Higher SERPs and Better SEO with H1 Tags

For many years, bloggers have topped the SERPs by using shortcuts such as keyword stuffing and black-hat back-linking. This usually contained content that was revolving around ranking higher in Google’s search results, as opposed to providing the user with high value, informative content.

But, times have changed. Google’s SEO updates have started focusing more and more on user experience. Such updates have banned these rather unethical tactics, a while back, and are now encouraging websites to truly put the thought into their content. 

 “Sometimes though, the content could be world-class, but it might not do as great on the SERPs ranking.”

To solve this issue today, we are going to look in to one extremely powerful SEO tool, which is ignored and rather underestimated by many.

While there could be many factors attached to the poor ranking of content, today we shall sort just one of them.

We’re talking about the H1 tag.

Even though content marketers and digital marketers know a bit about H1, they seem to lack the insight of the tag’s contribution to ground-breaking SEO. And to change that fact, we decided to publish an article talking about the H1 tag’s importance in SEO.

Now, let’s understand what the H1 tag is. Assuming that you don’t know anything, we will start from the very basics. 

“An h1 tag is an HTML tag on a website that indicates a heading.”

Let’s dive deeper into that statement.

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, which is used by most websites to create webpages. A tag, in HTML, refers to a part of code that determines how that content is displayed on the webpage. 

There are a total of 6 heading tags within HTML, from h1, h2…. to h6. H1 is the most important tag in HTML as it conveys the heading of the entire article/blog while h6 could be tabbed as a tag of least importance. 

Now that we know what an h1 tag is, let’s dig into the details of its significance in SEO.

SEO is ruled by content that is qualitative, original, and provides great value to the reader. An h1 tag determines what the entire article/blog is about. It encompasses the subject to allow a seamless crawling of your webpage and filing of your article under the right keywords.

We recently conducted research about the importance of an h1 tag. A simple change in our h1 tags boosted our organic ranking from 41 to 16 in just a month. The organic traffic on our website spiked dramatically and we consistently get impressive results in terms of Organic Impressions and Clicks.

“H1 has always been a significant SEO factor to rank in SERPs.”

And, to put it lightly, having the right H1 makes all the difference. 

Here’s how an h1 tag looks, on a webpage’s source code:

<h1>Digital Marketing Company</h1>

To find it on a webpage, simply open the webpage and find the source code of your webpage by right-clicking on your mouse and choosing ‘View Page Source.

It will look like this:

Now, activate the find function of the browser by clicking ‘CRTL+f’ and typing h1 to see the tag in the source code.

And it should look a little like this:

Here, the h1 tag is also the title ‘What makes a good website’.

Now that we have understood, how it looks on a normal webpage, let’s understand how h1 tags work.

For instance, you’re writing about the latest SEO updates in 2019. You have a dashing title set for your post and your content is highly lucrative, informing the user about everything they need to know in the SEO realm. However, if you don’t have a proper h1 tag set for this post, it might perform at a subpar level.

Here’s why.

H1 tags are indicators of the heading of the webpage. These tags enable Google’s SEO algorithm to understand what your webpage is all about. If your webpage doesn’t have an h1 tag about the ‘latest SEO updates in 2019’, the crawler might not be able to file your webpage under the requisite keyword. This may cause your post to get lost in millions of others that were not identified properly by the crawler.

“An h1 tag sets you apart from the rest of the chaos.”

It allows Google to match your post with the right request of the user, enabling higher ranking on the SERPs.

Now that we have understood the importance of h1 tag, let’s figure out how to use it.

Different strategies work for different content. However, the one that we like to follow is:

  • Using only 1 h1 tag per post
  • Including the keyword in the h1 tag
  • Not too long, not too short
  • Including all HTML tags in their respective order
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of h1 tag using UI

Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these pointers and get a detailed insight in the usage of h1 tags.

Using Only ONE H1 Tag: 

Yes, it is possible to use more than one h1 tag but we highly discourage you from doing so. Here’s why. The more h1 tags you use, the more dilute its impact becomes. 

You would wonder that if 1 h1 tag is good, wouldn’t the usage of 2 h1 tags make the chances of ranking even higher? Sadly, the answer is no. This is because the priority of the h1 tag is to emphasize higher importance on 1 keyword, phrase, or sentence, as opposed to multiple of them. Hence, while the usage of multiple h1s won’t have a major positive impact, it will most definitely affect the SEO power of a single h1. Such dilution can seriously affect your SERPs ranking.

Including a Keyword In The H1 Tag:

Every rookie blogger/ website owner might know the importance of keywords in the race of ranking. It is highly important to have one primary keyword for your article and multiple, relevant secondary keywords necessary for SEO support.

It is vital to mention your primary keyword in your h1 tag. We know that it might feel like keyword stuffing, but we promise you that it isn’t. 

It is important to use your primary keyword in your h1 tag, because that helps Google understand what your content is about (like we mentioned earlier in this post). 

By conclusion, Google WANTS you to use a keyword in the h1 tag. 

In a recent study that we conducted, more than 74% of websites that ranked on the SERPs included a keyword in their h1 tag.

Use of long-tailed keywords in your h1 tag will enable higher ranking in SERPs for most relevant searches, and a better SEO score, overall. 

Long tailed keywords are specific and highly niche in nature. Usage of these keywords in the h1 tag, truly makes it easier for Google to showcase your content when the user is looking for it.

Not to short, not too long:

We have figured out how many h1 tags to use and which keywords to include. However, the length of an h1 tag matters too. The shorter the h1 tag, the better, right? Wrong. 

An h1 tag can range anywhere from 20 to 70 characters to reap maximum benefits. Shorter than that and the whole purpose of an h1 tag is lost. It would be extremely challenging to encompass the contents of the post in less than 20 characters. More than 70 characters would, again, dilute the SEO power of the long-tailed keyword.

While you can use a phrase or a sentence as an h1 tag, it is imperative to keep the length of the tag in mind.

Usage of all HTML tags in their respective order:

We highly recommend the usage of all other HTML tags in your post to support your h1 tag. Now, a significant tip to keep in mind is that it is necessary that you don’t skip any of the 6 tags while doing so. It is perfectly fine not to use an HTML tag, say for instance, h6, if you don’t have a clear purpose for it in the post. But, it would mess with your SEO power if you chose to use h6 and skipped the usage of h3, for instance. We recommend that you use all HTML tags, in their given order.

Enhancing the effectiveness using UI: 

We have long discovered that the sole purpose of h1 tag is to identify the heading of the webpage and the subject of its contents. Coming back to the fact, it is necessary to augment the appearance of the H1 tag, according to its function. Hence, we ask you to improve the appearance of an H1 tag, and make it more prominent on the user interface of your website to attract the attention of the user to that particular phrase or sentence.

Bonus tip: Clarify user intent

We can understand that the formation of an h1 tag can be tricky for beginners. And so, we have one more bonus tip to help you brainstorm in the right direction. Clarifying the user intent in the h1 tag is a sure-shot way towards highly performing content. ‘User intent’, while it may sound confusing, simply means asking these questions:

‘What is the user looking for, in my article? What is their intention behind opening my article?’

When you can answer these questions, the formulation of your h1 tag becomes simpler and starts to flow naturally and easily, the more you do it.

We hope that this elaborate article on h1 tags has been of good help to you! Happy tagging! 

The H1 Research Results are as below

1 June – 10 June (12 h1 tags)

June 11 to June 20

June 21 to June 30

June 30 Results