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How to Make Your Header Tags Work Harder for Your SEO

Challenges

Aug 05
How to Make Your Header Tags Work Harder for Your SEO

Welcome to the SEO Challenge Day 5

Are Header Tags important for Your SEO?

I am sure that you have probably heard of header tags. However, you may not realize why they are so important for proper search engine optimization (SEO).

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First, let's find out what header tags are. Basically, it’s code that you use to define a heading to make it stand out.

SEO is not only about the words you use but it’s also about how you use them. It's about how easy your website is for your audience to read. Finally, it's about how the search engines view the type of HTML information you provide. Unlike your content, that's the information that your audience doesn’t see.

What Are Header Tags?

We use headings all over the place, whenever we write. If you use a word processing application, you will be familiar with using headings. Header tags on your blog are the same idea.

The number beside the header tag such as H1, H2, H3, H4 defines the importance of the word or phrase. Using this tag helps with H1 being the signal of the most important terms and words being used. Then H2 etc.

People disagree about the importance of header tags for SEO. They used to be important when keywords were the only way of ranking content. Now they are less so. However, H1 and H2 tags still do have some influence in SEO terms. And probably the main reason to use your headings is that it will help your readers.

How to Use Header Tags

If you were writing a book or a word document, you would add different levels of headings. This creates a structure within your content. You can then create a table of contents from your headings. This is displayed in a hierarchy from topic down to sub-topic.

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On your blog, you are aiming to create the same sort of structure. So you need to use header tags within each post.

In WordPress, you can choose the header tags via a drop-down menu after highlighting the word or phrase.

Using Header Tags in Your Blog Post

When you use header tags in your blog post and other content it’s important to understand why you’re using them. Is the word you’re assigning this tag to important enough for it?

If it’s not an important keyword term you may be better off using “bold” or other types of tags rather than one of the header tags. Using the tags signals to the search engines the importance of the keyword or phrase in relation to the rest of the information on the page.

Header Tags Enhance Readability

Aside from being great for search engine optimization, header tags are also great for enhancing readability.

Since the tag defines the word visually it can help readers get the meaning of the words easier because it’ll stand out to the reader just like it would if it was “bold” or “italics”.

Makes Your Content Easy to Scan

Most people read online in an F pattern. They scan across then down and across. They don’t always read every word unless they find the information interesting upon scanning.

When you have important words, questions, phrases, and information using heading tags it makes it easy to scan and then easy to understand too.

Your readers should be able to scan just your headings, and have some understanding of what the article is about.

Improves SEO

Using a header tag signifies to the search engine that the word or phrase that is using the tag is important. The search engine now knows that the content should also include words like the tagged one and will serve people who search for that phrase those results.

Summary

Using Heading tags is still important for search engine optimization because that’s how search engines know something about the content. But probably more importantly, it also helps people read the content easier and understand the content more. This is because the design assists with understanding.

As you will see when we continuing exploring the world of SEO, it is easy to become obsessed with the 'bots'. Always remember, you are writing for people first. The search engine should come second.

Let's Recap

These are the things you should do around headings and header tags.

  • Once you have an idea for a post, draft an outline. The main sections of your outline will become your header tags.
  • Ensure that you use your main keyword in your header tags.
  • Check your completed post for 'scanability' using your headings and subheadings.

Any comments or questions, please enter them in the comment box below. Speak soon.

If you missed the post from day 4, you can read about using keywords here.

PenelopeBurns

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