Use a Proper Headings Structure

Kyle Van Deusen
July 30, 2020

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Your heading tags should follow a hierarchical order. Refrain from skipping around randomly.

A common mistake new web designers make is using the heading tags (like H1, H2, H3) primarily for styling purposes instead of maintaining a proper structure.

Of course you do have to take both things into consideration, but it’s better to restyle a proper heading tag with CSS than to start skipping around “levels” (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) of tags for aesthetics.

Search engines use heading tags to determine the structure and content of your website— and users rely on this too.

Each blog post should have just one H1 heading (though there are contrary theories on this), but can have as many H2, H3, H4, H5, or H6 titles as you need— so long as you keep them in order!

How to organize and structure your heading tags

Each heading tag carries weight, with H1 being the largest, and down from there. This means that H2’s are more important than H3’s, H3’s are more important than H4’s (and so on). A typical blog post will use H2 headings to separate complete ideas, with “nested” H3’s, H4’s, etc. within an H2 section.

It’s a little bit easier to visualize it…

Here’s a proper structure:

Proper headings structure
Proper Headings Structure

See how as the heading numbers get “higher” they all go in sequential order? That’s how you want to structure your blog posts!

When you finish a complete section you can jump back to an H2, even if you’re on an H4 or H5— just avoid skipping numbers as they go higher, like this:

Improper headings structure
Improper Headings Structure

You can see how messy this looks, and it’s just as confusing for search engines trying to understand your website content— it’s like you’re all over the place!

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