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Which means, Examples, & Professional Suggestions

What Is a Heading Tag?

Heading tags are HTML parts that outline headings and subheadings inside internet pages. They assist readers and engines like google to grasp the hierarchy and relevance of the content material on the web page.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), which is the usual markup language used to create internet pages, offers a variety of heading tags from <h1> to <h6>.

The <h1> is the best degree (normally the web page’s predominant title), and <h6> is the bottom. Every tag represents a special degree of significance or subsection throughout the content material.

heading tags from <h1> to <h6>

What’s the Distinction Between a Heading Tag and a Header Tag?

Whereas these two phrases are generally used interchangeably, they discuss with distinct parts in HTML.

As talked about, heading tags point out the hierarchy and construction of the textual content. Whereas a header tag is used to outline the header part on the high of a webpage. It usually accommodates introductory content material, navigation hyperlinks, logos, or different parts that seem on the high of the web page. 

Consider it like a e book. 

The heading tags are like chapter titles. Every chapter title tells you what that chapter is about and helps you navigate by the e book.

The header tag is just like the e book cowl. It is the very first thing you see while you choose up the e book, and it usually contains the e book’s title, a picture, and different introductory data. 

Search engine algorithms use heading tags to grasp the construction and hierarchy of an internet web page. In addition they primarily take key phrases from the title tags, heading tags, and the physique of the content material to grasp an internet web page’s context and decide if the content material is related to the consumer’s question.

Whereas every heading tag serves a particular goal in Search engine marketing, the H1 tag holds the best significance as the primary title or heading of the web page, adopted by H2, H3, and all the way down to H6. 

These are in descending order of relevance. Should you skip an HTML tag heading (leap from an H2 to an H4, for instance), the heading construction shall be damaged. Which isn’t perfect for on-page Search engine marketing

Heading tags play a giant position in content material readability. Including totally different sections with acceptable headings on a webpage divides the content material into scannable blocks, making it simpler for people and search crawlers to grasp. This readability issue is a sensible profit you’ll be able to instantly see and respect.

Heading helps readers skip content and improve user experience

In Search engine marketing, the required normal is utilizing your heading tags sequentially in descending order. For instance, an H3 ought to observe an H2. And never vice versa.

Google particularly considers this construction essential, as outlined of their developer documentation model information.

Google's developer documentation style guide with text snippet highlighted using pink box.

Every HTML tag heading has its relevance. Let’s get into some particulars:

Heading 1: <h1>

The H1 tag (or “Heading 1)” is a vital HTML ingredient that defines a webpage’s predominant title. Whenever you have a look at an internet web page’s supply code for Heading 1, it consists of three components:

  • Opening tag: <h1>
  • Title textual content: That is the textual content you wish to show as the primary heading
  • Closing tag: </h1>

Right here is an instance of an H1 tag in our web page’s HTML code and dwell web page:

an H1 tag in Semrush page’s HTML code and live page

However you do not all the time want to make use of code. Common content material administration techniques (CMSs) like WordPress supply user-friendly interfaces with enter fields for web page titles that mechanically turn into the H1 tag.

Nonetheless, in case you encounter points with H1 tags in your web site, moving into the underlying HTML could be required to diagnose and repair the issue.

From a consumer’s perspective, the H1 tag is essential for navigation. They depend on it to shortly perceive the net web page’s goal and determine if it aligns with their wants. 

Think about being on the library looking for a e book to learn, however they’d no titles telling you the primary matter. That’s what it might be like if internet pages didn’t have H1 tags. 

A transparent and concise H1 tag offers the tip of the iceberg of the web page’s content material. 

Past consumer expertise, Google’s algorithm closely weighs the content material of your H1 tag when figuring out your web page’s relevance to look queries. That’s why it is best to optimize your H1 tag together with your major key phrase. 

Additionally, every web page in your web site ought to solely have one distinctive H1 tag. A number of H1 tags can confuse customers and engines like google concerning the web page’s major focus.

Heading 2: <h2>

H2 tags operate as subheadings. 

h2 header tag added beneath the h1 tag. the h2 tag says the essential guide to adopted dog care.

H2 tags are the primary sub-headings after the H1 tags. Like chapters inside a e book, they’re the primary subsections that classify the broader matter established by your H1.

The H2s give an ideal description of what the weblog put up covers. Right here is an instance of an H2 on our web page on SERPs: Search Engine Outcomes Pages Defined:

Semrush blog post with 'What Is a SERP?' H2 tag highlighted.

