Have you ever heard or even seen with your own eyes some codes called H1, H2 and/or H3, right?
For those who have never come across HTML code – the ones used to build a webpage – it is more common to deduce that it was taken from some chemistry class, but the more we become familiar with things behind the internet, the better we come to understand. the importance of certain seemingly “harmless” codes, such as heading tags.
A hands-on experiment that helps you understand heading tags can be done for you right now!
Just open Word – or similar – and create any text with titles and subtitles, always using the default styles in the “styles” tab on the homepage, with “Title 1” for the main title, “Title 2” for subtitle and so on.
Now create an automatic table of contents and see how it is organized.
- Understanding the heading tag hierarchy
- How to use headings Tags
- Some practices to avoid when using heading tags
Sounds like magic, doesn’t it?
But it’s just the heading tags in action in your text editor!
With this, we saw that the headings of a text can not be seen only as a sentence written with a larger font and more robust than the body of the message, but rather as encoded characters that, when interpreted by the editor, the entire hierarchy of a text is defined.
If the use of heading tags adds a lot to text, the same goes for SEO, where, by the way, they are extremely important within the structure of a web page.
But how can they be so essential?
This is what you will understand next!
Understanding the heading tag hierarchy
When we put into practice all the SEO techniques on a website, it is elementary that relevance must be inserted in any context – such as the choice and correct use of keywords.
In the case of heading tags, it can be understood that there is a scale from 1 to 6 (h1 to h6), where h1 predominates over the others because it represents the main title, after all, all text has at least 1 title.
The other tags are used according to the subtitles entered, as in the example of the automatic Word summary, so h1 should be seen as the most important and h6 the least.
So, from both the SEO and any other point of view, disregarding this hierarchy by using, for example, a h3 title and a h1 subtitle, the structure would be at least strange and confusing, compromising even the rank of your site in Google’s results, and most importantly, readers’ understanding of the text.
To further clarify the importance of respecting the hierarchy of heading tags, think of it in the same way as to where someone living in the interior of Paraná lives, for example, and imagine any of the items out of order:
- H1 – Earth
- H2 – South America
- H3 – Brazil
- H4 – Paraná
- H5 – Curitiba
- H6 – High of Glory
It would be weird if something was out of place, wouldn’t it?
How to use headings Tags
Contrary to what many may seem, it is completely unnecessary to use all heading tags in a text.
Suppose your content has 2 chapters with 2 subchapters in the first and 1 subchapter in the last, plus the main title itself in h1, we will see what its format would look like from the ideal point of view for SEO:
Main Title (H1)
Chapter 1 (H2)
Subchapter 1 (H3)
Subchapter 2 (H3)
Chapter 2 (H2)
Subchapter 3 (H3)
Using six types of heading tags is hard to imagine because, as explained above, hierarchy involves relevance.
Therefore, the higher the number of the heading the lower its relevance, thus damaging the page’s SEO.
However, if your use is the case due to the text size, use h6 so that the usability of your page is not impaired.
And since the focus of this topic is optimization, what happens if we apply more than one h1 to a single text?
A few years ago this could cause conflicts, as the HTML 4 language has parked for almost a decade, meaning there were no updates to make its functionality easier.
With the development and consolidation of HTML 5 – the most widely used version of the language today – such concerns have been set aside as the language allows h1 to be used in each intertitle without compromising the user experience – however, the conventional means is still recommended as this gives Google a solid clue to the topic that is covered on the page.
Some practices to avoid when using heading tags
Keep an eye on keywords
As obvious as the advantage of using h1 keywords seems to be, the caveat is that this practice, without the slightest moderation, can ruin all your plans for that content to symbolize success!
This is because Google may penalize your site based on its Terms and Conditions.
Similar contents between header tag and meta tag
To make the differences clear: both tags have very similar functions, but the meta title tag is the one that appears in hyperlinked search results.
Repeat heading tags on different pages
It is not a best practice to use the same heading title for different content, as this will stop each content being treated uniquely, causing the user to be confused when they come across two pages in the same result – which That would be very strange indeed.
In this article, we were able to learn a lot of secrets about heading tags, especially how to use them correctly from both the SEO and usability points of view – remembering that just because there are these two important aspects we need to respect the hierarchy present in them.
Now that you know all this, are you ready to apply learning to your blog?
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Now that you know all about heading tags in a content structure, understand other important elements to use for your web content in our complete Copywriting ebook: writing converting texts: