SEO trends may come and go, but for many years, it’s been said that something as simple as an H1 tag can improve a website’s SEO, and hence ranking. Is this a myth, or is there some truth to the claim that H1 tags help SEO? Let’s find out today!
Before moving further let’s just understand ‘What are headers and heading tags ?’.
We all know that even before the webpages existed, people use to follow the printed materials like books, newspapers, and magazines that utilizes header text to either break up the paragraphs, add pointers or introduce the summary of the content. This text was typically larger, in a different font, or otherwise emphasized to differentiate itself from the rest of the copy. For example, a headline in a newspaper would be considered as a piece of the header text.
After the introduction of webpages, header tags (also called as heading tags) were used to serve a similar purpose. These tags are now represented by a capital H followed by the number of sequences. This helps text look bigger, bolder, and easier to read and understand the content structure.
What is Google’s Perception about H1 Tags?
H1 tag is generally the biggest, most important tag on a page. It is used to introduce a page’s content and give an idea of the topic being discussed.
However, When on Google Webmasters Hangout someone asked about the role of H1s on a web page. John Mueller responded that heading tags were good for several reasons but they’re not a critical element.
As a consequence, it is important to listen to all that Google’s John Mueller has to say about H1 headings.
Mueller says, “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 even with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.”
He then went on to add, “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 properly use them on a page. And especially with HTML5 having multiple H1 elements on a page is completely normal and kind of expected. It’s not something you need to worry about.”
He further added, “Some SEO tools flag this as an issue and say like Oh you don’t have any H1 tag or you have two H1 tags… from our point of view, that’s not a critical issue.”
What he means is that the heading elements can work together to create a top-level outline of what your page is all about. That’s a macro overview in regards to any webpage context.
The benefits of properly using H1 through H4 (your choice!) in the proper way will help communicate what the page is about which is good for bots and humans and will increase usability because it’s easier to read on both mobile and desktop.