I see a lot of really great blogs and intelligent writers pumping out fantastic content that will never be seen by a search engine.
There are tons of reasons for this, but one mistake that I consistently see is not using headers.
Using headers is not really a make-or-break type of thing, so if you don’t use them but you have killer backlinks to your site, awesome content, and a super-fast site, I wouldn’t freak out just yet.
However in SEO, very few single tactics are make-or-break (except heavily using tactics that will get you penalized). Updating your old posts to have proper headers won’t magically place you #1 in the SERPs for all of your target keywords, but it is a great way to give your pages a little boost.
Why Use SEO Blog Headers?
If you’ve ever read my blog posts before, you probably know that I love and use the hell out of headers
Headers are awesome for:
- Breaking content up and making it more visually interesting
- Making it easier to skim, so readers will still understand your main points even if they don’t read every word
- Make it easier for search engines to understand the main points of your content
A mistake that I consistently see is bloggers using bolded text as a header.
Bolded text is not the same as headers.
While it can be eye-catching, bolded text doesn’t really tell your readers or search engines that the text is really, really important.
Real headers will be significantly larger than regular bold text, and depending on your blog settings may also feature a different font.
How to Create H2 and H3 Headers
Some blog editors have a drop down menu where you can select your header type, and others do not. That’s okay – it’s easy enough to create them in HTML (really, I have the HTML capabilities of a 6th grader, it’s not hard!)
If you are using WordPress, all you have to do is access the text editor here…
Then you find the text that you want to use as a header, and wrap it with header tags.
An H2 header will look like this:
<h2> This Is My H2 Header Text! </h2>
An H3 header will look like this:
<h3> This Is My H3 Header Text! </h3>
SEO Best Practices for Headers
Like any SEO tactics, headers can be done correctly or incorrectly. The main thing to keep in mind is the function of the headers to your visitors. You are using headers primarily for your visitors, and the search engine bots are just site visitors that are trying to understand the main points of your blog post.
- Use real headers with H2 and H3 tags, not bolded text
- Use H2 and H3 headers to draw attention to your main points
- Use H2 and H3 headers to break up your posts visually
- Include keywords in headers so that skim-readers and search engines know the really important topics of your post
- Do not stuff your headers full of keywords thinking it will improve your search engine visibility (hint: it wont)
- Use headers that match the hierarchy of important points for your post
- A main point will be marked with H2
- A sub-point of that main point will be marked with H3
- You can even use H4 headers if you have that much to say, and if using the header creates better organization and visual flow