What are Header Tags?

February 24, 2020

Header tags (h tags) are the headings used in web copy.

They are the bold bits or titles at the beginning of each section of text. When used properly, header tags allow search engines and site users to get a better understanding of your site’s content. But do you know how to use header tags properly?

What are the Benefits of Header Tags?

Keywords: Header tags work to highlight the hierarchy of your text. You can include major keywords in your main header as long as they’re used naturally – having a keyword stuffed header doesn’t make it legible for users or crawlers.

Readability: Header tags are super-useful for accessibility and readability. Visually impaired visitors will get a quick run down of the main gist of your page and know at once if it’s what they want. Similarly, all users – and bots – react much better to text broken into smaller, easily digestible parts, rather than one huge block.

SEO: Google have stated ‘We do use h tags to understand the structure of the text on a page better’. So, header tags can impact rankings to a degree but it’s probably more to do with readability, as above. If they page is deemed as meeting the reader’s search requirements, bingo.

How Many Header Tags Should You Use?

Header tags are ranked h1 – h6 with h1 being the most important.

  • h1 - your page, article or blog title. It should be directly related to your page content and only used once on your site. It can include your main keyword but in an organic, natural way. (But don’t use the same text in your h1 tag and meta title tag). Best practice is to only use one h1. Any more than that and search engines will start to rank them in order which can affect SEO results. Use your h1 to meet search engine requests – for example, if someone searches with a question, make this the h1.
  • h2 – it’s common to have more than one h2. Think of them as paragraph headings and use them to break up text. It’s ok to use keywords in one or two h2s but don’t overdo it. Relevance to your page’s content is far more important. You could use h2s to distinguish points in a step-by-step guide.
  • h3 – similar to h2 headings. Subheadings for your text.
  • h4 – h6 – rarely used as web pages are not often long enough to need them. But they’re there, just in case.

What Should you Avoid with Header Tags?

  • Don’t stuff your header tags with keywords. Perhaps just your main keyword. And keep it natural.
  • Don’t use more than one h1 per page. It can be read by search engines as an attempt to include more keywords which comes with penalties.
  • Don’t use header tags as hidden text or behind an image. Hidden text can also incur penalties and search engines have trouble reading text behind images.
  • Don’t repeat header tags on other pages. Keep them unique. Same goes for meta titles – don’t repeat the h1 text here.  
  • Don’t use header tags for anything other than providing organised and easily navigable content for your users.

If you need help with your headers or want to make sure your h1s and h2s are being fully utilised, give us a call on 01892 800400 or visit https://www.targetink.co.uk/

We can check your HTML coding and make sure your site is ranking as highly as possible.