Let's start with the question: how important is an H1 for SEO? The answer is: pretty important.
But first, here's a quick explanation of what an H1 (also called an "H1 tag") is: it's the designation for a headline (the "H") that's the most important one (hence, the "1") for SEO purposes. While there are H1s, H2s, all the way through H6s, the H1 tag is what Google gives the most weight to when determining what a page on your website, or blog, is about. And that's why it's also important to use keywords in the H1 tag.
Of course, Google uses other items on a webpage to interpret what your blog is about.
In addition to the H1 tag, they look at the Page Title, the Meta Description, the names of the images, the Alt text description of each image, as well as the words on the page. They also determine what the page is about when there are keywords your audiences is searching for throughout that page.
Google's artificial intelligence is pretty impressive. A few years ago, they introduced "Rank Brain" to their core algorithm. That's a part of Google’s algorithm that uses machine learning, which is the ability of machines to teach themselves the meanings of human language. That helps them determine the best results to display on their search results page. It's amazingly sophisticated that an algorithm can determine both the content of a webpage and a person's intent for what they're searching for.
So why is an H1 for SEO important?
By incorporating keywords in your H1 tag, it helps search engines decipher what the content on your page – or blog – is about. And of course, since people scan articles, it helps your visitors determine if an article is relevant to them.
This is why you should never guess at what keywords (or search terms) your audience uses. It has to be researched using SEO tools. Imagine guessing at the search terms your audience uses, and guessing wrong. You would have spent your valuable efforts focusing either on keywords no one uses, or keywords that are hardly ever used.
The most important consideration of of writing any blog is that it answers someone's question. Add to that how well it's written. A poorly written page or blog just doesn't showcase the best side of your company.
Should your blog headline be your h1 tag?
Ideally, yes. But what if you're a home builder, plastic surgeon, or web design company writing blogs, and it's awkward to use a keyword in the blog title? In that case, it's not the best place for it. Why? What if you're offering different perspectives about the same topic? Let's say:
- You're a home builder writing about custom homes, or
- You're a surgeon writing about breast implants, or
- You're a web design company writing about SEO?
It would be weird to have the keywords in every blog headline. How often could you use the keywords:
- "Custom home builder"
- "Breast Implants" or
- "Search Engine Optimization"...
... in your blog titles without it being repetitive?
How do you work around over-using keywords in your blog titles?
We've come up with a way. To prevent your blog titles from being repetitive and having the same keyword appear too often, the blog title SHOULDN'T the h1 tag. We make the blog title an h2 tag.
We set up the page so you can make ANY of your subheads an h1 tag. By doing that, the headlines of your blog don't have to use the keyword every time, making them appear repetitive. As long as you have your keyword in one of the subheads, AND you designate that subhead as an h1, you're playing by Google's rules while keeping your keywords in a subhead as an h1 tag.
BY not making the blog title an h1 tag, we give you flexibility to use an h1 for SEO anywhere on your blogs (or other webpage). So any subhead, anywhere in your blog can be the h1 tag.
And one more thing...
Another thing we do is make the h1 tag and h3 tag exactly the same font and color. That way, you can have multiple subheads on a page which all look the same (same font, size and color), but only have one subhead, with your keywords, as your h1 tag. That way, your h1 for SEO can be halfway down the page, and it still plays by Google's rules.
These may seem like little things, but little things add up to a big advantage for SEO. You certainly don't want to work with a web design company that has to learn this stuff on YOUR website. Working with an experienced web designer will pay off in the long run.