Heading 3: <h3>

H3 tags are used for subcategories or subsections beneath H2 tags. They’re useful when an H2 part covers a number of distinct subtopics or requires additional elaboration on particular factors.

two h3 header tags added beneath the h2 about welcoming home your adopted dog. the h3 tags cover preparing your home and understanding dog behavior

You should utilize them to spotlight key arguments, introduce examples, or current totally different views throughout the H2 part.

As an example, in our weblog put up on SERPs, we used the H3 tags to current a couple of widespread SERP options, which is among the H2s.

Semrush blog post with H2 and H3 tags highlighted.

To take care of a logical hierarchy, you should use H3 beneath H2, indirectly beneath H1.

Additionally, too many subheadings (H3 tags) can fragment the content material and disrupt the circulate of knowledge. Subsequently, they need to be used strategically to interrupt down complicated sections and preserve a balanced construction just like the above instance.

Heading 4: <h4>

H4 tags allow you to additional clarify factors made within the H3 tags. 

two h4 header tags added beneath the h3 about dog behavior and health. the h4 tags cover nutritional health and mental health

For instance, on this put up about aggressive evaluation, we use a H4 to additional break down the step of figuring out rivals.

“Discover Your Business Rivals,” “Discover Your Natural Rivals,” and “Discover Your Native Search engine marketing Rivals,” every warrant their very own subsection in figuring out rivals. Including these as H4s “nests” them as such beneath this umbrella. 

Semrush blog post with H3 tag highlighted followed by three H4 tags.

Heading 5: <h5>

H5 tags for sub-subsections are uncommon in trendy internet design. One essential cause is that Google primarily depends on the topmost heading ranges (H1-H3) to grasp the content material construction and hierarchy. Subsequently, utilizing decrease ranges like H5 can have much less influence on Search engine marketing.

Nevertheless, they’re sometimes used for particular subtopics inside a well-established H4 part. They shouldn’t be used to introduce fully new concepts or ideas.

fifth header tag added beneath the h4. the tag says creating a routine: training and schedules

Heading 6: <h6>

The H6 tags are the bottom heading degree throughout the content material hierarchy. You should utilize these tags to arrange sections beneath the H5, particularly in detailed content material. 

sixth heading added beneath the h5 header tag. the tag says training tips for a happy dog

Utilizing headings strategically in your internet pages makes them extra skimmable and simpler to navigate, which creates a greater consumer expertise. Since easy-to-scan content material is extremely participating, your readers will discover what they need shortly and have interaction together with your website. Which is sweet for Search engine marketing.

You may get much more Search engine marketing advantages through the use of major key phrases in your H2s and H3s (so long as you should use them naturally) and long-tail key phrases and key phrase variations in lower-level tags like H4s.

For instance, in case your H1 is “Methods to Write Search engine marketing Headlines,” this is an instance of a technique you’ll be able to construction your H2-H6 tags to create an internet web page that is pure and informative:

  • H2: What Makes an Search engine marketing Headline Good?

This subheading introduces the readers to Search engine marketing elements that gauge the standard of Search engine marketing-friendly headlines.

This part relates key phrase optimization’s position in nice headlines. There could be quotes from search engine documentation or knowledgeable interviews that relay the relevance of key phrase optimization in headlines.

  • H4: Methods to Successfully Optimize Your Key phrases in Your Headlines

This part informs readers find out how to optimize key phrases in headlines.

  • H5: Greatest Key phrase Optimization Instruments

This part offers an inventory of one of the best key phrase optimization instruments.

  • H6: Professionals and Cons of Key phrase Optimization Instruments

The H6 tags shall be useful to checklist the professionals and cons of the instruments supplied within the H5.

HTML Heading Tag Greatest Practices

Listed below are strategic methods to make use of heading tags for engines like google to grasp the relevance and context of your internet pages:

Appropriately Add Heading Tags in HTML

Use the next HTML format to enter a heading 1 tag: 

<h1>heading tag textual content</h1>

For instance, our H1 for this put up is “YouTube AdSense: Methods to Earn Cash From Your Movies.”

It is going to appear like this within the HTML code and dwell web page:

Split screen view of Semrush blog post showing HTML code snippet of the heading tag.

You’ll be able to repeat this similar format in your H2s all the way down to your H6s. So, an H2 can be <h2>heading tag textual content</h2>, and so forth.

Content material administration techniques like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace can create heading tags with out digging into the HTML code. A wealthy textual content editor permits you to spotlight textual content and choose the kind of heading tag.

TinyMCE rich text editor heading tag selection dropdown menu.

Learn our weblog put up on H1 tags to discover ways to add them to totally different content material administration techniques.

