Part 1 of My Experiences in Learning SEO
If you’ve researched ways boost your web presence, you probably came across Search Engine Optimization (SEO). To the layman, this is the equivalent to a magical powder sprinkled on to your website that miraculously and instantly boosts it to the top of Google or Bing listings. Before I start talking about headings, let me tell you two things now:
- SEO is not a magical powder or “button” you push to enhance your listings.
- It is not instant.
This blog is part of a series that will detail my journey to learning Search Engine Optimization best practices and what it takes to be noticed online. Because I am a small business, a lot of my findings will be related to local SEO, meaning I am optimizing my site for search results around the Rome area as opposed to globally. Like some of you, I am just now beginning a long journey to learn the ever changing ways of SEO, and I want you to come along for the ride. Most importantly, I am still learning. If I ever publish anything incorrect, I will be sure to edit it and make a note in the future.
Enough Intro, Let’s Talk About Headings
Do you see that large text above me? That’s a heading. Headings are used to organize a web page for three individuals: You, your readers, and the robots that scan your site and index it in search engines. Headings are the agreed upon way to structure your web page to give it order. There are six types of headings, conveniently named H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and you guessed it, H6.
Map It Out
All right, so what does H1, H2, etc. all mean? Well these different headings puts your page in order. Take a look at this page and let’s figure it all out. The title, “Headings: A Journey In Search” has gigantic text compared to everything else, right? That’s because I am using an H1 tag on the title to show that this is the main topic of the page. Everything after this will be subtopics. Next, you see “Part 1 of My Experiences in Learning SEO,” which is a little smaller. This is my subheading, which uses an H2 tag. Under this I wrote my entire introduction which explained what I was going to write about.
Next up was the title, “Enough Intro, Let’s Talk About Headings” which is another step down in size. This H3 tag is being used to introduce what I am going to call a sub-topic. This is related to the whole story, but is only one part of it. Finally, we come to this section, “Map It Out,” which is an H4 tag. This is, I guess you could call it, a sub-sub-topic. But I think you get the gist. We could go to an H5 and H6 if we wanted, but not today.
Why They’re Relevant
In case I’m not as good at explaining as I thought I was, we’re going to figure out why these guys matter in the context of Search Engine Optimization. Well, they aren’t as important to SEO as they once were, but that’s not to say they are irrelevant. Headings are super useful places to put your keywords so that search engines know what your page, article, or post is about. For example, this post is primarily about headings. Guess where that keyword is? Scroll back to the top, I’ll wait. This series is all about SEO, so I placed that keyword in my H2. Google now sees these and has a much better idea of what the article is all about. Now, maybe this will be more likely to show up on the search engine since these words are being displayed prominently.
Wrap It Up, Already
Ok, so this is already my longest blog post (I’m not a big fan of writing a million words). So I’m going to finish now. Some people may read this and say “Hold on, that’s not the exact way I use headings! What the h*ck!? This guy is dumb!” Well, I can be kind of dumb, but I don’t think I am in this context. Using headings is not an exact science and are used in different ways by different bloggers. Most bloggers including myself don’t bother using H5 and H6 tags, and that’s perfectly fine. However it’s important to understand that no matter how someone might use these tags differently, everyone uses them to give structure to their pages. And your readers as well as google will always appreciate a little structure.
P.S. Hey laymen, I keep using the word tag. Don’t worry about that. If you use WordPress like I suggest in my old blog post, the built in editor has an option to set any text to a heading. So don’t worry about getting into the nitty gritty html code. The editor has you covered.
*This was the first part of a series on SEO. No, I don’t know how many parts it will have so don’t ask.