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Header Tags

Last updated: 18th November, 2016

“Heading tags are used to guide the user through the content and indicate the most relevant and important information on the page.”

Header tags define what headings are created in the content of a web page. They are used in the HTML code of the website for a variety of reasons:

  • Header tags provide users with headings and sub-headings to easily navigate text
  • Header tags inform users what to expect in the content
  • Header tags tell the Google crawlers what the most important information on the page is

Hierarchical Content

Header tags are represented by the code h? in HTML where the question mark represents a number from 1-6. This code reads a style from the website’s CSS stylesheet and formats the text it is associated with to render in a particular way visually. For example…

I’m a H1 heading – the most important of them all!

I’m a H2 heading – slightly less important but better than the rest!

I’m a H3 heading – typically used in blogs to emphasise keywords and important text. It’s my lot in life, it’s not a lot, but it’s life.

These headings continue all through to level 6. H1 tags are the most important as they typically indicate the content included on the page at it’s broadest level. This provides the user with the most guidance about what to expect on the site. H2 and H3 tags can be used for sub-headings which are more granular and particular but carry less weight than H1 tags, and H4-6 tags carry even less weight.

We use header tags to indicate the most important information to both the user and Google’s spiders. We usually include the most relevant and high priority keywords in these tags to help Google understand your site.

Managing User Experience

In a society where we’re consuming increasingly more content online and with decreasing attention spans using headings is critical to creating the best experience for users. Google knows this. That’s why they place such emphasis on the content of header tags. As mentioned on our SEO page Google wants to provide their users with the best experience possible and this means returning a site that is formatted to support users.

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