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Importance of Heading Tags in SEO

by Editor

Heading-H1-H2-H3-H4-H5-H6-TagsThe Heading Tags are the important elements that defines your website HTML structure to search engines and visitors. Among the 6 tags – H1 to H6, the H1 tag is the most important tag. While other heading tags are useful too, but according to W3schools, H1 tags carries more weight than other heading tags. Although just using heading tags will not guarantee, that your website will rank higher in search engines. But in a way it will be very useful while considering other SEO factors.

Importance of H Tags

Consider an example, when you’re reading a newspaper. The first thing you do is scan through all the main headline of all news articles. And if you find something useful or interesting, you would continue to read that article till end. Now let’s take another example. Suppose you’re reading a newspaper where all those fonts looks similar in size and type. Then how you’re you going to scan through main headlines of the newspaper?

The same scenario applies to your website, where the heading tags signifies your site content structure to your visitors and search engines. If the site content doesn’t tells what the page is about, it of no use either to visitors or search engines.

Types of H Tags.

Basically there are six types of Heading Tags – H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. H1 is the most important tag followed by H2, H3 and so on. Many times most visual browser show headings text as large bold text by default , but this can be overridden by proper CSS styling of all Heading tags. See the image below.

H Tags

The H1 tag should always be used for the main title of the page, which defines what the page is about. Because search engines always tends to pick the H1 tag as the main headline to index them in search engines. While the H2 to H6 tags can be used as the sub-headings.

Designing H Tags

As I said if you won’t design your Heading tags, most visual browser will just display ugly large text and the visitors might find it confusing navigating your website. So a simple solution is to style your heading tags using using the local CSS file your website template. Nowadays, every website template have a pre-defined Heading text styles. If you don’t find one, you can add your own styles. See the example below:

[css]h1 { font: bold 2em “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;}
h2 { font: bold 1.6em “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;}
h3 { font: bold 1.4em Arial, Geneva;}
h4 { font: bold 1.2em Georgia;}
h5 { font: bold 1.0em Tahoma;}
h6 { font: bold 0.8em Times New Roman;}[/css]

You can change the font-type, font-size, add underline, change case, add color or even add a background. You can customize heading tags however you like.

H Tag Sequence

It’s good to use H1 tags for your main page title for optimum results in search engines. But there’s no specific sequence of heading tags. You can use H4 tags first and then H3 tag. But be sure you Check out what Matt Cutts says about ordering of Heading Tags:

Also see a great example by Dejan SEO where it shows an example of document’s topical structure by using Heading Tags.

H1: Vehicles
—–H2: Cars
———–H3: BMW
———–H3: FORD
—–H2: Motorbikes
———–H3: Dirtbikes
———–H3: Sportbikes
—————–H4: Suzuki
———————–H5: SFV650
—————————–H6: SFV650 Engine Specifications
———–H3: Roadbikes
—————–H4: Harley Davidson

H Tag Frequency

The frequency of heading tags will completely depend on your site content and design. Yes, you can using multiple H tags multiple on  your website. Like you can use H3 tags for sidebar headings and H1 tags for main content title and H2 for sub-headings. Use Heading tags for multiple sections, but don’t use similar heading tag for your entire website. This would degrade your site appearance and search engines might mark your website as spam.

Titles and H Tags

Title Tags and H Tags are two different things but they still serve the same purpose and that’s the “Page Title”. The <Title> tags provides a specific description what the page is about both to the users and search engines. The <Title> tag is what people judge it like seeing it on Google and other social networking sites. Read this post for more info: Importance of Page Title in SEO

While the <H> tag relates to the HTML structure of a page that defines a certain section title on a page. Like the H1 tag is the only tag that defines a page title and when a user visits a page, the first thing it sees is the page title with the H1 Tag because it defines what the page is about. In a way both the elements are important and should not be sacrificed for better SEO results.

Hope this would have cleared your query regarding using Heading Tags. Would like to hear from you soon. Do share your views!

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1 Navin Kunwar

heading tags will completely depend upon post. why just use H4 tags first and then H3 tag ?

2 Gustavo Quirino Ferreira

Can I use a image into tags? This works for the search engine?
For example: I desire put my website logo into tags with title in tag.
Thanks for your attention.

3 Rajkumar Jonnala

haha nice explanation trust me …i didnt know that h2 and h1 tags are this much important

4 Vin DiCarlo

Hello Sahil, I am always looking for informative content and you provide this here. Really i am glad to read this article. This is really good information for my business. You have changed my experience about seo. Thanks.

5 Ryan

Wow, this is a great explanation here. I’m still pretty sure though that there are a lot of themes on WP and great plugins that help you do some of the proper H tagging automatically, aren’t there?

6 Juphet Mislang

Right! I have been an SEO for 2 years and I notice that a lot of websites lacks Header tags. Thanks for pointing the importance of this HTML element.

7 Krystian Wlodarczyk

H tags, proper description and document title are essential in terms of SEO. Well put together.

8 Nikhil Gautam

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post plus the rest of the website is really good.

9 Philip Townsend

Just as a general rule, I like to only ever use one H1 tag on each page. It just seems wrong otherwise.

10 David Morris

Hello Sahil Umatia,
Well, it is a very powerful way to get the websites into the rankings on the top of the search engine. I have also read many benefits about the headings. Thanks for sharing this article.

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