How to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (2022)

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A website without heading tags to organize content is like a store without signs or labels to organize products in aisles. Without heading tags, your website becomes hard to navigate and customers will leave out of frustration. Use of a main heading, known as the “H1 tag,” is an important part of successful search engine optimization (SEO).But what exactly are H1 tags and how can you use them to improve your digital marketing strategy?

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What is an H1 tag in HTML?

An H1 tag is a snippet of code that tells the search engine your page’s headline. The type of code that webmasters use to make headings is called “hypertext markup language” (HTML). You can identify the H1 tags as the large text which appears at the top of the page:

How to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (1)

When you view source code for a web page, H1 heading tags look something like this:

How to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (2)They are separate from the title tag. H1s show up only on the page itself, while the page title tag shows up in the search engine results pages (SERPs), browser tabs, and social media thumbnails.

Sometimes, when a website owner hasn’t created a title tag, the search engine will use the H1 in its place. After the user clicks on the link in the SERPs, however, an H1 represents the title of the page. The search engine will use this to determine the main topic of the page and categorize the page in its content database (index).

H1s are HTML elements that play a crucial role in any technical SEO strategy. Implementing them has been a staple of SEO content marketing since the very beginning.

Why are H1 tags so important?

When search engines rank content, their number one priority is locating and displaying the pieces which best serve users. This is why H1s are consistently considered one of the most important ranking factors. Heading tags by nature are intended to make content easier for users to navigate.

By formatting your web page with these tags, you are making it easier for crawlers and users to understand and navigate. Organizing your content this way also improves the overall quality of your content. Careful planning of what you’re going to create and how you’re going to frame the information ultimately produces more thoughtful content that readers can see.

Many marketers use headings to improve their rankings. Simply changing the page’s H1 tag can have a major impact on SEO performance. For example, when one website changed the H1 tag on a web page, its organic traffic increased by 85% in three days.

Can you use multiple H1 tags?

Historically speaking, the SEO community frowned upon using multiple H1 tags for a single piece of content. The theory was that adding more than one H1 tag would confuse the search engine and make it hard for them to understand the overall theme of your content.

Today, however, you can use more than one of these elements if it makes sense for your content structure. The Google algorithm has become increasingly sophisticated. Its current HTML5 software can understand semantic search terms and use context clues to determine the main topic of a web page, even if there are multiple H1 tags.

Only use more than a single H1 tag if it improves the user experience. Headings should correspond to the topic’s importance. Multiple H1 tags are often used when the web page is a long-form, in-depth discussion of a topic which is broken down into several large sections.

How to create the best H1 tag for SEO

Because the H1 is the main heading and star of the show, you need to put some thought into it. Once a user is on your site, the headline can either entice them to keep reading or make them want to immediately return to the search results. There are several ways to create H1 tags which improve the overall performance of your on-page SEO strategy.

Use H1s to set up a hierarchy

Using a hierarchy of header tags is an effective and common way to organize web content. There are six different heading levels that rank in importance:

How to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (3)

H1 is at the top because it represents the entire piece. H2 tags then break the larger topic down into smaller sections, following with H3 tags all the way to H6 tags. While you can have up to six levels of heading tags, you don’t necessarily have to use them all.

You may simply opt to have your main H1 tag and a couple of H2 tags after that. When creating your content, you might find it helpful to write down an outline of your information by hand. Then, after figuring out the various sections, you can convert them into subheadings.

Describe the topic of your page

Users typically use the H1 tag to decide whether they should keep skimming for relevant information. For many, this is a jumping-off point where they decide to stay on the page and browse or revert back to the search results.

Your header should explain what the content is about. Readers should know when they pull up the page whether the information will be useful to them or not.

Answer user intent in your H1

There are four main types of user search intent which tell you more about why a person would be searching for your keywords. Understanding what users are looking for before you create your content is important for SEO because it saves you time. From the get-go, you have made a web page that does exactly what the user needs.

