If you’ve ever done any research on search engine optimization, you’ve probably come across mentions of the H1 tag.
But what is the H1 tag, where does it show up, and how should you actually use it to make your site better?
In this post, I’ll get into some best practices for using your H1 tags to improve your site’s search engine optimization and user experience.
What Is the H1 Tag And Where Does It Show Up on WordPress?
I won’t belabor this point because I’m guessing most of our readers are already at least a little bit familiar with H1 tags.
But just in case you’re not, here’s a speed refresher:
Headings, of which there are a number of different options, help you organize the content on your page.
H1 (short for “heading 1”) is normally the largest heading, with each subsequent heading (H2, H3, etc.) decreasing in importance.
In nearly every WordPress theme that I’ve ever looked at, the H1 tag is automatically applied to the post or page title.
For example, here’s a regular Divi post:You can see that the title is wrapped in <h1>.
In the most basic sense, H1 tags tell both humans and search engine robots:
This is what this ENTIRE page is about.
H1 tags are not the same as the title tag that you’d set with an SEO plugin like Yoast.
The title tag is what Google uses in its search results, whereas the H1 tag is strictly an on-page element.
Why and When Is It Important to Use H1 Tags?
H1 tags are important for two main reasons:
Search engine optimization (SEO)
To maximize these two areas, you should attempt to include an H1 tag on pretty much every page of your site.
In fact, the vast majority of pages use an H1 tag – around 80% of first-page Google results have one.
H1 Tags Help Users Understand and Navigate Your Content
When a visitor lands on a page, they only hang around for 10-20 seconds unless the page has a “clear value proposition”.
Your H1 tag is what provides that clear value proposition and tells readers they’re at the right spot for what they’re looking for. In the words of Google itself, “Heading tags are an important website component for catching the user’s eye.”
Look at this post for an example – if you were looking for information on “how to use the H1 tag”, which page would make you more likely to stay around?