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H1 Tags and SEO: Purpose, Best Practices and H1 Impact on SEO

What Are H1 Tags?

An h1 is an HTML tag that marks a heading on a web page. HTML translates as Hypertext Markup Language. The HTML tag is a short code to notify your web browser how to display your content.

There are six different HTML heading tags (h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6). The h1 tag is rated as the most important tag, while the h6 is least valuable. Although myriad SEO trends have gained leading significance and then faded, h1 tags have never lost their effectiveness.

Best Practices for Using H1 Tags

Best practices for creating dynamic and effective h1 tags that gain high SEO rankings for your website include the following:

  • Use One H1 Per Web Page. Create a single h1 tag for each page of your site. The ideal length for your h1 is 20 to 70 characters.
  • Describe Your Page Content. Make sure that your web page h1 reveals your page topic and content clearly and concisely. This will make it easier for Google and other search engine crawlers to extract the subject and purpose of your site. It will also enable your site visitors to grasp this information as soon as they access your site.
  • Create Dynamic and Unique H1s. Your web page h1 should be dynamic. It should be unique, describe your website topic and stand out when visitors view your site.
  • Offer Good User Experience. Create strong, well-focused and appealing h1 tags that clearly reveal the purpose of your site. This will make it easy and pleasant for your target audience and other site visitors to navigate your web pages. It will enable them to immediately grasp what your website content offers and navigate your pages.
  • Respond to User Search. Your h1 should respond to the web searcher’s purpose and need. It should tell your site visitors whether or not you offer what they are searching for.

Impact of H1 Tags on SEO Rankings

Results of Moz surveys of search ranking factors continue to reveal the high value of h1 tags. Today, Google has various methods of reading the majority of web page titles. Yet there are some very good reasons for continuing to use h1 tags as a best SEO practice.

These reasons include the following:

  1. H1 Tags Improve Accessibility. Current technology for screen reading can use h1 tags to enable site users to navigate your website content more easily. This helps your site visitors to grasp the content and meaning of your site’s visual presentation and written material. It also gives the content of your site in search returns more clarity.
  2. Google May Use the H1 in Place of Your Title Tag. Consider what may happen if Google cannot locate or read you title tag. Although this rarely happens, if it does occur, the Google web crawler may attempt to find a title in another design element of your page. This page element will most likely be an h1.
  3. H1 Headings Help Boost Site Rankings. Nearly all known studies of SEO effectiveness have shown a positive correlation between h1 use and higher SERPS rankings. Since headings are structured data, they offer clear context and definite meaning to web pages.