Are you guilty of using the drop down formatting menu to adjust the size or color of a word or subhead without much thought? Or maybe you’ve never touched that drop down because you weren’t sure how to use it.
Both WordPress and Squarespace have built-in heading styles and when used correctly, can give your SEO a boost. This post will walk through:
- What a heading tag is.
- Why you should use heading tags correctly.
- How to use heading tags correctly.
What are heading tags?
In HTML (the language websites are written in), headings on a page are defined by the tags, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6.
Heading tags establish a page hierarchy. An h1 tag defines the most important information on the page and an h6 is least important.
In many WordPress and Squarespace themes, the h1 is typically the largest heading and the h6 is the smallest.
Why You Should Use Heading Tags Correctly
When a web crawler is scanning your website, it will take note of your heading tags. Just like headings and subheads help us scan for important information on a page, web crawlers use heading tags the same way. Using the heading tags correctly also makes your page or post more accessible for screen readers.
Your page or post title should be an h1 because that is the overarching topic of the page. An h1 should only be used 1 time per page. You can then use the other heading tags to outline your post. You do not need to use headings 2-6, but you should not skip a heading level.
When you use heading tags correctly, you are providing Google and your audience with a clear outline of your web pages that will be easy to understand and will show up in more search results.
Heading Tag Best Practices
Header tags are not to be used for formatting or design. Instead, they should be used to create the structure of your blog post.
Before you write a blog post, create a quick outline using heading tags:
<h1>Blog Post Title</h1>
- Do not skip heading levels, as that could hurt your search results.
- Only use one h1 per page.
- You can use multiple h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6 tags per page.
- You do not need to use all tags on all of your pages (I typically just use h1 through h3).
- Whatever you do, do not use h tags as tools to format your text.
Before you decide to crank out a blog post, take a few minutes to think about your content and how to structure it. Where can you put some headings to make it easier for your readers and web crawlers to scan?