Google analytics and SEO rankings are some of the most important tools and collections of data present on the internet. Your website needs to be appropriately formatted and filled to rank high and not be lost in the void. With a sufficient and effective website, you’ll receive more traffic, see more customers, and see conversions. The key to this, though, is ensuring that users can find what they’re looking for when they go to your site. To do this, you’ll need proper H1 and H2 tags separating the content. Let’s take a closer look at these headers and how they affect the viability of your website.
What are header tags?
Header tags are, quite simply, titles that break apart content on your page. They allow readers to see what each section of content is about so they can navigate to the right area (which is made much easier with a navigable table of contents). There are six levels of header tags:
In a piece of content, you do not necessarily need each and every section. In fact, in a short piece of content, having too many headers can make the content unreadable and too separated. You should have adequate chunks of content with accurate headers. A good rule of thumb is to use a header for paragraphs with a minimum of 150 words. Not every paragraph needs a header tag, either.
What is an H1 tag?
The H1 tag is the title of the piece of content. It’s what shows up on Google as the listing, and it’s what appears at the top of the page when a user navigates to the site. Your H1 tag should be as accurate as possible – it should have the proper keyword that will be present a number of times in the content and it should command attention or pose a question.
Use only one H1 tag per piece of content.
What is an H2 tag?
H2 tags are the general titles of the sections in your piece of content. They tell the reader what each section will entail and provide the basic outline for the writing. As such, it is also important that these headings are precise and let the reader and Google know what is coming up.
H2 tags are important because Google’s recent update has incorporated highlighted text in links. For example, if you were to search, “What is Google Analytics,” you would be looking for a specific answer to that question. The amount of information that will sufficiently answer your question is up to you. Still, Google will provide you with pages that most reliably answer your question, and upon clicking a link, you’ll be brought to the page where the answer to the question will be highlighted. This means you do not have to have actually read the page or scan the H2 headers for the section where the answer is. Google does all the work for you.
That’s great as a reader, but as a content creator or business owner, you want people to land on your website, stay there, and become a customer. Getting people to your site means using the right H1 and H2 tags, to start, so that Google can present your website on the front page. If you have the best answer to a question, more readers will further browse your site.
How to Write Appropriate Headings
Your H1 and H2 tags need to be descriptive and precise. Let’s look at some examples of improper and proper headings.
- Benefits of Raw Food for Dogs
- How to Change Your Car’s Oil
- Types of Sauces for Tacos
- Common Mistakes When Designing a Website
- Hotels in West Hollywood
These H1 and H2 headings are satisfactory because they properly use a keyword or keyphrase and tell the reader exactly what will be in the section. If you were looking for an article about raw dog food, maintaining your vehicle, how to prepare your own sauce, pointers for web design, or places to stay while vacationing in Los Angeles, you might find useful information in those sections of the articles.
On the other hand, consider these headings.
- The Bottom Line
- What to Do Next
- Car Parts
- Los Angeles Homes
These headings have no keywords, relate to no content, and only provide the most basic information available. There is no way for Google or a reader to use the heading as an answer or to determine what will be present in the paragraph just by glancing at the heading. “Car Parts” and “Los Angeles Homes” are also terrible H1 titles – they are extremely general and will not get you ranked anywhere of note on Google.
Here is a simple guide to writing appropriate headings for your website:
- Choose a focus keyword or keyphrase
- Incorporate the focus keyword in the H1, meta title, meta description, and at least one H2 heading
- Make sure the content in each paragraph is accurately described by the H2 titles
- Use H2 titles as questions or answer
For lengthy pieces, you can also use H3 headings all the way down to H6 headings. These are great for grouping content and showing the logical flow of information. The more headings you have does not automatically that your webpage will perform better or rank higher, though.
Break up content where it needs to be broken up to give readers room to breathe and Google space to understand what’s being presented. Once you master headings, your content will perform much better and drive more traffic to your website.
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