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How to Use Header Tags: SEO Best Practices

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Web Design Tips 2 Things Your Website Must Do to Land Clients

How to Use Header Tags: SEO Best Practices

Time and time again I see websites that don’t understand how to use header tags. As a casual user of the internet you will never notice this. While it is true you should design your website for the casual user, you should also keep in mind how crawlers like Googlebot, read websites. Despite what most web designers seem to think, headers are not to be used for design purposes! In fact they have a specific purpose that can impact the health of your website. At the end of this post I’m confident you’ll understand header tags and how to use them.

What are header tags?

Even though header tags are often misused, they are simple. It is just a bit of code that tag selected text as headers. Here is a snap shot of this posts’ code with the h1 tag highlighted.

 How to Use Header Tags Example 1 | Kristen Leigh

If you use wordpress, and/or a pagebuilder/theme, I can see how you might misunderstand the purpose of headers. Most page builders make it seem like headers are for aesthetics. If you remember back to the beginning I said this isn’t the case.

Why are they important?

Now you know what a header tag is, but you still don’t know why it is important. I’m getting there I promise! Headers define the structure of a web page. Starting with the h1 tag and cascading down through h2, h3, h4, h5, and so on. The h1 tag lets crawlers and accessibility readers know what the main content of the page is. The subsequent header tags are then used to divide, and sub divide that content.

Cool! How how do I use them?

Start with the h1 tag, this one is easy and each page should only ever have one h1 tage. The h1 tag is generally the title of the page or a heading that reflects the content of the entire page. This is where you want to put the keyword(s) you are trying to rank for. Next up is the h2 tag, this is used for subheadings that fall under the main topic of the page. Here is where it starts to get a little complicated. The next header tags, h3 through h6, are additional subheadings within each (h2) section. Let’s look at an example

<h1> WordPress or Squarespace </h1
content about both platforms
<h2> WordPress</h2>
Content about wordpress
<h3>pros of wordpress</h3>
Content relating to pros of wordpress
                                <h3>cons of wordpress</h3>
Content relating to pros of wordpress
<h2> squarespace</h2>
Content about squarespace
<h3>pros of squarespace</h3>
Content relating to pros of squarespace
<h3>cons of squarespace</h3>
Content relating to pros of squarespace
                <h2> which one is right for you </h2>

There you have it! You should have a firm understanding of how to use header tags. Just remember these important points. The h1 tag should only be used once per page and should reflect the content of the page. This is also where you want to put the keyword(s) you are trying to rank for. The rest of the header tags are used to break up the content into sub sections.

 

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Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio

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