importance of Header tags & properly placed keywords for SEO

When the goal is to improve your site’s visibility, increase traffic and grow revenue, it is important to have a comprehensive SEO strategy. You should have a solid SEO strategy that has a blend of off- and on-page tactics. Off-page tactics like link building are still important but no less important than on-page tactics like header tags and properly placed keywords.

Over the years there has been a shift in the importance of quality content that provides structure, relevance and a great user experience (UX) from turning out lots of content that is not relevant.

While header tags are not going to make or break your ranking they still hold some importance. In years past it was easy to manipulate tags however search engines have evolved and therefore new tags and new ways of organizing data has entered the arena. Whether you are using meta tags with title and description attributes or other tags to classify and organize content; each tag has a purpose.

Let’s dive into the role of each tag and evaluate their importance in SEO.

Using Headers for Structure

Headers tags provide structure and context for your content. Each header should provide the reader with an idea of the information they will get from the section that follows.

A great example is to think of header tags as the table of contents in a book:

● H1 introduces the topic your page is about– similar to that of a title.
● H2 are meant to be like book chapters, describing the main topics in sections of the article.
● H3s to H6s serve as additional subheadings within each section, like how a book chapter might be split up by multiple sub-topics.

Include Keywords in Your Header Tags

Google looks at headers to gather context for your page. Headers themselves do not have a large impact on SEO however, including keywords can help your ranking. This means you should adjust your headers to have keywords but you should not be cramming them in where they do not fit. Be judicious and not spammy.

Always re-read your page and make sure that your headers are readable and naturally include keywords. The keywords that are used should be relevant to what the content is about. If you are using inappropriate keywords you do run the chance of Google not featuring your Header Tag that you create. It is important to make sure you are writing for the targeted audience

Optimize for Featured Snippets

featured snippet example for SEO

There is one place that header tags do make a positive impact on SEO–featured snippets.

● The first is to optimize your header tag for a long-tail voice search keywords, and then answer directly below using text within <p> paragraph tags. Using Long-tail keywords will make the snippet sound more customer-focused and more likely to deliver positive results.
● The second is to use subsequent, smaller headings to outline different list items. Google uses these headers to create its own bulleted and numbered list featuring snippet results.

What is a Title Tag

title tag for SEO and keywords for SEO

Title tags belong to the <head> section that identifies the title of a webpage. It is normally a clickable headline in the search engine results page (SERP) and shows up on social media networks.

Title tags should provide a clean and comprehensive idea of what the page’s content contains. Well-written titles that are optimized with keywords often rank higher than weaker titles. A well-written title may increase the number of clicks and traffic to your site as it is the first thing a searcher sees on a SERP.

Having an optimized title is not a cure all, but it is a crucial piece of a puzzle that will prove your page is relevant and worthy of ranking.

Following best SEO practices, you should:

● Each page should have a unique title that describes the page’s content concisely and accurately.
● Keep the titles up to 50-60 characters long (for them not to get shortened in the SERPs).
● Put important keywords first, but in a natural manner, as if you write titles for your visitors in the first place.
● Use your brand name in titles.

Meta Description Tags

meta descriptions

Meta descriptions is also placed in the text of the <head>, it is a paragraph that is commonly displayed in a SERP. The purpose of a meta description is to reflect the point of a page. The importance of meta description tags is tied together with title tags since it impacts the interactions of searchers to sites.

Surely, no description can perfectly match absolutely all queries you may rank for. Your meta description can be any length, but Google recommends around 160 characters in the SERPs. Make note that the snippet Google uses for your site might not be the meta description you’ve written and depends on the query.

Following best SEO practices, you should:

● Give each page a unique meta description that clearly reflects what message of the page.
● Google’s snippets typically max out around 150-160 characters (including spaces).
● Include your most significant keywords, but don’t over stuff them. Write for your audience.

Heading Tags (H1-H6)

Heading tags are HTML tags that are used to identify headings and subheadings within your content from other types of text. The hierarchy goes from H1- H6, with H1 being the most “important” tag.

The usage of heading tags is highly debated, H2-H6 are considered not as important to SEO as H1. Proper usage of H1 tags has been studied throughout the industry, noting that clumsy usage of H1s can keep sites from ranking and traffic improvement.

Utilizing the heading tags will add to the layout of the content. It will be easier for search engines to crawl if the content is well-organized structurally. For users, it will divide the content so it is easier to digest and navigate.

Small details will make big SEO and user-friendly differences. The following are the best SEO practices:

● Give each page a unique H1 reflecting the topic the page covers, using your primary keywords in it.
● Use H2-H6 tags where appropriate (normally, there’s no need to go further than H3), using secondary keywords relevant to each paragraph.
● Don’t overuse the tags and keywords in them. Keep it readable.

Conclusion

Continually tweaking your on-page SEO will help increase your ranking when done properly and with the searched in mind. Don’t neglect small tweaks that can add up to big impacts.

There are vital tags that make up the taxonomy of the page and others that are not vital. However, when done correctly you can end up with a stellar snippet that will put you ahead of competitors. You should be striving to include keywords in all your header tags, but placed naturally.

Making small changes with a big impact on the UX will help search engine crawlers understand your site and readers will appreciate the layout. Making your page user-friendly Will definitely pay off in the long term.

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Chris Marrano

Chris Marrano

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