August 22, 2013
H1 tags have a similar function to the title tag of a webpage. Relevant headings help users and search engines understand your content by using applicable keywords and a succinct top-level message for the page. A good heading should speak the language of the audience, catch their attention and offer value.
Misuse of the H1 tags would lead to a confusing page with no obvious hierarchy. And since search engines are so hierarchical by nature this misstep would lead to negative results in the long run. Plus, Google penalizes pages they think use the H1 tags to manipulate page rankings.
- Write relevant header tags and only use H1 tags once as the page headline.
For example: Ann’s Chocolate Cupcakes
- Place text in heading tags that is helpful to defining the structure of the page. For example: in addition to H1 tags, Sub-headings should use H2 tags
- Use headings sparingly.
- Employ the keyword term/phrase in the headline when possible.
- Speak the language of your audience when writing headlines. Do keyword research to see what language/phrases people are using to find your content.
- Target niche phrases as they are much more specific and help to write better headlines.
- Use a heading when <em> (italic) or <strong> (bold) would be more appropriate.
- Use heading tags excessively.
- Use tags for styling rather than structure. Using H3 tags for a headline of a page will not offer any SEO value.