H1 tag and SEO: optimize your web pages! (Full guide) (2024)

The h1 is an HTML tag that indicates a title on a website. HTML has six different title tags - h1, h2, etc. The h1 is considered as the most important title and the h6 is the least important.

Tags are often formatted according to their importance: we go from a very visible rendering for the h1 to a rather discreet rendering for the h6.H1 tag and SEO: optimize your web pages! (Full guide) (1)

These levels of titles are used to build a page in a hierarchical manner and therefore to inform the search engines of the titles and subtitles as well as of the general organization of the page: the h1 is therefore an essential component for a page’s referencing.

You can now check the structure of your web page, let's take this page as an example:

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On Chrome, you just have to go to the source code by going to the "view" tab, options for developers, then "source code":

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You click "Ctrl + F" on PC and on Mac "Cmd + F", a little search bar on the right, then you type "h1" and type "Enter" and Chrome will highlight the h1:

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The h1 tag is not necessarily visible on your web page, as it depends a lot on the style of your page. Very often, however, since this tag corresponds to the main subject of the page, the h1 is highlighted and is very easily identifiable "with the naked eye", as for example below:

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Why is the H1 tag important in SEO?

Google will therefore know what the main title of the page is. It can thus define the main topic of the page and know what the general theme of this page is.

The words in the h1 tag define the subject of the page for Google. It gives a strong weight to these words in its algorithm of relevance.

The 3 main criteria of the H1 tag are

  • The Keywords: Include the main keyword of the page in the h1.
  • The Size : there is no hard and fast rule, but try not to exceed 100 characters: the h1 is meant to be a title, not a paragraph. :)
  • The Uniqueness: you should only have one h1 tag per page, because each of the pages must be a specific and unique subject.

Useful recommendations to optimize your h1 tag

Since you should only use a single h1 tag on each of your pages, we recommend that you create several pages if you want to deal in detail with certain topics that are more specific than the one addressed by your current page. Above for example, Zalando will offer in detail, in the menu, “women's shoes” such as “Pumps”, “Boots,” “Sneakers”, and these shoes could be “red”, “green,” “inexpensive”. "Or" luxury ": each of these variations is an opportunity to make a very specific page.
You’re going to tell us that it represents a lot of content! Yes indeed, but addressing a specific subject in a precise manner is precisely what we are looking for, to aim for the long tail and therefore to position ourselves well on less competitive requests.

  • Write different h1s for each of your pages.
  • Use the lower levels (from h2 to h6) to structure the content.
  • Use descriptive words for the content of the page.

The h1 should describe the topic of your page and its content. It’s possible that the h1 tag is similar to your title tag. Usually the h1 tag is the title of your post or blog post. Normally, the h1 tag gives the reader an idea of the content of a web page.

User Experience

Your h1 should be the most prominent visual element on the page. You should use necessary formatting and styling elements for this tag to stand out. Nowadays, in an SEO current strategy, the user experience becomes a central subject of optimization. Indeed, the user does not necessarily discern the style (the form) and the semantic elements (the content), which makes them points of improvement that must work in synergy. Combining these two notions turns out to be a logical strategy. User experience is becoming increasingly important in SEO. Understanding how the user interacts with a page becomes a search engine ranking criterion and the h1 is one of the most important elements on a web page.

How to set it up?

If you are using a CMS, such as WordPress, for content management, the h1 will often take the title of the article by default, as for example below.

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Otherwise, it is generally enough to choose the “Title 1” in your Text editor, which will correspond to your h1 (often CMS, for the sake of simplification for the redactor, do not speak technical and therefore offer this classification which allows you to understand that an h1 is bigger and more important than an h2, itself more important than an h3...).

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Here is an example of h1-h6 structure:H1 tag and SEO: optimize your web pages! (Full guide) (8)

In this part, we will go through the techniques for detecting and correcting H1 tag errors.

The first step is to identify the H1 tags present on your website. During an audit, a crawler is used to locate all URLs and their tags.
It is also possible to use other means:

  • Using a plugin: allows you to see the tag when you are on the page.
  • By consulting the source code of the page (right click > display the source code then search for "H1")

However, these 2 solutions have a significant drawback: they allow on-the-fly consultation on a page, and not a complete listing of the whole site.

Case 1: Missing tags

Let's analyze the pages that do not contain an H1 tag.

- If there is none: so much the better, there is nothing to do
- If there are any: locate the number and type of page(s) concerned:

  • If these are pages to be de-indexed (shopping cart, etc.), verify that they are de-indexed or proceed to de-index them.
  • If these are low interest pages, like the T&Cs or the recruiting page, add a 1 tag title to be clearer, although it won't have a direct impact on your SEO.
  • If these are pages supposed to bring SEO traffic: you must quickly add a H1 tag optimized according to SEO rules.

Case 2: Duplicate tags

Let's move on to duplicate H1 tags. As a reminder, you should never have 2 duplicate H1 tags on your website, because this is either a sign of duplicate pages or of several pages targeting a single keyword, which goes against the page and the site’s SEO strategy.

