Jul 04

Is an H2 Tag important for Google rankings?

Seeing those denotations of <h> and <h> on a site might not always seem intriguing, especially to someone who doesn’t know much about code and anyone who is somewhat new to the world of web development. These two concepts are relatively simple to understand and make up an essential part of the content that people tend to see on a web browser or a page.

H2: A Glimpse

If you have ever looked at any blog post or some form of content on a site, you may have realised that the content usually starts out with a header. This may constitute a topic of a page or even something that gives the reader a slight insight into whats in store for them. For something like a video or an audio clip, the name itself sometimes serves as the header.

Headers establish relevancy. Let’s take, for instance, two identical articles that talk about the rise of self-driving cars in America. The first header is one which is bold, catchy and something which gives the user a brief look into what the content might be about. The second header, on the other hand, has a bunch of technical words that most people don’t know about unless they are in the field of automotive engineering themselves. These technicalities can sometimes be too much for the reader to take in and may result in them losing interest even before they read the first two lines of the articles.

Headers are incredibly important, not just to peak interest in the subject matter at hand, but also to ensure that the article is easily found by those looking for it. Going back to the example of the article on self-driving cars, if a person wants to find out more information about this new concept, an article titled ‘Everything you need to know about Self Driving Cars’ is going to come up when they simply search the word ‘self-driving cars.’ However, if the article’s title says ‘Fossil Fuel Depletion May Result In The Improvement And Emergence Of Automated Vehicular Machines’ it wouldn’t come up in the search unless it was highly optimised to do so. Even if it were to come up, the header needs to hold the interest of the subject matter, which is not always something that happens when one is trying to find some content of a specific nature.

The h1 tag on the page is the most critical text within the article or content page. When a web browser reads something with this tag, it automatically assumes that this is the most important text within the section, unless this information is modified in some way to show another variable that stands as the header. With the average internet user spending less than 15 seconds on a page figuring out what the article is really about, there is a lot that needs to be done to ensure you grab the user’s attention as early as possible.

Header tags example
H2: Succeeding The Title

While the H1 tag within an article or piece of content may be one of the most important, many don’t realize what a significant role the second line, or H2 tag plays. The H2 tag is usually the line that appears below the header or H1 tag. It generally reads like a small notation or description about what is in store on the piece that readers are about to read. These tags are also incredibly important because they serve the purpose of giving the reader a slight glimpse of what they could potentially get when they are reading the article in front of them. It serves as an additional attention grabber that can help keep the reader on the page for a longer time, compared the time they normally would have.

In technical terms, having an H2 tag on a page denotes that the text within this header is essential, but only to a certain extent. 

Credit XKCD

There are of course a few things to keep in mind when writing down text that would come under the H2 tags of a page. One of the biggest problems that content creators face is trying to come up with a subtext is figuring out what needs to be on there. For one, the text needs to be something that is interesting and eye-catching. Not everyone wants to read through a wall of text to be able to gain the information that they need, and sometimes, this small line can make or break their decision of going further on into the article. This subline generally needs to be in conjunction with the header, but also give the reader a small glimpse into what they can potentially see in this article. Subheaders that tend to be too vague, or which don’t follow any structured format usually end up derailing from the topic, and in turn, losing the interest of the readers who should be able to gain information from these sources.

H1 and H2 For SEO

One of the biggest reasons why content creators stress on getting their headings right is because of the search optimisation that comes out as a result of good H1 and H2 tags. These tags, more often than not, contain the keyword that the text is usually about. This means that if a person were to search for just this one keyword, they would most likely be able to find an article about what they were looking for.

Even though there has not been much analysis and research as to whether or not headers do genuinely make a difference to the visibility of a page, general practices indicate that it does. Google, for instance, uses the words from the headers and incorporates it into the algorithm to be able to give the page as a result when a person searches for a word associated with it. Google has some tools that supplement this, and which can provide content creators with information through which they can optimise their <h> and <h> tags on their page. Google Analytics is one tool that can be used effectively to denote whether or not a header is working as intended, and if it can provide people with the right information if they search for it. Using this, content creators can quickly determine whether or not their tags are effective as they intend them to be.

Incorporation of H1 and H2 tags

While incorporating these tags is an absolute must for any content online, there are a certain amount of intricacies that must be paid attention to when trying to put together an effective site that responds well to SEO. Some of these nuances are as follows.

One Page, One Header

Since the tag most commonly functions as the header of a page or an article, the general rule of thumb is that this should be singular. More than one header on a page is not only confusing to the readers, but to the system as well. Because of the manner in which SEO works, a browser would only be able to read one header at a time. If two headers are working side by side on a page, the likelihood of the browser taking on the wrong header for search engine optimisation is high. This can result in incorrect results being presented to people who might be looking for content that is similar to the ones that are available on your page.

Limit Your Sub-headers

Sub Headers or the <h> tags don’t always need to be singular. More often than not, sites tend to incorporate two or three headers into their page. This helps the site gain the attention of people on a much higher level, especially if both the headers are intended to denote two separate content pieces. However, a page may face a certain amount of problems if there are too many headers on the page, or if there are too many things that the page tries to divulge into. Usually, using not more than two <h> tags on the page is the most ideal since it minimises the possibility of the browser gaining wrong information. Limiting the number of subheaders that are prevalent on the page is an excellent way to ensure that the search engine optimisation for the site is done in the most efficient manner, and in a way which works for the benefit of the readers and the site as well.

Seek Professional Assistance

Seeking the help of an SEO agency or forming some form of checklist to be able to determine the needs of your page or article is one of the best ways to improve the overall accessibility while still staying true to what the page has to offer. Optimizing your page to yield the best results and always show up when someone searches for a topic related to the content that you have is always advised for any site, blog, or content that needs a specific audience. This form of advertising and marketing has proven to be an incredibly useful tool and stands as something that can help reach the target audience in a much more streamlined and efficient manner. Incorporating search engine optimisation is never a bad thing, and helps reach the viewers who could benefit from what you have to put out and who would be interested in the content that you have to offer.

 

About The Author

Ajay Chavda is the co-founder of Weboptimizers, an SEO agency in Melbourne and has been involved with SEO for over 15 years. Between the digital properties and security forums he has managed, his articles have been read by approximately 50 million unique visitors.

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