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One of the commonly used tags in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the H1 tag. Although these tags are not a huge ranking factor, they play a critical role when it comes to on-page search engine optimization (SEO). 

What is H1 Tag in HTML?

The H1 tag serves to signify the main heading or subject of your webpage to both visitors and search engines. These HTML heading tags, ranging from H1 to H6, are utilized to structure the text on a page, with the H1 tag denoting the most significant and visually prominent heading. In HTML coding, H1 tags are enclosed within angle brackets, as demonstrated in the following example:

<h1>Main page header goes here</h1>

H1 tag plays a crucial role in on-page SEO strategies, serving as a fundamental method of organizing content for optimal comprehension by both search engines and human users. In a webpage, it is recommended to have one H1 tag, whereas you can have multiple H2 and H3 tags for sub-headings.

Importance of H1 Tags

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider using H1 tags for your web pages:

  • Helps Search Engines Understand the Page

H1 tags play a vital role in aiding search engines to comprehend the content of a webpage. According to Google’s John Mueller, properly implemented H1 tags assist Google in understanding the overall structure of a page, effectively conveying its main topic or purpose. 

  • Improves Accessibility

Proper use of H1 tags improves accessibility, particularly for visually impaired individuals who rely on screen readers. Research indicates that a majority of screen reader users prefer the H1 tag to denote the page title, ensuring clarity and ease of navigation for all users. 

  • Elevates User Experience

H1 tags also contribute significantly to enhancing the user experience by delineating the hierarchical structure of a webpage. When utilized correctly, H1 tags, being the most prominent headings, facilitate easy skimming and digestion of content for visitors. Their distinct appearance, often larger in font size and bold, naturally draws attention, thereby enhancing user engagement and satisfaction. 

How to Identify H1 Header Tags on a Website

Open up a page on your website and right click on the page and click “View Page Source.” Once you follow this step, you can view the page source code. 

Now, to find the H1 tag, press “Ctrl” or command if on a Mac and “F” to open the search feature on your browser. Type <h1> to find the HTML header tag. 

How to Add H1 Tags?

Most content management systems (CMS)  provide you the option to directly add an H1 tag to your page. Let’s look at some of the popular CMS and how you can add the header tag:

  • WordPress: Most WordPress themes are coded to use the page or post title as the H1. 
  • Wix: Most Wix themes have one H1 tag available to be added on each page. If you are unsure, simply change the styling of your H1 tags temporarily in the theme editor to effectively highlight this tag in the page builder. 
  • Squarespace: Most Squarespace themes have one H1 tag on each page. When unsure, you can click around on prominent text boxes until you see the “Heading 1” styling.
  • In HTML: An opening H1 tag (<h1>), enter your page title, then add a closing H1 tag (</h1>).
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Difference Between H1 and H2 Tags

In general, it is recommended to utilize only one H1 tag per webpage. However, incorporating multiple H2 tags is advisable to segment your content into easily digestible sections for users. H2 tags present an opportunity to incorporate your primary keyword and relevant terms suggested by keyword tools. 

Another effective strategy is to derive ideas for H2 tags by examining the “People Also Ask” box in search results, which features inquiries related to your entered keyword. This data, sourced by Google from user queries, offers valuable insights into the questions users seek answers to. Addressing these inquiries in your content not only enhances the likelihood of appearing in the “People Also Ask: section but also enriches your page. Therefore, it caters to the interests of potential readers.

Difference Between H1 and Title Tags

Title tags represent another crucial HTML element, similar to H1 tags, in conveying the essence of your page to both users and search engines. However, there are notable distinctions between the H1 tags and title tags. 

Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs), serving as the page title visible to users clicking on your website. Additionally, they appear on browser tabs. Unlike H1 tags, title tags do not appear within the content of a webpage. H1 tags, on the other hand, are visibly prominent to users directly on the web page.

The fundamental disparity lies in the visibility of title tags primarily within SERPs, whereas H1 tags are observable on your webpage. It is essential to include your primary target keyword in both the title tag and H1 for a page. 

