Home | Academy | H1, H2, H3: what content design for your text
H1, H2, H3: how important are they for writing text in SEO optics? This question could be answered with a picture, how many times have you received texts from supposed SEO Copywriters formatted in this way?
A formatted text without heading tags is in fact an unreadable brick, hard to scroll through and difficult to understand at first scanning.
Very often in order to optimize a text from a SEO perspective we focus on Title and Description, ending up neglecting the header tags and therefore the content design as a whole. Yet H1, H2, H3 are fundamental for the architecture and the organization of the text, ending up being important for reading and therefore for the loyalty of our readers.
Tag Heading, SEO and readability
Those of us who, like me, have had experience with the “old mass media”, will remember that in order to get to the number of beats required by the layout, very often titles were inserted that introduced the subject of the specific paragraph of the article. With the passing of the years, technologies allowed writers and journalists to intervene less and less from a graphic point of view because the pagination tools became more and more flexible, more and more modifiable according to the needs of the article.
Moving from the “old mass media” to the internet meant first of all to include in the way of writing also a formatting of the texts that could be easily “scanned” at first impact. Who reads on the internet reads very quickly, according to Nielsen’s famous F-setting from left to right to scale:
In practice the first line is read definitely, the second so-so, the third maybe, the fourth probably, from the fifth on, bets are accepted.
This is simply to say that our text must be well organised, well structured and “visually” clear. The reader must immediately have an idea of the subject that will be dealt with and in what way; that in the first paragraph he will find the introduction to the subject, that then there will be paragraphs and sub-paragraphs that will deal with the various nuances. Everything is clearly structured and easily understandable at first glance. The important thing is to know how best to use the tag heading.
What they are and how they come into play H1, H2, H3
As said, when we talk about SEO we often focus mainly on Title, because a lot will depend on it if the text will position itself well on search engines; but then why spend time and energy to do H1 too? And above all (the dream of many copywriters) why can’t I make the H1 equal to the title?
The Title must contain the main keyword and possibly as far to the left as possible, while the Heading Tags are fundamental for the readability of the text. If to write the title you are a bit ‘forced to follow the strict rules of SEO, with the H1 you can give vent to your imagination.
It is in fact the actual title of the text, in the classic way of the term and not always the main keyword must be mentioned within it, provided, however, that the concept from this content is clearly expressed. What matters instead is that the H1 is as imaginative and “attention-grabbing” as possible. The advice is not to make it too long, maximum 70 characters and, in case it doesn’t contain the main keyword in a narrow sense, that at least contains the basic concept, giving the idea of the content that revolves around that keyword. Basically the H1 will have to be of quality (like the rest of the article!).
H2, H3, H4 and, in some cases, also H5 (you can go as far as H6 if the text is particularly long and articulated) serve to structure the paragraphs and sub-paragraphs, the minor sections and therefore to give the correct architecture to the article. To make the reader understand, at first glance, not only what we are talking about, but how we will deal with it and how we will deal with the subject.
H1, H2, H3 and SEO
The goal for a copywriter is to be found by the reader, so get a good ranking in Google SERPs. Not only that. Make sure that once captured the attention of our reader, he remains reading all our text and returns to our blog.
The Headings are therefore fundamental because they help the copy to build the architecture of the text and at the same time the reader to understand how the text will be structured.
By helping the reading they make our reader-user come back to read us. Just make a difference between an unformatted text and one with well organised heading tags.
How H1, H2, H3 should be inserted
The H1, as said, is the title of the article in the strict sense, so it will have to be inserted at the top. The Heading Tags are then inserted in the text in descending order depending on the organisation you want to give the text, the main paragraph or paragraphs must be titled with an H2, which within it must contain under paragraphs titled in H3 and so on. In a text of medium length (1500-2000 words) you generally never go beyond H4.
How to organise the text and how to choose H1, H2 and H3 from an SEO point of view
Fortunately in this world we are not alone and in SEO much less. In fact, several instruments come to our aid. There is a way, indeed several tools, to choose the heading tags in SEO perspective.
In addition to the classic tools that can suggest secondary keywords such as Semrush, Ubersuggest or Keyword Planner, I always quote Answer The Public, because it already offers all the questions with all the variants of adverbs and prepositions most sought after in search engines that generally represent a valuable help to address a given topic in an exhaustive way.
If for example your keyword is moisturiser, the tool offers you 26 questions
59 comparisons, 503 suggestions in alphabetical order and 20 related expressions.
For Answer The Public lovers, then, there’s another novelty represented by SeoZoom that has been enriched with a function: the prepositions, comparisons and suggestions of the tool with the cute little white bearded man and its volume
How to insert the Heading tags
Once you have established the architecture of the text, “drawn” the structure, you must insert the various headings. It all depends on the word format you have, in principle just go to “Style” and select the headings you need:
Usually there is only one H1 per text (one per web page or one per topic, below a clarification on the issue), while of H2, H3 and so on there will be as many as you consider appropriate to insert depending on the organisation of the text.
Insert H1, H2 and H3 in WordPress
Those who open a blog rely 90% on WordPress, the most used Open Source CMS on the network. Those who write directly on WP can insert the tag headings directly on the page by selecting the specific entry at the top left:
In this case it is even easier to see how Wp allows you to enter more than one H1 per text. But let’s come to the point: how many H1s can you actually insert in a text? The answer can only be one: how many are needed.
If the text has a single argument developed and articulated in several paragraphs, sections and subsections, only one will be needed. If, on the contrary, the text or the same web page has two main topics, you will need two H1s. as always it will be up to you to decide, because you are the architects of your text.
Tag Heading and positioning
Google recognises our efforts! An intelligent and accurate use of tag heading in fact, is able to achieve a good ranking because the search engine will immediately recognise the topic, structure and quality of the text.
Building a piece following a precise and tidy architecture will give the reader the possibility to follow in a simple and fast way the topic addressed, exactly as it happens to a beautiful building; if its architecture will be well organised and functional it will be more beautiful to see, more liveable and more competitive on the real estate market.
Learning to “build” the texts correctly means not only to be good architects, but above all to be in great demand on the market!
Anno 1967. Nel 1999 sono diventata giornalista professionista, ho iniziato a lavorare presso un quotidiano cartaceo, quindi per diversi quotidiani online. Sono poi passata alla comunicazione istituzionale presso la Presidenza del Consiglio al Dipartimento per gli Affari Regionali e poi al ministero per i Rapporti con il Parlamento. Oggi in ByTek sono responsabile editoriale, mi occupo dell’ottimizzazione dei testi in ottica SEO e del settore copywriting. Mi piace la vita all’aria aperta, sono educatrice scout e, avendo il cuore mezzo giallo e mezzo rosso, sono nata per soffrire.