- If there is none: so much the better, there is nothing to do
- If there are any: locate the number and type of page(s) concerned:

  • If it is H1 that the CMS automatically adds in all pages, such as the name of the brand or its slogan for example, this H1 must be deleted. In that case, it will also be multiple H1s (see case #5 below).
  • If these are product pages with variants (color, size, etc.): we advise you to specify in H1 the unique variant for this product. If there is no SEO interest in this variant (if nobody is looking for such a precise request) we even advise you to delete the page and redirect it to a single product page which concentrates all the "useless" variants in SEO. But it all depends on your technical / CMS architecture.
  • If these are paginated pages: you can skip, there is nothing to do.
  • If these are pages that are supposed to be different: then just edit the H1 tags to be more specific. If you have “real estate agency + city” pages, specify the city in the H1 and not just “real estate agency”.
  • If these are duplicate pages, in other words, multiple existing URLs that display exactly the same content, then this is probably a technical issue that needs to be fixed. To do so, choose the one that is meshed in the site (= receives links within the site) and do a 301 redirect from the wrong URL to the right one + remove all internal links made at the duplicate URL. Example:

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==> Here you have to redirect 301 pages with "/ fr" to pages without, or vice versa: choose the URL version that is the most meshed within the site or that brings the most traffic.
It is also necessary to remove all internal links from these duplicate pages so that Google permanently stops visiting them.

Case 3: Tags that are too long

As a reminder, the H1 tag must not exceed 70 characters. You can grow up to a hundred characters, but this is especially from a UX (User Experience) point of view that it is not pleasant.

Beyond 100, the tag becomes really long and you have to change and make it again, unless these are pages of no SEO interest (T&Cs, recruitment, etc.). In addition, it avoids being detected by anti-spam algorithms.

Case 4: Tags too short

It would be unfortunate to have short H1 tags, since this is the on-page tag that the engine sees as a second step. Sometimes, a modification of this tag is enough to gain a lot of positions.

We recommend that you go through and change all the title tags that are under 30 characters, in order to flesh them out with rich semantics for the keyword concerned.

Case 5: Multiple tags

As mentioned above, this is mostly an automatic CMS rule that adds an unnecessary H1:

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==> Remove that extra H1 tag.

Now you know how to analyze and correct your H1 tags!

Your h1 is now optimized, and that's perfect. Now let's move on to optimizing images for your SEO.

H1 tag and SEO: optimize your web pages! (Full guide) (2024)


H1 tag and SEO: optimize your web pages! (Full guide)? ›

H1 SEO tips

Include the primary keyword for your content. Avoid populating the tag with too many keywords. Ensure that your target audience can easily read the H1 tag. Use up to 70 characters in the tag length.

How do I optimize my H1 tag for SEO? ›

H1 SEO tips

Include the primary keyword for your content. Avoid populating the tag with too many keywords. Ensure that your target audience can easily read the H1 tag. Use up to 70 characters in the tag length.

What is the H1 tag for SEO? ›

The H1 tag is essentially the page title. The title tag is what you will see on search engine results pages (for example, on Google it's the large blue writing in the search results), but the H1 tag is what is visible on the page itself.

How many H1 tags should be on a page for SEO? ›

H1 vs H2 Tags

Generally speaking, you should only use one H1 tag per page. You can and should use multiple H2 tags to divide your content into sections that are easy for users to skim.

How do I optimize my website for SEO? ›

Help Google find your content
  1. Check if Google can see your page the same way a user does.
  2. Don't want a page in Google's search results?
  3. Use descriptive URLs.
  4. Group topically similar pages in directories.
  5. Reduce duplicate content.
  6. Expect your readers' search terms.
  7. Avoid distracting advertisem*nts.
  8. Link to relevant resources.

Does H1 tag affect SEO? ›

Essentially, just by having a H1 tag on your pages, you're helping your website rank better. It may not be the strongest thing you can do for search engine optimization, but H1 tags are still very important for SEO because they tell both search engines and website visitors what the content of pages will be about.

Does Google care about H1 tags? ›

Yes, H1 tags are a Google ranking factor, but they are not as important as they used to be. In the early days of SEO, people would stuff their H1 tags with keywords to rank higher in search results.

How do I use H1 H2 tags for SEO? ›

Summarize the whole article with one keyword-rich, confusion-free H1 tag. With each H2 tag, expand on the different elements of your H1. Then, to help with readability, use your H3 tags for additional segments. For optimal SEO results, stay focused and concise with each heading tag.

Where is the H1 tag on a website? ›

Most often it is the main heading on the page, the one at the top of the page. I say this because any webpage can have lots of heading peppered throughout it, but there should only be one H1. It's like a newspaper article heading; it summarises the content within via a short, descriptive sentence.

What are the keywords in H1? ›

Your h1 tag should contain your most important keywords for that page and if possible the first word or words in the h1 should be the keywords. These should also match the page title keywords and META keywords. Your h1 tag should help your reader understand what the page is about.

Is it OK to have multiple H1 tags on a page? ›

He also added that Multiple H1 tags, if the users find benefit from having it on a page, is perfectly fine.

Is it OK to have multiple H1 tags? ›

You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. There's no limit, neither upper or lower bound. Your site is going to rank perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.” Google has even published a video on this specific topic to dispel the idea that Google recommends only one H1.

What is the difference between header and h1 tag? ›

<h1> is used for indicating the main title of a web page or section, while <header> is a section of the page that contains various elements including the main title, logo, and navigation menu. <h1> is use for headings. it's part of the H Tags like h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h5.

How many h1 tags should you have? ›

The Truth About Multiple H1 Tags and SEO. Our conclusion is that while it's fine to stick with one H1 per page, multiple H1s can be used as long as they are not being overused to the point of spamming, and the H1s fit contextually within the structure of the page.

How do you optimize heading tags? ›

The first step to optimize headings and subheadings is to use a clear and consistent hierarchy and structure. This means that you should use different levels of headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to indicate the main topic, subtopics and sub-subtopics of your page.

How to use H1 H2 H3 tags for SEO? ›

The structure of H1, H2, H3 tags

Here's how Hn tags should be used: For an article or webpage, remember that the H1 title is the most important section. H2 and H3 are used to organize sub-sections, while H4, H5 and H6 are intended to provide additional information, with more details.

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