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  1. #1
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    What should go in the H1 tag?

    Hello,

    I previously thought that the title of each page should go in the h1 tag. For example the services page of a website should have 'services' in the h1 tag etc. etc.

    But then some people say that my website name should go in the h1 tag and for the page titles to go in h2 tags... Are they right?

    Thank you,

    James
    James Padolsey
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  2. #2
    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    Put in a description of what the content to follow is about.

    I'd use more than the word "services". Say it's a web design company - "Web Design, SEO, and Web Hosting Services from Company XYZ".

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard
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    The title should be a description of the page in some way.

  4. #4
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    Okay. Thanks Jake and rcj662

    So the title of the page, instead of services should be something more descriptive...

    But should it go in the H1 tag? --- or is the website name meant to go in the h1 tag?

    Thanks
    James Padolsey
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  5. #5
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    The H1 should be similar to the page title. Both should convey a concise summary of what the page is about.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    I usually use the same text for both the TITLE and the H1. This is not perfect from an SEO point of view, but I feel that it the most logical solution in terms of semantics. There can of course be exceptions for various reasons (for example if you want to put the domain- or page name after the title in the TITLE), but that's the general rule I use.

    I always try to make both the TITLE and the H1 as simple as possible. If the page is a contact form, I'll use 'Contact' or 'Contact us', if it's an article list, I'll use 'Articles [about ...]'. Again, this isn't perfect in terms of SEO, but it's much better for humans (of which I have more visiting my website than I have search engines).
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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  7. #7
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    I personally use an actual image for the site title (since the site title/name is usually a logo anyway) with the appropriate alt="" text included, then reserve the H1 heading for the page title (or something approximating the page title).

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard angilina's Avatar
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    put the title of page content inside H1 tag

  9. #9
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    I personally use an actual image for the site title (since the site title/name is usually a logo anyway) with the appropriate alt="" text included, then reserve the H1 heading for the page title (or something approximating the page title).

    That's what I am doing on my site... But when I tried to apply to the GAWD Guild of accessible web designers (not sure it's even worth it) they said that I should put my website name into an H1 tag (which would involve wrapping the header img in an h1 tag). But the thing is that I am already using H1 tags to name the contents of the page. E.g. 'Website Homepage', 'Services' etc. etc.

    So should I sacrifice the H1 tag to the website name or to the page name??? (afterall I can only use one h1 tag per page)
    James Padolsey
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  10. #10
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    So should I sacrifice the H1 tag to the website name or to the page name??? (afterall I can only use one h1 tag per page)
    From an SEO perspective, which is the forum we're in, use the page name.

    It's also more helpful to non-challenged visitors.

  11. #11
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    That's what I am doing on my site... But when I tried to apply to the GAWD Guild of accessible web designers (not sure it's even worth it) they said that I should put my website name into an H1 tag (which would involve wrapping the header img in an h1 tag). But the thing is that I am already using H1 tags to name the contents of the page. E.g. 'Website Homepage', 'Services' etc. etc.

    So should I sacrifice the H1 tag to the website name or to the page name??? (afterall I can only use one h1 tag per page)
    Use it on the page. Sometimes not even GAWD (in this case, as in "GAWD awful") knows what they're talking about. (The same is even true of myself sometimes; same with everyone else.)

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    Dan
    ALT is fine, but wouldn't CSS image replacement offer better SEO styling capabilities, especially for something as important as SEO?

    tke71709
    Even though this is the SEO section, I don't think than an advise can just focus on the traditional SEO optimisation, while completely ignoring the user experience. It would be bad long-term SEO anyway.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  13. #13
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Who are you putting first, yourself or your users?

  14. #14
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    How much weight does an H1 carry over an H2 in SEO.

    Will google pay attention to the H1 tag of a page or the page title (i.e. within <title></title>) ???

    Edit:


    I know it pays attention to both --- But which one carries more weight?
    James Padolsey
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  15. #15
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    How much weight does an H1 carry over an H2 in SEO.
    No one knows but it doesn't matter really. It shouldn't change how they are used.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    Will google pay attention to the H1 tag of a page or the page title (i.e. within <title></title>) ???
    Both. Why would they ignore one over the other? There's no reason to.

  16. #16
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    Thanks Stymiee. So we're conforming to standards for the sake of conforming to standards - there is no real verifiable reason to use H1s and H2s relevantly?
    James Padolsey
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    Who are you putting first, yourself or your users?
    In case you are responding to my post, I'm not quite sure I follow you?

    From a philosophical point of view, I am of course putting myself first. If I was not, I would not be interested in being successful, and thus would not have to make as good a user experience as possible, in order to get more users.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Evangelist asprookie's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that the name of the website should go into h1 but I disagree, the title of the article or product makes more sense.

  19. #19
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    This raises the interesting question of whether or not it's ok to use an H1 tag more than once on a page.

    I believe that it is.

    I might make a page that has this structure:

    PAGE TITLE (in the meta tagging)
    H1
    H2 H2
    H3 H3 H3
    H1
    H2 H2
    H3 H3 H3

    because the two H1 headings have equal importance in the copy from a usability point of view.

    For SEO I would only use the keyword phrase in the first H1 tag and then where ever else it made sense to use it, I wouldn't use it in both H1 tags because it would look like spam and it would make no sense to read.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
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  20. #20
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyPaddy View Post
    Thanks Stymiee. So we're conforming to standards for the sake of conforming to standards - there is no real verifiable reason to use H1s and H2s relevantly?
    Actually using both is the best of both worlds. You're using the proper HTML which makes your document better organized which also makes it SEO friendly.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    This raises the interesting question of whether or not it's ok to use an H1 tag more than once on a page.

    I believe that it is.

    I might make a page that has this structure:

    PAGE TITLE (in the meta tagging)
    H1
    H2 H2
    H3 H3 H3
    H1
    H2 H2
    H3 H3 H3

    because the two H1 headings have equal importance in the copy from a usability point of view.

    For SEO I would only use the keyword phrase in the first H1 tag and then where ever else it made sense to use it, I wouldn't use it in both H1 tags because it would look like spam and it would make no sense to read.
    If you have two H1s tags on a page then the odds that content should be broken up into two pages. That way each page can be the focus of one topic and have the best chance to rank well for that topic.

  21. #21
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    If you have two H1s tags on a page then the odds that content should be broken up into two pages. That way each page can be the focus of one topic and have the best chance to rank well for that topic.
    I'd agree most of the time but occasionally it's necessary because two subjects follow on from each other or are related it some way.

    When that happens I think it's ok to use two H1 tags, with no search engine penalties, which is the jist of what I as saying.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    If it isn't possible to have one meaningful headline for the two articles, then yes, two H1 would have to be included. However, as John wrote, it would then probably be better to split up the page.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard
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    H1 = Pizza recipes

    H2 = Chicago Style Pizza
    H3 = Chicago Style Pizza History
    H3 = Pizza Ingredients

    H2 = Cheesedude Style Pizza
    H3 = Cheesedude Style Pizza History
    H3 = Pizza Ingredients

    Etcetera.

  24. #24
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    What about on a home page, say you have a 'welcome' paragraph followed by a brief 'what we do' paragraph which would link to a what we do page.

    The titles of both are equally important from an accessibility point of view and semantically, I would give them both an H1 tag.

    Would you try to avoid using two H1 tags? If so, why?
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
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  25. #25
    Function Curry'er JimmyP's Avatar
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    @JJMcClue --> With more than one H1 tag what do you choose to put in the title tag of the page? - Should there not be some type of consistency between the title and H1 tags? --- Like Stymiee said.
    James Padolsey
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