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H1 tag: optimize your pages for SEO

All your blog posts and all the pages of your site have a title, in web language (HTML). These titles are materialized by a tag called the H1 tag .

The H1 title of your web page content is one of the elements that will help Google rank your pages in its index. When crawlers like Googlebot crawl your website, they record your page information. Once the crawl is complete, Google robots send this information for indexing. And it is the H1 tag that will therefore indicate the main subject of your content to Google algorithms, which will then be able to classify your page URL on the right theme.

The consequences on your visibility on search engines are mathematical:

  • If your H1 is poorly optimized, your page will not rank on the right topic;
  • If you are not classified in the right category, your page URL will not appear in response to queries from your target audience;
  • Your content production will have been for nothing!

H1 tag SEO
H1 tag SEO

Even if the H1 is not the only element that will allow Google to identify the subject of your web content, it remains an essential ranking factor that you should not neglect!

This article lists in a few steps everything you need to know about the H1 tag in order to optimize your pages for SEO:

The H1 beacon

The <h1> title is the most important and visible on your page. It is for this reason that it is associated with the main title. It is the first to appear.

Because of its importance, it is recommended to insert a keyword there, because Google will give it more importance.

Regarding the number of <h1> to use in a web page or a blog post, the question is debated. John Mueller, webmaster trends analyst at Google, tweeted in 2017 that this number depends, making it clear that there are no rules about it.

We advise you to insert a single <h1> per page. This practice has become a standard and you will notice that in many examples of HTML markup, the <h1> appears only once.

How to optimize your H1 tag?

To improve your natural referencing, the H1 tag of your editorial title must meet these criteria:

  • Be doubly unique: although there are no predefined rules, it is preferable to put only one H1 attribute per page. One page = one topic. The same goes for its content: write an original title to avoid duplicate content;
  • Your main keyword must absolutely be present in your H1 since it is he who will define the subject of your content;
  • Avoid lengthy editorial titles and follow Google's advice, which recommends a length of between 5 and 8 words, or around 70 characters;
  • Neither too long nor too short. A title less than 30 characters is not good for your SEO. Try to flesh out your title with a rich semantic field.

The importance of your H1 for the user experience

Never dissociate user experience and SEO optimization: the satisfaction of Internet users is an essential positioning criterion for Google.

Write an attractive and explicit title tag. Your reader must immediately understand what the subject is and your title must make him want to continue reading.

Other SEO tags

How many tags to use?

You are completely free as to how many times you use Hn tags. You can insert them all, or none.

Obviously, for the sake of readability, we advise you to include a few tags to give your text a minimum of structure, especially when it consists of several parts.

You can also have multiple <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, etc.

Most of the time the <h1>, <h2> and <h3> tags will be sufficient. Those from <h4> to <h6> are rarely used.

The h2 and h3 tags

The <h2> tag is used for the subtitles of an article and allows you to highlight the different sections of your page.

Do not abuse the <h2> tags, they must structure your text without weighing it down.

This tag is also taken into account by Google, allowing you to insert a keyword, synonymous with the one used in your <h1> tag.

The <h3> tag must also contain a keyword, but its real use lies in the architecture of your text. Thanks to it, you can air your article and bring out the depth of the latter.

The H4, H5 and H6 tags

As mentioned previously, these three tags are used less. They still find their place in very long texts, in sidebars or breadcrumbs .

Others use the <h4> to <h6> tags for style, but remember: these tags are meant to delineate the importance of your different sections. If you want to style certain titles or expressions, it should go through CSS.

Does the order matter?

The W3C recommends not skipping a step.

You must maintain a logical order. Therefore, the main title will be associated with <h1>, the subtitles with <h2> and the sub-subtitles with <h3>.

Also, avoid inserting a <h4> directly after a <h2> for example. A <h3> must be between these two tags.

Now you know how to use the <h1> to <h6> tags effectively!

Other than all the rules we've laid out, you need to stay consistent in structuring your text and not overload your titles with keywords. You risk making them unreadable and indigestible.

How do I spot markup errors?

There are several solutions that will allow you to check that your title tags and subtitles are prioritized correctly, and occasionally spot duplicates.

  • Solution #1: Right-click on your webpage and select "Page Source Code".
  • Solution #2: Download the Developer web extension and once it's embedded in your browser, in the "Information" tab, click on "View Document Outline". A page will then open with the highlighting of the Hn titles of your page.

However, you will have to repeat the process page by page. To have a complete listing of your entire site, use an SEO audit crawler tool!

All you have to do is list the missing tags, the duplicate tags, the tags that are too long or too short or even a bad hierarchy of tags. Once done, all you have to do is rework your markup in your CMS!

Some CMS automatically add an additional H1 to each page (usually brand name or tagline). You must then remove this unwanted H1!

Our tip for optimizing your HTML tags

To provide SEO optimization to your pages while ensuring the quality of your content and markup, hire a professional SEO web editor at Redacteur.com . When ordering, you have an HTML formatting option in order to receive texts directly formatted in HTML with the right tags. This is a considerable time saver when integrating content on your website.

My name is Duc "JOSEF" Le and I work in Digital Marketing at Mageplaza and BlogAvada. Mageplaza offers a comprehensive collection of over 230 extensions that are designed to work seamlessly with the latest versions of Magento 2 (Adobe Commerce). Meanwhile, BlogAvada is a blog that serves as a platform for sharing information related to websites, mobile apps, e-commerce, digital marketing, and other related topics. I encourage you to visit our websites to learn more about what we have to offer.