How to Use Heading Tags for SEO

How to Use Heading Tags for SEO

Heading tags are an incredible opportunity to fine-tune your pages for Google, and using them well will improve your SEO.

What are heading tags?

Heading tags are the pieces of code that use where X is a number from 1 – 6. These you can see if you’re using a visual editor because they’ll show as “Heading 1,” “Heading 2” and so forth.

How heading tags look when displayed in a visual menu

Heading tags tell Google and other search engines what your page is about. You can think of them as the outline for your pages.

The other key benefit of heading tags is that they help your users and readers easily skim a page and understand what it’s about.

How should you use heading tags?

You should use heading tags any time you have a new or slightly different topic that you’re talking about.

It can be easiest to think of heading tags as the outline for your page. If you took all of the text from your page except the heading tags, would people be able to understand what your page was about? If so, you’ve used them well!

What’s the difference between H1 through H6?

The designation of H1 through H6 is there for establishing hierarchy between your content.

H1 is the main point of your page. It should have exactly what the page is about in a concise form.

H2 is a key subpoint of your page, and H3 is a subpoint to H2’s point. Using the outline example, you can think of H1 through H6 as the different levels an outline in Microsoft Word would use. Each time you’d tab something in while outlining in Word, you’d use that level’s corresponding H tag.

How many heading tags should you use on a page?

There are generally not limits for the number of headings you should use. But with everything, a little strategy goes a long way.

Every page should have an H1 tag, and only one H1 tag. For H2 through H6 you can use as many as make sense, within your discretion.

If you’re getting to the point where you’re using H5 and H6, it’s worthwhile to take another look back through the content to make sure you shouldn’t shorten some areas of the content.

It’s very normal to only use H2 – H4 tags – getting to H5 and H6 happens mostly with very involved and technical content.

When should you use a new H tag?

Any time you have more than about 300 words after a heading tag, you’ll probably want to insert another heading tag into the content.

If you have an H2 tag that has 700 words after it, can you group those into 3 categories so that you have three H3 tags after that H2 tag? This isn’t a Google requirement; it simply makes it easier for your readers to read your content.

How should you structure the content of your headings?

When you’re thinking about your page content, you’ll want to brainstorm keywords that people would be likely to search for to get to your content. Once you have that list, it’s useful to integrate as many of those into heading tags as makes sense. Don’t keyword-stuff the heading tags. Just use a variety of the keywords naturally throughout the heading tags.

Keep them short and sweet. Every rule has an exception, but it’s generally good to keep the heading tags to 10 or fewer words. You should never have a paragraph in a heading tag.

What are the benefits of using heading tags well?

The key benefits of using h1 – h6 tags well are that search engines and users can easily understand your content. They help search engines digest what’s on your page, and the hierarchy of the thoughts on the page.

Using heading tags can also help conversions. The more that users understand your content, the more likely they’ll be to understand your product, and then convert.

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