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Thread: How many <H1> tags should there be per page

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    elbandelero's Avatar
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    How many <H1> tags should there be per page

    A lot of templates for various CMSs use an <h1> for the site name, then an <h2> for the site description, then an <h1> or <h2> for the page title, and often an <h2> for headers that appear in sidebars, and I'm wondering if the SEO experts can tell us all what the best structure should be?

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    Will.Spencer's Avatar
    Will.Spencer is offline Retired
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    Most web designers are completely oblivious to SEO. The Joomla default template, for example, doesn't use <h1> at all, it uses <div class="componentheading">. "componentheading" has no SEO value.

    Using <h1> for the site name is a complete waste -- except on the index page.

    There should be one <h1> tag and it should be used for the page title. W3C agrees with me.

    <h2> should be used for paragraph headers, and those should be rich with related keywords.

    Sidebars and other site-wide elements should not use <hX> tags, they should use CSS tags for styling purposes.
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    1901gt (6 February, 2009), dabney.lewis (15 September, 2011), elbandelero (1 February, 2009), memenode (20 April, 2011), tmongy (3 February, 2009)

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    elbandelero's Avatar
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    Thanks Will, you've completely confirmed what I was thinking. Now I have some work to do on my latest project. Cheers!

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    Come's Avatar
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    <hX> considerations are very important.
    48 hours after the launches of my new project, all my pages are indexed by google and I have good serps (1st page !) with targeted keywords, all in <hX> .
    Last edited by Come; 2 February, 2009 at 00:40 AM.

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    sampathdsw is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    Thank you all. Honestly I was not aware of the H tags, but always I used to place only one H1 tag for the title. For the sidebars I always used the divs.

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    My main business is SEO and I fully agree with Will.

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    So Will, what happens to those CMS templates with a-lil-bit-too-many Hx tags? will it gives negative effect to ranking and/or SERP? or I don't have to be worry about it?

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    Will.Spencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budhi1976 View Post
    So Will, what happens to those CMS templates with a-lil-bit-too-many Hx tags? will it gives negative effect to ranking and/or SERP? or I don't have to be worry about it?
    A poorly SEO'd CMS template will definitely make you less competitive in the SERPS.
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    The H1 and H2 Texts are highly important - Why? They show the search engine the main subjects and Table of Contents for the content to be indexed. Make these keyword friendly and reflective of your page’s title tag.

    the tags go either side of a heading/phrase that you would give a subject on your page. <h1> being the most important & usually the description of the whole page & <h2> to <h6> for other headings to (lets say) certain topics, with the tag giving an order of preference of importance. Naturally <h1> being highest.

    When search engine come along to spider your site, you will be giving the SE a hand in saying what the importance of certain phrases & words are to that page. There is quite a bit more, but this is the short version. But it is also usually good idea to make these key words & good search terms.


    Like this

    H1 and H2 are for the first and 2nd headings(normally now every thing is goes with css)

    <h1> <font face="arial" size="3" color="000000"> <b>YOUR TEXT GOES H ERE </b> </font></h1></center>

    Or simply like this.

    <h1><YOURTEXTHERE</h1>

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    Canonical is offline Unknown Net Builder
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    Will is correct... Too many people don't know how to use <h1> and <h2>s to their advantage. However, I think on-page SEO starts 1st and foremost with picking a good <title>. The <title> element is THE most influential on-page SEO element that you have to work with. It should target 1 keyword phrase (2-3 at most if the phrases are ALMOST identical, VERY similar). For example, if I have a page about mortgage loans I might use the following <title>:

    <title>Mortgage Loans - Mortgage Home Loans</title>
    List the keyword phrases in order of importance... most important first, 2nd most important next (if applicable), 3rd most important next (if applicable).

    Once you have decided on a <title> for your page, everything else on that page should reinforce the targeted keyword phrase(s) from the <title>. The <h1> is the 2nd most important SEO ranking factor on the page. The <h1> should reinforce the <title>. If your <title> has a single keyword phrase, the choice is easy. If it has multiple keyword phrases then I try to reinforce the most important one (1st one) but also the 2nd and/or 3rd if possible. It's frequently possible to do so if the multiple keyword phrases are VERY similar.

    For example, in the above example the <title> was "Mortgage Loans - Mortgage Home Loans". So by using:

    <h1>Mortgage Home Loans</h1>
    as my <h1> I have not only reinforced the primary but also the secondary phrase:

    Mortgage Home Loans
    Mortgage Home Loans
    This technique works very well for me.

    Next, I typically have 3-6 <h2>s on each page. We use a CMS that has page templates. Page templates are built by individual components that rendered in the various columns of the page. Many of the components are based on items that have a header field. Whatever, we key into the header field gets rendered as an <h2>. So I will have 3-6 <h2>s on that page similar to the following:

    <h2>Articles about Mortgage Loans</h2>
    <h2>Mortgage Loan Calculators</h2>
    <h2>Mortgage Loan Offers</h2>
    <h2>Mortgage Rates</h2>
    <h2>Home Loans Made Easy</h2>

    They don't have to exactly match the targeted keyword phrases. If you can work it out so that some do, then great... If not use slight variations (different tense or conjugation of verbs from <title>, singular vs plural, etc.) or partial matches like the ones above.

    It is VERY rare that you should ever need <h3>...<h6>. Typically that's a sign that your page should be broken up into multiple page. Of course, the content of the page should also reinforce the <title>.

    In summary, <h1>s are the 2nd most important SEO ranking factor on the page... <h2>s are the 3rd most important IMO. Use them on every page and use them wisely...

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