When it comes to creating a page title, you want the heading to touch on multiple questions that the user might have about your content. So, before you write your tag, it’s a good idea to think about the type of resource you’re creating.

Consider answering these questions:

  • What type of content is this? (guide, how-to, template, list, etc.)
  • Who is this content for? (moms, kids, young adults, etc.)
  • What is the search term you’re targeting? (keyword or phrase)
  • Does your content have important multimedia elements? (charts, graphs, videos, etc.)
  • How much content is included? (number of list items, stats, etc.)
  • What does the reader need the content for? (learn, cook, style, research, etc.)

These questions will give you individual pieces that you can use to form the perfect headline. For example, imagine that you run a food blog and are making a listicle for moms who need bake sale treat ideas:

  • What type of content is this: list
  • Who is this for: busy, possibly stressed out moms
  • What search terms am I target: bake sale ideas
  • Are there multimedia elements: how-to videos
  • How much content is included: ten different ideas
  • Why does the reader need it: to be less stressed about making bake sale goods

So, a good headline for this content might be:

10 EASY BAKE SALE IDEAS FOR BUSY MOMS (WITH VIDEOS)

In just 51 characters, you’ve addressed your content’s format, angle. type, target audience, and keywords while acknowledging the reader’s pain points. Great H1s are able to answer multiple questions in one seamless line of text.

Think of the user experience first, not SEO

When it comes to improving your SEO, putting the user first is always the right approach. Google search results are intended to display the very best resources for users, so if you don’t consider your audience, you most likely won’t rank highly for your keywords.

As you implement H1 tags, you need to decide on a structure that makes the content flow smoothly. Adding too many headers can sometimes disrupt the natural flow of the piece, so keep this in mind as you plan your layout.

Consider adding an H1 tag any time you:

  • Need to introduce a large topic with several points beneath it
  • Have long content that needs breaks
  • Want to break up a long-tail keyword into multiple sections

Crawlers use these HTML code elements to understand your content, but new technology like screen readers also use it to improve accessibility for visually impaired users. While using H1 headers can improve your SEO rankings, they are mostly designed for the reader. That’s why the organization and structure you choose should ultimately be based on user experience.

Include a keyword

One of the hallmarks of a successful white hat SEO strategy is the effective use of keywords. You should include a keyword in your page header because the search engine uses it to categorize your content.

Consider this header from Good Housekeeping which ranks number one for “best dog breeds:”

How to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (4)

Imagine that the author had written “Top 20 House Pets for Kids and Families to Adopt Straight Away.” If the author had substituted use of the keywords “best dogs” for “top house pets,” this article most likely wouldn’t have ranked for the search term.

Why? Because the search engine crawlers might think that the content is about a variety of animals to adopt, not specifically the best dogs. This is why you should always include your target keyword in your H1 tag. If you don’t, your content will likely become lost within the SERPs and receive very little (if any) traffic for your intended purpose.

Stay within the character limit

You want to maximize the space you have for a header without including unnecessary details. The length for H1 tags is somewhere between 20 and 70 characters, however, sticking somewhere between 30 and 60 is probably the best.

If you go over 60 characters, your header is too long and probably isn’t doing anything to improve user experience. You can still include plenty of detail in the header without going significantly over this limit.

Get help with H1 tags Want help optimizing your H1 tags for SEO? Talk to a proven consultant.

Make your tag stand out

Formatting your H1 heading to stand out will improve the overall appeal of your content. You want to draw attention to the title. Make your title pop off the page by:

  • Bolding the text
  • Increasing the text size
  • Using a different font than your body content
  • Using special characters like asterisks (***) and exclamation points
  • Incorporating numbers
  • Making it a bright color

If, for example, your H1 tag is easily confused with H2 tags or H3 tags, it will make it hard for users to figure out how each heading is related to the other. H1 tags should stand out more than any other header on the page.

Whichever style you use, ensure that users will notice the title right away. While H1 tags are considered web development elements, they’re not just for crawlers. You need to design them to stand out for users, too.

