How Do H Tags Affect SEO Outcomes?
One of the biggest influences on how people perceive your content is the presence (or lack thereof) of proper formatting. Without such considerations, content can be nearly impossible to interpret simply and effectively. This ultimately leads to most readers abandoning your content in favor of other options.
It is not just individual readers you have to worry about when it comes to formatting. Search engines also put ample emphasis on how content is formatted – in large part because they want to ensure that the content readers see in search results is content those readers will enjoy and appreciate.
HTML section heading elements – h tags – are a crucial component of formatting and can have a meaningful impact on SEO. Let’s take a look at when and how various h tags should be used.
The Importance of H1 Tags
Arguably the most important heading tag of all, the H1 tag has a specific and crucial use in content creation and formatting. First and foremost, H1 tags help search engines immediately glean the intent and context of a page or post. These tags work by immediately pinging to Google and other search engines the main topic (or header) of your page or post, thereby maximizing the chances that your content is properly interpreted.
Additionally, H1 tags ensure your titles and headings are large and in charge in the eyes of readers. By being prominent, visible and large, readers can easily determine what the page or post in question pertains to – and whether it is relevant to their needs.
The Importance of H2 Tags
The numbers might give it away, but many people fail to realize that H2 tags are one of the most important heading elements – surpassed only by H1 tags in necessity. H2 tags will be more commonly used on each page and post, helping to divide content selections into more digestible, focused segments. In essence, H2 tags are known as the “subheading tags”.
While there is generally only one use of an H1 tag per page, H2 tags will be used – depending on the size and length of the page and/or content – multiple times. Whenever a new train of thought or segment is covered on a particular page, using an H2 tag along with a subheading descriptor to explain what it covers is imperative.
The Importance of H3 Tags
Giving search engines critical insight into the main themes of your content is vital for optimal SEO performance, but being able to summarize smaller and more concise points is equally valuable. This is where pinging to Google and other search engines context via the H3 tags can be very beneficial.
Much like H2 tags are used in relation to break down the broader premise covered between H1 tags, H3 tags are used to further summarize subheadings and break each down into additional sections. The use of H3 tags will also allow sub-subheadings to remain visible and prominent while still being smaller than the text contained within both H1 and H2 tags.
While there are a total of 6 HTML section heading elements – and certainly every one has its place – the use of H1, H2 and H3 tags are the most valuable for the purposes of SEO. By doing so, you’ll more adequately contextualize your content in the eyes of search engines and make it easier for readers to digest the content as well.