H1 Tags: Are They Necessary?

What is the value of H1 tags?

Thanks to CSS, many web designers have moved away from using headers all together. This is a mistake. The H1 header tag is still important to three different groups.

  1. Search engines. The header tag tells the search engines what the page is about. When a search engine crawls a website, it indexes the content. Without a header tag, the search engine may fail to organize the content correctly.
  2. Website owners. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website to get a higher ranking in the search engines. Every business wants to be on the first page of Google. A bike shop wanting to rank high with the keyword phrase “bicycle repair” might have a header like this: The Art of Bicycle Repair in Anytown, USA</h1>. When a user is searching for bicycle repair, the bike shop will have a greater chance of being discovered.
  3. Website visitors. There is also a practical value to an H1 header tag. Just like a headline in a newspaper or the title of a chapter, people like to scan the page just to see what it’s about. A good header helps them decide to read the full article or not.

Is there a limit to H1 tags on a page?

There is no limit to the number of H1 header tags on a given page, but a word of caution. If search engines interpret that the website owner is attempting is to stuff a page with keywords, they can penalize the website. This can be disastrous for a company depending on visitors to their website for revenue.

Headers should come out of the natural flow of the content. If a section is about the types of bicycle repair and prices, then a short header describing that content is appropriate. 

Having great content on your website makes the H1 header tag all the more important. There is no better way to organize and define the content than with H1 header tag.


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