How Important is the H1 Tag for SEO
The fundamental role of an h1 tag is to represent the main topic of an article on the web. But many wonder, “how important is h1 tag for SEO?” This article will tell you the basics about h1 tags and how you should use them in your content.
How H1s Have Changed Over Time
H1 tags have always been important headings when it comes to optimization. But over time, the specific rules surrounding how to best use h1s has evolved.
In years past, these rules were stricter. Those writing web content were best advised to write no more or less than one h1 heading. In that heading, the main target keyword was always present.
Today, the standards for h1 use have changed. A single h1 per article is no longer a hard rule. In fact, it is acceptable to have no h1 tags at all.
This newfound flexibility reflects a change in attitude in the SEO community. While rigid rules were once the norm for formatting, usability has taken its place as the most valuable goal today.
The Role of H1 in Today’s SEO
While most SEO experts and SEO software toolkits will likely advise you to have a single h1 for every post. But there is little evidence to suggest that this strategy helps improve search results for your content.
Experts on the search engine side of the issue seem to support the notion that the importance of h1s in SEO is somewhat ambiguous. This recording from Google Webmaster Central touches on the topic and reiterates the idea that there is no prescribed number of h1s for optimized content.
H1s tags help to give your content structure. An organized hierarchy of headings and subheadings pleases both Google and readers.
But it does not seem to matter what type of heading you use first. As long as you use a cascading structure in your outline, it makes no difference whether you start with an h1 and h2 or any other heading types.
Still, h1s have traditionally held the role of being the top heading for web content. So, while this does not directly influence SEO, using h1s can help you create content that adheres to commonly accepted norms in the industry.
But if nothing else, just know that having headings, in general, is what is most important. Headings make content more digestible and play another essential role in web accessibility.
Headings in Accessibility
Consuming written content online is more difficult for those who are visually impaired. As such, content creators are responsible for tailoring their content to be accessible to those who rely on screen readers.
Headings are one of the most important tools for achieving this goal. Screen readers rely on a regular structure of headings to help visually impaired users navigate web pages.
Again, it is not always important which specific headings you use in this context. All that matters is that you have headings and subheadings in a logical layout.
The standards of h1 use are not as specific as they once were. But headings, in general, remain important for several reasons. While h1 won’t necessarily enhance your SEO, they do add structure to your content, making it much easier to read and more accessible to all users.