When it comes to content and digital marketing you need to know a little bit of professional jargon and there is no better place to start than knowing and understanding headings and tags. If you want to produce good content marketing that is readily discoverable you need to know what an H1 tag is, how to use it and how to write a good one. A strong H1 tag, which is well-matched with appropriate keywords can increase the visibility of your article so getting it right can make all of the difference. To get to grips with an H1 tag let’s start at the very beginning.
What is an H1? – essentially this heading is the H1 for this article, but do read on.
The H1 is an HTML tag that indicates a heading on a website. Now, let’s break this down a little further:
- HTML; Hypertext Markup Language, this is the language used by websites to create web pages.
- Tag; A HTML tag is a section of code that tells your web browser how to display content.
- Heading; There are 6 different heading tags in an HTML, H1 through to H6, and these are ranked in order of importance, H1 being the most important. H1 tags will usually be formatted in the largest font and decrease down to H6. Although this may not always be the case.
A top tip to remember; an H1 tag is not the same as a title tag but it is good SEO practice to have similarities or the same keywords in both your H1 tag and your title tag.
To see your H1 tag in action on your website you can switch to the HTML code editor version for your webpages and it will be displayed as follows;
“ <H1 insert heading 1 here H1>”
This is the snippet of code that tells your web browser to display your chosen heading as an H1 tag. H1 tags can be used with either a capital H or a lower case h as they are not case sensitive. If you want to view an H1 tag in an already existing web browser then simply right-click and select ‘view source code’, which will reveal the coding for that webpage. A quick scroll through and you should see the above “<h1>” code.
So, why is it important to use an H1 tag correctly?
While there is some conflicting research on the exact weight an H1 tag can add to a web page and its SERPs exposure (Search Engine Results Pages) it is generally accepted that well-written SEO optimized content should include an H1 tag that utilizes the keywords of the article. In practice, this means your H1 tag should accurately reflect the content of your article and include the keywords you are targeting in your article.
It is however vital to remember that packing your heading tags and content full of keywords will not be enough to persuade Google to make your website rank well on its results pages. Yes it is good practice, and essential, but it must be done in conjunction with user experience. Google steadfastly prioritizes the user experience and relevance of a page over a poorly written piece of text that has keywords stuffed throughout without adding any value to the audience.
How to use your H1 tag correctly
It is all very well knowing what a H1 tag is and why it is important but you need to know how to use it correctly for maximum effect. Here are some top tips to consider when using an H1 tag.
- You want to ensure you use keywords in your H1 tags but the keywords must be relevant to the article and the heading itself. Do not pad out an H1 tag with unnecessary keywords. Google will not like it. Instead try to view the H1 tag as a place to provide a stronger sense of the article’s content, which includes some similarities to the title.
- Only use one H1 tag. It is commonly thought that using multiple H1 tags will dilute the SEO power of a single H1 tag. One tag is enough, so leave it at that. If your article calls for multiple headings drop down to using a H2 or H3 tag.
- Keep the H1 tag between 20 and 70 characters. If it is too long it will dilute the SEO power of the tag and be counter productive to providing a good user experience.
- Ensure it is noticeable and visually stands out but is in keeping with the rest of the page. Look at it in conjunction with the whole article, never let user experience be far from your thought process.