Newspapers use headlines as a way of drawing attention and summarizing the smaller print that follows. We’re going to talk a little bit about header tags or “H tags” and how to use them to help your website. In the early days of the Internet, there were no fancy ways of adding fonts, animating text, or changing text size. Instead, special code was used to indicate which headers or subheaders were most important.


“H” tags are a great way to let Google know what your page is about and can greatly help or hurt your page.

The H1 tag should be close to the top of the page so Google can categorize what the page is about and file it correctly. Below that, you can use H2, H3, H4, etc. for subcategories. Each page should have an H1 tag stating what that page will be about. As a rule of thumb, it is discouraged to have more than one H1 tag on a page. Here’s an easy analogy if you’re struggling with the idea. H1 tags are like continents on a world atlas, H2 tags like countries, H3 tags like states/provinces, and so on.

<H1> North America

<H2> United States

<H3> New York

<H4> Manhattan Tourism

<P> Times Square is a popular tourist destination


How H Tags Affect SEO

When Google indexes the page, it will note that ”North” and “America” are the most important words on the page, followed by “United” and “States”, followed by “New York”, and so on. If you wanted to improve your ranking for “Times Square”, you would place it in the H1 tag.  H2 tags will also help your SEO for those words, but significantly less so than your H1 tag.


How to Use H Tags

If you want to use H tags on your website, they are very simple to implement. Place the code “<h1>” before the text that you want to designate as a header, and the code “</h1>” at the end of the text. This code is the same for all of the header tags, so simply change the number according to the header you want to use. For instance, the HTML for the header of this section looks like this:



  • <h > tags are used to denote text size and importance, <h1> being the most important.
  • Use your ranking SEO keywords in your <h1> tag.
  • Use one <h1> tag per page, but don’t make the entire page in <h1>.  (Besides, this hasn’t worked since the early 90’s.)

Mike is a former SEO Manager at Boostability and has been in the online marketing industry since 2012. He has extensive experience with SEO, email marketing and link building campaigns for in-house and agency teams around the country.