Header Tags

What Are Header Tags?

Header tags, also known as heading tags, are HTML tags used to separate headings and subheadings on a website page.

They create a structure on the page from H1 to H6, with H1 being the main title. Header tags improve the readability of your content and your SEO.

How Many Header Tags Are There?

There are a total of 6 levels of header tags – H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6.

Each level of the header tag represents the importance of the heading, allowing for a structured hierarchy down the page.

In HTML, the header tags look like this:

<h2>Header Text Here</h2>

Simple, right?

H1 is usually the page’s main title. It explains what the page is about and the type of content you can expect to find.

You should use only one H1 on your page.

h1 header tag example

H2 to H6 header tags are subheadings. They help organise your content methodically, making it easier to read.

h2 and h3 header tag examples

Header tags are essential for quality content. They:

  • Organise the information on the page
  • Improve the readability for site visitors

Header tags also help search engines understand your content better and are considered an important Google ranking factor.

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What Does The Hierarchy Of Header Tags Represent?

The hierarchy of header tags represents the importance and organisation of the content within a page.

The lower numbers (H1 and H2) are more significant than the higher numbers (H3 to H6). This generally means that search engines pay more attention to your H1 and H2 tags.

Most people will only use H1 to H4 header tags.

Here’s an overview of how each of them generally works on a page:

  • H1 is the title of the page and explains the page’s topic
  • H2 is a subheading that breaks down the core sections
  • H3 is a sub-point under H2 and breaks down each core section
  • H4 is a subsection under H3 that goes deeper into a sub-point

headings for seo

Each type of header tag makes it easy to see how the information is organised on the page.

This makes the content more accessible to readers and helps search engines like Google better understand it.

Why Are Header Tags Important For SEO?

Header tags are important for SEO because they structure the content to make it easier for search engines to understand the hierarchy and relevance of information on a page.

The H1 tag particularly plays an important role in SEO.

Google uses your H1 to understand your content and what kinds of searches it should rank for.

Think of header tags as signals to help Google know what search terms your content should appear for in the search results.

But there is another aspect of header tags in SEO…

Good use of headers will improve the readability of your content and navigation of your page. This will ultimately improve the user experience your page offers.

You already know Google loves websites that provide an excellent user experience.

If your header tags are easy to read and help users find the information quickly, this can indirectly improve your SEO.

Best Practices For Headers Tags

Use the following best practice to write great header tags:

1. Use Only One H1

Only use one H1 per page.

The H1 tag is the main title of the page and should clearly indicate the content’s topic. Visitors should be able to read the H1 and immediately know what they will learn from the page.

Your H1 is also essential for good SEO.

Make sure you include an exact match of the target keyword you want the page to rank for.

2. Create A Logical Structure

Think of header tags as a structure that helps organise your content.

Start with a single H1 tag for the main title. Then add the H2 tags for major sections, followed by H3 tags for each sub-section of the content.

You can use H4 tags to go deeper on sub-sections as needed. H5 and H6 header tags are there if you need them, but they aren’t usually required.

This should naturally form a logical structure that helps readers.

3. Include Keywords

Add relevant keywords within your headers.

This will help Google understand your content better and improve your ranking visibility in the search results.

Here are three simple principles to follow:

  • Use your main target keyword just once in the H1 and an H2
  • Add LSI keywords in other sub-headings
  • Use semantically relevant words in your header tags

Don’t stuff as many keywords as possible.

That’s not the goal! You should use keywords as naturally as possible in your header tags.

Think of it like this…

A reader should be able to read your headings and NOT know you added the keyword in there.

4. Keep Headers Descriptive & Concise

Creating great headers is a skill.

They must be short but descriptive enough to explain their section.

You should also follow best practices for SEO copywriting to ensure that each header is engaging and keeps the reader moving down the page.

As a general rule, your headers should be 20 to 70 characters long and accurately convey what the reader will learn in the section below.

5. Think About User Experience

Think of your headers as a table of contents.

They should make your content easier to scan and read.

One core principle of your header tags is to make it as easy as possible for readers to find the information they’re looking for.

That means they should be organised well and clearly define your content’s key sections/sub-sections.

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