While often overlooked, heading tags play a significant role in the visibility and ranking of your website. Proper heading tags, symbolized by HTML elements h1 to h6, can prompt search engines to rank you higher on search results and attract your target audience.
In this comprehensive article, let’s discuss heading tags, their significance, and how to use them properly to enhance your SEO performance.
What are heading tags?
Heading tags or header tags are HTML elements used to organize or structure the content of a web page. The tags separate headings and subheadings to make a webpage more readable for users and search engines. The tags rank in order of importance, ranging from H1 to H6.
Why are header tags so important?
Heading tags are essential for several reasons, including:
1. Provide content structure
Heading tags are used to provide a clear hierarchy of the content on your page. For instance, the H1 tag represents the page’s title or main heading. The H1 is followed by H2 to H6 tags, which subdivide the page content into sections. The tags enhance the flow of the content on your web pages, making it easier to understand.
2. Good user experience
Imagine opening a page to find a block of text. Like most people, you’ll close the page and look for a different page with a proper content structure. Proper page structure with concise and descriptive headings makes your content easy to scan through and read. This is particularly useful for those with visual impairments.
Your visitors can scroll your pages and find the relevant information they’re searching for within seconds, leading to longer on-page engagement and good user experience, which are suitable for SEO.
3. Improves SEO
Search engines examine your headings, especially H1, to understand the context of your web pages. Properly structured heading tags improve your page visibility in search engines, helping you rank for relevant Google search results. This will result in higher click-on rates and potential conversions.
How many header tags are supported by HTML?
HTML supports up to 6 header; H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6. The tags are hierarchical, with H1 being the highest and H6 being the lowest. Every header tag looks different visually, making your content easy for search engines and readers to scan and comprehend.
What is H1 tag?
The H1 heading is the highest HTML tag. It’s symbolized by <h1> and represents a web page’s main heading or title.
<h1>this is a H1 heading tag</h1>
<h1> Best SEO tools for your WordPress website>/h1>
Importance of H1 heading
In SEO, the H1 heading is used to reference the primary information on a web page, improving your chances of ranking higher for relevant search queries. The H1 tag also helps users understand the content of your page, leading to longer on-page engagement.
One H1 heading for SEO: Google’s recommendation?
This is a very common question ‘Is it advisable for SEO to use only one H1 heading according to Google’s recommendations?’ Cyrus Shepard who is an SEO guy created a pool on his Twitter account and the interesting thing is that 60% of followers voted to use one H1 in a web page.
Quiz: Does Google recommend using a single <h1> in your content for SEO purposes?— Cyrus (@CyrusShepard) May 11, 2021
Google recommendation on number of H1 headings
Is it recommended by Google to use only one H1 heading? The answer is no.
To clarify any misunderstanding about H1 tags, Google has released a video specifically addressing this topic. Our suggestion is that you must watch this video to get more idea of uses of H1 heading.
According to John Mueller’s statement, a website can rank well without an H1 heading or with 5 H1 headings. This indicates that there is no additional significance placed on having an H1 heading.
What is H2 tag?
The H2 tags come right after the H1 heading and are symbolized by <h2>. H2 tags are used to subdivide the main content of a page into smaller topics or sections.
<h2>this is a H2 tag</h>
<h2>types of SEO tools</h>
Importance of H2 heading
The H2 tags represent the main subheadings of a page. They break up the content of a page, enhancing readability for search engines and your visitors. Ensure you incorporate relevant keywords in your H2 to improve your search engine rankings.
How many H2 tags should you use per page?
There’s no limit on how often you can use H2 tags on a web page. However, ensure all your H2 tags are meaningful and represent a significant section of your page. Overusing H2 tags can dilute the meaning of your content, potentially hurting your rankings.
What is H3 tag?
The H3 tags are symbolized by <h3> and fall right below H2 tags in the HTML hierarchy. The H3 tags are used to further subdivide the content under H2 headings.
<h3>this is a H3 tag>/h3>
<h3> SEO best practices for WordPress</h3>
Importance of H3 Heading
H3 tags help organize your web content into smaller subsections, making it easier for search engines and users to navigate and comprehend the content of your pages. H3 tags can enhance keyword optimization for specific long-tail phrases within a page.
How many H3 tags should you use per page?
Like H2 tags, there is no set limit for the number of times you can use the H3 tags. However, it’s still best to keep them to a minimum to make your pages easy to read and avoid confusing search engines and visitors.
H4, H5, and H6 tags
H4, H5, and H6 tags are symbolized by <h4>, <h5>, and <h6>.
<h4>this is an H4 tag</h4>
<h5>this is an H5 tag</h4>
<h6>this is an H6 tag</h6>
They provide a deeper subdivision of your page content, making it more readable and understandable. While less common than H1, H2, and H3, they can be beneficial for large texts that require a lower-level hierarchy.
How many H4, H5, and H6 tags should you use per page?
You can use H4, h5, and H6 as needed. However, try to keep these tags to a minimum to maintain the relevance of your page content. This is also beneficial for users and search engines to easily read and understand your pages.
What do heading tags look like in HTML?
As we’ve already seen, heading tags are symbolized by h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6, enclosed in angle brackets <>. The closing tag contains a forward slash </>, which signifies the end of the heading element. Well-organized, descriptive heading tags help organize your content, enhancing readability for search engines and users.
How Google uses headings to interpret your content?
Google uses heading tags to interpret the structure and relevance of the content of your web pages. Properly structured headings help Google find and index your content accurately, improving your chances of ranking higher for relevant search queries. You can attract more organic visitors who engage with your website.
