• Phone:


Header Tags, H1, H2, H3

H1 Tag More Than One On A Page, Order Of Header Tags

Keywords In Headers - How Your H1 H2 Tags Are SEO Keywords

Too often people mistake the real value of the H1 and H2 headers when designing a website.  Not only do they come with big or bolder text but used correctly they provide the natural place to put your page’s keywords and thats where Google is expecting to see what the page is about.

To use them right I always go back to my college days and think in terms of a paper and the structure that APA style provides.  Now I’m not saying the type face or the requirement to center the first level of the headers is required on a page. Rather the logic behind what should be in the header.  

I think its also worth noting that I’m a bit more strict than you probably have to be with headers but being clear is never bad for SEO.

How to Use Headers As Keywords

Consider in this article we’re discussing the H1 Tag and how many there should be as well as the order of them in your content.  It makes sense for the title to include the keywords were are after. And then it may make sense still to make the h1 header tag the title.  Now with that said how many titles do we want in the same content?  Id suggest one so I as a rule will only use the h1 header once.  To help divide up the content we can use additional sub headers.

Sub-Headers Structure Our Content

Consider this example we borrow the APA hierarchy and from elementary school we know…

Living Things (Level 1)

Plants (Level 2)

Animals (Level 2)

Invertebrates(Level 3)

Vertebrates (Level 3)

If we translate that into web design it would be

Living Things (H1)

Plants (H2)

Animals (H2)


Vertebrates (H3)

Obviously we would place all content, be it video or text, under plants if its only about plants.  The same with vertebrates content, that is then “nested” under vertebrates.  Its related to invertebrates in that they are both under animals.

Two of the Same H Level Tags 

When we have content that’s covered by the header level above it but it isn’t relevant to all of the content on the page we may want to use two of the same level.  So all content under the animals H2 Tag is about animals but not about plants and the content in vertebrates is part of the animal content but while related it isn’t the same as invertebrates.  

What Are The Keywords In This Post

With all the talk about animals and plants you might think I’d be worried that Google will place this under content concerning the animal kingdom.  If we look though at the headers we can see clearly this is about headers and keywords. 

Tools like browseo.net help us see how headers define the keywords on this site’s homepage. 

Header tags and keywords

Now its awesome I used this SEO Tool to display my headers because I already see an area that I need to change up.  Visualizations is an H3 header but the H2 header above it is unrelated “How to hire an SEO”

I’m going to change that…with that you understand the headers as H1 tags and how they are your keywords.  

Common SEO Mistakes In Web Design With Headers

I’ve seen pages that use div tags styled with CSS classes that define the text inside for use as headers.  I discourage that they look the same visually but it ignores the preference search engines give to the h1,h2 and h3 tags as keywords. 

Sometimes you need to use the right tool for the job, and while a butter knife can be a flat head screwdriver, or as I call them a minus screwdriver, an actual screwdriver works better.  It’s the same thing with the div tag being the knife and the h1 tag being the screw driver. 

How Headers Apply In SEO

If we use the same structure of headers in our webpages we have now mapped out the topics covered on the webpage (keywords) and the content that pertains to those keywords.  Often people focus on the Title or H1 header but the H2 headers are usually where the most relevant information is and this is where we want to ensure our keywords are located.  Not over doing it but in a way that is logical and readable.

Matt Cutts On Headers

Now for the questions some have had in the past we turn to Matt Cutts and his videos on if you can have more than one H1 header.  I’d not that sometimes the difference between if you can and if you should is a separate matter.

Matthew Leffler


Matthew Leffler is a freelance SEO on Upwork.com and SEOClerks.com with 20 years of technical experience and a technical education background. In those years of experience he's worked in several technical roles in informtation technology and software training. Matt has worked at Hewlett-Packard and Gateway Computers. Matthew earned his BSIT, MBA in Technology Management and MEd in Instructional Design. He holds over a dozen active technical certifications including A+, Netowrk+, Security+, Project+, is a Certified Webmaster Professional, and a HDI Help Desk Analyst.

Theme Modified For Maximum SEO Value By Matthew Leffler of Ultimate SEO
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux