You will find a lot of articles, lately, talking about how, and why, Google has diminished the importance of Heading or H1 tags in computing SEO rankings. Some of them are just assuming this, but a few of them have actually brought some evidence (of course, they are baseless).
Heading Tags: Do they help in better SEO rankings?
I am not saying that using Heading tags would boost up your SEO rankings, instantly. But, from my experience, I do believe that Heading tags help your websites to get more stable SEO rankings. Search engine crawlers look for the words included in H1 tags (in addition to other important SEO factors) in determining the SEO rankings of your website.
So, if you want to get the best SEO rankings for your website, then you must not forget to use it (optimally).
Heading Tags: For better user experience
But that is not the only reason why it must be used. Different elements of Heading Tags are useful in structuring your overall document. These tags help in dividing a long document, into different sections, to enhance the experience of the users reading it. That is (& should always be) the main purpose of using Heading Tags in your web pages.
After all, you must remember the “golden rule” for best SEO rankings – Always keep your users in mind, while doing the SEO of your website.
Elements of Heading Tags: Which one to go for the best SEO rankings?
You might have noticed that I have just included the first three elements of heading tags i.e. H1, H2, H3 in my title. But, in actual, there are 6 Heading elements.
I have done this because you don’t need to use all the 6 Heading tags in your web page. Only the first 3 Heading Tags are useful for not just structing your web page, but to get the best SEO rankings.
Using Heading Tags for best SEO rankings
There are following things, about using Heading Tags, which you must keep in mind to get best SEO rankings:
1. There is no use of going for H4, H5 and H6 tags, as you can easily structure your page using the first 3 tags. Plus, these tags are not useful for SEO purposes.
2. You must only use one H1 tag in your web page. Using too many H1 tags confuses search engine crawlers about the real purpose of your page. Thus your website doesn’t get the best SEO rankings.
3. Stuffing keywords in your heading tags can do more harm than good to your website. After all, heading tags are used to divide your web page into smaller sections. So, you should not stuff the same keywords in H1, H2, and H3 tags (unless it is required), for better SEO rankings.
4. The hierarchy of your heading tags is very vital in getting the best SEO rankings.
For example – the hierarchy of heading tag can be like <h1> <h2> <h3> <h2>.
But it should not be like <h1> <h3> <h2>
That means, you can’t directly move from an H1 to H3 without using an H2 tag in between.
5. You should use your most important keywords in H1 tags. And your secondary keywords in H2 and H3 tags.
6. I am repeating this point (once again) but, you must always keep your users in mind, while using your Heading tags.
H1 tags still better than H2 and H3 tags?
A lot of webmasters have come up with a new theory, lately. According to them, H1 tags have been used so much for spamming that Search engines don’t give them the same importance now. Of course, they don’t have any concrete proof about it. Moreover, google and other SEO gurus have not affirmed it either.
So, at the present time, H1 tags are still more effective than H2 and H3 tags, and should contain the most important keywords.
Thus, no matter what other people say, you must use Heading tags, in your website effectively, to get the best SEO rankings. Though, you must make sure to use it effectively for better search engine rankings and free traffic.