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Ask an SEO: 3 HTML & Coding Questions Answered

This lightning round edition answers 3 questions focusing on HTML and coding issues. Learn about button text, how many links are too much, and more.

Ask an SEO: 3 HTML & Coding Questions Answered

Let’s take a break from constantly refreshing the stock market and do something a bit different.

Instead of just one SEO question, we’ll do an ‘Ask an SEO Lightning Round’ and answer three different questions in one post.

Such Value. To the Moon!

All of today’s questions are somewhat related to HTML and coding issues, so that is our theme.

Today’s first question comes from Bianca in Holland.

Should I use (or refrain from using) keywords in button-text to improve SEO?

I’m not sure that anyone has ever asked this question directly of Google, but I don’t think that changes the answer.

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I don’t see any reason why text in an HTML <button> tag would carry significantly more or less weight than a normal word on the page.

If I had to guess, I’d say that they probably don’t look at button text too much for ranking, but I’m pretty sure if we tested we’d find that they do see and index the text in the button.

Honestly, I see this as more of an accessibility issue than an SEO issue.

I wouldn’t begin trying to optimize form elements for SEO. Optimize them for conversion and accessibility.

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Make sure the button clearly describes what clicking on it does and is properly labeled.

Here are some button accessibility tips that can help.


Our next question comes from Andrzej in Lodzkie.

Is having ~400 links in primary menu on ecommerce website bad for SEO? And what if those links are wrapped in H3 tags?

There are technically two questions in here, Andrezej, and we’ll tackle both of them.

The answer to your first question is that it depends.

Both Google and many SEO professionals will recommend a pyramid-style approach to site architecture. With 400 links, that’s a really big second level of the pyramid!

In many cases, you’d be better off linking to just some categories in the main navigation, not only for SEO but for usability, too.

Having 400 links may make it difficult for a user to actually find what they need.

Try to simplify your menu in a way that makes sense for funneling site authority into that pyramid shape, but also in a way that just works for users to quickly find what they’re looking for.

Ok, now for your next question: what if they’re all wrapped in H3 tags? Google and Bing have gotten better at determining when we’re using H tags as a heading, and when we’re using them as a stylistic element.

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You probably aren’t doing anything bad by using it, but I doubt it’s helping anything.

What’s that old saying? If everything is an H3 then nothing is an H3?


Last but not least, we have a question from Xiaofei in Saskatchewan.

“Is it OK to embed HTML tags inside the H1 heading tag? For example,

<h1> <span class="i_edited_this">Pizza</span> <span class="this_too"> in Regina</span> </h1>

The purpose is for highlighting the phrase “Pizza” instead Regina. What is your recommendation?

Yes! This is perfectly valid HTML and there’s nothing wrong with it.

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There are plenty of valid reasons for wanting to style some words in H1 differently than others, so go for it!

It probably won’t help your SEO at all but there’s no negative here, either.

That’s it for this installment. Thanks for reading, and keep HODLing.

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Ryan Jones

SEO Group Director at Razorfish

Ryan is the SEO lead at Razorfish where he works from early in the morning until late in the evening. ... [Read full bio]

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