You probably have heard on some SEO guide about adding H1, H2, H3 meta tags on your articles and pages but what is a h1, h2, h3 tag? And more so, how does it help in onsite SEO?
Origin of heading tags
h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 are heading tags that is used in html that you can mark up on title or headings. The number denotes the importance; the higher the number the lower the hierarchy. Usually, H1 will also have the largest font size to denote the over arching importance while the rest will have a smaller font. Heading tags provides readers a clear structure and they can then decide which paragraphs or headings are important to them. One example of good use of headings is when you are talking about a broad subject. For example, Soccer. In this case. the word “Soccer” will be your h1 while other topics beneath soccer such as the rules, methods of playing, types of field will be your h2 or h3.
Heading tags can be found on almost any WYSIWYG editors and even in Microsoft word. However, for Onsite SEO, heading tags have a great importance and it is essential to understand how to make the full use of it to gain an edge in the SERPs.
Headings are important for SEO because it gives the search engine robot that are crawling your page understand better about the topic of your article, it also uses heading tags to identify keywords that stand out from the rest of the paragraphs. As such, it is important for any content written to have specific heading tags that are clear and describe what your article is about. As a guide, I usually will not use more than h3 for articles that are less than 1000 words because there simply isn’t enough to elaborate further. However, if you take a look at Wikipedia’s entries, you will see that many of their articles utilise the full h6 tags. Especially for their broader topics that require a lot of explanation.
What to take note of?
Keywords used in the heading tags should help the user to understand what the underlying paragraph is about. In addition, you do not necessarily need to use all h1-h6 tags especially if your article does not need to. As such, it is important to do some keyword research so that you can also attract visitors to pinpoint parts of your article. Especially if you are looking to get them to purchase a product or service
What to avoid?
Randomly adding sentences to a heading tag will not help readers nor search engines. As such, avoid stuffing keywords as this might also have a negative effect on your onsite SEO optimisation.