Do H1 Tags Influence Search Engine Rankings?


Do H1 Tags Influence Search Engine Rankings?

H1 tags or heading tags influences the rankings of the search engine, if we think SEO-wise, then this statement is true. Basically, the heading tags are used to differentiate the content headings and sub-headings from rest of the text. Oops! Here we missed the beginners, who are new to heading tags, so let’s start with the basics like what are heading tags?

What are Heading Tags?

Heading on a web page is a set of HTML codes which enables some wordings to be easily noticeable. From H1 tag to H6 tag, all are the part of heading tags. To better understand the headings, let’s consider an example of an article published in a magazine. Whenever, you come across to an article published in a magazine, the very first thing you’ll notice - highlighted and large text at the top of the article. The text is known as the heading. It can be showcased in different forms like bold, underlined, catchy colors etc. Whatever, will be the form, the headings enable you to pick out the briefings of an entire article. The same case is followed with heading tags or H1 tags. If you have used some text under the H1 tag, then it will make the text stand out from rest of the content. It provides an indication to the user about what actually page says, and after that they make a conclusion about what should they do – should they read the entire content or shouldn’t?

Likewise, the heading tags help the search engines to make an evaluation about the web page. If the H1 tag is used in conjunction with the page title, targeted keywords, META description, then it will positively influence the ranking of search results page.


How to find out H1 tag at the website?

To find out the H1 tag for a website, you just need to right-click and view the source code. To do so, perform following actions:

·         Open a website, then right-click anywhere on the page.

·         Click view source, then a new tab will be showing site’s HTML code.

·         Click edit followed by the find.

·         Type <h and there will be highlighted heading tags including H1, H2, H3….. H6.

Why is H1 tag important?

H1 is the top level tag which demonstrates what actually the page is all about. It comprises more weightage as compared to other tags, thus, it contributes at its extent to improvise the page rankings. If these tags are used in a proper manner, then a web page will never fall short in terms of SEO.

Impact of H1 tag on ranking aspects

We all know that keywords hold the maximum prominence for page ranking, but the H1 tag has also some effects on the ranking factors. The search results by Google depends on various factors and page’s ability to engage users with their content, is one of them. To measure the user engagement, the bounce rate is considered as one of the important aspects.

Let’s discuss the bounce rate in detail:

If a user does not return to the search results page, just after clicking to a result, then it is a clear indication to Google that the user is satisfied with the result. But if the user returns immediately to the result page, then Google will mark the page as a poor result, and further, the page rankings will be decreased. The mechanism of returning to the search engine results page is known as bounce rate.

Thus, if the user feels good after clicking to the result page, then he/she will likely to invest more time on the page, which results in “long click”. The above statement clearly depicts that H1 tags perform both roles as direct ranking aspect and indirect ranking aspect (Supporting in visitor engagement).

Google’s Hummingbird Approach

The Google Hummingbird algorithm comprises its focus on rendering good user experience while providing a proficient platform for H1 tag optimization. If we talk about the most important aspect of Hummingbird algorithm,  the first thing comes into the mind is its capability of looking at the user’s past searches the finding out the actual intent of a user’s query. In case Google approves your answers for user’s query, then it will certainly affect the page rankings (In a positive way). This complete procedure will be implemented by using H1 tag, as you can answer the user’s query by providing a proper heading that is only possible through H1 tag.

For a proper heading, it is required to have good practice with H1 tag. Using questions as the heading would turn into an SEO-friendly move while answering the question into the body will lead to a good user experience. After the introduction of Hummingbird algorithm, it can be noticed that most of the search results comprises questions as their article heading.


Therefore, if you want to optimize your H1 tag, then try to mould your heading text according to the user’s query. Try to understand, what user is searching for and generate headings with targeted words, this process will lead to having an extra advantage in the improvised positioning in search results.

Do other heading tags are also important?

Yes! But not as important as the H1 tag. The other heading tags including H2, H3…..H6 are used for providing sub-headings to your content. These sub-headings represent the entire text in an organized form and lead to having better user engagement, as the user can easily scan the entire page and can find anything which seems interesting to him/her. These sub-headings can also be created with appropriate keywords to get better exposure at the search engines results page.



Some effective DO NOTs for heading tags

·         Do not push the keywords with heading tags.

·         Do not use heading tag more than one time on a single page. Adding two heading tags on a page will give indicate the search engines that you are attempting to stuff the keywords.

·         Do not mark the H1 tag as hidden text, as it will turn into penalties for your page.

·         Do not use duplicate heading tags, make it unique.

·         Do not use heading tag for emphasizing the text, however, use them to represent the organized content on your web page.

For the better understanding of H1 tag, you can search for prominent SEO service providers for their best SEO services. Further, you can also follow the plans and strategies of top 10 SEO firms, in order to gain extra information on search engine optimization.

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