WordPress Heading Tags – How to Use Them the Right Way

Some users don’t know what is the purpose of Headings in WordPress… actually in the whole HTML structure (the code of your website – big thing). Understanding WordPress heading tags and how to use them correctly makes a huge difference in content quality.

By using Heading tags, we differentiate our web page content. Heading tags should be not used solely for making text large or bold! When used correctly, they adds semantic meaning, help with accessibility and can boost your search engine rankings. However, when used incorrectly, they can give trouble to your users and your search engine ranking.

What are Heading Tags?

<h1> to <h6> tags are used to define Heading on a web document.  According to W3Schools – <h1> </h1> is the first heading which is critical for any web document and <h6></h6> is the least important heading that holds very less importance in a web document as compared to other heading tags.

h1 tag should be the main heading, which is followed by h2, h3 and so on. The <h1> is usually the boldest one, whereas <h6> font size is the smallest.

To insert a heading, simply add a Heading block in WordPress editor, when you edit a blog post or page. You can also convert existing blocks into heading blocks.

subheading wp back end

So, what’s the big deal?

Sometimes little things can turn into big things. Lately when I was optimizing some of your websites, I’ve seen some funny things. You guys were making simple mistakes; here they are:

Using the heading tags because it matches the font size. Yup, that’s the number one reason. A common mistake for newbies to WordPress and CSS. People who don’t understand properly their theme and CSS, will sometimes avoid using a particular heading because it doesn’t match the appearance that they’re looking for in their design. Quite often this will be because an h1 is too big for what they want so they might use an h2 or h3.

Using Multiple h1’s on the same page. The <h1> tag should be used to markup your title for the current page and should come at the top of your content. If you have a page which contains information about Wedding photography in London then it would make sense to use your h1 with that text within the element:

<h1>Wedding Photography in London</h1>

But if you have another piece of content which went into details about Wedding photography in Liverpool then you should have a separate document with that text as the <h1>. In a situation where you’re only briefly touching on each subject and there wouldn’t be enough content to justify breaking it into separate pages then it would make more sense to have a document structure like this:

<h1>Wedding Photography in UK</h1>
<h2>Wedding Photography in London</h2>
<p>Content about wedding photography in London</p>
<h2>Wedding Photography in Liverpool</h2>
<p>Content about wedding photography in Liverpool</p>

Not using heading tags at all. I’ve also seen the opposite happen on websites, whereby instead of misusing the heading tags, people simply don’t use any at all. This is quite often the case when the user doesn’t understand the purpose of the heading element –  but this is an easy problem to fix. All content should be headed up with an h1 tag so adding that to the beginning of the content is a great start.


Heading Tags Provide SEO Value

Visitors of the website aren’t the only ones that benefit from headings. Search engines also scan your site for headings. Using H1-H6 tags shows them how different blocks of content are connected and stand in relation to one another. That’s also the reason why headings are usually configured to get consecutively smaller with higher numbers. Apart from that, Google will try to use the content of your headings to understand the topic of your writing better. That’s why SEO plugins such as Yoast WordPress SEO routinely check whether your keyword or phrase appears inside heading tags. The reason is simple: Search engines want you to create content that is pleasant to consume for site visitors they are sending your way. When you provide a scannable and logical structure, Google and their competitors will reward you for it.

Tips on Using Headings

  • DO use only one H1 tag per page
  • DO keep a logical heading structure
  • DO include keywords in your headings
  • DO NOT use heading tags for styling
  • DO NOT apply heading tags to entire paragraphs

Learning to use WordPress heading tags correctly is essential for every blogger or website owner. It’s part of the basics for content creation, providing both readability for human visitors and important information for search spiders.

Using header tags will display your posts and pages in a structured and organized manner and show Google and other search engines that they are dealing with high-quality content. Always think about your readers first and Google second

How do you use headings inside your content? Thoughts on the above? Please share in the comments!  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask in our SEO related Facebook group.

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