So far we’ve talked about the importance of Google Analytics, how landing pages should function, A/B testing and a ton of other “how to” topics. I’ve got to come clean though, so far I haven’t actually been telling you “how to,” I’ve only been telling you “how to tell somebody to.” To truly be the uber-marketer, this is not enough. I spent my day getting dirty with Codeacademy and Squarespace.
Before today I had heard of HTML but had no idea what it looked like. The only code I had seen was some binary code that I remembered from a elementary school video on how computers work. Codeacademy gave me a cool chance to better understand coding and play around with a little bit of coding myself. As somebody who has always been intimidated by the inner-workings of technology, I was surprised to find just how easy it can be. Now, I understand that it’s not a simple skill that can be picked up in a week, but it’s not a maze of ones and zeros either. Codeacademy is very efficient yet gradual in guiding users through the process of basic HTML coding. After the couple hours I spent practicing I can not execute most text functions within HTML.
Here’s the proof that I did in fact put my two hours into HTML.
This experience has left me believing that basic coding ability can increase the value of any budding digital marketer. A digital marketer may want to make changes to a site daily for the purpose of testing or optimization. These processes are most effective when they take place in real time. Therefor, a digital marketer who can make these changes his or her self is instantly more effective as they eliminate lag in both benefits and analytics. Now, many marketers may not be expected to ever get their hands dirty in HTML or CSS, but simply understanding how these coding processes work will not only help them make decisions, but it will also make them more empathetic coworkers to the coders who build the entire space of digital marketing.
For the marketer who either lacks the ability or resources to change their website through HTML or CSS there is Squarespace. Squarespace allows for the creation of a website utilizing a selection of templates. Not only does Squarespace allow for creation and design, but also provides avenues to manage payments and shipments along with a basic analytics setup. While Squarespace does provide a quick and simple route to website creation, there are some negatives. As you are forced to choose from a selection of templates, your website will be similar to many other websites around the web. Additionally, Squarespace will be sure to put their logo somewhere on your site. I believe that this indicates that the owner of the site is operating on a small scale.