Best practices for H1, H2 tags for SEO

Your website’s performance in Google search rankings depends on a ton of factors that affect your SEO, or search engine optimization. One of the major elements that impact your SEO is the use of H1, H2 tags, also called Headers or Headings.

These H1, H2 tags are used in the static content on your website, such as your home page. They’re also used in your blogs. It’s all part of what’s called “content marketing.”

Not only do headings tell your site’s users how to read your site easily by breaking down the content into easy-to-digest sections, they also help Google analyze your website and decide how to rank it.

H1, H2 tags are part of your website content marketing strategy and should be carefully planned before being implemented.

What are headings?

Headings are divided into 6 header types, from H1 to H6. H1 is the most important; H6 is least important.

The H1 heading should be used only once per page and should always include the most important keyword for that page.

How to use H1, H2 tags

  • H1: Most important. Use your keyword.
  • H2: Subheading, second-most important. Use your keyword.
  • H3: Section heading or sub-subheading. Try to use your keyword again or a related keyword.
  • You can use multiple H3 tags on each page.
  • Usually, H4, H5 and H6 tags aren’t used, but you can implement them for styling if you wish.

The significance of the H1 to this engagement metric is that it is often the first page element a user sees upon landing on a page. Therefore it is imperative that this headline assures the user they are in the right place and have found what they are looking for.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Should H1 tags be in the form of a question?

In 2014, Google’s Hummingbird algorithm made phrasing H1 tags as a question an option for website SEO best practices – in some cases.

A website could be featured if its H1 tag answered a question that a searcher typed into Google’s search bar, as seen in this example from Search Engine Journal.

That doesn’t mean that forming all H1 tags as questions will boost your SEO, since improving your website’s ranking depends on a huge number of factors.

Summary of best practices for H1, H2 tags

  • Use H1, H2 tags on every page of your website.
  • Use the H1 tag only once per page. The H2 and H3 can be used a couple of times.
  • Try to include your focus keyword in each H1 and H2 tag.
  • Place the H1 heading high up on your page so it’s easy for people to see when they arrive on your website.

Erin is the owner and founder of Legendary Social Media. She's trying, and failing, to be vegan. Directionally challenged. Cripplingly addicted to coffee and chocolate. Swears she'll travel the world (again) ... someday. Mommy to Zylo.