Header Tags: What are they and how to use them
Just about everybody can throw up enticing words online to make a blog post and engage readers. However, there is more to the positive ranking of a page by search engines than beautiful quotes and knowledge-packed write-ups.
There must be an element of structure, a substance that makes it easy for the algorithms of search engines to make the page available to web browsers, a break that makes the page understandable by search engines and, an important element that allows readers to skip to the main part of the article that piques their interest. This essential substance is known as Header tags.
What are Header Tags?
Otherwise known as heading tags, header tags differentiate between the headings, subheadings, and all other contents on the page. There are six header tags on a page, starting from H1 down to H6 in order of their importance.
Header tags play an important role in the technical SEO of a website i.e. the SEO that is not concerned about the actual contents of a website rather, the structure and infrastructure. The Header Tags make it easy for the search engine bots to easily crawl and index pages (read and categorize the pages in accordance). In essence, if search engines cannot crawl a page, it can’t be ranked. Consequently, the page will not be easily accessible by readers irrespective of the quality of the content.
How are Header Tags Used?
Header tags feature in the HTML code of a webpage. They have an opening and closing tag with the intended texts in between these tags. Taking the H1 tag as example, we have:
Let’s have a quick rundown on all the tags
The H1 Tag
The H1 tag is the most important of them all and has much importance to search engines. It holds the title of the page i.e. the heading of the page. The H1 tag should be rich in keywords as it is the point of reference for search engines. Also, it should be at the very top of the page to make it easily accessible for search engines.
The content of the H1 tag should be crafted to pique the reader’s interest and should be about the major selling point of the page. An example is “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Diamond Painting in 2021”. This is an encompassing title that is rich in keywords without being stuffed.
Lastly, there should be only one H1 tag on a page. This is to prevent the page. from appearing stuffed with keywords on the search engine “crawling” algorithm. This is important if you are using HTML 4 and below but exceptions can be made with HTML 5. But ideally, the H1 tag should not be more than one on a single page.
The H2 Tag
The next on the hierarchy is the H2 tag. It is used to expatiate on the main points of the H1 tag. This means that it holds all major subheadings of the main topic. For better understanding, take the H1 tag to be the title of a book and the H2 tag to be the chapters in the book.
The H2 tag should be rich in semantic keywords i.e. the major keywords people are interested in based on the title. An example from this article is; the H1 tag is the heading “Header Tags: What are They and How They are Used” while the H2 tags will be subheadings: “Introduction”, “What are Header Tags”, “How are Header Tags Used” and, “wrap up”.
The H3 Tag
The H3 tag is used to further express or subdivide the H2 tag. They are used if there is a need to further section the H2 tags for easy readability. An example in this article will be the subsection of the H2 tag subheading “How are Header Tags Used”, which are: “The H1 tag”, “The H2 tag”, “The H3 tag”, and “The H4, H5, and H6 Tag”. These subheadings have been used to break down the H2 header.
The H4, H5, and H6 Tags
These tags are used to structure a page into granular details that are beyond the H3 tags. They all help to enhance the readability of a page by structuring the fine details without leaving the reader with clumsy and bulky information to deal with.
It is important to note the hierarchy of these tags as it plays a major role in the on-page SEO. Jumping the hierarchy or mixing it up might make the headline structure fewer SEO-friendly. Although, this does not apply to the bottom-up structure which encourages the jumping of header tags.
In summary, view the H1 tag as a universal set that should contain all other tags, the H2 as a subset that contains the succeeding tags, and so on. With this structure, the readability and on-page SEO of your webpage should be on par with the best there is.
Header tags is a must for every page on a website in order for it to rank well on search engines. Also, it is vital to the readability and structure of a website which is paramount to satisfactory user experience. There is just no way around smart usage of header tags.