H1 tag examples

Before you write your header tag, search for your keywords on Google and look at some of the top-ranked pages. What information do they include in the HTML headings?

This will give you a better idea of which types of H1s seem more relevant to the search terms, and which are more appealing to users and Google’s search algorithm. Here are some examples of great headlines that rank in the top three for their target keywords on Google:

Remodelista

How to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (5)This H1 which ranks in the top three for “renovate old bathroom” promises to be unique by spilling trade secrets, is specific about the quantity of information, and uses keywords “renovating” and “bathroom.”

Rotten TomatoesHow to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (6)

From this heading, it’s obvious to the reader that the content is going to address all 20+ Marvel movies and how they’re being ranked (using the site’s Tomatometer system).

Meal Prep on Fleek

How to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (7)You can see from this header that the page content is most likely organized in a list and it makes good use of the long-tail keyword phrase “recipes for people who hate cooking.” It also clearly answers the question: “Who is this for?”

HelpGuide

How to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (8)

This is an example of a simple yet effective H1 tag. It clearly states the focus of the web page for search engine crawlers and links two important topics for the user: social media use and mental health. It is the top-ranking post for “impact of social media.”

Photomba

How to Use H1 Tags in 2021 (With Examples) - Granwehr (9)

Another great example of writing headers for long-tail keywords, this H1 tag contains a lot of relevant information. Users know that it’s for beginners, is recent (2021), and acts as an overall guide. The words “how to” always communicate education. The visitor knows they’ll learn how to do something once they’ve consumed the content.

How to add H1 tags in WordPress

If, like a third of all websites, you are using WordPress to publish content, there are two primary ways to add an H1 tag to your content.

  • Use the WP Editor: Depending on the version of WordPress that you have, there are two different types of built-in editors you would use to change header tags.If you are using the classic editor, you can go to the “Paragraph” drop-down menu and decide which type of heading you want to add. By selecting “H1,” the code for any text you enter will automatically be tagged.For anyone using the new Gutenberg editor, you simply add a new content block and select “Heading.” From there, you will be able to select the type of HTML tag you want.
  • Use a plugin: You can also download a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO to add H1 tags without coding. These tools have editing blocks where you simply add the title of your web page and they update the code for you. If you get confused, you can always find a step-by-step tutorial to follow.

Get a complimentary SEO audit

As the most important heading on your web page, the H1 tag should be well-written and thoughtful. Your primary focus while writing this headline should be answering user pain points and questions about the content. If you do that, you will also be giving important context that search engine crawlers can use to understand and rank your content.

Want to see how you’re doing with SEO? Get an instant SEO audit below. Or, schedule a free consultation to see how intent SEO can boost search traffic revenue by 700%.

FAQs

What is a H1 tag example? ›

The H1 tag is an HTML heading that's most commonly used to mark up a web page title. Most websites use CSS to make the H1 stand out on the page compared to lesser headings like H2, H3, etc.

How important are H1 tags for SEO 2021? ›

The h1 is considered the most important tag, and the h6 is the least important. Why are H1 tags still necessary for SEO in 2021? When it comes to page display and searchability, having a clear and relevant H1 allows the content to be read with ease and ensures that the content is suitable when a user lands on a page.

What is the H1 tag used for how many times should I use it on a page? ›

H1 tags tell search engine bots and web users what a page is about. A webpage's H1 is the most important heading and should accurately summarize the contents of that page. You can't just insert an H1 at the top of the page and call it a day, however.

Where do you put H1 tags? ›

Your h1 tag should be at the top of the page content (above any other heading tags in the page code). If your site is divided in to columns the left column may appear “higher” in the code. Be sure it does not contain any h1 tags as most likely the center column contains the main content of the page.

What is H1 tag name? ›

What Does H1 Mean? H1 is an HTML tag that identifies the first heading on a page. It is used as the name of the page or publication.

