Overview of the 7 reasons to upgrade to a HTML5 website:
- Improved SEO with non-plugin integrated multimedia.
- Massive SEO improvement from simplified code.
- User location can be tracked for SEO and user experience.
- Easier to build a mobile-responsive website.
- Better contact and quote forms mean more customers.
- Websites may be viewed offline, in some scenarios.
- Both old and new browsers can read HTML5 to some extent.
Thinking of switching to WordPress? Find out why or why not to do it here.
Unlike other guides, these 7 reasons to upgrade to a HTML5 website are written for business owners and everyday people, not developers. This means you can make an informed decision on your business’s online future based on your own research, not someone else’s.
Still not sure what HTML is? Hypertext Markup Language (or HTML for short) is a development language used to create websites. It tells your browser (Chrome, Safari, etc.) what colour, text and applications they need to show people. The ‘4’ and ‘5’ of HTML4 and HTML5 simply refers to the version, with HTML5 being the latest. Now, this is a very simplified definition of HTML, but it’s all someone who doesn’t plan to learn to code needs to know, along with the reasons to upgrade to the newest version.
Top 7 Reasons to Upgrade to a HTML5 Website Explained
1. Multimedia (such as video and animation) can be added without plugins—AKA huge SEO benefit.
If you want to add a video, audio or interactive application to a HTML4 website, you need a developer to add a plugin. Now, multimedia can be added directly to the website, which allows Google, Bing and other search engines to identify it for what it is, and possibly show it on search results for relevant terms.
For you as a business owner, you want as many opportunities as possible to show up on search engines. To have content from your website show up on search results as well as your actual website, it’s a win-win situation.
2. HTML5 is a lot cleaner and simpler—another massive SEO benefit.
Consider code the language your website uses to speak to the browser. It says, “Hey, Google Chrome/Safari, this is a heading, this is an image,” etc. But with HTML5, there is a lot less of it, it’s easier for browsers and search engines to read, and it’s a lot quicker to write up than that of HTML4. What does this mean?
In short, it means your SEO (and UX) is getting a host of benefits, including:
- Pages load much quicker.
- Search engines can read each page easier.
- The intent of the content is clearer, making it easier to place on the right search results.
- A better text-to-code ratio, which basically means search engines will consider your on-page content more than what’s in the backend.
3. User location (geolocation) targeting helps to put your website in front of the right people.
There are two main reasons you’ll want to location target online audiences. Firstly, if you’re running SEO or Google Ads campaigns, it helps narrow down where users and conversions are coming from. Secondly, it helps search engines provide relevant data from your website to the right people for that area.
For example, you may write a blog about a service impacting a specific region you service. You could markup (indicate) in your code based on the location, which indicates to Google this content for people in that specific area. When people from that area do a search for that particular topic, your chances are higher of your blog showing. This same technique can be used for reviews, tickets, bookings—pretty much anything you can think of.
4. It’s easier to build a mobile-responsive website in HTML5.
A mobile-responsive website is one which is easy to use on any device. You know those websites you visit on mobile and there are images and videos running off the screen, buttons don’t work, etc.? They are not mobile responsive.
Not only is a non-mobile responsive website annoying for the user, search engines will pretty much ignore you. In fact, as of 31 July, if you website is not mobile responsive or adaptive, Google has admitted they will prioritise websites that are over yours. Building a responsive website in HTML5 is simply easier than if you were to do the upgrade to your existing HTML4 site, which saves you time, money and lost time on search engines.
5. Contact forms return less errors and can be identified by search engines.
On an existing HTML4 website, your contact form is most likely run on Flash or similar. The problem with this is, search engines don’t typically recognise them AND they can lead to error messages for users trying to submit an enquiry.
Like multimedia, contact and quote forms don’t necessarily have to rely on outdated technology. Instead, what is known as form input types can be used to add reliable forms on any page of your website. Plus, they’re easier for Google, Bing and such to pick up on and use towards your search engine results.
6. You can have specific elements of your website show to the user when they go offline.
Browsers use something called caching, which pretty much means the browser stores the information from a website so it loads faster the next time you visit. HTML5 websites can use this to store specific information about the website for when the user goes offline.
Without this feature, the following scenario would happen; you walk away from the computer, the screensaver pops up. On your return, your internet has gone offline, so you hit back on the webpage and it goes to an error page. With the feature, the page loads, even without being connected to the internet. Magic!
7. Old and new browsers can recognise your website.
We all have that one family member who refuses to run updates on their computer. This results in internet browsers that can’t read newer types of website ‘code’ but this is resolved to some degree with HTML5.
HTML is like any technology—there will always be upgrades. Upgrading to a HTML5 website will give you plenty of new benefits—including those impressive SEO boosts—and put many of your frustrations behind you.
And with all the SEO benefits, you’ll need to spend less on your initial SEO campaign so the upgrade more than pays for itself. If you want to know more about HTML5 or upgrading your current HTML4 website, contact our digital specialists at Localsearch. We’re more than happy to help with any queries you have.
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