The header is one type of HTML markup language element. Its function is to organise the structure of a web page, which is also important from the viewpoint of search engine optimisation. In addition, the use of headings (e.g. subtitles) makes content more readable and attractive.
HTML distinguishes between several types of headings, which are implemented on the page using the following tags: <hx> opening tag and </hx> closing tag. In this case, the letter x is followed by a number (from 1 to 6) which indicates the hierarchy level of the element. The higher it is, the less relevant the heading is and by default it is displayed in a smaller font. The correct use of headings has several benefits.
- Firstly, it makes the page easier to read and navigate, as the reader can quickly jump to the section of text they are interested in.
- Secondly, it improves the readability and conciseness of the text, as each heading should point to key points in the text, rather than simply repeating the title or introduction. Thirdly, headings increase SEO value as search engine algorithms use them to determine the context and topic of the page.
Hierarchy of headings
Headings on web pages are usually marked with HTML tags that define their hierarchy. These tags are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. H1 is the top-level header, which should represent the main topic of the page, and H6 is the lowest-level header. As the value of the number in the tag increases, the heading becomes less relevant to the content of the page.
The importance of headings for SEO
Headings play a key role in SEO as they help search engines understand the structure and subject matter of a page. Here are some aspects to look out for when optimising headings for SEO:
Including keywords in the headings of a page helps search engines understand what information the page contains and what its most important topics are. As a result, the page is more likely to rank highly in search results for these specific keywords.
Avoid using ambiguous or unclear headings. Search engines may have difficulty interpreting such headings, which may affect the positioning of the page. Strive for headlines that are precise and relevant to the content they describe.
c. Optimise the structure
Try to maintain a logical and structured headline structure on your site. Search engines can analyse the hierarchy of headings to understand how content is organised and what information is most important. By maintaining a consistent structure, you make it easier for search engines to index and evaluate your site.
d. Avoid overuse of H1 headings
The H1 header is the most important heading on a page, so it should only appear once to introduce the main topic of the page. Multiple use of H1 headings can cause confusion and make it difficult for search engines to determine what the main topic of the page is.
e. Readability for users
Even if your headings are optimised for SEO, remember that they are ultimately intended for readers. Make sure your headlines are easy to understand, attractive and encourage them to read the rest of your content.
Headlines are an essential element of any website, affecting its aesthetics, readability and search engine optimisation (SEO). By keeping in mind the tips outlined, such as including keywords in headings, ensuring unambiguity, optimising structure, avoiding overuse of H1 headings and ensuring readability for users, you can improve your website’s visibility in search results and increase traffic.