Improve SEO and readability.
The H1 tag provides context for the central idea of your blog post. This helps readers and search engines understand what the blog is about. For example, you would use an H1 heading for A Complete Guide to Doing Your Taxes to make it the title of a blog post.
Although HTML5 allows more than one H1 tag per page, it’s still best to use only one.
Use H2 tags for the subheadings and use as many H2 tags as necessary to break up your blog post into major sections.
H2 tags denote the main points of the blog post. They provide context for the title. H2 tags may also use a long-tail keyword like Tax software tools to use or Why you should do your own taxes.
H3 tags clarify the points made in the H2 tags, or they signify a list. For example, if an H2 heading is 3 Steps to Clean Your Car, there would be three H3 headings, each describing a step.
To improve your chances of ranking as the featured snippet for a numbered or bulleted list, mark your list items as H3 tags under the long-tail H2 tag.
H4 through H6 tags have less impact on SEO rankings. However, they do improve readability by making content easier to scan. If paragraphs under an H3 tag are long, break them up with separate H4 tags and corresponding sections.
From H1 to H6, all headings should accurately reflect what a section is about. Other rank-specific considerations:
- H1: Fits the search intent and provides context for the reader. H1 tags are generally in title case and are about 8 words long. For example, How to Write Effective headings [Infographic Included].
- H2: Engaging, descriptive, and often contains a long-tail keyword.
- H3-H6: Concise descriptions of sub-topics and typically shorter than H1 and H2 tags. They can be either title or sentence case. Choose one and use it consistently throughout the post.
Some people prefer creating headings before writing a blog post, while others prefer to write an outline with key points listed. If you write the headings first, look them over after writing the blog post to make sure they still provide accurate context.
For example, in Microsoft Word, navigate to the Styles gallery. Select the text you want to format and then choose the style you’d like.
Manually changing the styling of a heading, like making it larger, isn’t the same thing as a properly formatted HTML heading tag that a search engine can read. Before publication, make sure your HTML syntax is clean and structured.
If you’re writing the HTML code, enclose the heading number, like h1 or h2, between an opening and closing tag <>. To view the proper syntax, look at W3school’s code input example.
Many CMS platforms, like WordPress or HubSpot, have dropdown menus that let you select the heading tag without having to write any code.
Use CSS, a website template, or your CMS toolbar to alter the appearance of each heading tag. Font style, color, size, emphasis, and placement can be customized for each heading tag. Typically, it’s best to have all corresponding headings look the same stylistically. For example, you may decide to make all H2 tags dark blue, bold, and in 2rem font size for improved readability.