Last week I wrote about header elements (often referred to as header tags) for web pages in a post titled Are Header Tags Effective SEO Tools? Today I want to address the same issue with regard to blogging.
I mentioned in that previous post that the general guidelines for using the header element seem to have been ignored when it comes to blogs. This is not altogether true – in fact, it shouldn’t be true. You can follow those guidelines if you look at your blog page in its entirety.
The H1 element should only be used once on a page and should highlight your primary keyword. For blogs, this should be in the site’s (or blog’s) name. This is normally published at the top of the page.
The H2 elements should then be reserved for the title of each post. Each post generally targets at least one primary keyword or keyword phrase. This is one of the reasons why your post title should contain the primary keyword for that post.
Use of the remaining header elements, H3-H6 is up to the writer. They are ideal for highlighting secondary keywords or keyword phrases within a post. The guidelines from our previous post still apply.
In theory, each page in your blog should follow the standard format. H1 element for page title and primary keyword, H2 targeting another keyword (and for blogs, the post title) and the H3-H6 tags used for targeting secondary keyword phrases. Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world.
Where we all run into trouble with header elements and blogs is in the way these tags are formatted. Some theme designers change the formatting of the header tags to the point that using say the H3 tag (as the next logical tag in sequence) simply doesn’t look right. Some themes use these header elements for the side bar headings for example – they look good in the side bar but not within a post. These theme writers will often still insist they are SEO friendly themes.
There is debate around that you shouldn’t change the format of the header tags. However, if you know what you are doing there is no reason why you couldn’t format the header tags for your content. It is a matter of playing around with the header elements H3-H6 to see which ones look best within your posts. Even when blogging, you can follow the basic on-page principles of good web design and sound SEO principles.