Best way to use heading tags
To maximize the benefit of heading tags on your web pages, consider the following best practices:
1. Optimize the main title (H1)
The H1 tag represents the heading or title of your page and should be placed at the top. It’s crucial to add the primary keyword to the H1 tag to emphasize its relevance to the page content. This will help grab the reader’s attention and keep them engaged.
2. Maintain proper hierarchy
It’s essential to understand HTML heading tags and their purpose before using them in your pages. This prevents the risk of using improper tags, which can confuse your visitors and search engines, hurting your SEO. A proper hierarchy enhances the navigation and readability of your content.
Your H1 should represent the main topic or title. H2 should follow H1 to represent the main sections of H1. H3 should follow H2 to represent subsections and then followed by H4, H5, and H6. You should use heading tags in that order without skipping. However, you can drop the lower-level HTML tags if unnecessary. For instance, your page can have just 4 heading tags: H1, H2, H3, and H4.
3. Use header tags to organize your content
HTML heading tags provide structure to your content for easy readability. Every header should accurately explain what to expect from the text block below it. This provides a logical flow and relevance to your content.
4. Don't overuse headlines
While HTML supports 6 heading tags, you don’t always need to use them all. Just use the necessary heading tags while ensuring that each tag serves a specific but meaningful purpose. If you don’t need certain tags, just drop them but maintain the appropriate hierarchy. Too many heading tags can dilute your message and make your page cluttered.
5. Keep it concise
Just adding heading tags isn’t enough. You must use them correctly to ensure relevance and readability. Proper heading tags should be concise but still describe the paragraphs below.
6. Use relevant keywords
It’s highly essential to incorporate relevant keywords in your heading tags, especially H1 and H2. The keywords should be related to the page content to help you rank in search results. Ensure to add the keywords as naturally as possible without stuffing.
Suppose ‘Moving Companies in Los Angeles California‘ is your main keyword. So you should find 2-3 secondary keywords like ‘Packing And Moving Companies Los Angeles’ and ‘Best Movers Los Angeles’.
So you can use those keywords in H tags in the following way:
‘Moving Companies in Los Angeles California‘ in H1
‘Packing And Moving Companies Los Angeles‘ in H2
‘Best Movers Los Angeles‘ in H3.
Do H1 and H2 tags affect SEO and rankings?
Yes, header tags H1 and H2 can significantly impact your ranking and SEO performance. For instance, properly structured H1 and H2 tags enhance the readability and visibility of your page to search engines, improving the chances of ranking higher in search results.
Proper H1 and H2 tags also make your content more user-friendly, improving on-page engagement, which is good for SEO.
How To add H1 To H6 tags in WordPress?
It’s straightforward to add heading tags to your WordPress site. Here’s how:
Using the WordPress Text Editor:
- In the WordPress editor, click edit on the content where you want to add the HTML heading tags
- Highlight the text you want to format as headings (for example, select the title for H1)
- In the formatting options in the editor, click on the dropdown menu labelled “paragraph”
- Select the appropriate heading tag, say Heading 1, for H1 or title
- Continue the process for the other headings levels (H2, H3, etc.).
- Once you’ve added the heading tags, save or publish the page
Using the WordPress Block Editor:
- Open the WordPress Block Editor for the post you want to add heading tags.
- Click (+) to add a new block
- Select the appropriate Heading block and type the heading text
- Click the heading level dropdown menu
- Select the desired heading level (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
- Click Publish to save the changes
How to add H1 to H6 tags in Shopify?
Like WordPress, Shopify also provides an easy way to add heading tags to your content to enhance readability and SEO. Here’s how to do it:
- Log in to your Shopify admin panel and navigate to the product or page you want to edit.
- Click on the text or section you wish to format as a heading
- In the text editor toolbar, click “format” and select the heading tags you want to use (H1, H2, H3, etc.).
- Publish or save the changes
Have a look at the following questions which will also help to clear your doubts.
Are headings used in featured snippets?
Featured Snippets are short snippets that appear at the top of Google’s search results. The text and content in the featured snippet are pulled from web pages to quickly answer a searcher’s query. In most cases, featured snippets include definitions, steps, lists, and steps.
Proper heading tags improve your content structure and keyword optimization, making it quick for search engines to find and extract relevant information from your pages for featured snippets. Featured snippets can attract a lot of audience or traffic to your site.
Why are H1 tags so important?
H1 tags represent a page’s main heading, title, or topic. Search engines rely on H1 tags to interpret and understand the context of your pages. Thus, proper H1 tags can improve your visibility on search engines, helping you rank higher for relevant keywords and improving your pages’ click-through rate (CTR).
The H1 tags also make it easy for users to navigate your page and find the specific information they want. This improves user experience and reduces the bounce rate on your site.
Can I use multiple H1 tags?
Yes. However, it’s essential to use them sparingly. Ideally, you should only use one H1 tag per page to maintain content clarity and hierarchy. Multiple H1 tags can make your pages difficult for search engines and users to understand. Multiple H1 tags are effective for large or complex pages that cover multiple topics.
Heading use is correlated with higher rankings?
As we’ve already discussed, properly structured heading tags make your content easier to find and understand for search engines, improving your likelihood of ranking higher on search engine results.
What is the best length for title tags?
While there’s no specific limit for the number of characters you can have in Hn title tags, it’s essential to keep them short, between 50 and 70 characters. Ensure the tags remain relevant and descriptive of the page’s content.
H1 and Title tags – can they be different?
Yes, H1 and title tags can be different. For instance, you can use a title tag to reflect the main topic of a page. Then, you can use the H1 tag to provide a more detailed description of the page. The title tag is useful when you have multiple H1 tags for one page.
Heading tags can significantly affect your website’s SEO performance. Proper heading tags enhance user experience and make it easier for search engines to find and rank your page higher on search results. Best heading tags practices can help maintain proper content structure on your web pages, improving SEO.