Do H1 tags matter for SEO? ›

The H1 tag is important for SEO, accessibility and usability, so ideally, you should have one on each page of your site. A H1 tag should describe what the content of the given page is all about.

How do you write H1 and H2 tags? ›

H1 tags are most important—then H2, and so forth.
...
To break it down, remember:
  1. H1 = Main keywords and subject matter, what the overall post is about.
  2. H2 = Sections to break up content, using similar keywords to the H1 tag.
  3. H3 = Subcategories to further break up the content, making it easily scannable.
Apr 12, 2022

How do you use heading tags? ›

HTML header tags follow a hierarchy, from <h1> to <h6>. H1 tags are used to denote the most important text, such as the main theme or title of a content. H2 and H3 tags are commonly used as subheadings. Finally, H4, H5, and H6 tags may be used to provide further structure within those subsections.

Are multiple H1 tags bad for SEO? ›

The Truth About Multiple H1 Tags and SEO. Our conclusion is that while it's fine to stick with one H1 per page, multiple H1s can be used as long as they are not being overused to the point of spamming, and the H1s fit contextually within the structure of the page.

Are H1 tags a Google ranking factor? ›

H1 tags were widely considered a Google ranking factor – and optimizing them a key SEO tactic – through the glory days of article marketing.

Can I have multiple H1 tags on a page? ›

"You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. There's no limit — neither upper nor lower bound. H1 elements are a great way to give more structure to a page so that users and search engines can understand which parts of a page are kind of under different headings, so I would use them in the proper way on a page.

How many H1 can I use? ›

“You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. There's no limit, neither upper or lower bound. Your site is going to rank perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.” Google has even published a video on this specific topic to dispel the idea that Google recommends only one H1.

Does every webpage need an H1? ›

Headers Are More Important Than H1s

Headers can be H1s, but they don't have to be. The main heading of a page can be an H1, but it doesn't have to be. The main heading of a page should be an overarching topic/summary of the page, and thus likely will also include target keywords.

What are the 3 main parts of an HTML document? ›

An HTML 4.0 document generally consists of three parts: a line containing version information, a descriptive header section, and a body, which contains the document's actual content.

Is H1 same as title? ›

What's the Difference? In HTML terms, a Title Tag is expressed as "title" and the H1 Tag is expressed as "h1". Both serve as titles to describe what your webpage is about. Because both the Title Tag and the H1 Tag share the same broader purpose, it is easy to understand why people confuse them.

What is H1 in year? ›

The first half of a calendar year (January to June). The first half of a financial year.

What size should H1 be on website? ›

H1: 32 pt (30–34pt) H2: 26 pt (24–28pt) H3: 22 pt (20–24pt) H4: 20 pt (18–22pt)

What is H1 H2 H3 H4 in HTML? ›

HTML defines six levels of headings. A heading element implies all the font changes, paragraph breaks before and after, and any white space necessary to render the heading. The heading elements are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 with H1 being the highest (or most important) level and H6 the least.

What is H1 and H2 in a year? ›

In short, H1 means the first half of the year and H2 means the second half of the year. Thus, H1 corresponds to January, February, March, April, May, and June. H2 corresponds then to July, August, September, October, November, and December.

What is the use of H1 H2 H3 tags in HTML? ›

The structure of H1, H2, H3 tags

For an article or webpage, remember that the H1 title is the most important section. H2 and H3 are used to organize sub-sections, while H4, H5 and H6 are intended to provide additional information, with more details.

What is a heading example? ›

Heading is defined as the direction a person or thing is moving. An example of a heading is a car driving south.

How do you use header tags in SEO best practices? ›

H1 SEO tips
  1. Always include an H1 tag.
  2. Use only one per page.
  3. Include the primary keyword for your content.
  4. Avoid populating the tag with too many keywords.
  5. Ensure that your target audience can easily read the H1 tag.
  6. Use up to 70 characters in the tag length.
  7. Make the tag unique.
Mar 21, 2019

Should H1 be unique? ›

Absolutely! All of your web pages should have unique page headings because every page should contain unique content. Make sure your H1 explains directly what the page is all about.

