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Due to their abuse by unethical webmasters and SEO's, weight given to heading tags is not what it could be however content between these tags is given increased weight over standard text. There are rules to follow with use of heading tags that must be adhered to. If you use heading tags irresponsibly you run risk of having your website penalized for spam even though abuse may be unintentional.
When using your heading tags try to follow these rules:
- Never use same tag twice on a single page
- Try to be concise with your wording
- Use heading tags only when appropriate. If bold text will do then go that route
- Don't use CSS to mask heading tags
Never use same tag twice on a single page. While
tags holds greatest weight of entire heading tags, its purpose is to act as primary heading of page. If you use it twice you are obviously not using it to define main topic of page. If you need to use another heading tag use
tag. After that
tag and so on. Generally I try never to use more than 2 heading tags on a page.
Try to be concise with your wording. If you have a 2 keyword phrase that you are trying to target and you make a heading that is 10 words long then your keyword phrase only makes up about 20% of total verbiage. If you have a 4-word heading on other hand you would then have a 50% density and increased priority given to keyword phrase you are targeting.
Use heading tags only when appropriate. If bold text will do then go that route. I have seen sites with heading tags all over place. If overused weight of tags themselves are reduced with decreasing content and "priority" being given to different phrases at various points in content. If you have so much great content that you feel you need to use many heading tags you should consider dividing content up into multiple pages, each with its own tag and keyword target possibilities. For most part, rather than using additional heading tags, bolding content will suffice. The sizing will be kept same as your usual text and it will stand out to reader as part of text but with added importance.
Don't use CSS to mask heading tags. This one just drives me nuts and is unnecessary. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) serve many great functions. They can be used to define how a site functions, looks and feels however they can also be used to mislead search engines and visitors alike. Each tags has a default look and feel. It is fine to use CSS to adjust this somewhat to fit how you want your site to look. What is not alright is to adjust look and feel to mislead search engines. It is a simple enough task to define in CSS that your heading should appear as regular text. Some unethical SEO's will also then place their style sheet in a folder that is hidden from search engine spiders. This is secure enough until your competitors look at cached copy of your page (and they undoubtedly will at some point) see that you have hidden heading tags and report you to search engines as spamming. It's an unnecessary risk that you don't need to take. Use your headings properly and you'll do just fine.
Next article continues with "special text".
Dave Davies is the owner of Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning. He has been optimizing and ranking websites for over three years and has a solid history of success. Dave is available to answer any questions that you may have about your website and how to get it into the top positions on the major search engines.