Get in touch

Sonder Digital

Sonder Marketing

Why Are H1 and H2 Headers Important for SEO?

It was the British cycling coach David Brailsford who first coined the term aggregated marginal gains—the idea that if you broke down the very anatomy of riding a bike, and improved each element by 1%, you would get a significant increase when you put them all together again. 

Does it work? Well, Team GB won a total of 20 Olympic gold medals between 2008 and 2016 under Brailsford’s tenure, having won just a single gold in the 76 years previously. So, yes, I think he may have been on to something.

Where are we going with this? As well as elite sport, the search for small incremental improvements is the bedrock of any good SEO strategy, and as an online business owner looking to attract more visitors to your website, they shouldn’t be overlooked.

With that in mind…let’s talk about H1 and H2 headers!

creating content

What are H1 and H2 headers?

The simplest way to think of headers on your website is like the chapter titles and chapter subtitles in a book. Their role is to help organise content and tell readers what said content is about. H1 headers are usually the main title of a page, while H2 headers act as subheadings. These headers not only make your content user-friendly but also play a vital role in SEO.

Okay, but why are they important for SEO?

Search Engine Crawling: Search engines like Google use bots to crawl and index the content on your website. H1 and H2 headers are like signposts that guide these bots through your web pages, helping them understand the particulars of each section. The clearer the structure, the easier it is for search engines to index your content effectively.

Keyword optimisation: H1 and H2 headers are prime locations for including target keywords. By integrating relevant keywords into your headers, you increase the chances of your content ranking higher in search engine results. It’s crucial, however, to integrate them naturally and avoid overstuffing, as search engines can penalise practices that seem manipulative. And no one wants that.

Improving user experience: Great user experience is a key ranking factor for search engines. Headers make your content more readable and navigable. When visitors find it easy to read and find the information they’re looking for on your page, they are likely to spend more time on your site, reducing bounce rates. This positive user behaviour signals to search engines that your site is valuable, boosting your SEO. 

Mobile-friendly content: According to the latest data, the percentage of internet traffic coming from mobile phones is a whopping 56.69%. With the increased use of mobile devices—and those figures are only going one way—making your content mobile-friendly is vital. Well-structured headers are more easily digestible on smaller screens, enhancing the mobile user experience, which is another factor search engines consider for ranking.

Social sharing and link building: Well-crafted H1 and H2 headers are more likely to be shared on social media or linked to from other websites. This not only increases your visibility but also your site’s authority, which is a key component of SEO.

A few tips to effectively use H1 and H2 headers:

Ensure your H1 header is descriptive of the page’s content and includes your primary keyword.

Use H2 headers to break down the content into manageable sections, integrating secondary keywords where relevant.

Keep headers concise and to the point. Best practice is to keep them between 50 and 60 characters.

It's generally bad practice to duplicate H1 headers across different pages on your site, so avoid doing so where possible.

How can we help?

H1 and H2 headers are an often overlooked but nonetheless valuable element of good web design, on-page content structure, and a vital tool in basic SEO strategy. By using them effectively, you can significantly improve your website’s search engine ranking, making it easier for potential customers to find you online. Remember, SEO is a constantly evolving field, and staying on top of best practices is key to online success. Why not get in touch to find out more?

Posted on November 24th 2023

Loading... Updating page...