On-page SEO – Headings

Heading tags are still important part of the on-site SEO nowadays. They have double purpose – the first one is to highlight different sections from the website content, so it’s user friendly for the visitors. The other one is to highlight the most important keywords/phrases in the eyes of Google. Even tough there are various opinions about the role of the headings in the modern SEO (mostly against the benefits of them) – you’ll be surprised by their effect. Our next article will cover a case study about the use of headings and titles and their real effect, so don’t miss it out!
There are 6 levels of headings, starting from the most important:


to the less important


Although the default styling for them is usually huge ugly text, it could be styled with CSS to look normal.

Even if it sounds too basic, the proper usage of the headings is often misunderstood, in result there are cases of headings that harm the SEO, instead of helping it. Heading tags are just like the headings in the newspapers, and there are similar rules about their usage that should be considered:

  • H1 – This tag is the most important of all in terms of SEO. The proper use of the tag is to be used only once in a given page. The best position in the H1 tag is in the beginning of the text (in the code), after all it is the main heading for the content, it doesn’t make sense to be somewhere in the middle. Even tough there are no clear restrictions to the H1 length – Google like headings containing no more than 3-4 words (In opposite – Bing like longer H1 tags).
  • Use the H1 tag once in every page, at the beginning of the document or in the header. Use your most important and descriptive keyword. Avoid breaking the H1 tag with span, br, b, etc… tags!

  • H2 tag is the second one by importance. The proper use is to highlight one descriptive phrase for given text. Try to use key-phrase on it, and don’t misuse it – the H2 tag is better used several times in a page (2-6), depending from the overall content length.
  • H3 tag is the third and last important of the heading tags. Use it to separate different important sections of the content. Use descriptive mid-tail and long-tail keywords.
  • H4, H5 and H6 tags are not used widely, they have little to no impact overall, so their usage is a matter of choice. You could use for example H4 tag for the titles of sidebar widgets or menus, etc. This could help Google about understanding the structure of your page.

I hope this article was helpful for you. If you have any questions just drop me a comment.

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Founder at FortSEO
SEO Specialist, Web Marketer, part-time WP Design Freelancer. Otherwise regular guy who loves beer.

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