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The RV Advertiser’s Guide to HTML Tags …

Posted by Drew Clifton on Mar 12, 2014

For some this information may be “old hat.” For others, a refresher. For others still this will be something new.

Whatever your background and comfort level with computers, here it is, the RV advertiser’s guide to HTML tags!

The General Idea

Tags are what you use in web content to tell web browsers what the content is supposed to “be”.

Most HTML tags (as far as we’re concerned) wrap around the content you want to define:

<b>like so.</b> // note the forward slash in the closing </b> tag = critical.

For the most part you’ll want to stick to only the most basic tags.

Two major reasons why:

1. Some tagging just won’t look good on all RVDPs (RV Detail Pages), or may even “break” the page in some way.

2. Your fancy tags are likely to get “stripped out” anyway by the host site to ensure that the listings maintain a consistent level of quality and appearance, and to avoid any possible security concerns.

On to the Tags …

Again, we’re going to stay super-basic for the reasons mentioned above.

Bold

<strong></strong> or <b></b>

There are two ways to do this one; generally they produce the same effect.

Italic

<i></i> or <em></em>

Again, two possible tags to use. Will almost always do the same thing.

Paragraph

<p></p>

Wrap it around your paragraph and you should be good to go. This generally gives you some breathing room above and below your paragraph, as opposed to this next one…

New Line / Line Break

<br>

This one is a little different because you don’t wrap it around anything, you just put a single instance of it at the end of the line you want to break, like this.<br>
Unlike <p>, this will tend to kick the text down a single line, but without the appearance of a new paragraph.

Note: if for some reason <p> isn’t available to you (i.e. it’s getting stripped out), a possible workaround to simulate the effect is to do the following:

Text text text text.<br>
&nbsp;<br>
// &nbsp; is the HTML character code for a “space”
More text.

This will put an empty line between your first and second bit of content.

Special Characters

Speaking of &nbsp;, there is a whole host of other special HTML characters.

Why are They Necessary?

They’re not always. But they’re handy to make sure that your characters look the way you intend them to, as some transmission processes will remove special characters from text, but allow their respective codes through.

Here are a few of the more common ones:

Resultant Char. HTML Code Char. Name
& &amp; Ampersand
© &copy; Copyright
® &reg; Registered Trademark
&#8482; Trademark
&ndash; “en” dash
&mdash; “em” dash

Note: you may or may not need to use these; I’ve included a few to make you aware of their existence. There are many lists of them available on the web, here’s one for reference: HTML Characters

Lists

Lists are popular and help make content look a bit more organized. Here’s an example:

  • Outdoor Kitchen
  • Rear Bunks
  • Extra Large Windows

They’re a bit more complicated to mark up, but not too crazy.

They follow this pattern:

<ul> // this declares the start of our “unordered list”, hence the “ul”
<li>Outdoor Kitchen</li> // “li” stands for “list item”
<li>Rear Bunks</li>
<li>Extra Large Windows</li>
</ul>

For an ordered list, that is, one that displays numbers instead of dots or squares, use <ol> instead of <ul>.

What Tags Not To Use

These tags are likely to get stripped out for various reasons, as mentioned up top:

Type HTML
Images <img>
Links <a></a>
CSS style=”…”

The End?

I’m going to stop there. Hopefully this helps take away some of the “gobbledegook” factor when it comes to your online listings. 🙂

Author: Drew Clifton

PG Drew Clifton is a Web Analytics and Search Engine Optimization consultant with RVT.com.

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