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When a search engine is evaluating your webpage, it takes a look a the text the lies between heading tags ("H" tags) and weighs those more than text that lies outside of them. Therefore, words that are put between the H1 through H6 tags carry more defining weight than other words.
So, you should be using these tags for all your key word phrase headings... not the "b" or "strong" tags. Many website owners miss out of this little bit of search engine optimization (SEO) by using bold tags instead.
Of course, text in between bold tags carry more weight than plain text, so that tag still can help you SEO efforts.