Hello Everyone! As you may or may not remember during that dastardly thing I call a day job, I am a Lead Web Developer at a Chicago Web Design company called Orbit Media Studios. Megan has been after me for ages to actually share some of that knowledge, so here I am. Sharing away.

Why?

So you want your blog to rank better in Search Engines? This is commonly called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Having an SEO site means that new viewers are more likely to stumble upon your site while just browsing the internet. There’s quite a few ways to go about this, be it through appropriate keywords used,  or making sure to submit (and have) and sitemap for Google, and optimizing your site. These are just a few, but one of the most overlooked ones is using Header tags appropriately. Using h1-h6 tags is an important factor in your SEO ranking. The higher you’re ranking, the more likely people are to find your site searching with Google, Bing, or other Search Engines.

(On a side note: Notice above how I specifically said ‘Chicago Web Design’ when referencing the company I work for above. This is a key phrase the company tries to work for, and in fact if you search for that in Google, Orbit usually comes up first. A book blogging site might try to always use the phrase ‘Young Adult Book Reviews’. You want to use something people are really looking for, but also something you can use a lot without it sounding forced.)

Who needs them?

You’ll want to use header tags to break up content for your readers. Since the average viewer skim reads and spends less than a minute on a page, breaking your content up into more easily read and eye-catching chunks will help get more of your information across. What good is writing that really excellent book review if someone doesn’t actually learn anything from it? H1-H6 tags are also weighed more heavily to Google than just regular body text of a post, especially the h1 tag.

 What Should I (not) be doing?

  • Do use h1-h6 to break up your content as needed.
  • Do NOT reuse the H1 tag multiple times on a page. While you can go crazy with the h2-h6, reusing the h1 tag can negatively affect your SEO ranking.
  • Do use the h1-h6 tags in order. While you can go from h2, to h3, and back to an h2, try not to skip straight from h2 to h5.
  • Do view your page with CSS disabled. Imagine this is what Google would “see” when it views your site. (While you’re at it, keep in mind that this is also how a screen reader would read your site.)
  • Do use a keyword in your h1 tag, do NOT abuse this. If you want people to find your review of Iron Knight, your h1 tag should show this. The keywords used in a h1 tag have more weight SEO-wise than keywords in your content. That doesn’t mean you should say Iron Knight in every heading tag however, as this would actually negatively effect your score.

That’s all folks!