What is duplicate H1 tag? ›

H1 duplicates issue means that there are two or more pages on the website that have the same h1 tag.

Can H2 be bigger than H1? ›

Like an H1 tag, an H2 tag also appears larger than the rest of your main body text. However, H2 tags are always slightly smaller than your H1 tag, so that it does not compete with your main heading.

Why do we use H1 tag? ›

HTML heading tags are used to format headings on your page in order of importance. The H1 tag is the one that comes first and shows search engines what content can be expected on the rest of the page. To expand a little on what an HTML tag is, HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a language used to create websites.

Do headings impact SEO? ›

Header tags make it easier for web crawlers to gauge the relevance of your web content. In the hierarchy of headings, H1 text is the most important to SEO. This is the title of the web page, so search engines look to the keywords in the H1 header to categorize and surface content to users.

Can the element H1 be replaced with H1? ›

Your H1 heading and page title can be different, or the exact same — both are fine, as long as they work both for visitors and search engines. For example, if you want to use a slightly different H1 heading for visitors to better convey the main topic of a page, by all means go for it. It's totally fine.

How do you write H1 and H2 tags? ›

H1 tags are most important—then H2, and so forth.
...
To break it down, remember:
  1. H1 = Main keywords and subject matter, what the overall post is about.
  2. H2 = Sections to break up content, using similar keywords to the H1 tag.
  3. H3 = Subcategories to further break up the content, making it easily scannable.
Apr 12, 2022

Does H1 tag have to be at top of page? ›

Headers can be H1s, but they don't have to be. The main heading of a page can be an H1, but it doesn't have to be.

Should title tag and H1 tag be the same? ›

Should They Be Different? There is a lot of debate as to whether you need to write unique info for your Title Tag and H1 Tag. However, the general consensus amongst experts (including Rand Fishkin of Moz) is that it isn't dangerous to have your Title Tag be the same as your H1 Tag.

What is H1 H2 H3 H4 in HTML? ›

HTML defines six levels of headings. A heading element implies all the font changes, paragraph breaks before and after, and any white space necessary to render the heading. The heading elements are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 with H1 being the highest (or most important) level and H6 the least.

What is H1 and H2 in a year? ›

In short, H1 means the first half of the year and H2 means the second half of the year. Thus, H1 corresponds to January, February, March, April, May, and June. H2 corresponds then to July, August, September, October, November, and December.

What is the use of H1 H2 H3 tags in HTML? ›

The structure of H1, H2, H3 tags

For an article or webpage, remember that the H1 title is the most important section. H2 and H3 are used to organize sub-sections, while H4, H5 and H6 are intended to provide additional information, with more details.

Can you have 2 H1 tags on a page? ›

It is common to have multiple H1 heading tags in different parts of your page, in your website's template, theme or other sections. Regardless of whether you use HTML5 or not, having multiple H1 elements or multiple heading tags of the same type on a page is completely fine.

Do H1 tags matter for SEO? ›

The H1 tag is important for SEO, accessibility and usability, so ideally, you should have one on each page of your site. A H1 tag should describe what the content of the given page is all about.

Does H1 matter for SEO? ›

An organized piece of content is much easier to read. Only Use One H1 - Having multiple H1s does not hurt SEO. Google's Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller states it point-blank. But that doesn't mean it's an SEO best practice.

Is the H1 the main page headline? ›

The <H1> HTML tag is usually used for the title of a page or post and it is the first header visible on a page.

What's the difference between H1 and header? ›

The head element contains meta data about the document. The header element contains any items that should contain introductory information and often includes things like h1 elements, logos, and things about the author or company.

What is the difference between page title and H1? ›

The main difference between a page title and an h1 tag is that the page title is shown in the browser window and search results snippet while the h1 tag is only shown on the page itself. The page title is defined in the HTML <head> section while the H1 tag is part of the <body> of a page.

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