How to Create a Good H1 Tag

This article will explain what an H1 tag is, how to use it correctly and why it is essential for SEO.

What is an H1 Tag?

An H1 tag is an HTML element on a website that provides the leading title for a page.

The H stands for Heading, and it helps visitors and search engines understand the primary topic of the page.

What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Mark-up Language, and it is the backbone of any webpage.

HTML elements help create the structure for the page and outline all sections to it.

Heading Tags H1 to H6

The H1 tag is the primary tag for a page; however, heading tags can be used from H1 to H6.

Using a higher number for the heading on a page notifies search engines that it is less valuable and should be given less attention.

Used correctly, heading tags help search engines to understand the structure of the page and the importance of different areas on it.

Code Example

The HTML code for an H1 tag is located within the main content on the page, e.g.:

<h1>This is an example</h1>

H1 and Title Tag Differences

Both the H1 and title tag are titles for a page; however, there are several differences between the two.

Title tags are:

  • Displayed in the search results pages.
  • Shown in a pages browser title; and
  • When a page is added to favourites/bookmarks.

H1 tags are only visible on the page.

SEO Ranking Weight

Both title and H1 tags are used as ranking factors; however, Google applies considerably more weight to the title tag of a page than the H1 tag.

From an SEO perspective, the title tag is more valuable; however, you should optimise both to give yourself the best chances.

H1 for SEO

A search engines primary task is to deliver the best answer to a user’s query.

They are constantly scouring the world wide web and indexing every page.

Search engines use multiple signals to help understand what a page is about, and the heading tags are one of the factors they use.

Heading tags are not as important as they used to be; however, they are still one of the many signals Google uses as part of their algorithm.

H1 Tag Best Practices

The following tips will help to ensure you craft your headings tags correctly.

H1 & Title Tag Correlation

The H1 tag should be relatively similar to the title tag because this will help to reinforce further the page topic. 

If there is no correlation between the two, it may confuse search engines, and they may be less inclined to display a page with inconsistencies.

One H1 Tag Per Page

You should only have one H1 tag per page; Having more may give mixed signals as to the primary topic of the page.

This rule does not apply to the other heading tags (H2, H3, etc.), and they can be used multiple times as deemed appropriate.

Visible

The H1 tag should be visible to visitors on your page, and you should not attempt to hide it by using the same colour as the background. It could be perceived as black hat SEO and may get your website penalised.

Also, do not try to secretly hide it using read more or read less elements for the same reason.

Hierarchy

The H1 tag should open the page, and as you scroll down the page, you can view the rest of the topics.

Correct: H1, H2, H3, etc

Incorrect: H6, H5, H1 etc

Unique

Every page should have a different H1 tag because if multiple pages have the same H1 tag, it may confuse search engines which page to use.

If you believe that multiple pages should have the same H1 tag, you should consider combing those pages into one.

To the Point

The H1 tag should clearly and concisely describe the topic of the page.

There is no character limit because this will be dependant on the focus keyword for the page.

However, avoid adding additional words which may dilute the primary topic.

Usage of all H Tags

It is not a requirement that you should use every H tag on a page because the amount and type of H tags required will vary depending on several factors:

  • Length of the article.
  • Type of article; and
  • The message you are trying to convey.

Conclusion

Heading tags are not the be and end-all of SEO; however, search engines use them as a ranking factor, and they should be applied correctly.

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