Website SEO – Heading Tags – What They Are And How To Use Them
When it comes to on page SEO for your website, heading tags are a must. Many people, though, are confused about what they are and how they should be used. When you are creating visitor friendly content, the use of heading tags will remove the need to stuff your content with your keywords making it a much more pleasurable experience for your readers.
What are heading tags?
Heading tags are bits of HTML code that are intended to both communicate to the search engines and to help you organize your thoughts and content. They follow a hierarchy from h1, which is the top level, on down to h6, which is the lowest. These tags are placed around text like so in the HTML of your page:
<h1>Your title text here</h1>
By default, most browsers will display this text in a very large bold text unless you have indicated differently within the design of your website or blog. The h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 tags will display smaller and smaller and smaller, etc.
Why do you use heading tags on your web pages?
There are three main reasons to use heading tags on your web pages.
They convey to the search engines what your page content is about.When a search robot or spider crawls your website it looks for some key factors to give them an indication of what information is available on that particular page. One thing they particularly look for is the headings and the priority of the content. So your h1 text is given the top priority and each subsequent heading is listed in the hierarchy before the bot goes on to classify your content.
They help your visitors find what they are looking for. Most internet users today are in a hurry to find what they are searching for. They tend to be page scanners. Meaning they will surf to your site and quickly scan through to see if you have what they want. Because the text of a heading tag is larger and bolder than the rest of the page, they can quickly see at a glance if the page covers the topic they are looking for and then decide to stay longer and read on for more details.
They help you organize your page content. When you are creating text for your site, chances are you have come up with some bullet points before you sit down to write. If you create your headings ahead of time, you will stay focused and to the point and your pages will flow better.
How to use heading tags.
When you are creating your web page, you always want to include your keywords in your heading tags. Your main keywords should appear in the headings. The h1 should be used only for the main headline or title of the page. You may not, and most likely should not, use all 6 heading tags within one page of content unless it is a very, very long page of content. Headings 1-4 are the most commonly used.
Your h2, h3 and h4 tags will be used as sub-titles. Each heading should categorize a new point to support your main headline. Don’t just throw these tags in willy nilly. They should have a purpose and introduce a new thought.
When you use keyword rich heading tags, there is absolutely no need to stuff keywords into the content and you can focus on writing high quality material that your readers will appreciate. A good website will always have the visitor as the main focus of all content they create. You should only be communicating with the search engines through your code and not force feeding it to your readers.