When you are developing a web page, you must understand the design elements that can improve user experience and SEO ranking. Of course, it should include the proper layout and the images. But apart from the obvious, you should know that adding the proper heading to your web pages is as important too. We are specifically talking about the H1 tag. Let’s discuss more about the Benefits of An H1 Tag and how it can affect your website’s performance.
What is an H1 tag?
When we say H1 tags, it refers to the largest texts found on your web page. It gives your visitors a glimpse of what the content is all about. For HTML, you can find H1 values enclosed in <h1></h1> tags.
Most of the time, H1 tags use different formatting compared to other texts on a web page. This is to differentiate it from the rest of the content easily. Plus, doing so can highlight what your page has to offer.
If you are to translate it to more traditional materials such as newspapers, H1 is simply your headline.
What are the Benefits of H1 Tag?
For years, an H1 tag seems like a staple in websites. However, only a few understand its real value. And if you think it’s all about aesthetics, you got it wrong. Let’s explain to you the advantages of using H1 tags.
Provides Better User Experience:
First of all, whenever you design or develop a website, you must think of your potential visitors. Your H1 should help them determine what the entire web page is all about, and it must help them take the next action. With your H1 tag, they can easily evaluate if what you are offering is exactly what they are looking for. And if it is, then they will immediately browse within the web page.
Without an H1, such simple decisions will be hard to make. While you can always use images to highlight your content, texts will always have a crucial role.
Your web content could be more accessible, even to visually impaired users, with H1 tags.
If you must know, screen reader technology uses H1 and other tags to help people understand a page’s content. They could read the headings out loud, and visually impaired people can assess if they are at the right online resource.
It Gives Your Web Page a Structure:
Let’s have a blog post, for instance.
Just imagine if the title of the blog post has the same font style and size used in the body of the page. It looks half-baked, and it seems to lack visual impact.
For years, and even before the websites even emerged, adding headers was already a common practice. Again, you can find it in newspapers, posters, brochures, and even academic books. It gives your content a structure that is both aesthetically pleasing and logical.
Helps in SEO Ranking:
Apart from the user experience, an H1 tag can also help with your web’s performance. In fact, it can improve your SEO ranking.
This is possible as search engine crawlers can associate your content to your header. These spiders try to look for values enclosed in heading tags, including H1, H2, H3, and so forth. So for example, your H1 says ‘Top Travel Destinations in Asia.’ The search engines will know that your page is about traveling, thereby ranking it appropriately.
The best SEO techniques change over time, but using H1 tags has been constant. And we believe it’s going to be the same in the coming years.
How to Write an Effective H1 Tag?
Since we’ve already established the Benefits of an H1 tag, let’s now see the best practices when writing one.
Avoid Clickbait Headlines:
When we say clickbait headlines, it often refers to sensationalized and sometimes misleading titles in an attempt for users to click a link. While this technique worked years ago, times have changed, and online users know better now.
If you use this technique, it might eventually cause a backlash. People will immediately leave your website, and that could result in a high bounce rate. Search engines perceive websites with high bounce rates as having poor content, and this could affect your ranking.
Write Between 20 – 70 Characters:
Take note though that the length of your H1 is not as important as before. However, experts recommend that you use the range of 20 – 70 characters.
This is because a short H1 tag is like wasting a space wherein you can already amplify your content’s focus. On the other hand, writing something too long can turn off your readers as well.
Stop Keyword Stuffing:
We notice that in an attempt to trick search engine spiders, many people stuff their H1 tags with keywords. Don’t attempt this as Google might penalize you for doing so.
What you can do as an alternative is to use long-tail keywords. These are more specific keyword phrases that online users are likely to type when searching.
Here’s an example. If your niche is about dresses, you don’t use it as your keyword. It’s too broad and the competition is also huge. Be more specific and instead, use ‘Little Black Dresses for Curvy Women.’
Use Different H1 for Each Page:
When you work on your website, it should have different H1 tags for all pages as you also have to create different content for each.
Are H2 and H3 Important Too?
We’ve been focusing on H1, but it’s also worth mentioning other tags such as H2 and H3.
To answer the question – Yes, it is still important. Similar to our tip for H1, these subheadings must contain keywords. Yet, do not overdo it to the point of compromising grammar and readability.
Search engines are becoming sophisticated by the minute. And if they see that you are trying to manipulate them, it could cost you your good website ranking.
An H1 will always be a key ingredient when designing a website or publishing new content. Not using it means you could lose a lot of opportunities. But overusing it can cause further damages as well. Thus, knowing how to use it properly is necessary. If you follow the best practices, then you could get a higher organic reach and can get the Benefits of an H1 Tag.