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Why would you want to check your heading tags?

In HTML, heading tags like H1, H2, H3, etc are used to give certain pieces of text emphasis. In language and writing, emphasis is used to mark that something is more important than other things. It’s like saying an important point louder so that everyone can hear it because it’s that important.

And, search engines, like Google, understand that people do this. It’s natural to want to emphasize important stuff. And it’s not just with spoken language, we do it when we write too. Just check this page, some text is bigger than others because it’s more important. And it’s vital that you read it more than some of the smaller text.

Search engines, in all of their natural language wisdom, use heading tags as a form of emphasis meaning that that particular text is more important than others. And, in general, you can assume that the page is probably targeting the subject of the heading text.

This helps them decide and understand what the page is about and what search queries that the content would be relevant to.

So, it’s important to check your heading tags for relevancy – and to also have them!

While it’s not required, and Google has even said they’re not required, it helps search engines understand the page better. So why not have them? They also help the reader know what’s going on. So there really is no reason to not use them and check your H1 tags.

Why check for H1 tags specifically?

Well, in the beginning of SEO, heading tags were more important than they are now. Google’s language processor is much better at understanding a page’s meaning than it was a few years ago. They used to rely heavily on what text was placed in a H1 tag because that’s the highest priority you can give to text in HTML. So, you used to want to make sure and check H1 tags for relevancy and keywords.

It was also important to not have more than 1! This isn’t true any longer, Google has said you can have any number – even 0 H1 tags. But, it’s still good practice to not overuse them. If you’re using them a lot, that could mean that the page itself isn’t planned out enough. Maybe those H1 texts could be split into multiple pages. Or, maybe you’re using them to just make text big and look better in design.  Either way, that’s not the intended use of H1 tags so it’s best to check them and see.