Align Heading Textual content with Content material Kind

Your heading textual content ought to match every part of your internet web page’s content material kind.

Use task-based headings when a piece is about sensible guides. Activity-based headings are action-oriented and may begin with crucial verbs to encourage consumer engagement.

For instance, on this part, as a substitute of writing “Heading Textual content Ought to Replicate Content material Kind,” we select “Align Heading Textual content with Content material Kind.”

Then again, you should use conceptual headings to introduce and clarify the content material in a piece. Not like task-based headings that usually begin with crucial verbs, they require noun phrases.

For instance, “The Way forward for Synthetic Intelligence” may very well be used as a substitute of “Harness the Energy of AI in Your Enterprise.”

The final guideline when utilizing conceptual heading is to keep away from utilizing a noun phrase that begins with an -ing verb. 

Google confirms this tactic in one in all its documentations, distinguishing between a task-based and conceptual heading. Crucial verbs are infinitive and instantly ask the reader to do one thing.

Guidance table from Google's developer style documentation on task-based and conceptual heading.

Add Your Key phrases to Your Heading Tags

Optimizing your heading tags together with your goal key phrase helps Google decide how effectively your content material matches the search question.

As an example, it’s a typical apply in all our weblog posts to incorporate our major key phrases within the H1 tags after which naturally use them alongside the secondary key phrases within the H2-H6 tags. 

Nevertheless, it’s necessary to keep away from key phrase stuffing.

Key phrase stuffing is the apply of excessively utilizing key phrases within the internet web page’s content material, meta tags, or different parts to govern search engine rankings. This impacts a website’s credibility and visibility on engines like google. 

As a substitute, deal with semantic relevance over key phrase density. Semantic relevance entails optimizing associated phrases to your major key phrase to assist engines like google perceive the general that means and search intent of the content material. That’s why we use different related secondary key phrases quite than stuffing our heading tag with a singular key phrase.

However you don’t must search for these secondary key phrases your self. The Key phrase Magic Software does the job for you.

Launch the instrument, then enter your major key phrase into the search bar and click on “Search.”

Keyword Magic Tool start with 'heading tag' entered in the input field and Search button highlighted.

The instrument will generate an inventory of secondary key phrases. Additional refine your outcomes through the use of metrics like search quantity and key phrase problem (KD%) to determine essentially the most related secondary key phrases in your heading tags and content material.

Keywords list with search volume and keyword difficulty columns highlighted.

Guarantee Your HTML Tag Headings Fulfill Search Intent

Within the newest Search High quality Evaluator Tips, Google defined how search intent, additionally known as consumer intent, performs a significant position in its rating system.

Section 12.7 in the table of contents of Google's 2024 search quality rater guidelines highlighted.

Your heading tags from H1 to H6 must be a walkthrough to fulfill the consumer’s search question. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to solely do that by understanding the search intent of your major key phrase.

The Key phrase Overview instrument helps right here. This software program exhibits the search intent of any key phrase in seconds.

Enter your major key phrase into the search bar and click on “Search.”

Semrush Keyword Overview tool start with 'heading tag' in input field and Search button highlighted.

The instrument shows the key phrase overview, together with the search intent for the key phrase. 

Overview report page with Intent box highlighted.

You may also analyze your goal key phrase’s search engine outcomes pages (SERP) outcomes to grasp your key phrase search intent and the H1 your high rivals used.

You are able to do that proper from the Key phrase Overview dashboard. Scroll down the “Overview” web page to the “SERP Evaluation” part.

SERP Analysis report table.

The instrument offers Google’s up-to-date cache of the search outcomes. Proceed from there and discover out:

  • The featured snippet showing on the high of the SERP
  • The varieties of content material that seem within the SERP, reminiscent of articles, product listings, movies, and native listings. The presence of sure varieties of content material can present clues in regards to the search intent.
  • How your rivals use the goal key phrase of their titles
  • Potential associated phrases your rivals used within the titles and meta descriptions

Organizing your articles with clear subheadings permits Google to readily translate them into bulleted or numbered lists for featured snippets.

For paragraph featured snippets, we advocate that you simply:

  • Optimize your heading tag (H2) to reflect a long-tail voice search time period
  • Straight handle the consumer’s query throughout the paragraph

As an example, we earned the featured snippet for an H2 in our weblog put up on find out how to write Search engine marketing headlines.

Semrush blog post with 'What Is an SEO Headline?' H2 highlighted.
Google search results showing Semrush featured snippet for 'what is an seo headline' search.

