7 Days to Better Your SEO | Day 5: Headings

7 Days to Better Your SEO
(Search Engine Optimization)

Day 5: Headings

Day 5 brings me to discuss Headings.  To maximize your SEO you need to use these properly.  A heading in HTML is simply a title or a subtitle. By placing content inside a H1-H6 tag the text displays bold and larger than the body text.  The lower the number the larger the text typically.

Here are what the H1-H6 tags might look like.   If you have a WYSIWYG editor you will usually find a drop down menu with the default selection as “Paragraph” which is regular body text, followed by Headings 1-6.  You also may find other attributes like Preformatted or DIV.  We will save those for a later dicusssion.

H1 Tag

H2 Tag

H3 Tag

H4 Tag

H5 Tag
H6 Tag

The way the Headings look is really for the benefit of the reader, but the Heading value is for the benefit of the search engines.  Headings are weighted higher by search engine crawlers than standard content.  The  added benefit is they are one of the most simplest things you can do with your HTML content that can give you a small boost towards search engine optimization.  You can use headings tags from H1 to H6 and each will signalfy a level of importance from H1 being the most authoritative to H6 being least important.

Heading tags are very simple to use. The difficult part is determining what to put in them. Let’s look at the following example:

<h1>Real Estate in Fairfield, NJ</h1>

Very simple, right? Heading tags are very easy to add, but you should keep them reserved for important keywords and keyword phrases. Heading tags are also hierarchal.  Consider the following example:

<h1>Real Estate in Essex County</h1>

<h2>Fairfield Real Estate</h2>

Your most important phrase being Real Estate in Essex County with the second most important being Fairfield Real Estate. I like to think of Heading tags a lot like an outline. Your second-level tags should relate to the heading above.  You use the h2 tags to further sub-divide described in the h1 tag.  You then use the h3 tags to further divide the content in the h2 tag above and continue as far down as you need it.  However I rarely need to go beyond a h3 level.

Since Headings are used to show importance you also want to consider what you are going to use them for.  Remember we want to draw out the attention of your keywords here. Now take this example:

General Keyword:  New Jersey Real Estate
Micro Keyword:  Pascack Valley Real Estate

H1 Heading:  Top Pascack Valley Real Estate Agent

Some Useful Tips When Using Headings

  • Header tags should contain your target keywords along with any other descriptive text relevant to the content of the page.
  • Search engines give more importance to Header tags  as compared to other text on your page.
  • Use your most targeted keyword phrases in heading tags on your webpage.
  • Add highly relevant keywords in your headings. 
  • Analyze the relevancy of your keywords and place most important keyword in your h1 tag.
  • Think about the layout of your page with the h1 tag being your most important keyword and make the keyword phrase targeted, not generic.
  • Your h2-h6 headings should break down the information to the higher heading above.  So a h3 heading should relate to its h2 heading.

Here is how one might see how the headings are used in a webpage.


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