Search Engines Notice H1

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  • Saturday, July 9, 2011
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  • arie wayq
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    Search Engines Notice H1 Headings


    I answer

    a lot of questions about SEO (search engine optimization) every day. One of the top things people ask me about are H1 headings, an SEO element we analyze in our Home Page Analysis and Site Report. This week's SEO tip covers the essentials of H1 headings, and why they're important.

    What are H1 headings?
    An H1 heading is a prominent piece of text on a web page. It's like the headline of a newspaper or magazine article - it helps readers quickly understand what the web page is about. For example, if this email were a web page, "Search Engines Notice H1 Headings" would be its H1 heading.

    An H1 heading is plain text that lives between these HTML tags: <h1> and </h1>

    How can H1 headings help my search engine rankings?
    Because headings are defined with HTML code, search engines understand that these pieces of text are of particular importance. You should include important keywords for a page in its H1 heading to tell search engines what the page is about, and help it rank higher in results for searches on those words.

    Do my website's pages have H1 headings?
    You can find out by looking at the HTML source code for every page on your site. When you're viewing the page, look for this option in your web browser. For example, in Firefox, you would click "View" at the top of the page, and then "Page Source." You'll see a page of code, and you can search for <h1> tags.

    Because H1 headings are important and it's tedious to check them manually, we analyze these - and many other SEO elements - in our Site Report.  We'll alert you to any pages that don't have an H1 heading, and also any pages that have two or more (you should have one per page). We show you what your H1 headings say, and alert you if they're too long, or include anything other than plain text (they shouldn't).

    How can I add or change my H1 headings?
    Your content management system should have a simple way to add an H1 heading to each page. Look for an option like "heading".  If you don't see it, consult the Help pages of the tool you use, or contact their support people.

    If you can edit the HTML code for your website, you can add an H1 heading where you want it to show up, like this: <h1>What you want the heading to say</h1> You can also look for an existing H1 heading, and change the text between the tags.

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