Is there any SEO benefit to placing testimonial text on a landing page nested inside of an <h3> element? For example:

        <div class="active item">
        <div class="hero-testimonials" id="hero-testimonials-ge">
            <div class="container phone-center text-white text-shadow">
                <div class="col-md-3 col-xs-4 col-xs-offset-4">
                    <img src="/us/_media/images/logo-testimonials-ge-sml.png">
                    <hr class="double">
                <div class="col-md-8 col-md-offset-1">
                    <--!The h3 subheading which contains paragraph length testimonial -->
                    <h3 class="subheading">We love the program and we use it here daily. It is definitely one of the best time-saving tools we have purchased in a very long time.</h3>
                    <cite>— Carlo Ceroili, GE Water Technologies</cite>

Am I missing some benefit to including the testimonial in a heading which would not be gained by including it inside of a div?

  • 1
    Is it a heading? Then use a heading. Is it a paragraph? Then use a paragraph. – Martijn May 24 '16 at 8:06
  • Is the length of text displayed to the user limited in anyway? – MrWhite May 24 '16 at 11:15

Short answer: No, there isn't, and in fact it might be a detriment.

Longer answer:

You're asking the wrong question. Bear with me for a moment here :)

Google does its best to understand your site in a way that visitors to it will. It's only a bot, but it's pretty clever and the algorithms are constantly being updated.

If you want to game Google, it might work in the short term. But in the long term, it'll result in you ranking lower (all other things considered) than a site that correctly and semantically identifies its content.

You need to ask the question: what is an h3 for? It's to denote a heading, not the primary heading on a page and maybe not the second level either. But its right after that: a subheading which explains - in a phrase or very short sentence - what the piece of content that comes after it is about.

Consider a page with a bunch of (sub)headings with no (or very little) content between them. How might Googlebot interpret this?


  • a page with lots of big text but not much useful content
  • a partly-written page with the heading structure laid out but the content to come later
  • an attempt to game the search results

It's unlikely to treat it as "great content which should rank higher" because where is the content?

Now, if you had a short and sharp subheading that described each testimonial and displayed the testimonial text under that, you'd be getting the point across that you want to. :)

The moral is: think first about how your page reads to a visitor. Do that right, mark it up semantically, and for most purposes, Google will rank you as appropriate.

  • Thanks for the answer. Could you make a guess as to whatever made the developer use h3 tag and not a p tag? It is not a very intuitive misuse of an HTML tag so there must be a purpose behind it. – Bar Akiva May 24 '16 at 9:27
  • 1
    I have no idea what the intentions were. They may have been to try to game SE rankings, or it may have just been misunderstanding/laziness in that they just wanted the text to be large. – Tim Malone May 24 '16 at 10:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.