Best Practices For Using And Optimizing H1, H2, Etc. Tags

Here’s a little summary of some research I recently conducted on how best to use and optimize H1, H2, etc. tags.

While the jury’s still out a bit on how big of a role header tags play in SEO – as opposed to just using bigger font for your keywords – the articles I read came to a consensus when it comes to best practices for these tags, which are as follows:

Only use one H1 tag per page

  • To emphasize to both search engines and visitors what content is on the page, only use one H1 tag per page.
    • This is especially true for pages you’re trying to drive unique traffic to, rather than paid or referral traffic.
  • Utilize a client’s keywords/key-phrases only once in your H1 tag to make them descriptive, clear and valuable.

Use your H2, H3, etc. to differentiate multiple sections, but use sparingly

  • Don’t over-stuff a page with H2, H3, etc. tags. Utilize these tags as necessary to make it clear to search engines, and visitors, what each section of content on a page is about.

Make sure that all H tags are descriptive, but not exactly the same

  • Include a variant keyword/key-phrase from your client’s chosen keyword list only once in your H2, H3, etc. tags.
  •  Rather than using an H tag for click-bait – such as “And in conclusion…” –  again, include a variant keyword/key-phrase to give it more value.
    • A good H2 will not be vague for visitors or search engines. It will provide insight as to what the content is going to tell them.

Don’t over-stuff H tags with keywords/key-phrases

  • This can cause search engines to penalize sites with low rankings, visibility, etc. and adds little to no value to these pages.
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