What are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 Tags and How do they Affect SEO?

June 12, 2018 admin 85 views

What are the SEO Rules meant for h1 to h6 HTML Header Tags?

Heading tags are an important factor as far as Search Engine Optimization or SEO is concerned. In fact, these tags have much importance as far as the search engine rankings are concerned. We at Server Center understand this aspect much better, and our SEO team make the most out of H1 and H2 tags when they perform the optimization.

Suppose if we visit a website and discover that Header 1 (H1) and Header 2 (H2) tags are missing, we would be rather perplexed. In fact, H1 is normally considered as the biggest text on a given page and would usually function as the title for the content of that page. If we consider a web page as a book, then the text given under H1 would be the title of that book. It provides information for the readers about the subject matter and also let them know whether it matches their interests.

An example of how Header tags are displayed is shown below. Assume that the title of the page is “I am Header 1. It will be displayed as

1. <h1> I am Header 1. </h1>

The two instances of “h1” used within the brackets provided on both sides of the title text are Header 1 tags, which distinguish the text between them as Header 1 text.

In fact, these tags passes information to your browser as well as search engines that this is the main text on the page. Suppose the Header 1 text captures the attention of a particular visitor while he searches for a specific information which is included in the topic covered by it. Normally, a visitor spends around 10 to 15 seconds on a certain page to locate what he searches for. So what enables him to find out the required details? It is here where Header 2 becomes relevant. It leads the visitor to a specific division of the web content.

If Header 1 text is considered as the title of a book, then Header 2 is seen as the chapter heading, which gives a clear picture to the avid readers about what topic is dealt with in the content provided and allows them to easily find the exact details. A Header 2 format is presented in this way.
2. <h2> text of the content </h2>

Here the instance of “h2” provided inside the brackets on either sides of the text informs the browser and search engines like Google that the text provided between them must be bigger than the normal text, but it should not be as large as “h1” text. Subtitles like Header 2 which divide the web pages into small bits of information, helps the users to quickly obtain the information they require. This is why the absence of H1 and H2 tags causes confusion among the users. This in turn causes makes them impatient and leave the site very soon.

The presence or absence of H1s as well as H2s creates an impact in the behavior of the site visitors. The search engines use this data to understand what the site is about and how well it performs.

Like H1 and H2 tags, there are other tags as well including H3, H4, H5, and H6. In fact, these tags are presented in the hierarchical order of importance. Here the level of importance is measured from the top as in the case of H1 being more important, followed by H2, H3, etc. Further, the first three H1, H2, and H3 has more value when seen from the SEO angle than the last three H4, H5, and H6. This does not mean that you can place the header tags anywhere and expect to see positive results. In fact, header tags have a place of their own in every page and they have to be used in the correct order starting with H1. Moreover, the H4s, H5s, and H6s could be used in a text which contains more than 1,000 words and also if you want to include an extra layer to the page structure. Further, H4 could be used for sidebars or footer headings which does not include keywords meant for ranking purposes. However, any other utilization of these headings are considered as quite unnecessary.

The H1 tag should include the targeted keywords which are closely associated to the page title and also relevant to the content. The H2 tag is considered as a subheading and it should also comprise of similar keywords as in the H1 tag. The H3 tag is again a subheading for H2 and the list continues till H6.

It is quite important to understand that the header tags should have readable content which is also grammatically correct. In fact, stuffing your H1, H2, and H3 tags with keywords does not help you in achieving the desired results. If it happens, search engines like Google identifies this and assume that you are involving in an illegal activity.

Header tags are in fact a key component of SEO and can help you in obtaining high rankings on the search engine results list. The words provided in each Header tag must be unique and targeted to the intended page. This implies that the content of the Header tag should not be reproduced anywhere across the website.
3. Do H1, H2, and H3 Tags Affect SEO?

This question has aroused several debates among the SEO enthusiasts for more than a decade. Here, the most popular answer is “probably”. There are some case studies which support the fact that H1, H2, and H3 can directly cause an impact on the search engine rankings. On the other hand, many other experts have claimed that if you use larger fonts for key phrases, it provided the same results as H1, H2, and H3. However, it is much easier to add header tags than manually increasing the size of the text.

