Heading tag is also referred to as H1, which serves as the title of each page. It is somewhat similar to a newspaper headline. You create a unique heading tag for each page of your site. It should be something that describes the content of each page. This makes easier for search engines and site visitors to understand what each page is all about.
What Are Header Tags?
Header tags are HTML used to identify the headings and sub-headings of a page from its content. Webmasters also referred to this as heading tags.
The H1 tag is the most essential heading tag and the least vital is the H6 tag. If you check the headings in HTML coding you will see H1 to H6 in a top-down hierarchy. It only means that if you skip the tag numbers you will have a broken heading structure, which is not good for on-page SEO.
For instance, if your site has an H1 tag then followed by H3 tag, skipping H2 tag will result in the broken hierarchy which is not SEO-friendly. Ideally, every page starts with an H1 tag followed by H2 up to H6 if needed.
Why Are Header Tags Important?
There are several reasons why header tags are important. Each webmaster has their own reasons and some of which are as follows:
- It is a major ranking factor.
Trends in SEO tend to come and go, but header tags remain its significance. Based on the recent Moz ranking factors survey, H1 is the third-most influential ranking factor.
- It is the first thing you will notice on the page.
Users notice H1 right away and you should not ignore this idea. It is one of the most potent on-page SEO and user experience elements that you have.
- Improves Scannability
Header tags improve the ability of the reader to check, digest and understand your page content. It helps visitors to find the information that is helpful to the searchers. Readers will be forced to read every word if it does not have the right header tags. Without proper heading, your click-through rate will be reduced and your ranking will be affected.
A skimmable H1 enable your visitors to check around the page searching for important points and context that helps them decide what to do next.
In your post, you will see the header tags as the headings of your post. The HTML code of your post would look something like below:
<h1> your post title</h1>
<h2> Main heading </h2>
<h3> Subheading </h2>
<h3> Subheading #2 </h2>
There are six types of header tags – H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. Most of the posts use only up to H3 but there are some that requires for you to use H4, H5 and H6.
How to Use The Header Tags
You cannot deny that these header tags serve a vital function both for your users and SEO. Your rankings are greatly affected by making your content simpler and more enjoyable to read. And by adding keywords on it, search engines can easily rank you. Here are ways on how you use header tags to enjoy their benefits.
Include Keywords in Headings
Some SEO suggest that you should not use keywords in your H1. But many don’t agree with this. Using keywords in your H1 is not keyword stuffing at all. Actually, Google ranks pages that use a keyword in the H1. The reason, it will be easier for the crawlers to understand the page better.
It is best to use a strong keyword in your H1 so Google can easily index your page and rank you higher. Use a long-tail keyword but make sure you make it natural, do not overuse it and don’t force it.
Limit Length of Heading Tags
If you think the longer the better, this is not the case when it comes to H1 heading. Doing this will make your heading tags unreadable for your visitors. This will greatly affect your user experience. Stick to what Google is recommending, 60 characters is the maximum length. For the minimum length, just make sure it makes sense. Don’t just create a title, you should make something that will send your message clearly both to your visitors and to Google.
Do Not Overuse Them
H1 tags are big, if you use multiple header tags on your pages, it will be a mess and will not look good. You can check your H1 to a crawler tool to find out if your header tags have multiple H1.
Include Support Content
Make your heading tags look reliable and authoritative by linking it to other sites to support your claim. Some H1 tags contain data that requires support from other sites. Clear headings that tell about the content making it easier for search engines to determine the major themes of your site. The links added to support your header makes it easy for your visitors check out your page and easily find the info they are looking for.
H1 should be structured hierarchically on a page. Each page begins with an H1 heading, followed by H2 heading then by H3 headings in case you need a sub-section. You can begin your next section with another H2 heading. Make sure you will not skip a level in the hierarchy, for instance, you start from H1 don’t proceed to H3 heading. An H2 heading should be in between.
An example of good hierarchical structure:
<h1>title of the page</h1>
<h2>the first section</h2>
<h4> sub-section under h3</h4>
Some people think that header tags are not as important as other factors. After reading this post, do you still think that it is not essential? Google ranks you higher through your header tag. You don’t need a lengthy header. H1 tag should be short but makes sense. Focus on how to use header tags effectively, so you won’t be wasting your efforts.