SEO – Headings
HTML Heading tags are used to define headings and subheadings in a page. They are not only important for users but also for Search Engines. Headings help search engines to understand what your page content is all about.
You can specify six levels of headings starting from
<h1> tag defines the highest level and
<h6> defines the lowest-level heading.
Importance of Headings in SEO:
<h1> is one of the most important SEO ranking factors. Most SEO experts recommend only one
<h1> heading in one page. You should apply this to the most important topic name. Thereafter, you can use the next level of headings.
To highlight important topic names and titles, use headings at different places. For example, If your website has a sidebar and footer, you should use headings for their content titles.
<h1>, you can use other tags multiple times according to your content. Arrange your content in multiple subheadings so that it is clear to understand which topic is a subtopic of another topic.
Heading tags plays an important role to highlight content hierarchy to users and search engines like Google. Since the Year 2020, you must have noticed Featured snippets in Google search results. If you use proper heading tags, Google can use them to include in Featured snippets to list important items.
Example: Using Heading in an HTML page:
<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <title>SEO Headings Example</title> </head> <body> <h1>Main Topic</h1> <p> This is simple content </p> <h2>Sub Topic in Main Topic</h2> This is another sample simple content <h3>Further topic Inside heading two</h3> This is another sample simple content <h2>Another Sub topic</h2> This is another sample simple content </body> </html>
Should you skip Heading Levels?
There is not a clear hard rule, but you should not skip heading levels wherever possibly. For example, do not directly use heading level four or five after heading level two.
There are many places which talk about not to skip heading levels. Some discussion also refers to answers from Google. Read more at https://www.hobo-web.co.uk/headers/
We believe we should maintain headings hierarchy but skipping a heading level should not impact SEO mostly. Here are a couple of references to check:
- W3.org website pages use directly h3 after h1 tag. See W3.org Headings. Possibly, W3.org does not care about SEO or they do not believe that skipping the heading level is bad.
- In Google SEO support pages, you can see h2 heading is coming before h1. See: Google SEO support
With reference to all these points, you must not think more about skipping or not skipping heading levels. You can focus on readability and hierarchy of content for users first. And for SEO, It is important to include only one
<h1> heading, while other subheadings can be used multiple times.
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