How important are using <h> tags – and more specifically multiple <h> tags, such as using <h1>, <h2>, <h3> and more – on a page when considering it from an SEO point of view? What about the benefits to site visitors?
The question came up specifically about the use of <h> tags and whether they should be used throughout the content or just as a heading to the page content. While it is natural for some shorter pages to have one or two <h> tags, longer pages could definitely benefit from more <h> tags. And it is not just from an SEO perspective.
John Mueller said that <h> tags can help Google tell which parts of content of together. We know Google uses <h> tags to better understand context, such as “which pieces of text belong together”, so this would definitely help Google for rankings as well as snippets in the search results.
So in general, I think it makes sense to use semantic markup for different heading levels to better break up your content and make it a little bit easier to understand. Sometimes this helps search engines to better understand which pieces of text belong together, sometimes it also helps users to understand this a little bit better. For example, if they’re using a screen reader, then it might be a little bit more obvious which parts belong to the same section. So from that point of view, I recommend keeping those headings.
Then he continues into the ranking specifics of <h> tags. He does refer specifically to it being a ranking factor.
I don’t expect to see a big change in rankings with pages like this where you have different headings on a page. But it does help us a little bit to kind of understand things a little bit better. So if you haven’t been using these headings properly, it’s like don’t panic.
If you have been using them properly, I would definitely keep the there. And it’s something kind of, I don’t know, like a really small and soft factor when it comes to understanding pages a bit better.
Mueller also recently commented on <h> tags and how the order of tags influences rankings.
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