H1 Tag SEO Best Practices

Abide by these best practices for your H1 tags to get the best results:

  • Utilize H1 Tags for Page Titles
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The H1 tag serves as the headline or title of your webpage, making it crucial for communicating the main theme or topic to both visitors and search engines. It acts as the primary point of reference, guiding users and search engine crawlers to understand the content’s essence. Therefore, they establish a strong foundation for effective content organization and navigation.

  • Apply Title Case for H1s

Employing title cases for your H1 in HTML enhances readability and professionalism. It essentially ensures that your page titles stand out and command attention. By capitalizing words with four or more letters, you can create a visually appealing presentation that reinforces the importance and significance of your content’s main message. It, therefore, elevates the overall impact and resonates with your audience.

  • Ensure Alignment Between H1s and Title Tags

Consistency between H1 tags and title tags is vital for maintaining coherence across different platforms and devices. By harmonizing these elements, you establish a cohesive user experience that fosters trust and engagement while facilitating seamless indexing and ranking by search engines. This alignment not only enhances accessibility but also reinforces the relevance and authority of your content in the digital landscape. 

  • Implement H1 Tags on Every Important Page

Embedding H1 tags on all essential pages of your website ensures clarity and prominence in communicating their core topics or subjects. By prioritizing the inclusion of H1 tags, you underscore the importance of each page within the broader context of your website. This facilitates intuitive navigation and discovery for users while signaling their relevance and value to search engines. This strategic approach strengthens your site’s overall structure and enhances its visibility and accessibility to both human audiences and automated crawlers. 

  • Main Concise H1 Tags

Many content management systems (CMS) automatically use the same text for both H1 tags and title tags. To maintain clarity and uniformity in your page titles, it is advisable to keep the tag length concise, ideally under 70 characters. This ensures that your titles remain effective and visually appealing across various platforms and devices. 

  • Limit H1 Tags to One per Page

According to Google’s John Mueller, employing multiple H1 tags per page is acceptable. This is especially the case with HTML5 where nesting H1 tags within different sections is technically valid. Despite this, W3C recommends adhering to the appropriate heading ranks for each section. While Google’s stance allows for flexibility, it is still considered best practice for most websites to stick to a single H1 tag per page.

  • Style Headings for Hierarchy

Establishing a clear hierarchy in web page headings is essential for organizing content effectively. Given that H1 tags typically serve as the most prominent headings, it is crucial to apply appropriate CSS styling to distinguish them from lower-level headings like H2s and H3s. This ensures that users can easily navigate and comprehend the content structure. 

  • Incorporate Target Keywords in H1 Tags
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Including your primary keyword in the H1 tag reinforces the topical relevance of the page to both search engines and users. While it is essential to prioritize readability, using a close variant of the target keyword can enhance visibility and clarity. Additionally, by leveraging conjunctions and stop words, you can maintain a natural flow within the H1 tag. 

  • Use a Focused Long-Tail Keyword in Your H1

Optimize your H1 tags with focused long-tail keywords that accurately reflect the specific topic or intent of your content. Long-tail keywords, consisting of three or more words, offer a more targeted approach to SEO. It enables you to capture highly relevant traffic and cater to niche audiences effectively. By incorporating long-tail keywords into your H1 tags, you enhance the semantics and relevance of your content, increase its visibility for search queries, and attract qualified leads or visitors who are more likely to engage with your content. 

  • Do Not Target the Same Keywords for Different Posts

Avoid redundancy and keyword cannibalization by ensuring that each page or post on your website targets unique and distinct keywords. By diversifying your keyword strategy across different pieces of content, you can prevent dilution of relevance and maximize the visibility of your website for a broader range of search queries. This approach not only prevents confusion among search engines but also allows you to address various aspects of your niche or industry comprehensively. 

  • Curate Compelling H1 Tags

H1 tags not only need to accurately describe the page’s content but also need to be compelling enough to attract clicks from users. When crafting titles for blog posts or articles, consider the intended audience and purpose of the content. Drawing inspiration from top-ranking results for relevant keywords can provide valuable insights into creating engaging and impactful H1 tags.


Thus, H1 tags when used properly can impact your visibility and help in bringing more traffic to your website. Although it is a less important tag than it used to be, Google understands your content better when your SEO tag is ideal. Make sure to abide by the H1 SEO best practices and create relevant H1 tags that convey the information you are trying to provide to your audience.