A guide to how and why you should use H1, H2, H3

What is an h-tag? H stands for heading, and H-tag (H1, H2, H3 etc) is an html element used by search engines and screen readers to understand the structure of content.

For most solutions, you can usually choose which H-tag to use in your CMS when posting content. For example, in one of ourWordPress solutions it looks like this:

Which h-tag should be used where?

H1 is the main title of the page

Only the title of the page should use H1. This is the first to be read both by search engines and aids such as screen readers. H1 should tell the user what this page is about. Google also uses H1 as a clear ranking factor to see if content is relevant to the keyword you want to rank on.

H2 is middle title

In order to clarify and separate the different sections of the content, one uses H2 as the middle title for all paragraphs under the main title (H1).

H3 is a subtitle of H2

If there is a lot of text and many paragraphs under the theme/intermediate title, it would be natural to again divide by intermediate titles to make the content more readable for the user. Then these middle titles and paragraphs will be underlying the H2 title. These middle titles should therefore be H3. If you create several sections that are split up with intermediate titles under H3 again, these should be in H4.

Don't jump from H2 to H4

Search engines and aids read as I said in chronological order. This means that if there is an H2 tag, then H4 on the next intermediate title, and then H3 again after that, then the order of the content will also be like this — which can be very confusing for the user.

Stick to H-tags in titles

Don't use a regular paragraph and style the text larger — it won't get caught up as a middle title by screen readers and crawlers. If it is a title/middle title, then an H-tag should be used. If there is a highlighted quotation, block for quotation or plain text (paragraph) should be used.

Use middle titles for more user-friendly text

Users are happy to “scan” the content before reading, and often jump directly to the section they are seeking information about. Intermediate titles make it easier for users to navigate content, while Google also finds the right content easier, and can rank an entire paragraph in search results if it hits users' searches.

Read more about the use of H-tags at uutilinspektionen here

Do you want to get started with search engine optimization? Take contact with us for advice and help with laying an SEO strategy for your website.

What can we help you with?

Sebastian Krohn
Sebastian Krohn
Agency Manager, Consulting
Oslo
sebastian@increo.no
/
988 00 306
Morten M Wikstrøm
Morten M Wikstrøm
CEO, Consulting
Trondheim
morten@increo.no
/
976 90 017

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