HTML5 Heading Tags are used to classify your page’s content in a manner that’s appealing to the user and for Google to understand what your page very well.
I should have asked this way: How are the HTML5 heading tags important for SEO? Nonetheless, the answer still revolves around the centric outcome – it boosts your page visibility in search engines and user engagement.
Backlinko analyzed 1M Google search results to determine the most important SEO factors used by Google to rank pages and the results were amazing. Backlinks, domain rating, relevant content (for search user intent), longer content, HTTPS (new ranking signal for Google), site speed and more had a higher influence on SERPs.
On that note, there was also a relationship between title tag keyword optimized and search engine ranking although Google has significantly shifted to semantic search.
Google examines user behaviour in order to determine the quality of a site. You can learn this from their analytics which reports information like the average time a visitor spent on your web page, the bounce rate, etc. why? These data drawn from the analysis indicates how useful the page is to them. Not only that; Google will use the same data to determine how high it will rank that page with other sites with the same keyword and relevancy.
This research brings us to this crucial topic whether the HTML5 Heading Tags (H1, H2, and H3 tags) still important for SEO. The truth is that these tags are still the very crucial aspects of on-page SEO. Be it title tags, header tags, Meta tags, or blog posts tags. All these elements have a contributing factor to boost search engine traffic as well as increasing user engagement.
Technology is moving, so to search engine algorithms. Unlike in the past, where header and title tags were the most important and effective way to appear on SERPs. They were the sole ranking factors but that habit has drastically changed.
Google has devised some other important ways specifically tailored towards user intent. This is in the realms of Google’s intent to code their algorithms with aspects to understand their user’s search query and what the searched pages have for them. To achieve this, Google uses semantic search, LSI keywords, quality of the page content, in-depth and images contained in the content.
This means the HTML5 heading tags play a significant role in achieving the overall Google search user intent.
And you should wisely optimize it for search engines.
HTML5 Heading Tags, in general, are used primarily to classify your page content in a manner that’s appealing to the user (as it increases their engagement on your site) as well as making it easy for Google search to understand what your page is all about.
Since these tags have lost their search ranking power over the past few years, they still play a significant role in SERP. Let’s look at how each of these tags plays a role in SEO.
Role of H1, H2, and H3 tags in SEO
Probably the most important aspect when it comes to SEO tags. They are used by search engines to determine a page topic in relation to the site’s content as well as used by the search engine in SERPs.
As a result, make your title tag relevant to what the page is all about. Users also use title tags to determine whether the title meets their search query and if they will find exactly what they want after clicking the link in SERP.
The carry strong signals in SERPs as it’s the determiner of click-through rate of your page.
Moreover, when it comes to on-page optimizations, title tags has been playing as an important factor in on-page SEO. According to Backlinko 1 million analyzed sites, it found that a keyword- optimized title tag contributes to better ranking.
Google search still uses title tag to compare with other content (continuity) in that page before determining whether to index it in SERP. This is mostly done in order to ensure keyword consistency between the title tag and the page content.
To summarize, although Google no longer requires your page title tag to include an exact keyword match in order to rank high in SERP, it’s still an important part of on-site SEO and you should make it relevant to both the user and search engine.
HTML5 Header Tags
There are six header tags available in HTML5. It ranges from H1 – H6. H1 being the bigger one and H6 the smaller one.
H1 is usually used as the page heading (title) for your content and it’s the most important HTML 5 title tag.
As for the sake of SEO, make sure you use it once for your content. When it comes to the One-Page SEO, the use of repeated HTML5 heading tags is a problem to SEO as it affects your ranking on search engines. To avoid this, there must be a strategy to tell Google that a page consists of separate sections that deserve to be treated with title tags. This is the reason why one-page uses sections (DIV’s) to separate each section from one other thus at the end makes the page well optimized for Search engines.
Another aspect to consider when writing your H1 (title/heading tag) is its relevance to the user. Remember you shouldn’t write headlines for search engines. Make it user engaging and meaningful to the content. Making it engaging means being short, relevant, authoritative and descriptive just as you would with the content.
HTML5 Heading Tags: H2-H6 Tags
H1 tag should be used as a title of your page. H2-H6 can be used as sub-topics of your headline. There are no limited requirements oh how you should use these headings but most pages will typically only go to H2 or H3.
Makes sure you don’t skip heading directly. Follow the hierarchy from H2 to H6.
“A concise post on a single topic should feature one H1 tag as the title, a few H2 tags as the titles of the various paragraphs/sections of the article, and maybe some H3 tags sprinkled in as group/list headings if necessary.”
Following that hierarchy, your article will stay relevant and attractive to the reader. It’s like a book, it consists of topic chapters and sub-topics which makes the overall book easy for a reader to judge and understand what the book entails.
So to the blog posts, the presence or lack of these heading tags impact the behaviour of your site visitors. To make it relevant, search engines use part of these tags to determine what your site page is all about.
Just like you would do in the title tag, Keywords play a major role in the HTML5 heading tags. Where applicable, make sure you optimize these HTML5 heading tags with relevant FOCUS keywords or LSI keywords. Doing this makes it easier for readers to connect your subject topics one after the other.
Key takeaway: Proper use of HTML5 Heading Tags
It’s pretty simple.
There are web development standards which most of the webmasters use to implement their page designs. Since most web pages can’t go deep beyond H3, we’ll stick to these two heading tags on how you should use it.
- Only use one Header 1 tag per page. Hope we can’t argue with this. There are some specific circumstances like a one-page site where it might be appropriate to use more than one H1 tag on the same page. Nonetheless, the One-Page sites have some optimization rules which can be used to negate the problem these header 1 could have caused in search engine ranking.
CMS like WordPress themes (optimized themes) uses one header 1 tag per page pretty well automatically.
- Use Header 2s sparingly: not just anyhow. The more you use these bigger headings on your page, the more it becomes less useful. Use them in small quantities and where applicable.
- Make sure that your H1s and H2s are descriptive. And this should be your to-go strategy when it comes to writing quality, informative and engaging content. H2’s and H3’s should tell something about the content of that section and contain anything related to the subject matter using keywords or LSI keywords (technical SEO).
The importance of header tags is a debated subject for most webmasters. Introduction of HTML5 and Google’s algorithms update may see the importance of these headers fade finally away…but not too soon.
Probably, it may be here stay for a very long time before Google declares it not useful to search engines anymore. Even if it’s not important for search engine ranking, it’s crucial to users and probably it’s here to stay.