Header tags play an important part in search engine optimization (SEO) or the optimization of your web pages for search engines and are essentials for the include as part of the best SEO practices you can implement on your website.
Header tags or title tags are the headlines that are on the website. As you go down the page there will be sections of texts and images that will have their respective headers, depending on how you separate parts of your content.
These will be your H1, H2, H3, H4, and so on and these are the tags within the HTML that your headers should be optimizing for when it comes to search engine optimization.
If you consult a link building company practicing white hat or ethical SEO tactics, you’ll get the same expert advice. Because optimized headers allow search engine bots to crawl and index the web page quickly, recognizing your links and relevant content.
Google pays a lot of attention to headings because it simplifies your content and what it is about. Thus, making it easier for Google to understand the page and rank it.
1. Use the H1 Tag to Properly Label Your Page
The H1 tag is the main headline of a web page. A page can have multiple H2, H3, and so on, but every page on your website has only one H1 tag.
This can be the topic of a blog article, a product’s page where the product or service is formatted in H1 or your homepage where the H1 can be your brand name.
In terms of HTML, this is what an H1 tag is going to look like:
<h1>Sample h1 Title</h1>
So, you can optimize your H1 header tag by adding these codes. If you’re not too sure about how to optimize using this method or how to change HTML codes then reach out to your web designer so they can change it for you.
However, most website builders like WordPress or Wix have features that let you easily change headers so you can quickly do it yourself.
2. Provide Structure to Your Page with Headers
Headers exist so to give your readers an idea about each section of your page and have an understanding of what the paragraph in that section is all about.
You can view header tags as the table of contents that you normally see in books, but when it comes to a website, this will apply to each page.
- H1 pertains to the top of the page.
- H2s will describe the sections of the page, just like how books are divided into chapters. These will be the headers that will describe the text inside each section.
- H3s and beyond will serve as sub-headings for each H2, if needed.
3. Structure Your Header SEO Tags Appropriately
Your headers are not just there to provide users an idea of what a particular section of a page is all about. Properly structured content makes for a readable article. This is important because articles that are easy to read perform so much better on search engines compared to articles that seem too complex.
The Nielsen Group conducted research on how people read websites where they found that almost 80 percent of the test users always scanned the pages they came across while 16 percent read the whole article word-per-word.
Always think about your readers and determine the best way for them to understand your full content.
This starts from your H1 which should be the name of the page or the title of an article.
Use H2 as the main headings of each section and then provide subheadings or H3 tags that support your H2s.
For example, you’re writing an article about “5 Best Food for Weightloss”.
In this case, we’ll have “Top Five Food For Weightloss”.
Next are the H2 tags. They can be divided by the type of food and could look something like this.
- Weightloss Food #1
- Weightloss Food #2
- Weightloss Food #3
- Weightloss Food #4
- Weightloss Food #5
The H3 tags will then be the numbered list of recipes or preparation tips.
- Recipe 1
- Recipe 2
- Recipe 3
All in all, it should look like this:
H1: Top Five Food For Weightloss
H2: Weightloss Food #1: Quinoa
H3: Quinoa Recipe #1
H3: Quinoa Recipe #2
H3: Quinoa Recipe #3
H2: Weightloss Food #2: Beans
H3: Beans Recipe #1
H3: Beans Recipe #2
H3: Beans Recipe #3
Both your readers and search engines will understand what your page is about. This is also helpful for SEO as Google will immediately see the keywords and will quickly know the value your content offers to readers.
4. Include Keywords for search engine optimization
Whether you’re doing regular SEO or Local SEO, keywords are crucial to your strategy as it’s the foundation of all your SEO efforts. Including it in your headers will make it easier for Google to gather context for your article or webpage.
Google pays attention to headers. It’s the part of the HTML code that’s very distinct and Google Bots easily distinguish it as an important part of the page. Naturally, they will add more value to words highlighted in your headers and will see the rest of your content as related to them.
This means it’s crucial to include keywords in your headers.
However, you should avoid putting too many keywords in your headers. The term experts use for this ill SEO practice is called keyword stuffing. Generally, one to two keywords are enough distributed across headers for a short-form article or blog. This way, search engines can quickly scan your web page without getting too overwhelmed with excessive keywords.
5. Use Smaller Headings to Outline List Items
Another way header tags benefit SEO is through featured snippets. This is the section on Google Search Results where excerpts from a page are shown to quickly answer a user’s query.
Featured snippets are automatically pulled by Google from pages that it has indexed.
Google matches the user’s query to your content which means that if you have a section on your page that matches that query, Google is going to pull it up if it’s competitive enough.
First, it has to understand the section’s purpose. To do this, you have to optimize your headers for featured snippets.
Let’s use an example of an article that scored a featured snippet for “best ecommerce platforms” when Google automatically showed a quick answer to the query.
From the example, you can see that the keyword matches the header or title of the article. The listicle is also made up of header tags that Google decided to piece together to form a listicle for its featured snippet.
Optimizing header tags isn’t as powerful as link building when it comes to ranking your website, but it still helps in SEO and getting your website noticed. Make sure that as you optimize the headers, you’re also creating the content that supports it. There are SEO and local SEO services that you could get if you’re not too savvy with the techniques and methods.
6. Make Your Header Tags Intriguing
Inserting keywords in your header tags is important but it has to be eyecatching too. This will inspire people to read through the entire page instead of just skimming or scanning.
Always make sure to review your initial draft so that you can revise mistakes or make corrections. There will be parts of the article that you might have missed or could be done better. Make your header tags engaging to inspire your readers to read through your whole article.
Examples of intriguing headers include question-type headers. Because online users often ask questions when making a query, formatting your headers into questions makes them feel more relatable.
Another example of intriguing header tags is conversational-type headers. With this header type, you can quickly catch the readers’ attention because it represents their voice and provides a good idea of the content.
Moreover, you can make your headers more interesting by including a glimpse of a statistical report or clinical study findings. Providing factual information in your header drives more readers to your page because of the credibility it provides. More so, if you back relevant findings with high authority links or references at the end of the article.
Optimize Your Headers and Rank Ahead of Competitors
For SEO to work, you have to pay attention to every detail of your website. Header tags serve as a guide for both your users and search engines. Optimizing it properly can enhance the effectiveness of your SEO campaign and engage your users, which will ultimately get your pages showing up higher on organic search results.