What Are H1 and H2 Tags? Defining and Using Proper Headings

Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

What Are H1 and H2 Tags? Defining and Using Proper Headings

There was quite a bit of talk on my last post, the rules for blogging, about H1 tags. It really deserves a post in itself. I also got a lot of questions from my earlier post today - Quality over Quality so I am reposting this old but still relevant post.

YouHeading, H1 tag may have heard of these, heck, may have even used them and just have no idea what they actually mean or why you are doing it. Other than making the text larger, which you could do in any html editor, it makes a huge difference on the SEO front.

When you see the term - H1 - or H1 through H6 in a tag, the H refers to "Heading". Just like the heading of your paper in elementary school, this is the subject and, well, HEADING of your blog (or article or post or page, or whatever it is you are writing.) You are essentially pointing out the importance of a sentence, keyword or phrase. Google and other search engines, look for this tag when scanning your page to determine the subject and direction of the content.

Think of it as the basic outline for your content. It's a great idea to repeat your blog title in the content and use the H1 tag at the beginning and end of the sentence. This shows the importance of the title (or subject) to the content. The search engine pulls out the sentence or words between the H1 tag as the whole topic of the content. It then classifies the content as such and your page now becomes more important to the search engines.

Other Heading Tags

The use of the other tags are like bullet points in an outline. H2 tags could be the subheading or targets you want to hit down through the content, just like I have used an H2 tag for the subheading "Other Heading Tags". Then this paragraph discusses those "other" tags. From here if I wanted to emphasize a little less but still be more than just content I would use an H3 tag and so forth. All browsers recognize these tags so it doesn't matter where you are working.

How to Incorporate Heading Tags

Depending on the platform you're using, ActiveRain, WordPress or even a Word Document, you may have the ability to highlight a phrase and click a simple heading 1, 2, 3, etc.. from the edit menu. Other platforms may only allow these tags in code (html) such as ActiveRain. In this case click the HTML at the end of the edit at the top and you will see the code of your post.

Once you are in code mode, find the sentence or phrase you want to add a heading to. At the beginning of the phrase type in this code <h1>  and at the end of your phrase type this code </h1> .The / will close the section so don't forget to add that at the end. This will work with any number heading you want.

Some other tips to using headings

  • Don't have all your headings too close together. Remember, you're laying out your post like an outline so make the headings far enough part with the text in the middle.
  • It helps to have your keywords in the headings when you can.
  • Make sure your keywords are in the post title, the H1 tag, and in any alt tag (picture descriptions) for maximum SEO effect.
  • It doesn't matter if they are capitalized or not
  • Use the H1 tag only once at the top and H2 or beyond farther down

So, do you have to do this H1 business with every blog post ever written? No. But if you want to be found, want to show up on search engines more, we better play by their rules. Blog on!

 Here are some examples of Heading tags on websites:

Fort Stewart Military Relocation

Investing in Land over Stocks

Real Estate with Rob


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Personal SEO Tim and Tammy Emineth

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Tim and Tammy Emineth have owned Personal SEO since 2004. We focus on SEO first whether it's blogging, images, website design, IDX solutions and calls to action. We operate with a Storybrand philosophy to encourage more traffic to your site, more eyes on your content and more leads to your business. Call us or email us for a free website audit.

Tim: 425-443-8372  Tammy: 425-344-0677

Comments (123)

Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

The only tags I heard about, Tammy was "skin tags" and the H-1 and H-2 and H-3, now thats the name of the three major freeways we have here.  Happy new year!

Jan 04, 2013 12:39 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks for the reminder Tammy. I forget to add tags to Active Rain posts.

Jan 04, 2013 01:36 AM
David Evans
HUD NLB Cumming GA

So confusing to get this straight. Thanks for the refreshernd Happy New New Year! ;)

Jan 04, 2013 01:40 AM
Ben Yost - 303-587-4297
First Time Home Buyer, Mortgage Rates, Pre-Approval - Denver, CO
FHA, VA, Conventional - Mortgage Loans in De

Tammy, you should follow up and write a about the proper way to write a blog post. To actually rank a post.

Using H1; H2 and H3 Bolded Heading Tags.

Also include the best way to use the keyowrd and LSI variations.

I think that would help a lot of people here!

Jan 04, 2013 01:50 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Tammy, this is valuable information! I am bookmarking this page so that I can review all the details!

Jan 04, 2013 03:44 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Tammy, always honing the blogging skills, so blessings upon you for adding another piece to the pie of Understanding How to Write a Blog. Gosh, maybe I should have made that an H1?

Of course I have bookmarked this!

Jan 04, 2013 09:14 AM
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

Headlines are a little like curb appeal on a listing. If you don't like the looks of it, you won't go there.

Jan 13, 2013 12:31 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Happy Birthday, Tammy....

Jan 14, 2013 04:46 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD
Happy Birthday and congratulations on being in the ActiveRain Member Spotlight today. 
Jan 14, 2013 04:56 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Tammy, I already commented ealier to this post so I will just take this opportunity today to wish you a very Happy Birthday!

Jan 14, 2013 09:23 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Tammy,

I remember the H tags for old static html pages.  I did not realize the importance in blogging with these.  But I have just learned something else and I will put it in practice in my next blog.

Jan 14, 2013 12:24 PM
Michele Cadogan 917-861-9166
Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229 - Brooklyn, NY
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker -

Bookmarked to reference and share with my associates- Thanks for the info regarding the proper way to use Htags...

Jan 15, 2013 11:48 PM
Nathan Bichler
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ

I hope this isn't a bad thing but I don't use H5 or H6, they are just too small

Jan 22, 2013 01:51 AM
Scott Nowling
Prudential Starck - Saint Charles, IL
Prudential Starck

Tammy, thanks for this.  Good stuff given the seeming limitations of the WYSIWYG format on AR.

Jan 30, 2013 09:33 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

I will start using the H1 tag at the top of my blog posts.  Thanks

Jul 10, 2013 02:57 AM
Barry Kessler
Pinnacle Estate Properties, Inc. - Simi Valley, CA
Barry Kessler

Thank you Tammy!

I just had a webinar and they linked us to your blog post from your older post.

I will give it a try as soon as I get my Rainmaker Blog Live!



Aug 15, 2013 04:19 AM
Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Keller Williams Land Luxury Division Specialist

I'm lost and I need to stay after class.  When can I get a tutor? 

Aug 15, 2013 01:33 PM
Pat & Steve Pribisko
Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West - Westlake, OH

Tammy, this is very helpful info!

Sep 05, 2013 12:32 AM
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Thanks Tammy.  I came searching for info on H1 tags and found your post. 

Sep 21, 2013 10:06 PM
Nikitas Kouimanis, Mr Mortgage
Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers Corp. - Westbury, NY
Call Mr Mortgage @ 516-206-0000

This is a great explanation, I have been blogging for some time now and no one ever explained them to me were I was able to get the meaning or understand H1 and  H2 tags. Thank you

Sep 29, 2013 08:31 AM