<h1>Use Your Head – A guide to structuring your site</h1>

Do you know how to use header tags?

Organizing on-page content can be a headache. You know what they say: two head[er]s are better than one – so what about using six? Each header tag has its own purpose, but how do you really know when to use what?

<h2>Headers in WordPress</h2>

WordPress headers are a bit different than just writing HTML. In any given text editor, you’ll notice a dropdown with Paragraph, Header 1, Header 2, etc. These correspond to the HTML tags, <p>, <h1>, <h2>, etc. When talking about these WordPress headers, we are really talking about the HTML tags.

<h2>Heading in the right direction</h2>

Your tags should follow a certain structure. You wouldn’t want to follow an <h1> with an <h3>, for instance.  Your <h1> is the lead focus of the underlying content, and you should only have one <h1> per page. This should be the title of your work. If you’re writing an article on <h1>Types of Cookies</h1>, you’d want to follow it with <h2>Chocolate Chip</h2> or <h2>Macadamia Nut</h2> rather than skipping to <h3>Ingredients</h3> immediately. Think of it like a bulleted list:

  • Here we have the <h1> tag, or the focus of your content.
    • We can introduce some related information here, under your <h2> tag.
      • And here we have the <h3> content, which flushes out the <h2>.
    • Don’t be afraid to go back and explore another <h2>
      • … and then give it some substance with another underlying <h3>
      • Got another topic for an <h3>? No problem!


For Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes, you’ll only need to look at the first three header tags. Although the structure of header tags doesn’t directly impact your SEO efforts, it will help you structure your content in such a way that it’s more likely to be read by humans and captured by indexing robots. Google Spiders crawl your headers with purpose, looking for the most important text and key-phrases on each page. Quality content which lines up with your <h1> will be quickly accessed by the indexing entity and may even make it’s way onto a Search Engine Response Page. Your <h1> should contain the keyword or key-phrase for that grouping of text. SEO is changing, so like-words and phrases get the same attention as the keyword or key-phrase itself: If you’re searching for “lake,” you’ll also get hits for “boat” and “fishing.” Structuring your content the same way will help those spiders discover your quality work. If you’re shaky on using header tags, tools like Yoast SEO can help you identify your keyword/phrase and grade your content based on SEO standards. Although tags for <h4> to <h6> exist, they serve little purpose. If you’re really into organizing your content, have at it!

<h2>User Experience<h2>

Header tags are also useful for human readers. If you’ve ever skimmed an article looking for some specific information, you understand the importance of headers. They let you skip the boring introductory information and dive right into the substance you care about. I’m not going to read a whole article on baking a chicken when I just want to know the internal cooked temperature. Without headers, your text may just be a rambling wall of words. Humans don’t like to read – make it easy for your readers. Even further, those with visual impairment who use screen readers will be able to enjoy your content. Those screen readers can identify your header tags and read them out loud accordingly. Tag, you’re it! Go use some tags! Need some help with your site content or blogging? Content structure got you scatter-brained? Roundpeg offers content and strategy services for startups and small businesses. Hopefully this blog inspired some questions – give us a call at (317) 569-1396 to start the conversation.