Headings are one of the prime factors in search engine optimization. As time is passing by, search engines are becoming smarter.
Previously website moved upwards in ranking even if they don’t give proper attention to using headings properly or considering akin factors.
Now search engines evaluate every aspect of the website to decide its ranking, making it important more than ever to use headings properly.
There are six ranks of headings, H1 to H6. Each heading implies different information on the web page for search engine bots. These bots use this information to understand what a document or website is about. The clearer a search engine can understand your page, the more chance it has to appear at the top of SERP (Search engine results pages).
This guide is a brief introduction to all headings tags, how to use them properly, and how you can use them to influence your website’s SEO ranking.
What are headings?
Headings – also known as Header tags, HTML headings, and H tags. These small snippets or chunks of HTML help the search engine to read the webpage by highlighting the important aspects of the page and giving a hierarchy to document.
These invisible codes behind every web page are not visible to people viewing the content but playing a vital role in SEO.
Websites have their language called HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Search engines and search engine bots cannot understand the regular language, so all documents designed on web browsers are in this standard language of HTML.
Like the headings in regular language, HTML has its headings: the headings tags of H1 to H6. These tags are all about giving hierarchy to the content on a webpage.
These tags differentiate the headings/subheadings from the regular text-based content on the page and highlight the important points/headings of the document to improve user and search engine engagement. H1 is the most important, while H6 is the least important heading tag.
Once you understand, using tags correctly is a straightforward thing to do. Being all about a hierarchy, H1 is the biggest and boldest as it is the main heading, h2 is a little smaller being sub-heading, h3 is further small, as so on. H6 is the smallest one being the last tag.
Using headings H1 to H6:
Each heading provides different valuable information to search engines. Each heading should be used logically. A page should be starting with H1 followed by H2 as subheadings.
If H2 needs subheadings, use H3 and so on. Only use the heading which is next in the hierarchy. For example, as the sub-section of H2, always use H3 instead of skipping directly to H4.
H1 is the most important tag among all. It describes the page’s topic and gives search engines and content readers what the web page is about.
This tag has a major part in on-page optimization. It is bigger and bold compared to all other tags on a webpage. Sometimes this tag is also confused with the title tag, but both are very different.
Title tags are directly shown in SERP result snippets and are part of the HTML section enclosed in HTML tags. These are also referred to as Meta titles. Compared to that H1 tag is part of a page shown at the top or other places of a page only, enclosed between tags.
Keeping a few points in mind, you can get H1 right every time.
- You can use more than one H1 tag on your page, but SEO experts suggest sticking to one H1 tag per page only. You can compare it to a book for better understanding. Consider your website a book and each chapter of that book as a webpage. The title of each chapter is H1. You gave the title to the chapter at the beginning of the page, and then within that chapter, to highlight another thing, you used the same font size and font size, et cetera. Instead of making readers understand better, it will leave them confused. The same is the case with search engines. The search engine analyzes H1 to understand what is on the page. More than one H1 will confuse it, affecting the website’s SEO.
- Use H1 at the top of the page.
- Must add relevant keywords in the H1 tag. Adding keywords is an SEO necessity for better output but do not overstuff your H1 title with keywords just for the sake of adding them. A visitor and search engine bots instantly recognize this lousy practice affecting the traffic.
- Your title tag and H1 tag shouldn’t look like identical twins but sisters, at least. Try to keep them closely related by using the same keywords in both.
- Always keep H1 in the section of the page.
Unlike H1, you can use as much H2 on a page as you want. Take the example of this very article. There is one H1 tag on-page which is the title “Guide to using Headings H1 to H6”. Afterward, to highlight all main sections of articles, H2 is used, i.e., “What are headings,” “Using headings H1 to H6”, etc.
From H2-H6, all are subheadings tags, but H2 is the main subheadings tag.
H2 tags on the page refer readers to the specific section of a page. Just like H1, H2 should be highly relevant to the content in that section. Using keywords in H2 is not mandatory, but the subheadings tags with keywords, especially long-tail ones, add an itsy-bitsy part in SEO.
H3, H4, H5, and H6
H2 is used for subheadings, but subheadings tags don’t stop at H2. Just like H2 highlights the subheadings of H1, H3 (all headings under “Using headings H1 to H6” in this article) highlights the subheadings of H2; this sequence continues up to H6 in a hierarchy.
H4 for the subheadings of H3, H5 for H4 subheadings, and H6 to differentiate the subheadings of H5.
There is a great debate going on for a while that either tag still matters in the SEO rankings as they previously did. Different SEO experts have different answers, but everyone agrees that these tags still have a larger impact on the overall ranking.
Google and other search engines examine content more thoroughly than ever before, making it important to use tags correctly. The role of headings tags keeps hanging in SEO, but the correct hierarchy of tags on a page is always beneficial for a website to get organic traffic and ranking.