What are HTML Header Tags

HTML header tags are used to differentiate the headings (h1) and sub-headings (h2-h6) of a page from the rest of the content. These tags are also known to webmasters as heading tags or simply header tags.

The most important heading tag is the h1 tag and least important is the h6 tag. In HTML coding, the heading tags from h1 to h6 form a top-down hierarchy. This means that if you skip any of the tag numbers the heading structure will be broken, which is not ideal for on-page SEO.

For example, if your site is introduced with an h1 tag followed by an h3 tag, the hierarchy will be broken, meaning the heading structure is not as SEO-friendly. This doesnt apply, however, to the bottom-up structure, which could jump from an h4 to an h2 without issue.

Ideally, every page should have an h1 tag, but no more than one (unless youre using HTML5 more on that below).

We do use H tags to understand the structure of the text on a page better.

For SEO, there are 2 main purposes for HTML header tags:

Adding sections and subsections, with appropriate headers, divides content into scannable blocks that are much easier to consume. For both humans and bots.

Look at your pages HTML header tags as a way of creating an outline or sketch of your article, using body content to fill in details and examples.

In fact, you can look at the HTML headers in this article as an example. Here are the headers for this article:

h1What are Header Tags?/h1 h2What are HTML Header Tags in SEO?/h2 h31. Make the page more readable/h3 h32. Make the page more relevant/h3 h2How to Write HTML Headers for SEO/h2 h2Things You Should Not Be Doing with HTML Headers/h2

This translates directly to a traditional outline for this article:

Things You Should Not Be Doing with HTML Headers

Google sees the text used within the HTML header tags as more valuable, or a higher priority, than the rest of the text on a page. Therefore, words used in the header tags are weighted more highly when Google is trying to figure out if a page is relevant to a users query. In fact, a pages h1 tag is one of the most important places to use a keyword.

For example, if the keyword you want to target is on page SEO, you would use that in your h1 tags, and topically related words in your outline:

Use akeyword research toolthat includes LSI keywords to help you craft your pages HTML headers.

This isnt a case for keyword stuffing. Thanks to the semantic web andLSI keywords, its better to use related words that reinforce the relevance, quality and depth of a piece of content to a users query.

The way you write your headers and subheads depends on which HTML header tag youre talking about.

Put the h1 tags at the top of your page (of course).

Use the words people would use when searching for what your content is about.

If youre targeting a question, put the question in the h1 tag.

If youre writing a how-to guide, put each step in an h2 tag.

For non-how-to articles, use LSI keywords and other, semantically-related words in your h2-h6 tags. This helps reinforce topical relevance and removes ambiguity.

Those third and fourth points are very important when trying to claim one of Googles featured snippets for your site. Featured snippets rely on Googles ability to determine what page best answers a question. Structuring your content to make it more readable is a big part of that.

Find opportunities to claim featured snippets for your sitehere.

A note about HTML5: Pages using HTML5 can use h1 tags as section headers for content, which means they can have one h1 tag per section. A page can have multiple h1 tags using HTML5 like this:

div headerh1How to Do On Page SEO/h1 /header article h1On Page Content/h1 h2HTML Headers/h2 pBody textp /article article h1Technical SEO/h1 h2Meta Tags/h2 pBody textp /article /div

Things you should not be doing with heading tags

Do not stuff your heading tags with keywords.

Do not use more than one h1 tag on a page. 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, usingmultiple h1 tagsis 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 affects 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. Avoid using identical content for both your pages h1 tag and 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.

A note about HTML5: Pages using HTML5 can use h1 tags as section headers for content, which means they can have one h1 tag per section. A page can have multiple h1 tags using HTML5 like this:

div headerh1How to Do On Page SEO/h1 /header article h1On Page Content/h1 h2HTML Headers/h2 pBody textp /article article h1Technical SEO/h1 h2Meta Tags/h2 pBody textp /article /div

An unexpected error has occurred. Your action has not been completed. Please try again or contactWooRank Support.