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HTML and SEO header tags

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Website optimization consists of many elements, one of which is the use of appropriate structure, which can be obtained using HTML headers. How to use headers on a website in order to make its structure correct?

The role of website headers

HTML headers on the website make the texts readable for people and provide a structure that is easy to interpret for web browser robots.
There are 6 types of header tags from H1 to H6. Letter H stands for Heading, and numbers from 1 to 6 determine its hierarchical importance.

How many header tags can be used per page?

H1 header is like a book title, its purpose is to inform the reader what the content concerns, so we should use only one tag of this type on one page. Apart from the already mentioned single use of H1 tag, there is no rule as to the number of other tags used, but due to the importance of particular types of headers, we should keep moderation and take an example from an orderly arrangement of newspapers or scientific papers, where the title (our H1) is only one, then we see subtitles or titles of chapters (H2), and the developing titles of subtitles are marked with smaller font (H3), and rarely we deal with subsequent levels of subdivision (H4-H6).

It is said that you can use as many H1 as you want

In April 2017, on Twitter, John Mueller from Google, asked with regard to SEO about how many H1 tags should be used on one page, he replied: "As many as you want." Of course, no one will prevent us from entering any number of H1 headers, but it will lose its meaning and may be misinterpreted by web browsers. Microsoft in the guidelines for its browser – Bing (Bing guidelines) clearly indicated that header tags are used to show the structure of document and only one H1 tag should be on one page. Using H1 header we should focus on emphasizing important things and limit the use of this tag, and it will certainly help us not only in SEO aspect of our website, but also in the reception of presented content by users.

How to use HTML header tags?

In the page code, each header type can have any font size and style. Usually the largest is H1, and the smallest is H6, this visual aspect helps to understand their hierarchy. Using tags to organize and highlight content, it is advisable to use headers according to their rank, i.e. if you want to use header H6, headers H1 to H5 should appear before it. However, most often only three types of HTML header are used, i.e. those that are most important for building the page structure: H1, H2, H3.
It is important to remember that header tags are like titles and chapters, title (H1) should be one, but chapters (H2) and their extension (H3) can be more. Due to the fact that headers are like titles should not be very long, it is advisable to include a key word in H1, which defines the content to be mentioned on the page, but do not use key words in an artificial way – nobody likes to read nonsense, which have nothing to do with the title.
It is also worth emphasizing that H1 header should contain unique content, it should not be repeated on a page in another tag, e.g. in an online shop the H1 header can be used on a product page to emphasize the rank of product name, but repeating it in the description in H2 tag may be wrongly perceived by web crawlers.
It is very important not to use HTML header tags if they are not followed by valuable content, i.e. they should not be used to list or graphically highlight text that does not have the characteristics of a "title" – it is better to use the styles that were created for this purpose, i.e. to enlarge the font, give it a different color or use bold. This rule also applies to placing whole blocks of text in headers, which can only have the opposite effect to expected one and make it difficult to position the page.

Why use header tags on the page?

They provide a natural division of text into sections, which make it easier to read long articles – recipients more and more often "scan" the text, if their eyes do not quickly grasp the information important to them, they leave the page.
Robots also scan content when they encounter headers, know that a given content is more important than others – headers are beneficial for SEO, allow indexing robots to better understand the structure of website.
They make it easier to get back to reading the article and remembering important elements.
They enable to use and highlight key words in a natural way.

Headers certainly support SEO activities, but using them on the website is not necessary, the rank of text can be defined by other tags such as <strong> or <em>. However, it is worth to use them, because the structure created with header tags will certainly make it easier for Google to understand what the content of a given page is, and for the recipients of our content it will make reading more pleasant.

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