When you visit a Web site, often the first thing you notice is the header. In this article, I talk about what the term header means and its relevance to SEO. I also discuss why it helps optimize a website.

What are headers?

The header is the top portion of your Web site. The content or information in a header will usually be reflected on all pages of the website. This allows the visitor to see at a glance at all times where all the information is, where to find it and what other information they can find. The content that appears as subtext in the header is very relevant to your SEO. (1)

After all, this is where the topics that can be found on your website are bundled. When it is uncluttered for the visitor, it affects the bounce rate. This is the percentage that indicates how many visitors leave the page relative to the number of visitors who enter the site.

Note that header can mean two things. The top of a page (which is actually a banner) and the headers in a text (the intermediate headings).

The components of headers and the priority on the SEO of these

Header tags, such as H1, H2, H3, etc., help search engines understand the structure and content of your web page. They also contribute to the usability of your site. Here is a table showing the specific impact of each type of header tag and its priority for SEO:

Header tagImpact on SEOPriority for SEO
H1The H1 tag is considered the title of your page and indicates what the content is about. It should contain your focus keyword. It has a strong influence on ranking.(2)High
H2H2 tags are used to indicate different sections within your content. They help search engines understand the topic of each section of your content. This can help with ranking, especially if they contain relevant keywords.(3)High
H3-H6These are used for subsections within H2 sections. They have a less direct impact on SEO than H1 and H2, but can still contribute to a better understanding of content and a better user experience.Medium
The impact of headers on SEO.

It’s important to remember that while header tags contribute to SEO, the most important thing is to use them in a way that makes sense for your content and is useful to your readers. Overusing keywords or forcing keywords into your headers where they don’t naturally fit can do more harm than good.

What is the importance of a header?

The header is extremely important for website usability and design. It is the first thing a searcher sees on your website. It is the visitor’s first impression of you, as a business owner.

How does this affect the customer experience? A header should provide information and indicate site structure. This has a positive effect on the usability of your website. In addition, the structure can cause interest to be generated in other topics. Google tracks how much time a visitor spends on the web page. When website usability is strong, the number of minutes spent on the site increases. This ultimately leads to generating more organic traffic.

How do I subdivide the headers?

Within an SEO campaign, using the right headers is a core component of the journey. I use fixed rules for using the correct order of headers so that Google can also make sense of the semantics of the page.

The H1 is the headline of the article. This is also where I always try to incorporate the main topic that the entire page is about.

I use the H2 as a header when I want to address a new topic within the same page.

The H3 says something about the H2. The H4 says something about the H3. I use the H5 for intermediate headings that don’t actually matter that much to the main topic of the page.

If you follow these rules, you can format an entire page in the correct semantics. So that it is easy to read for both the visitor and Google (this is also what SEO specialists often mean by write for the visitor, optimize for Google).

Conclusion: overview and usability is positive for your SEO

The header is your business card. This greatly affects the usability of your website. By using header tags, you create better quality text that is to the point. Good texts, lead to a longer time the visitor spends on your website. A header is a great tool to improve the user experience of your website. Also, a good structure of your header ensures a higher ranking in Google. This is how you optimize SEO!

Conclusion: headers and SEO

HTML code is the foundation of your website, and thus hugely important for its findability. Meta tags, title tags and heading structure help you put together error-free HTML code. HTML code determines the structure and layout of your Web site. If you want a high rating from Google, it is important to put good effort into the HTML code. Not only do code elements promote position, content is also of great importance. Meta tags are created based on the text on the website. The less text, the fewer keywords. The fewer keywords, the worse you can be found within Google.


  1. Headings and titles. (s.d.-c). Google For Developers. https://developers.google.com/style/headings
  2. Influencing Title Links in Google Search | Google Search Central | Documentation | Google for Developers. (s.d.-c). Google For Developers. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/title-link#how-title-links-in-google-search-are-created
  3. Headings and titles. (s.d.-d). Google For Developers. https://developers.google.com/style/headings#example-headings

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Header?

The header is located in the upper part of your site. You will see the information contained herein on all pages. Very convenient for the visitor because it allows him or her to see at a glance where he or she can find the desired but also additional information.

What is the impact of Header on SEO?

The header has a major impact on the usability of your site. By using good and relevant header tags, you ensure relevant and quality content. Needless to say, this will greatly appeal to visitors. It also provides you with a good structure. Google will reward all these aspects with a higher ranking.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 29 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 29 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.