What is the HTML strong tag? how to use it, and points to note

What is the HTML strong tag

When I look at websites, I notice a clear difference between easy-to-read articles and hard-to-read articles.

The characteristic of an easy-to-read article is that it is clear what you want to convey most in the main text.

In this article, we will introduce the “strong tag”, which emphasizes the specified characters so that the reader can see the message you want to convey.

It’s nothing complicated, but whether or not you use it will greatly affect the quality of your content.

What is a strong tag?

The strong tag is used to clearly indicate to users and search engines such as Google and Yahoo that the content of the specified text is important.

HTML4.01, a language used to create websites a long time ago, was defined as “strong emphasis”, but in the latest HTML5, the definition has changed to “important” .

By using strong tags appropriately, you can create articles that are easy for readers to read (high usability).

[Example: When there is a strong tag]

Kouhaku Uta Gassen is the oldest TV program on New Year’s Eve .

[Example: When there is no strong tag]

Kouhaku Uta Gassen is the oldest TV program on New Year’s Eve.

As mentioned above, by highlighting only specific keywords, users will be able to grasp the main points while scanning the article.

It is possible to tell search engines “keywords you want to emphasize”, but the direct effect as an SEO measure is not clearly stated.

Remember that strong tags are used to create pages that are easy for users to browse rather than SEO measures.

Difference between strong tag and b tag

The strong tag and the b tag have in common that the text to be emphasized is displayed in bold.

The crucial difference between the two is as follows.

  • strong tags: You can tell search engines the importance of specific keywords in your article.
  • b tags: can’t convey the importance of keywords to search engines

The strong tag also tells search engines that the highlighted word is important on the page.

On the other hand, the b tag cannot convey its importance to search engines, even if it can be emphasized in bold on the screen.

However, from an SEO point of view, Google has clearly stated that strong tags and b tags are treated the same.

Back then, whenever we checked, strong and b were treated the exact same in terms of ranking and scoring  and how they’re indexed and all that sort of stuff.

How to use strong tags

If you want to emphasize a part of the article with the strong tag, write it in HTML as follows.


If you want to emphasize “Kohaku Uta Gassen” in “Kohaku Uta Gassen is the TV program with the longest history on New Year’s Eve,” it will be used as follows.

The oldest New Year’s Eve TV show is <strong>Kohaku Uta Gassen</strong>.

As shown above, in HTML, the words you want to emphasize are simply sandwiched between strong and strong tags.

However, beware of common human errors such as forgetting the closing / (slash), misspelling strong, or accidentally leaving out the <> (one of the symbols).

By the way, as in the example below, it is also possible to increase the importance of the content by using the strong tag twice.

Tickets will expire on <strong><strong>December 31, 2021</strong></strong>. Please note that you will not be able to use it at all after the expiration date.

Points to note from the SEO point of view of the strong tag

The following two points should be noted when using the strong tag.

important point

  • Do not use strong tags more than necessary
  • Do not put the strong tag inside the heading tag

Do not use strong tags more than necessary

Heavy use of strong tags tends to be common among blogs and site beginners.

The reason why you shouldn’t overuse strong tags is that they make it difficult for users to read and they don’t know what information is important.

[Example of using too many strong tags]

Kouhaku Uta Gassen is the oldest TV program on New Year’s Eve .

As mentioned above, if you use too many strong tags in one phrase, you will not be able to understand which part is important, and usability will be low.

As a guideline for using strong tags, it is recommended to use 1 to 3 in one article.

In addition, it will be much easier to see if you limit the use of the sentence to the concluding word or phrase that expresses the situation.

If you don’t want to emphasize the meaning of the word in the sentence, but just want to bold when describing the product name or proper noun, use the b tag instead of the strong tag.

By the way, the “b” button in the WordPress visual editor and text editor is a strong tag, not a b tag. If you use b tag in WordPress, please install it with the plugin “AddQuicktag”.

Do not put the strong tag inside the heading tag

Heading tags such as h1 and h2 are already highlighted. Using strong tags within heading tags is considered overemphasis and may not be displayed correctly in HTML.

There is no advantage to using strong tags for heading tags, so I don’t think anyone would take the risk of using them, but please be careful just in case.


In this article, we explained that strong tags play a role in telling users and search engines which words and sentences you want to emphasize in your content.

Clarifying “what you want to convey” to users is an essential point in creating high-quality content.

In that sense, strong tags can be said to be one of the most convenient techniques for creating content.

Of course, if you use it too much or write it wrongly, it can have the opposite effect.

Let’s master the correct usage of strong tags and use them to create content with high usability.