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H1 Tags vs. H2 Tags: The Real Story

In case you’re not entirely familiar with the idea, H1 and H2 tags are ones of the basic HTML elements that build every webpage.

Over the last couple of years there’s been a discussion going on regarding the importance of these tags and the proper way to use them.

In short, H1, H2, and all the way through to H6, denote section headings. They are a natural way for you – the author – to make your content more readable and user friendly.



Using headings properly has two main benefits. The first one, as we’ve mentioned, is readability. The more readable your content is, the more people will enjoy reading it. That one goes without saying.

However, there’s also the other benefit – search engine optimization.

The HTML heading elements create a simple hierarchy, where H1 is the most important element, and H6 is the least important one.

The success to proper heading usage lies in not skipping specific heading levels. For instance, if you’ve used a H4 element then make sure to use H1, H2, and H3 as well.

Here’s an example of how to use headings:

<h1>The title</h1>
<p>the body</p>
<h2>subtitle #2</h2>

The H1 element should be the only one unique on a page. In other words, use only one H1 element on any page. This is something even Google recommends.

H1 is simply the title of the document, and there should always be only one title for any document.

When it comes to H2 and other headings, you can use them as many times as you wish on a page, as long as they make sense.

Keywords And H1, H2 Headings

One of the ways you can use HTML headings to improve your SEO is to place your main keywords within these headings.

However, be careful here because if you keyword-stuff your headings, Google will notice this immediately and even lower your current score.

The secret is doing it smart. Try this approach:

  • Use your main keyword in the H1 tag. Do it naturally so it makes sense to the reader.
  • Use your side keywords in the H2 tags. Don’t repeat your main keyword. Instead, use other relevant terms that somewhat support the main keyword and the message it sends.

Editing The Headings

Editing HTML headings is a feature that WordPress provides by default. In the post editing screen, simply highlight the text you want to turn into a heading and go to the toolbar to select the formatting (image below).


Headings Are Not All That Matters

Finally, we have to realize one specific thing. Although headings can surely improve your on-page SEO, they won’t do wonders for you. Link building and other off-page methods are still where the real money is made.