Basic SEO Guides Heading Tags

Basic Heading Tags – An Introduction

Heading tags are wonderful things, even basic heading tags. They shape and direct the page and content. They should be used wisely and well. This page discusses heading tags: H1, H2, H3 and H4

#SEOGuides #SEOStrategy #HeadingTags


H1 Heading Tags

Purpose:

  • This tag is the key headline of the page.
  • It is used by search engines and other bots to identify the main topic of a page.
  • H1 tags are still highly used by search engines for determining relevancy.

Guidelines:

  1. H1 tags must include the primary keyword.
  2. Must be succinct.
  3. They must not keyword stuff (~2x repetition max).
  4. Must be unique.
  5. They must accurately reflect the content of the page.
  6. Ideally, should be only one h1 per page, however HTML5 allows for more the one H1 (and solves a problem which really only existed in a developer’s mind somewhere) – use <section> tags wisely.  Google and others are pretty good at working out what the usable H1 is and what influence it should have.

Examples:

  • Okay H1:
Red Widgets
or
Red Widgets & Doohickeys
or
ACME's Red Widgets
or ACME's Red Widgets & Red Doohickeys
  • Not okay H1 – length, keyword stuffing, not succinct:
ACME Manufacturing's extensive range of red widgets, red doohickeys, red widget doohickeys and red doohickey widgets is the best in town. We really do have an unbelieveable line of red widgets.

More info:

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H2 Heading Tags

Purpose:

  • Used as secondary headlines for sections / sub-section of the page.
  • Used by search engines and other bots to identify the secondary topics of a page.
  • H2 heading tags are used moderately by search engines to help understand the relevancy of a page.
  • Can be linked to as in-page anchors.

Guidelines:

  1. Can include the primary keyword, as well as variations of the primary keyword and / or related terms / variations on a theme.
  2. Should be succinct.
  3. Should not repeat the H1
  4. Must not keyword stuff (~2x repetition of the primary keyword)
  5. Must be unique to the page, but do not need to be unique to the site
  6. Should not be used for template / navigational elements.
  7. Must reflect the topic of the page.

Examples:

  • Okay:
ACME's Red Widgets
or
How the ACME Red Widget Works
or
Use the ACME Red Widget
or
Try a quick test using our Red Widget Emulator
  • Not Okay:
Login
Widget
Red Widget Red Doohickey Red Whatnot, Widgets Doohickeys and Whatnots

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H3 Heading Tags

Purpose:

  • Used as headings for sub-sub-sections,

Guidelines:

  1. Generally, unless your content is long and detailed, you won’t often find uses for H3s and beyond.
  2. If your content is that long and detailed, consider breaking up onto separate HTML pages.
  3. They can be used with keywords in them, however it is not essential.
  4. The same rules of succinctness, relevancy and keyword stuffing apply.
  5. They can also be used for repeated template elements.

Examples:

Order Red Widgets

Order ACME Supplies

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H4 to H6 Headings

Purpose:

  • These headings are part of the cascading series of heading in HTML.
  • They are rarely used, unless for very long documents, eg legal or bureaucratic documents.

Guidelines:

  1. Use for content sections a long way down the tree.
  2. If using, consider breaking the document up into smaller pages.
  3. The rules of keyword repetition, succinctness and relevance still apply.
  4. They can be used with keywords in them, however it is not essential.
  5. Use them for repeated template and navigational elements.

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Last modified: May 11, 2017