What is a <h1> tag?
<h1> tag is an HTML code which signifies the heading of the web page in concern. The <h1> usually represents the topic name of the web page.
An HTML document has 6 basic heading tags. Each based on the level of importance of the sub-topic. As you can guess from the headings below the h1 is most prominent and will define what the content on the page will be about.
Importance of having a unique H1 Tag?
Ideally, you want each page on your site specifically say what it is about. Which is essentially the topic it plans to cover on that particular page.
When you use the same H1 tag on multiple pages the user who visits each of these pages might feel confused. He or she might not understand the most relevant content for their needs.
The same happens with search engine bots. When search engines visit pages which have the same H1 across it cannot easily make out which of those pages is most relevant to the users’ search query. This might lead to the wrong URL ranking in search engines and might hurt your bounce rate and conversion rates on your site leading to your rankings dropping.
Ideally, every page you publish on your site should have a unique purpose. And this should be mentioned in the H1 tag. When you have pages which are very similar to the topic you must see what is that unique differentiator between each of those pages and use the same in the H1 tag of the page.
How to find pages with duplicate H1 Tags?
Step 1: Run a ScreamingFrog crawl on your site.
Step 2: Once the crawl is finished click on “H1” tab on top.
Step 3: Pick “Duplicate from the drop-down on the top right.
Step 4: Export the list of URLs and start writing headings as per best practices.
<H1> Tag Best Practices
Although <h1> tag seems insignificant you can do a lot to optimize it for the user and a search engine. Follow the five best practices below and craft headlines which transform your pages.
Use at least one h1 tag – Every page should have at least one heading. From SEO point of view, this should ideally be an h1. You can even use multiple h1s on a page as long as it makes sense to the user and keeps them engaged.
Create magnetic headlines – Create headlines which gets an emotional response from your users. Get out of the SEO mindset and think of writing headline copy which gets you clicks and intrigues browsers to read your content. Follow Copyblogger guide to create magnetic headlines. See if your current headlines trigger an emotional response from your user. Use Coschedule headline analyzer to check how your headline might perform on social channels, email and search engine results page.
Format it right – A h1 tag should be styled well for readability and aesthetics. A good <h1> tag should have well-crafted font type, line height, styling, and size.
Make it unique to each page – Every page <h1> should be unique. It should be different from all other page h1s on your site. This ensures that your pages don’t compete with each other for SEO ranking. Also, it gives the user a clear discretion on which page to read for what specific purpose.
Target a single keyword – A h1 tag should target only a single keyword. This keyword is the primary keyword you want the particular page to rank for. Trying to target multiple keywords could result in you NOT ranking for any of them. This might also reduce the reader attention and clickthrough rates of your headlines.