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Secrets to Using Keywords in Your Heading Tags

By Grant Neilson
Posted Friday, October 29, 2004

In this article I will teach you secrets of how to use h1 and h2 tags in combination with your site's keywords to boost your Google ranking. Heading tags have been used for years in HTML to improve the formatting of a particular word or sentence on a web page. Heading tags range from (bigger text, signifying more importance) to , , , and (smaller text, signifying least importance).

Headings tags are generally used to emphasize a page or paragraph heading to search engines for importance. You should stick to only and tags. If I had a normal piece of HTML code that looked like this:

Hello Today!

then the output from this would simply be some bolded text:

Hello Today!

However, if I use a tag instead, like this:

Hello Today!

then the text would now look like this:

Hello Today!

Not only is text between heading tags more visually appealing, but if worded correctly it will boost your Google ranking significantly, as Google picks up keywords between headings tags as having a higher relevance than any other text around it.

Let’s look at how to do this now.

Firstly, take a look at your web page in a web browser. Do you currently have any page or paragraph headings? If you do, what do they look like? Do they use and tags to emphasize importance, or are they simply formatted to look bigger with other formatting tags, such as ?

If your page and paragraph headings aren’t using or tags, then it’s time to get creative. Look through your pages HTML code for the text in your page or paragraph headings. Instead of surrounding your page headings with tags, replace the tag with , and the tag with . For paragraph headings, replace tags with , and tags with .

For example, here’s a page before changing the tags:

Web site promotion and marketing Welcome to my web site

About Us Welcome to our web site. We specialize in online marketing

and here’s that same page with the heading tags used to replace the font tags:

Web site promotion and marketing Welcome to my web site

About Us Welcome to our web site. We specialize in online marketing

Make these changes to every page on your web site. View one of the updated pages in your web browser. If the text between your and tags doesn’t look the best, you can use a style sheet to make it look more fancy -– without affecting how Google will rank your pages. If you’d like to learn about style sheets then take a look at these links:


Now that you have clearly defined page and paragraph heading tags, you need to optimize the actual text between the heading tags, because this is the text that Google will pick up and use as part of your sites keyword density.

The trick here is keyword density. Using your top 5 keywords / phrases, you should create heading tags for each page that relate to the title of that page. For example, if I had a page title tag that looked like this:

Web site promotion and marketing

then I would want to concentrate on including these words throughout my page enough times to produce a 10% keyword density (i.e. for every 10 words on my page, 1 of them would be a word in my page title tag).

Taking this into consideration, I might create a page heading that looks like this:

We are the web site promotion and marketing specialists!

See how I’ve used the same keywords, but in a different sentence that makes sense (i.e. conforms to proper grammar standards)? I could continue this by setting up various headings for my paragraphs with tags:

Web site promotion
Web site marketing

Once again, these paragraph headings are using the same keywords found in my title tag. Putting everything together, I would end up with a page that might look something like this:

Web site promotion and marketing We are the web site promotion and marketing specialists!

Web site promotion We are a team of Internet specialists. We have helped some of the biggest sites on the Internet to achieve search engine success. We can work with your company to product truly stunning results.

Web site marketing Developing and promoting your web site is an art. Our team employs tried and tested strategies to improve your search engine ranking and average position. We will work with you from start to scratch to define and implement a successful search engine promotion plan.

If you would like a free phone consultation with any one of our staff, then please phone us on 555-4054 between 8am and 6pm EST.

As you can see, I have taken the same keywords in the tag and applied them in a mix-and-match format to both the page heading tag and the paragraph heading tags. The keyword density created in the example web page above is a slightly higher than average 12.6% (i.e. there is 1 keyword for every 12.6 “other” words on the page).

About the Author

Grant Neilson is a search engine specialist who has spent the last 3 years researching how highly trafficked web sites get top positions on. “Google Ranking Secrets Revealed!” is Grant’s no-fluff, step-by-step guide to a top 20 ranking for your web site on Google. If you enjoyed this article then make sure you visit ( to read his entire guide and subscribe to his highly acclaimed newsletter,“Ultimate Search Engine Insider Tips!” -- a $97 value… FREE!


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