Leverage H1 and H2 For Search Engine Optimization and Usability

Clive Lobo

Christopher KataMany of you may be wondering what an H1 and H2 tag are. They are short forms for Heading 1 and Heading 2. In fact, there are multiple sublevels as well, for example h3, h4, etc. However, for most pages the H1 and H2 are all that are necessary. So what exactly is Heading 1? It’s an HTML tag that defines the main heading of any page, and it should be used in conjunction with H2 to define subheadings on a page.

Using style sheets you can define the look and feel of the H1 and H2 to fit within the style of your website.

There are two main reasons why you want to make use of these two special tags.

  1. Usability
    We always want to be developing websites to ensure an exceptional user experience both from a content and usability perspective.First time visitors to a page always “scan” the page in a backwords “S” starting in the top left corner. By providing a clear and well written H1 and H2 tag, the visitor can grasp the topic of the page by scanning the headings much like scanning the page of a newspaper. After about 2 seconds of scanning the visitor decides if they’ve landed on the right page or not.It also serves to break up the content of the page into easily consumed sizes making it much easier for a user to read the page, and understand the meaning of each section of content.
  2. The second reason is Search Engine Optimization, of course
    Search engine spiders are very sophisticated pieces of software, and continue to get smarter over time. Since the beginning, the’ve been programmed to parse the content of an HTML page and seperate the H1 and H2 tags from the rest of the page. They use the keywords in these tags to understand the topic of the content on each page. The H1 keywords define the most important overall meaning of the content, while H2 Keywords define the topics for those smaller sections of content.By reinforcing your pages most important keyword within these two tags you stand a much better chance of having that page rank well for the keyword.

Have a look at your website and see if your leveraging the H1 and H2 tags. The quickest way to do this is to “view the source” of your home page and do a text search to find “<H1” or “<h1” and “<h2” or “<H2” without the quotes of course. If you don’t find these tags then your not using them at all. If you find them, read the text between the opening and closing tags – it should be well written to reflect the topic of the page and include your most important keywords.

If you think you can do better – ask your webmaster, IT Department, or SEO firm to make the necessary changes as soon as possible!

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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