FYI Friday: Formatting Matters

Last week, we offered a grab bag of power tips that explored Tumblr, rich snippets in Google search, and new features in Google Webmaster tools. This week, we discuss the importance of formatting, from how to make the perfect tweet to the blueprint of the perfect Facebook post. Plus, formatting code behind-the-scenes is equally important.

How to Write the Perfect Tweet by Shea Bennett

On Twitter, you have 140 characters to make an impact, so what’s the key to writing the perfect tweet? Shea Bennett points out that you should never sacrifice spelling or grammar to save space, and you should try to leave 20 characters of free space at the end of each tweet. This “magic number” of 20 ensures that users who retweet your content will have a little space to add their own thoughts.

According to Bennett, you should also shorten all links with and nothing else, and in fact, some url shorterners may be hurting the effectiveness of your tweets. For more statistics, as well as tips for “selling the headline” of your tweets, check out the full article.

The perfect Facebook post: A blueprint by Katy Schamberger

Since Facebook is the largest social network, it’s important to make sure your posts are compelling. Ideally, every post should have a call to action that points to another Facebook element, website, or blog. The text in the post should be concise and all links should appear within the first 90 characters or people won’t click it. Images and videos are crucial, and each object should be at least 300x300 pixels large and feature people, not logos or other text.

Jennifer Burnham created a nifty infographic to summarize these tips, and Katy Schamberger goes into more detail in the full article about how monitoring conversations is key part of creating the “perfect” Facebook post.

Source: cype_applejuice
On web semantics by Google Webmaster Central

Formatting is important on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s also important on the backend of any website. “Web semantics” is a concept used by web developers to describe markup that is supposed to indicate meaning and purpose. For example, the   < H1 > tag indicates that the phrase in that section is more important than the words in between the < H6 > tag. Google points out that using markup properly will increase the professionalism of your coding, make it more accessible, and keep it maintainable in the long-run.

However, sometimes it can be confusing to keep up with the latest guidelines. Google explains that you should stop using some “presentational” markup like < center >, < font >, < s >, and < u > because browsers won’t support them forever. The blog post also recommends tools for checking the health of your web semantics, including W3C’s semantic data extractor and the Web Developer Toolbar extension for Chrome and Firefox. Check out the full article for a long list of dos and don’ts that will get your coding back on track.