a promotion or launching a new product, for example, and are looking to extend the reach of your message. Promoted Tweets also make good use of your brand advocates, encouraging sales and interest through retweets and recommendations.

We have briefly covered just how useful twitter is for many businesses to reach new and existing customers. Here at The Drawing Board, we provide social media consultancy, management and copywriting services. To find out more please call us on 01841 540 874 or email