Importance of headings tags and their optimization in SEO

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HTML heading tags are used to design the page and highlight the important sections of the page contents. By using headings, the contents of the page are organized and design looks good and easy to read. Headings increase the web site ranking in search engine and make it easier for search engine crawler to process and understand the page contents quickly. For better search engine optimization (SEO) always include headings and important keywords in the heading tags. One thing should be kept in mind that page title, headings and page contents must be related to each other and must be in order as this will increase the chances that the crawler will pick your site.

Importance of using heading tags:

  • From user side: It is a common reader observation that if a topic is written using headings in it for highlighting important sections, it is very easily readable, understandable and memorable. If you are not using headings, your page contents are all a mess and outlook is very poor to reader. To keep reader’s interest and attention, headings are must. It is analysed by certain researches that site visitors do not read all the contents thoroughly but they just go through them or scan them. Here headings are easy way for readers to understand a page quickly and they will not leave it if it is not hectic for eyes as compared to a page without headings.

  • From SEO side: As SEO is all about search engines and visitors, by using headings in proper way the attention of both the search engine and the visitor is gained and target (which is higher ranking and good traffic) is achieved. The search engine crawler ranks a page with headings better than the page without headings which is all messed up.


Types of heading tags in HTML:

There are six levels of heading tag in HTML and they are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. Headings H1 and H2 should be very much close to the page title and must include keywords and must be used for SEO. All the other four headings (H3 to H6) are sub headings or subsections and must be used for readers to better understand the page contents. The numbers are given to the headings from the “most important” or H1 to the “least important” or H6 heading.

Importance of heading H1 and H2 in SEO:

H1 and H2 and specially the H1 must be used for the search engine as it gives much weight-age to them over the other four headings. The search engine crawler reads the page contents and it analyses the relevancy and quality from the initial portion of the page contents. This is the reason why headings H1 and H2 are important as they come in initial section of contents and if written in proper way having all important keywords, the crawler will rank the page better. The important primary and secondary keywords must be place at the begging of both headings H1 and H2 to make them more emphasize-able and visible.

Avoid too much headings:

At times there are some portions of the text where headings are not required and purpose is gained by putting a sentence in “bold text” or “in quotes”. Too much headings look bad and tiring to eyes, tell less about the contents and are confusing for readers. Use headings at places where required the most and keep a decent quantity of them as per the length of the page contents.

Example of using heading tags in optimized way:

The main purpose of using heading tags is achieved when you not only use them but also “optimize” them from SEO prospective. As already mentioned above, heading tags (especially H1 and H2) are the best on-page place to put important primary and secondary keywords. For example if your page contents are about “IT job Dubai” which is also the primary keyword and there are some other jobs on page and secondary keywords are like “System admin. Job” or “Programmer job” etc. then the H1 text must be like this;

<H1> IT job Dubai ……………………………………………………. </H1>

The space contains the other selected heading text by you. The example shows two very important points


  1. Place the primary keyword/s in H1

  2. Place the primary keyword at start of H1 text

For the same example the H2 text will be like below;

<H2> System admin. Job ……………………………………………….. </H2>

So the secondary keywords can be used in H2 in the same way (i.e. at start of H2 text).


As per all above discussion we come to the point that headings tags are very important on-site SEO factor and if used in an optimized way, could raise ranking and traffic. Only some points are to be kept in mind;


  • To use headings where they make sense and avoid over using.

  • Place keywords in headings but don’t stuff them to give a spam look to search engine

  • H1 must be given prime importance and the tag should be one for every page


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