People come to your site because they believe you have the answers to their most pressing question in the moment. This is why writing to rank higher in Google is backwards thinking.The average consumer's attention span is eight seconds- one second less than that of a goldfish. (B2B Marketing Insider) It's up to you to catch and carry their attention throughout your content from the very beginning. Your content marketing strategy should focus on helping people find the right answers first by positioning your content for the means (search engines) which people use to search.
You may write really helpful content, even prose-like content that serves, delights, and inspires readers to want more. However, if you don't order your content correctly, search engines like Google and Yahoo won't know how to catalogue your content for the right search engine results. This is where the proper heading tags can serve both your content, and ultimately, your readers well.
Content marketing relies on heading tags, or h-tags as they're sometimes called, to order your content. The h-tag number system starts with h1 as the most important header (heading 1) and goes up in number as your headings and sub-headings are used throughout your content (ex: h1, h2, h3, etc.).
Heading tags fit inside your CSS (cascading style sheet) as part of the styling layout by coders to present your content to both readers and search engines. H1 is your most important subheading after your main headline. It's designed to be the best support for your headline's main idea.
Some SEO 'experts' used to promote simply throwing your most important content under an h1 tag. However, people spammed that concept to death and Google wised up to those lazy tactics. Search engines now factor your content's total value over the actual formatting of the content.
Spoiler alert: the type of heading tags you use doesn't have any significant effect on your search engine rankings. (Quora) Your heading tags are merely stylistic, albeit important for one big reason I'm about to tell you, but they're ultimately only stylistic in nature. It used to matter whether you skipped an h-tag (ex: going from h1 to h3), but more recent changes in search engine algorithms place more emphasis on the content itself instead of its headings or sub-headings.
Heading tags order your content for more concise communication. The most important principle to remember is that crappy content that looks pretty is still crappy content. Invest in great content writing that's formatted in easy-to-read, search engine-friendly outlines. Focus on the content that fills the spaces between helpful heading tags. That will serve your readers well, answer their questions, and position you as an industry expert for prospective clients.