SEO Learning Centre

Headings

The title structure of your website is very important for both visitors and search engines. It tells what is important in the content and how it is connected. To define what is a title not used in the HTML code of heading tags, from <h1>to <h6>, depending on how important the title is in the hierarchy.

But it is not just on the web as the title hierarchy is important, even in other types of documents, this is the default. You can usually see in word processing programs that the headings have different names like Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. which is exactly the same as the title tags in HTML.

Headlines in the right hierarchy

The problem we often encounter with headlines on sites we analyze and work with is that they do not follow the right hierarchy. Often, the heading tags are more used as design elements than the structural elements they actually are.

MAIN HEADING <h1>

What is the correct title hierarchy? <h1>is the largest title tag and is used to give your landing page a headline, so there should only be one per page. Some exceptions are code-like in HTML5 (read more about this further down) but for SEO, we still recommend a h1 heading per landing page. You may resemble that a book or an essay only has a title.

Subheadings <h2>to<h6>

After the main header, several subheadings may follow if the content is long. When you use heading tags <h2>to <h6>. Here it is important to follow the hierarchy, a subheading after the initial h1 heading should always be one <h2>, a sub-heading should always be one <h3>. If you make a list of the headings on this page, it would look like this:

SEO headings

Headline hierarchy for blogs

If you have a blog, and especially if you're viewing posts on category and archive pages, then it's important to consider a little bit more on the header hierarchy. On the blog's homepage there should be a headline (h1) and headings for any blog posts should be subheadings (h2). However, when you click on the post and come to its individual page, the heading should instead be a main heading (h1). Difficult? 

Most Content Management Systems, CMS, solve this automatically without having to think about it. When you check your hierarchy, you should always assume what it looks like on the current web page. The headline of a single page does not have to be a headline on all pages.

Headlines for SEO

Always use keywords in the headings

If your text is long, it's good to divide it into subheadings. Then the text is divided into several blocks that are easy to scan for both visitors and crawlers. In fact, when we read a text, especially on the web, we often read the skum. 

In addition to dividing the text into blocks with subheadings, it is also important to use the headings optimally and include relevant keywords. This makes it easier for those who scan to find the information they are looking for.

But it's not just your human visitors who think it's easier with keywords in the headlines. Crawlers often place more emphasis on the headlines when crawling and indexing web pages. This allows a good structure with keywords in the headlines to give your website advantages over competing web pages in the search engine index.

Related keywords and synonyms

With keywords in the headlines, we mean not just your main focus word, it can easily feel repetitive and over-optimized in a longer text. But there are so many more related keywords that may be good to mention or synonyms to your focus word. 

This also has a positive effect as you broaden your text and thus optimize. With more related phrases and synonyms, you may appear wider than if you're just focusing on a keyword. In addition, it feels more natural, which both your readers and search engines will appreciate.

Headings and code

Headlines and availability

The title structure is important for the accessibility of your site, especially for people who can not read well from a screen. If the headings are defined in the HTML, a screen reader can make an overview and read all headings aloud.

 In this way, those with impaired vision can "foam" the text and get a picture of what it is about before they get into it. In addition, screen readers can also help the reader to jump from header to heading and thus use the headings for navigation.

Headers and HTML5

In classical HTML, only one h1 title per web page, as mentioned above, should be used. But in the latest version, HTML5, each section starts (for example <section>and <article>) with its own h1 header.

You changed this to more easily combine multiple parts on one and the same page. However, it does not work as well in practice and especially not from an SEO point of view. Therefore, we still recommend using only one h1 header per web page.

 

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