Headers are used for structure on a webpage. The most important items on a webpage are typically the largest and the most obvious. A H1 tag, or Header1, is an HTML term used to indicate the most prominent text or image on a page. These are followed by other tags, H2 through H6. These tags are ranked by order of most important to least. Not only is it important from an SEO perspective to get these right, it makes the page easy for an actual person to read. A good analogy for headers is a newspaper. The most important things, like the papers title or front-page feature, is the most prominent. Other article titles might be H2, then maybe a subtitle as H3, and then finally the article text which is usually handled with a ‘p’ or ‘paragraph’ tag. Google expects a webpage to be laid out with a series of headers that makes sense to the reader.
So, can I use more than one H1 tag on a page? There is some controversy around this point. Many will argue multiple tags can occur, per page. Others will always suggest only one on a page at a time. They do seem to agree that abusing these tags on a page is always a bad idea. The search engines have shown that they will penalize pages and, in some cases, harshly, for doing so. For example, take a look at WordPress as a platform. They have a reputation for SEO. The default theme, Twenty Eleven, makes two H1 tags on a page by default. If that’s the default, it seems like it can’t possibly be a problem to put two. Bing, however, always suggests only one H1 tag per page.
Images can also utilize H1 tags. Bing recommends to avoid this, but Google does not. So, it doesn’t appear as if using H1 tags as part of images is a huge problem. There are many businesses which search well that use H1 on their images. Perhaps if the image is important to the page, it may deserve a H1 tag. Although, perhaps a better approach is to leave H1 tags as a page or post title. This is because, most often, the same logo is shown on multiple pages and usually above the page title. As an SEO approach, developers may want to use different tags for each individual page/post. This is much easier to achieve with a single H1 tag per page.
How much SEO benefit will I get from using Header tags? Tags are proven to help gain positive search results and on-page search engine optimization. “On-page SEO only goes so far,” says Jim Jeffrey from a New Jersey SEO Company. “However, if your only means of promoting a website is organic, on-page SEO, then page layout and tags are the most important factors.” In this scenario, designers would certainly want to take advantage of whatever tools are at their disposal.
It’s a fact that H1 tags are important to the search engines. Perhaps of equal importance is that they make pages accessible and easy to read. They break a webpage into logical sections that attract the eye using H1 to H6 tags. It’s also known that Google and Bing both frown upon abusing H1 tags on a page. And, while there appears to be no penalty for using two, it’s typically recommended to use only one. Using the most important element to a page or post in your H1 tag is a great way to focus the reader and the engines to a page’s purpose. These can also be kept unique from the page title since this is also evaluated by Google (and the reader). This way, when Google and Bing evaluate a page, developers can create unique keyword phrases in both places and take advantage of as much on-page SEO as possible.
The New Jersey SEO Firm, an New Jersey SEO Company. Putting customers on the first page of Google and Bing. Join our customer success stories.