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What Happens If There Are Multiple H1 Tags on One Page?

Last updated: Jan 23, 2023

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To build a good website, you have to consider many aspects, both technical and non-technical. In terms of on page SEO, one of the things that stands out the most is the heading structure.

The heading structure itself consists of H1, H2, H3, and so on, which helps users and search engines find out what chapters and subchapters are contained in your content.

However, what if there are many H1 tags on one page? Is it safe for your SEO strategy? See below for an explanation of what multiple H1 tags are, what happens if there are several H1 tags on one page, and how to make a good H1.

What are Multiple H1 Tags?

H1 is the most common HTML heading used to mark the page title of a website. Most websites use CSS to highlight H1s on a page in order to differentiate them from H2s, H3s, H4s, and so on. In the HTML code of a website, you will see the H1 text represented by the <h1></h1> tag.

Meanwhile, multiple H1 tags are defined as a condition in which there are many H1s on one website page. Even though a good website page is one that uses sequential heading structure, some people often use lots of H1s on one page for the reason that they make the headings stand out more.

Why is H1 Important for SEO?

the importance of h1 tags
Figure 1: Illustration of Heading Structure on a Website

H1 has a fairly important role for SEO. Here are 3 reasons why H1 is important for maximizing the SEO strategy for your website.

1. H1 Improves User Experience

H1 has an important role to play in improving the user experience by allowing users to understand what your website page contains at a glance. Most websites in search engine results display H1 as the largest text size on the page.

Users will find it easier to read your website page titles when using H1. This is because having an H1 can make your content title stand out even more. The H1 also plays a role in informing users of your content summary.

2. H1 Helps Search Engines Understand the Page

Like users, search engines also have the ability to understand the contents of your content based on its title, or H1. Therefore, it is important for you to make a short, concise, and descriptive H1.

John Mueller of Google states that if you want to produce content that ranks in SERPs, then you should help search engines understand it. The more descriptive the H1 in your content, the better.

3. H1 Improves Accessibility

H1 has a big enough role to improve accessibility. One of the reasons is that H1 can help users who use screen readers read the content on your website.

In general, users use screen readers because they have visual impairments. A screen reader is a program capable of reading text on a speech synthesizer or braille display.

In a study conducted by WebAIM, about 67.5% of users stated that they really liked good title navigation. In addition, H1s that are made prominent will be easier for users to read, so they will more easily understand what your content is about.

What If There Are Multiple H1 Tags in 1 Page?

H1 is an HTML tag that identifies the main title on a website page. This tag is considered one of the most important on-page SEO elements, because H1 is able to inform search engines about all of your website pages.

H1 creates a hierarchical page structure that makes your content easier to understand. When your website is easy to navigate, this can have a good impact on SEO strategies, especially in terms of bounce rate. However, what if there are many H1 tags on one page?

John Mueller from Google stated that using multiple H1 tags on one page is fine. If you're using HTML5, you'll notice that there's technically nothing wrong with using several H1 tags in different sections.

However, basically, each page only needs one H1 tag. Even though the use of many H1 tags is claimed to have no effect whatsoever, this still has the potential to weaken the SEO power of the H1 itself.

If you use more than one H1, it will make search engines quite confused in determining which H1 should be prioritized.

In the process of crawling multiple H1 tags, search engines will crawl several H1s on one page. However, the priority use of H1 is to focus the SEO strategy on one phrase or keyword, not many.

Google also has the potential to think the website is over-optimized if you use more than one H1. In the worst case, your website could be penalized by Google.

How to Make Good H1 Tags 

h1 tag in an article
Figure 2: Illustration of Making a Good H1 Tag

After learning about multiple H1 tags, their importance for SEO, and what happens if they exist on one page, it's time to learn how to create a good H1 tag. Check out the full explanation below.

1. Use a Single H1 on Each Page

As previously mentioned, while using multiple H1 tags does not technically have any impact, it can potentially weaken the SEO value of one or more H1s. Many H1 tags can cause search engines difficulty in determining which H1 is the most important on the page.

In addition, your website pages will look like they don't have a good heading structure. This is because one of the things that can improve the user experience is building a heading structure to make it easier for users to understand what chapters and sub-chapters contain the content on the page.

2. H1 Length is 20-70 Characters

If you keep the H1 short, it will make it difficult for users to understand what your website contains. Conversely, if the H1 is too long, the tag will become less user friendly.

Ideally, you should create H1s that are between 20 and 70 characters long. This can help you create H1 tags that are neither too short nor too long. Also, try using the Title and Meta Description Checker tool from cmlabs to make it easier for you to make a proportional H1.

3. Use Long Tail Keywords Whenever Possible

One way to create a good H1 is to use long-tail keywords whenever possible. Long-tail keywords are specific keywords with little competition. Long-tail keywords have the potential to help you win SERPs.

Search engines will crawl your website pages faster if you use long-tail keywords with low competition.  

Thus, the discussion about what multiple H1 tags are, what if they exist on one page, and how to make good H1 tags for your website pages.

Use SEO services to help you build a good heading structure so that the contents of your website will look more structured. That way, it will be easier for users and search engines to understand the contents of your website.

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