Header tags and how you use them

in SEO <<<< H1 TAG example!

When you’re creating a Web page, (not a website, but a page) you are using HTML code (programming code) which is a structured markup language (programming code). This structure makes it possible for Web browsers (like Firefox, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer) to view your content, cellphones (referred to as mobile) to view the content, and screen readers to read the content aloud. Plus, search engine robots use the structure to add your Web pages to their indexes. (Meaning these tags help identifying keywords for your page, they must be catchy and describe your content)

While it’s certainly true that a page can rank high in search engines and have no structural tags in them at all. But chances are that this is because those pages are already very popular and have a lot of backlinks (links from other websites) to them that get them a better rating. As a Web designer you can choose to ignore structural tags altogether and focus only on backlinks. But why? H1, H2, and H3 headlines are easy to add to your pages, and with CSS they don’t have any detriments. And since they help search engines categorize your pages more efficiently, you’ll rank higher in search engines and thus get backlinks more quickly.

H1 is the Most Important Phrase

or Sentence on Your Page <<<< H1 TAG

If you think of a Web page as an outline, the H1, H2, etc. heading tags serve to divide the page into sections. Your most important headline is your H1 headline (also called the heading of your page or headings in your page). This generally indicates the topic for the entire Web page and is where most people look first when they’re trying to figure out what the page is about. Since search engines first priority is to provide search results that people want, they try to use the same techniques to determine what a page is about. So content in the H1 tag will be considered most important and given a slightly higher rank than other content on the page.

If you’re trying to optimize a Web page for a specific keyword phrase, this is where that phrase should appear, preferably the first two words or so. This tells the search engine that these words are important – that this is what this page is about.

Advantages of Using Heading Tags <<<< H2 TAG

The heading tag is used to represent different sections of web page content. It has an impact on both the SEO and usability of your site.

Header tags from an SEO point of view: <<<< H3 TAG

  • Relevancy: Search engine spiders check the relevancy of the header tag with the content associated with it.
  • Keyword Consistency: The search engine spiders check the keyword consistency between the header tags and other parts of the page.
  • The Importance of an h1 Tag: The h1 is the most important tag and it should never be skipped on a page. Search spiders pay attention to the words used in the h1 tag as it should contain a basic description of the page content, just as the page <title> does .
  • Enriched User Experience: Heading tags give the user a clear idea of what the page content is about. Search engines give much importance to user-experience on a site, meaning the presence of heading tags becomes an important component of SEO.

Header tags from a usability point of view: <<<< H3 TAG

  • For users of the web who must use a screen reader, it is easier to navigate sections of content by referring to properly structured headings on a page.
  • The h1 heading tag (main heading) of a page gives users a quick overview of the content that is to follow on the page.
    By reading the different heading tags, users can scan a page and read only the section they are interested in.
  • The primary use of heading tags is for SEO, not to gain the larger, more prominent fonts; but the presentation of a web page does look cleaner with the presence of these tags.

Things you should not be doing with heading tags: <<<< H4 TAG

  • Do not stuff your heading tags with keywords.
  • Do not use more than one h1 tag on a page unless really necessary. Usually pages will have a single h1 heading and including two might make search engines think this as an attempt to include more keywords for SEO in multiple h1 tags. It is better to divide the content into two separate topics on individual pages with their own h1 tags. This makes more sense to both readers and the search engine spiders, however, using multiple h1 tags is allowed.
  • Do not use heading tags as hidden text. Any hidden text can result in penalties for your site, especially if the hidden part is a component that effects SEO.
  • Do not repeat heading tags on different pages of your site. It is a good practice to have unique heading tags throughout your site.
  • Do not use the same content in your page’s h1 tag as in your meta title tag.
  • Do not use heading tags for styling text but use them for presenting organized and structured content on pages. Use CSS stylesheets for the purpose of styling.