4

What is the correct tag to use in the middle section of the image below, keeping in mind correct site structure and SEO?

Screenshot of webpage, showing 3 text blocks with different font sizes

There have been some discussions and these are the arguments I have heard:

  • h2 option

    Using an h2 will improve SEO rankings

  • p option

    It should be a paragraph. Headings should be used for structure, and the sentence does not define the structure of the page.

  • em option

    The sentence should be emphasized.

9
  • 1
    It's a paragraph of text so obviously <p>... reserve headers for short one liner sentences or a few keywords to outline what the below text is about. Also just to point out <em> can be used within p or h to emphasized a word within. Sep 23, 2015 at 11:06
  • Not to add confusion into the mix, I use blockquote for this... sorry. ;-) It seems that blockquote can be easily picked up as a SERP snippet- something to keep in mind. From an SEO perspective, em does nothing, p does nothing, but h2 does.
    – closetnoc
    Sep 23, 2015 at 13:33
  • 3
    @closetnoc not entirely true. Headers are mere signals, and so is ordinary text content with or without mark-up. it's just as easy to rank a page with one header vs a page with 6 headers, ensuring you have other signals, such as title, description, url, text, images. Take Stack Exchanges as a good example, normally one header on most pages... People get fixated on mark-up, far too much. Time better spent else improving user experience and off page signals via social media etc. Sep 23, 2015 at 20:10
  • Use headers for your users, not the search engines I say. Sep 23, 2015 at 20:15
  • 2
    Unless you mean something else... you would only want to use <blockquote> when citing external sources, and even then you should use <p> within blockqoute, if the sentences is more than a short sentence. It is also recommended to use headers within blockquote if the source does so, or if it makes sense to do so. Sep 23, 2015 at 21:25

3 Answers 3

3

Using a heading (like h2) for this sentence would create a wrong outline. Everything that follows would be in scope of this "heading", which is likely not what you intend. If it would be content appropriate for a heading, it should be part of the first heading (h1).
(It’s not appropriate for a heading because it doesn’t seem to describe the content that follows in any other way than what the parent heading says; it’s just giving more context to it.)

Using the em element for the whole sentence would be wrong, because it doesn’t at all seem to require "emphasis" which "changes the meaning of the sentence". You could argue if the word "vital" might be appropriate for em, but that’s something only the authors of that sentence would have to decide (i.e., how they meant it).

The p element is the obvious and appropriate choice here.

If you consider this sentence to be part of the introduction (I think it is), you could use a header that contains the h1 as well as this p:

<article>
  <header>
    <h1>Marketing Bachelor’s Degree</h1>
    <p>Attain the marketing skills … </p>
  </header>
  <p>Fueled by …</p>
</article>

If you think it’s something like the lede (or lead paragraph) of that article, you could also use the b element for this sentence (in addition to p and possibly the header):

The b element represents a span of text to which attention is being drawn for utilitarian purposes without conveying any extra importance and with no implication of an alternate voice or mood, such as […] an article lede.

1

Due to the length of the text in the middle section, the paragraph tag would be a good choice. Just enclose the text in-between <p> and </p>.

If you feel there is a need to add emphasis to the text, then use cascading style sheets.

-2

I'd lean towards the H2 tag as it is actually a single line of text, not a paragraph (so not p).

That said, I think it's too long a line.

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