HTML headings: all about H1 tags
By helloDarwin
August 04, 2017

HTML headings: all about H1 tags

Acting as an organizing factor within a web page, tags (or headings) also play a considerable role in terms of your website's SEO. At the top of the list is the H1 tag, whose dominant position gives it a decisive function in the eyes of search engines. Read on to find out what do you need to know about H1 tags:

What is an H1 tag?

Briefly put, the H1 tag is actually the main title of a web page. As mentioned in a previous article, the order that characterizes H1 to H6 tags determine the importance that the search engines will attach to them. As a result, their impact on the site's SEO will be different. Since the H1 tag acts as the title of a page, this is the one that will have the most weight regarding your website's SEO referencing.

The difference between an H1 tag and a main title

Although the H1 tag is often identified as the title tag of a website, such is not the case: the H1 tag is always the main title of a page, while the title tag is the one that appears on top of the screen to your left and located in the top bar of your browser.  These two titles can be identical, or they can also carry certain differences.

Be aware that it may be a good idea not to choose the latter option because if a user clicks on a result provided by the search engines, they will expect to arrive on a page with the same name. Moreover, the fact that the same keywords are repeated will have a positive effect on your SEO.

However, note that a title tag has the advantage of being longer (between 50 and 70 characters), which may even be an advantage if you want to have more latitude concerning the use of keywords.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

What are the rules to follow when using the H1 tag?

Use one tag per page

There was a time when certain editors exclusively used H1 titles on the different pages of their website, on the pretext that they had a higher value than the other SEO tags. Despite the fact that this is true, the integration of multiple H1 titles is not necessarily the best strategy to employ.

Indeed, your written content must always follow a logical structure, which assumes that you should have a main topic per page and subtitles in order to divide paragraphs. Therefore, limit yourself to one H1 tag per page. Since this is the title of your page, it should be at the very beginning of your content.

Choose relevant keywords

Since your H1 tag is the one that influences your SEO the most, it will be extremely important to integrate your main keyword into the tag. In the same vein, be precise in the choice of your words: the page's subject must be unequivocal. As an additional tip, you should find the right balance between a catchy title and an informative title.

Use a short H1 tag

In addition to all of the previous points, you should ideally limit the length of your H1 title and make sure that it does not exceed 8 words. A shorter title will further highlight the specific topic of your page in the eyes of search engines and Internet users looking for specific information.

Write a unique H1 tag for each page

Not only does using the same tag for multiple pages generate competition between them, but it also implies that your H1 tag will inevitably lack precision. It cannot, as such, accurately reflect the main subject of your page or clearly indicate to the user if the page in question is really the object of his research. Additionally, it will deprive you of the opportunity to highlight several keywords. So let your imagination run wild and make the effort to develop a tag for each page on your website.

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