If we talk about a header on a website, the image at the top of your screen on your company’s page might flash in your mind. Or, you might wonder if it’s the navigation bar that sits on every page of your website.
While both of those kinds of headers can be important, we’re talking about the headers that serve as tags for your content. These tags are crawled by Google in its effort to better understand the text structure on your page.
The user experience is Google’s greatest concern; skimming header tags is important so Google can continue to show search results that are relevant and useful to the user.
Picture a website that has broken down the content that appears on a single page into sections. Typically, this is done with header tags and the header appears in bold font and is larger than the body font.
Header tags go from H1 to H6, with H1 tags indicating the main topic of the page. Usually H1 is reserved for the title of that webpage or blog post, while H2 is for subheadings, H3 is to break down H2 sections even further, and so on. These headers, especially H1 and H2, should include your keyword, or the word or phrase you are hoping to rank for in search results. Although Google uses this information to provide relevant results to the user, avoid filling your post or page with too much of your keyword — doing so can come across as inauthentic.
Website headers also serve as accessibility tools for individuals with visual impairments. When using a screen reader, headings are recognized as contributing to article structure and are read accordingly. Headings are also important for navigation from one section to another. Again, Google is in the business of providing a great user experience online, so if it sees that a visitor with accessibility requirements visited your website and stayed for a while, you’ll be rewarded.
Think of header tags as a way to organize and label your content. There’s no downside to putting together your website with a new header structure; instead you’ll probably benefit from a lower bounce rate and increased visitor interaction.