Correct Use of header tags – H1, H2, H3

What are header tags? They are simply paragraph headings and they are very important to SEO, as search engine spiders check them to help decide which keyterms the page is relevant for. H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 header tags also make things easier for the reader to quickly find the information that they are looking for on your web page.

Correct use of H1 Header Tag

The top heading on your page should always us the H1 header element and it should be the only instance of the H1 header tag on the page. On this page, the H1 tag is Correct Use of header tags – H1, H2, H3. Again, as covered in the previous two day’s articles on Page Titles and Description meta tags, the Keyterms that are used in the H1 header tag, are also used in the page title and the description tag, keeping the optimisation on-focus.

When to use H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 Header Tags

A  page should never be long enough to warrant using H5 and H6 tags – so for optimisation purposes, the H tags you will use are H1 to H4.

When using header tags correctly, after the H1 tag, the next header element used should be the H2 – Don’t ever jump from H1 to H3– The search engine spiders need to see a natural progression down the page. That doesn’t mean you cannot have more than one H2 tag; there is no issue if the progression goes H1, H2, H2, H3, H3, H4. Simply use the headings to separate subjects related to the importance of the information, as you would naturally do when writing any information page:

H1 This is the main thing I’m optimising for and the overall introduction to the content of the page.
P Paragraph
H2 This is the most important aspect of the subject of this page
P Paragraph
H3 You should also be aware of this
P Paragraph
P Paragraph
H4 and finally….

Forming Header Tags Correctly

When writing your H tags, keep them as short and succinct as possible. Each word in the heading is important, so don’t lose relevance by using too many pointless words. To give you an example, I could have called this H4 header tag, Be careful when forming head tags, they need to be used correctly. That’s 12 words and in the search engine spider’s eyes each of those words carries 8.33% importance. (12 x 8.33% = 100%) If someone searches for forming head tags correctly, four of these words are included in the 12 word header tag, making it 33% relevant for the term. The H4 tag I used was Forming Head Tags Correctly, which has 100% relevancy for the term.

As another example; if someone types in Forming head tags to a search engine, my H4 tag is 75% relevant and the 12 word one is only 24.99% relevant. Calculating keyword percentages is taking SEO to professional standards, but all you really have to know is to keep your header tags short and succinct.

That’s it – always use H tags, use only one H1 tag, feature them progressively down the page and keep them short and succinct!

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