How Important Is Your H1 Header Tag for SEO?


There have been recent discussions about how we create and use our H1 header tags. Many SEOs still cling to ideas that made sense back in the early 2000’s but Google has made new recommendations concerning how we should think about our H1 header tags. In this blog, we discover what Google recommends today and how it could impact how you use H1 headers in SEO.


What Has Changed?

Google has noted a few changes in the importance of H1s that are still a topic of discussion because many SEOs are set in their ways, but it does seem like a real shift in how we should use them. The first thing that is of topic is how many H1s we should have on a page. Previously, you would think you only want one H1 header tag on your webpage.

John Mueller at Google states, “You can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. There’s no limit, neither upper nor lower bound. Your site is going to rank perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.

With this statement, he also notes that Google systems don’t have a problem with multiple H1 headings. In the early 2000’s used headings as a clue to what a web page was about, and used content at the top of the page as the most important content. That was an old way for Google to understand your content, after the Google Hummingbird update in 2013, Google began a transition toward more natural language styles and understanding. Today, Google has learned how to understand the topic and relate it to a search query without having the “perfect” structure.


How Does H1 Affect SEO?

This new look on how Google can read and understand the content without a direct H1 tag with your keywords impacts how we should write our H1s. John Mueller from Google states that a page will rank if you use one H1 or H2 header or multiple. The only purpose for them is to communicate what a section of content is about. Although it may not make a difference in how we rank on Google, it is important to make sure it is relevant and creates an easy reading experience. Many SEOs, including Top Floor specialists, do recommend only one H1 header tags on a page to make it clear for the reader the title or purpose of the page. Google is not saying this is bad practice, they are saying that if we want to use more we can, but do not have to.


How to Use H1 Header Tags Today

Today, using H1 header tags is different from how we would practice them in the early 2000s. Today, Google is ranking content and not just keywords. It is looking at your whole page, not just your keywords in your header and top of page content. Since Google doesn’t match keywords the same that it used to, content has become more important for your website. Creating full and robust content is the key to getting high rankings and authority for your website. If you are looking to build your website content, let us know how we can help!