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Heading H1: rules of writing

Check the presence and correctness of the H1 tag on any page of the site.

What is an H1 tag and why do you need it?

H1 is the first-level heading. The users see it on top of the page under the header. This heading is on top of the headings hierarchy and can only be one on a page.

H1 is not particularly important for SEO, as search engines use the Title for page ranking first. However, H1 is critical for the user experience. It must fully represent the page content to make the user stay on the page as long as possible.

The Title is also the page heading but it is used by the search engine bots for search delivery. It is also displayed in a snippet and a browser tab.

In case the Title is missing the search engine bot would use H1 heading, however, such page would not be ranked high.

Basic rules of H1 heading composition

H1 heading length

We recommend using 10-60 symbols long text with the mandatory implementation of the page primary key. Some CMSs have plugins which analyze the page content. They can help control the heading length.

The difference between H1 and Title

It is important to remember that these meta-tags serve different purposes and must not have the same values. It is the best practice to use the same keys but you can change the endings. However, if you place the same text in both tags the page’s position will not be downgraded.

Attention! To create quick links in a snippet you might want to make H1 and Title contain the same 1-2 words.

The contents of H1

Put the primary key closer to the beginner of the heading and don’t break it with punctuation marks. If possible avoid the stop-words, i. e. too many prepositions or introductory patterns. Use punctuation as little as possible, do not use a period at the end of the heading. However, you could use exclamation or question mark if applicable.

H1 in the headings hierarchy

There can only be one H1 and it must be situated before the rest of the headers. In some cases, you might drop H2-H6, but H1 is mandatory. The text in H1 must be unique not only for the page but for the whole site as well.

Do not use too many headings. In most cases, H3 is enough. Too many heading levels might distract the user.

In some cases, e. g. in long-reads, it is possible to use more than one H1, however, it is recommended to avoid it.

Links in H1

H1 heading must not contain links. A search engine scans the webpage code, not the displayed text which is read by a user, and therefore could decide HTML symbols to be part of the heading. It is acceptable to insert links in H2-H6 headings if it is good for site logic. It is also not recommended to insert styles in H1.

How to write up an attractive heading?

First of all, you should remember that you compose the text for people, not for the search engines. Avoid difficult incoordinate patterns or keys recitation. A bad example is: “Kitchen from scratch - order online, free measurement”. It might be suitable for the Title only.

A good example of H1 is: “Order kitchen from scratch without leaving home”. You might add USP to H2: “Free measurement, 30 days work completion guarantee”.

If you create headings for a digital store, be specific about the goods they sell. The word “Catalogue” is obscure to a user, it is better to say “Refrigerators and freeze cameras”.

Write as short as possible, pick popular requests for headers and use them in their entirety. If you would like to extend the semantics, add endings to H2-H6. For example, instead of “How to remove a disc from a grinder” use “How to remove a disc from a grinder without a key”. Anyways, search engine bots rarely scan the lower level headings, so they might not contain search queries at all.

You can check the accuracy of your headings in our Site Analysis service. During the check, it would display the main page heading, and you would see the inner pages headings in the corresponding block.