Don’t Use the H1 Tag Extra Than As soon as

Utilizing just one H1 tag per web page ensures that your readers clearly perceive the web page’s predominant matter and permits search engine algorithms to interpret the web page’s content material and relevance appropriately.

Though Google doesn’t penalize websites with a number of H1 headings, this technique can have an effect on your web page’s consumer expertise. 

Give it some thought as a consumer.

Think about you click on a web page, and three to 4 subheadings have the identical font measurement because the title. It turns into obscure the subsections within the content material.

John Mueller, Senior Search analyst at Google, talked about in an episode of Ask Google Site owners that consumer expertise must be the first issue for selecting the variety of H1 tags on a web page. “In brief, SEOs shouldn’t be your major goal when serious about this matter. As a substitute, take into consideration your customers.”

Use Concise and Descriptive Headings

Goal for a concise sentence or phrase that precisely captures the primary thought. Nevertheless, it’s perfect to maintain your heading tag textual content brief, clear, and concise.

As an example, we advocate that your H1 tags are beneath 60 characters for optimum show.


As a result of shorter headings are simpler to learn and comprehend, particularly on cell units with restricted house. 

Additionally, Google recommends that the H1 tag be the identical because the title tag. If the H1 tag is simply too lengthy, Google truncates (or cuts it brief and provides ellipses to) it within the SERP. Doubtlessly affecting the web page’s visibility and click-through fee.

This is an instance:

Example of truncated headline of 'onboarding template' Google search.

So, as a substitute of:

  • H1: Superior Strategies and Methods for Complete Rank Monitoring and Evaluation Throughout Search Engines and Different Platforms
    • H2: The Function of Rank Monitoring in Search engine marketing Campaigns: Greatest Practices for Monitoring Key phrase Rankings and Analyzing Efficiency Metrics 


  • H1: Knowledgeable Information to Monitoring Key phrase Rankings
    • H2: Rank Monitoring Greatest Practices for Search engine marketing Success

Listed below are some widespread pitfalls in HTML heading tag optimization that may negatively influence your website’s Search engine marketing efficiency:

  • Utilizing headings for styling solely. Heading tags should not be used for styling functions, reminiscent of making textual content bigger or daring. They need to precisely characterize the construction and group of your content material.
  • Skipping heading ranges. Do not leap heading ranges. HTML heading tags go so as (e.g., H2 to H3, not from H2 to H4).
  • Utilizing heading tags as hyperlinks. Do not use heading tags as hyperlinks. Headings inform you what’s coming, not the place to go.
  • Creating heading tags with no related content material. Be sure you don’t go away empty headings. Your headings ought to serve a goal, introducing and guiding readers to the next content material.
  • Not together with key phrases. Make sure that your heading tags comprise related key phrases associated to the part’s matter. However keep away from key phrase stuffing.

Methods to Run an HTML Heading Tag Audit

First, launch Semrush’s Website Audit instrument and click on the “+ Create mission” button.

Site Audit page with '+ Create Project' button highlighted.

Subsequent, enter your area and click on “Create mission.”

Create project popup with '' in input field and 'Create project' button highlighted.

The subsequent web page accommodates an inventory of choices to configure your audit. Overview the choices and alter the settings in line with your preferences. 

Site Audit settings conifguration popup with Limit of checked pages and Crawl source settings highlighted.

Click on the field on the backside of the dashboard in order for you an e-mail each time an audit is full, and click on “Begin Website Audit” to proceed.

Site Audit settings popup with send email checkbox and Start Site Audit button highlighted.

As soon as the audit is full, the instrument will present a dashboard that gives an summary of your website’s well being. Click on the “Points” tab to seek out and repair heading tag errors.

Site Audit report page with Issues tab highlighted.

Use the search bar to research associated errors. As an example, in case you kind H1 within the search bar, the instrument mechanically generates an inventory of errors associated to the H1 tag.

Issues page with 'h1' entered in the search box.

Click on “Why and find out how to repair it” positioned beside the error, and you will note an automated drop-down explaining the causes of the problem and what you are able to do to right it.

'Why and how to fix it' popup with arrow pointing from text to popup.

Understanding heading tags doesn’t must be troublesome. With the knowledgeable ideas supplied on this information, you may be geared up to implement heading tags successfully in your internet pages, enhancing Search engine marketing efficiency and enhancing consumer expertise. 

So, what’s subsequent?

First, use the Website Audit instrument to determine HTML heading tag errors in your website. Then, use the Key phrase Magic Software to find new secondary key phrases and implement them in your headings. 

Get began by signing up in your free Semrush account right now!



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