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What you really need to know about the H1 tag

By October 23, 2019Wednesday Workshop

There are a lot of things that go into optimizing an H1 tag on a web page. Have you ever stopped to consider whether or not this onpage element even matters? In this week’s video, we will discuss just what exactly an H1 tag is, and what you need to know about it.


Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn!

I had a wonderful and relaxing vacation in Thailand, but I’m back in action and so ready to explore some more local SEO topics.

When I’m auditing a site one of the key things that I look for is the H1 tag. Where is it on the page, is it well optimized for local, how many are there…these are just a few of the questions I consider when evaluating this onpage element.

But…is really that important? Today, we will find out what you really need to know about H1 tags.

Let’s back up for just a moment and define exactly what this element is. 

An H1 tag is the primary HTML heading of the page. It is usually the largest heading tag and it often defines the main idea.

Many SEO experts, including me, have historically given a lot of weight to the H1 tag in terms of its importance to Google’s algorithm. But it’s time to pose an important question: does Google’s algorithm even care?

Long story short, Google has said that H1 tags are not critical to search visibility. Whether you have zero or 25 and whether they are keyword-optimized doesn’t matter. The primary reason to have an H1 tag is to help searchers and search engines alike understand page structure; but this element won’t impact how well you rank.

I know that this news may be a bit confusing, as we have always recommended that your page on your site have a single, well-optimized H1 tag; but not to worry. Google said this is still a good practice from a usability perspective.

Here’s the key takeaway from this announcement: Having optimized H1 tags on a page won’t affect your rank in search; but will create a functional structure for search engines and searchers to follow. 

Keep using them and keep optimizing them, but with a fresh understanding of WHY it’s good to have them.

That’s all the time we have left for today’s video. As always, if you have questions or comments leave ‘em down below and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next week with another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

Author Kelcey Drapp

Kelcey Drapp is an SEO Manager working at DealerOn since 2015, and in the digital space for nearly a decade. Kelcey enjoys digging deep into SEO research to discover the 'why,' and helping clients realize their potential for success online. In addition to her work in local SEO, Kelcey also likes to volunteer her digital marketing skills for non-profits in need. When Kelcey is not working, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her husband, son, & three dogs.

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