What are H1 Tags & How are They Used?

The H1 tag, for lack of a better description, is important; really important. In fact, if you were to rank from 1 to 10 how important having a title is for your page, my guess is your answer would be somewhere around 10ish.

Just think of an H1 tag as a kind of title in this regard: its big, its eye-catching, and the most important tag of your website (yes, there’s more than one tag). In a nutshell, the H1 tag is one of the six HTML tags that serve to create the overall structure of your web page. The “h” stands for “header” and the number (1 to 6) indicates where the content is within the page structure. The main purpose of a header tag is to tell the browser in what way it is displaying specific pieces of content; in this regard, these tags provide an outline for search engines, so that it can evaluate the relevancy of your content when suggesting appropriate content for its users.

Therefore, make sure to clearly outline what your page is about in the H1 tag, as it will be the first thing that your audience sees when entering your page. Talk about first impressions. In this regard, H1 tags are there to inform the reader what your article is about: its main theme, basically. So, in this regard, the rest of your article must march lock-step with the concept of your H1 tag, because if it doesn’t, well I would call that false advertising (plus, for SEO reasons, it’s highly not recommended).

There are a variety of different kinds of H1 tags out there. Some websites may create very long tags, and write them as complete sentences. Other sites may limit their H1 to a word or two, making it so simple that it fits within the width of the page easily. An important technique is to include search heavy keywords within your H1 tag , as the tag is among the variety of factors that search engine crawlers check in order to provide its users with relevant content. So, if you’re writing a page about computer accessories, it would make perfect sense for the page’s H1 tag to utilize keywords related to the topic, but choose your keywords wisely, as you only have a limited amount of space and can’t include all the juicy ones in a single H1 heading. However, if you do so in such a way that blatantly engages in what SEO calls “keyword stuffing”, then you will most likely incur a penalty from the search engine. Therefore, I’d recommend utilizing only the best (and only the most relevant) keywords for your main tag. Indeed, your H1 tag can prove to be a valuable resource for your SEO success with website trying to outperform its competition. However, you should only utilize keywords that directly relate to what your page is about.


The Benefits of H1 Tags and How They are Used

The H1 tag is, as the name suggests, the first. It’s the main header tag of a web page and you only use it once per page. It could be the title of your page, but at the very least it should clearly indicate the topic. If the text inside the h1 tag is the most important information on the page, then the h6 tag is the least important. Traditionally, headers sizes are based on the way they are formatted: with the H1 tag being the largest and the H6 the smallest, with the rest sized somewhere in between.

When a search engine crawls your page, it will be able to evaluate the relevance of the content within the header tags, returning results that fit a user’s query. Despite the fact that Google seems to be able to figure out the relevancy of a page one way or another, there are still several reasons to stick with utilizing your H1 as an important SEO element:

  1. Properly Categorizing Your Content

In some cases, Google cannot properly find or process your page title (different from your H1 tag). In this case, Google’s crawlers will automatically look for the next best thing: your H1 tag. In this case, Google will evaluate your H1 for relevancy (among other factors) and decide where among the search rank your webpage will be placed.

  1. Higher Search Rankings

SEO correlation studies have shown that there is a relation between higher rankings and the use of headings on web pages. To be clear, there is no evidence that headings are a factor in determining Google search rankings. However, like other structured data, headings can provide proper context and meaning to web pages. Therefore, it is highly recommended you take the following steps when writing your article:

  • Organize your content with structured titles – ideally H1, H2s, H3s, etc.
  • Use a larger font for the heading at the top of your content. In other words, make it easy for both Google and your readers to understand what your content refers to.

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