Question. I found your articles interesting and informative. One thing I didn’t see referenced was the importance of H1, H2 tags. I am reading a lot about how they are not that important. I wanted to get your thoughts.
Answer. One of the proverbial debates amongst the SEO community: do header tags truly matter for on page SEO? There are many, many ways to look at this. I am a believer in using them (I’ll explain why). But first let’s discuss factors that indicate you SHOULD use them.
Heading tags (not to be confused with the <head> HTML tag or HTTP headers) are used to present structure on the page to users. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important (1).
Since heading tags typically make text contained in them larger than normal text on the page, this is a visual cue to users that this text
is important and could help them understand something about the type of content underneath the heading text. Multiple heading
sizes used in order create a hierarchical structure for your content, making it easier for users to navigate through your document. (Page 20)
Now, here’s the rub: correlation is not causality! So just because their use correlates with success, does NOT mean that they actually influence the results. But here’s where the SEO smarty pants, go terribly wrong. What is the DOWN side to using them? ZERO, ZILCH, NADA. What is the UPSIDE to using them: a possible increase in your performance. So by all means USE header tags, appropriately as defined in the Google SEO Guide. Correlation is not causality! But
Do these things actually work? Can’t say. Do they help? Can’t say? But do they hurt: NO they do not. So I do them.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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