A Website Content Creator’s Guide to Using H Tags

What Are H Tags?

H tags, also known as headers, are HTML elements used to organize web page content. They let a reader (and search engines) know what each section of content on a page is about. On the backend, they’re numbered one through six, with <h1> indicating the most important content and <h6> representing the least important.

When to Use (and Not Use) H Tags

Some people use H tags to format the content of their pages, but that’s not the right way to use them. There are settings in your document creator for formatting! But H tags are an element that Google factors into their algorithm of determining what content is about. Think of H tags like an outline of a paper you may have written in college. They’re the main points of your page.

First, you have a title – that’s your <h1>. Then you have your first main point and several subpoints. Those are your <h2> and <h3>.

Now, to translate that to a website page.

Title = H1

First main point = H2

First supporting subpoint = H3

Second main point = H2

First supporting subpoint under this = H3

Note: The <h1> tag is the title on your page, not your meta title. Those are two different things and should be written differently. This will help you get the most out of both opportunities to tell Google and users what your page is about. 

Why Are H Tags Important for SEO?

Search engines use lots of different signals to rank pages, such as metadata and image alt text. The words used in a page’s H tags are one of those signals. However, if you’re already somewhat familiar with the ins and outs of SEO best practices, you know that stuffing as many keywords as you can into your content actually hurts a page’s rank. That concept also applies to H tags. Unhelpful, fluffy content won’t do you any good either. Instead, opt for a well-written page with informative, logical H tags. This clearly tells Google, or any other search engine, what the page is about.

Why Are H Tags Important for Users?

As a user, it’s helpful to see at a glance what an article is about. You may have a topic that could go a number of ways, such as a “Best Video Games of 2023.” Scanning the headers will let you know if this page is going to be relevant to your interests. An article without headers to break up the text is not going to keep users on the page very long. Readers need cues as to what’s next and a break between topics.

Example of How to Use H Tags

Here’s an example of how H tags outline the content on a page. (These aren’t officially recognized as the best games. It’s just an example of how an article like this might be set up, and these are games I like!).

H1: Best Video Games of 2023

H2: Nintendo

H3: Super Mario Bros. Wonder

H3: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

H2: PlayStation

H3: Dead Space

H2: Xbox

H3: Diablo IV

H2: PC

H3: Baldur’s Gate III

Now, of course you’d use more words in the headers, ideally. Not just “Nintendo.” But this outline shows how the article would be shaped. As you can see, you can immediately tell what the article is about, and Google can parse the article out to see which queries it will be relevant for.

Have you been using H tags correctly across your website? Do you need help managing web page content? EVGMedia can help. Let’s talk.

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