Search Engine Optimization

How To Write a Header Tag (h1) for SEO

By August 18, 2014 October 19th, 2016 21 Comments
how to write a header h1 tag

Updated August 18, 2014 with additional information on multiple H1’s and a video from Matt Cutts.

The header tag, or the <h1> tag in HTML, will usually be the title of a post, or other emphasized text on the page.  It will usually be the largest text that stands out.  There are other header tags in HTML too, like an h2, h3, h4, etc.  Each can have a lesser degree of importance on the page, but it really depends on how your HTML/CSS guy did the layout.  Sometimes, they make your logo the h1 – because it’s in the “header”, but it would be best to make the h1 the title of the page or post instead.how to write an h1 tag for seo

How you write your header, or h1 tag, is going to be similar to how you wrote your title tag.  Sometimes these can be the same, and that’s OK.  Here are a few tips:

1.  Put your header tag <h1> </h1> at the top of the page, preferably after the <body> tag.

2.  Are you targeting the keywords you wish to rank higher for?  If not, go in and modify your tags slightly to include those words.  If your h1 happens to be an image, use the image alt tag to add those juicy keywords.

3. Can I have more than 1 header tag on the page?  Google will not penalize you, but one is preferred.  If you have a need for multiple titles, then perhaps it should be broken into multiple pages, or use one h1, or multiple h2’s.  Here’s a video from Matt Cutts explaining that:

21 Comments

  • Anton OCE says:

    If the title of my post is a header? Or i’ve to make a h1 at post’s text?

  • Ryan Kelly says:

    Not necessarily. Your CSS will determine what the h1 on the page is. Chances are, the title is the h1, but sometimes designers make it the logo (for some reason?).

  • I had an old h1 title tag for this website I was working on which was irrelevant to the keywords I was trying to rank for. I have updated it since but your ‘automatic seo tool’ still gives me the old h1 tag as the ‘result found’. What’s the criteria then? Or is there an update delay?

    Cheers
    G

  • Great advise on this blog.

    I would suggest using all other h2, h3 and h4 tags for seo. they can help out littel bit, but evey litel helps when it comes to seo!

  • Colin8ch says:

    For SEO, does H1 have more “weight” as H2, H3, etc? Thx in advance.

  • Ryan Kelly says:

    Hi German,

    yes, there is a 30 minute delay if you make an update to your site and then run our analysis tool again.

  • Ryan Kelly says:

    Hey Colin,

    Yes, the H1 carries more weight than the other header tags. Many sites will make the logo in the upper left the H1, but it would be better to have a headline or something. I think we even have to fix this on our own homepage 🙂

  • uSinema says:

    I never thought that the tag would be so important. Glad I found this site!

  • Bill says:

    In running my Pear Analytic report it mentioned no  h1 tag.  My website is a flash based site with an html splash page (BluDomain).  In this instance is the h1 tag located on the splash page? there’s an option for logo or logo text, is this considered the h1 tag? and if so should the logo be replaced with text?

    Thanks

  • AstroGremlin says:

    Curious where the H1 tag is stored in WP and how to change it.  My site currently doubles the default H1 for the site, that is, my site name appears as Blogs News Reviews Blogs News Review.

  • Ryan Kelly says:

    Bill, chances are the Flash app on the splash page you have is where all the primary content is, versus in HTML. If you can add a header tag above the flash movie, then try that.

  • Ryan Kelly says:

    Check the Settings tab. Sounds like it’s pulling the site name plus the title for the h1.

  • Frank Salcido says:

    Hello I have problems with my header tags, they are showing on my published site will some body please tell me how solve this problem

  • BrandonLSpeagle says:

    You can use more than one H1 per page? Sir, state the source of this misleading piece of information please. It’s common knowledge among SEO hat’s that Google will flag you for using more than one <h1> tag.

  • Ryan Kelly says:

    Sorry Brandon,
    What I meant by that statement is that a page can have multiple headers, like h1, h2, h3, etc, but really should only have 1 h1, so I agree with you there. I’ll edit it for clarity.
    Thanks!

  • adwriter123 says:

    I’m an old school advertising guy trying to adopt since most of my clients want me to write copy for their website. That being said,  I’m con fused by the above sample. Is “Service That we offer” the Hi? Or is it “National Registerd Agent services”

  • adwriter123 says:

    Is there a rule as to the length of an H1

  • marathiunlimited says:

    how do i set H1 for http://www.marathi-unlimited.in/

  • iyke4wit says:

    Please help me out. I downloaded Xmap but when I try to install it on my joomla 1.5 site, It says “Error! Could not find a Joomla! XML setup file in the package” how do I fix this please?
    My website is http://www.bulksmsplus.com

  • UnlockBoot says:

    Thanks, Nice tutorial for h1 tag!

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