Do Headings Affect Your SEO Rankings?

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Do Headings Have to be Used in a Specific Way?

Heading tags are a great way to format your web pages by giving them primary headlines, separate a new idea or topic, or even easily identify important ideas.

But for years it’s been widely accepted that these headlines needed to be used in order, or at least correctly inserted on a page to be ranked higher by Google when it indexes the page.

Do Headings Affect Your SEO Rankings?

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Why How a Page Looks to a Visitor is More Important Than How It Looks To Search Engines

H1 tags and other headings are great in formatting your page for easier reading. And while that’s always been important, there are a few SEO consultants that feel how Google reads a page can be more important than how a human reads it. So formatting your headings properly (H1, H2, H3, etc) was thought to be more important than how it appears on the page.

But recently it’s become more apparent this is not as important as previously thought. SEO consultants are testing the theory that using multiple H1 tags, using tags out of order, or even NOT having any tags doesn’t affect SEO much, if at all.

  • Neal Patel : Do Headings Really Impact Search Rankings?
    • Neal ran four tests on pages to see the effect on their search rankings
      • Control Group – this group of pages were left “as is.” No changes to copy, formatting or anything.
      • Headings Group – All the pages were formatted with H1 as page title, H2 for subsections, and H3 & H4 a subsections under those.
      • Normal Text Group – No headings at all. Everything on the page was in the normal <p> paragraph text size and designation
      • Normal Text Group with Adjusted Font Sizes Group – Like the Normal Text Group all of this content was set at <p> level text. But some headings an other text had increased font sizes inline to make them appear differently.
    • Results over 3 months
      • Control Group – 2.89% increase in rankings and search traffic
      • Headings Group – 2.72% increase
      • Normal Text Group – 3.53% DECREASE in traffic
      • Normal Text with Adjustments – 2.85% increase
    • What does this show? Headings are NOT the biggest factor, but how easy the text is for HUMANS to read is. Larger text, either by using heading tags, or simple font size increases, can identify what topics or data is more important and says the text below it is there to help support the main idea.

This proves H1 tags arent really helpful for search, but to say they aren’t necessary is a mistake for people visiting your website.

Heading tags help identify page titles, content breaks, important messages, and other places in the attention that should paid attention.

Do you have questions, experiences or questions related to this topic? Head over to @Bebizzy on Twitter and send them there. I’m not a huge DM user, so just mention me in your comment. Or leave comments at, and then sit back, relax, and leave the technical stuff to us.

Do Headings Affect Your SEO Rankings?

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast