Headers are STILL very important when it comes to SEO best practises.
What / where are headers on a web page?
Your header tags provide structure and context for your article. Each header should give the reader an idea of the information they can glean from the paragraph text that follows below. They help breaking up the text and allow the users to scan over your page more easily in order to find the information they are looking for. An article that’s scannable is 58% more likely to perform better with readers.
If you look at the code of a web page you would find the following header tags:
- <h1>The most important tag, describing what the whole page is about, ONLY EVER USE ONE on a page, search engines do penalise you otherwise</h1>
- <h2>A sub section of header 1, you can utilise as many as you need on a page</h2>
- <h3>A sub section of header 2, you can utilise as many as you need on a page</h3>
- <h4>A sub section of header 3, you can utilise as many as you need on a page</h4>
- <h5>A sub section of header 4, you can utilise as many as you need on a page</h5>
- <h6>A sub section of header 5, you can utilise as many as you need on a page</h6>
If you are looking at this page above this text, you will discover that H1 tag is "Free Hands On SEO Mini Course", H2 tag is "Why you want to structure your web page through headers? | Step 2", H3 tag is "Headers are still very important when it comes to SEO best practises" and H4 tag is "What are headers on a web page?" just to give you an idea. The rest of the page follows the same principles.
Every editor that you use when you write your page will give you an option to format your text (see image) so that you can structure / order your content of this page.
Include Keywords in your Headers
Google looks at your keywords to gather context for your page which means means it’s worth including keywords in your header tags.
This does not mean you should plaster your keywords all over your headers, your page should be readable first and foremost and have the keywords included naturally.
You’ll note that many of the header tags in this article contain keywords (in this case for this page it is "headers", but not all of them do.
Design for your readers then make tweaks to optimise for Google. Do not sacrifice the user experience!!! Increasingly, SEO professionals are finding that a good UX (User Experience) translates to good SEO.
Optimise your header tags
You might want to help your reader by visually distinguishing between the headers. It helps separate content and make it easier to scan and read.
However it does not make a difference for your search engine picking up on the context of your page.
Use your subsequent, smaller sub headings wisely to outline different list items because Google uses these headers to create its own bulleted and numbered lists featured snippet results. Google pulls the h3 headers together in the search result and might display it like that:
Headings used on this website:
H2 First Sub Heading
H3 Further Sub Heading under H2
H4 Further Sub Heading under H3
H5 Further Sub Heading under H4
H6 Further Sub Heading under H5
Be consistent and make your headers compelling to your reader
Treat your headers like a mini-title for the following section of text and keep them short rather than a lengthy block of keyword-rich text. For a good rule of thumb, keep headers about 70 characters or less.
When you first write your web page you might just want to use simple headers to help you create the outline. However, before you publish your page, review the headers and really make them interesting. Remember most readers scan over a web page, so your header needs to be attractive enough for the user to stop scanning and read the content.
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