Last updated on March 31st, 2023 at 12:02 am
When it comes to web pages and posts, there's no hard & fast rule as to how many H1 tags per page should you have.
How Many H1 Tags Per Page Should You Have?
In HTML, H1 is a heading that’s most commonly used to provide a title for the web page. It’s the most important tag of a web page and it helps to set the content of the page. It’s used to describe the topic of the page and to help visitors understand what the page is about.
H1 tags are the one of the most important SEO ranking factors for a web page or post. Search engines use the H1 tag to get an overall view of what the page is about and whether or not to serve it up in certain search queries.
How Many H1 Tags Should I Use Per Page? H1 Tag Best Practices
This is a common question which has an often misunderstood answer. Many people think you should never have more than a single H1 tag per page and SEO writing tools will even warn you if you have more than a single H1 tag in a page. But the truth is, it really depends on your page content.
What search engines really want is a well organized page. H1 tags and other heading tags such as H2, H3, etc… help to do that.
What makes the H1 tag different, and where the debate begins, is that the H1 tag usually denotes the page title – and surely you would normally only have one title on a page. I mean, have you ever seen a book with 2 titles? Probably not.
When it comes to how many H1 tags are typically found on a single page, the answer is 1. But still, it’s not a hard and fast rule. That being said, I myself have never written a post or page with more than a single H1 tag.
Pages with Very Long Content
Now, let’s say you have a page with 5000 words worth of content. It’s possible that you’re covering a lot of topics that all warrant their own H1 tag.
If written well, and the content is tightly related, then this could be a situation where multiple H1 tags might be appropriate, especially if there’s a chance that some of the sections under each H1 could stand alone as their own body of content.
On a side note, most people won’t sit down and read through an entire 5000 word page or post and if you truly do have that much content with multiple H1 tags, it might be worth thinking about breaking it up into separate posts.
Where Does the H1 Tag Normally Appear?
In most cases, the H1 tag is the first part of your page – which makes sense because that’s usually the title. For instance, the title of this post is, “How Many H1 Tags Per Page Should You Have?” and it’s at the top of the article. If you inspect the element using your browser’s developer tools, you’ll see it’s encased in H1 tags.
Now, if you’re using a CMS like WordPress, the title of your page or post will usually be automatically placed in an H1 tag. Most WordPress themes have this built in to their page and post templates by default so you don’t even have to think about it. But if you’re building a website using HTML or custom code, you’d need to write the HTML markup for the H1 tag yourself.
H1 Tag SEO: Final Thoughts
While there isn’t a dead set rule on the quantity of H1 tags you should have on your web page, the answer is usually 1. But if you’re worried about being penalized by Google for having more than 1, you can relax because search engines are much smarter than they used to be and as long as your content is well organized, multiple H1 tags aren’t likely to hurt your rankings… with the following exception: If you’re trying to manipulate Google by having many H1 tags with variations of different keywords, Google will know and probably penalize you for it.
As long as you focus on creating original quality and helpful content that’s organized well, you will be rewarded by search engines.
Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He’s also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover bands, Liquifaction and Minority Report.
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