All good SEO strategies have 2 parts: On-Page Strategy and Off-Page Strategy.
The former strategy is all about optimizing your pages to make sure they are easy to understand for people and search engines.
Just like many other On-Page SEO efforts, optimizing HTML headings is a minor thing that is easy to miss because it won’t bring you a ton of organic traffic on its own. And I see it almost every time I do SEO audits.
However, the sum of these little things brings you SEO Success.
So what’s the deal with these headings, and how do you optimize them?
What Is an H1 Tag?
H1s, H2s, H3s and so on are HTML heading tags used to separate content on your page into subtopics. They go from most important (H1) to least important (H6), with the size of the text generally decreasing in size with the importance.
H1 is the most important heading, and it tells users and search engines what a page is about and what they can expect to see on the page.
To create H1 heading using pure HTML code, open the tag with <h1>, place your content there and close it with </h1>. Here is an example for the page you’re on right now:
What Is H1 Tag, And Why Is It Important For SEO?
Why Are H1 Tags Important for SEO?
Even though H1 tags weren’t confirmed as a ranking factor by Google’s John Mueller:
They’re still important for search engine robots and UX.
H1 Tags Help Google Understand Your Page Better
If you’re doing SEO, your main job is to always make it easier for Google to understand your website. By creating a clear content structure like this one:
You improve the UX of your page and make it easier for everybody, including Google, to follow your page’s content. And since the algorithm won’t have to waste precious time going multiple times through your page and picking random words in an attempt to understand what keywords you want to target, your chances to rank will be much higher.
H1 Tags Improve User Experience
They help you establish the structure of the page both visually and logically.
Pages with no H1 heading are harder to digest, hence, are less likely to make people read them to the end and click the links you want them to visit.
H1 Tags Improve Accessibility of Your Pages
A clear structure is especially important for people with disabilities. Since they can’t see your page, they’ll rely on their screen readers to announce heading tags.
If your content structure is a mess, they’ll have no idea where each subtopic starts and ends
H1 vs H2 Header Tags
While you should use only one H1 HTML tag, you can and should use multiple H2 tags on your pages to separate the content into sections that are easy for users to skim.
You should always include only your main keyword in H1, but you can include related terms in your H2 tags. This can be useful both for service pages and blog posts, as many keywords have similar terms with too low a search volume to create separate pages for them.
You can get these keywords from the most popular research tools: Ahres, Semrush and Moz.
H1 Tag Best Practices
Here are 6 quick rules to make sure your H1 is helping your search rankings and not killing them:
#1. Use Only One H1 Per Page
Since you should target only one main keyword and topic per page, you should have only one H1 heading.
It gives your page a clear hierarchy and makes it easier to read.
#2. Make Sure Every Page Has an H1
All pages that you want to be indexed should have an H1 tag.
This also applies to blog posts and category pages for e-commerce stores.
You can check which pages on your website are missing an H1 tag by running a free audit with Screaming Frog.
#3. Include Your Target Keyword
And since H1 is the heading that defines what your web page or post is about, it makes sense to include the primary keyword you’re trying to rank for in your H1 header tag.
#4. Keep H1 Tags Under 60 Characters
Don’t try and stuff your intro paragraph into H1. Your heading should be concise and give a clear understanding of what the page is about.
The best practice is to keep your H1s between 50 and 60 characters, just like your page titles.
#5. Make Your H1 Similar to Your Page Title Tag
Meta title tag and meta description tag are what people see when they get to search engine results pages (SERPs):
They also appear at the top of a web browser tab:
Google understands that people might want to manipulate their rankings by “promising” people something they’re looking for in a page title and then showing different content on the page. That’s why they now rewrite meta titles that aren’t similar to H1 tags and meta descriptions that are too long or don’t represent the content correctly.
To keep some control of your website’s appearance in search results, follow Google’s guidelines and keep your H1s similar to your post title tags.
#6. Make Your H1 Stand Out
Unless your theme already has appropriate styling, you should spend some time and make it visually appealing.
Here are some examples of well-done H1 tags:
Here are some ideas for your own H1 styling:
- It should have the largest font size on a page.
- It must be blod.
- It can have multiple colours. Unless, of course, you have an image or illustration on a background.
Adding H1 tags in WordPress
If your WordPress website is built on a theme, chances are H1 headings are already coded into the template and are the same as your page name in WordPress.
If this is the case for you and you want to change their placement, you will have to get into the theme files and update it there.
If you have a custom-built website or your theme doesn’t display H1 headings by default, here’s how you can add them:
To add it using a Classic Editor, select the words you want to use as H1 and select the “Heading 1” option from the toggle in the top-left corner.
Guttenberg has a similar workflow.
Select the block of text that you want to make an H1 heading
After the heading is applied, you can select it to be H1, H2 or any other level.
In Elementor, it’s a bit different because it’s a more visual editor. You’ll need to drag the “Heading” element to a container where you want it to be and then select the heading level.
I’ll show you how to do it in a “Back-end editor” because “Front-End Editor” looks very similar to Elementor.
All you need to do is to add a “Custom Heading” element to your container
And then select H1 in “Element Tag.”
Now you know that H1 headings should be on each page because they help your SEO by describing what the page is about, giving it a clear structure and improving its accessibility who have to use screen readers.
If you’re trying to do Search engine optimization yourself and find it extremely confusing, contact us for help! We will provide you with a free SEO audit and assessment of your current strategy, as well as give you tips on how to improve it so you can grow your search traffic, appear higher in search results and get free leads.
H1 tag is a main heading in SEO that describes what the page or blog post is about.
H1 is a heading that has the main keyword and describes what the page is about, while H2 is a heading that usually has related terms and breaks down subtopics on a page.
H1 tag is the main heading on a page. It tells people and search engines what the page is about.
Yes, you need H1 tags for SEO because they make it easier for search engines to understand what your pages are about. Pages without H1 tags will have a much harder time ranking.