Heading Tags and How to Use Them in Your Blog

SEO, Web Design + Blogging

February 21, 2018

Heading Tags and How to Use Them in Your Blog

We’ve always been big believers in small businesses.

It’s why we originally started our own marketing company – to build websites for small business owners and support our local community.

We know the hustle and hard work that is involved with turning your passion into a paycheck. We know what it’s like to start something out of nothing – whether it’s a blog, a store, an online company – you name it, and it involves a heck of a lot of hard work!

Most of the time, being a small business owner or entrepreneur means you were about a bagillion hats at all times.

Maybe you know what I mean?

You’re the founder, marketer, customer service rep, sales person, janitor – you name it, and you probably handle it – all wrapped up in one.

We know how hard it can be to prioritize marketing tools like blogging for your business when you have so many other balls in the air, so today we want to share a trick of the trade that can help you make the most of the time you spend blogging!

(Curious if you should blog for your business? Read this post!)

 

What Are Heading (or Header) Tags?

Heading tags are HTML tags (or snippets of code) that differentiate the different kinds of text in your blog or website. This biggest way that this impacts your website is that it allows you to assign importance to specific lines of your content. heading tags and why you should use them in your blog

For example, our header above, “What Are Heading (or Header) Tags?” is a H2 tag. This tells Google, or any search engine that is crawling our website, that this information is more important, say than the few paragraphs of text underneath it.

Heading tags range from H1 to H6, with H1 being the most important and H6 being the least important.

An easy way to think of it is like you’re writing an outline for a school paper.

You’ll start with the title of your paper. This is the H1, or the most important tag and information. For a blog post or website page in WordPress, the name of your page or post will always default to Heading 1.

Pro Tip: If you’re blogging on WordPress, it’s SUPER important that you don’t use any other H1 tags throughout your blog post or page. It’s bad SEO practice to use more than one H1 per page.

When Should You Use Heading Tags?

Every page – whether it is your blog or your static website pages – should include heading tags.

If you are thinking specifically in terms of blogging, you want to use heading tags to break down sections of your post.

Since your titles will default to H1, you’ll usually want to start with H2 and work your way down from there.

So in the same way that you’d outline out your school papers, you can outline out your blog post in the same way. Section headings not only help to make your post more “readable” for your visitor, but they can actually be a big help with your SEO when you use heading tags.

For each section, you can start using H2 tags, with sub-sections then using H3, H4, and so on.

It would wind up looking something like this:

  • Your Awesome Blog Post Title (H1)
    • Intro
  • First Topic Here (H2)
    • more about this
  • Second Topic Here (H2)
    • more about this
    • Sample Sub-topic (H3)
      • more about this
    • Sample Sub-topic (H3)
      • more about this
  • Third Topic Here (H2)
    • more about this
  • Closing Statement header (H2)
    • closing info

Why Are Heading Tags Important?

In our opinion, the benefit of heading tags is two-fold:

1. Heading Tags Are Great for SEO

Search engines compare the heading tag keywords to the rest of the content on your site, along with any meta tags or meta descriptions. Essentially, they help tell search engines what you are talking about by placing more importance on the header titles. To put it simply: it will help with your organic SEO.

**Disclaimer: Be careful not to oversaturate your headers with keywords. Google is smarter than that and you will be dinged if you try to spam to many keywords instead of writing headers that make sense for your content.

Instead of using the exact same headings in your post, try switching it up. Google is smart enough to understand relevant and related keywords and using a variety can help your SEO even more than repeating the same words over and over again.

2. Heading Tags Help with Usability

See what we did there?

We just used sub-headers to breakdown our larger section (and snuck in an H3 while we were at! Sneaky, sneaky we know.)

Breaking down blog posts into sections using sub-headers and heading tags make the information easier to understand and read by your visitors.

This is a double bonus!

Why? Because you are making things easier for your customer or visitor – and this makes Google happy.

Happy Google = higher ranking for your website

A key factor in how Google ranks your website organically is user experience.

Things like mobile responsiveness and usability (with the help of some header tags!) tells Google that sending a user to your website will provide a good experience and value, so they’re more likely to rank you higher than a site that does not provide a similar, good experience. It’s a win-win!

How to Insert Heading Tags into Your Blog Posts

So now that we’ve convinced you of the importance of heading tags, we should probably tell you how to add them to your blog content 🙂

If you are using WordPress, HubSpot, or a similar blogging platform, you should see a toolbar to edit your text that looks like this:

wordpress text editor heading tags

**Hint: Make sure you toggle the toolbar to see ALL of the options.

By default, your text will probably be selected as Paragraph text. If you click that section (or Style in some platforms) you should be able to select a bunch of heading options instead:

heading tag options in wordpress

For those adventurous folks out there who want to write in plain text format (or an HTML editor), then you can wrap your text with a heading tag code.

Before your header, you will open the heading with <H1> and after your header you should close it with </H1>.

This is the same process for other heading levels. For example, this section would be written in HTML code as:

<H2>How to Insert Heading Tags</H2>

And voila! You’ve just mastered heading tags in code.

(Did we tell you you’re awesome?)


We love sharing posts about our favorite tricks of the trade when it comes to making the most out of your blogging + marketing strategies. What else do you want to learn about? What was most helpful about this article? Share your thoughts below in the comments!