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Does Heading tags like <h1> and <h2> make a big differences during SEO?

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5 Answers

YES!

Use them always and in the proper way, which means:

don't pack them with keywords just for doing it. Use keywords/keyphrases as long as H1/H2 contains meaningful phrases, in other words something that a human would read and don't think it's just spam text.

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@Starx: you changed your question, you did not ask before "make a big differences", but simply if it's useful for SEO. –  Marco Demaio Oct 29 '10 at 10:28
    
.. you seem to mistaken, if you check my question. Is is not edited till now. So I haven't changed my question. –  Starx Nov 15 '10 at 7:05
    
@Starx: u r perfectly right. Sorry I got confused by another question. Anyway they are important and costs you much less effort than doing a link building campaign. –  Marco Demaio Nov 15 '10 at 9:10
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BIG difference? No. Are they are a ranking factor? Yes.

Use them properly. There should be only one h1 per page followed by h2 and h3's. Think of them almost like the table of contents for a page. If you use them right both your users and search engines will have a better understanding of what your content is about.

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The SEO game is all about making the least number of mistakes and having the most quality inbound links. With that in mind header tags aren't a huge part of the puzzle.

However, lets say for arguments sake they are 1% of how Google Ranks your page. If everyone else is exactly the same as you except they don't use header tags properly then that makes you 1% better than them. That is very over simplified but the point is to get to first place you are trying to beat others in a game where 1% can easily make the difference. Additionally, it is an easy thing to do correctly and if used properly it will increase the quality of the users experience.

So the short answer, it is a no brainer to user header tags often and properly. It makes all the difference.

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I'm going to say Yes. Not so much for you're ranking, but for your human factor. Remember you should never have more than one H1 tag per page. You can throw multiple H2's on a page for subheadings or additional content. These tags are for the most part ignored in the ranking and statical part of SEO do to their abuse and misleading use. People tend to write creative story titles that aren't necessarily related to the story. They are commonly used as what to show to the user or how to choose between content when your title or meta data doesn't really seem to match entirely.

Remember your Header tags are headers, not blocks of text content. Make them meaningful headers, people with screen readers rely on these to understand your page and skip around the content. If it's incoherent babble you're not helping anyone.

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For SEO, I think the title element will have the biggest impact, followed by the h* elements which provide the overall page structure.

The value seems reversed for the human readers, as the headers will provide the document structure and context for a live visitor.

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