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Benefits of the H1 Tag in SEO
by Dr. William Sen | CEO and founder of blue media

H1 Tag SEO Benefits

How Much Does the H1 Tag Contribute to SEO & Better Rankings?

The use of large headers at the top of a page is prevalent in website design and development, but web developers who come across to such a task, assume that the large header is the page’s title or worst — even not use it in the first place.

In fact, the perfect example and reference is this article. This article has as the H1 – “H1 Tag SEO Benefits”. In the SEO business, the major concern is what Google can detect and interpret. If Google cannot tell the heading separately from other parts of the article, and it cannot determine the topic of your page correctly, thus you won’t be displayed on the search engine result pages (SERP) accordingly.

How Important is the H1 Tag for SEO?

Google does have several algorithms in place, and is advancing incredibly especially in the areas of detecting content and interpreting it. However, it is not wise to assume that Google would perfectly decipher the content on your website’s page because the heading has larger font size or because of its strategic position at the top of the page. Google doesn’t care about all that.

All what Google care about is that the header of your site has been coded correctly and is being classified as the <h1> tag.

If you dwell on Google’s abilities, then you may be saddened by the end results. Google combs billions of pages daily so it is not too bothered about your website design. Since your site is not the only website available on the internet, you have to make sure your site architecture and crawlability is suited to Google’s needs.

SEO H1 Tag Best Practices

Google has provided guidelines for SEOs and Web Developers to make it easier. Therefore, the it is on you to follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. If you do not follow these guidelines, ranking of your page may be difficult or simply not possible. “Play by the rule or be tanked” is Google’s secret message to all web developers in the world.

The Title Tag

The web design space is one that demands a great deal of creativity. Therefore, web designers are naturally averse to following a restricted pattern in web development. It is unlike other media such as newspapers or books where rules are established. “If it’s on the top, it’s a title” or “if it’s big, it must be important” does not apply in web design and in SEO.

There are several design elements used in web design to make a website stand out. And there are no rules inhibiting web designers from flexing their creative strengths. The challenge here however lies with Google and that is why the creativity of the website does not really count in regards to SEO.

Google takes note of the limitless depth of web design creativity and this is why it does not automatically detect the heading in your web content — no matter how well designed it is. The point is you have to tell Google what your heading is of your page is through the HTML code.

When Google is aware of your page’s heading, it will include it in the parameters, and consider ranking your page and website.

Google, H1 Tags & SEO

You have to see Google as what it is — a machine. SEO experts s must ensure that the content on any website is machine readable. This is the main reason Google has continued to churn out Webmaster Guidelines.

Tagging the heading for your content as an H1 in your website’s markup makes it easily readable by Google, which is mandatory for good SEO.

Only few SEOs miss this, but lots of web developers pay little attention to it because of a lack of SEO knowledge. A website should not only look pleasant from a user’s perspective. It is important for the website to be in compliance with Google’s expectations. In the end, a website and business wants to be found in the internet.

Tips On Using The H1 Tag Correctly For SEO

Use only one H1 that resemblances the content of your website the best. Use the right keywords in your H1 — I talked about using the right keywords this on this article: How to Choose the Best Keywords for SEO.

Things To Avoid When Using The H1 Tag

The first thing to avoid is the use of multiple H1 tags. Many website designers and SEOs are guilty of using more than one H1 tag. In fact, the practice is rife and noticeable in many articles, where the H1 tag is used at every section or with the section headers containing H1 tags.

If your page has more than one H1 tag, Google will have a difficult time choosing the right one, or it may completely ignore your H1 tags. There are millions of websites, with billions of pages on the same space as yours, with similar content too — so your readiness and seriousness comes to the forefront when you set your website according to Google’s expected guidelines.

H2 and H3 Tags

Other sections of the articles or content on your page can carry H2 or H3 tags. In fact, they can increase numerically as you choose, and can be used multiple times. This is clearly readable by Google and presents your page in good light.

For this article, a peep into the source code will show you that the H1 tag has been used just once. Take a look here:

<h1>Benefits of the H1 Tag in SEO</h1>

The H2 tag was used once:

<h2>How Much Does the H1 Contribute to Get Better Rankings?</h2>

The H3 tag was however used in four different points:

<h3>The Title Tag</h3>
<h3>Using The H1 Tag Correctly</h3>
<h3>Things To Avoid When Using The H1 Tag</h3>
<h3>H2 and H3 Tags</h3>

If you choose to use H4 tags to indicate chapters after the H3 tag, then that is equally permissible. Google will know from the numbering of the tag that the H3 tags are of more importance than the H4 tag.

SEO is nothing more than machine-to-human communication, whereas the human is an SEO, and Google is the machine.

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CATEGORIES Search Engine Optimization Web Development
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. William Sen CEO and founder of blue media

William Sen has been an SEO since 2001 and is a Software Engineer since 1996, and has been working as an Associate Professor in Germany for the University of Dusseldorf and Cologne. He has been involved in developing custom SEO tools, large website and software projects. William has a PhD in Information Sciences and has worked for brands such as Expedia, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Bayer, Ford, T-Mobile and many more. He is the founder of blue media.

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