Before we start I want to be clear that the H1 tag is a MAJOR factor in the online marketing ability of your site. I’m not talking about coding the H1 tag, just the importance of it for gaining natural search results.

Easy H1 Marketing

The H1 tag is a HTML coding element that stands for heading and they range for H1 to H6 (h1 to h6 to be correct). I’m only talking about the H1 tag and the reason why so many web developers (the people who do the website coding) don’t include it their builds.

Think of the H1 tag in the same way a newspaper editor thinks of their front page headline, which is the most important part of the page and I call it the hook.

As a business owner for example, what you need to think about is that every page of your website has a headline using the H1 tag. Using the heading tag in this way provides the search engines with an understanding of what that page really entails. Just to be clear every website page should ‘must in my opinion’ have the H1 tag / heading tag included not only for website standards in its basic form, but ultimately for core marketing reasons.

How to check for the H1 Tag

Here is the quickest way:

Open whatever web browser you use and load your own websites homepage by entering the URL in the address bar. (Browser I’ve used to check the following steps, IE9, Firefox 10 and my favourite Google Chrome)

Once loaded

  1. Right click, find view source or view page source.
  2. Then the HTML code of the site will be shown in a text file/new browser window.
  3. Using your keyboard press the Ctrl + F buttons together.
  4. Now type in <h1> and click find.

H1 Tag Results

Good Bad
You found 1 <h1> tag Did not find any
Found 1 <h1> with copy visible on the page Found multiple <h1>
Found <h1> wrapped round image
Found <h1> with no copy

Development Mistakes

Good Bad
Great you found one with copy in it which matches up to the copy on your page.Next action: test another page just to be sure. Did not find any: Sack your developer, this is a basic principle of web design.
Found multiple: Does one at least contain copy relating to your pages copy? If not sack your developer, this is a basic principle of web design.
Found <h1> with no copy: If you can find an option to add in a heading title do it using your CMS, if not. If not sack your developer, this is a basic principle of web design.

The basics of basic on-page optimisation

Here are some super basic SEO reasons why you should include the H1 tag and marry these following areas up with a CLEAR marketing message.

  1. Page title – This is what is shown in the search engine result and need to be a clear definitive marketing message.E.g. If I sell business databases, my website’s homepage page title would be along these lines.Page Title: Buy Business Databases, UK B2B Data, Marketing Lists and Contact Database
  2. Meta Description: This is a very important part and also needs be a clear marketing message. It needs to be a snippet/short paragraph of copy contextualised from all your on-page copy.Meta Description: Buy business databases and marketing lists online from DatabaseSales.co.uk. We supply UK B2B contact data for all major cities like London, Manchester and Leeds.
  3. H1 Tag: Marry this headline up with page title, meta description and on-page copy using primary keywords that ultimately describe that page’s product offering.H1 Tag: UK Business Databases and B2B Telesales Data
  4. Copy/Words on your webpage: If you don’t have any words on your homepage, you’d best have a really really really good link building strategy in place. Words are what really make a search engine read your page and index it in to search results that relate to your products.Top tip: Make sure your landing pages have a good amount of copy on, 400 words minimum. In that copy also make sure that you are communicating a clear message throughout it which matches up with all the above.E.g. Paragraph:

    Welcome to Databasesales.co.uk, the UK’s largest online business-to-business data provider. Targeting the right businesses in the right cities will help secure new contact data, leads and sales for your own business.

    Buying London business data, Leeds B2B marketing lists or specific business sector information in Manchester will ensure you’re one step ahead of your competitors.

Synopsys: In that paragraph we’ve made it clear that we provide business database for our key cities, the types of B2B lists and related to other search terms people search for using Google.

Closure

So to conclude, if you find your site does not have the <h1> tag then you NEED to fix it ASAP because it is one of the fundamentals of online marketing and basics of website development.

Ensuring these four core on-page search engine optimisation elements are correct will pay dividends in the future of your online success.

Kind Regards,
Joseph Gourvenec
SEO and Search Specialist

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