Heading Tags & SEO (HTML Tags) - A Beginners Guide | Digital Next

WHAT ARE SEO HEADING TAGS?

Heading tags are a hierarchical set of HTML tags used to define the importance of headings within a webpage. Heading tags help by indicating to search engines the topic of each web content section, as well as the page as a single entity. Although this article primarily discusses heading tags from an SEO perspective, it is very important to consider your human audience when writing and structuring the heading tags.

WHAT DOES HTML OF A HEADING TAG LOOK LIKE?

Implementing a heading tag with no intervening code is very simple. All you need to do when introducing a pure heading tag is copy the code below and insert your own content between the tags:

<h1>Article Title</h1>
<h2>Article heading</h2>
<h3>Article Subheading</h3>
<h4>Article Subheading</h4>
<h5>Article Subheading</h5>
<h6>Article Subheading</h6>

The style and design of a heading tag differ from site to site depending on how it has been coded in. In the above section, we showed how to implement a heading tag with no intervening code. We can change the style of the heading tags using intervening HTML code, or by using CSS, but that is for another article!

Here’s an example from our SEO Services Page to show what a [header 1] tag can look like.

how to find SEO heading tags on your website

HOW TO IDENTIFY HEADING TAGS ON YOUR WEBSITE

There are a couple of ways this can be done quickly and easily. The first method is to check the source code. This can be done by anybody with a browser and requires no additional tools of software. You check the source code of a webpage by right-clicking and then selecting ‘inspect’.

how to inspect SEO heading tags on your website
This will bring up a window that looks something like this.

how to find heading tags using inspect element tool
There can be thousands of lines of code and therefore you should use the search function to pinpoint the H1 HTML code. Press ‘CTRL + F’ for Windows machines and ‘Command + F’ on Macs to bring up the search box. Now enter [h1], [h2], [h3], [h4] or [h5] to identify a heading tag. You can match the content to the front end and there you go!

If this is something you are planning on doing regularly, we would recommend using a Google Chrome extension to make the process quicker and more comprehensive. I personally use an extension called ‘SEO META IN 1 CLICK’. This extension does have additional functions but is mainly great at highlight heading tags.

You can install the plugin from here!

Once installed, it will appear next to the URL box in the browser. Click it, then click the ‘Headers’ tab and it will show you all of the heading tags on that page.

how-to-find-header-tags-using-seo-meta-tool

THE HIERARCHY OF HEADING TAGS

There are 6 heading tags in total – H1 through to H6. H1 is the most important, and in most cases, should only be used once per page. If you feel the need for two H1 tags, you should probably consider creating a new page specifically for that content. Otherwise, you will lose SEO value with multiple H1s. From there on, you want to use H2 tags as subheadings and H3 heading as subheadings.
 

HOW GOOGLE INTERPRETS HEADING TAGS

Heading tags can be very useful in gaining visibility on search engines and, therefore, it is important to understand the mechanics behind heading tags and their use in SEO.

Heading tags are used by Google to identify the topic of a page and the pieces of content on the page. H1 tags should summarise the topic of the page and each heading Tag below the H1 should introduce the contextually-relevant content below. For example, the H1 tag on our link building page is “SEO Link Building Services”. This encapsulates the topic of the page. Our H2 tag is “Factors To Consider Before Acquiring an SEO Backlink” and leads into a section discussing the different factors.
 

HEADING TAGS IN SEO

Let’s take a look at heading tags when used for SEO.

How Impactful are SEO Heading Tags

There is a bit of debate within the SEO community as to how effective heading tags actually are and it can be quite difficult to quantify the exact value. However, studies have been done and generally conclude that heading tags still play an important role in SEO, although it has been toned down in recent years.

Heading Tag lengths

Firstly, it is always important to remember that you want to offer a good user experience. The header tag should accurately and concisely describe the content beneath it. You also want to consider the design of the webpage and ensure that the length of the heading is not compromising.

Keywords in Heading tags

Including keywords within heading tags is useful for increasing search visibility but keywords should not be forced. User experience is becoming more important and should be the main priority. If you do decide to use keywords in your header tags, make sure that you include the same keywords within the body copy of that section. Google will check that there is a match between the two elements.
 

THE CONCLUSION

There you have it – our beginner’s guide to header tags! Hopefully, this article has helped you on your way to understanding heading tags and how they should be implemented! If you still have questions, feel free to contact one of our team and we’ll talk you through anything not included in this article.

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