Search engines like Google examines the user behavior carefully so as to check the quality of the website. This is why Google Analytics provides a report on bounce rates, the average time spent on a particular web page, etc. Another aspect is that the time spent by a visitor on a page is directly related to the navigability of the page which makes it easy to locate the content. Here H1 and H2 tags makes it quite easy to parse the content. Many experts believe that if H1 and H2 tags are used effectively, it can have a direct impact on the search rankings. In other words, by simply optimizing the H1, H2, and H3 tags, the ranking of the website gets boosted.

Header tags are quite essential as far as on-page SEO is concerned because they help to communicate to the search engine and offers details on the content of the website. The search engines identify the copy provided in the header tags and consider it as an important element. This begins with H1 and works its way down to H2, H3, H4, H5, and finally H6. These tags supports the general theme or purpose of the web page. However, instead of stuffing any type of content into the headers, it is important to insert long-tail and short-tail keywords. As the crawling of search engines happen, they get the hint of the content from the headers and readily recognize the keywords.
4. How the Header Tags are used in a Web Page?

If we take a web page into consideration, the heading which introduces the content in the Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML is recognized by <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> and <h6> section headers. There are two main objectives for these tags. One is to provide information to the visitor about the content present in the title and the following paragraphs so that they provide the necessary guidance to the readers about the topic they are about to go through. The second purpose is to inform the search engines about the important information present in the page. In fact, Google’ s algorithm gives preference to the keywords as well as phrases that are provided in the title or heading tag rather than the rest of the text.

In addition, when the heading tags are included in a web page, they should essentially follow the HTML standards which include:

➜ Every HTML document can have one H1 tag and several H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 tags depending on the size of the document

➜ Each h1 to h6 heading tag requires an opening tag represented by <hn> and a closing tag represented by </hn>

➜ There exist six levels of heading tags such as h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6, where h1 represents the first level heading, h2 represents the second level heading, and so on.
5. How to use the HTML Headers?

➜ The below example give an idea of how to us HTML headers. Here the headers are structured in a proper way so that it the search engines would be able to interpret them easily.

<h1> Optimization of the title tag for SEO </h1>

The content regarding this is provided here.

<h2> Which are the important HTML tags for SEO? </h2>

The related content is given here.

<h3> What is meant by a title tag? </h3>

Content which explains the title tag is placed here.

<h4> What are the uses of other tags? </h4>

The content which provides the necessary information is given here.

<h5> What are the errors to be avoided? </h5>

The content which is meant for this topic is provided here.

<h6> Is the meta keyword important? </h6>

The related information is given here.


As per the example given above, the page contains a main title ‘h1’ as well as less important subtitles ‘h2′,’h3’, ‘h4’, ‘h5’, and ‘h6’. The manifestation of all of these tags are possible only if there is content which can be categorized in that manner (title, subtitle, sub-subtitle, etc.). In fact, if the content of a particular page could not be structured in that manner, it is not advisable to force these into the text because it can have an impact on the readability of the same.

If the web page text do not permit a hierarchical use of these titles, then you go with the below example.

Here a unique H1 tag and several equally important subtitles (H2 tags) are provided.

<h1> The Optimization of Meta Tags for SEO </h1>

The content is given here.

<h2> Which tags are important for SEO? </h2>

Content is provided here.

<h2> What is meant by a Meta description tag? </h2>

Content goes here.

<h2> Give a list of the rules for writing the HTML tags. </h2>

Text is placed here.

<h2> What are the errors to be avoided? </h2>

Text is given here.

<h2> Importance of the Meta keyword tag </h2>

Content is placed here.


This pattern gives an idea to the search engines that the five subtitles provided here are equally important and also, it helps to maintain the readability of your content. Another important thing is that the importance level of the opening tag must be strictly the same as the closing tag like in the following example.

<h1> The importance of SEO </h1> and not <h1> The importance of SEO </h2> which is treated as invalid and may even lead to deconstruction of the whole layout of the document.
6. What are the SEO Rules meant for h1 to h6 HTML Header Tags?

For a better SEO experience, a HTML header tag should include strategic keywords that are required to be positioned as far as the Search Engine Results Pages are concerned. However, it is not carry out the optimization process to the extent of losing potential visitors. For this reason, it is necessary to reach a compromise between a heading tag which is intended for the users and one which is meant for the search engines. Concerning the length of the heading tags, there are no hard and fast rules governing it. In fact, they can be short or a bit long as well.

In short, Header tags play an important role in boosting the ranking in the search engine results list.

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